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Events of National Importance 2016


For UPSC Civil Services Examination

The book is compiled after referring to over 900+


articles from various relevant sources like PIB, The
Hindu, Indian Express and Economic Times and other
important sources.
Events compiled in the book are chosen by keeping in
the mind the requirement of UPSC aspirants in
accordance to the syllabus.
The book is also an ideal choice for State Level Service
Commission, SSC and Banking examination.

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Notes

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Contents
January 2016

-6

February 2016

- 47

March 2016

- 83

April 2016

- 109

May 2016

- 153

June 2016

- 211

July 2016

- 251

August 2016

- 286

September 2016

- 324

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January 2016
103RD INDIAN SCIENCE CONGRESS
1. Science & Technology for Indigenous Development in India, is
the theme on which top most scientists of the country will delve
upon at the 103rd edition of Indian Science Congress from
January 3 to 7, 2016. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will
inaugurate the Congress on (January 3, 2016).
2. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will also present 28
awards at the inauguration ceremony including six gold medals to
Nobel Laureates, ISCA Best Oral Presenter, ISCA Best
Poster, ISCA Young Scientists, C.V. Raman Birth Centenary
Award. University of Mysore is all set to host the prestigious
Congress at its campus.
3. The Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr.
Harsh Vardhan will unveil the Indian Science Congress Mega
Expo Pride of India-Frontier Science & Technologies on the
inaugural day and this is to be a major attraction during the fiveday event that will end on January 7, 2016.
4. The Indian Science Congress is being hosted in Karnataka after
13 years and in Mysuru after 34 years. The preparations are in
full swing as the whole of Manasagangotri campus is geared up to
receive nearly 15,000 delegates from all over the country and
abroad.

DIGITAL BANKING SOLUTIONS


1. State-owned Punjab National Bank on 2 January said it has
launched host of digital banking solutions including green PIN
and enhancement of its mobile app.
2. The bank launched mobile apps enabling the customer to locate
PNB ATM with PNB ATM Assist, it said in a statement. The
Android app facilitates the customer to use GPS and reach the
nearest PNB ATM, it also assists customer to instantly lodge
operational issues, reducing the resolution time considerably,

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3.

4.
5.
6.

PNB MD Usha Ananthasubramanian said. The bank also


launched another Android app to undertake basic banking.
The Android app facilitates the customer to use GPS and reach
the nearest PNB ATM, it also assists customer to instantly lodge
operational issues, reducing the resolution time considerably,
PNB MD Usha Ananthasubramanian said. The bank also
launched another Android app to undertake basic banking.
Green PIN facility was also launched under which customer can
obtain duplicate PIN for debit card instantly through SMS
request, it said.
Besides, the bank will provide customer SMS based facility to
block and unblock Internet banking and mobile banking.
The bank has installed cash acceptor cum ATM at their Sansad
Marg branch where customers can deposit cash up to Rs. 2 lakhs
per transaction and can avail the ATM feature.

PRESIDENT GIVES ASSENT TO 5 KEY LEGISLATIONS


A law enabling setting up of commercial benches in select high
courts and another on arbitration for speedy settlement of high
value business disputes are among five legislations which have got
nod from President Pranab Mukherjee.
Besides, a law for stringent action against those involved
in crimes against persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes has also got the assent from Mukherjee.
Mukherjee gave nod to the Arbitration and Conciliation
(Amendment) Act; the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act; the Commercial
Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division
of High Courts Act; The Atomic Energy (Amendment) Act; and
the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015, on 31 December
2015, official sources said.
The Atomic Energy (Amendment) Act will allow state-run Nuclear
Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) to have collaboration
with other public sector undertakings in the nuclear field. The law
amends the 1962 Atomic Energy Act to change the definition of
government company in the Act with a view to expand its scope.

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At present, only two PSUs NPCIL and Bhartiya Nabhikiya


Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), which are under the
administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy,
operate nuclear power plants in the country.
The Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015, provides for
enhancing monthly bonus calculation ceiling to Rs 7,000 per
month from the existing Rs 3,500. It also enhances the eligibility
limit for payment of bonus from Rs 10,000 per month to Rs 21,000
per month.
As per the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015,
an arbitrator will have to settle a case within 18 months. After the
completion of 12 months, certain restrictions will be put in place
to ensure that the arbitration case does not linger.
The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial
Appellate Division of High Courts Act is aimed at creating
commercial benches in select high courts.
Under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, assaulting or
sexually exploiting an SC or ST woman is an offence.
The Act states that any intentional touching of an SC or ST
woman in a sexual manner without her consent, using words, acts
or gestures of a sexual nature, dedicating her as a devadasi to a
temple, or any similar practice will be considered an
offence. These bills were passed by the Parliament in the recently
concluding session.

FAITH IN SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY


Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi set the tone for the 103rd
Indian Science Congress which commenced in Mysuru by reposing
countrys faith in science and in its scientists and said that
confidence of future of India is because of its faith in the scientific
community.
Delivering the inaugural address of the flagship event, Mr. Modi
said India had made giant strides in science and said that Indias
success spans from the core of the tiny atom to the vast frontier of
space and the country were once again turning towards scientists
and innovators to realize the goals of economic welfare and
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development of 1.2 billion people and address problems plaguing


India. India was witness to another revolution in the present
times, one of empowerment and opportunities in India. We are
once again turning to our scientists and innovators to realize our
goals of human welfare and economic development, said Mr.Modi.
The 33 minute speech of the Prime Minister touched upon the
entire gamut of the major plenary sessions and themes listed for
discussions in the Indian Science Congress ranging from
agriculture and forestry sciences to biotechnology and marine
sciences, space, urbanisation, Mr.Modi stressed on urbanisation
and environment and said the world was on the cusp of entering
an urban era with more than 2/3rd of the world population living
in the cities while 50 percent of Indias population would live in
urban areas by 2050.

RK MATHUR TAKES OATH AS NEW CIC


1. Former defence secretary R.K. Mathur was on 4 January
2016 sworn in as the eighth Chief Information Commissioner
(CIC)by President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony at
Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi. As the CIC, Mr. Mathur will have
2. As the CIC, Mr. Mathur will have the tenure of about three
years till he attains the age of 65 years.
3. The Central Information Commission has been headless twice
since the New government came to power in 2014.
4. Earlier, it was without a chief for nearly 10 months after the
completion of the tenure of the then-CIC, Rajiv Mathur, in August
2014. It again fell vacant a month back following the retirement of
Vijai Sharma.

DR JITENDRA SINGH RELEASES MDONER


CALENDER-2016 WITH THEME RISING NORTH
EAST
1. The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development
of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public
Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra
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2.
3.

4.

5.

6.
7.
8.

Singh released Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region


(MDoNER) Calender-2016.
The theme of the Calendar released this year is Rising North
East which is depicting developing modern North East.
The Minister also briefed about the festival DESTINATION
NORTH EAST-2016 which is being organised by the Ministry
during 12-14 February, 2016 in New Delhi to showcase the
inherent economic, social and cultural strength of the North East
Region at National Level.
Briefing about the festival DESTINATION NORTH EAST
2016, he said that the main focus of the festival is to bring
mainstream India closer to the north east, so that rest of India
gets to know about the north east.
He said that the Ministry is committed to change the face of north
east by the end of this year. The Minister said that the MDoNER
is also working for promoting Public Private partnership in north
east.
He also informed that the north east will be taken in the first
phase of skill development programme.
Sikkim will soon be declared the first Organic state in the
country, he added.
He also announced the introduction of an exclusive road
construction agency for Northeast which would be known as
North-East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS) and
would primarily focus on inter-State roads, popularly referred to
as orphan roads connecting one State with the other and often
found to be neglected.

ENHANCEMENT OF REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN


IN CAPFS
1. With a view to enhancing representation of women in Central
Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath
Singh has approved the 33% posts at Constable level for being
filled up by women.
2. The 33% reservation of Constable level posts in CRPF & CISF and
14-15% posts at Constable level in border guarding forces i.e. BSF,
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SSB & ITBP will start immediately to begin with. This


reservation would be horizontal.
3. The Committee on Empowerment of Women in its Sixth Report
(Recommendation No.84) of the (2010-11) had recommended
urgent need to provide due representation to women in
paramilitary forces.

FTII SOCIETY AND GOVERNING COUNCIL


1. The first meeting of the newly appointed FTII Society and the
Governing Council was held in the Institute premises in Pune.
2. Members of the FTII Society including the President Shri
Gajendra Chauhan, Shri B.P Singh was elected as the Vice
President of the FTII Society.
3. The Society also decided to nominate acclaimed Film Maker best
known for the films like 3 Idiots, Munnabhai MBBS, Shri
Rajkumar Hirani, Producer-Director Shri B. P. Singh, celebrated
film and television Actor known for his film Jaane Bhi do Yaaron
and television series Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Shri Satish Shah, Shri
Pranjal Saikia, Shri Narendra Pathak and noted Film journalist
and critic Ms Bhawana Somaiyya to the Governing Council.
4. Producer-Director Shri B. P. Singh was elected as the Vice
Chairman of the Governing Council. It was also decided to
nominate the Vice Chairman of the Governing Council as the
Chairman of the Academic Council. An alumnus of FTII, Shri
Brijendra Pal Singh is well known for the Indian television serial
CID. The Governing Council also approved the Annual Report
and Statement of Accounts of the Institute for 2013-14 & 2014-15.
The Revised Estimates for 2015-2016 and Budget Estimates for
2016-17 were also sanctioned at the meeting. Earlier, new
Chairperson Shri Gajendra Chauhan arrived at the Institute
premises for his first visit to the premier institution and was
accorded a warm reception by the Staff, Administration and
Faculty members. Speaking to the Staff members, Shri Chauhan
said he would do his best to solve the problems of the institution
including the longstanding demand of pension for the staff.
5. Earlier, new Chairperson Shri Gajendra Chauhan arrived at the
Institute premises for his first visit to the premier institution and
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was accorded a warm reception by the Staff, Administration and


Faculty members. Speaking to the Staff members, Shri Chauhan
said he would do his best to solve the problems of the institution
including the longstanding demand of pension for the staff.

JAMMU AND KASHMIR CHIEF MINISTER MUFTI


MOHAMMAD SAYEED LAID TO REST WITH FULL
STATE HONOURS
1. Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who
passed away after a prolonged illness at AIIMS New Delhi, was
laid to rest at his ancestral place in south Kashmirs Bijbehara
town.
2. Seen as a visionary leader, a smart political strategist and an
astute nationalist, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed remained active for
over five decades in national and State politics.
3. The funeral procession with Sayeeds coffin in a flower-decked
vehicle assembled at Sher I Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Sonwar
Srinagar for funeral prayers.
4. Pertinently on November 07 last year, Mufti shared the dais with
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a public rally at the same place.
Sayeed was buried in the Dara Shikoh Bagh in south Kashmirs
Bijbehara town. Sayeed was accorded State funeral with
ceremonial Guard-of-Honour.

FRENCH ARMY MARCHING CONTINGENT TO


PARTICIPATE IN THIS YEARS REPUBLIC DAY
PARADE FOR THE FIRST TIME
1. This year, French soldiers will march down Rajpath on Republic
Day along with Indian troops.
2. This is the first time a foreign army is participating in the 26th
January parade. French President Francois Hollande is the chief
guest this year.
3. A French contingent, comprising 56 personnel of the 35th Infantry
Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, is already in the country to
take part in a joint exercise which began in Rajasthan.
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4. Some soldiers will also fly down from France to form a proper
marching contingent.

103RD INDIAN SCIENCE CONGRESS CONCLUDES


1.
2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

The Governor of Karnataka Shri Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala urged the


youth to focus on their education in their crucial age of education.
The annual Indian Science Congress held between Jan 3rd to Jan
7th, with its theme Science and technology for indigenous
development in India was inaugurated and presided by the Prime
Minister Narendra Modi. Make in India a term coined by the PM.
In over 50 halls around the Mysore University campus, 620 hours
of platform presentations on science were attended by large
number of people.
This includes plenary sessions, sectional sessions and special talks.
Over 5000 speakers delivered talks and a total of 12500 delegates
and 500 Scientists participated at the 103rd Indian Science
Congress. Over 150 institutions from around India and abroad took
part in the meet.
Sectional sessions and symposiums were held on 14 topics,
namely, Agriculture and Forensic Science, Animal, Veterinary and
Fishery Sciences, Anthropological and Behavioral Sciences, Chemical
Science, Earth System Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Environment
Sciences, Information and Communication Science and
Technology, Material Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Medical
Sciences, New Biology, Physical Sciences and Plant Sciences.
The 103rd Indian Science Congress was a feast for the intellectual
minds as it explored various aspects of science. It was declared that
the next annual Indian Science Congress will be held between Jan
3rd to Jan 7th, 2017 at SRM University in Chennai.
Womans Science Congress which was inaugurated by HRD Minister
Mrs. Smriti Zubin Irani calling forinclusive participation of women
was appreciated by all.
Children Science Congress which was inaugurated by Nobel
Laureate John B Gurdon called for youth participation and added
that it is necessary that we introduce and create awareness among
children at early age. Children, who achieved great feat in the field of
science and technology were identified and felicitated.
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8.

Science Exhibition was a major attraction in the 103rd Indian


Science Congress which features exhibits from DRDO, ONGC,
Biocon, NTPC, HAL, KBITS, ASL, and various other organizations
both private and government attracted a huge crowd. This also
featured a Hall of Fame, an apt tribute to our former President, Late
Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The other crowd puller was Children
exhibition arena as part of Children Science Congress. School
children from across the city visited the exhibition and got insight.

1ST INDIA PHARMA AWARDS


The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri Ananth Kumar
gave away the 1st India Pharma awards in Bengaluru. The
awards constituted by Department of Pharmaceuticals were given
to outstanding Pharma Industries to motivate Indian Pharma and
medical devices industries. The winner of the awards is:
CATEGORY OF AWARD

NAME OF THE COMPANY

OVERALL INDIA PHARMA


EXCELLENCE AWARD

CADILA HEALTHCARE LIMITED

INDIA PHARMA LEADER AWARD

SHRI GLENN SALDANA, CHAIRMAN


& MANAGING DIRECTOR,
GLENMARK PHARMACEUTICALS
LIMITED

INDIA PHARMA COMPANY OF THE


YEAR AWARD

LUPIN LIMITED

INDIA PHARMA BULK DRUG


COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARD

SMS PHARMACEUTICALS LTD

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INDIA PHARMA INNOVATION OF


THE YEAR AWARD

CADILA HEATHCARE LIMITED

INDIA PHARMA RESEARCH AND


DEVELOPMENT ACHIEVEMENT
AWARD

SUN PHARMACEUTICALS
INDUSTRIES LTD

INDIA PHARMA CORPORATE


SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
PROGRAMME OF THE YEAR
AWARD

ABBOTT INDIA LIMTED

INDIA PHARMA MEDICAL DEVICES


COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARD

HARSORIA HEALTHCARE PVT LTD

INDIA PHARMA EXPORT COMPANY


OF THE YEAR AWARD

CAMUS PHARMA PVT LTD

INDIA PHARMA BULK DRUG


EXPORT COMPANY OF THE YEAR

SMS PHARMACEUTICALS LTD

INDIA PHARMA MEDICAL DEVICES


EXPORT COMPANY OF THE YEAR
AWARD

SCOPE MEDICAL DEVICES PVT LTD

SPECIAL AWARD: PHARMA PSU


COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARD

KARNATAKA ANTIBIOTICS AND


PHARMACEUTICALS LIMITED, A
PSU UNDER DEPARTMENT OF
PHARMACEUTICALS

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Speaking on the occasion the Shri Ananth Kumar said that the Pharma
Industry in the country is growing at a higher rate than GDP and needs
to be complimented for this. He said that the government would like
domestic Pharma industry to be global leaders. He said that the
government and the Pharma entrepreneurs will work together as team
Pharma India, with the aim of serving millions of ailing people. Shri
Ananth Kumar assured full support to the industry.

AZIM PREMJI TOPS IN PHILANTHROPIC LIST


1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Wipro chairman Azim Premji has been named the most


philanthropic Indian for the third consecutive year, according to a
report from Hurun Research Institute, which ranks the most
generous individuals in the country.
Premjis contribution for education through the Azim Premji
Foundation more than doubled to Rs 27,514 crore in 2015, from Rs
12, 316 crores, a year earlier, the Hurun Philanthropy List 2015 said.
With contribution of Rs 2,404 crore, Nandan and Rohini Nilekani
climbed up the list at the second position, from sixth in 2014 while
former Infosys chairman Narayana Murthy came in thirdwith
contribution of Rs 1,322 crore.
The Wipro billionaire, who has given away about $8.5 billion in
charitable causes, recently urged rich Indians to be more forthcoming
in giving away their wealth in a poverty-ridden country. His
Foundation works to improve the quality of education across many
government schools in India in eight states which together have over
3.5 lakh schools.
The contributions from the top 10 philanthropists nearly doubled to
Rs 34,077 crore during the year, from Rs 18,096 crore in the previous
year. Premjis contribution made up about 81% of the total wealth
given away. The Hurun list, however, shrunk to 36 Indians from 50
in 2014, based on a minimum contribution of Rs 10 crores and above.
Despite weak corporate earnings in 2015 compared to last year, the
increasing speed of wealth creation seems to promise a bright future
for Indian philanthropy, Anas Rahman Junaid, business head,
Hurun Report India said.

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INS KADMATT TO HOG LIMELIGHT AT IFR


1.

2.

3.

4.

Indian Navys latest acquisition the indigenously designed and


built stealth anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kadmatt would
be the showpiece at the International Fleet Review scheduled to
begin February 4.
The ship with a high level of indigenisation showcases the Make in
India policy of the Government of India and helps strengthen the
image of Indian Navys transition from buyer navy to builder navy.
INS Kadmatt is one of the most potent warships to have been
constructed in India. The vessel has achieved 90 per cent
indigenisation in Float, Move and Fight components.
It incorporates advanced technologies, including Total Atmospheric
Control System (TACS), Integrated Platform Management System
(IPMS), Integrated Bridge System (IBS), Battle Damage Control
System (BDCS) and Personnel Locator System (PLS) to provide
acontemporary and process oriented System of Systems for optimal
functioning of the warship.

Nuclear submarine
1.

2.

3.

4.

With the state-of-the-art stealth corvette in the limelight at the


IFR Indias first indigenous nuclear-powered ballistic submarine is
not going to be seen.
There was intense speculation that the nuclear-powered submarine
would be commissioned at the IFR to showcase our shipbuilding
capabilities to the delegations from 52 navies.
At the commissioning of the indigenously designed and built antisubmarine stealth corvette INS Kadmatt Chief of Naval Staff,
Admiral R K Dhowan declared that the stealth corvette would be the
youngest ship in the International Fleet Review, putting to rest all
doubts on commissioning of the nuclear submarine during the event.
The nuclear-powered submarine built at the Ship Building Centre
under the Advanced Technology Vessel Project is directly monitored
by the Prime Ministers Office. The decision on the date of
commissioning the vessel into the Indian Navy lay with the Prime
Minister. The nuclear submarine that was launched in 2009 is

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reported to have completed the sea trials and is ready for induction
into the Navy.

41 PERCENT OF INDIAS PEOPLE BELOW 20 YRS


Around 41 per cent of Indias population is below the age of 20 years
with Muslims having the highest proportion of children and
teenagers among all religions, according to just-released Census 2011
data.
2. The share of the young population has, however, declined in the
country since the previous census in 2001 when it was 45 per cent for
the whole country.
3. Forty-seven per cent of Muslims are aged below 20 years, the highest
among all religious communities, while children and teenagers make
up 40 per cent of the Hindu population, according to the 2011 data.
4. As per the Census data, just 29 per cent population among the Jains
are in the age group of 0-19 years while among the Christians, it is
37 per cent, Sikhs 35 per cent and Buddhist 37 per cent.
5. Among Indias total population, around 41 per cent is below 20 years
old and nine per cent above 60 years, leaving 50 per cent in the
intervening 20-59 age group.
6. According to 2001 census data, among the Hindus, 44 per cent were
below the age group of 20 years, among Muslims 52 per cent and
Jains 35 per cent.
7. Overall, life cycles of different religious communities in the country
have shown common trends of declining proportion of children and
teenagers and increasing share of elderly citizens, the 2011 data
showed.
8. The proportion of elderly people in the country has risen across all
communities as life spans have generally increased.
9. According to the Census data, people of the age of 60 years and above
make up about nine per cent of the countrys total population.
Interestingly, among the Muslims, just 6.4 per cent of the population
is over 60 years, almost 50 per cent lower than the national average.
10. Among Jains and Sikhs, the share of elderly is around 12 per cent
each. Age-wise population shares reveal another important aspect of
the lives of people dependency. Both children and the elderly are
dependent on the able and adult population.
1.

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Overall, the young dependency ratio the number of children aged


up to 15 years dependent on every 1,000 members of the working-age
population has declined from 621 in 2001 to 510 in 2011.
12. This is a direct consequence of declining number of children. At the
other end of life spectrum, the old dependency ratio has increased
from 131 in 2001 to 142 in 2011, in accordance with the growing
elderly population.
13. Across religious communities, Muslims
11.

MAKE IN INDIA LOGO DESIGNED BY FOREIGN

FIRM
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Logo of Prime Minister Narendra Modis much-hyped Make in India


initiative, which aims to brand India as a manufacturing hub is
designed by a foreign companys Indian arm, reveals a query under
Right to Information Act.
Replying to query by a Madhya Pradesh-based activist, Chandra
Shekhar Gaur, Union commerce and industry ministry replied, No
tenders were invited for designing Make In India logo.
In 2014-15, tenders were invited by the ministry for appointing a
creative agency. And on its basis, Weiden+Kennedy India Limited,
was chosen. And its this company which designed the logo for Make
In India.
Wieden+Kennedy, founded in Portland, Oregon, is one of the largest
independently owned advertising agencies, with presence in
Amsterdam, Beijing, London, New York, Portland,
Shanghai, Tokyo and India.
Activist Guar also sought information on total payment made for the
creation of the Make In India logo, but the ministry said in its reply
No separate payment was made for creating the logo.
While replying to another query, the ministry informed
thatWeiden+Kennedy India Limited was hired for Rs 11 crore for
advertising and promotion of Make In India, campaign, for 3 years
Rs 4.32 crore for financial year 2014-15, Rs 3.6 crore each for 2015-16
& 2016-17, said the reply in last week of December. Speaking to TOI,
Gaur said, It feels good to hear about Make In India and the
campaign also talks good about our country. Its a good initiative, but
it would have been better and sent a stronger message if this was
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done by an Indian firm. There is no dearth of creative talent in


India.

PULSE POLIO PROGRAMME FOR 2016 LAUNCHED


1. The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee launched the Pulse
Polio programme for 2016 by administering polio drops to children
less than five years old, at the Rahstrapati Bhawan.
2. On 17th January 2016, it is National Immunization Day. Around
17.4 crore children of less than five years across the country will
be given polio drops as part of the drive of Government of India to
sustain polio eradication from the country.
3. Speaking at the function on the eve of the National Immunization
Day, the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri J P
Nadda said Polio-free status for five years is a treasure for all of
us.
4. He also said: India has been now validated for Maternal and
Neonatal Tetanus elimination in May 2015, well before the global
target date of December 2015.

NATIONAL AND SUB-NATIONAL POLIO ROUNDS


1. In order to mitigate the risk of importation, the immunity against
polio infection is maintained through National and Sub-National
Polio rounds along with sustained high-quality polio surveillance.
2. India is vigilant and that is the reason that it is conducting
continuous polio vaccination at the international borders with
India.
3. A travel advisory has also been issued as per WHO guidelines to
vaccinate all travellers who are travelling between India and eight
other countries namely Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria,
Cameroon, Syria, Ethiopia, Somalia & Kenya.
4. Also, an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) is in
place under which Rapid Response Teams (RRT) have been
formed in all States/UTs to respond urgently to any importations
of poliovirus.

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Injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)


1. The Health Minister mentioned that in a landmark step to provide
double protection to our children and securing our gains of polio
eradication, Government of India has introduced the injectable
Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) into its routine immunization
program along with oral polio vaccine from 30 November 2015.
2. In the first phase IPV has been introduced in six States,
viz Assam, Gujarat, Punjab, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar
Pradesh.

INTER-MINISTERIAL PANEL ON COAL


GASIFICATION
1. As part of its policy for the development of coal gasification, the
government has set up an inter-ministerial panel for identifying
coal and lignite mines to be put up for auction or allotment.
2. The development of underground coal gasification (UCG) is
envisaged to provide energy security.
3. The panel being chaired by Additional Secretary, Coal has
members from ministries such as Petroleum and Natural Gas, an
official said.
4. Recently, the Inter Ministerial Committee was set up. The panel
would discuss, identify and make recommendation on coal blocks
have to be either auctioned or allotted (for underground coal
gasification), the official said.
5. The panel also has members from Niti Aayog and Central Mine
Planning & Design Institute (CMPDI), the official added.
6. The Union Cabinet last month approved a policy for developing
Underground Coal Gasification in coal and lignite bearing areas in
the country.
7. A policy on the lines of the existing policy for Coal Bed Methane
(CBM) development on a revenue sharing basis will be adopted to
offer the blocks through competitive bidding. UCG is a method of
extraction of energy from coal/lignite resources which are
otherwise regarded as uneconomical to work through conventional
mining methods.
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IT DEPARTMENTS CENTRALIZED PROCESSING


CENTRE IN BENGALURU AWARDED ISO 9001
CERTIFICATION

The flagship project of Income Tax Department for the processing of


tax returns, the Centralized Processing Centre (CPC), Bengaluru,
has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 standard for Quality Management
System Certificate by the British Standards Institution (BSI).
The certificate issued on January 11, 2016, encompasses all business
services and business enabler services of CPC.
ISO 9001 is an international standard that specifies requirements for
quality management system (QMS) addressing the principles and
processes that surround the design, development and delivery of
services.
Organizations use this standard to demonstrate their ability to
consistently provide services that meet customer and regulatory
requirements.
Set up in 2009, this state of the art facility has already been certified
as ISO 27001 compliant for its Information Security Management
System in 2014 and ISO 15489 for its Records Management System
in 2013.
With the ISO 9001 certification, the CPC Bengaluru has achieved the
rare distinction of receiving three ISO certificates.
Conformance to these internationally recognised standards ensures
that the CPC is able to efficiently and accurately process Income Tax
returns and expeditiously issue refunds.
As on 31.12.2015, the CPC has processed 3.27 crore returns,
registering a growth of 18 percent over 2.65 crore returns processed
during the corresponding period of the previous year.
During the current year, the CPC has issued refunds in 1.81 crore
cases out of which in 1.32 crore cases, that is 73 percent, the refunds
were issued within 30 days of filing of the returns by the taxpayers.
The income tax department is committed to continuously improve
the quality of tax payer services and enhance taxpayer satisfaction.

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GOVERNMENT TO OPEN FILM FELICITATION


OFFICE
1. The Information and Broadcasting ministry has decided to set up
a film felicitation office to allow artists work independently.
2. Sunil Arora, secretary in the ministry of Information and
Broadcasting, said the decision was taken after the ministrys
meeting with some filmmakers, including National award-winner
Shyam Benegal.
3. After a three-hour interaction with some 13-14 directors, it was
decided that government will start a film felicitation office in
country, housed in NFDC, Delhi and monitored by the
government.
4. The idea to have this office is to connect the dots and put people
together and let the film productions as Shyam Benegal in that
meeting put it.
5. He said if we are damaging a monument advertently or
inadvertently, or we are harming the environment or if there is a
movie which has implications for the national security or
intergity barring that we are artists, leave us alone and let us
do our work.
6. This is what the film felicitation office will be doing, Arora said
on the sidelines of the inauguration of Indian Panorama Film
Festival.
7. Under this film festival, the movies which were selected in
the Indian Panorama section at the 2015 International Film
Festival of India (IFFI), will be opened for public screening.
8. Arora also announced that to encourage filmmaking in India, a
new category, Most Film Friendly State, has been introduced in
the National Film Awards.
9. From this National Film Festival, one state will be chosen for
being the most film friendly state. This has been approved. This
will be the first time that the award will be given at the National
Film Awards by honourable President to a state or a union
territory which does the most for the connoisseurs of filmmaking,
he said.

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ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA


ORGANIZED MATDAATA MAHOTSAV FROM 14TH17TH JANUARY
1. The four day long Matdaata Mahotsav organized by Election
Commission of India on the theme, No Voter to be left behind
concluded in New Delhi.
2. The event focused at involving voters and citizens from all walks
of life specifically women, youth, defence personnel, non-resident
Indians, persons with disabilities, and those from marginalised
sections for enhanced sense of inclusion, greater awareness about
the electoral process and strengthening SVEEP (Systematic
Voters Education & Electoral Participation) programme.
3. The voters fest hosted national exhibition displaying the good
practices on various aspects of election management and also
described the process of elections through interactive models,
presentations and exhibits from different parts of the country.
4. There were information and facilitation centres, mock polling
station and a range of interactive activities. Multitude of activities
like debates and discussions, music and dance, street plays and
games, quizzes and contests during the event aimed at keeping up
the spirit of festivity.
5. Few EMBs from other countries like Maldives, Nepal, Moldova,
Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Fiji and Australia also shared the best
practices of their countries. It was for the first time that these
countries had participated in such an exhibition.
6. This festival was organized with the support from partner CSOs,
NGOs, Ministries and Departments, Radio, TV and Print Media
partners along with the support from National Literacy Mission
Authority (NLMA), Border Security Force (BSF) etc.

SOLAR TARIFF AT A NEW LOW OF RS 4.34 PER UNIT


1. Solar tariffs have fallen to an unprecedented low of Rs. 4.34 / kWh
through reverse auction for one of six projects of 70 MW each to be
put up in Rajasthan under the National Solar Mission.

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2. NTPC on Monday conducted the reverse bidding for 420 MW solar


power projects to be set up in the Bhadla Solar Park-II, near
Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
3. Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal
and New & Renewable Energy congratulated Chief Minister of
Rajasthan, Mrs. Vasundhra Raje for the success and tweeted,
Congratulations to Honble Raj CM@VasundharaBJP ji for
achieving lowest ever Indian solar tariff of Rs. 4.34/ unit through
reverse auction.

EESL ACHIEVES MILESTONE OF DISTRIBUTION OF 5


CRORE LED BULBS
1.

2.

3.
4.

5.
6.

7.

8.

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) completed the


distribution of 5 crore LED bulbs under Domestic Efficient Lighting
Programme (DELP).
Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New &
Renewable Energy, congratulated EESL on achieving this milestone
by tweeting, Congratulations to EESL_India for distributing 5 crore
LED bulbs. They will nearly double this no. in next 2 months
According to EESL will be able to distribute 7 crore LED bulbs by the
end of February and between 9-10 crore by March 2016.
The DELP scheme helps to save 1,76,87,005 kWh energy per day
which is worth Rs 6,95,14,059. It also helps in avoiding peak load of
1,583 MW.
Replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs reduces the emission of
14,469 tonne of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a public sector entity
under Ministry of Power, has taken up the project of distributing
LED bulbs under its flagship initiative, the Domestic Efficient
Lighting Programme (DELP).
The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the DELP scheme
on 5th January 2015. The scheme is presently running in nineteen
states & union territories in India and is rapidly expanding across all
other states.
The target of the DELP is to replace all the 77 crore incandescent
bulbs sold in India by LEDs.
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This will result in a reduction of 20,000 MW load, energy savings of


100 billion KWh and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions savings of
80 million tons every year.
10. The annual saving in electricity bills of consumers will be Rs. 40,000
crores, considering average tariff of Rs. 4 per kWh.
9.

J&K GETS NAI MANZIL


1.

2.

3.

4.

The Nai Manzil scheme for minority youths has been launched for
the first time in Jammu and Kashmir, Minister of Minority Affairs
Najma Heptulla said.
Ms. Heptulla told reporters the scheme was launched for girls in
Srinagar on January 20 in three institutions the Skill
Development Centre at the University of Kashmir and two madrasas
(Madarsa Shahi-i-Hamdan in Pampore and Madarsa Imam Sadique
in Bandipora. Under the scheme, girls from minority communities
would be imparted a three-month skill development training in seven
identified sectors relevant to the region, she said.
These include training in saffron processing, food processing,
embroidery, IT (both software and hardware), tourism/hospitality,
electronics and plumbing, she added.
Ms. Heptulla said the scheme had already been introduced at Patna
and Motihari in Bihar and Bhandup in Mumbai and would be
launched in other madrasas too in a phased manner.

GOVT TO EXTEND GIRL CHILD CAMPAIGN TO 61


MORE DISTRICTS
1.

2.

The Government has decided to extend the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
scheme to 61 more districts this year to improve skewed child sex
ratio. The programme was launched in 100 districts with poor sex
ratio across the country in January last year.
A senior official of the Women and Child Development Ministry said
more than 50 per cent of the districts showed improvement during
initial months of the launch of the scheme. He said, it is due to the
success of the scheme that for the first time in ten years, Haryanas
sex ratio at birth for December 2015 has crossed the 900 mark with
903 girls per 1,000 boys.
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3.

Through the programme, the government seeks to improve the


declining trend of child sex ratio in 100 selected districts from every
state and Union Territory from the current level of 918, by
preventing gender-biased sex selection and ensuring survival,
protection and education of a girl child.

PRESIDENT HOSTS LUNCH FOR 100 WOMEN


ACHIEVERS
1.

2.

3.
4.

5.
6.

7.
8.

9.

President Pranab Mukherjee hosted a lunch for 100 women achievers


for their contribution to nation building and community development
on the first anniversary of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme at
Rashtrapati Bhawan.
These women have now emerged as achievers through public
support. These are women who have pushed boundaries to prove
their mettle over 20 categories, senior Women and Child
Development Ministry official said.
The 100 women achievers were selected by the ministry through a
nationwide contest and public nominations.
The ministry, in collaboration with Facebook, had conducted the 100
Women Initiative to recognize women who are making a difference
in their communities across the country and their achievements may
have gone unsung.
The contest was beamed live on ministrys Facebook page on July 15
last year through which nominations were invited in 20 categories.
The ministry received an encouraging response from the public,
with nominations flowing in from the public. A panel of jury
members shortlisted the top 200 women nominees across 20
categories, ministry official said.
Public voting was held through Facebook from 3-20 December, 2015.
Rashida Bi from Madhya Pradesh has been selected in the
Environment and Forests and Wildlife category for working towards
the welfare of Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims for the last 30 years.
The list of nominees also includes Patiala-based Harshinder Kaur, a
paediatric doctor who has been awarded by numerous governments
across the globe for her work in eradicating discrimination against
female child, and Lalita Nijhawan from Delhi for her commendable
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work in the field of education for women and children, especially the
girl child.
10. The categories include Access to Justice Protecting Women & their
Rights, Agriculture and Animal husbandry, Animal Welfare, Arts
and Culture, Commerce Industry and Entrepreneurship, Community
Mobilization, Disability and Disadvantage, Education, among others.

FIRST OF THE COUNTRYS 100 RAILWAY STATIONS


TO BE EQUIPPED WITH A HIGH-SPEED WI-FI
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

One gigabit per second. Thats the speed at which you could browse
the Web at Mumbai Central railway station for the first hour, and
then depending on the number of users and time spent, the speed
could vary between 50 Kbps and 1 Gbps.
Mumbai Central became the first of the countrys 100 railway
stations to be equipped with a high-speed Wi-Fi service, a
collaboration between RailTel, the Indian Railways telecom arm,
and the US-headquartered software firm Google.
The ambitious project was announced last September during Prime
Minister Narendra Modis visit to the Google headquarters in
Mountain View, California. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, during his
visit to India in December, had given a January deadline for the
facility at the first station and, extending support to the Digital India
initiative, had said that 100 railway stations will be covered by the
end of 2016.
The service was inaugurated by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. In
a statement, Railtel Chairman and Managing Director RK Bahuguna
said the companys intent was to fulfil Indian Railways vision of
providing passengers access to high speed internet. Affordable
smartphones have made it possible for the common man to
experience the power of Internet. With our partnership with Google,
we are confident of rolling out a robust, scalable service at railway
stations in the near future.
Speaking at the event, Google South East Asia and India VP &
Managing Director Rajan Anandan said: By end of this year over 10
million people will be able to enjoy this experience at 100 stations
spread across the country.
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6.

Under the project, Google will work with Indian Railways and
RailTel to eventually roll out the service at 400 railway stations, a
Google statement said. This network will extend to cover both long
distance and local train stations at Mumbai Central. The next four
stations on the list are Allahabad, Patna, Jaipur, and Ranchi,
Google India Head of Access Project Gulzar Azad said.

PM RELEASES 100 SECRET FILES ON NETAJI


1.

2.
3.

4.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first set of 100


declassified files pertaining to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the
National Archives of India here on Saturday in the presence of
members of the Bose family.
The government plans to release in the public domain 25 declassified
files each month.
The release of the first set coincides with the 119th birth anniversary
of the eminent freedom fighter and comes months before West
Bengal goes to the polls. Bose family members thanked the Prime
Minister for declassifying the files.
The files do not seem to throw up any new evidence suggesting
the freedom fighter survived the plane crash in Taihoku, now in
Taiwan, on August 18, 1945.

Here are the allegations made by Samar Guha on the Khosla


Commission enquiry in a letter to Indira Gandhi.

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A cabinet note of February 6, 1995, said that while the government


accepted the plane crash theory on Boses death, it wasnt advisable
to bring back his ashes from Japan. The government went with the
Intelligence Bureaus view: If the ashes are brought back to India,
the people of West Bengal are likely to construe it as an imposition
on them of the official version of Netajis death.

Guha also alleges that the plane crash could not have happened at the
spot.

1.

2.
3.
4.

The theory that he died in the crash was the version of his Indian
National Army associates and was also accepted by the Nehru
government.
However, this may not yet put to rest speculation that the freedom
fighter outlived the crash.
A section of the Bose family, and many in Bengal have for decades
held that the whole truth of Boses disappearance isnt out yet.
Politically, the declassification may earn the BJP some goodwill in
the poll-bound State, where Bose is a legend.

Appropriating other legacies


1.

The release of the declassified files may not help the BJP in
concrete terms in poll-bound West Bengal as it has hardly any
presence there.
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2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

This apart, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already scored a


political point months ago by releasing the files in the custody of
the State government.
Another tacit political point made by the Union government is
that it is seeking to do justice to the memory of Bose by
declassifying documents that the Congress governments held on to
tightly.
Faced with the main rival Congress claiming the legacy of the
freedom struggle, the present regime, observers and critics say, is
looking to appropriate the legacies of freedom fighters other than
Nehru by suggesting that the Congress sought to erase them.
The documents made public by the Prime Minister include 36 files
of the Prime Ministers Office, 18 files of the Ministry of Home
Affairs and 46 files from the Ministry of External Affairs from the
period 1956 to 2003.
These can be accessed on www.netajipapers.gov.in or seen by the
public at the National Archives till February 15, 2016.

DSIR RECEIVED ISO 9001:2008 CERTIFICATE


1.

2.

3.

4.

The Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR),


Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, received
ISO 9001:2008 Certification for its functions, activities, and
services being in total compliance with the guidelines issued by
the Performance Management Division, Cabinet Secretariat
Government of India.
Dr. Girish Sahni, Secretary, DSIR, received the ISO 9001:2008
Certificate from Swiss Cert Pvt Ltd for the Department complying
with all the requirements.
DSIR started implementation process of ISO 9001:2008 in
compliance with the guidelines issued by the Performance
Management Division, Cabinet Secretariat, in 2011. After the
satisfactory audit of functions and services of the Department, the
competent Certification Body has now certified DSIR as an ISO
9001:2008 Department.
DSIR has the mandate to carry out activities related to indigenous
technology promotion, development, utilization, and transfer.
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5.

6.

Its primary endeavor is to promote R&D by the industries,


support a larger cross-section of small and medium industrial
units to develop state-of-the-art globally competitive technologies
of high commercial potential, catalyze faster commercialization of
lab-scale R&D, enhance the share of technology-intensive exports
in overall exports, strengthen industrial consultancy & technology
management capabilities and establish user-friendly information
network to facilitate scientific and industrial research in the
country.
DSIR also provides a link between scientific laboratories and
industrial establishments for transfer of technologies through its
constituent company, the National Research Development
Corporation and facilitates investment in R&D through Central
Electronics Limited, the public undertaking under the
Department.

A FESTIVAL OF DEMOCRACY (BY S.Y. QURAISHI


FORMER CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER)
1.

2.

3.

On 25th January 2016 India celebrates the 6th National Voters


Day (NVD). This is the biggest festival of democracy, next only to
a general election. Over 30 million voters will get their identity
cards at over six lakh booth-level functions all over the country,
including nearly 10 million young people who have just turned 18.
The origin of NVD is a story in itself. At a civil society meeting in
Bhubaneswar late in September 2010, a young man in the
audience got up and said, 18 years is an age that deserves to be
celebrated. At least, one day every year should be dedicated to 18year-olds. I thought it was a great idea. And NVD was born.
In a letter to the cabinet secretary informing him of our plan to
observe January 25 as NVD, I requested him to ask the ministries
and state governments to extend necessary cooperation. Three
months later, with only a week left for the nationwide functions, a
phone call from the cabinet secretary almost brought our plans
crashing down. My proposal was coming up before the cabinet
and he asked whether we wanted a national holiday, and how
much money we needed. Our answers saved the day: No, we did
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4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

not want a national holiday, nor did we need a single rupee from
the government. The cabinet secretary was naturally intrigued
eight lakh functions to be organised without any request for
money! He had never seen such a proposal in his life.
Our secret was quite simple. Voter registration is a normal
activity of the Election Commission (EC), carried out through the
year. All we did was convert staggered, sporadic activity into an
event using the normal budget. The first NVD was inaugurated
by then President Pratibha Patil in the presence of 30 chief
election commissioners from around the world. Some of them,
including from Pakistan and Bhutan, went back home and
declared their own NVDs.
After just four NVDs, the 2014 election was conducted with the
addition of nearly 120 million more voters than in 2009. This is
like adding the entire population of South Africa and South Korea
combined, or three Canadas, or four Australias, or 10 Portugals, or
20 Finlands! NVD is the flagship event of another new programme
of the EC, Systematic Voters Education for Electoral
Participation (SVEEP). This programme, too, faced hiccups
some in the organisation questioned whether educating voters
were the ECs job. For me, it indeed was. Low turnout had been
the bane of our elections, raising questions on elected
representatives legitimacy. In this context, we considered voter
education an imperative.
We had seen enormous public apathy, especially among the
educated urban middle class, which not only abstained from
voting but used to brag about this.
Our challenge was to make not voting embarrassing. It didnt take
long. A 2010 campaign lampooning non-voters Pappu doesnt
vote, haha did the trick. It achieved a remarkable increase in
voter turnout.
A key strategy was to have brand ambassadors headed by no
less than former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The youth,
hitherto indifferent or contemptuous of politics, started leading
from the front. Twenty-five thousand campus ambassadors were
appointed in universities and colleges.
Schoolchildren became watchdogs of voter participation, coaxing
apathetic parents to vote. All elections since 2010 have seen
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record turnouts. Election 2014 broke a six-decade record with 66.4


per cent turnout. In some states, this crossed 80 per cent. In half
the states, women voters outnumbered men. Many have described
this as a participation revolution.
10. The inked finger became a symbol restaurants apparently
started offering discounts, barbers giving free haircuts. The EC
has now taken the movement to new heights. A grand Voter Fest
(Matdaata Mahotsav) in Delhi last week attracted nearly three
lakh citizens.
11. The best endorsement has come from PM Narendra Modi, who in
his Mann Ki Baat said, Till a few years ago, we used to see that
our Election Commission is working just as a regulator. But it has
undergone a significant change in the past few years.
12. EC is not a mere regulator anymore. It has instead become a
facilitator, is more voter-friendly and voters are now at the centre
of all its plans and thoughts. What makes these remarks
especially significant is that the EC has consistently differed with
his advocacy of compulsory voting. Who says there is no freedom
to differ.

TOUGHER SC/ST ACT TO COME INTO FORCE


FROM JAN 26
1.

2.

3.

To make laws tougher to tackle atrocities against the most


vulnerable sections of the population, the Centre on Monday
announced that The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, would come into
forced with effect from Tuesday (January 26, 2016).
The SC/ST Bill was unanimously passed by the Rajya Sabha on
December 21, 2015, but without a debate, and had been awaiting
a formal notification. The Lok Sabha had already passed it on
August 4, 2015.
Significantly, the notification comes at a time when the Centre is
facing an attack from the Opposition on the back of an ongoing
student agitation in protest against the suicide of Rohith Vemula,
a Dalit research scholar from Hyderabad Central University on
January 17.

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4.

5.

6.

7.

Consequent upon passing of the Scheduled Castes and the


Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015,
by the Lok Sabha on August 4, 2015, and Rajya Sabha on
December 21, 2015, to make amendments in the Principal Act,
namely, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) {PoA} Act, 1989, the Scheduled Castes
and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment
Act, 2015, as assented by the President on December 31, 2015,
was notified in the Gazette of India Extraordinary on January 1,
2016. After framing the rules for enactment, now it will be
enforced by the Central Government with effect from January 26,
2016, said an official release on Monday.
After the enforcement, there will be stricter prosecution for new
offences of atrocities, such as tonsuring of head, moustache, or
similar acts, which are derogatory to the dignity of members of the
SC/ST community, garlanding with chappals, denying access to
irrigation facilities or forest rights, dispose or carry human or
animal carcasses, or to dig graves, using or permitting manual
scavenging, dedicating an SC/ST woman as devadasi, abusing in
caste name, perpetrating witchcraft atrocities, imposing social or
economic boycott, preventing SC/ST candidates from filing of
nomination to contest elections, hurting an SC/ST woman by
removing her garments, forcing a member of these communities to
leave house, village or residence, defiling objects sacred to
members of SC/ST, touching or using words, acts or gestures of a
sexual nature against members of the community.
It also allows for the establishment of exclusive special courts and
specification of exclusive special public prosecutors to try offences
under the Act to enable speedy and expeditious disposal of cases.
Power of Special Courts and Exclusive Special Courts, to take
direct cognisance of offence and as far as possible, completion of
the trial of the case within two months, from the date of filing of
the charge sheet, has also been included.

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GOVT ANNOUNCES PADMA AWARDS TO 112


PERSONALITIES
1.

2.
3.

4.

5.

6.
7.

8.

9.

Film actor Rajinikanth, founder of the Reliance empire late


Dhirubhai Ambani, Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
and media baron Ramoji Rao are among those selected for Padma
Vibhushan, countrys second highest civilian award.
A total of 112 people has been selected for the Padma awards this
year.
The others who have been selected for Padma Vibhushan include
Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Jagmohan, former DRDO
chief V K Aatre, cancer specialist and chairperson of Adyar Cancer
Institute Dr V Shanta and eminent Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi
dancer Yamini Krishnamurthi and classical vocalist Girija Devi
and Indian-American economist Avinash Dixit.
Anupam Kher, singer Udit Narayan, former CAG Vinod Rai,
chairperson of media group Bennett, Coleman & Co. Indu Jain,
sports star Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal, spiritual leaders late
Swami Dayanand Saraswati, and Swami Tejomayananda will be
awarded with Padma Bhushan.
Former US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill, industrialist
Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, Maruti Suzuki chairman R C Bhargava
and architect Hafeez Contractor also figure in the list of Padma
Bhushan awardees.
Total 83 persons will be awarded Padma Shri this year.
These include senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam, actors Ajay Devgan
and Priyanka Chopra, film director S Rajamouli, academician
Pushpesh Pant, and archer Deepika Kumari among others.
The awards are conferred by the President as ceremonial
functions held at Rashtrapati Bhawan around March-April every
year.
Padma Awards are given in various disciplines and fields of
activities, including art, social work, public affairs, science and
engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and
education.

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Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished


service, Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order and
Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.

INDIA CELEBRATES 67TH REPUBLIC DAY


1.

2.

India's military prowess and multi-hued images of the country's


rich cultural diversity and achievements in various fields were on
display at the majestic Rajpath during 67th Republic Day
parade which was graced by French President Francois Hollande
as the chief guest.
Thousands of people on both sides of the imposing Rajpath, India's
ceremonial boulevard facing the seat of power Raisina Hills,
braved the winter chill and cheered loudly as the marching
contingents and tableux went past them. The national capital,
particularly the Central and New Delhi areas, were brought under
unprecedented security blanket as thousands of personnel kept a
hawk-eye vigil to thwart any untoward incident. There were
intelligence inputs that terror groups may target some important
installations in the city.

Highlights of the parade


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

A French military contingent also marched down the Rajpath, a


first by any foreign armed force.
In 2009, an Indian contingent had also participated in France's
annual Bastille Day parade.
Apart from India's missile firing capability T-90 'Bhishma' tank
Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP II (Sarath)
Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System
Akash Weapon System
Smerch Launcher Vehicles

Five firsts at Republic Day 2016


1.

For the first time in the history of Republic Day parades, a 76member French Army contingent led by a French military band

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2.

3.
4.

5.

comprising 48 musicians, will march on Rajpath and present a


ceremonial salute to the President of India.
After a gap of 26 years, an Army dog squad drawn from the
Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC) will also take part, along with
their handlers.
For the first time, the parade will see an ex-servicemen tableau
where Army veterans will showcase their role in nation building.
An Indian Air Force tableau, with the theme Humanitarian
Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations by IAF: In Service of
the Nation and Beyond will showcase models of C17
Globemaster, C130 Hercules and MI17V5 aircraft,
emphasising its use in the Forces rescue and relief operations in
Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Yemen and Nepal.
An all-women contingent of the CRPF comprising 120 women
from the three women battalions of the CRPF and the Rapid
Action Force will showcase their motorcycle riding skills. There
will be no male contingent though.

No nuke missiles at Republic Day parade


1.
2.

3.
4.
5.

6.

7.

For the third year in a row, India did not display any of its nuclear
missiles during the Republic Day parade.
In 2013, India had displayed the Inter Continental Ballistic
Missile Agni-V during the Republic Day Parade. The chief guest at
that time was Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel
Wangchuck.
When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came in as the chief
guest in 2014, no ballistic missiles were displayed.
India at that time was negotiating a civil nuclear deal with Japan,
the only country to have suffered an atom bomb attack.
The nuclear missiles were also missing during the Republic Day
parade last year when US President Barack Obama was the chief
guest.
The Army, which has been talking about the 'Make in India'
initiative, chose to display Russian T90 tanks instead of the
indigenous Arjun tanks developed by the DRDO.
The Army displayed infantry combat vehicle BMP-II (Sarath),
mobile autonomous launcher of the BrahMos missile system,
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8.

9.

Akash weapon system, smerch launcher vehicles and integrated


communication electronic warfare system.
The Navy displayed flight deck operations on the new aircraft
carrier Vikrant, under construction at the Kochi Shipyard, and
the indigenously constructed submarine 'Kalvari' by Mazagaon
Dock, having 'Made in India' tag on them.
Among the fighters displayed by the IAF, there were five AngloFrench Jaguars.

ARUNACHAL COMES UNDER PRESIDENT'S RULE


1.

2.

3.

4.

Arunachal Pradesh on 26 january 2016 came under central


rule with President Pranab Mukherjee giving assent to the Union
Cabinet's recommendation on such a course following political
instability in the state.
Official sources said the President signed the proclamation two
days after the cabinet held an unscheduled meeting on 25 January
2016 to recommend that the northeasten border state be brought
under central rule.
Arunachal Pradesh has been rocked by a political crisis since
December 16 last year when 21 rebel Congress MLAs joined hands
with 11 of BJP and two independents to 'impeach' Assembly
Speaker Nabam Rebia at a makeshift venue, in a move branded as
"illegal and unconstitutional" by the Speaker. Meanwhile, the
Supreme Court decided to hear on January 27 the Congress plea
challenging the Cabinet decision. The petition seeking urgent
hearing was mentioned before Chief Justice T S Thakur, at his
residence, who directed the matter to be listed for hearing.
"In pursuance of this proclamation, all the functions of the
Government of the state of Arunachal Pradesh and all the powers
vested in or exercisable by the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh
under the Constitution or under any law in force in that state,
which have been assumed by the President by virtue of the said
Proclamation, shall, subject to the superintendence, direction and
control of the President, will also be exercisable by the Governor of
Arunachal Pradesh.

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What
1.

2.

The President's Rule refers to the imposition of Article 356 of the


Constitution of India on a state that is incapable of running the
constitutional machinery.
In such times, the state comes under the direct control of the
central government of India, which is termed as the President's
Rule

INDIA GIFTED AMBULANCES AND BUSES TO


NEPAL
1.
2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

India gifted 40 ambulances and eight buses to different


organisations in Nepal on the occasion of its 67th Republic Day.
India's Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae handed over keys of 33
ambulances and six buses to different charitable organisations
and schools during a function held inside the Indian Embassy
premises.
The remaining seven ambulances and two buses were gifted by
the Consulate General of India in Birgunj to different
organisations.
The function was attended by over 2,500 people including
diplomats, journalists, social activists, business community
leaders and government staff. The ambassador also gifted books to
52 libraries, schools and training institutes of Nepal.
The widows and dependents of Ex-servicemen and disabled Exservicemen were handed over cash incentives and blankets by the
Ambassador.
Ambassador Rae after hoisting the Indian national flag read out
President Pranab Mukherjee's address, which stressed that India
today is a rising power fast emerging as a global leader in science,
technology, innovation and start ups and whose economic success
is the envy of the world.
On the occasion, students of Kendriya Vidyalaya and Modern
Indian School presented different songs. Nepal Army band also
presented melodious music enthralling the audience.

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CASTE SYSTEM HAS LEFT IMPRINTS ON GENES


1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

The twisting strands of DNA tell tales, not just of the strengths
and weaknesses that make us human, but of the consolidation of
the caste system.
A study by researchers from the National Institute of BioMedical
Genomics (NIBMG) in West Bengal has looked at the genes of
various communities to answer questions that have often been
suggested in history books: when did caste become the dominant
norm for ethnic communities of the region.
For most upper-caste communities, endogamy (that is marrying
within ones caste) started nearly 70 generations ago, or around
the time of the Hindu Gupta period around 1,500 years ago, says
the study published in the latest issue of the journal PNAS
(Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United
States of America).
A lot of social transformation took place during the Gupta period.
Notable among these was the enforcement of social strictures
against marriage between castes, as enshrined in the
Dharmasastra.
This reveals that some social norms leave imprints on the DNA,
which can be reconstructed by careful genetic studies, says
Partha P. Majumder, Director, NIBMG, who, along with Analabha
Basu and Neeta Sarkar Roy, authored the study. By looking at the
block lengths of ancestral genes, the team could pinpoint the era
when mixing of castes ended.
In the case of West Bengal Brahmins, marriages with the
northeastern communities continued until the arrival of the 8th
century Pala dynasty which cut off these regions.

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Genetic inputs show upper caste dominance


1.

The study team could pinpoint the era when mixing of castes
ended. For the Marathas, it was during Chalukyas and
Rashtrakutas (nearly 1,100 years ago) when warriors (Kshatriyas)
were drawn from the peasantry class and eventually, the mixing
of the population with tribes and Dravidian communities halted.
Unsurprisingly, it was mixing between tribes of various ancestries
that ended the last.

Mixing of population
1.
2.

However, the researchers have noted that mixing of genetic


populations continued in an asymmetric trickle after this.
Upper caste populations continued to give genetic inputs to lower
caste and tribal populations but not vice-versa.

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3.
4.
5.

6.
7.

8.

This is consistent with elite dominance and patriarchy of the


upper caste, notes the study.
Male members of upper caste communities have had off-spring
with other communities, but the reverse is not seen.
This is possible by an elite group [sharing the similar genes]
dominating non-elite groups, says Partha P. Majumder, Director,
NIBMG, who, along with Analabha Basu and Neeta Sarkar Roy,
authored the study.
Researchers analysed high quality genotype data of 367
individuals drawn from 20 ethnic populations.
The samples ranged in caste, linguistic as well as geographic
variations: from upper caste Gujarati, Manipuri, West Bengal
Brahmins and Marathas to Dravidian communities Pallan,
Irula, among others to Central and Eastern Indian tribes
Ho, Santhal, Birhor.
From Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Jarawa and Onge tribes
were chosen for the study and these tribes were found to have
ancestries closer to the Pacific Islanders than those in mainlands
India.

Complex ancestries
1.
2.

Apart from the historical linkages shown, the study also shows the
complex ancestries that now make up the Indian population.
While a previous study published in Nature in 2009 by Harvard
geneticist David Reich and his team, showed that most Indians
could trace their roots in Ancestral North Indians (ANI) and
Ancestral South Indians (ASI) genes; the NIBMG team shows
a significant presence of the Ancestral Tibeto-Burman (ATB)
genes in communities in the North-East as well as Ancestral
Austro-Asiatic (AAA) genes among the tribal populations of east
and central India.

RAKSHAMANTRI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE


1.

The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar gave away


the RakshaMantri Awards for Excellence for the years 2012-13
and 2013-14 in recognition of exemplary performance amongst
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2.

3.

4.

5.

Ordnance Factories and the nine Defence Public Sector


Undertakings (DPSUs).
Speaking on the occasion Shri Parrikar calls upon the DPSUs to
compete with the private sector. He emphasised that the
governments efforts are to indigenise production.
He further stated that based on his experience government is a
powerful institution which can effectively deliver in a restricted
timeframe, while following the procedures.
The awards were given in three major categories, i.e.,
Institutional Awards, Best Performing
Division/Factory/Shipyard Awards and Group/Individual
Awards. Under the Institutional awards, there are two subcategories for which DPSUs and OFB can compete i.e. overall
performance and performance in exports.
In the second category, there are three awards; for the best
performing division of DPSUs, the best performing factory of OFB
and the best performing shipyard. In the third category, there are
three sub-categories one on indigenization, one on design effort
and one on innovation for which both OFB and DPSUs can
compete.

CAPEXIL EXPORT AWARD


1.

2.

3.

4.

CAPEXIL Export Awards 2012-13 were presented by the Minister


of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Shri Kalraj Mishra in the
Capital on 28 January 2016.
The awards were given in the category of 3 Highest Export
awards, 16 Top Export Awards, 63 Special Export Awards and 136
Certificates of Merit.
Giving away the awards, the MSME Minister said that the focus
of the govt is on Ease of Doing Business so that the entrepreneurs,
particularly in the MSME sector, are freed from all complications
so that they are facilitated in their efforts to increase exports.
Highlighting the efforts made by MSME Ministry, Mr. Kalraj
Mishra said that two months back, a radical simplification was
carried out in the process of registration by creating an online
Udyog Aadhar Portal which now only has one-page form.

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The Minister said that online filing on this portal can be done in
just three minutes to get registration without spending any
money.
6. Highlighting the success of such efforts on Ease of Doing
Business, the MSME Minister said that more than 1,60,000
registrations have taken place within two months of launch of the
Aadhar portal.
7. Highlighting that the flow of credit to the MSME sector was of
paramount necessity for increasing exports, Mr. Mishra said that
provisions have been made for collateral free loan for an amount
of upto Rs.1 crore.
8. The Minister praised the MSME entrepreneurs for having
withstood the global slowdown and ensuring export growth in the
MSME sector.
9. Mr. Kalraj Mishra said that MSME is a sector that projects a
nation to growth. When the entrepreneurial mentality develops,
self-reliance will also happen.
10. Earlier, delivering the address as the Guest of Honour, Mr. Arvind
Mehta, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, said that the
contribution of MSME was notable in ensuring a consistent
growth in the exports from this sector notwithstanding an overall
slowdown in the global economy.
11. The Highest Export Award for 2012-13 under the Canalised
Agency (Minerals and Ores Sector) was given to M/s MMTC
Limited, New Delhi.
12. Under the Processed Minerals category, the award was given to
M/s National Aluminium Company Ltd.(NALCO), Bhubaneswar.
13. Under the Non-Minerals Sector, the Highest Export Award was
given to M/s Balkrishna Industries Ltd, Mumbai.
14. CAPEXIL, an Export Promotion Council, functioning under the
Ministry of Commerce & Industry was set up to facilitate and
promote export of Chemical based Allied Products.
15. Total export of products falling under the jurisdiction of CAPEXIL
during 2014-15 was an impressive $13.93 billion. CAPEXIL has 16
panels, which are broadly divided into two categories viz. minerals
and non-mineral.
5.

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UTTAR PRADESH JOINS UDAY SCHEME


1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

The state government signed a memorandum of understanding


with the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd,
the holding company of the various electricity distribution utilities
in the state.
Under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY), the state
government will take over 39,900-crore of debt of the electricity
distribution utilities. The balance 13,300-crore of debt will be
issued as state guaranteed DISCOM bonds at coupon rates that
are 3 per cent lower than the current interest cost. This would
help save the distribution utilities 1,600 crore annually.
Efficiency measures including reduction of AT&C losses will help
bring additional revenue of 17,700 crores to the distribution
utilities.
Overall Uttar Pradesh will have savings of 33,000 crores over
the next three years because of UDAY. It could possibly be more if
consumption increases, said Piyush Goyal, Minister of State
(Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable
Energy.
The four states Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Uttar
Pradesh which have signed MoUs for joining UDAY, account for
about 35 per cent of the outstanding loans of state electricity
distribution utilities in the country.
Uttar Pradesh expects to start issuing the bonds by the second
week of February. There is very good investor appetite for the
bonds. We have had discussions with insurance companies,
provident fund organisations and liquidity does not appear to be a
problem, Goyal added.

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February 2016
STARK DIGITAL DIVIDE AMONG STATES
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

Tele-density data points to a stark digital divide among states,


with Delhi having the highest score of 238 per cent while Bihar
and Assam lagging behind at around 55 per cent, says a report.
Tele-density, the number of telephone connections for every 100
individuals, points to a stark digital divide with large population
in Bihar, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh still being
deprived to communicate with the rest of the country, industry
body Assocham said in a paper.
Deeper tele-density and a quality service is critical to the
governments Digital India programme, which has been launched
to reach government services to the citizens through e-governance,
it said.
The digital divide is clearly visible between different states with
some of the eastern states not finding favour with the telecom
service providers.
The reasons may vary between the lack of infrastructure like
power availability to even indifference in terms of business
opportunities, it added. Against the national tele-density of 81.82
per cent, the figure for Bihar is dismal 54.25 per cent, Assam
55.76 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 62.33 per cent and Uttar Pradesh
62.74 per cent.On the other hand, the tele-density in Delhi is over
238 per cent, whereas that of Himachal Pradesh is 123.19 per
cent.
The paper said the Himalayan state with difficult terrain is only
next to Delhi in terms of tele-density. Other states mapping rather
well on the telecom prosperity are Tamil Nadu, Punjab,
Karnataka and Kerala.
Assocham said the Centre with the help from the state
governments should double the efforts to ensure that both the
government owned BSNL and the private telecom service
providers should reach the states with low tele-density, or else the
digital divide can get deeper. The governments own programme
of laying the broadband services would play a critical role, it
added.
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PM NARENDRA MODI TO INAUGURATE SOUTH


ASIAN GAMES ON FEBRUARY 5 IN GUWAHATI
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.
6.

7.

Touted as the biggest multi-sporting event in the SAARC region,


the 12th South Asian Games beginning in Guwahati on February
5 will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the
presence of a host of dignitaries from India and neighbouring
countries.
PM Modi will declare the Games open during the inaugural
ceremony at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium at Sarusajai
Sports Complex on February 5 in the presence of the athletes from
eight participating countries, ministers and diplomats from the
SAARC region.
"The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been kind enough and he
has confirmed that he will inaugurate the Games at the opening
ceremony on February 5," Sports Secretary Rajiv Yadav told
reporters at a media briefing on the Games in Guwahati.
Mr Yadav also said Pakistan has dropped the idea of coming with
their 450-strong contingent (including the officials) in one go in a
chartered flight from Islamabad and they will now come in
batches, entering India in New Delhi.
Pakistanis are allowed to enter India by air only in New Delhi and
Mumbai unless special permission is granted to do otherwise.
"Pakistan had earlier told us they will come by chartered flights
directly to Guwahati with all their contingent coming in one go
and we have even agreed to that. But now they have changed
their plans," he said.
"If all of them are coming in one go, Pakistan Olympic Association
will have to give USD 30 per day to all their athletes. The events
of many of them will end early or start in the later part of the
Games.

NATIONAL PENSION SYSTEM HAS 1.15 CRORE


SUBSCRIBERS NOW
1.

The National Pension System now has 1.15 crore subscribers, each
with an average 95,000 of assets under management.

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2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

The total assets under management are worth 1,09,140 crores


while assets under management per subscriber is 95,000 on an
average, the total corpus of the National Pension System (NPS)
is 90, 327 crores.
The scheme has 16,11,020 Central government employees as
subscribers, amounting to 14.1 per cent of its total member base.
They have a total corpus of 34,754 crores.
Meanwhile, 28,59,094 State government employees are members
of the NPS, amounting to quarter of it total subscribers and
having a corpus of 45,486 crores.
The NPS for private citizens has 5,76,993 subscribers --- 4,48,509
members from the corporate sector and 1,28,484 from the
unorganised sector.
The largest chunk of subscribers to the retirement saving scheme
comes from NPS Lite, which has 44, 63,637, constituting 39 per
cent of the total membership.
It has now been discontinued and replaced with the Atal Pension
Yojana that has 19, 48,811, subscribers or 17 per cent of the total
members.

ONE RANK ONE PENSION: HOW IT WORKS


The Government of India has issued full details regarding the
implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) which stands to
benefit over 18 lakh ex-servicemen and war widows.
Here are the key points:
1.

2.
3.
4.

The annual recurring financial implication on account of


implementation of OROP at the current rate will be
approximately Rs. 7500 crores.
The arrears from 01/07/2014 to 31/12/2015 would be
approximately Rs. 10,900 crores.
86 percent of the total expenditure on account of OROP will
benefit the JCOs/ORs.
Payment of arrears and revision of pension under OROP is to be
made by the Pension Disbursing Authorities in four installments,
except for family pensioners and pensioners in receipt of gallantry
awards who will be paid arrears in one installment.
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5.

The total increase in the Defence Budget for pensions is estimated


to go up from Rs. 54,000 crores (BE 2015-16) to around Rs. 65,000
crores (proposed BE 2016-17), thereby increasing the Defence
Pension Outlay by about 20 percent.

GLOBAL BIOTECHNOLOGY SUMMIT ON


DESTINATION INDIA
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.
9.

A two-day Global Biotechnology Summit on Destination India


will be held on 5th & 6th February 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan, New
Delhi.
The event would showcase Indias Biotechnology strength and
capacity. It would provide an opportunity to bring together all
stakeholders to discuss opportunities, collaborations and to
prepare a joint action plan for achieving the target of 100 billion
US dollars for the Biotech sector by 2020.
The Summit will be held as a run up to the Department of
Biotechnology (DBT) celebrating its 30th Foundation Day on 26th
February, 2016.
The last 30th years, after the Department can into existence in
1986, have been crucial for the growth of Life Sciences and
Biotechnology in the Country and DBTs impact has been both
national and global.
To mark this event, a series of scientific activities including townhall lectures, debates and other interactions with eminent
scientists as well as overseas experts were organized in
association with various autonomous institutes and star colleges.
Contributions of key stakeholders Individuals, Institutions
(including Universities), Industry and Society are being show
cased to mark the occasion.
The Department is also making efforts to spread the message
across the country and internationally on the impact which Life
Sciences and Biotechnology have made on society.
It also feels that this is an occasion to explore new opportunities
and build new partnerships.
The Summit would also help attract investors and other key
partners to invest in the biotech sector in India, in response to the
call given by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for Make in
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India and for encouragement of the start-up ecosystem with a


potential for scale-up.
10. It would broadly focus on the priority themes - Make in India,
Nurturing Bio entrepreneurship, Skill India, Biotech
opportunities and action for Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat.
11. Biotechnology cooperation, Biotechnology Innovation for inclusive
development, Biotechnology and Society or other topics scheduled
for panel discussions at Plenary talks during this Summit.
12. These discussions are expected to help to align the goals of the
biotech strategy with policies of State Governments and to
prepare joint action plans.
13. It will also help to create exciting opportunities for students and
researchers by giving them an exposure to the best experts in the
field.
14. About 1200-1500 participants are expected to attend the event
including eminent scientists from national and international
public and private sector organizations and universities.
15. Delegations from State Governments, representatives and
delegations from other countries with which DBT partners,
students, research fellows, Biotech Start-up Entrepreneurs,
policymakers, Civil society and other stakeholders are to be the
participants. In addition, all DBT ex-secretaries would be
present.

BHARAT BIOTECH SEEKS GOVT. APPROVAL OF TWO


ZIKA VACCINE CANDIDATES
1.

2.

3.

Vaccines manufacturer, Bharat Biotech, announced a


breakthrough in developing the worlds first Zika vaccine. The
Hyderabad-based company has submitted two vaccine candidates
one inactivated and one recombinant to the Indian
government.
The company maintains that pre-clinical studies will be concluded
in the next five months, after which the process for regulatory
approval will commence.
An inactivated vaccine is when the disease-causing microbe is
killed, typically, using chemicals, heat, or radiation. Such a
vaccine is more stable and safer than live vaccines. A recombinant
vaccine is a vaccine produced through recombinant DNA
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technology. This involves inserting the DNA encoding an antigen


(such as a bacterial surface protein) that stimulates an immune
response.
Zika virus
1.

2.

3.

4.

Zika virus disease is an emerging viral disease transmitted


through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, which also
transmits diseases like dengue and chikungunya. World Health
Organization has reported 22 countries and territories in
Americas from where local transmission of Zika virus has been
reported. Microcephaly in the newborn and other neurological
syndromes (Guillain Barre Syndrome) have been found temporally
associated with Zika virus infection.
Speaking exclusively to The Hindu, Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman
and Managing Director of the company said that one the two
candidates is in advanced stage of development and can be ready
soon. In the coming two weeks, we will be able to start animal
tests in one of the two candidates. Since this is a pandemic
situation, we are hoping that the Indian government will move
quickly of giving requisite approvals for the trials, said Dr Ella.
Bharat Biotech has submitted necessary information to Indian
Council of Medical Research (ICMR) four days ago. The company
is now looking to seek Prime Minister Narendra Modis approval
to expedite regulatory clearances. When Ebola vaccine candidates
were being discussed, the company had skipped phase 2 trials and
went on to phase three with a small sample size. Given the
urgency of the situation, something of that sort will be required,
he added. Currently, getting regulatory approvals takes for
conducting clinical trials in India can take up to 6-8 months.
Bharat Biotech filed patents for both vaccine candidates in July
2015, Dr Ella informed. He said that since the company already
worked on chikungunya, this was the next logical step. At the
time we started working on the Zika vaccine, there was not a
market incentive or any demand for it- largely because the
symptoms are mild. But we were already working in chukungunya
and our hypothesis was that the same vector transmits this
disease as well, so we thought we need to look at this aspect as
well, he added.
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5.

The earlier version of the report said that "Bharat Biotech can
manufacture up to one million doses of the vaccine in the next four
months." This is incorrect. The regulatory approval will be
granted only after the pre-clinical studies conclude, which
according to the company will take another 5 months. The error is
regretted.

INTERNATIONAL FLEET REVIEW BEGINS IN VIZAG


1.
2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

The International Fleet Review (IFR) of the Indian Navy began


amid festive fervor in the port city.
The Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu laid a wreath at the
Victory-at-Sea memorial on the beach road to pay homage to the
martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country.
He was accompanied in the solemn ceremony by the Chief of the
Naval Staff, Admiral R.K Dhowan, and Vice-Admiral Satish Soni,
the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval
Command.
Later, the Chief Minister inaugurated the IFR village and the
maritime exhibition organised by the Navy in the grounds of
Andhra University Engineering College.
He said on the east coast Andhra Pradesh is the best and
Visakhapatnam is the gateway to the country from the eastern
side. "When we made the offer to host the IFR in Visakhapatnam,
the Navy Chief agreed readily and the event would give a great
boost to the image of the fast-growing city of Vizag," he said.
He praised the prowess of the Indian Navy, which would be on
display during the next four days, and he welcomed all the foreign
delegates to the IFR 2016.

GOVERNMENT AIMS FOR 50% DIGITAL LITERACY IN


3 YEARS
1.

2.

Stage has been set for rapidly increasing digital literacy in the
country. In three years time the Government aims to take digital
literacy to at least 50 per cent from the current level of 15 per
cent.
Minister for Telecom and Information Technology, Mr Ravi
Prasad said this while presiding over the function to award
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3.

4.

5.

6.

winners of Digital India Weeks Online Quiz Competition on


Cyber Safety and Cyber Awareness.
He said 100 per cent digital literacy was needed to make India a
truly digitalized society. Mr Prasad said that World is keenly
watching developments in India and it is the responsibility of the
youth to come upto expectations.
He said more than 4,000 innovators have come to India to explore
possibilities in the fields of Information Technology and electronic
manufacturing.
He said knowledge economy will prove to be the driver of change
and initiatives of the Government in this direction would place in
a certain advantageous position.
This award function would further promote awareness about
Cyber Safety contributing to the overall vision of Digital India
that is ensuring safe and secure digital world especially for school
children.

GOVT. TO PRESENT GENERAL BUDGET ON


FEBRUARY 29
1.

2.

3.

The Budget session of Parliament will commence from February


23 and the government will present the General Budget on
February 29.
The Budget session of Parliament will commence on February 23.
The Rail Budget will be presented on February 25, the pre-Budget
economic survey on February 26 and the General Budget on
February 29, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu
told reporters.
The first part of Budget session will end on March 16 and the
second part will be convened from April 25 to May 13.

12TH SOUTH ASIAN GAMES


1.

2.

The energy and vibrancy of the youth of the region was showcased
in brilliant fashion and in a true north-eastern way dotted with
glitz, glamour and technology in even measure as the 12th
South Asian Games was declared open at the Indira Gandhi
Stadium, Sarusajai, here on Friday evening.
Conceived with a lot of thought and imagination and performed
with precision, the 170-minute long programme was, as usual in a
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multi-discipline event of this magnitude, segregated into two


parts, with the sports protocol taking precedence over the cultural
extravaganza.
3. With the entry gates being closed about 90 minutes prior to the
start of the ceremony for security reasons, the stadium did not
draw the expected full house and this was quite a dampener to the
start of an event in which 3,275 athletes and officials from all the
eight countries in the region are participating.
4. The programme got going with the arrival of the days dignitaries
and the chief guest, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was
welcomed with the sounding of bugles and a pleasing ovation.
5. The entry of the teams led by the Games mascot, Tikhor, and
starting with Afghanistan and followed by Bangladesh, Bhutan,
Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka was also greeted with
warm applause which reached a crescendo as the Indian
contingent marched in. The team, with the women athletes
smartly attired in turquoise blue sarees and the men in grey and
blue, was led by squash ace Saurav Ghosal.
6. Significantly, the teams also carried water from one of the rivers
from their respective countries in urns to indicate the oneness of
the people of these nations bound by sport. This act jelled with the
Games motto Peace, Prosperity and Progress and the spirit
in which these Games were established way back in 1984.
7. Speeches by IOA president N. Ramachandran, Union Minister of
State for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief
Minister of Meghalaya Mukul Sangma and Chief Minister of
Assam Tarun Gogoi preceded the formal inauguration of the
Games by the Prime Minister.
8. In his brief speech, Mr. Modi emphasised that the Games, to him,
signified three Ts team work, togetherness and talent and
hoped that the event would bring together the people of South
Asia like never before.
9. The sacred Games torch was thereafter brought to the stadium
proudly by shooter Gagan Narang, who handed it over Monalisa
Mehta-Barua (table tennis).
10. It then changed hands between Bhogeswar Barua (athletics), Rani
Rampal (hockey), Krishna Poonia (athletics) and Anju Bobby
George (athletics) before reaching star footballer Bhaichung
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Bhutia who digitally transferred the flame to the centre platform


which touched the giant screen before reaching the giant cauldron.
11. This was followed by the entry of the South Asian Olympic
Council flag which was hoisted alongside the flags of all the
participating nations even as the Games hymn was played in the
background.
Ghosal takes the oath
1.

2.

3.

Ghosal, as the India captain, took the oath on behalf of the


participating athletes which also marked the end of the sports
protocol segment and the entry of the artistes to take centrestage.
Each segment kept the crowd engaged after it got off with the
poignant memory of Assams legendary singer late Bhupen
Hazarika with the rendering of his famous song, Ei Prithibhi Ek
Krirangan..
The excitement among the throng only increased as the show
inched forward making it a great evening to remember.

INTERNATIONAL FLEET REVIEW 2016 FORMALLY


CONCLUDES
1.
2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

International Fleet Review 2016 formally culminated through a


Joint International Band Concert at the Naval Officers Institute.
Naval Bands from participating Navies along with host Indian
Navy jointly presented a bouquet of music in front of Admiral RK
Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, the Chief Guest for the event.
The Joint Band Concert, by numerous musicians from the navies
across the globe was in perfect harmony, echoed the very theme of
Bridges through Ocean cementing the friendship through music
during the IFR.
The musical extravaganza was witnessed by over thousand
spectators including many foreign dignitaries from participating
Navies.
After a spectacular series of events associated with the
International Fleet Review, it is time to bid adieu to all the
warships from foreign nations.
By tradition, visiting foreign ships are escorted to the open seas on
their way home.
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7.

Towards increasing interoperability among participating foreign


navies and providing the requisite operational element to the IFR,
ships will sail out from Visakhapatnam in two groups of 27 ships
each for a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) on Tuesday.

TOURISM INFOLINE LAUNCHED IN 12 LANGUAGES


1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

In a bid to boost the tourism sector in India, the Union Tourism


Ministry launched the tourism helpline number in 12 languages,
which includes French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese.
Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma
introduced the 24X7 toll-free helpline number --1800-11-1363 or
short code 1363 -- for tourists travelling or planning to travel to
India.
The helpline will be available in English, Hindi, Arabic, French,
German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese
and Russian. Previously, it was functioning only in two languages
--- Hindi and English.
Languages were decided by tourist influx from the respective
countries, said Sharma and called upon the members of the
audience to test the info line number.
Japanese, Chinese, Russian and Italian language helplines were
successfully tested at the event. One of the members, who checked
the Japanese language, said that the infoline was indeed the need
of the hour, especially after the unfortunate events involving
foreign tourists.
The infoline has been developed in cooperation with a start-up,
Tata Business Support Services. The contract was given to the
firm through a bidding process. The team members for the infoline
have been selected from the various foreign language institutes in
the capital.
To make tourism sector friendlier, the government had launched
e-visa service, and Sharma said that so far about 4,45,000 have
availed the facility. The minister hoped that schemes like these
would help tourism industry scale new heights.
The Indian tourism industry witnessed a spurt in growth this
year. Earlier this month, Sharma had said that Foreign Tourist
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9.

Arrivals (provisional) from January to December 2015 were 8.02


million, an increase of 4.4 per cent over the same period in the
previous year, which was 7.68 million.
Foreign Exchange Earnings (Provisional) of Rs.1, 26,211 crores
during the period from January to December 2015 represented an
increase of 2.3 per cent over the same period in the previous year,
which was Rs.1, 23,320 crores.

DESTINATION NORTH EAST 2016


1.

2.
3.
4.

5.

6.

7.

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for


Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO,
Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and
Space, Dr Jitendra Singh held a Press Conference on Destination
North East, 2016.
He said that the aim of Destination North East is to bring the rest
of India closer to North East India.
He said that the North-East has certain specialty which is a great
asset for the nation.
He said that the North East will play an important role in India's
Act East Policy. To Act East effectively on foreign policy, it is
necessary to Act East within our borders, he added.
The Destination North East is being held to showcase the richness
of North-East to the rest of India. Each State of North-East India
will be known by its distinct identity and for its uniqueness such
as Mizoram as Bamboo State and Sikkim as Organic State.
He said that the 3-day event will include theme specific Business
Summit consisting of sectors like Tourism, Agriculture, Food
Processing, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, IT, Handloom
& Handicrafts, Livelihood, Micro-Finance and Startups.
He said that Destination North East will enable various
Ministries to showcase their initiatives in North East India. The
event will also have cultural programmes to showcase the rich
culture and folk dances of North East India, he added.

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PRIME MINISTER SHRAM AWARDS FOR THE YEAR


2014 ANNOUNCED
1.

2.

The Government of India announced the Prime Ministers Shram


Awards for the year 2014 to be awarded to 54 workers employed
in the Departmental Undertakings & Public Sector Undertakings
of the Central and State Governments and Private Sector Units
employing 500 or more workers in recognition of their
distinguished performances, innovative abilities, outstanding
contribution in the field of productivity and exhibition of
exceptional courage and presence of mind.
This year, nine nominations for the Shram Bhushan Award,
nineteen nominations for Shram Vir/Shram Veerangana and
twenty-six nominations for Shram Shree/Shram Devi Awards
have been selected. Even though, the total number of Shram
Awards is 32, the number of workers receiving the Awards is
54 (Including 3 women), as some of the Awards have been shared
by workers and/or teams of workers consisting of more than one
worker. These include 36 workers from the public sector and 18
workers from the private sector.

SHRAM RATNA
1. This is the highest Award (one in number) among the Shram
Awards and carries a cash award of Rs.2,00,000/- along with a
Sanad. For the year 2014, the prestigious Shram Ratna Award
has not been awarded to any one as secrening committee did not
consider any nominee eligible for the award.
SHRAM BHUSHANM
1. Total number of Shram Bhushan Awardees are nine. It carries a
cash award of Rs. 1,00,000/- and a Sanad. Nine nominations were
found suitable for the Shram Bhushan Award for the year 2014 in
respect of Public Sector Undertaking and Private Sector.

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SHRAM VIR/VEERANGANA
1. Total number of Shram Vir/Shram Veerangana Awardees is
Nineteen. It carries a cash award of Rs. 60,000/- and a Sanad.
One female worker from Private Sector has been selected for
Shram Veerangana Awards for this year.
SHRAM SHREE/DEVI
1. Total number of Shram Shree/Shram Devi Awardees is twentysix. It carries a cash award of Rs. 40,000/- and a Sanad. One
female worker from Public sector and one from Private Sector
have been selected for Shram Devi Awards for this year.

BETI BACHAO BETI PADHAO SCHEME EXPANDED IN


ADDITIONAL 61 DISTRICTS
1. The Ministry of Women and Child Development has expanded
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme in additional 61 district
(covering 11 states).
2. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme was launched on
22nd January, 2015 at Panipat in Haryana.
3. It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child
Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource
Development. In the first phase, 100 districts with low CSR were
selected for BBBP Scheme implementation for creating awareness
and advocacy about the issue.
4. During the last one year, the BBBP Scheme is being implemented
under the overall guidance and supervision of concerned District
Magistrate/Deputy Commissioners.
5. Seeing the overwhelming response by stakeholders in the form of
various initiatives and innovations at the local level to the
scheme, the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) in its meeting
held on 5th January 2016 under the Chairmanship of Shri V.
Somasundaran, Secretary, WCD approved the expansion of the
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme in additional 61 districts with
low CSR for creating awareness and advocacy about the issue
taking into account the performance of the scheme.
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6. The scheme has now been expanded to 61 districts.

4-DAY NATIONAL AROGYA FAIR-2016 BEGINS AT


DEHRADUN IN UTTARAKHAND
1. The 4-day National Arogya Fair began at Dehradun in
Uttarakhand. The Fair has been organized by the Ministry of
Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa &
Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in collaboration with the State
government of Uttarakhand and the Confederation of Indian
Industries (CII).
2. The Fair was inaugurated by the Minister of State for AYUSH
(Independent Charge) and Health & Family Welfare, Shri Shripad
Yesso Naik and Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Harish
Rawat.
3. He elaborated that the AROGYA fair has grown into a countrywide phenomenon with more than 10 fairs organized throughout
the year now.
4. The Minister explained that over the past three decades, there has
been a tremendous resurgence of Worlds interest in the AYUSH
Systems of Medicine, including countries in Europe and USA.
5. This is mainly because of holistic approach towards preventive,
promotive and positive health and multi-dimensional aspects of
disease management in these traditional systems of medicine.
6. Shri Harish Rawat said that the Uttarakhand medicinal plants
have long been used for treatment of various diseases. These
combined with modern AYUSH interventions can help to create a
strong healthcare system in the hills. The AYUSH System of
medicine is also more economical.
7. Shri Surendra Singh Negi explained that growing herbs and
medicinal plants can create employment opportunities in the hills,
especially when it is linked with industry requirements in an
integrated manner.
8. Uttarakhand also has the capacity to become the world capital of
Yoga, he added.
9. The Fair aims to create awareness among the people about the
uses of the AYUSH Systems, their cost-effectiveness and the
availability of herbs and plants used for prevention and treatment
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of common ailments at their door-steps through various massmedia channels to achieve the objective of Health for all.

ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL ORGANIC FARMING


RESEARCH INSTITUTE (NOFRI)
1. Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha
Mohan Singh announced the establishment of National Organic
Farming Research Institute (NOFRI) at Gangtok, Sikkim.
2. Shri Singh during 87th Annual General Meeting of Indian Council
of Agricultural Research announced establishment of National
Organic Farming Research Institute (NOFRI) at Gangtok, Sikkim.
3. Sikkim has recently been declared as the first organic state in the
country. In view of above, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
Minister has given approval to execute NOFRI.
4. Shri Singh informed that the Institute will provide research and
technological backstopping to Organic Production System in the
country in general and North East Hills Region in particular.
5. The institute will undertake basic, strategic and adaptive research
on efficient, economically viable and environmentally sustainable
organic farming systems for improving productivity, resource use
efficiencies and quality of produce.
6. Besides, it will impart vocational and advanced training to
stakeholders for promotion of organic farming in the country.
Required financial resources, manpower and infrastructure
facilities will be made available accordingly.

INDIA'S NOMINEE, DR.D.J. PANDIAN APPOINTED AS


THE VICE-PRESIDENT, CHIEF INVESTMENT
OFFICER OF ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT
BANK
1. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) announced the
appointment of India's nominee, Dr. D.J. Pandian, as the VicePresident, Chief Investment Officer of the newly formed USD 100
billion multilateral development bank.
2. The primary responsibility of the Chief Investment Officer is
leading the planning and supervision of the Banks infrastructure
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investment by promoting sustainable investment throughout Asia


that is consistent with the Banks vision, goals, and strategies,
and by ensuring the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of AIIB
operations.

GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT ETHANOL BLENDING


OF PETROL IN A BIG WAY
1. The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and
Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan has expressed the
Governments commitment for time bound execution of initiatives
to introduce Ethanol blended Petrol and Bio diesel in the country.
2. Inaugurating a National Seminar on Lignocellulose to EthanolRoadmap for India in New Delhi, he said that Oil Marketing
companies have already invited bids for 120 crore litre of Ethanol
for blending in petrol for sugar year 2015-16 which would be 5%
(approx) of the countrys total petrol consumption.
3. Listing out the benefits of using Ethanol blended petrol, Shri
Pradhan said that it will not only help in value addition for the
farmers produce but will also reduce foreign exchange
expenditure.
4. He said that added benefits of blended petrol would be in the form
of employment generation, entrepreneurship promotion and
environment protection.
5. He said that Ethanol blended petrol was introduced in 2003 but
the process got impetus only in 2014-15 when new government
took policy decisions to incentivize petrol blending.
6. Shri Pradhan said that there is a demand for Ethanol for blending
with petrol but there are technological and financial challenges
which need to be overcome.
7. The Petroleum Minister called upon various departments of
Government, State Governments, Academic and Research
Institutions to work together to find solution to these challenges.
8. Shri Pradhan said that molasses to Ethanol conversion is already
going on and the Government has taken up second generation of
lignocelluloses to Ethanol production to utilize agricultural
residues/wastes, and achieve the target of 10% Ethanol blending.

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9. The National Seminar was aimed at accelerating the EBP


programme in the country and to draw up a roadmap for
establishing ethanol industry from lignocellulosic route thus
reducing the foreign exchange outflow, generate rural employment
and protect environment.

UNION MINISTER DR. HARSH VARDHAN


INAUGURATES TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH UNIT
OF EXCELLENCE IN KOLKATA
1. Union minister for science & technology & earth sciences Dr.
Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a Translational Research Unit of
Excellence (TRUE) at the Council of Scientific & Industrial
Research - Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (CSIR-IICB)
Kolkata.
2. This TRUE is conceived as a productive platform for successful
industry-institute liaison for translating previously achieved and
ongoing biomedical discoveries by IICB scientists into biomedical
deliverables.
3. The major dimensions and the roadmap set for the new unit
include research facilitation by establishing advanced
technological platforms, establishing a Biomedical Incubation
Center for MSME start-up companies and translating discoveries
made by IICB scientists into deliverable biomedical technologies.
4. Dr. Harsh Vardhan also said that India is progressing very
rapidly in the field of science and technology and slowly entering
into the 'high risk high gain' type research work.
5. He said "Be it scientists or institutes, today the most important
factor is innovation coefficient and our government is keen on
developing this coefficient.
6. West Bengal government has also developed a Biotechnology Park
in the Salt Lake which is run by Calcutta University.
7. He hoped that the state government and this newly created CSIRIICB TRUE would work together to benefit the people.

INDIA HANDLOOM BRAND GOES ONLINE


1. The integrated website of India Handloom
Brand www.indiahandloombrand.gov.in was launched by Mrs.
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Rashmi Verma, Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of


Textiles.
2. The website is a one stop platform for all services to consumers,
bulk buyers and handloom producers.
3. The website will provide full details of all registered India
Handloom producers which will facilitate verification of genuine
India Handloom product by customers.
4. They will able to verify the genuineness of the Brand logo through
the registration no. which is printed on every label on the
product.

GANGA SANSKRITI YATRA


1. Ganga Sanskriti Yatra showcasing & discovering culture
heritage of Ganga will begin at Gangotri on 14 February, 2016.
2. The objective of Ganga Sanskriti Yatra is to showcase and
discover the cultural diversity and heritage of Ganga river basin
and also to spread necessary awareness to the masses about its
safeguarding and rejuvenating.
3. Ganga is the lifeline and national heritage of India and is also the
multiple streams of Indian Culture.
4. This is the time to safeguard the cultural heritage. In view of that,
the festival namely, Ganga Sanskriti Yatra has been planned.
5. The festival is being organised from Gangotri to Gangasagar from
14 February to 13 March, 2016 in 262 different venues connecting
with over 2.5 crore people.
6. The Ganga is one of the major rivers of the Indian subcontinent; it
is the longest river in India and flows for around 1,569 miles
(2,525 KM) from the Himalayan Mountains to the Bay of Bengal
and heavily populated with over 400 million people living in the
basin. From origin to confluence, the Ganga flows through the
state of Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West
Bengal are under the EZCC.
7. The Ganga has been declared as a National Heritage by
Government of India and above all is the river of India and above
all is the river of India, Ganga has held Indias heart captive and
drawn uncounted millions to her banks since the dawn of history.

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8. The story of Ganga is the history of Indian civilization and


culture. The great Janpada and Empire was built and flourished
on the bank of Ganga.
9. Ganga is also the river of creation. The cultural diversity of the
Ganga basin is highly considerable.

100% DIGITISATION OF RATION CARDS


1. The Government has achieved significant mile stones in the
reforms of PDS. Almost 100 % (99.9%) ration cards have been
digitised across the country.
2. Over 42 % ration cards have been even linked with Aadhaar cards
and Point of Sale Devices, to keep electronic record of allocation to
the beneficiaries, have been installed in over 77,000 ration shops.
3. These measures will help making PDS more transparent and leak
proof.

MYSURU REMAINS THE CLEANEST CITY; DHANBAD


AT THE BOTTOM OF 73 MAJOR CITIES
1. Mysuru in Karnataka remained the cleanest city in the country
while Dhanbad in Jharkhand came at the bottom of 73 major
cities surveyed for sanitation scenario last month.
2. Results of Swachh Survekshan-2016 were released by the
Minister of Urban Development Shri M. Venkaiah.
3. 53 cities with a population of above ten lakhs each and 22 capitals
that do not have that much population were selected for the
survey. NOIDA and Kolkata desired to participate in the next
round of survey.
4. The top 10 cities in terms of sanitation and hygiene in order of
rank are: Mysuru, Chandigarh, Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu), New
Delhi Municipal Council, Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh),
Surat, Rajkot, both in Gujarat, Gangtok (Sikkim), Pimpri
Chindwad and Greater Mumbai, both from Maharashtra.
5. The bottom 10 cities are: Kalyan Dombivili (Maharshtra-ranked
64), Varanasi, Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Ghaziabad (UP), Raipur
(Chattisgarh), Meerut (UP), Patna (Bihar), Itanagar (Arunachal
Pradesh), Asansol (West Bengal) and Dhanbad, ranked 73.
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6. This survey was done before the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission
by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in October last year.
7. The 73 cities surveyed this year were also ranked based on the
marks they scored in 2014 for arriving at their ranks in 2014 for
further comparison with the results of this years survey.
8. Regarding methodology used for Swachh Survekshan-2016, Shri
Naidu informed that out of the total marks of 2,000 for assessing
the performance of efforts of 73 cities, 60% were assigned for solid
waste management related parameters, 30% for construction of
toilets and 5% each for city level sanitation strategy and behavior
change communication.
9. Quality Council of India which conducted the survey deployed 25
teams of 3 trained surveyors each to visit 42 locations in each city
covering major zones like railway stations, bus stations, religious
places, major market places, planned and unplanned residential
areas including slums and toilet complexes. The survey teams
took a total of 3,066 geo-tagged photos of places visited as
evidence and they were uploaded on website.

JHARKHAND GETS ITS FIRST MEGA FOOD PARK


1. In order to give an impetus to the growth of the Food Processing
Sector in Jharkhand, the first Mega Food Park in the State
promoted by M/s. Jharkhand Mega Food Park Pvt. Ltd. was
inaugurated by Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of
Food Processing Industries at Village Getalsud, District Ranchi.
2. Speaking on the occasion, Smt. Badal informed that this Mega
Food Park has been set up with the project cost of Rs. 114.73 crore
in an area of 51.50 Acres.
3. The park will have facilities of Multi Chamber Cold Storage, Dry
Warehouse, Vegetable Dehydration Line, modern Quality
Control& Testing Laboratory and other processing facilities for
fruits & vegetables.
4. The Minister expressed confidence that this Mega Food Park
project will create a modern infrastructure for arresting postharvest losses of horticultural and non-horticultural produce and
provide impetus to the growth of food processing sector in
Jharkhand. This Mega Food Park project will help in providing
better prices to farmers, reduce wastage of perishables, add value
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to agricultural produce and create huge opportunities for


entrepreneurship and employment for the youth of the State.

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS DELHI HIGH COURT'S


DECISION THAT INFORMATION ON PENDING CASES
CANNOT BE PROVIDED UNDER RTI ACT.
1. The Supreme Court has upheld the Delhi High Court decision that
the information about cases in which judgments were pending
after being reserved cannot be disclosed under the RTI Act.
2. A bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy, dismissed an RTI
against Delhi High Court's division bench verdict on the 7th of
January.
3. The High Court's division bench had set aside the order of its
single judge bench which had directed the Supreme Court registry
to provide information to the petitioner.
4. The single judge verdict had upheld the order of the Central
Information Commission, directing the Central Public Information
Officer of the apex court to provide the sought information. The
RTI applicant had sought data of pending cases in which
arguments have been heard by the apex court between 2007-2009
and the judgements were reserved in them.

ALBENDAZOLE A SAFE AND EFFECTIVE DRUG FOR


DEWORMING
1. There have been reports in the media about the death of an eightyear old child in Udham Singh Nagar district in Uttarakhand,
claiming to be the side effect of Albendazole tablet administered
as part of the nation-wide deworming initiative of the Health
Ministry on 10th February 2016.
2. The report from the district CMO submitted to the Ministry has
clearly negated this causal relationship terming the deworming
drug as safe and effective.
3. According to the report, the child had been admitted to the
Sushila Tiwari hospital at Haldwani on 13 February, 2016 at 1.21
am in the night with status epilepticus (epilepsy) with shock with
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aspiratory pneumonia, and was in a critical state. This has also


been stated to be the cause of the death of the child.
4. The symptoms depicted by the child are not produced as a side
effect of the drug Albendazole tablet, the report has noted.

NINTH MEETING OF THE ADVISORY COUNCIL OF


THE NATIONAL MISSION FOR JUSTICE DELIVERY
AND LEGAL REFORMS
1. The Ninth meeting of the advisory council of the national mission
for justice delivery and legal reforms was held in New Delhi.
2. Speaking on the occasion Union Law & Justice Minister Shri D.V.
Sadananda Gowda, who chaired the meeting said access to justice
is an is an integral part of our Constitution.
3. To achieve this objective, we need to continuously improve our
legal and judicial framework so that timely and cost effective
justice is made available at the door steps to our people. Since the
Central Government, the State Governments and the Judiciary all
have equal stakes in the improvement of our justice delivery
mechanisms; a collaborative approach among the stakeholders is
the need of the hour.
4. The minister said, the protracted nature of litigation in the
country has an adverse impact on investor sentiments.
5. Therefore, in order to assuage these concerns and as part of the
Governments constant efforts to forge investor-friendly
environment in the country, the government has initiated a
number of steps, such as the enactment of the Commercial Courts,
Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High
Courts Act, 2015 and amendments to Arbitration and Conciliation
Act, 1996 and the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
6. These initiatives are intrinsically linked to the Governments
ambitious Make in India campaign. Advisory Council of the
National Mission gave valuable suggestions on these legislations.

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CABINET APPRISED OF BRICS MOU SIGNED LAST


YEAR
1. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra
Modi was apprised about signing of BRICS Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of Science,
Technology and innovation.
2. India signed BRICS Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on
cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation
(STl) in March 2015 at Brasilia, Brazil on the sidelines of 3rd
BRICS STI Ministerial meeting.
3. The MoU envisages promotion of cooperation in the field of
science, technology and innovation among BRIGS countries by
means of mutually agreed S&T events and activities.
4. The objectives of the MoU are to establish a strategic framework
of cooperation in STI to address the common global, and regional
socio-economic challenges utilizing shared experiences and
complementarities in STI among the BRICS countries; co-generate
new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes
etc.
5. The Ministry of Science and Technology from Indian side and the
counterpart Ministries from other BRICS countries are the nodal
Ministries/ Departments for realizing the objectives of the BRICS
MoU on STI Cooperation which shall be on the basis of mutually
agreed areas of cooperation, modes and mechanisms and joint
funding as per national norms of respective BRICS member
countries.

KHURJA YARD GETS STATE-OF-THE-ART


COMPUTER-BASED SIGNALLING SYSTEM
1. In its continuous tryst to march with the latest technological
innovations, Indian Railway Project Management Unit (IRPMU),
an arm of North Central Railway in association with the
Construction and Open Line Units of the Railway, commissioned a
computer-based signalling system at Khurja junction, a city
famous for pottery in Uttar Pradesh.
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2. By applying innovative methodology, Khurja yard, which will now


have 256 possible movements; was commissioned in a short period
of 4 hours only on Feburary 14, 2016, thereby avoiding any
disruptions to traffic and inconvenience to passengers.
3. This work of Signal Wizardry will help in quicker movements of
trains since the train path will be cleared by a central operator
with click of a mouse on the VDU (Visual Display Unit). The VDU
will display online position of each train in the complete Khurja
Yard of 4.5 kilometres including adjoining track portions which
ensures safety of trains.
4. This re-signaling work has been executed as part of the project of
modernization of signalling and telecommunication system on
Ghaziabad - Kanpur section of Indian Railways costing Rs 440
crore, a substantial part of which has been executed through a soft
funding by German Development Bank.
5. The major components of the project are replacement of worn out
signalling gears at 47 stations, automatic signalling enabling
multiple trains between two stations thereby enhancing line
capacity, captive Global System of Mobile (GSM) for railways
enabling secured communication between driver, guard, station
master and controllers.
6. The culmination of the project will see an ultra-modern
Centralised Traffic Control (CTC) system, which will enable
controlling and giving command for all trains running in
Ghaziabad to Kanpur from a central place i.e. Tundla. The CTC is
being built by integrating computer-based signalling systems at
stations and Automatic Signalling Systems between stations
which will further increase traffic handling capacity in the section.
Salient features of the project:
1. Khurja Junction is a major yard in Allahabad division of
Indian Railway, which after remodelling and re-signalling
will have 256 possible movements leading to immense
flexibility.
2. Signalling system in hot standby configuration has been
used to provide redundancy to increase reliability.
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3. Existing east, west cabins with lever frames have been


replaced enhancing safety & reliability. All operations are
being done through VDU's provided in SM room of Khurja
station by click of a mouse leading to faster clearance of
trains.
4. Standing room of all lines increased to accommodate full
train lengths including two lines for accommodating long
haul trains of 118 wagons increasing freight moving
capacity.
5. Maintenance Terminal for easy localization of faults.
6. Safer shunting operations through Shunt signals to improve
safety.
7. Centralised operation by one station Master instead of 2
cabin masters and one station master thereby saving
manpower and resulting in faster clearance.

WACHH PARYATAN MOBILE APP LAUNCHED


1. Swachh Parayatan Mobile App was launched by Dr. Mahesh
Sharma, the Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism & Culture and
Minister of State for Civil Aviation at a function.
2. This project is being implemented by the Ministry of Tourism,
Government of India through DeGS and NIC. This Mobile App is
available on Google Search Engine as Swachh Paryatan and
initially it is available on Android Phones and very soon it will be
available on Apple and Microsoft also.
3. This mobile app shall be monitored by the Project Monitoring Unit
of Swachh Bharat Mission in Ministry of Tourism.
4. To start with, 25 Adarsh Smarak Monuments protected
by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been identified for
inclusion in the app.
5. The application would be scaled up to include more monuments as
the campaign expands. This mobile app enables a citizen to take
photograph of garbage at the monument and upload the same
along with his/her remarks.
6. The application then sends an SMS to the ASI Nodal Officer
concerned with the monument upon receipt of which the Nodal
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Officer gets the garbage cleared/removed. The Nodal Officer


thereafter sends confirmation about the redressal of the complaint
through an SMS to the complainant.

CHRISTIANS MOST EDUCATED, BUT HIGHEST


UNEMPLOYMENT RATE: SURVEY
1. The unemployment rate in urban areas reduced from 4.5 per cent
in 2004-05 to 3.4 per cent in 2011-12, new data from the National
Sample Survey Office show. In rural areas, the rate has been
stable at around 1.7 per cent during this period.

2. According to the survey, which was conducted in 2011-12 and


released on Friday, the unemployment rate across all the religious
groups in rural areas was on the lower side than those in urban
areas for both males and females.
3. Unemployment rate is defined as the number of persons
unemployed as a proportion of the labour force (persons who are
either working or seeking or available for work), not the total
population.
4. Christians have the highest rate of unemployment in both rural
(4.5 per cent) and urban (5.9 per cent) areas in 2011-12. The rate
in urban areas for Christians stood at 8.6 per cent in 2004-05
while the rural rate stays constant.
5. Alakh Sharma, Director of Institute of Human Development, said:
Unemployment level in India is highest among those people who
are richer and more educated.
6. The reason is that poor people cant afford to stay unemployed,
and hence, opt for any kind of work, irrespective of the nature of
the job.
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7. The better off have the capacity to be unemployed as they look for
the right job. Christians are the most educated group; hence
unemployment rate is higher among them. Data from the report
supports the claim.
8. Among the persons of age 15 and above, the proportion of people
who are not literates was the lowest for Christians. Also, the
proportion of persons with educational level secondary and above
is highest for Christians.
9. While the unemployment rate in rural areas has decreased for
Sikhs (from 3.5 to 1.3 per cent) now the lowest across all
religious groups it has slightly increased for Muslims (from 2.3
to 2.6 per cent). At 3.3 per cent, Hindus have the lowest
unemployment rate in urban areas.
Casual labour
1. Self-employment is the major source of income for almost half the
households, across all religious groups, in rural areas, followed by
casual labour.
2. In urban areas, the proportion of households deriving major
income from regular wage or salary earnings is the highest. Half
the Muslim households in urban areas have self-employment as
major source of income, the highest among all religions, while
regular wage or salary earnings was the highest for Christians
with 45.8 per cent households.

MAHARASHTRA LAUNCHES ZERO FATALITY


INITIATIVE ON EXPRESSWAY
1. In a major initiative, Maharashtra became the first State
government to launch an initiative for road safety to transform
the 95-km Mumbai-Pune Expressway into a zero fatality corridor
over the next five years.
2. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC)
on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and road safety NGO Save LIFE
Foundation to reduce an average of 130 deaths per year in roads
accidents on the Expressway.

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3. Making it a first 360-degree intervention across engineering,


emergency care, enforcement, and education, the zero fatality
corridor initiative will collaborate with the Maharashtra Highway
Police, IRB Infrastructure, DY Patil University, Ogilvy ad agency,
JP Research India Ltd, BVG, which runs the 108 ambulance
service, and 10 private and government hospitals on the vicinity of
the Expressway.
4. JP Research India Ltd carried out a detailed per-km survey and
analysis of the accidents and identified their causes at 37
accident-prone black spots over a two-year period.
5. The survey showed that most fatalities happened to lack of
emergency care intervention while transporting the accident
victim to the hospital.

INDIAS FIRST NUCLEAR SUBMARINE INS ARIHANT


READY FOR OPERATIONS, PASSES DEEP SEA TESTS
1. India's first nuclear armed submarine is now ready for full-fledged
operations, having passed several deep sea diving drills as well as
weapons launch tests over the past five months and a formal
induction into the naval fleet is only a political call away.
2. The Arihant, which is the first of five nuclear missile submarines
or SSBNs planned for induction, has also undergone deep sea
dives off Vishakhapatnam where it was build.
3. A Russian diving support ship the RFS Epron that arrived on
October 1 has been accompanying the Arihant on its deep sea
dives and launch tests

MADHYA PRADESH'S KATNI TO HAVE INDIA'S


LONGEST RAILWAY BRIDGE
1. Katni in Madhya Pradesh will have India's longest railway bridge,
14 km on the up line, almost three and half times longer than
Vembanad rail bridge in Kerala that connects Edappally and
Vallarpadam in Kochi and is 4.62 km long.
2. Called Katni grade separator, down line of the bridge would be of
7 km. Its total length would be 21 km up and down side.
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3. Project received clearance from Cabinet Committee on Economic


Affairs (CCEA) recently along with other railway projects.
4. Design and survey of the bridge has been completed and it will
take 5 years for completion. Bridge would pass above Katni yard
and connect with Bina line.
5. Both goods and passenger trains would be benefitted from the
bridge that would be equipped with digital signalling and
maintained online.

NCRB DATA ON INCREASE IN CRIME AGAINST SCS


1. BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh has recorded a staggering 340 per cent
increase, highest among all the states, in the atrocities against
Scheduled Castes between 2013 and 2014.
2. The figures from National Crime Records Bureau were provided
by Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai
Chaudhary in Rajya Sabha.
3. The figures show 242 cases were registered for crimes against
persons belonging to Scheduled Castes in 2013 whereas in the
year 2014 the number went to 1,066.
4. Delhi recorded an increase of 55 per cent from 55 in 2013 to 87 in
2014.
5. Haryana recorded 68.3 per cent increase in the crime against the
Scheduled Castes from 493 in 2013 to 830 in 2014 while Madhya
Pradesh recorded an increase of 40.9 per cent from 2,945 in 2013
to 4,151 in 2014.
6. Uttarakhand recorded an increase of 44.2 per cent from 34 in 2013
to 61 in 2014.
7. Bihar recorded an increase of 17 per cent in cases from 6,721 in
2013 to 7,893 in 2014.
8. States such as Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,
Jharkhand, Assam, Gujarat, Odisha, Punjab have recorded
decrease in such crimes between 2013 and 2014.

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State

2013

2014

Chhattisgarh

242

1,066

Delhi

55

87

Haryana

493

830

Uttarakhand

34

61

Bihar

6721

7893

EXTENSION OF E-TOURIST VISA SCHEME TO 37


MORE COUNTRIES
1. The e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) facility will be extended to 37 more
countries. The total count of countries under the scheme will
become 150.
2. The new 37 countries included in e-Tourist Visa scheme are
Albania, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei,
Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cote d'lvoire, Croatia, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece,
Guinea, Iceland, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Moldova,
Namibia, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, South
Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Trinidad & Tobago,
Zambia and Zimbabwe.
3. Government of India had launched the e-TV facility on November
27, 2014. Till now the scheme has been extended to 113 countries
at sixteen Indian airports designated for providing e-Tourist visa
service. Since the launch of the scheme more than 7.50 lakh Visas

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have been issued under the scheme. At present on an average


3,500 e-Tourist Visas are being granted daily to foreign nationals.

INDUCTION OF WOMEN INTO COMBAT ROLES WILL


BE IN PHASED MANNER
1. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that induction of women
into the fighter stream of the armed forces will be done in a
phased manner.
2. The timeline of induction of women into combat roles will be
decided after taking into account issues related to their training
and accommodation, he said. We have made our view very clear.
3. It is the timelines which we have to decide. Timeline has to be
decided about many factors like facilities or position for it. You
also need training facilitiesYou need accommodation facilities,
he told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by the
Defence Innovators and Industry Associations

CHENNAI RATED THE SAFEST CITY IN INDIA


1. Chennai has been rated the safest city in the country, going by the
low crime rate and better law enforcement, according to a survey
on Quality of Living rankings made by Mercer, a global
consultancy firm.
2. The Quality of Living survey conducted between September
and November last had covered nearly 230 cities across the
world.
3. While Chennai ranks 113 among the worlds safest cities, it has
been rated the safest Indian city compared to seven other places,
including Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi.
4. However, it stands fourth among the seven Indian cities in
providing quality living to its residents.
5. Chennai has been ranked the 150{+t}{+h}city globally in quality of
living. It is emerging to be one of the cities of choice because of its
relatively lower crime rate, less pollution and better education
standards.
6. Ruchika Pal, Principal and India practice leader, Global Mobility,
Mercer, said: We rated Chennai the best city for personal safety

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based on four parameters internal stability, crime rate, law


enforcement and relationship with other countries.
7. Unlike other cities, violent processions or terrorism threat is less
in Chennai. Police corruption is also seen less compared to other
metros, and residents are more law abiding.
8. Chennai has climbed one step further in providing quality life to
its people, compared to last year. Better public transportation
with the recent addition of Metro Rail, more international and
reputed schools and less traffic congestion, compared to other
cities, has raised the quality of living in Chennai.
9. The survey is conducted annually to enable government agencies,
multinational companies and municipalities to assess factors that
can improve quality of living. While the survey provides an
understanding for companies on factors that affect employees who
are on international assignments, it also helps local bodies to
improve and attract investments, Ms. Pal said.

MUSLIM WORKING PROPORTION LOWEST


AMONG COMMUNITIES
1. Muslims have the lowest share of working people among all
communities, as per the Census 2011 data. The Ministry of
Minority Affairs admitted this while replying to an unstarred
question in the Lok Sabha.
2. Quoting from the census data, Minister of State for Minority
Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi informed the House that Hindus
and Christians have a worker-population ratio of 41 and 41.9
respectively, for Buddhists the figure is 43.1, for Sikhs it is 36.3
while for Jains it is 35.5. For Muslims the figure was lowest at
32.6.
3. As per NSS 68th round report of National Sample Survey Office
(NSSO) on Employment and Unemployment Situation Among
Major Religious groups in India (July 2011-June 2012), although
there is a decrease in the WPR amongst rural persons of Islamic
community, there has been an improvement of 1.1% in respect of
urban persons of Islamic community as compared to NSS 66th
round of similar report, reads the reply to a question asked by
Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi.
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4. The census figures are in line with the report of the Sachar
Committee that was set up by the UPA government to assess the
status of Indian Muslims. The committee had found that the
government sector employs 23.7% Muslims while the private
sector about 6.5%.
5. This data which is from 2004-05, had also shown that Muslim
employment in either sector is the lowest among all communities,
the highest being for Hindus which was higher even than the all
India figure of 34.2% in the government sector and and 13.1% in
the private sector. The Sachar Committee report, which is based
on data for 2004-05, says Hindus hold 35.2% government jobs and
13.9% private jobs.
6. The Sachar Committee meanwhile, had found Muslim
participation low not only in employment in general but also in
the government service. The presence of Muslims had been found
to be only 3% in the IAS, 1.8% in the IFS and 4% in the IPS.
7. The community, the report found has a representation of only
4.5% in Indian Railways while 98.7% of them are positioned at
lower levels. Their share in police constables is only 6%, in health
4.4%, in transport 6.5%.
8. The report though had also pointed out that the low work
participation of Muslim women is a significant reason why
Muslims lag in employment figures with respect to their
population though it also pointed out that the proportion of
Muslim women working within their homes is higher than among
other communities 70% against 51%.
9. One of the key recommendations that the Sachar Committee had
made which was setting up of an Equal Opportunities Commission
is as yet a non-starter though many high profile meetings have
happened over in including one with the office-bearers of the
similar commission in the United Kingdom.
10.
However, the commission which was earlier supposed to be
set up by the ministry of minority affairs is now for statement
purposes at least, a baby of the ministry of home affairs. It is yet
to be delivered.

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PM NARENDRA MODI REMAINS THE MOST


POWERFUL INDIAN
1. The Indian Express Power List, which ranks the 100 most
powerful Indians, for the year 2016, is out.
2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who led his party the BJP to a
landslide victory in the 2014 national elections, remains the most
powerful Indian. Despite a slew of controversies around him, his
popularity is unchallenged.
3. Despite the storm around him the intolerance debate, the
defeat in Bihar, the Rohith Vemula suicide, the JNU crisis he
remains the unchallenged No 1. Under Modi, the PMO has become
the epicentre of all important, and some not-so-important,
decisions, with the ministries often being bypassed, the list says.
4. The impromptu decision the Prime Minister took to stop-over in
Lahore on his way home from Afghanistan to meet Nawaz Sharif
was considered a clever diplomatic move and surprised
geopolitical scientists. The visit also opened a new channel of
communication between the two countries.

IPC REQUIRES THOROUGH REVISION TO MEET 21ST


CENTURY NEEDS: PRANAB MUKHERJEE
1. As the government faces fire in Parliament on what
constitutes sedition and laws that govern it, President Pranab
Mukherjee Friday said the Indian Penal Code (IPC) requires a
thorough revision to meet needs of the 21st century and changes
are necessary in the archaic police system.
2. Speaking at a valedictory event in Kochi on the occasion of the
yearlong celebrations of the 155th anniversary of IPC, he said,
The IPC has undergone very few changes in the last 155 years
3. Even now, there are offences in the code, which were enacted by
the British to meet their colonial needs. Yet, there are many new
offences, which have to be properly defined and incorporated in
the code. The premier code for criminal law was a model piece of
legislation but requires a thorough revision to meet the changing
needs of the 21st century, he said.
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4. The IPC came into operation from 1 January, 1862. In the light of
the sedition law being applied on some JNU students for allegedly
raising anti-national slogans, there have been strong calls for
either deletion or drastic changes in Section 124 A of IPC.
5. Underlining the threat posed by economic crimes, Mukherjee said
this impeded inclusive growth and progress. It is a challenge to
bring all new-age offences with its intricacies within the ambit of
the criminal law.
6. He said the image of police depends on its actions and in ensuring
prompt, equitable and fair enforcement of laws. The Rule of Law
is the cardinal principle on which a modern state rests. It has to
be upheld at all times. It is incumbent on the law enforcing
agencies, particularly the police force, to fulfill its foremost duty of
maintaining law and order The onus is on our law enforcing
agencies to work towards transforming the archaic police system
and bring it in tune with the requirements of a modern democratic
nation, he said.
7. He suggested some action points. Our police officers must ensure
quick redressal of the grievances of the common man. They must
partner other stakeholders in creating a peaceful and secure
atmosphere conducive to progress and development, he said.

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March 2016
AADHAAR BILL INTRODUCED IN LOK SABHA
1.

2.

3.

A Bill to provide Aadhaar statutory backing for use for


transferring government subsidies and benefits was introduced
in Lok Sabha, incorporating clauses to keep personal information
discreet and it not being a proof of citizenship.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitleyintroduced The Aadhaar (Target
Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services)
Bill, 2016 amid protests by Congress over the legislation being
categorised as a money bill which does not need approval of the
Rajya Sabha.
Jaitley, however, asserted that the Bill falls within the textbook
definition of money bill and went on to remind the Congress of
bills like juvenile justice and workman injury compensation it
brought as money bill when it was in power.

ALAPPUZHA BACKWATERS TO GET INDIAS FIRST


SOLAR FERRY
A 75-seater solar-powered passenger ferry, the first of its kind in the
country, is quietly taking shape at Aroor in Alappuzha district. The
boat is expected to be commissioned within the next three months.
1.

2.

3.

The boat is being built by NavAlt, a Kochi-based joint venture, in


collaboration with a French company. Construction of the hull
has been completed and the superstructure is being worked on
now. The battery and motor console, which have undergone
testing, are to be flown in from France, said Sandith
Thandasherry, a marine architect who heads the enterprise.
The 20-metre-long, 7-metre-wide boat, with a maximum cruising
speed of 7.5 knots, is to be deployed in the backwaters of
Alappuzha by the Kerala State Water Transport Department
(KSWTD).
The Rs.1.7-crore boat will make no noise or cause any pollution,
unlike the diesel powered ones. It may work out to be a cheaper
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4.

5.

6.
7.

option too. An ordinary boat, made of steel and with a carrying


capacity of 75 passengers, may cost around Rs.1.9 crore.
The cost of diesel fuel for operating it will be around Rs. 25 lakhs.
But the solar powered boat, obviously, will cost nothing to operate
for most part, Mr. Thandasherry pointed out.
The solar boat will also be eligible for subsidy from the Union
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The boat will be capable
of plying the waters for 5-6 hours on normal sunny days. It will
have an alternative power system to meet emergencies.
Its battery will be charged by plugging on to the normal electric
circuit at the end of the days journey.
The KSWTD plans to operate the boat in the 2.5 km-long
Vaikkom-Thavanakkadavu route. The crew will be trained to
handle the boat as the operating system is slightly different from
conventional diesel-powered ones. The company has already made
a 20-seater solar powered boat for a tourism operator in Bhatinda
in Punjab.

Powerful propeller needed


1.

2.

3.

But the much larger, 75-seater, ferry boat will need more powerful
propulsion. The engine will have 40 kW power. The Lithium
battery pack, which is seven times costlier than lead battery, is to
be used in the ferry.
There is scope for building more solar powered boats for the
KSWTD or for tourism operators; Maharashtra has shown
interest in these boats, Mr. Thandasherry said.
Even houseboats could be solar-powered if their conventional
shape is tweaked to make the boat lighter and to accommodate the
solar panels, he said.

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MAHARASHTRA AMONG THE TOP 5 PREFERRED


TRAVEL SPOTS
With a good mix of scenic places, architectural monuments, wildlife
sanctuaries and religious places, Maharashtra ranks among the top five
States in domestic tourism.
1.

2.

3.

4.
5.

6.

7.

The State saw 94.1 million domestic travellers in 2014, as per the
Economic Survey of India 2015-2016. However, in terms of figures,
it is way behind Tamil Nadu (327.6 million), Uttar Pradesh (182.8
million) and Karnataka (118.3 million).
A number of places from Mumbai made it to the top ten
destinations for domestic as well as foreign travellers, namely
Gateway of India, Elephanta Caves, Mahalakshmi temple, Juhu
Chowpatty, Marine Drive and Haji Ali. Destinations such as
Shirdi, Ellora, Tadoba Tiger project, Mahalakshmi Temple in
Kolhapur, the hill stations of Lonavala and Khandala were also
popular among Indian travellers.
The Gateway of India attracted a total of 16 lakh domestic tourists
in the peak seasons of October and November 2014 and May 2015.
The State had as many as 1.57 lakh foreign tourists in October
2014 and May and June 2015, as per official data from the
Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.
US, UK, Australia and UAE were among the highest number of
foreign tourists to Maharashtra.
The monuments of Ajanta and Ellora in Aurangabad district
continue to draw the largest number of domestic and foreign
tourists. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has
declared 2017 as Visit Maharashtra year with a special focus on
Aurangabad.
Despite being in the top five, Maharashtra has not seen any
significant rise in tourist traffic. While about 18.7 crore travellers
visited the State between April 2013 and March 2014, 17 crore
visited between July 2014 and June 2015. The Centre has allowed
100 per cent foreign investment in the hotel and tourism industry
in a bid to attract foreign travellers.
Monuments located in the Mumbai circle: Elephanta Caves,
Kanheri Caves, Shaniwarwada, Agakhan Palace, Lenyadri Caves,
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Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves, Raigad, Colaba and Solapur Fort,


together attracted nearly 30 lakhs Indian travellers and 5,500
foreigners.
8. The wildlife sanctuaries of Pune, namely Bhimashankar,
Mayureshwar, Rehakuri Black Back and Solapur Great Indian
Bustard received the highest footfall of 12 lakh domestic visitors,
followed by Mumbais sanctuaries, Tungareshwar, Yeur and
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which received 9.3 lakh footfalls by
domestic visitors.
9. The State has planned a slew of tourism initiatives for the
upcoming years. The draft of the new tourism policy is ready. We
will soon be holding tourism shows to showcase our potential. We
have identified new resorts. We are going to introduce a new
Swiss challenge methodology whereby anyone with an idea to
boost tourism can approach us and we will examine it and float
the idea in the market. We have received one such idea to convert
Nivati Fort in Sindhudurg district into an accommodation. We
have come up with a CRZ-approved design, Paraag Jaiin
Nainuttia, MD, MTDC, told The Hindu.
10. For Mumbai, MTDC is planning to create experiential tourism
through explorations on local cuisine and local stay.

COMMITTEE ON YOGA EDUCATION IN


UNIVERSITIES CONSTRUCTED BY M/O HUMAN
RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
As informed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, a
committee on Yoga Education in Universities has been constituted with
the following terms of reference:
1.
2.

3.

To identify the courses and programs in Yogic Arts and Science


and the levels at which they can be offered.
To spell out the scope of programs offered at Certificate, Diploma,
Degree, Post Graduate Degree/Post Graduate Diploma and
research levels, and to develop broad details of the curriculum in
the core and elective courses thereof.
To prescribe the syllabus for conducting National Eligibility Test
(NET) in YogicArts and Science.
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4.
5.

6.

7.

8.

To determine the eligibility qualifications for students for joining


Yoga education programs at different levels.
To prescribe the qualifications of faculty of Yoga in Colleges and
Universities and also to examine whether the existing
qualifications for recruitment of the faculty in the Colleges and
Universities as presently approved by the University Grants
Commission, will need amendments.
To identify universities where Departments of Yoga also exist and
to consider whether they can be upgraded to be developed as
Departments of Yogic Arts and Science.
To suggest the names of national level Yoga centers whose
expertise can be networked with universities where Departments
of Yogic Arts and Science will be established.
To determine the modalities of further training of persons who
may be recruited with their present background in the field of
yoga.

APPOINTMENT OF TOP JUDGES TO BE KEPT OUT OF


RTI PURVIEW
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

In a setback to transparency in higher judiciary, the Central


government has decided against bringing appointments to the
higher judiciary under the RTI Acts purview.
Giving this information to the media, Union Law Minister D V
Sadananda Gowda claimed that transparency can be achieved
even without it.
Gowda said the revised draft Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) to
guide appointments to the Supreme Court and the high courts was
in the final stage, and it would be sent to the Chief Justice of
India (CJI) soon.
Asked whether the draft MoP provides for bringing judicial
appointments under the ambit of the Right to Information Act, a
long-standing demand from jurists and others, Gowda replied in
the negative.
When pointed out that Section 8 of the RTI Act, which deals with
exemptions to the Act, doesnt exclude judicial appointments from
the purview, the minister said, Transparency can be attained
without the RTI Act also.
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6.

Incidentally, during hearing of petitions about the


constitutionality of the National Judicial Appointments
Commission (NJAC) Act, the government had repeatedly argued
that the collegium system of appointment was opaque, also
asserting that any appointment should be open to scrutiny under
the RTI Act.

83 LAKH PEOPLE VOLUNTARILY GAVE UP LPG


SUBSIDY: PRADHAN
1.

2.

3.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday said


that 83 lakh people had voluntarily given up their LPG subsidy so
far.
Answering a question about whether the government would accept
the Kirit Parikh Committees recommendations on reducing
subsidy burden, Pradhan said the Prime Minister had already
urged the affluent class to give up their LPG subsidy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the Give it up campaign
in March last year and, as on date, 83 lakh people, including the
middle class and retired, have given up their LPG subsidy, he
added.

FIRST EVER NCC GIRLS EVEREST EXPEDITION


FLAGGED OFF
1.

2.

3.
4.

The Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh flagged off
the first ever all girls National Cadet Corps (NCC) Mount Everest
expedition.
The team led by Col Gaurav Karki, along with fifteen service
personnel and ten girl cadets would reach Nepal on 31 March
2016 and after a long trek to Base Camp from 08 to 25 April 2016
is likely to summit the peak between 15 and 25 May 2016.
Director General NCC Lt. Gen. A. Chakravarty had proposed the
conduct of first ever NCC Girls Expedition to Mt Everest in 2014.
All India trials at 25 selected hubs were carried out and 100 girl
cadets were nominated to undergo the Customised

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5.

Mountaineering Course at Himalayan Mountaineering Institute


(HMI), Darjeeling from 07 Jan 03 Feb 2015.
Based on their performance, 40 girl cadets were selected for the
first Pre-Everest Expedition.

CONSENSUAL PHYSICAL RELATIONS DO NOT


AMOUNT TO RAPE
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

An educated woman is mature enough to understand the


consequences of having physical relations with her partner and
such cases will not fall under the ambit of rape, the Bombay High
Court said on Thursday while granting anticipatory bail to a 25year-old man.
Justice Mridula Bhatkar was hearing the anticipatory bail plea of
the youth from Solapur claiming he was in a relationship with the
24-year-old woman from Mumbai and when he broke up with her
she lodged an FIR against him in October last with the suburban
Goregaon police on charges of rape, cheating and criminal
intimidation.
According to the womans lawyer Aniket Nikam, the couple met in
March 2015 and fell in love. The boy on the false pretext of
marriage forced the girl into a physical relation. When the girl
conceived in May 2015 the boy forced her to get an abortion and
later ended all relations with her, Nikam said.
The court was, however, of a different view and said, In such
matters I am of the view that it is consensual and hence, bail
should be granted. I know our society has certain taboos.
But if you consider western culture then this is consensual. This is
not rape. When the woman is educated and mature she can say
no. When you (girl) say yes then it becomes mutual, Justice
Bhatkar said.
The court while granting the man bail on a surety of Rs 25,000
directed him to not contact the girl or harass her or her family
members in any manner.

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DELAY PREGNANCY, IAF TELLS WOMEN FIGHTER


PILOTS
1.

2.
3.

4.

5.

6.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has advised its women trainees, soon
to be commissioned as Indias first women fighter pilots, to avoid
pregnancy for four years given the rigorous training schedule
involved.
This was stated by Vice Chief of the IAF Air Marshal B. S.
Dhanoa on the side-lines of a media interaction.
Early this week Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Arup Raha had
announced that the India would get its first women fighter pilots
on June 18.
An official said that an advisory is not legally binding and in this
instance it is to ensure their own professional growth otherwise
they will achieve an operational fighter pilot status very late.
Bhawna Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh have
volunteered for the fighter stream and are currently undergoing
the second phase of their training.
In October last year Defence Ministry had announced its decision
to open up combat arms in the military to women, beginning with
the IAF.

PROJECT CLEAN STREET FOOD LAUNCHED


Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri J P Nadda launched
Project Clean Street Food in the presence of Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy,
Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
(Independent Charge).
What
1.

2.

The project of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India


(FSSAI) aims at to raise the safety standards of foods sold on
streets across the capital city of New Delhi by training 20,000
roadside vendors on aspects of health and hygiene, in the first
phase.
As part of Project Clean Street Food, FSSAI will partner with the
Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship to train street
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3.

food vendors at more than 40 centres across Delhi under the


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) category of the Governments
flagship skills training scheme- Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas
Yojana (PMKVY).
Project Clean Street Food will change the lives of millions of
Indians at the bottom of the pyramid, boost the countrys economic
development and lead to the rediscovery of Indias rich tradition of
street food.

Speaking at the launch of the Project, the Health Minister stated


that this is a pragmatic, practical, constructive and positive approach to
skilling one of the largest unorganised sectors of the country. With
nearly 20 lakh street vendors in the country, the training of 20,000
vendors on a pilot basis in the NCR of Delhi is a welcome steep, he
noted. As street food forms an integral part of our society, the project
which shall upgrade the skills of the street food vendors will also
contribute to preventive and promotive health, Shri Nadda added.
Shri Nadda complimenting this unique move, stated this was indeed a
true partnership between Ministries which earlier were working in
silos. This also reflects partnership between a regulating body of the
government, corporate and NGOs who have all come together to
upgrade the skills of the street food vendors which shall help them
enhance their livelihood options also. The Health Minister highlighted
the need to maintain the momentum and to institutionalise this effort,
such that it is sustained in the long run.
Under the Delhi Project, 20,000 food street vendors would be trained,
assessed and certified by seven training partners over the next four
weeks at 40 training centres set up for the purpose across Delhi. Delhi
Food Safety Commissioner and the National Association of Street
Vendors of India (NASVI) are engaged in mobilization of street vendors
across Delhi. The Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Council (THSC),
an affiliate of the National Skill Development Corporation, Ministry of
Skill Development & Entrepreneurship will be the training provider
under the Project. Food vendors will receive Smart Skill-cumRegistration cards on completion of the training. The FSSAI also
launched a Mobile App to empower citizens to reach out to the food
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enforcement machinery for any concerns or suggestions that they may


have on the issue of food safety.

INDIA TEST-FIRES AGNI-I BALLISTIC MISSILE


India on 14 March 2016 successfully test-fired its indigenously built
nuclear-capable intermediate range Agni-I ballistic missile, capable of
hitting a target 700 kms away, from a test range off Odisha coast as
part of a user trial by the Army. The surface-to-surface, single-stage
missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile
launcher from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul
Kalam Island (Wheeler Island), a defence official said. The trial, which
formed part of training exercise by the Strategic Forces Command of
Indian Army, was fully successful, he said. The sophisticated missile
covered 700 km distance within 9 minutes and 36 seconds, they
said. The launch was undertaken as a part of periodic training activity
by SFC to further consolidate operational readiness, the official said.
The trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated
radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and
naval ships from its launch till the missile hit the target area with
accuracy, they said. Agni-I missile is equipped with sophisticated
navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high
degree of accuracy and precision. The missile, which has already been
inducted into armed forces, has proved its excellent performance in
terms of range, accuracy and lethality, the sources said. Weighing 12
tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, is designed to carry a payload of more
than one tonne. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the
payload.
What
1. Agni-I was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory, the
premier missile development laboratory of DRDO in collaboration
with Defence Research Development Laboratory and Research
Centre Imarat and integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited,
Hyderabad.
2. The last trial of Agni-I, conducted on November 27, 2015 from the
same base, was also successful.
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UNICEF REPORT ON SYRIAN CHILDREN


More than 80 per cent of Syrias children have been harmed by the
countrys conflict, including growing numbers of those who were forced
to work, join armed groups or marry young because of widening poverty,
the UN childrens agency said on 14 March 2016, on the fifth
anniversary of the crisis. Peter Salama, the agencys regional chief,
called on donor countries to make good on money pledges made at a
Syria aid conference in London last month. His agency, UNICEF, seeks
$1.16 billion for 2016 to help Syrias children, including close to 3
million who are not in school. The agency has so far received only 6
percent of the amount it seeks for this year. Salama said it would make
more sense for donors to provide the funds early on and enable more
effective, longer-term planning.
What
1. The Syria conflict began in March 2011 as a popular uprising
against Assad that quickly escalated into civil war.
2. Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed.
3. Almost half the pre-war population of 23 million has been
displaced, including more than 4.8 million who fled their
homeland.
According to the report
1. The conflict has affected more than 80 per cent of Syrias children,
including 7 million who now live in poverty.
2. This has led to growing numbers of children leaving school to
work, marrying young or joining armed groups, as a way of
supporting their families financially.
3. In refugee camps in Jordan, one-third of marriages involve girls
under the age of 18 triple what it was in 2011.
4. Armed groups are recruiting more children and younger children.
5. More than half the UNICEF-verified cases of children recruited in
2015 were younger than 15, compared to 20 per cent in 2014.

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UPDATE OF GARUDA SHAKTI IV


The fourth edition of the Indo-Indonesia Joint Training Exercise
GARUDA SHAKTI, scheduled from 10 to 23 March 2016 is under
progress at Magelang, Indonesia. The Indian contingent comprises of
platoon sized troops of an Infantry Battalion from Southern Command
theatre and the Indonesian Army comprises of troops from 503 Airborne
Battalion of the TNI -AD.
The exercise is underway with adequate stress being laid on weapon
handling and live firing practices. The Indian Army contingent was
given time to familiarise themselves with the Indonesian Armys
weapon system before commencing firing practice using their Weapons.
On 13 Mar, the Indonesian Army conducted a firing Skills
demonstration explaining the mechanics of reflex firing which was
followed by practice by Indian Army contingent of the same. On 14 Mar
Indian Army contingent presented a similar demonstration of reflex
firing skills including ambidextrous weapon handling in combat
situations. The demonstration was conducted in phases and was
followed by firing practice by Indonesian Army under guidance of
instructors from Indian Army.
The aim of the exercise
1.
2.

3.

4.

5.

To build and promote positive relations between both the armies.


To enhance their ability to undertake joint tactical level
operations in a Counter Insurgency environment under United
Nations Charter.
The scope of exercise also includes identifying areas of expertise/
specialization of each other, evolution of combat tactical drills for
conduct of tactical Counter Insurgency operations and to
undertake combined training for neutralization of insurgency
threat.
The Indian Army contingent had arrived at Jakarta airport on 09
Mar. The Opening Ceremony was conducted on 11 Mar at Military
Training Area, Magelang, Indonesia.
In an impressive Military function, witnessed by senior ranked
officers of both the countries, the contingents conducted a
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6.

7.

ceremonial parade where the National flags of both nations were


marched in.
The Commandant wished both the contingents a fruitful and
effective exercise ahead and encouraged both sides to understand
and absorb the positive aspects of each others military training
and tactics.
He stated that this exercise would serve as a platform for both
countries to pave the way for better co-operation and stronger
mutual relations in the future. The exercise will culminate on 23
Mar 16.

MODI FINDS A PLACE AT MADAME TUSSAUDS


1.

2.

3.

4.
5.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join the ranks of prominent


global leaders at Madame Tussauds in London, Singapore, Hong
Kong and Bangkok next month, the world famous wax
museum announced
Describing him as a hugely important figure in world politics,
the museum said the Indian Prime Minister had given the
museums team of artists and experts a sitting at his residence
The wax figures at each of the museums locations around Europe
and Asia will be dressed in Mr. Modis signature kurta in cream
with a jacket and he will be featured in a traditional pose making
a namaste gesture.
Each figure took a team of Madame Tussauds artists four months
and cost around 150,000 pounds to create.
A new branch of Madame Tussauds is also set to open in New
Delhi as part of the India-UK Year of Culture in 2017, announced
during Prime Minister Modis visit to the UK last November.

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NOW SOLAR-POWERED TRASH CANS TO SEND


ALERTS WHEN FULL
1.

2.
3.

4.

5.

6.

The Swachh Bharat campaign could soon get a digital accessory.


The Centre may use its Digital India project in conjunction with
the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to have solar-powered trash cans like
in many US cities which send alerts to sanitation crew once they
are full.
If this happens, the question on when to empty trash cans will not
remain a guessing game.
Such a solution, which combines solar energy and information
technology, was launched in the US and 47 other countries by a
firm named Big Belly, which was named the Top Smart City
application in the 2015 Internet of Things Awards.
Waste management is an integral part of Indias biggest
cleanliness campaign, Swachh Bharat, but the reality is stinking
and open dustbins compounded by lack of a smart waste
management solution for efficient sorting of waste or identifying
recyclable disposed products.
Basically, the government plans a solution for installing such
devices on specially-designed trash cans in major urban centres
across the country which will be solar-powered to emit signals to
the online system once full so that sanitation crews are dispatched
to the spot.
Big Belly has installed such fully-covered and solar-powered trash
receptacles and trash compactors in many cities abroad like New
York, Boston, Chicago, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Stockholm.

WORLD SUFI FORUM


1.

2.

Asserting that there are terror groups that are instruments of


states policy and design, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said
terrorism uses diverse motivations and causes that cannot be
justified.
Addressing the first World Sufi Forum, Modi in an oblique
reference to Pakistan said while some are trained in organised
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3.

4.

5.

6.

camps, there are others who find their inspiration in cyber


space.
There are forces and groups that are instruments of state policy
and design. There are others recruited to the cause in misguided
belief.
Terrorism uses diverse motivations and causes, none of which can
be justified, he said at the Forum convened by the All India
Ulama and Mashaikh Board to discuss the role of Sufism in
countering rising global terror.
The four-day long event is organised by All India Ulama and
Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in
India.
The event will see more than 200 Indian and International
delegates, spiritual leaders, scholars, academicians and masters of
Sufism, under one roof.

SURAT, RAJKOT AMONG CLEANEST RAILWAY


STATIONS
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Surat and Rajkot in Gujarat are among the cleanest train stations
in India while Mughalsarai in Uttar Pradesh and Pune are among
the dirtiest, a survey has found.
The station at Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh was third among the 75
A1-category railway stations followed by Solapur and Mumbai
Central in Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar (Odisha)
and Vadodara (Gujarat), said the preliminary report of the survey,
which was released by Railway Minister Suresh Prabu today.
Bringing up the rear were Guwahati, Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi),
Sealdah (West Bengal), Kanpur Central (UP), Bhopal (Madhya
Pradesh) and Muzaffarpur (Bihar).
The idea is to make the entire rail network clean. This is just the
beginning of a process which will actually and eventually bring all
stations on a par to a particular standard, Prabhu said.
He said the move is in line with the budget announcement of
taking steps to improve the cleanliness at the 8,000 stations in
India and take forward the Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat mission.

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DR JITENDRA SINGH LAUNCHES NEW PORTAL OF


COMMUNITY RADIO NETWORK
1.

2.

3.

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of


North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public
Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra
Singh formally launched the new portal of community radio
network during the inaugural session of one-day seminar
organized by Federation of Community Radio Stations.
In his address, Dr Jitendra Singh said, notwithstanding the
overpowering presence of television coupled with rapid
mushrooming of TV channels across the country, radio still has its
reach to remote and peripheral areas where television is not
available, either for lack of electricity or for lack of signal.
As many as nearly 15,000 Panchayats in the country today are
deprived of optical fibre facility, he added.

SUPREME COURT TO HEAR PLEA TO BAN SARDAR


JOKES
1.

2.

3.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear on April 5 the plea of


Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) along with
other petitions seeking ban on circulation of jokes about the Sikh
community and said it may act if people are commercially
exploiting the jokes.
A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice U U
Lalit said that the fresh plea of the SGPC would be tagged along
with other pending matters on the issue and will be heard
together on April 5.
During the brief hearing, the bench asked advocate Satinder
Singh Gulati, appearing for SGPC, to point out the areas where
sub-judicial orders can be passed.

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ONLINE SYSTEM TO BRING FCI FOODGRAIN


MANAGEMENT AND DISTRIBUTION ONLINE
LAUNCHED
1.

2.
3.
4.

5.

Online System to automate all the operations of FCI depots


launched by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer
Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
Capturing data online on a real time basis, the system will bring
total transparency in the working of FCI.
It would help in better monitoring and supervision to reduce
leakages and losses.
The system will provide various types of data regarding stock
position, movement, quality and quantity on line. It will generate
SMS alerts to depot officials, area manager and other decision
making authorities.
All the data will be available on dashboard also for top
management to monitor centrally and help in automatic
reconciliation and generating of MIS reports about food grain
management.

Highlights of the Depot Online System


1.
2.
3.

4.
5.
6.

The system will automate/streamline all the activities during the


stock inflow/outflow by road.
The system will provide an efficient way to monitor & track the
movement of items by rail.
Godown operation such as dumping management, stack
management, spillage management, stack suggestion, storage loss
calculation etc. will be automated. Stock position/occupancy of the
shed will also be available on real time basis.
The application will integrate with the weighbridge installed
within the depot.
The system will track chemical spraying, fumigation &
procurement quality check.
The system will keep track of all the millers/Agency that are
associated with the depots. Miller/Agency will be able to log in into
the system & enter required details.
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The system will provide a tracking of gunny, chemical &


equipment, using technologies like RFID.
8. System will provide Dash board for managerial staff along with
basic MIS reports such as daily stock receipt, daily stock issue,
quality related reports etc.
9. Facilitate the depot management for FCI, help in speeding up
operations, Free up manpower from laborious data collation and
report preparation. Thus, saving operational costs by proper
planning & optimizing the administrative.
10. Integrated view of end to end processes, use of workflow,
notification and alerts and seamless connection between depots
and district/regional offices of FCI.
11. Capture data at source and in real time through Handheld
Devices, reduce redundancy.
12. SMS alerts will help field staff to take timely action.
13. Will help save costs and prevent leakages.
7.

SC ALLOWS PICTURES OF CMS, GOVERNORS,


MINISTERS IN GOVT ADS
1.

2.

3.

4.

The Supreme Court allowed publication of photographs of


Governors, Chief Ministers and the Ministers of the department
concerned in government advertisements.
A Bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi allowed the publication
of photos while modifying its earlier order by which the court had
permitted photographss of President, Prime Minister and Chief
Justice of India only in the government ads.
The verdict came on pleas by Centre and states including pollbound West Bengal and Tamil Nadu which had sought review of
the Supreme Court judgement. The apex court had on March 9
reserved its verdict on the review pleas.
Earlier, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the
Centre, had strongly favoured review of the verdict on various
grounds including that if Prime Ministers photograph is allowed
in the advertisements then the same right should be available to
his cabinet colleagues.

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5.

Attorney General had also said that the Chief Ministers and their
cabinet colleagues too should be allowed to feature in
advertisements.

LONGITUDINAL AGEING STUDY IN INDIA


LANUCHED
1.
2.
3.

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched


the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI).
Launching the project, Shri B P Sharma, Secretary (HFW) stated
that this is the largest survey of its kind.
It will survey more than 60,000 elderlies over 25 years plan. He
further added that this survey will provide scientifically validated
data on various issues of the elderly.

What
1.
2.

3.
4.

The importance of the study derives from the increasing portion of


elderly population in the country.
The study will provide valuable data on their health needs, and
issues faced by them given the changing social structures, and
help us to draw policy tools to address their issues.
The study will provide guidance to move forward in designing
schemes for the elderly.
Health Protection Scheme announced in the recent Budget, which
has a special component of Rs 30,000 for the elderly in the family.

How
1.
2.

3.

LASI is the largest study on older population in the country.


The International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS),
Mumbai in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health
(HSPH) and University of Southern California (USC), USA is
undertaking the The Longitudinal Ageing Study in India under
the aegis of the Ministry of Union Health and Family Welfare.
LASI is jointly funded by the Union Ministry of Health and
Family Welfare, the United States National Institute on Ageing,
and the United Nations Population Fund-India.
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Undercurrent
1.
2.

3.
4.
5.

6.

7.

Population ageing is taking place in nearly all the countries of the


world.
The global share of older people aged 60 years or over increased
from 9.2 percent in 1990 to 11.7 percent in 2013 and will continue
to grow as a proportion of the world population, reaching 21.1
percent by 2050.
Presently, about two thirds of the worlds older persons live in
developing countries.
By 2050, nearly 8 in 10 of the worlds older population will live in
the less developed regions.
Global ageing can be seen as a symbol of medical, social, and
economic advances and also has major health, social and economic
consequences over the past half century; it also represents a
significant policy challenge.
Population ageing threatens to topple existing insurance and
pension systems and create health system overload; therefore,
calls for review of existing models of healthcare, familial and
social support.
The phenomenon of global population ageing has the potential to
fundamentally alter disease burdens, economies and trade, and
human migration.

According to the 2011 census


1.

2.

3.

4.

The 60+ population accounted for 8.6% of Indias total


population or 103.84 million elderlies. With currently 1.3 billion
people, India is projected to become the worlds most populous
country within a decade.
There are several forces driving Indias population growth and
changing age structure, including an upward trend in life
expectancy.
An Indian born in 1950 could expect to live for 37 years, whereas
today Indias life expectancy at birth nearly doubled to 68 years,
by 2050, it is projected to increase to 76 years.
Indias population will rise from 1.3 billion today to an estimated
1.7 billion by 2050, with a much larger elderly share of around 340
million.
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5.

Including the pre-retirement phase (i.e., population age 45+), the


proportion will rise to over 30%, or almost 600 million persons.
Between 2011 and 2050, the number of oldest old people of age 75
and above is expected to increase by 340%.

NATIONAL OPTICAL FIBRE NETWORK PROJECT


The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has come down hard on
RailTel for slow progress of work relating to the National Optical
Fibre Network (NOFN) project, which it said holds high importance
for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a letter to RailTel dated March 7,
2016, the DoT pointed out that its progress on laying down optical fibre
cable (OFC) has been very poor and only 6,152 km has been laid
even as optical fibre duct has been laid for 10,144 km.
1.

2.

3.

The governments flagship NOFN project targeted to provide


broadband connectivity to 1 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) by
March 2016, it has now been deferred to December 2016. Minister
of Communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad, however, told
The Indian Express that the ministry is pushing for it and the
target would be met by the end of the year. But problems continue
and there still seems to be question marks over the state-run
executing agencies Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), RailTel
and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) meeting
the deadline of December 2016.
The NOFN was planned in 2011 to connect all GPs through OFC
and BSNL, RailTel and PGCIL were entrusted with the task of
laying incremental fibre, the companies are running way behind
their targets. While BSNL has been entrusted with laying OFC in
84,366 GPs in the first phase, RailTel and PGCIL have to cover
8,678 and 7,156 GPs, respectively.
According to a report prepared by the Standing Committee on
Information Technology that was presented in the Lok Sabha on
December 21, 2015, while the OFC laid by the three state-owned
companies till May 31, 2015 accounted for 20 per cent of their
aggregate targets, RailTel made the slowest progress. While
BSNL had laid 37,822 km of OFC accounting for 22 per cent of its
target, PGCIL laid 3,110 km of fibre cable accounting for 14 per
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cent of its target. RailTel on the other hand had laid only 1,717
km of OFC accounting for just 8 per cent of its target. However,
till March 7, 2016, Railtel had raised it to 6,152 km at a pace of
around 500 km per month.
About the project
1.

2.

3.
4.

5.
6.

It Initiated in 2011 the project was to be funded by Universal


Service Obligation Fund with the aim of providing broadband
connectivity to over 2 lakh GPs.
It aimed to leverage the existing fibre optical network of Central
utilities BSNL, RailTel and PGCIL and laying incremental
fibre wherever necessary to bridge the connectivity gap between
panchayats and blocks.
BBNL was created as a public sector undertaking for its
execution.
While RailTel was allotted 8 states and 3 Union Territories, the
company has shown progress in Tripura, Puducherry and Gujarat
in terms of some connected GPs.
There has been no progress in the remaining 6 states and 2 UTs.
The project, once complete, will enable the Centre to provide eservices and e-applications nationally and a minimum of 100
Mbps bandwidth is to be made available at each GP with nondiscriminatory access to the network for all categories of service
providers.

GOVT EXTENDS UDAAN SCHEME TILL FY20


1.

The Centre decided to extend by four years the Udaan Scheme,


a Special Industry Initiative for Jammu & Kashmir which
provides exposure to the states youth to the countrys corporate
sector, till 2019-20. The scheme was initially up to the 2015-16
fiscal, ending this month-end. The decision was taken at a
meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)
chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Udaan provides
exposure to the youth of J&K to corporate India and corporate
India to the talent pool available in the state, said an official
release.
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2.

So far, 67 leading corporates have partnered with National Skill


Development Corporation (NSDC) under UDAAN with a
commitment to train youth from the state covering organized
retail, banking, financial services, IT, ITES, infrastructure,
hospitality etc. More than 19,000 candidates have been selected,
more than 15,000 have joined training, out of them, 8,700
candidates have completed training and 6,838 have been offered
jobs. It is expected that the target of the scheme to train and
enhance employability of 40,000 graduates, post graduates and
three-year engineering diploma holders, will be achieved by 201920, an official statement said. To accelerate the pace of
implementation, mega selection drives have been introduced, in
which around 8-10 corporates participate. It has significantly
improved the number of selections. 67 mega selection drives have
been held so far covering all districts of the state.

What
1.
2.

Udaan is a national integration scheme with the goal to


mainstream J&K youth with rest of the country.
The scheme not only provides skill enhancement and job
opportunity but also leads to counter radicalisation and weaning
away youth of J&K from militancy.

TWO MAJOR DIGITAL HEALTH INITIATIVES


LAUNCHED
Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare
launched two major Digital initiatives to provide easy access to
health services to the public: GIS-enabled HMIS application and
the self-printing of e-CGHS cards. Launching these initiatives of the
Health Ministry, the Union Minister stated that the Health Ministry
remains committed to strengthening public health systems and
providing user-friendly health services in the country. He further stated
that that this will provide a tremendous opportunity to further
strengthen and enhance the reach of key interventions.

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About HMIS
1.

2.
3.

4.
5.

6.

Health Management Information System (HMIS) is a web-based


monitoring system that has been put in place by Ministry of
Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) to monitor its health
programmes and provide key inputs for policy formulation and
interventions.
It was launched duringOctober, 2008 with uploading of district
consolidated figures.
To make HMIS more robust and effective and in order to facilitate
local level monitoring, facility based reporting was initiated
sinceApril, 2011.
At present, 1.94 lakh health facilities (across all States/UTs) are
uploading facility wise data on monthly basis on HMIS web portal.
Data are presently being made available to various stakeholders
in the form of standard & customized reports, factsheets, scorecards etc.
HMIS data are widely used by the Ministry and States for
policy planning, monitoring and supervision purpose.

About E-CGHS
1.

2.

3.

This will provide ease and access to all those beneficiaries such as
the pensioners who may find it difficult to go to the CGHS centres
for renewal, and in the event of loss/misplacement of the card.
As this can be printed from any location once the process of
application based on authentic documents has been approved, this
enables easy reprinting by the beneficiary himself/herself.
The beneficiary can access this facility by visiting the CGHS
portal atnic.in where simple steps for this have been enumerated.

TENDULKAR POVERTY LINE GETS NITI AAYOG


PANELS SUPPORT
NITI Aayog panel has said, the Tendulkar poverty line (which
bracketed people earning less than Rs 33 a day as poor) is not the basis
for identification of the poor, but to track progress in battling
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poverty. In its report Eliminating Poverty: Creating Jobs and


Strengthening Social Programmes, put up in the public domain, the
Aayogs task force on poverty eradication has made a number of
suggestions such as creation of Coastal Economic Zones for sustained
rapid growth with job creation and to make anti-poverty programmes
more effective.
The report said
1.

2.

3.

The main criticism of the Tendulkar line has been that it is too
low. However, it cautioned that if the poverty line is set at too
high a level, the focus on households in abject poverty could be
diluted.
Therefore, the final decision on this question needs to be informed
by further deliberations that pay adequate attention to the fact
that the objective behind an official poverty line is to track
progress in combating extreme poverty and not identification of
the poor for purposes of distribution of government benefits.
Currently, identification of poor is done by the state governments
based on information from below poverty line (BPL) censuses, of
which the latest is the Socio-Economic Caste Census 2011 (SECC
2011).

Tendulkar Committee
4.

5.
6.

7.

The Committee computed poverty lines for 2004-05 at a level that


was equivalent, in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, to one
U.S. dollar per person per day, which was the internationally
accepted poverty line at that time.
Using the poverty line recommended by the Tendulkar Committee
for 2004-05 and updating it to 2011-12.
The monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) of
Rs 816 in rural areas and Rs 1,000 in urban areas were the
estimated poverty lines for 2011-12.
About 27 crore people were living below poverty line in the
country, according to Tendulkar formulation in 2011-12.

Controversy
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1.

2.

As controversy mounted on poverty line, another panel headed


by C Rangarajan had raised the Tendulkar national rural poverty
line from Rs 816 per-capita per month at 2011-12 prices to Rs
972 and the Tendulkar national urban poverty line from Rs 1,000
per capita per month at 2011-12 prices to Rs 1,407.
These revisions led to the total national poverty estimate in 201112 rise from 21.9% under the Tendulkar line to 29.5%.

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April 2016
SUPPORT TO LEGISLATORS GROUP ON SDGS
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu assured
the Legislators Group for Sustainable Development Goals (LG-SDGs) of
full support to their endeavors. Members of the Legislators Group for
SDGs, Shri Harish Chandra Meena, and Chairman of the Group, Shri
Ninong Ering and Shri Rahul Kaswan, all Members of Parliament met
Shri Naidu and briefed him of the activities of the Group to promote
awareness on the SDG Agenda among MPs and MLAs. They said that
the Legislators Group would like to influence and support efforts of the
Governments to advance and implement SDGs.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to be
achieved during 2016-30 include:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

End poverty in all its forms everywhere;


End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and
promote sustainable agriculture;
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages;
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote
lifelong learning opportunities for all;
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and
sustainable.

UN Secretary-General Mr.Ban Ki-Moon has urged the Parliaments to


play a central role in implementing SDG Agenda.

ARIES INDIAS EYE IN THE SKY


Indias largest ground-based optical telescope, in Devasthal in
Uttarakhand, was switched on March 30 by the prime ministers
of India and Belgium from Brussels, during Narendra Modis day-long
visit to the country. Heres what make this telescope is located at
Devasthal, Nainital at a height of 2,500 metres special.

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REPORT ON INDIAS RENEWABLE ENERGY


CONSUMPTION
Despite its heavy reliance on fossil fuels, Indias renewable energy
consumption could be as high as 9% of the global share by 2030. But
this optimism, articulated in the recently released report on Roadmap
for a Renewable Energy Future, has a clear precondition: the countrys
unsustainable, low energy grid efficiency should quickly see a hyper
upgrade. Released recently at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue
(BETD), the report sounds generally optimistic about the world slowly
shifting to eco-friendly renewable energy (RE) alternatives. The shift
will even make financial sense. Over the next 14 years, if the share of
renewables in the global energy mix is doubled, the savings could
amount to a whopping USD 4.2 trillion annually by 2030.
The report said
1.
2.
3.

4.
5.

Currently, renewables account for just over 18 %.


The target set by the report for 2030 is 36 %. But much of the
strides made thus far has been in the power sector.
To reach global climate and development targets, the next phase
would require more focus on transport, heating, cooling, buildings
and industry, sectors that are now lagging behind.
Bioenergy should account for half of renewable energy use in
2030.
But the growth potential for other renewables is even higher.
Solar PV power generation can grow seven-fold, from 230
gigawatts of capacity at the end of 2015 to 1,600-2,000 GW by
2030. Windpower can more than quadruple, from 400 GW in 2015
to over 1,800 GW.

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that authored the


report was clear that if the steps outlined in the roadmap are followed,
the RE share will surge to 57% in buildings, 35 % in industry and 16%
in transport.
Grid expansion

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1.

2.

3.

4.

Elaborating on India, an IRENA official asserted that the country


had to focus on grid expansion and find ways to integrate solar
and wind power to the grid more efficiently. Modis thrust on
industrialisation should be partly fueled by RE.
Besides, electric vehicles could potentially address the pollution in
many Indian cities. On the transport sector, the report noted:
Trams, buses, freight and passenger vehicles powered by
renewable-based electricity must become the predominant forms
of city transport.
This can be achieved through smart city planning and the rollout
of recharging and supply infrastructure. Government support is
needed to commercialise advanced biofuels for widespread use,
especially in aviation, freight and shipping.
However, big investments would be required to make this big
energy shift. Under existing national plans, the global renewables
share would only reach 21% by 2030. To achieve a doubling, the
annual rate of RE deployment would need to increase six-fold.

INDIA TOP IN UNDERWEIGHT POPULATION


While India and China continue to have the largest number
of underweight people in the world, both the countries have also broken
into the top five in terms of obesity, a new study published in The
Lancet jorunal has found.
What
1.
2.
3.
4.

5.

India leads the world in being home to over 40% of the global
underweight population.
China is a distant second with about 8% of underweight men and
over 12% of underweight women.
However, India has also seen a surge in obesity.
It had 0.4 million obese men, or 1.3% of the global obese popula
tion in 1975, but in 2014, it zoomed into the fifth position with 9.8
million obese men, or 3.7% of the global population.
Among women, India has jumped to the third rank with 20 million
obese women (5.3% of global population).

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6.

7.

China has followed a similar trajectory to India when it comes to


obesity, rising from 13th rank in 1975 for men and 10th among
women to the first rank in 2014 for both men and women.
It now has the most number of obese persons in the world edging
out the US.

How
1.

2.

3.

The study used data from national and smaller


studies representing 19.2 million adults from 186 countries to
arrive at its conclusions.
It used the standard definitions of underweight (Body Mass Index
less than 18.5 kg per sqm) and obesity (BMI greater than 30 kg
per sqm).
BMI is a ratio of weight and height, standardised to various age
groups.

Why
1.
2.
3.
4.

Indian obesity is due to change in life styles of the people.


Working hours long so avoids exercise.
Eating in hotels and restaurant which is bad in the long run.
Both underweight and obesity are well known causes for several
fatal condi tions like heart diseases, diabetes and others.

Flashback
1.
2.
3.
4.

Globally, underweight population has declined while obese


population has increased since 1975, the study found.
In 1975, 13.8% men and 14.6% women were underweight.
These proportions declined to 8.8% for men and 9.7% for women in
2014.
Obese population shares were just 3.2% for men and 6.4% for
women in 1975 which have risen to 10.8% for men and 14.9% for
women in 2014.

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INDIA WATER WEEK-2016


The fourth edition of India Water Week will be observed from 04 to 08
April, 2016. Making this announcement in New Delhi the Union
Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga
Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti said that the theme for this years
India Water week is Water for all: Striving together. The Minister
informed that Israel will be associated as the partner country for this
mega event.
Where
1.
2.

3.

These events will take place at ITPO, Pragati Maidan.


The event has been divided into Seminars (eight nos.),
Brainstorming sessions (six nos,), Panel Discussions (seven nos.),
Case studies (six nos.) and Side Events (five nos.).
An Exhibition Water Expo-2016 showcasing the technologies and
solutions in water resources sector is also being organised at Hall
No. 9, Pragati Maidan for the benefit of delegates.

What
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

It will be a multi-disciplinary conference enriching the theme with


dialogue by national and international community along with the
exhibition.
Delegates of the event will be immensely benefitted from Israeli
experience in efficient management of water resources as well as
other national and international experiences.
Many reputed National and International Organizations,
Research Institutes, Educational Institutions and NGOs from
water resources, agriculture, power sectors etc. are participating
in the event to share their knowledge and experience in the sector.
Most important stakeholder of water, i.e. farmers from different
parts of the country are also going to participate in this important
event as a part of INPIM Programme on Participatory Irrigation
Management and share their experiences.
The multi-disciplinary dialogue will be addressing the important
initiatives of the Minister and priority programmes like Pradhan
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Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna (PMKSY), Jal Kranti Abhiyan, more


crop per drop, Interlinking of Rivers, etc.
Topic discussed in this event
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Water and Health managing water quality


Agriculture and Irrigation
Water and Power hydro and thermal
Industrial water efficiency
Water supply and sanitation for rural and urban areas
Environment, climate change and water resources sector.

Sushri Bharti recalled that in Jal Manthan-2 Programme held at New


Delhi in February, 2016.
Important issues discussed
1.
2.
3.
4.

Bridging gap between irrigation potential created and irrigation


potential utilised
Fast-tracking of 89 AIBP projects under PMKSY
Ground water protection and augmentation
National Hydrology Project

Issues are proposed in this event


1.

2.

Partner country Israel will exclusively organise two sessions viz.


(i) Role of Micro Irrigation in existing command and (ii) Israel
makes in India COEs and commercial success stories, water
management.
International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) has
planned to organize first in the series India Irrigation Forum2016 as a part of India Water Week-2016.

Flashback
1.

Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga


Rejuvenation, Government of India has been organising India
Water Week since 2012 as an international event to focus on
water related issues.
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2.

Three editions of India Water Week have been organised so far in


2012, 2013 and 2015.

KEY INITIATIVES IN NSS


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced several key
initiatives taken by his government in the area of nuclear security and
non-proliferation, including countering nuclear smuggling and
deployment of technology to deter nuclear terrorism. The
announcements were made by Modi during the second and final day of
the Nuclear Security Summit, which was attended by leaders from more
than 50 countries.
What
1.

2.
3.

4.

5.
6.
7.

8.

India will continue to accord a high national priority to nuclear


security through strong institutional framework, independent
regulatory agency and trained and specialized manpower.
The plan includes development and deployment of technology to
deter and defend against nuclear terrorism.
These include physical and cyber barriers, technological
approaches, setting up a facility for medical grade Moly-99 using
low enriched Uranium and using vitrified forms of vulnerable
radioisotopes such as Ceasium-137, the national plan says.
India will counter nuclear smuggling and strengthen the national
detection architecture for nuclear and radioactive
material, dedicated counter-nuclear smuggling team has been set
up.
India will support IAEAs central role in nuclear security by a
further contribution of USD1 million to the nuclear security fund.
A workshop with IAEA experts on International Physical
Protection Assessment Service (IPPAS) will also be held in India.
India will join trilateral initiative of NSS chairs circulated at
IAEA by subscribing states as the joint statement on
strengthening nuclear security implementation.
India will also join three gift baskets for this summit in priority
areas of countering nuclear smuggling, nuclear security contact

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9.

group in Vienna, and sharing of best practices through Centres of


Excellence such as Indias own.
India will host a meeting of Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear
Terrorism in 2017. An international conference on countering
nuclear smuggling is also being planned with Interpol.

Flashback
1.

2.

Indias export controls list and guidelines have been harmonized


with those of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and India looks
forward to strengthening its contribution to shared nonproliferation objectives through membership of the export controls
regimes.
In 2005, India enacted the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their
Delivery Systems Act, 2005. This gives effect, inter alia, to Indias
obligations under the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
Resolution 1540.

WORLDS 1ST WHITE TIGER SAFARI IN MP


Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on 3 April 2016
inaugurated the worlds maiden White Tiger Safari at Mukundpur in
Satna district in the states Vindhya region where the feline was first
discovered more than 100 years ago. The first of its kind safari has cost
Rs 50 crore and is spread over an area of 25 hectares.
What
1.
2.
3.

4.
5.

The sanctioned amount for establishing the safari was Rs 50 crore


and so far, estimates suggest that the amount has been utilised.
It remains to be seen if there is a need to revise the amount in
future.
With its inauguration, the safari, housing three white tigers,
including one male named Raghu and two females, Vindhya and
Radha, is now officially open for public.
As of now, there are three white tigers and two Royal Bengal
tigers.
The safari will house nine white tigers in the coming months for
which talks are being held.
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The government is planning to establish a breeding centre for the white


tigers in nearby Govindgarh. The first white tiger was spotted in
Madhya Pradeshs Vindhya region, in which the Satna district falls, in
1915. The rare breed of the big cat, which was caught for the first
time, died in 1920. In 1951, a white tiger cub, named Mohan, was
captured. It later became the progenitor of all known white tigers in the
world after the Rewa princely states ruler Maharaja Martand Singh for
arranged its breeding.

RANKING EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS UNDER


NIRF
The Ministry of Human Resource and Development on 4 March 2016
released a list of top 10 educational institutions in the country under
the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) a first-of-itskind indigenous ranking framework.
The institutions were ranked under four categories
1.
2.
3.
4.

Engineering
Management
Pharmacy
Universities and colleges

Flashback
1.

2.
3.

India Rankings 2016 is the countrys first exercise to rank the


higher educational institutions in the country based on objective,
identifiable parameters.
This follows the launch of National Institutional Ranking
Framework (NIRF) on 29th September, 2015.
An independent agency, the National Bureau of Accreditation,
working with the government, was responsible for validating the
data submitted by the institutions.

RANK

University

Engineering
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Management

Pharmacy

Events of National Importance 2016 | Books4jobs.com

Indian
Institute Of
Science
Banglore,
Karnataka.

Indian
Institute Of
Technology,
Madras,
TamilNadu.

Indian Institute
Of Management,
Bangaluru,
Karnataka.

Manipal
College Of
Pharmaceutical
SciencesManipal,
Karnataka.

Institute Of
Chemical
Technology,
Mumbai,
Maharashtra

Indian
Institute Of
Technology,
Bombay,
Maharashtra.

Indian Institute
Of Management,
Ahmedabad,
Gujarat.

University
Institute Of
Pharmaceutical
SciencesChandigarh

Jawaharlal
Nehru
University,
Delhi

Indian
Institute Of
Technology,
Kharagpur,
UttarPradesh

Indian Institute
Of Management,
Calcutta, West
Bengal.

Jamia
Hamdard,
Delhi.

University
Of
HyderabadHyderabad,
Telangana.

Indian
Institute Of
Technology,
Delhi

Indian Institute
Of Management,
Lucknow,
UttarPradesh.

Poona College
Of Pharmacy,
Erandwane,
Pune-Pune,
Maharashtra

Tezpur
University,
Tezpur,
Assam.

Indian
Institute Of
Technology,
Kanpur,
UttarPradesh.

- 118 -

Indian Institute
Of Management,
Udaipur,

Institute Of
Pharmacy,
Nirma
University,
Ahmedabad,
Gujarat.

Events of National Importance 2016 | Books4jobs.com

Rajasthan.

University
Of Delhi,
Delhi.

Banaras
Hindu
University,
Uttar
Pradesh

Indian
Institute Of
Technology,
Roorkee,
Uttarakhand.

Indian
Institute Of
Technology,
Hyderabad,
Telangana.

Indian
Institute Of
Space
Science And
Technology,
Kerala.

Indian
Institute Of
Technology,
Gandhinagar,
Gujarat.

Birla
Institute Of
Technology
& Science
Pilani,
Rajasthan

Indian
Institute Of
Technology,
RoparRupnagar,
Punjab.

- 119 -

Indian Institute
Of Management,
Kozhikode,
Kerala.

Bombay
College Of
PharmacyMumbai,
Maharshtra

International
Management
Institute-New
Delhi, Delhi.

Birla Institute
Of Technology,
Ranchi,
Jharkhand.

Indian Institute
Of Forest
Management,
Indore,
MadhyaPradesh.

Amrita School
Of Pharmacy,
Kochi Kerala.

Indian Institute
Of Technology,
Kanpur,
UttarPradesh.

Jss College Of
Pharmacy,
Ootacamund,
TamilNadu.

Events of National Importance 2016 | Books4jobs.com

Aligarh
Muslim
University,
Uttar
Pradesh

10

Indian
Institute Of
Technology,
Patna, Bihar.

Indian Institute
Of Management,
Indore-Indore,
MadhyaPradesh.

Jss College Of
Pharmacy,
Mysore

FIRST WOMAN CM OF JK
Jammu and Kashmir got its first woman chief minister in PDP
President Mehbooba Mufti who was sworn-in here along with 22
ministers, with an increased strength for BJP in the Cabinet. Governor
N N Vohra also administered the oath to 21 other Ministers.
BJPs share increased this time in the Cabinet from six to eight berths
and three Ministers of State (MoS) while PDP has nine Cabinet
Ministers instead of 11 last time. Mehboobas party has got three MoS
berths, same as the last time. In the last government, BJP had a total of
11 ministers six in Cabinet, three MoS and two with independent
charge. Sajjad Gani Lone, son of late separatist leader Abdul Gani
Lone, remained in the Cabinet in the BJP quota.
Flashpoint
1.

2.
3.

Mehbooba assuming office as 13th Chief Minister of Jammu and


Kashmir is a landmark event in the history of the state and the
country.
She is the first woman to head the state and the second Muslim
woman to become the Chief Minister of any state in India.
Syeda Anwara Taimur was the first Muslim woman CM in Assam
in 1980 and continued to hold the chair till June 30, 1981.

TRANSNATIONAL SKILL STANDARDS LAUNCHED


With the aim to support two major initiatives of the Government i.e.
Make in India and Skill India and to align to skill standards which
are recognized globally, the govt. announced the launch of
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Transnational Skill Standards in India. These standards in skill


development are benchmarked to United Kingdom across 82 identified
job roles.
It is governments endeavour to benchmark the standards so as to
support international mobility of Indian workforce and also prepare
them to work in international companies having their operations in the
country. The Ministry has chosen UK standards to benchmark Indian
Skills standards since all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries
recognize UK skill certification.
Some of the other emerging partnerships in this area are:

To support international mobility of Indian workforce


15 Indian Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) have benchmarked
standards of 82 job Roles with the standards of 11 UK SSCs.

Summary
1.
2.
3.

4.
5.

6.

The Transnational Standards will highlight the gaps in Indian


Standards against the UK standards.
To cover the gaps, those intending to migrate, will undergo bridge
training.
The Further Education Colleges (FE) of the United Kingdom will
partner with Indian Training Providers to impart training on
bridge courses.
FE Colleges to set up Skill Academies of Excellences in the
identified sectors in India.
Further the UK Awarding organization, such as City & Guilds
and Pearsons, in association with Indian SSCs will certify the
trainees on the gap.
This partnership is recognition of the Indian SSC Assessment and
Certification by the UK Awarding bodies.

The Indian Sector Skill Councils which participated in the


project are:
7.
8.

Automotive
Agriculture
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Life Science
10. Healthcare
11. Capital Goods
12. Apparel
13. Textiles
14. Beauty and Wellness
15. Telecom
16. Hospitality
17. IT & ITeS
18. Consturction
19. Retail
20. Electronic
9.

Indian SSCs were mapped to following UK SSCs who


participated
LANTRA (Agriculture)
22. IMI (Automotive)
23. Habia (Beauty and Wellness)
24. SEMTA (Capital Goods)
25. Summit Skills (Construction and Electronics)
26. People 1st (Retail and Tourism & Hospitality)
27. Skills for Security (Security)
28. Creative Skill Set (Apparel and Textiles)
29. Tech Partnership (IT and Telecom)
30. Cogent (Life Sciences)
31. Skills for Health (Healthcare).
21.

INDIA SETS UP TEAM TO FIGHT THREATS FROM


NUCLEAR
Amid US President Barack Obamas call for India and Pakistan to
restrain their nuclear arsenal, New Delhi has asserted that it
views atomic technology and material primarily as a source of energy
and announced the creation of a special team to tackle threats from the
misuse of radioactive substances.
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1.

2.

3.

4.

5.
6.

To devise a coordinated multi-agency approach to deal with the


threat of individuals or group of individuals acquiring nuclear or
radioactive material for malicious purposes, India has set up at
the national level an institutional mechanism called a Counter
Nuclear Smuggling Team, according to Indias National Progress
Report presented at the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in
Washington.
The Counter Nuclear Smuggling Team has representation from
ministries, departments and agencies concerned and conducts
table-top exercises for effective and coordinated response to
threats involving the use of nuclear and radioactive material.
The primary objective of the NSS is to discuss steps and develop
mechanisms to prevent nukes from falling into the hands of
terrorists and non-state actors.
Indias report outlines measures taken bilaterally and
commitments made at multilateral forums to secure the countrys
nuclear installations and facilities.
India looks at nuclear technology and materials primarily as a
resource for meeting a part of its electricity requirements.
It considers nuclear power as safe, reliable, affordable and
environmentally friendly and is engaged in developing nuclear
technologies for deployment, according to the report.

Flashback
1.
2.

India contributed $1 million to IAEAs Nuclear Security Fund in


2013 and proposes to contribute a similar amount in 2016.
India is a party to the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear
Terrorism and participates in all three of its working groups in
the areas of nuclear detection, nuclear forensics and response and
mitigation. India proposes to host a meeting of the working groups
in 2017.

NATIONAL HYDROLOGY PROJECT


The Union Cabinet has given its approval to Implementation of
the National Hydrology Project. It will be a central sector scheme with
a total outlay of Rs. 3679.7674 crore. This includes Rs. 3,640 crores
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for National Hydrology Project (NHP) and Rs. 39.7674 crore


for National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) to be taken up in two
stages. It also provides for establishment of NWIC as an independent
organization under the control of Ministry of Water Resources, River
Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD&GR).
The NHP will help in gathering Hydro-meteorological data which will
be stored and analysed on a real time basis and can be seamlessly
accessed by any user at the State/District/village level. The project
envisages to cover the entire country as the earlier hydrology projects
covered only 13 States.
The components of the proposal are:

In Situ Hydromet Monitoring System and Hydromet Data


Acquisition System.
Setting up of National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC).
Water Resources Operation and Management System
Water Resources Institutions and Capacity Building

The NHP will result in the improvement of:

Data storage, exchange, analysis and dissemination


through National Water Informatics Centre.
Lead time in flood forecast from 1 day to at least 3 days
Mapping of flood inundation areas for use by the disaster
management authorities
Assessment of surface and ground water resources in a river basin
for better planning & allocation for PMKSY and other schemes of
Govt. of India
Reservoir operations through seasonal yield forecast, drought
management, SCADA systems, etc.
Design of SW & GW structures, hydropower units, interlinking of
rivers, Smart Cities.
Fulfilling the objectives of Digital India.
People Centric approach: The programme envisages ultimate aim
for water management through scientific data collection,
dissemination of information on water availability in all blocks of
the country and establishing of National Water Information
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Centre. The automated systems for Flood Forecasting is aimed to


reduce water disaster ultimately helping vulnerable population.
It is people and farmer centric programme as information on
water can help in predicting water availability and help farmers
to plan their crops and other farm related activities. Through this
programme India would make a place among nations known for
scientific endeavours.
Elucidation on the impact of the Project:

Development of real time flood forecasting and reservoir


operations in a manner that does not result in sudden opening of
gates which inundates the area down below;
It will facilitate integrated water resource management by
adopting river basin approach through collation and management
of hydro-meteorological data. This will also help in water resource
assessment as surface as well as ground water, for water
resource planning, prioritize its allocations and its consumptive
use for irrigation;
It will help in providing real time information on a dynamic basis
to the farmers about the ground water position for them to
accordingly plan their cropping pattern;
This will also help in promoting efficient and equitable use of
water particularly of ground water at the village level;
This will also provide information on quality of water

Background

The National Hydrology Project (NHP) is intended for setting up


of a system for timely and reliable water resources data
acquisition, storage, collation and management.
It will also provide tools/systems for informed decision making
through Decision Support Systems (DSS) for water resources
assessment, flood management, reservoir operations, drought
management, etc.
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NHP also seeks to build capacity of the State and Central sector
organisations in water resources management through the use of
Information Systems and adoption of State-of-the-art technologies
like Remote Sensing.
The MoWR, RD&GR has adopted a paradigm shift in the
management of water resources of the country by adopting a river
basin approach, In order to efficiently use and manage water
resources of the country; adequacy of data, resource assessment,
decision support systems, etc. are a prerequisite for allocation and
prioritization of this fast depleting resource.

NEW E-HEALTH INITIATIVES


Celebrating the World Health Day, the Health Minister
launched several new e-health and m-health initiatives. He launched
the Swasth Bharat Mobile application and ANM Online applicationANMOL.
About ANMOL
1.
2.

ANMOL is a tablet-based application that allows ANMs to enter


and updated data for beneficiaries of their jurisdiction.
This will ensure more prompt entry and updation of data as well
as improve the data quality since the data will be entered at
source by providers of health services themselves. The
Application is Aadhaar-enabled, it will help in authentication of
the records of field workers and beneficiaries.

As part of this event the Health Minister also launched ERaktKosh initiative.
About E-RaktKosh
1.

2.

It is an integrated Blood Bank Management Information


System that has been conceptualized and developed after multiple
consultations with all stakeholders.
This web-based mechanism interconnects all the Blood Banks of
the State into a single network.
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3.

4.

5.

The Integrated Blood Bank MIS refers the acquisition, validation,


storage and circulation of various live data and information
electronically regarding blood donation and transfusion service.
Such system is able to assemble heterogeneous data into legible
reports to support decision making from effective donor screening
to optimal blood dissemination in the field. This initiative will be
of great use to persons and families in need of blood transfusion.
It will enable not only information of the nearest blood bank on a
mobile but also of the availability of theparticular blood group in a
given radius.

Launching another mobile application India Fights Dengue, This


application will find wide use. As the fight againstVector Borne
Diseases, especially Dengue, can be won only with effective community
participation, this App empowers the community members how to
contribute towards prevention of Dengue.
The Health Minister also released the Guidelines for Dialysis Centre in
a PPP Mode. He stated that soon every district in the country will have
the facility of a Dialysis Centre operated under the PPP mode to
leverage the potential of the private sector. These expanded facilities
will help the renal disorder patients and reduce the out-of-pocket
expenditure incurred on dialysis, the Health Minister stated.
At the event, Shri J P Nadda also unveiled the findings of the ICMR
India DIABetes [INDIAB] Study Phase I, along with WHO Global
Report on Diabetes, WHO India Technical Report on Diabetes in India.
These will have a wealth of information to guide and fine-tune health
policy. He also informed that the Ministry, along with World Health
Organization (WHO), has taken the lead and developed a Multi-Sectoral
Action Plan involving nearly 40 Ministries and Departments. He
further added that we must continue efforts to make this Multi-Sectoral
Action Plan a success.

ISBN PORTAL LAUNCHED


The Union Minster of Human Resource Development launched a portal
for registration and allotment of International Standard Book Number
(ISBN) at a function held in New Delhi. The Union Minister said that
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the ISBN portal has been created in a short period of time, to facilitate
publishers as well as the authors to register for ISBN online. This
interactive automated system would provide fast and efficient services
in a stipulated time frame to the Publishers and Authors as well.
Background
1.

2.
3.

4.
5.

6.
7.
8.

Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency for ISBN, (Book Promotion


and Copyright Division), under Department of Higher Education
had organized the event for launch of ISBN portal.
ISBN is a unique number used to identify monographic
publications.
Displayed in barcode format, ISBN is a 13-character identification
allotted by International ISBN Agency based in UK through the
National ISBN Agency.
It provides access to bibliographic data bases used by the book
industry and libraries to provide information.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy National Agency for ISBN is responsible for
ISBN registration in the country and is affiliated to UK based
International Agency.
The ISBN Nos. are allotted free of cost.
The ISBN portal seeks to completely automate the process of
seeking application, their examination and allotment of ISBNs.
The developed software has several modules users registration,
online application submission, ISBN generation which includes
ISBN generation request from the National Agency to the
International Agency at UK.

GRAND INNOVATION CHALLENGE LAUNCHED


NITI Aayog launched the first phase of the Grand Innovation
Challenge to seek citizens inputs on the key developmental challenges
facing India. The Grand Innovation Challenge is being launched on the
MyGov portal, to involve citizens at the very first stage in innovating
for Indias development. The idea is to work together with the States
and every citizen as Team India to ensure progress. leaving no one
behind. The focus is on the social sector, the most vulnerable sections
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and to involve citizens in crowd sourcing ideas to address challenges


facing Indias development.
In Phase I of the Grand Innovation Challenge
1.

2.

3.

NITI Aayog will seek the views of the citizens on the key
challenges facing India, across areas significant for the countrys
development.
The idea is to find out from the people what are the critical issues
which need to be addressed to develop the social sector and the
challenges which need to be tackled on a priority basis.
Phase I of the Grand Challenge ends on April 25th.

In Phase II
1.

2.
3.

4.

5.

Shortlist of the urgent challenges as suggested by citizens would


be prepared and innovative solutions would be sought from the
people to address them using appropriate technology.
The idea is to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship & citizenled solutions to problems through this Grand Challenge.
NITI Aayog will ensure that the best, innovative solutions to
pressing challenges receive full backing from the Government of
India from funding, mentoring, technical & academic support to
scaling it up across the country and absorbing them in
government schemes.
These solutions should be specifically designed for India, be made
in India, and adopted by Government of India to radically develop
India.
Citizens are expected to pick one of 14 given, crucial, sectors that
need to be addressed on priority to ensure that most vulnerable,
and maximum number of citizens, are best impacted.

At the end of the phase


1.
2.

NITI Aayog will identify and acknowledge 10 most pressing


challenges from among those suggested by the citizens of India.
The best 10 entries will receive certificates of acknowledgement
from NITI Aayog. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to NITI

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3.

4.
5.

Aayog as special guests for a discussion on the Atal Innovation


Mission, along with key policy makers of the Government of India.
In PHASE II of the Grand Challenge, detailed proposals will be
sought on how the innovative solution/product can be developed,
sustained, scaled up and adopted by the Government in its
schemes across the country.
The best solutions will be nurtured and brought to form by
a network of world-class innovation hubs.
NITI Aayog will provide academic, technological and economic
support to upscale top class solutions by best innovators.

Background
1.

2.
3.
4.

The move comes in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra


Modis initiative to reiterate theimportance of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship for Indias Development at various forums.
NITI Aayog is leading this key goal for India by formulating
guidelines for implementing the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM).
With the launch of AIM, NITI will provide fillip to the swelling
Innovation potential in the country.
Partnering with the best minds nationally and internationally will
bring together experts in academics, technology, industry,
entrepreneurship and research. The resource bounty will be made
available to innovative minds from across India to tap on.

RURAL ASSET CREATION PUSH


The government has decided to maintain a 60:40 wage-material ratio
for the MGNREGA now at the district level instead of the panchayat
level as was the case earlier even as the move drew criticism from
activists. Criticising the move, social activist Nikhil Dey, who is
associated with organisations like Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan,
Suchna Evum Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan and NCPRI, said the move will
result in discrimination and discourage employment-related works.

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Why
1.
2.

3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

This compromises the basic framework of MGNREGA.


It means that in certain panchayats, you can do 100 per cent
material work while in other panchyats, you can do hundred per
cent labour work.
This will create a set of politically powerful panchayats.
Asset creation is required in all panchayats and so is employment.
That is why MGNREGA stipulated the 60:40 wage- material ratio
for all panchayats.
This decision will lead to discrimination among panchayats.
In the panchayats where the material component is very high,
contractors will not care about providing employment.

The understanding in the government is that while some panchayats


may require intensive labour- oriented work, there may be some others
where asset creation has to be prioritised. Hence, computation of the
wage-material ratio at the district level will facilitate both.
Flashpoint
1.

2.

There was a controversy in 2014 when the then Rural


Development Minister Nitin Gadkari had announced that the
government will increase the proportion of the material
component in the scheme to up to 49 per cent to enable creation of
large, durable assets like check dams, etc.
Gadkari had in Parliament expressed an intent to change the
ratio of expenditure between labour and material from the current
60:40 applicable at the gram panchayat level to 51:49 applicable
at the district level.

GET BACK KOHINOOR DIAMOND


India may not get back the Kohinoor diamond, the Centre has said,
citing a 43-year-old law that does not allow it to bring back antiquities
taken out of the country before independence. Under the provisions of
the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972, the Archaeological Survey
of India takes up the issue of retrieval of only such antiquities as have
been illegally exported out of the country. Since the object referred by
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you (Kohinoor) has been taken out of the country prior to the
Independence, the Archaeological Survey of India is not in a position to
process the matter, the Culture Ministry said in reply to an RTI query
filed by PTI.
What the matter

The application was filed with External Affairs Ministry seeking


details of steps being taken for return of Kohinoor along with a
copy of a letter written to and response received from the UK in
this regard. It may be noted that Ministry of Culture deals with
return of cultural artefacts. Therefore, the RTI application has
been forwarded to Ministry of Culture. To a question seeking
details of items which are in the UKs custody and India wants to
claim them back, the Culture Ministry said There is no list
available with the Archaeological Survey of India about the items
in Britains custody. The RTI reply assumes significance as the
Supreme Court had asked the government to clarify its stand on
a Public Interest Litigation seeking return of Kohinoor to the
country.

SC bench said

Everybody is claiming the Kohinoor. How many countries are


claiming Kohinoor? Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and even South
Africa. Somebody here is also asking for the Kohinoor. Do you
know about it?
The apex court was hearing a PIL filed by All India Human Rights
& Social Justice Front seeking directions to the High
Commissioner of United Kingdom for return of the diamond
besides several other treasures.
The PIL has made Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of
Culture, High Commissioners of the UK, Pakistan and
Bangladesh as parties to the case.
It has also sought return of the ring and sword of Tipu
Sultan and other treasures of Tipu Sultan, Bahadur Shah Zafar,
Rani of Jhansi, Nawab Mir Ahmad Ali Banda and other rulers of
India.
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COMMITTEE FOR CONTENT REGULATION


CONSTITUTED
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in compliance with the Honble
Supreme Court directions dated 13.5.2015 has constituted a threemember committee to address the issues related to Content Regulation
in Government Advertising. The committee would be chaired by Shri
B.B. Tandon, Former Chief Election Commissioner of India and
members of the committee includes Shri Rajat Sharma, Chairman and
Editor-in-Chief of India TV and President of the News Broadcasters
Association and Shri Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative
Director, South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather.
What
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

The three-member committee was selected by a three-member


panel constituted by Ministry of I&Bafter obtaining advice from
Ministry of Law & Justice.
The selection panel for constitution of the Committee was headed
by Justice (Retd.) Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, Chairman, Press
Council of India.
The Terms of Reference of the Committee has been prepared by
Ministry of I&B in consultation with Ministry of Law and Justice
which includes the structure, functions and powers, duties and
responsibilities of the Committee.
The tenure of the members would be initially for a period of two
years which shall be extendable by one year at a time, but overall
extension should not be more than two times.
The Committee would be operational from Delhi and Directorate
of Advertising and Visual Publicitywould facilitate day to day
functioning of the Committee.

Flashback
1.

Honble Supreme Court had directed to constitute the Body for


ironing out the creases that are bound to show from time to time
in implementation of the judgement of Apex Court on Content
Regulation of Government Advertising.
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2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

As per the Terms of Reference, the Committee would, interalia, address complaints from the general public of violation on the
implementation of the guidelines set out by Honble Supreme
Court.
The Committee would also take suo motu cognizance of any
violation / deviation of the guidelines of Honble Supreme
Court and recommend corrective action to the Ministry
/Department.
The Committee may recommend suitable changes to the Supreme
Court guidelines to deal with new circumstances and situations
that may arise from time to time, without making major policy
changes within the policy direction of Supreme Court.
The Committee shall not be bound by any legal rules of evidence
and may follow such procedure that appears to it to be fair and
proper for swift settlement of grievances.
For all decisions of the Committee, the view of majority would
prevail.

THE WORLDS COUNT OF WILD TIGERS ROAMING


FORESTS FROM RUSSIA TO VIETNAM HAS GONE UP
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN A CENTURY,
WITH 3,890 COUNTED BY CONSERVE
Indias three major natural World Heritage Sites the Western
Ghats, Sundarbans National Park and Manas Wildlife Sanctuary are
facing threats from harmful industrial activities like mining, according
to a latest survey by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The report said
1.

2.

Activities such as mining, illegal logging, oil and gas exploration


threaten 114 out of 229 natural World Heritage sites, including
Sundarbans known for iconic Royal Bengal tiger,
Western Ghats, one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world,
and the Manas Sanctuary in Assam, home to many endangered
species including Indian rhinoceros.

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3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

While ecology of Western Ghats covering six states Gujarat,


Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala is
threatened by mining and oil and gas exploration, Manas Wild
Life Sanctuary faces threat from dams and unsustainable water
use, the survey Protecting People Through Nature said.
Sundarbans in West Bengal and neighbouring Bangladesh have
been hit by various activities including unsustainable water use,
dams, wood harvesting, over-fishing and shipping lanes, WWF, a
leading organisation in wildlife conservation and endangered
species.
These sites are recognised as the worlds most important protected
areas like Indias Great Himalayan National Park and Kaziranga
National Park.
The Western Ghats supports the single largest population of
endangered Asian elephants and vulnerable Indian bison, the
report said underlining the need for protecting the site.
These iconic places face a range of threats, including climate
change.

According to International Union for Conservation of Nature, which


helps the world find pragmatic solutions to most pressing
environmental and developmental challenges, natural World Heritage
sites are not just important environmentally, they also provide social
and economic benefits. Two-thirds of natural sites on the UNESCO
World Heritage List are crucial sources of water and about half help
prevent natural disasters such as floods or landslides, according
to IUCNs 2014 report, The Benefits of Natural World Heritage.
Reiterating these findings, WWF survey estimates that 11 million
people more than the population of Portugal depend directly on
World Heritage sites for food, water, shelter and medicine. Harmful
industrial development poses a threat to these ecosystem services and
communities that depend on them. Noting that these sites have a
crucial role in supporting human well-being and sustainable
development, Tim Badman said, By highlighting human dependency
on these exceptional places, WWFs report reinforces the need to boost
our efforts to conserve them.

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SAWEN APPROVED
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has given its
approval for India adopting the Statute of the South Asia Wildlife
Enforcement Network (SAWEN) and India and becoming its formal
member in order to strengthen ties with the member countries in
controlling the trans-boundary wildlife crime through
communication, coordination, collaboration, capacity
building and cooperation in the region.
What

SAWEN, a Regional network is comprised of eight countries in


South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives,
Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
It aims at working as a strong regional inter-governmental
body for combating wildlife crime by attempting common goals
and approaches for combating illegal trade in the region.
Adoption of SAWEN statute envisions India being part of the
regional inter-governmental body in combating wildlife crime in
the region and beyond.

Following objectives have been set to attain the goal:

To take initiatives for bringing harmonization and


standardization in laws and policies of member countries
concerning conservation of fauna and flora;
To document the trend of poaching and illegal trade, and related
threats to the natural biodiversity within and across countries in
the region;
To strengthen institutional responses to combat wildlife crime by
promoting research and information sharing, training and
capacity building, technical support, sharing experiences and
outreach; and
To encourage member countries to prepare and implement their
National Action Plans in curbing wildlife crime and to collaborate
towards effective implementation.

Flashpoint
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The South Asia region is very vulnerable to illegal traffic and


wildlife crimes due to presence of precious biodiversity and large
markets as well as traffic routes for wildlife products in the south
East Asian region. The collaboration in harmonising as well as
enforcing the wildlife protection in the region is considered very
important for effective conservation of such precious biodiversity.

IGNCA BOARD DISSOLVED


The Central Government revamped the board of trustees of the Indira
Gandhi Nation Centre for Arts (IGNCA) and announced a new
chairperson. Senior journalist Ram Bahadur Rai, former news editor of
Jansatta, a Padma Shri winner, has been appointed in place of
Chinmaya Ghare Khan.
The 20-member team also includes Sonal Mansingh, Chandraprakash
Dwivedi, Padma Subramaniam. Nitin Desai, K Arvinda Rao, Rati Vinay
Jha, Professor Nirmala Sharma, Harsh Neotia and Saryu Doshi.
Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma is reportedly to have said that new
people must be given a chance to work for the IGNCA. The new
members are all eminent people in their fields. The president is a
philanthropist, a noted journalist and a known Gandhian.
About IGNCA
The IGNCA is a culture resource centre which lends out space to
other cultural events.
It was founded in 1985 and named after former Prime Minister
Indira Gandhi.

BINDESHWAR PATHAK DAY DECLARED


In a rare honour, New York City declared this years April 14 as
Bindeshwar Pathak Day in recognition of the contributions made by
the Indian social activist and Sulabh International founder for
improving the lives of people engaged in the most dehumanising
situation. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio honoured Pathak for his
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outstanding work to improve health and hygiene and moving the world
forward.
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Pathak has been an example of someone who saw a great


injustice, saw something that to many people was impractical and
permanent and had the creativity, energy, drive and hope to make
the change, he said at the ceremony on April 14 attended by
Pathak, 73, himself.
Pathak was presented with the New York Global Leaders
Dialogue Humanitarian Award earlier this week. The Mayor said
Pathak took his vision to help the oppressed and through his work
and organisation, created new technology that improved public
health and environment and fundamentally changed the reality
for many communities.
He presented Pathak with the proclamation declaring April 14,
2016 as Bindeshwar Pathak Day, honouring Pathak for being a
pioneer in advocating for human rights in India by campaigning
for social reforms and developing innovative and environmentallysound sanitation technologies.
This visionary humanitarian has improved quality of life for
millions and increased opportunities for education and
employment.
Sulabh, which engages nearly 50,000 people, has constructed
nearly 1.3 million household toilets and54 million government
toilets based on an innovative design.
Apart from construction of toilets, the organisation is leading a
movement to discourage manual cleaning of human waste.

GOVT TO ALLOW PAK HINDUS TO BUY PROPERTY


People belonging to minority communities of Pakistan, staying in India
on a Long Term Visa, will soon be allowed to buy property, open bank
accounts and get PAN and Aadhaar cards, with the Modi government
planning to roll out special facilities for them. Among other concessions
the BJP-led government is all set to offer them include reduction in fees
for registration as citizens of India from Rs 15,000 to as low as Rs 100.
Some facts
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1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

Though the exact number of minority refugees from Pakistan,


Bangladesh and Afghanistan living in India is not known,
according to rough official estimates there are around two lakhs
such people, mostly Hindus and Sikhs.
There are around 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements in
cities like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Raipur, Ahmedabad,
Rajkot, Kutch, Bhopal, Indore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Delhi and
Lucknow.
The central government has been constantly reviewing the
hardships being faced by the minority communities in Pakistan
staying in India on LTV. To ease some of their difficulties, it is
proposed to provide the facilities.
The facilities include permitting opening of bank accounts without
prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India subject to certain
conditions, permission for purchase of dwelling unit for selfoccupation and suitable accommodation for carrying out selfemployment without prior approval of RBI subject to fulfilment of
certain conditions.
Issue of driving licence, PAN and Aadhaar cards, permission to
take up self-employment or for doing business which is considered
safe from security point of view, dispensing with the requirement
of personal appearance before the Foreigners Registration Officer
for registration are a few other facilities being planned.
Allowing free movement within the State/ UT where they are
staying instead of restricting their movement within the place of
stay, allowing free movement to those living in the National
Capital Region (NCR), simplifying the procedure for visit to a
place in any other State/ UT are being proposed.
Permission for transfer of LTV papers from one State/ UT to
another State/ UT, waiver of penalty on non-extension of short
term visa/ LTV on time, permission to apply for LTV at the place
of present residence in cases where the applicants have moved to
the present place of residence without prior permission are some
of the other highlights.
It has also been proposed to simplify the procedure for grant of
Indian citizenship to such nationals belonging to minority
communities in Pakistan.

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Collector, Deputy Commissioner or the District Magistrate will be


empowered to authorise, in his absence, in writing an officer not
below the rank of Sub-Divisional Magistrate for administering the
oath of allegiance to the applicant.
10. Powers will be given to the Collectors or the District Magistrates
of a few select districts in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya
Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for a
period of two years for registration of such Pakistani nationals as
citizens of India.
11. Reduction of fees for registration as citizen of India for nationals
of Pakistan belonging to minority communities from the existing
level ranging from Rs 5000 (under registration) to Rs 15,000
(under naturalisation), to a uniform fee of Rs 100/- each at the
time of application and at the time of grant of certificate of
registration/ naturalisation.
9.

REPORT ON INTEGRATION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY


Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and
New and Renewable Energy releasedReport of the Technical Committee
on Large Scale Integration of Renewable Energy, need for Balancing,
Deviation Settlement Mechanism (DSM) and associated issues. Shri
Goyal also launched Ancillary Services Operations in India.
What
1.

India has set an ambitious target of achieving 175 GW of


renewable generation capacity. In order to integrate such high
penetration of renewable energy and address the concerns of the
stakeholders in renewable energy, a high level Technical
Committee was constituted with members from Ministry of Power,
Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), Central
Electricity Authority (CEA), renewable rich states like Gujarat,
Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Power Utilities like PGCIL,
Power System operation Corporation Ltd. (POSOCO), NTPC,
State Generating companies and Private generating companies
and Institutions like India Meteorological department

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2.

(IMD), National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), National


Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), GIZ, Ernst & Young (E&Y), etc.
The committee had extensive deliberations and has recommended
several actions, such as bringing flexibility in the conventional
generation, frequency control, generation reserves, ancillary
services, forecasting, scheduling, deviation settlement mechanism,
balancing requirement, data telemetry and communication,
Renewable Energy Management Centres (REMCs), Transmission
system augmentation and strengthening as well as certain
compliance actions at renewable generation front.

The Committee has put forth a 15-point Action Plan for


facilitating large scale integration of renewables in the country,
in a secure and reliable manner.
1.

2.
3.

4.

5.

6.
7.

Some of the actions have been completed with active support of


CERC, State Energy Regulatory Commission (SERC), NIWE and
other stake holders.
Regulatory Framework for Intra-State Settlement and Imbalance
Handling has already been implemented in 5 states.
For Model Regulations for Regulatory Framework for
Forecasting, Scheduling and Imbalance Settlement for Renewable
Energy (RE) generators have been published in Nov.
2015 and Draft regulations have already been floated by 6 States.
Other States are in the process of formulation. Regulatory
Framework for Reserves at inter-state level have been issued in
Oct. 2015.
Ministry of Power (MOP), MNRE, GIZ, POSOCO and States are
working together to prepare the DPR for implementation of
Renewable Energy Management Centres (REMCs). DPR for
Southern States and Southern Regional Load Despatch Centre
(SRLDC) is under finalisation and combined NIT would be floated
soon.
CEA as Planners would specify Technical Standards and
Protection Requirements for Renewables.
Focus has also been given on Capacity Building of State Load
Despatch Centres (SLDCs) particularly in RE Rich States.

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Report also talks about the Newer Technologies say Micro-Grids,


Demand Response, Prosumers, Electricity Storage, Plug-in Hybrid
Electric Vehicles etc.
9. All the recommendations aim at making the grid secure and
reliable even with large scale integration of renewables.
10. In an electricity grid, the basic services are power generation,
energy supply and power delivery from the producer to the
consumer.
11. Some system support services such as frequency and voltage
control are required for secure & reliable grid operation. These
support services are known as Ancillary Services and are
basically procured and pressed into service by the System
Operator.
12. Amendment to the Tariff policy has also been notified, which
mandates implementation of Ancillary Services.
13. The Regulatory framework for implementation of Ancillary
Services Operations has been notified by CERC.
14. National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC) operated by POSOCO has
been designated as Nodal agency for implementation of Ancillary
Services.
15. Ancillary Services is being implemented for the first time in the
country and would help in better grid management even with
large scale renewable generation addition in the grid.
8.

The initiative undertaken by the committee would not only lead to


smooth and secure grid operation with large scale integration of
renewable but is also environment friendly and would help in fulfilling
our commitment to green and clean environment. It would reduce the
carbon foot print and help in meeting our commitment towards
reduction in carbon emission.

BBBP PROGRAMME LAUNCHED FOR ADDITIONAL


DISTRICTS
The Minister of Women and Child Development Smt Maneka Sanjay
Gandhi formally launched the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme of
the Government for additional 61 districts in 11 States/ UTs with low
CSR.
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The scheme was launched at a high level conference attended by State


Principal Secretaries of Departments of WCD/Social Welfare, Education
and Health; Deputy Commissioners/Collectors and District Magistrates
from the new 61 BBBP Districts in New Delhi. BBBP is already
operational in select 100 districts of the country with low child sex
ratio. BBBP was launched by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi
on 22nd January, 2015 and the program has proved very successful. It
is as a result of all these efforts that an increasing trend in Sex Ratio at
Birth (SRB) is visible in 49% of the BBBP districts in the first year of
the scheme itself, Smt Maneka Gandhi said.
What
1.

2.

3.

The commendable initiatives taken by the States of Haryana,


Jammu & Kashmir, Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, Mandi
district of Himachal Pradesh, Jalgaon district of Maharashtra,
Gomati in Tripura among others for their commitment to the
cause of empowerment of the girl child.
Introducing BBBP to the new districts, she said that the goal is to
improve SRB by a minimum often points per year and gradually
bring it at par within five years.
Some of the deliverables of the scheme include reducing school
dropout rate for girls, 100% institutional deliveries, Gudda-Guddi
Boards in every village, safety and security for girls/women, close
monitoring of PC&PNDT Act, toilet facility for girls in school
among others.

THE TWINNING NETWORK PROGRAMME LAUNCHED


The Union minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr.
Harsh Vardhan, while expressing happiness over his maiden visit to
Nagaland, launched the Twinning Network Programme on Chemical
Ecology of North Eastern Region (NER) at the Nagaland Science &
Technology Council (NASTEC), Kohima.
This programme is the first of its kind in the country and is expected to
bring about huge impact for the North-East researchers. It is a
Twinning Network Programme that would link institutes from the
North-East with Bangalore-based scientists. The programme is
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envisaged for human capacity building for the North-East region,


especially in Chemical ecology. It is expected to produce at least 15
PhDs from the North-East region at the end of the 5 year programme.
What
1.

2.

3.

4.

The Twinning Network Programme, like this one on Chemical


ecology, should be promoted and replicated even in other areas of
study so as to strengthen the knowledge resource sharing.
The scientific community should work more in co-ordination for
better knowledge resource linkages within a subject area through
utilization of the latest communication technologies at hand.
The potential of natural resources in Nagaland for research and
development viz., rich biodiversity, Indigenous Traditional
Knowledge systems and its scope for invention collaborating with
modern Scientific research and development.
The Union minister emphasized upon the up-scaling of the
Nagaland state Science & Technology Council besides focusing
upon other Science & Technology related problems of the state.

INDIA RANKS 133 IN PRESS FREEDOM INDEX


India ranks abysmally low at 133 among 180 countries in the latest
annual World Press Freedom Index, which says Prime Minister
Narendra Modi seems indifferent to the threats against journalists.
The 2016 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without
Borders (RSF) is led by Finland, which retained its top spot for the sixth
consecutive year, followed by Netherlands and Norway.
The report said
1.
2.
3.

4.

India jumped three spots from the 136th position it had in 2015.
Journalists and bloggers are attacked and anathematised
by various religious groups that are quick to take offense.
Among Indias neighbouring countries, Pakistan ranks 147, Sri
Lanka (141), Afghanistan (120), Bangladesh (144), Nepal
(105) and Bhutan (94). China is ranked 176.
The United States is ranked 44th and Russia is placed at the
148th place.
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5.

The report shows that there has been a deep and disturbing
decline in respect for media freedom at both the global and
regional levels.

SIMHASTHA KUMBH MELA BEGINS


The month-long Simhastha Kumbh Mela, largest congregation
of Hindus began in Ujjain on 22 April 2016 with the arrival of Juna
Akhara for the royal bath on the banks of Kshipra river for the holy dip.
A large number of people from different corners of the country have
converged in the holy city for the Simhastha Mela, held every 12 years
at Ujjain, which is also the abode of Lord Mahakaleshwar, one of the 12
Jyotirlings in the country.
All the 13 Akharas of saints and seers will take dip one after another
for which elaborate arrangements were made along the banks of
Kshipra river. Ujjain is fully geared up to host the month-long Kumbh
Mela, during which over 5 crore people including seers are expected to
visit the holy city, with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh
Chouhan saying it will be a Green Simhastha.
At present, 22,000 security personnel, including the State policemen,
personnel from central forces and other departments have been
deployed. At the time of Shahi Snan (royal dip) in Shipra river, 25,000
security personnel will keep a watch at the Mela venue.

PROGRAMMES UNDER ISA LAUNCHED


Shri Piyush Goyal and Ms. Sgolne Royal, French Minister of
Environment, Energy and the Sea, in charge of International Relations
on Climate and President of COP21 co-chaired a Ministerial Side Event
on International Solar Alliance (ISA) at Headquarters of the United
Nations in New York on 22 April 2016.
Ministers and Representatives from over 25 countries including
Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria, Peru,
Djibouti, Surinam, Zambia, Bolivia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Mali, India,
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USA and France participated in the ISA side event. In order to


accelerate massive deployment of solar energy at various scales in their
countries, Ministers agreed to take concerted action through targeted
Programmes launched on a voluntary basis, to better harmonize
and aggregate the demand for:
1. Solar finance, so as to lower the cost of finance and facilitate the
flow of more than US $ 1000 billion investments in solar assets in
member countries;
2. Mature solar technologies that are currently deployed only at
small scale and need to be scaled up;
3. Future solar technologies and capacity building, through strategic
and collaborative solar R&D, to improve the efficiency and
integration of solar power as well as increase the number of solar
applications available.
A common buyers market for solar
finance, technology, innovation, capacity building etc., will lead to
higher quality, lower costs, products better tailored to needs,
collaborative innovation, technology ownership, and a more balanced
dialogue with all stakeholders. This will empower solar-rich countries,
lying fully or partially between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of
Capricorn, which share common challenges and opportunities.
As an initial step
1. Ministers agreed to start analysing and sharing the needs,
objectives, and obstacles to deployment at scale along the value
chain, for those applications for which they seek the benefits of
collective action under the Alliance.
2. On this basis, they will design innovative Programmes leveraging
initiatives from the ground.
3. The Two Programmes of the ISA Affordable finance at scale; and
Programme Scaling solar applications for agricultural use, were
launched during the event.
The International Steering Committee of ISA which had met in New
York on 21 April 2016 had approved the Programmes on Agriculture
and Finance. Prospective member countries will begin work at the
earliest and the process of implementation will be reviewed at the
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Founding Conference of the ISA scheduled to be held in the near future


in New Delhi.

MAGNITUDE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS


An overworked Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur on 24 April
2016 traced the phenomenal growth in litigation from 1950, right from
when the Supreme Court came into existence, to explain the impossible
burden of justice delivery faced by the judiciary reeling under the
impact of huge pendency, anemic number of judges and government
inaction. In an emotional public address at the Annual State Chief
Justices and Chief Ministers Conference with Prime Minister Narendra
Modi and State Chief Ministers watching on, Chief Justice Thakur
translated the magnitude of the constitutional crisis in clear statistical
terms and appealed to the government to protect the judiciary from
crumbling under the load by speeding up judicial appointments,
increasing judges sanctioned strength and drastically improving court
infrastructure.
Some facts
1. In 1950, the Supreme Court had eight judges and a pendency of
100-plus cases. A decade later, in 1960, judges strength in
the Supreme Court grew to 14 while pendency rose to 3247. In
1977, the number of apex court judges increased to 18 and
pendency reached 14501. In 1986, there were 26 judges in the
Supreme Court while pendency increased to 27,881. In 2009, the
number of judges in the Supreme Court reached the present
strength of 31 as pendency had grown to 77,151. Five years later
in 2014, the number of judges remained 31 but pendency had
burgeoned to 81,583.
2. If litigation has grown phenomenally like this at the apex level,
you can just appreciate what is happening at the trial courts, first
appellate and second appellate stages.
3. 17,482 cases were filed in the Supreme Court in the past four
months since he took over as the Chief Justice of India. Of this,
16,474 cases have been disposed of.
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4. Now compare that with 1950. In four months we saw 17482 cases
filed. In 1950, in the whole year, there were only 1215 cases
filed. This gives an indication of the kind of growth in apex
litigation in the Supreme Court.
5. Pendency in the Supreme Court as of date is 60,260 cases.
In High Court
1. In the High Courts is far more complicated with 38.68 lakh
cases pending as in April 2016 and the number ofjudicial
vacancies frozen at 434. 54 High Court judges, whose files were
stuck due to the NJAC litigation, have been appointed in just
six weeks after a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court led
by Justice J.S. Khehar restored the Collegium system of
appointments. But the files for fresh appointments of 169 High
Court judges are yet to be processed by the government.
2. Fifty percent of the proposals for judicial appointments are
turned if we detect even the slightest blemish. We do not want
any criticism coming to us. But still the vacancies are not filled
up.
3. Lower courts see an influx of five crore cases every year, over
two crores are disposed of.
Regarding Law Commission
1. In 1987, the Law Commission of India in its
report recommended that there should be 40,000 judges in the
country to tide over the problem of pendency.
2. This (Law Commission) was no private body, but the
governments body. But there was no action.
3. In 2002, 15 years later, when Supreme Court took up the issue
in the All India Judges Association case, it pointed to how the
Law Commissions report said there were only 10 judges in
india for every million of its population. In fact, the ration
should have been 50 judges for every 10 lakh people.

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The population has increased by over 25 crores from 1987 to 2016 and
the average disposal of cases by any Indian judge, right from a Munsiff
to a Supreme Court judge is 2061 a year.

ACTION PLAN TO STOP SMOKING MENACE


A nationally representative study on smoking and death in
India (published in 2008) found that smoking causes a large and
growing number of premature deaths in the country. The study
estimated that in 2010, the annual number of deaths from smoking in
India would be around 10 lakhs.
The Government has taken measures including, inter alia, the
following to curb smoking:
1. Enactment of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products
(Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and
Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, (COTPA)
2003.
2. Ratification of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
3. Launch of the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in
the year 2007-08, with the objectives to (a) create awareness about
the harmful effects of tobacco consumption, (b) reduce the
production and supply of tobacco products, (c) ensure effective
implementation of the anti-tobacco laws and (d) help the people
quit tobacco use through Tobacco Cessation Centres.
4. Notification of rules to ban smoking in public places.
5. Notification of rules to regulate depiction of tobacco products or
their use in films and TV programmes.
6. Notification of rules on new pictorial health warnings on tobacco
product packages.
7. Launch of public awareness campaigns through a variety of
media.

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FIRST MUNICIPAL COUNCIL TO HAVE DIGI-LOCKER


Rahuri Municipal Council of Ahmednagar district in
Maharashtra became the first Municipal Council to attain the status of
integrated with digital locker for the issuance of all essential
Documents. Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad formally launched this service
here as part of Digital India Programme. Speaking on the occasion, Mr
Prasad called upon civic bodies all around the country to follow Rahuri
in expediting the process of digital governance.
He said the process initiated by NDA Government has started
gathering pace and States and local bodies should come forward to
make this initiative a grand success. He said digitalization of
governance was essentially meant to bring in transparency in the
administration and restore peoples confidence in Government. He also
directed the department of Information Technology to help all
municipal bodies in digitalizing governance and making administration
paperless.

What
1. It will have freedom to access them from anywhere in the world at
any time.
2. The citizen of the area can now apply for the certificates like
Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates onlinewithout going to
Municipal Council and these documents will be available in the
Digilocker signed to the citizens.
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3. This will also ensure them the peace of mind provided by the easy
security of their documents forever.
Benefits of Digital Locker Digital
1. It will help citizens to digitally store their important documents
like PAN card, passport, mark sheets and degree certificates.
2. It will provide secure access to Government issued documents.
3. It uses authenticity services provided by Aadhaar.
4. It is aimed at eliminating the use of physical documents and
enables sharing of verified electronic documents across
government agencies.
5. It provides a dedicated personal storage space in the cloud to
citizens, linked to citizens Aadhaar number. Digital Locker will
reduce the administrative overhead of government departments
and agencies created due to paper work.
6. It will also make it easy for the residents to receive services by
saving time and effort as their documents will now be available
anytime, anywhere and can be shared electronically.
7. To sign-up for your Digital Locker, one needs an Aadhaar card
and a Mobile number that is linked to that Aadhaar card Number.
What is Digital India
1. In this programme, the government is taking a big step forward to
transform the country into a digitally empowered knowledge
economy.
2. Includes various schemes worth over Rs 1 lakh crore like Digital
Locker, e-eduction, e-health, e-sign and national scholarship
portal.
3. BharatNet in 11 states and Next Generation Network (NGN), are
also a part of Digital India campaign.
4. The programme includes projects that aim to ensure that
government services are available to citizens electronically and
people get benefit of the latest information and communication
technology.
5. The Ministry of Communications and IT is the nodal agency to
implement the programme.
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SECOND PHASE OF THE SMART CITY MISSION


Forty cities will be selected for the second phase of the Smart City
Mission, which is likely to be announced by June, Rajya Sabha was told.
The first batch of 20 cities, including Bhubaneshwar, Pune,
Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bhopal and NDMC area of Delhi, were selected
for Narendra Modi governments flagship smart city project in January.
It is expected that the results of the next phase will be announced by
May/June.
Background
1. Assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste
management systems, efficient urban mobility and public
transportation, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen
participation are some of the highlights of the smart city project.
2. Under the Smart City Mission, 100 cities across the country will
be developed as smart cities by 2019-20 with the Union
government providing financial support to the extent of Rs 48,000
crore over five yearson an average Rs 100 crore per city per year
for five years.
3. An equal amount will be contributed by the state/urban local body
and the balance funds would be mobilised through various sources
such as public private partnership and municipal bonds.
4. Around 54 cities, including Varanasi, Nagpur, Muzaffarpur,
Ghaziabad, Agra, Kanpur, Kota and Gandhinagar will compete to
find a place in the second list of 40 cities for the smart city
projects.

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May 2016
FIRST URBAN AREAS BECOME OPEN DEFECATION
FREE
Andhra Pradesh is set to become the first State in the country to make
all of its urban areas Open Defecation Free by October 2nd this year,
marking the two years of the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission by
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The State officials gave this
assurance during a review of progress of Swachh Bharat Mission

in all the 110 municipalities of Andhra Pradesh. Shri Gauba went to the
port city for review of progress of urban missions like Smart City
Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation
(AMRUT) and Swachh Bharat Mission. He held extensive discussions
with the Collectors of all the 13 districts and Municipal Commissioners
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of all the 110 urban local bodies in Andhra Pradesh on their action
plans for ensuring sanitation.
During the review, it emerged that Andhra Pradesh which has been in
the forefront of construction of toilets in urban areas can make all 100
municipalities Open Defecation Free by October 2 this year as per the
action plans in progress. Regarding Community and Public Toilet seats,
as against the mission target of 4,614 seats, work has started on 3,887
seats and 1,952 seats have already been constructed.
In respect of Solid Waste Management, out of the total wards of 3,458
in 110 municipalities, 100% door-to-door collection and transportation
of such waste is being done in 3,072 wards i.e 89% of total urban wards
in the state. The State Governments has also awarded works for
construction of 10 Waste to Energy Plants for generating 63 MW of
power from the 6,440 tonnes of municipal waste being generated per
day in the state. Shri Gauba was informed that these plants would be
commissioned during 2017-18.
Shri Gauba complimented the State Government and all concerned
officials for good progress under Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas
and for becoming the first state to make all urban areas open defecation
free much ahead of the target this year.

UJALA LAUNCHED IN MP
Government of Indias National LED programme Unnat Jyoti by
Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) was launched in Madhya Pradesh by
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan and
Union Minister for State (IC) for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy
Shri Piyush Goyal, at a function held in Bhopal. The scheme is being
implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint
venture of PSUs under the Ministry of Power.

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With the launching of UJALA scheme in Madhya Pradesh, energy


revolution has begun and will transform the State. In the State, 3
crore LED Bulbs will be distributed in the next 6 months under the
Scheme. People of Madhya Pradesh will get energy efficient 9W LED
bulbs at an upfront payment of just Rs. 85 per LED bulb, Shri Goyal
added. The Minister further stated that within just one year, 9 crore
bulbs have been distributed under UJALA Scheme, which helped
consumers to save Rs 5500 crore every year. UJALA will not only help
reduce consumers their electricity bills but also contribute to the energy
security of India.
The distribution of LED bulbs will happen through DISCOM offices,
DISCOM bill collection centers, designated EESL kiosks, Weekly haat
markets, etc. Consumers can buy these affordable LEDs by presenting
any identity card. These bulbs come with a three-year free replacement
warranty in case of any technical defects. The luminosity of the 9W
LED bulbs to be distributed in MP is of 900 lumens, which is the
highest in the country. Each 9W LED bulb gives the same luminosity as
compared to a 100W incandescent lamp, while consuming less than one
tenth of power.
UJALA: Status Update:
1. As of now, EESL has distributed over 10 crore LED bulbs under
UJALA programme and this has led to significant savings to the
country and consumers who are using these bulbs.
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2. Under Indias commitment to achieving 30-35% reduced carbon


emissions, the country has recognized energy efficiency as a key
mitigation strategy. Therefore, the government is committed to
executing schemes like UJALA. State governments are voluntarily
adopting this scheme and the scheme is already present in over 13
states. EESL would be starting distribution in more states within
a month.
3. The UJALA scheme has played a significant role in creating
awareness about energy efficient lighting. In 2014-15, the total
number of LED bulbs that were distributed was mere 30 lakhs.
The number of LED bulbs distributed in 2015-16 has crossed 15
crores, where 9 crore LED bulbs were distributed under UJALA
and the remaining were contributed by the industry. For this
year, the Government of India is confident of distributing an
additional 20 crore LED bulbs. Sustained efforts under UJALA,
coupled with industry support, will help the government achieve
its objective of replacing 77 crore inefficient bulbs by March 2019.
4. Efficient domestic lighting is one of the largest contributors to
energy savings globally and the distribution of 10 crore LED bulbs
in India has led to savings of over 1,298 crore kWh annually. This
number has also helped the country avoid capacity of about 2,600
MW. Most importantly, the country has benefitted from reduction
of CO2 emission by over 1 crore tonnes annually.
5. LED bulbs consume half the energy as that of CFLs and one tenth
as that of incandescent bulbs. UJALA is the largest nonsubsidised LED programme in the world. The programme has led
to significant savings to the consumers who are using these bulbs.
Background
1. The UJALA scheme was launched a year ago on May 1, a total of 9
crore LED bulbs was sold in the country, which means people will
get the benefit of Rs 5,500 crore in their electricity bills.
2. It will be implemented across the country by 2019.

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REBOOT MGNREGA
States currently in poll mode have reported the highest increase in job
numbers under the MGNREGA in the year that ended March 31, 2016.
That may not surprise, but certainly goes against the schemes basic
objective of providing guaranteed employment in public works to those
needing it most.
While Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam do have sizeable poor
populations, the fact, however, is that they are not experiencing any
major drought. The spurt in person-days employment under the
MGNREGA in the three states 37 per cent, 69 per cent and 134 per
cent respectively over 2014-15 has clearly had to do more with a preelection push from above by the ruling parties than any distressdriven demand pulls from below.
True, Maharashtra also registered a 24 per cent rise, but its total 7.64
crore person-days generated was just over a fifth that of Tamil Nadu
and a quarter of West Bengal, while even lower than the figures for
Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Nearly a third of Maharashtras gram
panchayats, in fact, incurred nil expenditure under the MGNREGA;
that it happened in a terrible drought year speaks volumes about the
state governments commitment to the scheme.
The above numbers highlight an inherent design flaw in the
MGNREGA: Although conceived as a demand/ distress-driven
programme, its successful implementation has largely rested upon
state-level governance capacity (Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Tripura) or
political expediency (West Bengal). Thus, the total MGNREGA wage
expenditure for 2015-16 worked out to around Rs 9,050 per poor person
in Kerala and Rs 7,800 in Tamil Nadu, while being a mere Rs 315 for
Bihar and Rs 475 for Uttar Pradesh. If the MGNREGA is neither
helping the states worst-hit by drought nor those with the highest
poverty incidence, there is a fundamental problem that must be
addressed to make it a genuinely demand- and need-driven programme.
The time has probably come to allocate MGNREGA funds to states by
linking it to their individual rural poor population numbers. Before the
start of a financial year, the Centre can announce the allocation to each
state and declare that any unspent amount would be automatically
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reallocated to those with the capacity to use this money. The very
prospect of foregoing ones entitlement and letting the public know
would put pressure on the states to implement the MGNREGA better.
Right now, many states do not register demand for employment even in
times of widespread distress. They do this only because the MGNREGA
rules require work to be provided within 15 days of demand
registration, failing which they are entitled to unemployment benefits
from the state. But when the Centre is making funds available that are
still going unspent, this tactic will not sell. The states will, then, be
compelled to respond to work demands from below which is what
the MGNREGA is meant to do.

FIRST SCORPENE CLASS SUBMARINE


Kalvari, Indian Navys first indigenous Scorpene-class stealth
submarine, on 1 May 2016 sailed out of Mumbai Harbour for sea
trials even as the plan to purchase heavy-weight torpedos for the vessel
remains stuck due to the VVIP chopper scam.
Kalvari is the first of the Indias six Scorpene-class submarines being
built under the much-delayed Project 75. The vessels are being built
by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in collaboration with French company
DCNS. In October 2015, Kalvari had been set afloat. The sea trials of
Kalvari have begun on 1 May 2016. WASS Italy, a Finmeccanica
company, had emerged as a successful bidder in the procurement for the
torpedos for Project 75 submarines.

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This important milestone was achieved by MDL after overcoming a


number of challenges faced since launching of the submarine last year
in October. During the next few months, the submarine will undergo a
barrage of sea trials, including surface trials, diving trials, weapon
trials, Noise trials etc. which would test the submarine to the extremes
of its intended operating envelop. Thereafter she would be
commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Kalvari later this year.
Commissioning of Kalvari will be a re-affirmation of Indias capability
to build submarines and a major boost for the Make in India
programme of the government.
Background
1. India joined the exclusive group of submarine constructing nations
on 07 February 1992, with the commissioning of the first Indian
built submarine, INS Shalki.
2. That was indeed a proud day for Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd,
who had built this submarine.
3. Mazagon Dock then went on to commission another
submarine, INS Shankul, on 28 May 1994.
4. These submarines are still in service today, after more than 20
years; testimony to the skills and capability of Mazagon Dock.
5. The ongoing project for the construction of six Scorpene class
submarines, has M/s DCNS of France, as Collaborator and
includes Transfer of Technology, with M/s MDL as the Builder.
Operational Features
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1. The state-of-art features of the Scorpene include superior stealth


and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using
precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with
torpedoes, as well as tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst
underwater or on surface. The Stealth features give it
invulnerability, unmatched by many submarines.
2. The Scorpene Submarine is designed to operate in all theatres
including the Tropics. Everything means and communications are
provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a
Naval Task Force. It can undertake multifarious types of missions
typically undertaken by any modern submarine i.e Anti-Surface
warfare, Anti-Submarine warfare, Intelligence gathering, Mine
Laying, Area Surveillance etc.
Construction Features
1. Submarines are built from special steel, capable of withstanding
high yield stress and having high tensile strength, thereby
allowing them to withstand high hydrostatic forceand enabling
them to dive deeper to further enhance stealth.
2. The Submarine is built according to the principle of Modular
Construction, which involves dividing the submarine into a
number of sections and building them parallelly. The equipment is
mounted onto Cradles and then embarked into the sections. The
complexity of the task increases exponentially as it involves laying
of around 60 kms of cabling and 11 kms of piping in extremely
congested and limited space inside the submarine. Further, the
stringent tolerances laid down for the construction of the Scorpene
were indeed a challenge, but have been successfully achieved.
Other Features
1. The Scorpene is equipped with Weapons Launching Tubes (WLT),
and can carry weapons on board which can be easily reloaded at
sea, through special handling and loading equipment. The array of
weapons and complex sensors fitted on board the Scorpene are
managed by a high technology Combat Management System,
which integrates various diverse systems fitted onboard into One
Formidable Whole.
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Status of Submarine
2. The submarine was undocked on pontoon on 06 April 2015 in the
presence of Honble Raksha Mantri Shri Manohar Parrikar. After
completing the important milestones of vacuum test and battery
loading, the submarine was launched at the Naval Dockyard on 28
Oct 15 and thereafter brought back to MDL for completion of the
Basin trials and Harbour Acceptance trials phase.
3. After conquering numerous challenges faced during the Setting to
Work phase and undergoing rigorous harbour tests & trials to the
complete satisfaction of the customer, the submarine is now fully
ready to undergo for sea trials.
Kalvari: The Tiger Shark

1. Kalvari is the dreaded Tiger Shark, a deadly deep sea predator.


As is the tradition, ships and submarines of the Navy, are
brought alive after decommissioning. The first Kalvari, which
was also the first Indian submarine, was commissioned into the
Indian Navy on 08 December 1967. She was decommissioned on
31 May 1996 after almost 30 years of yeoman service to the
nation. In true nautical traditions, she will now be reincarnated, by Mazagon Dock, once again a powerful predator
of the deep, guarding the vast maritime interests and areas of
our nation.
2. The commissioning of Yard 11875 (Kalvari), will not only mark
a generational shift in technology, insofar as submarine
construction in India is concerned, but also for submarine
operations by the Indian Navy.
Contribution to National Security and Nation Building
1. With its history of constructing the Leander and Godavari class
Frigates, Khukri class Corvettes, Delhi and Kolkata class
Destroyers, Shivalik class Stealth Frigates, 1241 RE Missile
Boats and the Shalki class submarines, there is now no doubt
that MDL has deservedly earned the soubriquet Warship and
Submarine Builders to the Nation.
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2. MDLs contribution to national security and nation building


will continue with the P-15B class destroyers, the first of which
was launched in April 2015, and the P-17A class stealth
frigates, the follow-on of the P-17 Stealth Frigates.

ONE EMPLOYEE-ONE ACCOUNT LAUNCHED


Sh. Bandaru Dattatreya, the Union Minister for Labour & Employment
(Independent Charge) launched a special Mission consolidation drive
One Employee-One EPF Account for members of the EPFO.
Sh. Bandaru Dattatreya, on the occasion stated that in the recent
past, EPFO has taken several IT based initiatives to provide convenient
and efficient services to its stakeholders. The initiative of launching
the Mission consolidation One Member One EPF Account is a step
towards encouraging EPF members to access enhanced IT enabled
services through UAN accounts that are linked with Aadhaar.
Sh. Dattatreya also informed this drive, would result in EPF members
having just one EPF account and multiple conveniences. The Universal
Account Number that is Aadhar seeded will consolidate multiple past
service accounts, across various spells of employment during working
life of an EPF member.
This drive will run for one year. During this drive following
actions will be taken by EPFO:
1. Run a Publicity campaign at regular intervals in Print, electronic
and digital media
2. A software has been launched today for centralized processing
that will transfer and consolidate accounts with ease.
Features of the software are:
1. A member has to provide his current activated UAN along with
the current member ID & Mobile number registered at UAN
Member portal.
2. On validating these credentials, EPFO will facilitate the member
to
register his/her as many as 10 earlier EPF accounts.
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The earlier PF member IDs provided by members will be forwarded to


EPFO field office to which earlier member ID pertains. The information
provided to field offices will also include current member ID & Mobile
number of the member, so that the members can be contacted and
facilitated to consolidate his previous EPF Accounts to the Current EPF
Account.
1. Wide publicity will be given to make use of Inoperative Help
Desk that helps an EPF member to integrate/ settle such
accounts.
2. An electronic de-duplication process to be carried out by EPFO.
3. EPFO-E-samkisha software that is launched to be used for
monitoring and implementation of the programmme.
Features of E samiksha software are:
1. EPFO e-Samiksha is a real time, online system for follow-up
action on the decisions taken.
2. The follow up action will be required to be updated by the
offices continuously and the status can be viewed centrally.
3. Business divisions and the field offices can securely access the
system through a log-in/password.
4. This system can also be configured to review the follow up
actions in respect of other meetings, if require.

INDIA TO RELEASE ITALIAN MARINE: PCA


Italian marine Salvatore Girone, one of the two marines facing murder
charges for killing two Indian fishermen, will be able to return to Italy
while his case is subject to an arbitration procedure, Italian Foreign
Ministry said, citing an order of the UNs Permanent Court of
Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague.
However, the ruling about the same will be made public tomorrow,
according to Italian news agency ANSA. Foreign Ministry informs that
the arbitral tribunal set up in The Hague has anticipated its decision
that Girone Rifleman (be allowed to go) back in Italy until the end of
the arbitration proceedings, initiated by the Government on June 26,
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2015. The return of the conditions will be agreed between Italy and
India, the Italian ministry said.
The Government has been working to submit the whole matter to
international arbitration and, in this framework, bringing home the two
Riflemen Marina. The announced order paves the way for this result.
Italy in March had asked the PCA judges to order India to release its
detained marine Girone, saying otherwise he risks four more years in
India without any charges being made which would amount to grave
violation of his human rights. The PCA is hearing oral arguments by
the two sides.
The arbitration could last at least three or four years which means
that Girone risks being held in (New) Delhi, without any charges being
made, for a total of seven-eight years, Italys representative had told
the court.
Background
1. Girone is one of two Italian marines on board ship Enrica Lexie
accused by India of killing two of its fishermen during an antipiracy mission in 2012 off the Kerala coast after mistaking them
for pirates.
2. He has not been able to leave India, aside from a few brief
permits, since the incident. The other marine, Massimiliano
Latorre, is back in Italy after a stroke in 2014.
3. The Italian government has taken the marines case to
international arbitration after repeated delays in the trial in
India.
4. According to Italian Foreign Ministry, the government will
immediately start consultations with India that the conditions to
give effect to the decision of the arbitral tribunal are quickly
defined and agreed.

INS AIRAVAT FOR MULTINATION EXERCISE


Indian Navy ship INS Airavat will participate in a multinational naval
exercise in the South China Sea later this week. The warship INS
Airavat arrived in Brunei on 1 May 2016 for the mock drill, conducted
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by the ASEAN countries. The exercise will commence in


Brunei andculminate in Singapore
with various drills and exercises in the South China Sea. USA, Japan
and China too would take part in the exercise that would witness
participation from Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia,
Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia,
Australia and South Korea.
About INS Airavat
1. INS Airavat is the same warship that was harassed by
the Chinese Navy in 2011 when it was sailing to Vietnam for a
port call.
2. In July 2011, when INS Airavat sailed from Nha Trang port in
south central Vietnam towards Haiphong, the ship received an
unusual radio message in which the caller identified himself from
the Chinese navy and asked the Indian ship to move out of
Chinese waters.
3. INS Airavat did not respond to the message and continued its
way.
4. Later, the Ministry of External Affairs criticised Beijing in a
statement, saying India supports freedom of navigation in
international waters, including in the South China Sea, and the
right of passage in accordance withaccepted principles of
international law.
Commanded by Commander Jayant Mahadik, INS Airavat is an
indigenous Landing Ship Tank (large) that can carry 500 troops, 10
tanks, 11 combat trucks and a helicopter for amphibious operations,
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The participation of
INS Airavat aims to bolster Indias ties and enhance inter-operability
with the participating navies, said a Navy spokesperson.

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EDUCATION POLICY DRAFT RECEIVED


A government-commissioned committee set up to draft a new education
policy is learnt to have recommended introduction of National Academic
Services for recruitment of teachers. The panel, headed by former
cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian,
has also suggested overhauling the current system of recruitment of
vice chancellors, taking note of loopholes in the existing process for such
appointments and past irregularities. The committee, which is giving
final shape to a new education policy, is likely to submit its final report
to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry later this month.
The draft is prepared based on the suggestion and feedback received
through nationwide consultations at different levels. The committee
members held a meeting with HRD Minister Smriti Irani last week and
discussed the major highlights of the draft being finalised by them.
They held a day-long meeting at its temporary office, provided at
National University of Educational Planning and Administration
premises, as part of the finalisation of its report. The committee is
almost ready with its draft report. It will submit the report very soon,
official sources said. The committee members, however, remained
tightlipped over the recommendation made in the report.
Background
1. The idea to introduce an Indian Education Service was first
mooted in the late 1980swhen P V Narasimha Rao was the HRD
Minister
2. During the previous regime, senior Congress leader and the then
HRD Minister, Kabil Sibal, also made a strong pitch for
introduction of Indian Educational Services on the lines of other
civil services.
3. The HRD Ministry had set up a 5-member panel last year to
prepare a draft of new national education policy.

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4. The HRD Ministry initiated the mega exercise after a gap of 29


years, with the BJP led NDA coming to power at the Centre in
2014

ADOPTION OF UNFP OF OFFICIAL STATISTICS


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
has given its approval for adoption of United Nations Fundamental
Principles of Official Statistics. The adoption of the United Nations
Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics will bring
professional independence, impartiality, accountability and
transparency in methods of collection, compilation and dissemination of
official statistics, besides adopting international standards. The
adoption will also pave way for devising a National Policy on Official
Statistics for improving systems, procedures and institutions consistent
with these principles.
The ten Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, as
endorsed by the UN General Assembly, are set out below:
Principle 1. Official statistics provide an indispensable element in the
information system of a democratic society, serving the Government,
the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic,
social and environmental situation. To this end, official statistics that
meet the test of practical utility are to be compiled and made available
on an impartial basis by official statistical agencies to honor citizens
entitlement to public information.
Principle 2. To retain trust in official statistics, the statistical agencies
need to decide according to strictly professional considerations,
including scientific principles and professional ethics, on the methods
and procedures for the collection, processing, storage and presentation
of statistical data.
Principle 3. To facilitate a correct interpretation of the data, the
statistical agencies are to present information according to scientific
standards on the sources, methods and procedures of the statistics.
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Principle 4. The statistical agencies are entitled to comment on


erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics.
Principle 5. Data for statistical purposes may be drawn from all types
of sources, be they statistical surveys or administrative records.
Statistical agencies are to choose the source with regard to quality,
timeliness, costs and the burden on Respondents.
Principle 6. Individual data collected by statistical agencies for
statistical compilation, whether they refer to natural or legal persons,
are to be strictly confidential and used exclusively for statistical
purposes.
Principle 7. The laws, regulations and measures under which the
statistical systems operate are to be made public.
Principle 8. Coordination among statistical agencies within countries
is essential to achieve consistency and efficiency in the statistical
system.
Principle 9. The use by statistical agencies in each country of
international concepts, classifications and methods promotes the
consistency and efficiency of statistical systems at all official levels.
Principle 10. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation in statistics
contributes to the improvement of systems of official statistics in all
countries.
Background:
Most of the ingredients in these principles are already being adhered to
by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) since
they are, in any case, for qualitative improvements and good of the
statistical system.
On a reference from the Ministry of External Affairs on the draft UN
General Assembly Resolution on Fundamental Principles of Official
Statistics, MoSPI supported the Resolution. The UN General Assembly
endorsed the Principles in its Resolution in January 2014.
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Subsequently, the matter was reviewed in the 46th session of the


United Nations Statistics Commission held in New York in March 2015,
in which Secretary, MoSPI represented India. The progress of work in
implementation of the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics is
required to be reported by India to the UN Statistics Division for
deliberation in the 48th session of the United Nations Statistics
Commission to be held in 2017. Adoption of these Principles by
Government of India is a basic requirement for their implementation
and for reporting compliance to international obligation.

2,508 CITIES SELECTED UNDER PMAY


As many as 2,508 cities in 26 states have been selected under Pradhan
Mantri Awas Yojana for providing affordable houses to the urban poor,
the Lok Sabha was informed. As on April 25, 2016, a total of 2,508 cities
of 26 states have been identified as selected for Pradhan Mantri Awas
Yojana-Housing for all (Urban) Mission,
Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said during Question
Hour.
As per the scheme guidelines
1. The houses under the PMAY (U) mission should be designed and
constructed to meet the requirement of structural safety against
earthquakes, flood, cyclone, landslide etc. conforming to
the National Building Codeand other relevant Bureau of Indian
Standards Codes.
2. The mission also includes a technology sub-mission to facilitate
state technologies for adoption of layout designs and building
plans suitable for various geo-climatic zones and to deploy disaster
resistant and environment friendly technologies.
Background
1. The scheme comes with an aim of constructing more than two
crore houses across the nation within a span of seven years.
2. The scheme, which was started in 2015, would conclude in 2022.
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3. The target beneficiaries of the scheme would be poor and people


living under EWS and LIG categories in urban establishments of
the country.
4. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation is
implementing a scheme namely Shelter for Urban Homeless as a
component of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Urban
Livelihoods Mission for providing permanent shelters with basic
facilities to urban homeless.
5. As per the information received from the states and UTs, a total of
770 shelters have been sanctioned by states and UTs with a
capacity of about 38,770 inmates. Out of this, 270 shelters with a
total capacity of about 11,900 inmates are operational.

EXERCISE CHAKRAVYUH-II
In a follow up to Exercise Shatrujeet by the Strike Corps (Strike One)
in Apr 2016, the pivot formations are holding major military training
exercise codenamed Exercise CHAKRAVYUH-II in the general area of
Pallu Sardarsahar (Suratgarh) in Rajasthan.
The exercise conceptualized by the Pivot Corps involves rapid
mobilization and execution of plans in sync with Air Force. The exercise
aims to validate the battle readiness and operational effectiveness of
the pivot formation and RAPID division along with all its affiliated
components.
What
1. The exercise, envisages mechanised maneuvers in the entire
spectra of new generation weapons, platforms & systems
employed in areas where rapid development and urbanisation
along the border is predominant.
2. It will also provide an opportunity to all commanders in planning
and conduct of large scale operations in an integrated theatre
environment along with Air Forceincluding the fighter ground
attack aircrafts, attack helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles,
remotely piloted vehicles, and communication helicopters.

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3. Consequently, troop insertion by air using third dimension has


also been integrated into the exercise using the Special Forces and
other Heliborne troops.
During the exercise
1. Intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communication
systems will be put to test in a network-centric battlefield
environment duly supported by enabling operational logistics.
2. Improved mobility, inventory management techniques and the
extensive use of information technology, so as to ensure that
logistics keep pace with the fast paced operational environment, is
also being validated during the exercise.

CRUCIAL PART OF SMART CITY PLAN


Traditionally, initiatives like Smart Cities are indicators of developed
economies. A developing country will become a developed one when its
citizens upgrade and update themselves. In India, the Smart City
initiative is in full swing, with the top 20 smart cities stepping into the
next stage of implementation.
The mission focuses on the technology overlaying the basic
infrastructure that will be built in right places and in sufficient
quantity in the cities. However, the vital aspect the citizens who live
and work in these cities must be integral to the implementation
process as well. The success of this initiative is firmly vested in smart
citizens. A smart citizen is one who has civic sense and respects the law.
Some unanswered questions about Smart Cities as far as citizen
participation is concerned are:
1. Will people obey the traffic rules, drive within speed limits and
desist from jumping signals?
2. Will they put pedestrians first and leave space for them?
3. Will they respect elders and give way to senior citizens?
4. Will they park their vehicles at designated lots and not anywhere
else?
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5. Will they maintain hygiene not only in their flats but also in the
common areas of their apartment complexes?
6. Will they throw garbage only in bins and practice source
segregation during garbage disposal?
Awareness about smart solutions play a crucial role in developing true
smart citizens. Though the local authorities of oursmart cities will make
substantial investments in smart solutions, they cannot skimp on
efforts to raise citizen awareness on the efficient usage of these
solutions and services.
For example
1. Energy saving cannot be achieved merely with smart meters in
the home.
2. In order to reduce energy consumption and save money on bills,
consumers need to not only monitor their energy use but also
make an effort to change the whole familys daily energy usage
behaviour.
3. This would include shifting to energy-efficient appliances,
reducing TV time and switching off electrical appliances when not
in use, especially during peak hours.
A Smart City connects people with their environment and allows it to
create more efficient and optimal relationships between available
resources, technology, community services and events in the urban
fabric. This connection is a tool that links the implementation of the
smart city and the proposed technology. The aspects to be followed to
make the Smart City mission successful through smart citizens across
India:
1. Citizen Participation: Most of developed cities ensure that citizens
participate in every aspect from cleaning to safety requirements.
Citizen participation ensures citizen satisfaction, which in
turn ensures maximum efficiency of the proposed technology.
Good governance is always measured by the extent to which it
involves its citizens in the overall decision-making process.
2. Joint engagement of citizens and government: Political will and
the technical capacity to engage citizens in policy making, or
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providing accurate data on government performance, are the


hallmarks of developed democracies. Though making policies for
growth and comprehensive development is important, a smart city
acknowledges that policies alone are not enough to reach their
goals. It solicits support from its citizens and local stakeholders to
make this happen.
3. Technology Support: Technology has given the world new
dimensions; globally, citizens are becoming technology-oriented in
every aspect concerning their comfort, convenience and safety.
Technology support has become an essential factor for the growth
of a city and its citizens.
The use of innovative information and communications technology (ICT)
applications, smartphones and smart fixtures are all part of the process
of making smart citizens. When city dwellers use the Internet to make
smarter, more informed choices, cities become smarter too. Theright
approach towards the Smart City mission involves a balance between
technological and non-technological approach. The ICT platform is the
best tool to bridge the current gap between the Government and
citizens. The Smart City concept necessarily emphasizes the inclusion of
ICT solutions as part of its entire proposal. Going forward, such a
system will be robust and sustainable. There are lot of apps and online
platform available to facilitate citizen participation, some of which are
the Swachh Bharat Clean India mobile app, IPaidABribe.com, Safecity
India, Next Bengaluru and Kumbhathon. Cities become more dynamic
by the use of such platforms.
MyGov.in is an excellent example of ICT integrating and increasing the
efficiency of citizen engagement. All policy-level decisions will directly
involve citizens opinions. This platform will make the system more
transparent and act as an interactive forum between citizens and the
Government. In addition, private technology developers are
continuously exploring smart technologies from smart mobiles to smart
furniture and appliances, marketing them at affordable prices to reach
to all categories of people. This helps in connecting with globallyemployed smart technologies. Moreover, specially formed societies in
residential colonies are now taking up initiatives like cleaning the

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neighbourhood, roads and water bodies, tree plantation, electronic


waste recycling, etc. This is the kind of motivation required of citizens.

INDIA RANKS NINTH IN CRONY-CAPITALISM INDEX


India is ranked at ninth position in crony-capitalism with crony sector
wealth accounting for3.4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP),
according to a new study by The Economist.
In India, the non-crony sector wealth amounts to 8.3 per cent of the
GDP, as per the latest crony-capitalism index. In 2014 ranking
also, India stood at the ninth place. Using data from a list of the worlds
billionaires and their worth published by Forbes, each individual is
labelled as crony or not based on the source of their wealth.
As per report
1. Germany is cleanest, where just a sliver of the countrys
billionaires derives their wealth from crony sectors.
2. Russia fares worst in the index, wealth from the countrys crony
sectors amounts to 18 per cent of its GDP.
3. Russia tops the list followed by Malaysia, the Philippines and
Singapore.
4. Among the 22 economies in the index, crony wealth has fallen by
USD 116 billion since 2014.
The past 20 years have been a golden age for crony capitalists/tycoons
active in industries where chumminess with government is part of the
game. Their combined fortunes have dropped 16 per cent since 2014,
according to The Economist updated crony-capitalism index. One reason
is the commodity crash. Another is a backlash from the middle class.
Worldwide, the worth of billionaires in crony industries soared by 385
per cent between 2004 and 2014.

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SAIEVAC BEGAN IN NEW DELHI


The three-day Technical Meeting & 4th Ministerial Meeting of South
Asian Initiative to end Violence against Children (SAIEVAC) began in
New Delhi. Delegates from the governments and civil society
organizations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives,
Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have assembled to assess progress and
developments of the past decade of regional effort, set strategies, agree
on commitments and identify priorities for SAIEVAC for the next five
years. The landmark Ministerial meeting on 11th May is being
preceded by a two-day technical consultation focusing on critical issues
of child protection and violence in the region. Day one of the technical
meeting included an inaugural and various business sessions.
Highlights
1. In his keynote address, Shri V Somasundaran, Secretary, Ministry
of Women & Child Development set the objectives for the next two
days of deliberation. While emphasizing on child participation, he
stated that ending Violence against Children is a priority and a
common goal and commitment of the region.
2. Welcoming the delegates Dr. Rinchen Chopel, Director General,
SAIEVAC, thanked the Government of India for hosting this
meeting that also marks a decade of SAIEVACs initiatives to
counter violence against children. This meeting lays the ground
for future advocacy initiatives in line with the Sustainable
Development Goals, he said.
3. Ms. Stuti Narain Kacker, Chairperson of the National
Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), highlighted
the need for all member countries to act in a concerted,
cooperative, coordinated and comprehensive manner to identify
and address areas of priority such as cross border trafficking,
documentation& sharing of good practices.
4. Closing the inaugural session, Ms Rashmi Saxena Sahni, Joint
Secretary, WCD and Governing Board member thanked everyone
for the focus on the needs of children which cannot be postponed
at any cost. She shared her desire to see doable and impactful
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recommendations emerge for the 4th Ministerial meeting which


was to follow.
5. The technical sessions began with an overview of SAIEVACs
progress in the last decade. This was followed by several technical
input sessions based on Governing Board recommendations,
on Child Sexual Abuse, travelling sex offenders, regional project
on cross border trafficking/MCA, Track Child, the online system of
tracking missing children in India and Khoya Paaya, a citizen
portal for reporting missing and found children. Presentations
were also made on Indias safety net for Children, CHILDLINE
1098 and the legislation covering Child Sexual Abuse in India i.e.
POCSO.
6. The delegates were introduced to the editorial team of
Balaknama, a unique newspaper written for and by Street
Children
7. The day ended with a puppet show by Enactus, a project of
Sreeram College of Commerce, depicting the journey of a victim of
child sexual abuse and his parents fight for justice.

FREE PUBLIC WIFI SERVICE AT FIVE RAILWAY


STATIONS
Google on 9 May 2016 announced the launch of its free high-speed
public WiFi service at Ujjain, Jaipur, Patna, Guwahati and Allahabad
railway stations. This is in continuation with its project to provide highspeed public WiFi service at 100 Railway stations across India by end of
the year, Google said in a release. Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu
will formally inaugurate the service at these stations soon, it said.
What
1. It has been deploying the service over the extensive fibre network
of Indian Railways arm Railtel which provides Internet
services as RailWire.
2. With these launches, the service is now live and available to users
at 15 stations across the country.

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3. Backed by the phenomenal response to the service in Mumbai


Central, Google will also extend the project to cover key
suburban Mumbai stations working with RailTel.
4. Google will deploy the service in Dadar, Bandra Terminus,
Churchgate, Thane, Kalyan, Panvel, Vashi, Kurla, Chattrapati
Shivaji Terminus, Borivali and a few others.
5. Google is committed to working with Indian Railways and Railtel
to deliver high-speed WiFi network that will be available to 10
million Indians by the end of the year, covering 100 of the busiest
train stations in India, it said the project will be eventually rolled
out to cover 400 train stations across India.
Flashpoint
The Railtel-Google free high-speed public WiFi service is currently
available at Mumbai Central, Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal,
Ranchi, Raipur, Vijayawada, Kacheguda, Ernakulum Junction,
Vishakhapatnam, Jaipur, Patna, Guwahati, Ujjain and
Allahabad.

SC ORDERS NEUTRAL OBSERVER OF FLOOR TEST


The Supreme Court on 9 May 2016 noted that the atmosphere of
animosity in the Uttarakhand Assembly has made the appointment of a
neutral observer necessary for the floor test on May 10
, and ordered the Principal Secretary, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
of the State, to watch the floor test as court-appointed observer with a
sense of absolute objectivity and singularity of purpose of neutrality.
The 11th hour modification to the Supreme Court order of May 6
directing a floor test to be conducted for deposed CM Harish Rawat to
prove his majority in the House came after the Union government filed
an urgent application on 9 May 2016.
The Centre said the April 6 order directed the Principal Secretary,
Legislative Assembly to monitor the floor test. However, there is no
such post. Instead there is either the Secretary, Legislative Assembly
or the Principal Secretary, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs, State
ofUttarakhand, who is also a judicial officer of the rank of district
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judge. The Centre said the Secretary, Legislative Assembly, is a staffer


of the Speaker, appointed by the latter and so there is an apprehension
of how neutral the officer would be. Appearing for Mr. Rawat, senior
advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the latter
official Principal Secretary, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs is
an outsider and cannot be invited inside the House.
This is a case where one side does not trust the other. Hence there is a
necessity to have a neutral perceptionist to see that absolute objectivity
is maintained when voting takes place. Solely for aforesaid reason, we
modify the order and direct the Principal Secretary, Legislative and
Parliamentary Affairs, Uttarakhand with the cadre of district judge to
conduct himself with objectivity, singularity of purpose of neutrality,
the Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and S.K Singh ordered, specifying
that the floor test should go on as per schedule.

4TH MINISTERIAL MEETING OF SAIEVAC


The Union Home Minister addressed the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the
South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC).
Chairing the meeting Shri Rajnath Singh said that the safety, security,
dignity and wellbeing of our children and young people will determine
the wellbeing and strength of our countries.
Some quick facts
1. SAIEVAC is a coalition of States which aims at protection of the
rights of children, particularly protection of children from all
forms of discrimination, abuse, neglect, exploitation, torture,
trafficking; that is any kind of violence. The mandate of SAIEVAC
is to safeguard childhood and to positively value children.
2. Protection of children is necessary for the well-being of any
society.
3. India is privileged to host this meeting because two key priorities
for India are being discussed the well-being of children and
strengthening of regional co-operation between South Asian
countries. Our region is home to the worlds largest population of
children. This is a matter of pride, and we recognise these
daughters and sons of our eight nations for what they are:
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children are our most precious resource. Not a liability, but a


wonderful asset, worthy of our respect, protection, and special
attention worthy of the highest valuation. As Mahatma Gandhi
had said.
As we recognise this truth, we can note today with pride that SAARC,
acknowledged the importance and value of children 30 years ago, when
it placed them on its official summit agenda. This was a historic
step. SAIEVAC is a special apex body that SAARC has created. We can
also note with pride today that SAIEVAC is our commitment that we
have taken a stand against violence mistreatment and abuse and
neglect of our children. We have many milestones to celebrate and
many learning to share through SAIEVACs journey these milestones
and learnings inform the subsequent agenda for us in terms of
strengthening the institutional and coordination mechanisms, so that
we may drive the SAIEVAC movement into the next decade.
No country today can progress without according utmost priority to its
children. The safety, security, dignity and well-being of our children
and young people will determine the wellbeing and strength of our
nations. The Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all of us
during the UN General Assembly SDG Summit held in September,
2015 has specific targets for the realization of child rights and
protecting them from all forms of violence; so it will be the first time
that indicators of child protection will be universally monitored. We
need to develop a regional strategy that defines clear milestones
towards the realization of the SDGs. This is SAIEVACs opportunity to
be path finding leader in this effort, for the benefit of children of the
region.
Children are not a homogeneous category and their vulnerabilities
change based on social and economic status, gender, disability,
geographical location, etc. I believe, this can be said about the region
itself. In todays fast moving world, many challenges exist for the
children. Despite the economic growth, there is a huge population which
still lives in poverty and deprivation. This adversely affects the
survival, health and overall development of children.
Trafficking is another major challenge for all of us. With increasing
access to information technology and changing nature of our globalised
economy; new threats for children are emerging sex tourism, child
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pornography, online threats to children among others. At the same


time, large number of children are adversely affected due to rapid
climate change, disasters and conflict.
In India
1. We are trying to ensure a protective environment for children by
bringing all citizens, including children under the purview of
social security by linking them with AADHAAR Unique
Identification number which will empower them to access their
entitlements directly without any hindrance.
2. We have set up a National Portal the Track Child which not only
has data on missing children but it also has live database to
monitor the progress of the found children who are availing
various services in different Child Care Institutions.
3. We have been able to rescue large number of children and restore
them to their families or provide a protected environment to them
through a special initiative called Operation Smile a drive
pioneered jointly by Police, Ministry of Women and Child
Development, District administration, civil society organisations
and community.
4. As has been already mentioned, our Honble Prime Minister has
launched a scheme for the protection of the Girl Child under the
Ministry of Women and Child Development a year back Beti
Bachao Beti Padhao which aims at prevention of gender-biased
sex selection and ensuring survival, protection, education and
empowerment of the girl child.

DIGITAL INDIA E-KRANTI PROGRAMME


Government is implementing the Digital India programme to transform
the country into a digitally empowered and knowledge economy so that
various services like passport, pension and driving licenses could be
delivered online, Lok Sabha was informed. Telecom and IT Minister
Ravi Shankar Prasad said one of the primary focus areas of Digital
India is Pillar 5: eKranti electronic delivery of services.
1. e-Kranti aims to ensure a government wide transformation by
delivering all services electronically to the citizens through
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integrated and interoperable systems via multiple modes while


ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services
at affordable costs, he said during Question Hour. In e-Kranti, 44
Mission Mode Projects (MMP) 13 central, 17 state and 14
integrated MMPs are being implemented. Under the 25
operational MMPs 222 services are being provided. More than 192
e-transactions have been reported since January 1, 2016.
2. Under e-Kranti, the government of India has made concerted
effort to make offline government services to be also delivered
through online mode, ensuring that all citizens would have access
to them, thereby improving the quality of basic governance on an
unprecedented scale.
3. Rural tele-density has crossed 50.09 per cent. Guidelines for
spectrum sharing and trading and liberalisation of spectrum have
been issued. More than 2 crore passport applications have been
processed.

NATIONAL IPR POLICY APPROVED


The Union Cabinet approved the National Intellectual Property Rights
(IPR) Policy that will lay the future roadmap for intellectual property in
India. The Policy recognises the abundance of creative and innovative
energies that flow in India, and the need to tap into and channelise
these energies towards a better and brighter future for all.

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What

1. The National IPR Policy is a vision document that aims to create


and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property
(IP), concerned statutes and agencies.
2. It sets in place an institutional mechanism for implementation,
monitoring and review.
3. It aims to incorporate and adapt global best practices to the
Indian scenario.
4. This policy shall weave in the strengths of the Government,
research and development organizations, educational institutions,
corporate entities including MSMEs, start-ups and other
stakeholders in the creation of an innovation-conducive
environment, which stimulates creativity and innovation across
sectors, as also facilitates a stable, transparent and serviceoriented IPR administration in the country.
5. The Policy recognizes that India has a well-established TRIPScompliant legislative, administrative and judicial framework to
safeguard IPRs, which meets its international obligations while
utilizing the flexibilities provided in the international regime to
address its developmental concerns.
6. It reiterates Indias commitment to the Doha Development
Agenda and the TRIPS agreement.
While IPRs are becoming increasingly important in the global
arena, there is a need to increase awareness on IPRs in India, be it
regarding the IPRs owned by oneself or respect for others IPRs. The
importance of IPRs as a marketable financial asset and economic tool
also needs to be recognised. For this, domestic IP filings, as also
commercialization of patents granted, need to increase. Innovation and
sub-optimal spending on R&D too are issues to be addressed.
The broad contours of the National IPR Policy:
Vision Statement: An India where creativity and innovation are
stimulated by Intellectual Property for the benefit of all; an India where
intellectual property promotes advancement in science and technology,
arts and culture, traditional knowledge and biodiversity resources; an
India where knowledge is the main driver of development, and
knowledge owned is transformed into knowledge shared.
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Mission Statement:
Stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced intellectual property rights
system in India to:
1. foster creativity and innovation and thereby, promote
entrepreneurship and enhance socio-economic and cultural
development, and
2. focus on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and
environmental protection, among other sectors of vital social,
economic and technological importance.
Objectives of the policy:
1. IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion To create public
awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs
among all sections of society.
2. Generation of IPRs To stimulate the generation of IPRs.
3. Legal and Legislative Framework To have strong and effective
IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger
public interest.
4. Administration and Management To modernize and strengthen
service-oriented IPR administration.
5. Commercialization of IPRs Get value for IPRs through
commercialization.
6. Enforcement and Adjudication To strengthen the enforcement
and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements.
7. Human Capital Development To strengthen and expand human
resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training,
research and skill building in IPRs.
These objectives are sought to be achieved through detailed action
points. The action by different Ministries/ Departments shall be
monitored by DIPP which shall be the nodal department to coordinate,
guide and oversee implementation and future development of IPRs in
India. The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy will
endeavor for a Creative India; Innovative India: ;
.
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PENAL LAWS ON DEFAMATION CONSTITUTIONALLY


VALID: SC
The Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of penal
provisions on defamation law, observing that the right to freedom of
speech is not an absolute right The bench passed the judgement on a
batch of petitions filed by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and
others.
We have held that penal provisions are constitutionally valid, a bench
comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant said.
What bench said
1. The right to freedom of speech and expression is not an absolute
right.
2. The bench directed magistrates across the country to be extremely
careful in issuing summons on private complaints on defamation.
3. Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC, dealing with the criminal
defamation, and section 119 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are
constitutionally valid, the court ruled.
4. Section 500 deals with the provision of punishment for defamation
which entails upto two years imprisonment or fine or both.
5. Criminal proceedings granted by it in the trial court on the batch
of petitions challenging the issue of summons will continue for
eight weeks, during which the petitioners can file their appeal
before respective High Courts for seeking reliefs in terms of
todays judgement.
The constitutional validity of penal laws on defamation was challenged
on the ground that they are outmoded and inconsistent with right to
freedom of speech and expression.
The pleas had sought setting aside of sections 499 and 500 (defamation)
of the IPC and suggested that there is a need to decriminalise penal
provision for offence of defamation. Pitching for their retention in the
statute book, the Centre had strongly batted for the laws on grounds
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including that they have stood the test of time. The bench observed,
Difficult to perceive that provision on criminal defamation has chilling
effect on right to freedom of speech and expression. It also observed, A
persons right to freedom of speech has to be balanced with the other
persons right to reputation.

WORLDS MOST POLLUTED CITIES


India is home to four of the five cities in the world with the worst air
pollution, the World Health Organization said on 12 May 2016. But
while WHO experts acknowledge India faces a huge challenge, many
countries are so bad that they have no monitoring system and cannot be
included in its ranking.
As per Study
1. The dirtiest air was recorded at Zabol in Iran, which suffers from
months of dust storms in the summer, and which clocked a socalled PM2.5 measure of 217. The next four were all Indian:
Gwalior, Allahabad, Patna and Raipur.
2. Indias capital New Delhi was the surveys ninth worst city,
measured by the amount of particulate matter under 2.5
micrograms found in every cubic metre of air, with an annual
average PM2.5 measurements of 122.
3. Tiny particulate matter can cause lung cancer, strokes and heart
disease over the long term, as well as triggering symptoms such as
heart attacks that kill more rapidly. The WHO says more than 7
million premature deaths occur every year due to air pollution, 3
million of them due to outdoor air quality.
4. New Delhi was ranked worst in 2014 with a PM2.5 reading of 153.
It has since tried to tackle its toxic air by limiting the use of
private cars on the road for short periods.
5. Common causes of air pollution include too many cars, especially
diesel-fuelled vehicles, the heating and cooling of big buildings,
waste management, agriculture and the use of coal or diesel
generators for power. On average, pollution levels worsened by 8
percent between 2008 and 2013, although most cities in rich
countries improved the state of their air over the same period.
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6. The WHO data, a survey of 3,000 urban areas, shows only 2


percent of cities in poorer countries have air quality that meets
WHO standards, while 44 percent of richer cities do.
7. The WHO database has almost doubled in size since 2014, and the
trend towards more transparency translated into more action to
deal with the problem. However, there was still very sparse data
on Africa.

SUPERSONIC INTERCEPTOR MISSILE TEST-FIRED


In its effort to have a full-fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence
system, India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed
supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming
hostile ballistic missile, from a test range off Odisha coast.
The test conducted to validate various parameters of the interceptor in
flight mode has been successful, Defence Research Development
Organisation sources said.

What
1. The interceptor was engaged against a target which was a naval
version of Prithvi missile launched from a ship anchored inside
Bay of Bengal, taking up the trajectory of a hostile ballistic
missile.
2. The target missile was launched and the interceptor, Advanced
Air Defence (AAD) missile positioned at Abdul Kalam island
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(Wheeler Island) getting signals from tracking radars, roared


through its trajectory to destroy the incoming hostile missile in
mid-air, in an endo-atmospheric altitude, the sources said.
3. The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket
propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hitech computer and an electro-mechanical activator, the DRDO
sources said.
4. The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data
link for interception, independent tracking and homing
capabilities and sophisticated radars, the DRDO sources added.

SWACHH OFFICE DRIVE LAUNCHED


A 15-day special Swachh Office Drive for ensuring cleanliness at all
Government offices across the country has been launched as a intensive
thematic campaign under Swachh Bharat Mission. Launching the
drive, Minister of Urban Development Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu planted
a Neem sapling at Nirman Bhawan
and inspected the building for about an hour for an on the spot
assessment of sanitation. The Minister visited different corridors of the
building, individual rooms, toilets, storage places, water tanks and solar
panels on the terrace of the building etc., and verified maintenance
registers.
In a meeting with senior officials later, Shri Naidu has noted that there
has been considerable improvement towards ensuring cleanliness and
there is still scope for improvement. He has directed senior officials of
the Ministry and CPWD to ensure regular inspection by senior officials
to ensure total sanitation. The Minister directed action to be taken for
dumping waste material in one of the Electricity Distribution Boards.
Ahead of todays launch of Swachh Office Drive, the Ministry of Urban
Development issued a Swachh Office Manual suggesting Standard
Office Procedures to all the central ministries and State Governments
to ensure sanitation. Norms suggested therein include ensuring
1. Water supply @ 45 litres per head per day
2. One toilet for every 25 persons
3. Urinals to be provided based on employee strength
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4.
5.
6.
7.

Removal of stains every week


Checking electrical fittings twice a week
Acid cleaning and scrubbing of toilets daily
Schedule of inspections etc.

The Manual enables self-assessment framework for improving Swachh


Office Ratings, identification of gaps in sanitation infrastructure for
correctional interventions.

GENDER PAY GAP INDEX


Amid raging debate over gender pay gap globally, a new report shows
the figure for India stands as high as 27 per cent, where men earned a
median gross hourly salary of Rs 288.68 while women earned Rs 207.85
per hour. As per the latest Monster Salary Index, by online career and
recruitment solutions provider Monster India, in the IT services sector
the median gross hourly salary was the highest at Rs 337.3.
As per report
1. The IT services sector has a huge gender pay gap of 34 per cent.
Men in IT services earn Rs 360.9 per hour, while women earn only
Rs 239.6 per hour.
2. A sector-wise analysis shows the gender pay gap was highest in
manufacturing sector (34.9 per cent) and lowest in the BFSI and
Transport, logistics, communication, equally standing at 17.7 per
cent.
3. Some of the reasons behind gender pay gap could be the
preference for male employees over female employees, preference
for promotion of male employees to supervisory positions and
career breaks of women due to parenthood duties and other sociocultural factors.
4. Worldwide, lack of pay parity has taken a centre stage with strong
views being shared by sports persons, political and business
leaders alike. Men often get higher salary offers than women
vying for the same title in the same organization.

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5. There is a strong need to create equal opportunities for all,


particularly women, who are key contributors in the Indian job
market.
6. Ironically, while education is considered as one of the major
factors in influencing salaries, yet it is least paid sector in India.
About the report
1. Monster Salary Index is an initiative by Monster India in
collaboration with Paycheck.in (managed by WageIndicator
Foundation) and IIM-Ahmedabad as a research partner.
2. This report provides a comparison of wage and working
conditions figures for three periods: calendar year 2013,
calendar year 2014 and the first three quarters of 2015
(January September 2015).

INDIAS FIRST DRIVER LESS TRAIN


The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is all set to conduct the trial run of
Indias first driverless train at Mukundpur depot on 17 May 2016. A
train running on Unattended Train Operations mode will be flagged
off from Mukundpur Metro depot by Union Urban Development
Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
What

1. The first driverless train for the Delhi Metros phase 3 project was
manufactured at Changwon in South Korea. It arrived by sea at
the Mundra port in Gujarat and was brought by road to Delhi on
specially-made trailers.
2. These trains will ply on the upcoming 58-km Majlish Park-Shiv
Vihar (Line 7) and 38-km Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden (Line
8) corridors. Both these corridors are expected to be operational by
the end of 2016.
3. Twenty-six-coach trains will be manufactured in South Korea and
the remaining 61 are being manufactured at the Bharat Earth
Movers Limited (BEML) plant in Bengaluru.
4. It has Eco-friendly upgrades and many additional features have
been added to increase passenger comfort.
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Initially, the train operators will be deputed for operation and gradually
withdrawn to move to Unattended Train Operation (UTO). Each coach
can accommodate maximum 380 passengers, which translates to 2,280
passengers in each six-coach train. The trains would be able to
accommodate 40 commuters more in a six-coach train as the drivers
cabin will not be required.

INDIGENOUSLY DEVELOPED MISSILE


SUCCESSFULLY TEST FIRED
India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable
Prithvi-II missile as part of a user trial by the armyfrom a test range at
Chandipur in Odisha. The trial of the surface-to-surface missile was
carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the
Integrated Test Range (ITR). There was plan for two trials of Prithvi-2
in quick succession. However, after the successful trial of the first one,
the second trial was abandoned due to technical problem. A similar
twin trial was conducted on October 12, 2009 from the same base where
both were successful.
What
1. With a strike range of 350 km, the Prithvi-II is capable of carrying
500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid
propulsion twin engines.
2. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with maneuvering
trajectory to hit its target.
3. The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and
the entire launch activities were carried out by the specially
formed strategic force command (SFC) and monitored by the
scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation
(DRDO) as part of training exercise.
4. The missile trajectory was tracked by DRDO radars, electrooptical tracking systems and telemetry stations located along the
coast of Odisha.
5. The downrange teams on board the ship deployed near the
designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the
terminal events and splashdown.
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6. Inducted into Indian armed forces in 2003, the nine-metre-tall,


single-stage liquid-fueled Prithvi II is the first missile to be
developed by DRDO under Indias prestigious IGMDP (Integrated
Guided Missile Development Program) and is now a proven
technology.
7. The last user trial of Prithvi-II was successfully conducted on
February 16, 2016 from the same test range in Odisha.

WHO REPORT ON INDIAN CITIES MISLEADING


The latest WHO report on pollution, which listed over 30 Indian cities
among hundred most polluted globally, was misleading and India will
soon come out with air pollution data of major cities across US and
Europe, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
Counter the report
1. The WHO report had not factored in various key pollutants
like Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and benzene while
analysing the air quality and wondered why western countries
focus more on India and some other countries and not themselves.
2. The WHO report, based on 2012-13 data, was prepared taking into
consideration particulate matter PM 10 and PM 2.5 and
listed Delhi as the 11th most polluted city in the world.
Environmentalists had sounded caution over the report, saying it
does not give the right picture.
3. Categorise the cities as polluted based on only PM 2.5 was
misleading as there areeight other major pollutants which have
adverse impact on health.
4. There is ozone pollution, benzene pollution, Sulphur
dioxide and nitrogen dioxide pollution among eight major
pollutants. Everything have adverse impact on health. On each
parameter, each pollutant, there are different cities in the world
which are bad and good.
Every citizen has the right to have full knowledge. PM 2.5 is not the
only pollutant. There are many cities in the western countries as well
which are suffering. So let citizens know that pollution problem is all
over, in different categories and degrees. The Minister said
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governments decision to publish pollution data of other countries is not


to counter but to spread awareness.

27TH IND INDO CORPAT CONCLUDED


The closing ceremony of 27TH India-Indonesian CORPAT (Coordinated
Patrol) was held from 16-19 May 16. Indian Naval Ship Karmuk
entered Belawan harbour (Indonesia) on 16 May 16 with the Senior
Officer Commodore Girish Kumar Garg, Naval Component
Commander, Andaman and Nicobar Command embarked to participate
in the closing ceremony. The ship was escorted by Indonesia Navy ship
KRI Imam Bonjol into the harbour.
What
1. The 27TH edition of the CORPAT was conducted from 29 Apr to
19 May 16.
2. The closing ceremony at Belawan saw the two navies conducting
interactive session on measures to enhanceinter-operability.
3. Indian Navy hosted a reception on board INS Karmuk on 17 may
16 which was attended by more than 100 dignitaries from various
fields.

CYCLONE ROANU
Heavy rainfall coupled with gusty surface wind is likely to pound some
parts of Odisha as the deep depression over west-central Bay of
Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm ROANU. The deep depression
over west-central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal moved nearly
north-northeastwards before intensifying into the cyclonic storm
ROANU and lay centred about 590 km southeast of Gopalpur, the
Meteorological Centre said. The system is likely to move northnortheastwards along and off Andhra Pradesh coast in the next 24
hours and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm.

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What
1. Subsequently, the system is likely to move northeastwards along
and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha in 48 hours.
2. Under its influence, rain and thundershower would occur at most
places over south and north Odisha in the next 24 hours.
3. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur at a few places with
extremely heavy rainfall at one or two places over south
Odisha and heavy rainfall at one or two places over north Odisha,
the Met.
4. One or two places over coastal and interior Odisha are likely to
experience heavy to very heavy rainfall and extremely heavy
rainfall tomorrow.
5. In view of the weather conditions, Distant Cautionary Signal
Number one (DC-I) was replaced by Distant Warning Signal
Number Two (DW-II) at all ports in the state.
6. The cyclonic storm is expected to cause damage to thatched huts,
minor damage to power and communication lines due to breaking
of branches and major damage to kutcha and minor damage to
pucca roads over coastal Odisha.

AIZAWL HAS HIGHEST INCIDENCE OF CANCER IN


MEN
The latest cancer data, released on 19 May 2016, shows that Aizawl in
Mizoram has the highest incidence of cancer in men, while Papumpare
in Arunachal Pradesh accounted for maximum cases in women. While
north-eastern States have traditionally reported high incidence of
cancer compared to the rest of the country, the latest data reveals that
the cancer burden in the north-east is among the highest in the world.
The data was released by the Indian Council of Medical Research
(ICMR), collected by its Population-Based Cancer Registry
(PBCR) programme.
As per data
1. The enormity of the tobacco problem in the north-east is reflected
in the cancer registry.
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2. North-eastern States now have among the highest cancer burned


in the world.
3. In the case of stomach cancer, Chennai had the highest incidence
before we set up a registry in Aizawl.
4. Lung cancer is the leading cause among men while breast
cancer is the leading cause among women.
5. The total estimated burden of cancer for 2016 is 14.5 lakh new
cases, going up to 17.3 lakh cases by 2020.
6. The number of deaths due to cancer for 2016 is estimated to be
around 7.36 lakh, going up to 8.8 lakh by 2020.
7. Among men, the top five sites of cancer were lung which
accounted for 10 per cent of the cases; stomach with 7.6 per cent
cases; prostate with 7 per cent cases and oesophagus with 6 per
cent cases and brain with 5 per cent cases. For women, breast had
27.5 per cent cases; cervix uteri with 12.3 per cent cases; ovary
with 5.3 per cent cases; thyroid with 4 per cent cases and mouth
with 3.9 per cent cases.
8. The radical increase in colon cancer for men and cervix uteri for
women was noticed

KAYAKALP FORTNIGHT LAUNCHED


To implement the vision and philosophy behind Swachch Bharat
Abhiyaan launched by the Hon. Prime Minister, the Health Ministry
launched the Kayakalp initiative last year to set protocols for hygiene
and sanitation at government health facilities.
The initiative towards total Swacchta in public health facilities is
aimed towards building confidence of the users in public health
facilities, provide quality service and encourage team work. The
initiative will encourage every public health facility in the country to
work towards standards of excellence to help the facilities stay clean
and hygienic.
The Union Health Minister has launched of the Kayakalp Fortnight
which shall be observed throughout the country in various central
government hospitals from 20th May, 2016 to 3rd June, 2016 with a
view to intensifying the Kayakalp initiatives under the Swachch Bharat
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Abhiyaan. Shri Nadda launched the Kayakalp Fortnight at AIIMS, New


Delhi. He stated that as part of the various activities to be taken up
during the fortnight, senior officers of the Ministry will be inspecting
various Central Hospitals in the country to take stock of the existing
status and to intensify the Swachhta drive. The States have been
requested to take up similar campaigns in their respective States.
Union Health Minister reviewed the practices followed for maintaining
cleanliness, sanitation and hygiene within and outside the premises of
AIIMS and visited various wards including the OTs, ICUs, Emergency
and private wards. The Union Minister also took rounds of disposal
areas and toilets to review the protocols. He had a meeting with the
Director and other senior officers and doctors of various facilities/wards
to get inputs on the protocols followed and suggestions on how to
further enhance these. As part of Kayakalp, standards and protocols
have been put in place for upkeep of services within and outside the
buildings; support services such as laundry and food are provided at
various locations; waste management as per standards is undertaken;
and infection control measures are taken. Committees and subcommittees are formed to periodically review and monitor the progress
made in these areas.

REPORT ON INTERNET SPEED


Rolling out of 4G infrastructure is critical for higher internet speed in
India, global financial services firm Morgan Stanley said in a report. 90
percent of users in India to access the Internet through mobile by 2020.
Hence, availability of Pan-India 3G and 4G mobile network becomes
critical for Internet speeds, the report said.
The report said
1. 3G rollout improved, an incrementally greater proportion of data
subscribers started coming on 3G compared to 2G, helping the
average speeds move up.
2. Existing and new telecom operators have already incurred huge
capex to roll out 4G infrastructure.

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3. Further, through its Digital India programme, the government


plans to spend $17 billion to connect 600,000 villages through
a fibre optics network.
4. These initiatives bode well for average speeds and broadband
penetration.
5. Internet penetration in India has reached 30 percent, but Internet
speeds remain low, with broadband penetration at 16 percent.
Moreover, broadband wireline penetration is even lower at 8
percent.
6. Globally, the gap between Internet and broadband penetration is
highest for India and Brazil.
7. Low Internet speeds are also highlighted by Akamai, which quotes
average broadband speeds for India and Brazil as being among the
lowest globally at ~3mbps.

INDIA STEPS IN TO ASSIST SRI LANKA IN CYCLONE


RELIEF
India has dispatched military ships and an aircraft with rescue and
relief material to Sri Lanka, where torrential rains and landslides have
resulted in several deaths and massive devastation over the last few
days. We stand resolutely to help the Government and people of Sri
Lanka. Assistance being rushed on emergency basis, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi said.
Details
1. Two Navy ships, one Naval Off Shore Patrol (NOPV) INS
Sunayna and one survey shipINS Sutlej, had set sail from Kochi
with 30-40 tons of relief material which includes inflatable rafts,
fresh water, medical supplies, clothing and other provisions
necessary for disaster relief operations and are scheduled to reach
Colombo harbour on May 21 during the morning hours.
2. In addition to providing the relief material, would also be
participating in the rescue and relief efforts, the officer added. The
Navy has also kept two Dornier aircraft on standby at Kochi for
any emergent requirement.

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3. Following this an Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster heavy


transport aircraft with 60 tons of relief materials and officials
from National Disaster Management Authority
(NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)was sent
from Palam Air Force station in Delhi.
4. The C-17 reached Colombo with a halt in Chennai carrying
medical supplies, tarpaulins, tents, emergency lights consumables
stores, and mobile toilets along with NDMA and NDRF officials.
Background
1. A tropical cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, Roanu, hit across the Sri
Lankan coast causing massive flooding and mudslides which left
scores dead and displaced over 1,00,0000 families.
2. Sri Lanka is a close neighbour and friend and India has always
been the first responder in times of a crisis. As was the case
during the Tsunami that affected Sri Lanka in the past, this time
also India will extend all necessary help and relief to Sri Lanka,
as requested.

INS TARMUGLI JOINS THE INDIAN NAVY


The Indian Navy commissioned the highly maneuverable Fast Attack
Craft INS Tarmugli at the hands of Vice Admiral HCS Bisht AVSM,
Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command at a
formal ceremony held at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam.
INS Tarmugli is being based in Visakhapatnam under the Naval
Officer-in-Charge (Andhra Pradesh) and would be deployed for coastal
patrol and surveillance operations along the East Coast of India.
Details
1. Built by M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd
(GRSE), INS Tarmugli is thefirst Follow-on Water Jet Fast Attack
Craft (WJFAC), is an improved version of WJFAC, earlier
constructed by GRSE. Conceived, designed and built indigenously,
the commissioning of this ship completes the addition of another
chapter to the nations Make in India initiative and
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indigenisation efforts in the field of warship design and


construction.
2. Named after a picturesque island in the Andaman group, the 320tonne INS Tarmugli, measuring 48 meters in length, can achieve
speeds in excess of 30 knots. The ship is manned by a team
comprising four officers and 41 sailors with Commander Sreejith S
Nair at the helm as Commanding Officer. The ship is capable of
operating in shallow waters at high speeds and is equipped with
enhanced fire power. Built for extended coastal and offshore
surveillance and patrol the warship is fitted with advanced MTU
engines, water jet propulsion and the latest communication
equipment.
3. The ships armament consists of a 30 mm CRN 91
gun manufactured by Ordnance Factory Medak. An electronic
day-night fire control system namely Stabilised Optronic Pedestal
(SOP) manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) controls
the gun. The ship is also equipped with two 12.7 mm heavy
machine guns (HMG) and multiple medium machine guns, besides
shoulder-launched Igla surface-to-air missiles to combat aerial
threats.

INDIAS FIRST SOLAR-POWERED TRAIN


With Indian Railways aggressively focusing on renewable
energy, Indias first solar panel-fitted train is all set to commence trial
runs shortly. What makes this trial run special is that all coaches of the
train would be lit from power generated by the rooftop solar panels.
Last year, Northern Railways had fitted one coach of the RewariSitapur broad gaugepassenger train with solar panels. However, this
would be the first DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) broad gauge
train, in which all coaches have solar panels, says Railways.
What
1. The solar-panel powered train will be tested on the Jodhpur
division of the North Western Railways. The DEMU train which is
being used for the trial run has eight coaches, with each coach
fitted with twelve solar panels.
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2. solar-power train, Indian Railways The DEMU solar-powered


train which is being used for the trial run has eight coaches, with
each coach fitted with twelve solar panels. (NW Railways image)
3. Each solar panel will generate 300 watt of electricity, which
means 3.6KW of power per coach.
4. This, the Indian Railways says will be enough to provide
electricity for lights and fans inside the coach. However, enough
power would not be generated to run air-conditioners.
5. The solar train is not the only green initiative taken by the Indian
Railways. Last year, Indian Railways had introduced Indias first
CNG DEMU train on the Rewari-Rohtak section of Northern
Railways.
6. The DEMU train runs on dual fuel system CNG and diesel.
Railways have modified the 1,400 HP engine to run on dual fuel
diesel and CNG through fumigation technology.
7. CNG train Indias first CNG DEMU train. (Northern Railways
image)
8. The train comprising of two power cars and six car coaches has
been manufactured by Integral Coach Factory at Chennai with
the CNG conversion kit being supplied by Cummins.
9. 1 megawatt solar power plant was set up at Katra station in 2015,
a move that can save up to Rs 1 crore annually on energy bills.
This is the biggest rooftop solar plant built in Jammu and
Kashmir and the largest solar power plant built by Indian
Railways.

MODEL RULES UNDER JJ ACT, 2015 RELEASED


The Union Minister of Women and Child Development released
the Draft Model Rules under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection
of Children) Act, 2015 in New Delhi on 25 May 2016. The draft rules
have been released for stakeholder comments and suggestions.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 has
come into force from 15th January, 2016 repealing the Juvenile Justice
(Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. The Act is a comprehensive
law with strengthened provisions for children in conflict with law and
those in need of care and protection. Some of the key features include:
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1. Special provisions for children who commit heinous offences in the


age group of 16-18 years;
2. Inclusion of new offences committed against children, which were
so far not adequately covered under any other law, such as giving
intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug or tobacco products to
children, sale and procurement of children for any purpose,
corporal punishment in child care institutions, etc.;
3. Mandatory registration of all Child Care Institutions with
punishment in case of non-compliance;
4. Giving statutory status to the Central Adoption Resource
Authority (CARA) to enable it to perform its function more
effectively.
Details
The Draft Model Rules, 2016 that repeal the Model Rules, 2007,
are based on the philosophy that children need to be reformed and
reintegrated into society.
The Rules are appreciative of the development needs of children
and therefore best interest of the child along with child friendly
procedures is incorporated across the provisions and is the
primary consideration.
One of the key features of the JJ Act, 2015 is special treatment of
children in the age group of 16-18 years who commit heinous
offences.
The Draft rules prescribe detailed child friendly procedures for
police, Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) and Childrens Court. The
Board and the Childrens Court are to adhere to the principle of
best interest of the child and the objective of rehabilitation and
reintegration of the child in the society. Every state Government
is required to set up at least one place of safety in a State for the
rehabilitation of such children. The Rules prescribe for extensive
services to be provided to such children through regular
monitoring.
A principle of JJ Act, 2015 is that keeping children in institutional
care should be a measure of last resort.
The Act therefore provides for various de-institutionalization
measures for childrensuch as adoption, foster care and
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sponsorship. The Draft rules prescribe detailed procedures to give


effect to these provisions. Various models of Group foster care
were reviewed and studied before drafting the relevant provisions
in the Rules. In addition to these, roles and responsibilities of
various functionaries responsible to provide care and protection to
children have been re-defined to bring clarity.
To facilitate quick and smooth adoption of children, the entire
adoption process has been made online and transparent.
Simplified procedures have been laid down for adoption by
relatives.
Child care institutions are required to develop linkages with
Specialized Adoption Agencies so that the pool of adoptable
children can be increased and these children can be brought into
the adoption process.
Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), which was earlier a
society has been given the status of a statutory body to enable it to
function better.
The Draft Rules prescribe for a comprehensive list of function of
CARA, to facilitate its smooth functioning.
The JJ Act, 2015 includes a separate chapter on offences against
child and several of the offences listed in this chapter were so far
not adequately covered under any other law.
These include sale and procurement of children for any purpose
including illegal adoption, corporal punishment in child care
institutions, giving children intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug or
psychotropic substance or tobacco products, use of child by
militant or adult groups, offences against disabled children and,
kidnapping and abduction of children.

In addition to the Draft Rules


1. Extensive Forms have also been drafted to standardize and
simplify prescribed procedures.
2. A total of 49 Forms have been drafted which is more than double
the Forms in Model Rules, 2007.
3. Separate individual care forms for children in need of care and
protection and those in conflict with law have been created, form
for social background report by the police, which was lacking
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earlier has been developed to assist the police in recording


information about children.
4. Form for period review of children in the age group of 16-18 years
who are placed in place of safety, will assist in proper review of
the progress of the child and also ensure children are provided
with adequate services for their rehabilitation.
5. Several other forms related to periodic report by probation officer,
case monitoring sheet, Comprehensive psycho-social report,
Rehabilitation card, etc. will go a long way in better
understanding and implementation of the Act and Rules framed
thereunder.

INDIA FIFTH LARGEST PRODUCER OF E-WASTE


India, which has emerged as the worlds second largest mobile market,
is also the fifth largest producer of e-waste, discarding roughly 18.5
lakh tonnes of electronic waste each year, a study says. Telecom
equipment alone accounts for 12 per cent of the e-waste, a joint study by
Assocham-KPMG said.
Matter of concern
1. The rising levels of e-waste generation in India have been a
matter of concern in recent years. With more than 100 crore
mobile phones in circulation, nearly 25 per cent end up in e-waste
annually, it said.
2. India has surely emerged as the second largest mobile market
with 1.03 billion subscribers, but also the fifth largest producer of
e-waste in the world, discarding roughly 18.5 lakh metric tonnes
of electronic waste each year, with telecom equipment alone
accounting for 12 per cent of the e-waste.
3. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has
notified e-waste management rules, 2016, in which producers are
for the first time covered underextended producers responsibility
(EPR).

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Waste collection target


1. The rules prescribe a waste collection target of 30 per cent waste
generated under EPR for the first two years, progressively going
up to 70 per cent in the seventh year of the rule.
2. The rules prescribe stringent financial penalties for noncompliance. However, the study said the unorganised sector in
India is estimated to handle around 95 per cent of the e-waste
produced in the country. Given the huge user base and vast reach
of telecom in India, it is practically difficult and expensive for the
handset manufacturers to achieve the targets prescribed in the
rules from first year, the study added.
Phased manner
It is suggested that electronic waste collection targets are implemented
in a phased mannerwith lower and practically achievable target limits.
Also, detailed implementation procedures for collection of electronic
waste from the market need to be followed, the study said.

ARUSH COMMISSIONED
The Indian Coast Guard ship Arush, the seventeenth in the series of
twenty Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs), designed and built by M/s Cochin
Shipyard Limited, was commissioned at Kochiby the Coast Guard
Commander (Western Seaboard) Additional Director General SPS
Basra.
What
1. Indian Coast Guard will be a 150 ships/boats and 100 aircraft
maritime force in next few years. In addition to these operational
assets, a coastal surveillance network is being established with 46
stations to ensure real time coastal surveillance.
2. The 50 meter indigenous FPV displaces 421 tonnes and can
achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots with an endurance of 1500
nautical miles at economical speed of 13 knots, equipped with
state-of-the-art weaponry and advanced communication and
navigational equipment.
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3. She makes an ideal platform for undertaking multifarious closecoast missions such as surveillance, interdiction, search and
rescue and medical evacuation.
4. The special features of the ship include an Integrated Bridge
Management System (IBMS) and Integrated Machinery Control
System (IMCS).
5. The ship has been named ICGS Arush, literally meaning first
ray of sun, and will be based at Porbandar under the
administrative and operational control of the Commander, Coast
Guard Region (North West).
6. The ship is commanded by Commandant Pramod Pokhriyal and
has complement of four officers and 33 enrolled personnel.

BRAHMOS MISSILE TEST-FIRED


India on 27 May 2016 successfully test fired the over 290-km range
BrahMos land-attack supersonic cruise missile. The system was put to
check by the Indian Air Force, which has acquired a squadron of it
consisting of over 50 missiles, at about 1200 hrs in the Pokharan firing
range.
The unique BrahMos weapon system on numerous occasions has
established its supremacy in the world of supersonic cruise missile, a
statement by the BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture of India and
Russia, said.
The flight conducted has met its mission parameters in a copybook
manner, it said, adding, that the missile met all flight parameters the
formidable weapon successfully hit and annihilated the designated
target.
Details
1. The accuracy in mountain warfare mode was recently reestablished in a campaign conducted by the Indian Army in the
eastern sector last year and repeated last month.
2. This formidable missile system has empowered all three wings of
the armed forceswith impeccable anti-ship and land attack
capability.
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3. The IAF has acquired the missile system last year to take out
targets like radars, communication systems near the borders so
that their planes are not targeted by the enemy.

22 SATELLITES IN SINGLE MISSION


ISRO said it will launch a record 22 satellites in a single mission next
month. After the current reusable launch vehicle, the next experiment
what we have to do we have to worry about that. Other than that, next
month we have a launch where we will be launching about 22 satellites.
Also one of a cartographic series satellite will be launched, ISRO
Chairman Kiran Kumar said. Speaking on the sidelines of an event
organised by Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and
Industry (FKCCI), he said that of the 22 satellites, three are Indian and
the rest all commercial. The launch is scheduled during the end of next
month, he added.
What
1. Earlier, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Director K Sivan had said
ISROs workhorse Polar rocket PSLV C34 will be used for the
launch, which will have satellites from US, Canada, Indonesia and
Germany as co-passengers.
2. The space agency had earlier sent ten satellites into orbit in a
single mission in 2008.
3. Immediately after that (launch), we have a scatterometer that is
going to get launched, thenINSAT 3DR we call- it is to provide
vertical temperature and humidity profile from geostationary
satellite.
4. Taking a step in development of reusable rocket which will
drastically cut down cost of access to space, ISRO had successfully
flight-tested an indigenous winged Reusable Launch Vehicle,
dubbed swadeshi space shuttle, from Sriharikota spaceport in
Andhra Pradesh.
5. The first in the series of experimental flights for Reusable Launch
Vehicle-technology development is thehypersonic flight
experiment (HEX) followed by the landing experiment (LEX),
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return flight experiment (REX) and scramjet propulsion


experiment (SPEX).

CHILD MARRIAGES IN THE COUNTRY


Girls in the age group of 14-17 years form the biggest chunk of victims
of child marriages in the country, the Census 2011 figures showed.
According to Census 2011, 68.5% of the victims, including boys, are girls
from the age group of 14-17 years. Of the 12.20 crore victims, both boys
and girls, 8.36 crore are girls from this age group.
What
1. Among the 14-15 years age group, 2.81 crore girls were married
before the legal age of 18 years for marriage, while that of 16-17
age group is 5.54 crore.
2. The number of boys, whose legal age for marriage is 21 years, who
tied the knot when they were 14-15 years, was much lower at 39
lakhs. The figure for 16-17 years is 91.69 lakh.
3. The ill effects of child marriage were documented in
governments National Strategy Document on Prevention of Child
Marriage.
4. It said such marriages deny a child the basic right to good health,
nutrition and education.
5. Evidence shows that early marriage makes girls more vulnerable
to violence, abuse and exploitation, the document published by
Ministry of Women and Child Development said. As per the
census figures released, a considerable number of children were
married below 10 years. While there were 42.76 lakh boys who
were married when they were below the age of 10 years, the
number of girls was almost double at 78.49 lakh.

CHANGING SURNAME DOES NOT CHANGE CASTE OF


PERSON
The Bombay High Court has provided relief to a medical graduate who
was denied admission in a post-graduate course in the Scheduled Tribe

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category despite possessing valid caste certificate on the ground that he


had changed his surname.
The petitioner contended that though he had a Caste Validity
Certificate and belonged to Scheduled Tribe, his claim to post graduate
admission was not being considered on the ground that he has changed
his surname.
The count observed
1. If the surname is changed, that does not change caste of a person.
It is specific contention of the petitioner that the change in his
surname is duly notified in the Government Gazette.
2. By way of ad-interim relief, we direct the respondents to consider
the claim of petitioner fromreserved categoryif the petitioner
possesses validity certificate and a Government Notification
notifying the change in his name.
Details
1. The vacation bench of justices Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi and B R
Gavai, in their order on May 23, asked the government pleader to
communicate the order passed by the high Court to the college
authority concerned. The petitioner, Shantunu Hari Bhardwaj,
submitted that after completion of his MBBS Degree, he had
sought admission to Post Graduate Course under the reserved
quota for ST community. However, he was denied admission by
the respondents arbitrarily and illegally. The petitioner submitted
that his caste and sub-caste is Hindu-Tokre Koli which falls under
the category of Scheduled Tribes as per the Schedule annexed to
Constitution of India.
2. It was contended that his original surname is Sapkale. However,
he and his brother have changed their surname from Sapkale to
Bhardwaj from the year 1999 by effect of an official publication in
Maharashtra Government Gazette, dated May 20, 1999. The
petitioner submitted that after the said official change in his
surname as Bhardwaj, he had applied to the Education Officer
for changing his surname from Sapkale to Bhardwaj by an
application dated August 29, 1999. The Education Officer by his
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order dated January 20, 2000, changed his surname from Sapkale
to Bhardwaj in all school records.
3. The petitioner submitted that he had passed MBBS course in
December, 2014 from Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences,
Deemed University at Loni in Ahmednagar district. In the said
certificate as well as mark list, his surname appears as
Bhardwaj. He said that after passing his MBBS degree course, he
had applied for admission to Post Graduate Course with the State
Common Entrance Test Cell in accordance with the admission
rules for the course in 2016. The petitioner said he had appeared
for Common Entrance Test and secured 167 marks out of 300. In
the Hall Ticket and Mark List for the exam, his surname
appeared as Bhardwaj. In the selection list for admission to the
PG Course for 2016, his name appeared with Bhardwaj surname
and he was directed to take admission in the course at Dr
Punjabrao Bauchand Deshmuk Memorial Medical College,
Amravati.
4. The petitioner informed the court that he had completed all the
formalities required for his admission to PG Course as per the
select list, however, the college authorities denied him admission
in a letter dated April 20, 2016, on the ground that his name
appearing in Caste Validity Certificate is different from what had
appeared in the select list. Being aggrieved, he moved the Bombay
High Court which has now directed the college authorities to
consider his claim for admission.

COLLEGIUM RETURNS MOP


In what could trigger a fresh round of confrontation between the
Executive and the Judiciary, the Supreme Court collegium has
questioned the governments right to reject its recommendation on the
ground of national interest. The collegium on 28 May 2016 returned to
the government the revised memorandum of procedure (MoP) a
document which guides appointment of judges to the Supreme Court
and the 24 high courts suggesting changes in certain clauses.

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Details
1. Highly-placed sources in the government said the collegium,
headed by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, has not rejected the
MoP completely, but only partially by suggesting changes in
some of the clauses.
2. The clause on right to reject a recommendation on national
interest is contrary to the current practice where government is
bound to accept a recommendation by the collegium, comprising
four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court and the CJI, if it
reiterates the same.
3. The revised MoP further provides that once the Centre has
rejected a recommendation it will not be bound to reconsider it
even after reiteration by the collegium.
4. The other clause which the collegium is learnt to have objected to
is that the Attorney General at the Centre and Advocates General
in the states should have a say in recommending candidates for
appointment and elevation of judges to the Supreme Court and
high courts.
5. This clause gives the Centre as well as the state governments an
indirect say in naming candidates for the post of SC or HC judges.
6. The collegium is also learnt to have sought ways to shorten the
present time-line where it takes around three months to appoint a
judge after a recommendation is made.
7. The government has now sought the opinion of the Attorney
General on the observations made by the collegium. AG Mukul
Rohatgi had played a key role in drafting the MoP.
8. The memorandum, a document which guides the appointment of
SC and HC judges, was revised after a Supreme Court bench
asked the government to rewrite it in a bid to make the collegium
system more transparent.
The memorandum was sent to the CJI by law Minister D V Sadananda
Gowda in March this year. Addressing a press conference on April
24 after the joint conference of chief justices and chief ministers here,
the CJI had said the core of the document, based on a Supreme Court
judgment, will remain unaltered that the collegium will make
recommendations. Parliament had enacted the National Judicial
Appointments Commission Act to overturn the over two-decade old
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collegium system where judges appoint judges. The law was struck
down by the apex court in October 16 last year.

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June 2016
INDIA TOPS GLOBAL SLAVERY INDEX

About 45.8 million people around the world are trapped in modern
versions of enslavement, a human rights group reported.
The organization, the Walk Free Foundation, attributed the
increased number in its report, the 2016 Global Slavery Index, to
improved data collection and research methodology.
The organization said it had derived the index from 42,000
interviews conducted in 53 languages.
Some form of modern slavery exists in all 167 countries covered by
the index.

Historical Definition
A slavery in which people were held as legal property, a practice that
has been universally outlawed, modern slavery is generally defined
as human trafficking, forced labor, bondage from indebtedness,
forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation.
Five countries account for 58% of the worlds enslaved
The Walk Free Foundations report said more than half the
population of modern slaves are in five countries India, with 18.35
million, China, with 3.39 million, Pakistan, 2.13 million, Bangladesh,
1.53 million, and Uzbekistan, 1.23 million.
Govt. actions and responses

The study also tracked the government actions and responses to


the modern slavery and of the 161 assessed, 124 nations had
criminalised human trafficking in line with the U.N. trafficking
Protocol and 96 nations had developed national action plans to
coordinate government response.
It noted that while India had more people enslaved than any other
country, it had made significant progress in introducing measures
to tackle the problem.
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It has criminalised trafficking, slavery, forced labour, child


prostitution and forced marriage. The Indian government is
currently tightening legislation against human trafficking, with
tougher punishment for repeat offenders. It will offer victims
protection and recovery support, it said.
Those governments taking the least action to combat modern
slavery are North Korea, Iran, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Hong
Kong, Central African Republic, Papua New Guinea, Guinea, the
Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.

NEW RETIREMENT AGE OF DOCTORS


Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a proposal of the Union health
ministry to increase the age of retirement of all government doctors to
65 years.

The order, which is effective from May 31, 2016, will affect both central
and state government hospitals.
Positives

According to a health ministry source, the move will enable the


government to retain experienced doctors for a longer period, and
to provide better services in its public health facilities,
particularly to the poorest, who are entirely dependent on staterun facilities.
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This will strengthen the efforts of the Ministry in conceptualising


and rolling out various people-oriented schemes which WILL need
the services of doctors in implementing them.

Negatives

While most doctors hailed the decision, a section of specialists


believed it was a regressive move.
Like engineers, even doctors will now start moving out of the
country in large numbers. By increasing the age of retirement of
doctors, one senior doctor will eat jobs of at least three young
doctors, said a resident doctor at one of Delhis government-run
hospitals. He wished to remain unnamed.
If seniors do not retire, how will juniors get a chance to move
ahead. This move will affect the careers of young doctors
adversely, the doctor said.

COUNTRYS FIRST-EVER NATIONAL DISASTER


MANAGEMENT PLAN
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the National Disaster
Management Plan that seeks to provide a framework and direction to
government agencies for prevention, mitigation, and management of
disasters.
This is the first ever national plan prepared in the country.
Though Section 11of the Disaster Management Act mandates
preparation of a national plan by the national executive committee
headed by Union home secretary, no such plan had been drawn up so
far.
The Centre has now fulfilled this requirement by releasing a national
plan that will be aligned with the goals and priorities set out in
the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The plan will now have to be approved by the National Disaster
Management Authority (NDMA) headed by the prime minister.
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Highlights of the programme:


1. The NDMP has been aligned broadly with the goals and priorities
set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
2. The Vision of the Plan is to Make India disaster resilient, achieve
substantial disaster risk reduction, and significantly decrease the
losses of life, livelihoods, and assets economic, physical, social,
cultural and environmental by maximizing the ability to cope
with disasters at all levels of administration as well as among
communities.
3. The national plan incorporates priorities enunciated in the
Sendai Framework, into the planning framework for
disaster risk reduction under the following thematic areas:
Understanding risk
Inter-agency coordination
Investing in disaster risk reduction with structural
measures
Investing in disaster risk reduction with nonstructural measures
Capacity Development
Disaster response

As regards disaster response, the plan identifies 18 broad


activities and arranges them into a matrix meant to serve as a
ready reckoner.
These activities include early warning, evacuation of people and
animals, search and rescue, medical care, ensuring safe drinking
water supply, food and essential supplies, communication, housing
and temporary shelters, power, fuel, transportation, relief
logistics, disposal of animal carcasses, fodder for livestock in
scarcity-hit areas, rehabilitation and safety of livestock, data
collection and management, relief employment and media
relations.
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The National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) provides a


framework and direction to the government agencies for all phases of
disaster management cycle. The NDMP is a dynamic document in the
sense that it will be periodically improved keeping up with the
emerging global best practices and knowledge bases in disaster
management. The Plan also highlights that the disaster risk reduction
will be achieved by mainstreaming the requirements into the
developmental plans.

EXERCISE DESERT EAGLE-II CONCLUDES


Desert Eagle II, which was the second in the series of bilateral exercises
between Indian Air Force (IAF) and United Arab Emirates Air Force
(UAE AF), concluded on 03 Jun 2016. This was a ten-day air combat
exercise in which the IAF and the UAE Air Force undertook air
exercises from Al-Dhafra Air Base, Abu Dhabi starting from 22 May
2016. It is pertinent to note that India and United Arab Emirates have
strong bilateral relations which date back to more than hundreds of
years. Both the nations have demonstrated keen resolve to engage each
other in multiple facets and take the relationship to the next level.
Defence Co-operation between the two nations gained momentum after
signing of the Agreement of Defence Co-operation during the visit of
the Chief of Staff of UAE Armed Forces to India in 2003.

What
1. Exercise Desert Eagle-II saw the IAF Su 30 MKI participating
along with Mirage 2000-9 and F-16 block 60 of the UAE Air Force.

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2. The Indian Air Force had participated previously in Desert Eagle


I in 2008. While referring to the overall exercise, the team Leader
Gp Capt H Assudhani said This was an excellent opportunity for
both the Air Forces to learn from each other and exchange best
practices which in turn would be mutually beneficial.
3. A wide variety of missions were flown under the beyond Visual
Range (BVR) environment with varied levels of complexities.
4. Mission commanders from both sides participated in the Exercise
and availed this opportunity to the maximum to draw valuable
operational lessons.
5. Despite the predominantly hot and arid conditions with
temperatures well beyond 40 deg Celsius, IAF maintenance
support staff succeeded in maintaining high serviceability state of
aircraft and equipment.

BALLISTIC MISSILE PROLIFERATION


India has subscribed to an international code of conduct against the
indiscriminate spread of ballistic missile technology, once again
reaffirming its commitment to global non-proliferation objectives. India
has joined The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile
Proliferation (or HCoC in short) by notifying Austria, the designated
central contact of the convention.
What
1. The HCoC, adopted in 2002, is a voluntary, legally non-binding
international confidence-building and transparency measure that
seeks to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles that are
capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.
2. Its joining the HCoC signalled its readiness to further strengthen
global non-proliferation objectives.
3. Indias accession took the number of the nations subscribing the
HCoC against ballistic missile proliferation to 138. China,
Pakistan, Israel and North Korea are among the nations, which
are yet to accede to the code despite having significant missile
development capability.

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4. India, which did not sign the NPT, had been a pariah for the
global non-proliferation regimes till 2008.
5. The Nuclear Supplier Group, which controls global atomic
material and technology trade, however, granted an exemption to
India in 2008, despite its non-NPT status.

INDIA FOR REGIONAL SECURITY FRAMEWORK TO


RESOLVE DISPUTES
India on 4 June 2016 called for a regional framework for security
management to peacefully resolve disputes, threat and use of force in
the Indo-Pacific region, amid China flexing its muscles in the area to
advance its maritime claims against its Asian neighbors at the 15th
Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Regional framework for security
management must enshrine a commitment to the peaceful resolution of
disputes, the threat or use of force, said Defence Minister Manohar
Parrikar in his address at the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue.
Details
1. Also called for collective efforts to tackle terrorism which remains
the foremost challenge to the region.
2. The security framework in our region still do not give enough
attention to terrorism.
3. Collective action and cooperation is the way forward to deal with
the maritime threat, like terrorism, piracy and natural disaster.
4. Terrorism remains the foremost challenge to the region. Networks
of radicalism and terrorism as well as the whole structure in the
region and beyond continue to pose a threat to all peace loving
societies.
5. Noting sensitivities of disputes and concern about growing
tension, India highlighted Indias blue economy initiative and
prosperity of the region.
6. There is no doubt that the Indo Pacific region, from East of Suez
to Asia Pacific shores, will remain the driver of global prosperity
for decades to come.

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TIGER EXPRESS TRAIN LAUNCHED


Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on 5 June 2016
flagged off the inaugural run of the Tiger Trail Circuit Train from Delhi
Safdarjung Station through video conferencing between Mumbai and
Delhi.
The launch of this Tiger Express on World Environment Day is to
highlight the significance of environment in our lives. The Railway
Minister took personal interest in conceptualizing this train. This
tourist train will be operated by Indian Railway PSU namely Indian
Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). The train with 5
days/6 nights itinerary will start from Delhi Sufdarjung railway
station and travel via Katani, Jabalpur, Bandhavgadh, Kanha. The
semi-luxury train will take the guests onboard to the world famous
Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks in Madhya Pradesh. In
addition, the trip will also take tourists to Dhuadhar Waterfall in
Bedhaghat near Jabalpur. Referring to the Tiger Express which was
launched that tiger is at the apex of the food chain which has
tremendous ecological impact and hence it is befitting to launch a train
focused on this subject. The ministry also announced that Indian
Railways through its PSU IRCTC will launch more tourist circuit trains
like elephant circuit, desert circuit etc.

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Salient features:
The launch of the Tiger Express is in tune with the
announcement in this regard in the Railway Budget 2016-17. The
objective of the train is to create awareness about our national
animal, the Tiger.
The Tiger Express is one of the most innovative tourism products
ever launched by Indian Railways.
The Indian Tiger has always allured tourists from both India and
abroad. The semi-luxury train will take the guests onboard to the
world famous Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks in Madhya
Pradesh.
The Kanha National Park is known for the presence of
tigers, Swamp Deer, and the Barasingha. It is also recognized as
the source of inspiration for the famous writer Rudyard Kipling
for his famous novel, The Jungle Book.
The Bandhavgarh National Park is known for its biodiversity. The
density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is one of the
highest known in India. The park has a large breeding population
of leopards and various species of deer.
The 5 days / 6 nights itinerary of the Tiger Express includes three
Tiger Safaris, and it gives ample opportunity to the tourists to
have a sight of the majestic wild cats in their natural environs and
a spectacular view of the wildlife.
The most important objective of the train is to create and spread
awareness about the wildlife in general and the tiger in
particular. An added attraction of the trip is a visit to the famous
Dhuadhar Falls in Bhedaghat, Jabalpur.
IRCTC has been designated to execute the entire itinerary. They
have been efficiently conducting a variety of tour programmes like
the Desert Circuit in Rajasthan and the Heritage Circuit in
North India.
This is for the first time that Indian Railways have forayed into
the exciting and fascinating wildlife tourism.
This is also the first semi-luxury train on a tourist circuit having a
dining car. The objective behind it is to facilitate frequent
interactions among travellers during the travel. No other semiluxury train is equipped with a dining car.
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INDIA, QATAR INK 7 AGREEMENTS


India and Qatar on 5 June 2016 signed seven agreements, including one
on finance intelligence to check money launderingand terrorism
financing and another to woo foreign investment in the infrastructure
sector from the gas-rich Gulf state.
Cooperation and investment in areas of skill development and
education, health, tourism and sports between the two countrieswere
the other agreements signed by Indian and Qatar officials in the
presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Emir Sheikh Tamim
Bin Hamad Al Thani.
Details
1. An MoU was signed between Qatar Investment Authority and
External Affairs Ministry for investment in National Investment
and Infrastructure Fund between the two countriesthat would
facilitate foreign investment from the gas-rich Gulf state.
2. An MoU signed between Finance Intelligence Unit India (FIUIND) and the Qatar Financial Information Unit (QFIU) would
help in tracking money flow and investment from Qatar to India.
It would also help authorities to safeguard against money
laundering, terrorism financing and other economic offences.
3. An agreement was also signed between the two countries
on cooperation and mutual assistance in custom matters besides
an MoU on cooperation in tourism.
4. Qatar is an important trading partner for India in the Gulf
region with bilateral trade in 2014-15 standing at USD 15.67
billion. It is also one of Indias key sources of crude oil.
5. The Prime Minister has been focusing on improving ties with the
Gulf region which is crucial for Indias energy security. He has
already visited United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

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SWITZERLAND BACKS INDIAS NSG BID


India on 6 June 2016 got the backing of Switzerland in its bid to become
a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group ahead of the elite groups
crucial meeting even as the two countries resolved to strengthen
cooperation in combating tax evasion and blackmoney.
Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann announced his countrys
support to Indias membership in the 48-member grouping after holding
comprehensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
What
1. Agreeing to expand cooperation in tackling the problem of
Indians stashing blackmoney in Swiss banks was one of the key
focus areas of the talks between the two leaders besides stepping
up ties in areas of trade, investment and vocational training.
2. India has been pushing for membership of the bloc for last few
years and had formally moved its application on May 12.
3. The grouping will take up Indias application in its plenary
meetings on June 9 in Viennaand June 24 in Seoul.
4. The NSG looks after critical issues relating to the nuclear sector
and its membership will help India expand its atomic energy
sector.
India and Switzerland have both been the voices of peace,
understanding and humanitarian values in the world. In last seven
decades, our friendship has consistently seen an upward trajectory.
Talking about strong trade ties between the two countries, Modi said
many Swiss companies are household names in India and both sides are
keen to further expand the economic engagement. The Prime Minister
said India has affirmed its readiness to resume talks on a free trade
agreement with European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
The trade talks between India and EFTA the grouping of
Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein have been stalled on
a host of issues like Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and data
safety. The negotiations for the FTA were launched in 2008. The Prime
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Minister said both sides have agreed to build on the Swiss Vocational
and Educational Training system suited to Indias needs.

GREENPEACE REPORT ON NUCLEAR SAFETY IN


INDIA
Indias nuclear disaster emergency plans are not in line with
international standard and some interventions set by Indian nuclear
regulator in case of an emergency provide inadequate protection
against possible radiation, Greenpeace India claimed.
Some of the disaster intervention levels set by the Indian nuclear
regulator allow inadequate protection against possible exposure, both
internal (from consumption of irradiated foodstuffs or radioactive
particle-laden air) and external (by simply being physically present in
an area with high radiation levels) in case of a nuclear emergency. The
NGO, which released a report Red Alert Indias nuclear disaster
plans outdated and inadequate, highlighted key issues like lack of
emergency preparedness, ancient manual for emergency guidelines,
unacceptable standards of food contamination among the reasons for
Indias plans being outdated in case of an emergency.

As per report
1. Referring to the recent accident at Kakrapar Atomic Power
Station (KAPS) in Gujarat,Greenpeace India said it proved that
Indias nuclear accident plans are not in line with international
standards.
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2. The report highlighted that population density around nuclear


power plants in India poses a significant evacuation challenge in
the event of an emergency.
3. The current evacuation plans only provide support within a radius
of 16 km in the case of an offsite nuclear accident. For Fukushima,
Japan had to set an evacuation zone of 30 km.
4. Manual on emergency preparedness at Kalpakkam, despite being
revised in April 2011, still includes a regulatory guideline with
intervention levels based on Publication 40 of the International
Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) adopted in
1984 which was well before the Chernobyl disaster.
5. There have been updates to these international guidelines in
1992, and then again in 2007 but the Atomic Energy Regulatory
Board (AERB) has not updated its guidelines for 26 years.
6. Greenpeace India claimed Indias acceptable limit of contaminated
food is set dangerously higher than international limits.
7. In the case of an accident, counter measures are initiated only if
contamination is in the range between 8,000 Bq/kg in meat to
90,000 Bq/kg in fruits and vegetables.

INDIA RANKS LOW IN GLOBAL PEACE INDEX


India was on 8 June 2016 ranked low at 141st place on a Global Peace
Index making it less peaceful than countries like Burundi, Serbia
and Burkina Faso with violence taking a USD 680-billion toll on its
economy in 2015. In a ranking of 163 countries, compiled by global
think tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), Syria has been
named as the least peaceful, followed by South Sudan, Iraq,
Afghanistan and Somalia. This report ranking 163 independent states
and territories according to their level of peacefulness.
As per report
Iceland was ranked as the worlds most peaceful country, followed
by Denmark and Austria.
India has moved up two position, from 141st last year, but the
study said the countrys peace score has deteriorated over the

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past year which means the slight rise in ranking could be due
to worse performance of others.
In the last decade, Indias position has deteriorated when it comes
to peace by 5 per cent largely due to deteriorations in the
indicators measuring UN peacekeeping funding and the level of
political terror.
Within South Asia, Bhutan was ranked best (13th overall rank),
while India was fifth followed by Pakistan at sixth (overall 153rd)
and Afghanistan at sixth place (global 160th).
Indias scores for ongoing domestic and international conflict and
militarisation have deteriorated slightly. The country remains
vulnerable to acts of terror and security threats at its shared
border with Pakistan.
Sri Lanka saw the greatest upswing in its score in the region and
the report attributed the countrys increased peacefulness to
better relations with neighboring countries, particularly India.
Violence impacted Indias economy by USD 679.80 billion in 2016,
9 per cent of Indias GDP, or USD 525 per person.
The economic impact of violence on the global economy touched
USD 13.6 trillion or 13.3 per cent of gross world product. The
amount is also equivalent to 11 times the size of global foreign
direct investment, it added.
World became a less peaceful in 2016, mainly on account
of increased terrorism and higher levels of political instability.
Rankings of 81 countries have improved but the deterioration in
another 79 outweighed these gains.
As per the report, addressing the global disparity in peace and
achieving an overall 10 per cent decrease in the economic impact
of violence would produce a peace dividend of USD 1.36 trillion.
This is approximately equivalent to the size of world food exports.

US-INDIA CYBER RELATIONSHIP


Cooperation on cyber issues is a key component of the bilateral
relationship between India and the United States. The two countries
have a strategic cyber relationship that reflects their shared
values, common vision, and shared principles for cyberspace.
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Both sides recognize the value of enhancing and further


institutionalizing their broad-based cooperation on cyber issues, and in
that respect, intend to complete a framework based on the following
shared principles and intended forms of cooperation.

Principles for the U.S-India cyber relationship


1. A commitment to an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable
cyberspace environment;
2. A commitment to promote the Internet as an engine for
innovation, economic growth, and trade and commerce;
3. A commitment to promote the free flow of information;
4. A commitment to promote cooperation between and among the
private sector and government authorities on cybercrime and
cybersecurity;
5. A recognition of the importance of bilateral and international
cooperation for combating cyber threats and promoting
cybersecurity;
6. A commitment to respect cultural and linguistic diversity;
7. A commitment to promote international security and stability in
cyberspace through a framework that recognizes the applicability
of international law, in particular the UN Charter, to state
conduct in cyberspace and the promotion of voluntary norms of
responsible state behavior in cyberspace;
8. A commitment to the multistakeholder model of Internet
governance that is transparent and accountable to its
stakeholders, including governments, civil society and the private
sector, and promotes cooperation among them;

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A recognition of the leading role for governments in cyber


security matters relating to national security;
A recognition of the importance of and a shared commitment to
cooperate in capacity building in cyber security and cyber security
research and development
A commitment to promote closer cooperation among law
enforcement agencies to combat cybercrime between the two
countries;
A commitment to promote, protect, and respect human rights and
fundamental freedoms online;
A desire to cooperate in strengthening the security and resilience
of critical information infrastructure; The main areas of
cooperation between the two sides to advance these shared
principles are expected to include:
Identifying, coordinating, sharing, and implementing
cybersecurity best practices;
Sharing information on a real time or near real time basis, when
practical and consistent with existing bilateral arrangements,
about malicious cybersecurity threats, attacks and activities, and
establishing appropriate mechanisms to improve such information
sharing;
Developing joint mechanisms for practical cooperation to mitigate
cyber threats to the security of ICT infrastructure and information
contained therein consistent with their respective obligations
under domestic and international law;
Promoting cooperation in the fields of cybersecurity-related
research and development, cybersecurity standards and security
testing including accreditation process, and cybersecurity product
development, including further consultations on such issues;
Elaborating and implementing practical measures that contribute
to the security of ICT infrastructure on a voluntary and mutual
basis;
Continuing to promote cooperation between law enforcement
agencies to combat cybercrime including through training
workshops, enhancing dialogue and processes and procedures, and
setting up consultations as needed;

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Improving the capacity of law enforcement agencies through joint


training programs, including equipping them to draft appropriate
requests for electronic evidence in accordance with the respective
laws and regulations of the United States and India;
Undertaking skill development and capacity building programs
jointly in the fields of cybersecurity, efforts to combat cybercrime,
digital forensics, and legal frameworks;
Promoting the applicability of international law to state conduct
in cyberspace and further exploring how it applies to state conduct
in cyberspace.
Promoting voluntary norms of responsible state behavior in
peacetime, including the norms identified by the UN Group of
Governmental Experts in the Field of Information and
Telecommunications in the Context of International Security;
Committing to voluntary norms under which
1. A state should not conduct or knowingly support online activity
that intentionally damages critical infrastructure or otherwise
impairs the use of critical infrastructure to provide services to the
public,
2. A state should not conduct or knowingly support activity intended
to prevent national CSIRTs from responding to cyber incidents.
States should also not use CSIRTs to enable online activity that is
intended to do harm,
3. A state should cooperate, in a manner consistent with its domestic
law and international obligations, with requests for assistance
from other States in investigating cybercrimes, collecting
electronic evidence and mitigating malicious cyber activity
emanating from its territory.
4. A state should not conduct or knowingly support ICT-enabled
theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other
confidential business information, with the intent of providing
competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors;

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INDIA RANKS LOW AT 141ST PLACE IN GLOBAL


PEACE INDEX
India was on 8 June 2016 ranked low at 141st place on a Global Peace
Index making it less peaceful than countries like Burundi, Serbia
and Burkina Faso with violence taking a USD 680-billion toll on its
economy in 2015.
In a ranking of 163 countries, compiled by global think tank Institute
for Economics and Peace (IEP), Syria has been named as the least
peaceful, followed by South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. This
report ranking 163 independent states and territories according to their
level of peacefulness.

As per report
Iceland was ranked as the worlds most peaceful country, followed
by Denmark and Austria.
India has moved up two position, from 141st last year, but the
study said the countrys peace score has deteriorated over the
past year which means the slight rise in ranking could be due
to worse performance of others.
In the last decade, Indias position has deteriorated when it comes
to peace by 5 per cent largely due to deteriorations in the
indicators measuring UN peacekeeping funding and the level of
political terror.
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Within South Asia, Bhutan was ranked best (13th overall rank),
while India was fifth followed by Pakistan at sixth (overall 153rd)
and Afghanistan at sixth place (global 160th).
Indias scores for ongoing domestic and international conflict and
militarisation have deteriorated slightly. The country remains
vulnerable to acts of terror and security threats at its shared
border with Pakistan.
Sri Lanka saw the greatest upswing in its score in the region and
the report attributed the countrys increased peacefulness to
better relations with neighboring countries, particularly India.
Violence impacted Indias economy by USD 679.80 billion in 2016,
9 per cent of Indias GDP, or USD 525 per person.
The economic impact of violence on the global economy touched
USD 13.6 trillion or 13.3 per cent of gross world product. The
amount is also equivalent to 11 times the size of global foreign
direct investment, it added.
World became a less peaceful in 2016, mainly on account
of increased terrorism and higher levels of political instability.
Rankings of 81 countries have improved but the deterioration in
another 79 outweighed these gains.
As per the report, addressing the global disparity in peace and
achieving an overall 10 per cent decrease in the economic impact
of violence would produce a peace dividend of USD 1.36 trillion.
This is approximately equivalent to the size of world food exports.

INDIA ON MISSILE REGIME


If New Delhi went past the last hurdle in its bid to get into the Missile
Technology Control Regime, it was largely due to recent upturn
in India-Italy ties. Italy has been lobbying against Indias bid to enter
the MTCR over the past several months. Romes relations with New
Delhi had turned sour over the past four years following arrest of two
Italian marines in India. This came in the way of Indias bid to win
support of Italy for admission into the MTCR, which controls global
trade in missiles and missile technology.
What

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1. The MTCR had set June 7 as the deadline for its members to
formally submit its objections to proposed admission of India.
2. But amid recent signs of a thaw between India and Italy, Rome
chose not to formally convey its objection to the French
government, which has been serving as a point-of-contact for the
MTCR since its inception.
3. The MTCR is one of the four export control regimes India has been
trying to enter ever since it inked the civil nuclear cooperation
agreement with US in 2008, the others being Nuclear Suppliers
Group, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group.
4. India on May 12 last applied for membership of the NSG, but is
facing strong opposition from China. The NSG controls global
nuclear trade.
5. That China is not a member of the MTCR also made Indias entry
to the cartel easier, compared to its move for an NSG berth.
6. India, however, is yet to seek membership of the Wassenaar
Arrangement and Australia Group, which too did not include
China.
7. The Wassenaar Arrangement controls global commerce of
conventional weapons and dual-use goods and technologies,
while the Australian Group governs international trade of
materials used to make chemical and biological weapons.
8. As the deadline passed on 7 June 2016 without any formal
objection from any of the MTCRs 34 members, Indias entry to the
cartel now appears to be a fait accompli.
The breakthrough came just 10 days after Italian Navy sergeant
Salvatore Girone returned home. Girone and his colleague
Massimiliano Latorre were arrested four years back for killing two
fishermen of Kerala off the southern coast of India on February 12,
2012. The Supreme Court eased the bail conditions of Girone, who was
staying in Italian Embassy in New Delhi, and allowed him to go home
after noting that the government of India had no objection to the
relaxation.

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THE CENTRAL PORT AUTHORITIES ACT 2016 TO


REPLACE THE MAJOR PORT TRUST ACT, 1963
The Ministry of Shipping has prepared a draft bill The Central Port
Authorities Act 2016 to replace the Major Port Trust Act, 1963. This
step is being taken keeping in view the need to give more autonomy and
flexibility to the Major Ports and to bring in a professional approach to
their governance.

The salient features of the new Bill are:


The composition of the board has been simplified. The board
will consist of 9 members including 3 to 4 independent
members instead of 17-19 under the Port Trust Model. Provisions
have been made for the inclusion of 3 functional heads of Major
Port as Members in the Board apart from a Government Nominee
Member and a Labour Nominee Member. (Section 3(2)).
The disqualification of the appointment of the Members of the
Board, duties of the Members and provision of the meetings of the
Board through video conferencing and other visual means have
been introduced on the lines of Companies Act, 2013. (section 5,10
& 12)
Port related and non-port related use of land has been defined. A
distinction has been made between these two usages in terms of
approval of leases. The Port Authorities are empowered to lease
land for Port related use for up to 40 years and for non-port
related use up to 20 years beyond which the approval of the
Central Government is required. (Section 21)
The need for Government approvals for raising loans, the
appointment of consultants, execution of contracts and creation of
service posts have been dispensed with. The Board of Port
Authority has been delegated power to raise loans and issue
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security for the purpose of capital expenditure and working capital


requirement. (Section 30)
The provision for maintenance of books of account and financial
statements in accordance with the accounting standards notified
under the Companies Act, 2013 or as prescribed by Central
Government has been provided. (Section 44)
Concept of internal audit of the functions and activities of the
Central Ports has been introduced on the lines of Companies Act,
2015 (Section 25)
The Board of the Port Authority has been delegated the power to
fix the scale of rates for service and assets. The regulation to tariff
by TAMP has been removed. (Section 25)
An independent Review Board has been proposed to be created to
carry out the residual function of the erstwhile TAMP for Major
Ports, to look into disputes between ports and PPP
concessionaires, to review stressed PPP projects and suggest
measures to review stressed PPP projects and suggest measures to
revive such projects and to look into complaints regarding services
rendered by the ports/private operators operating within the ports
would be constituted. At present, there is no independent body to
look into the above aspects and the Review Board will reduce the
extent of litigation between PPP Operators and Ports. (Section 59)
The power of Central Govt. to take over the control of the Port
Authority is limited to the event of the grave emergency or in the
case of persistent default by Port Authority in the performance of
their duties. (Section 53)
Provisions of CSR & development of infrastructure by Port
Authority have been introduced. (Section 65)
The status of Port Authority will be deemed as local authority
under the provisions of the General Clauses Act, 1887 & other
applicable Statutes so that it could prepare appropriate
regulations in respect of the area within the port limits to the
exclusion of any Central, State of local laws. (Section 66).

INDIA, KOREA COAST GUARDS HOLD EXERCISE


India and Korea coast guards conducted a joint exercise named SahyogHyeoblyeog 2016 in the Bay of Bengal off Chennai. This exercise is a
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part of the ongoing joint exercises between the coast guards of the two
countries.
What
1. The Indian Coast Guard fleet consisted of five surface units and
two aircraft.
2. Coast guard ships such
as Sagar, Samudra, Paheredar, Rajtarang, Anagh, a Dornier
helicopter and a Chetak helicopter along with Korea Coast Guard
Ship 3009 participated in the joint exercise.
3. The highlights of the exercise encompassed scenario of the
hijacking of a merchant vessel and its subsequent rescue in joint
coast guard operation of both the countries.
4. Interdiction of the pirate vessel, joint boarding operations, cross
boarding, sar demonstration and external firefighting were the
other features of the exercise.
5. In addition, the Indian ships and aircraft demonstrated their
prowess before the Korean delegation.
6. The exercise culminated with an impressive steam past by the
ships and fly past by the aircraft wherein the crew of the
participating units saluted the DGICG and commissioner general
of KCG. The Korean vessel will depart on June 11.

EXERCISE MALABAR 2016


India, Japan and the US kicked off their marine war games, Malabar
Exercise, close to the South China Sea as they focus on deeper military
ties and greater interoperability amid rising tensions in the region.
The Indian Navy ships Satpura, Sahyadri, Shakti and Kirch are
participating in the 20th edition of the naval exercise in consonance
with Indias Act East Policy and growing ties among the three
countries.
Details
1. The exercise will support maritime security in the Indo-Pacific
region and benefit the global maritime community.
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2. The exercise assumes significance as it is being conducted close to


South China Sea at a time when Chinese assertiveness in the
region is a raging issue.
3. The primary aim of this exercise is to increase interoperability
amongst the three navies and develop common understanding of
procedures for Maritime Security Operations.
4. Indian ships participating in the exercise are from the Eastern
Fleet and include INS Sahyadri and INS Satpura, indigenously
built guided missile stealth frigates, INS Shakti, a modern fleet
tanker and support ship, and INS Kirch, an indigenous guided
missile corvette.
5. The US Navy will be represented by aircraft carrier USS John C
Stennis (CVN 74), Ticonderoga class Cruiser USS Mobile Bay and
Arleigh Burke class destroyers USS Stockdale and USS Chung
Hoon, all carrying helicopters.
6. In addition, one nuclear-powered submarine, carrier wing aircraft
and long-range maritime patrol aircraft will also participate in the
exercise.
7. Japan will be represented by Hyuga, a helicopter carrier with SH
60 K integral choppers and long-range maritime patrol aircraft,
besides other advanced warships for specific parts of the exercise.
8. Additionally, the Special Forces (SF) of the three navies will also
interact during the exercise.
Background
1. India and the US have regularly conducted the annual exercise
since 1992.
2. Since 2007, Malabar has been held alternatively off India and in
the Western Pacific.
3. Last year, it was conducted off Chennai and included participation
of Japan.

INDIAS MEMBERSHIP OF THE ICDP APPROVED


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
has given its approval for Indian membership of the International
Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP)consortium
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by signing an MoU with the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German


Research Centre for geosciences. This is a government-funded, Public
Law Foundation of the State of Brandenburg, Germany.

What
1. By signing the MoU on the membership for a period of five years
with ICDP, India would enable engaging internationally renowned
experts with profound expertise in different aspects of scientific
drilling in order to accomplish deep drilling and associated
investigations in Koyna region.
2. As a part of the membership agreement, India will get a seat on
two ICDP panels Executive Committee (EC) and Assembly of
Governors (AOG).
3. ICDP will provide technical / operational support, facilitate
capacity building in terms of manpower training in key scientific
areas, sample and data management and support workshops for
the Koyna scientific deep drilling project undertaken by Ministry
of Earth Sciences.
4. As a member of ICDP, scientists/engineers from India would have
right to submit proposals, to participate in all ICDP co-funded
workshops and drilling projects and have access to all data results
from ICDP projects.
5. This will shed new light on the genesis of seismicity and better
understanding of earthquake processes.

VICTORY FOR HAL AS BASIC TRAINER AIRCRAFT


TOUCHES THE SKIES
Indias indigenous basic trainer aircraft, Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40
(HTT-40), on 17 June 2016 made its inaugural flight in the presence of
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The two-seater aircraft designed
and developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited was flown by
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Group Captain C Subramaniam and Group Captain Venugopal for


about 10 to 15 minutes at the HAL Airport.

What
1. Aimed at being used for the first stage training for all flying
cadets of the three services, HTT-40 made its maiden flight on
May 31.
2. Indian Air Force is expected to procure 70 HTT-40 aircraft.
Detailed design phase of HTT-40 was launched in August 2013
with HALs internal funding and was completed in May 2015.
From then, it has taken 12 months to fly the first prototype.
3. According to HAL, the team behind HTT-40 programme is young
with an average age of 29 when it started.
4. The programme aims to achieve its operational clearance by 2018,
and towards this the company will be manufacturing three
prototypes and two static-test specimens.
5. Also work has started on the stall and spin tests campaign in
order to meet the project timelines.
6. HAL would supply HTT-40 to defence forces, it would be
permitted for certain percentage of export.
7. IAF has been very positive about this development. Earlier,
the IAF had blocked funding for HTT-40 by telling the Defence
Ministry that the aircraft would be too expensive, heavy and not
able to meet its needs. It had instead backed a Swiss trainer, the
Pilatus PC-7 Mark II.
The aircraft on its third flight flew in heavy rains and successfully
undertook wet runway landing. Designed to meet the current demands
of the Air Force, there was also a provision to include weapons for the
trainer aircraft. According to HAL officials, the indigenous content
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on HTT-40 is close to 80 per cent with about 75-plus systems out of the
total 90 on the aircraft sourced from local players and sister divisions of
HAL. Almost 50 per cent of the 4,000-odd components on HTT-40 are
manufactured by private players. HTT-40 aircraft weighs about 2,800
kg and has Turbo Prop engine of 950 shp class.

KOREA PLUS LAUNCHED


The Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and Mr.
Joo Hyunghwan, the Minister of Trade, Industry & Energy,
Government of the Republic of Korea, on 18 June 2016, launched Korea
Plus, a special initiative to promote and facilitate Korean
Investments in India.

What
1. An MOU for establishing Korea Plus was earlier signed between
the Republic of Korea and Invest India, the National Investment
Promotion & Facilitation Agency of India in January 2016. This
MOU came as an outcome of the visit of the Indian Prime Minister
to South Korea in May 2015.
2. The launch took place in the presence of Mr. Cho Hyun, the
Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India, officials of the
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3.

4.

5.

6.

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Korea Trade


Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), Invest India team and
several Korean Business delegates.
Korea Plus, operationalized on June 18, 2016 comprises of a
representative from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy,
Government of the Republic of Korea and representative
from Korea Trade Investment and Promotion Agency
(KOTRA) and three representatives from Invest India.
The mandate of Korea Plus covers the entire investment spectrum
including supporting Korean enterprises entering the Indian
market for the first time, looking into issues faced by Korean
companies doing business in India and policy advocacy to the
Indian Government on their behalf.
Korea Plus will act as a mediator in arranging meetings, assisting
in public relations and research/evaluation and provide
information and counselling in regard to Korean companies
investing in India.
India and the Republic of Korea relations have made great strides
in recent years and Korea Plus will act as a catalyst in making
these relations even more robust.

1ST YOGA OLYMPIAD


Giving away prizes to winners of 1st National Yoga Olympiad in New
Delhi on 20 June 2016 the Union HRD Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin
Irani exhorted the participants of Yoga Olympiad to make Yoga as an
integral part of their life. Yoga is the only source to ensure peace and
stability in life and to remove academic stress. Scientific evidence shows
that Yoga improves motor skills and bettershand-eye coordination. It
ensures good health as well as peace of mind.

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What
1. Making a special mention of participants in Yoga Olympiad from
Andaman & Nicobar Islands and hoped participation from every
State/UT in next years Yoga Olympiad.
2. State/UT teams were divided into four categories viz., Upper
Primary Girls, Upper Primary Boys, Secondary Girls and
Secondary Boys.
3. Yoga has fostered the process of learning in a speedy way.
4. The collaborative efforts of AYUSH and NCERT under the aegis of
Ministry of HRD popularising yoga among the youth.
5. Shloka from our ancient Indian philosophy, yoga karmasu
kaualam, the focus and dedication to Yoga is a key to bringing
equilibrium in physical, mental, emotional and social
developments,
6. Yoga is not only about asanas, its holistic way includes asanas,
kriyas, bandha, mudra, etc. He expressed his happiness over the
NCERTs initiative to cover all these in Yoga Olympiad.

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POTASSIUM BROMATE BANNED


The government banned the use of potassium bromate as a food
additive following a Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study
that found its presence in bread caused cancer. FSSAI [Food Safety
Standards Authority of India] has banned potassium bromate. A
notification has been issued in this regard. As far as potassium iodate is
concerned, it has been referred to a scientific panel.

What
1. Potassium iodate is also used as a food additive and it too is said
to be carcinogenic.
2. A CSE study had found that 84 per cent of 38 commonly available
brands of pre-packaged breads, including pav and buns, tested
positive for potassium bromate and potassium iodate.
3. The two food additives are banned in many countries and are
listed as hazardous to public health.
4. According to the CSE, potassium bromate typically increases
dough strength, leads to higher rising and gives uniform finish to
baked products.
5. Potassium iodate is a flour treatment agent.

3RD NATIONAL STANDARDS CONCLAVE


Department of Commerce, Government of India in collaboration
with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Bureau of Indian
Standards (BIS) and the National Accreditation Board for Certification
Bodies (NABCB) and other knowledge partners is organizing the 3rd
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National Standards Conclave on 23-24 June 2016 in New Delhi. The


Conclave will be inaugurated by Commerce and Industry Minister Smt.
Nirmala Sitharaman.
Details
1. The objective of the two-day Conclave is to bring awareness and
prepare Industries, Central Government Ministries, State
Governments, regulatory/standards setting and conformity
assessment bodies on the growing importance of Standards in
the changing scenario of global trade. The Standards Conclave is
being held in the backdrop of diminishing importance of tariffs
and rising influence of standards and regulation both in goods and
services trade.
2. It must be recognized that the days of differential standards low
for domestic market and high for exports are over and if the
Indian industry has to survive and thrive, it has to adopt global
standards. The Ministries/regulators/state governments have to
also realize that their initiatives and schemes have to be built
around global standards if they have to succeed in their objectives.
A good standards regime shall fulfill the vision of Honble Prime
Minister for Zero Defect, Zero Effect and Make in India
campaigns. It would also help in preventing flooding of domestic
market with unsafe/sub-standard imports at the expense of our
domestic industry as well as consumers.
3. The collective endeavor has to be in creating an ecosystem where
adoption of appropriate standards leads to a sense of pride and
has in-built incentive for the Industry. The Conclave would also
aim at identifying gaps in our regime so that they are brought
either in harmony with the international standards or conform to
national requirement.
The conclave will have 9 sessions spread over 2 days:

Inaugural session
Session 1: Emerging international challenges
Session 2: Other international and regional developments
Session 3: Standards eco-system
Session 4: Challenges for MSME sector
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Session 5: States Case studies


Session 6: Service Standards
Session 7: Service Standards
Session 8: Setting the right ecosystem Sectoral analysis
Session 9: Way Forward

CABINET WITHDRAWS DRUGS AND COSMETIC


(AMENDMENT) BILL, 2013
The Union Cabinet has decided to withdraw the Drugs and Cosmetics
(Amendment) Bill, 2013, which had been introduced in the Rajya Sabha
on 29.08.2013. The Bill had been examined by the Standing Committee
of Parliament which had made a number of recommendations for
changing the provisions of the Bill.
What
1. India is one of the largest manufacturers of pharmaceutical
products in the world. The annual production of such products is
in excess of Rs. 2 lakh crore. Out of this, over55% is exported to
over 200 countries/economies of the world including the developed
countries. As such, the pharmaceutical sector in India plays a
vital role in managing the public health in large number countries
at a substantially lower cost.
2. The regulatory framework for ensuring the quality, safety and
efficacy of medical products including the medicines, medical
devices, in-vitro medical devices, stem cells, regenerative
medicines, clinical trial/investigation, etc. is provided for in
the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
3. The Cabinet has, keeping in view the role of the sector in
managing public health, decided that it will not be appropriate to
carry out further amendments in the present Act especially as
newer areas of biological, stem cells and regenerative medicines,
medical devices and clinical trial/investigation, etc. cannot be
effectively regulated under the existing law.
4. In order to leverage the comparative cost advantage, the
demographic dividend and the advantage in information
technology, the Indian medical products sector is poised for
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exponential growth in the near future and it would besides be


meeting the domestic demand, has the potential to become an
international hub for manufacturing these products and attracting
investment in the sector.
5. Keeping in view the objective of make in India, it has been decided
to comprehensively review the existing law with two fold
objectives viz. to facilitate the ease of doing business and
substantially enhancing the quality and efficacy of our products.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has, accordingly,
undertaken an exercise attwo levels namely(i) to frame separate
rules under the existing Act for regulating medical devices; and
(ii) to bring out separate legislations for regulating medical
devices and Drugs and Cosmetics. While, after extensive
discussions with all stakeholders, the draft rules for regulating
medical devices have been prepared and will be draft notified
shortly, work on drafting the new legislation has also commenced.

REPORTS SUBMITTED ON PANAMA LEAKS


The multi-agency group probing Panama papers, which named around
500 Indians who have allegedly stashed money in offshore entities, has
submitted three reports to the government.
What
1. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has also been updating
the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up under the directions
of the Supreme Court to monitor cases related to black money,
according to the Revenue Department.
2. So far 3 reports have been submitted by the multi-agency group
(MAG) to the government. The SIT on black money is being
regularly updated on such issues, according to a Revenue
Department document.
3. The government had in April formed MAG to investigate whether
the money deposited in tax haven Panama are legal or illegal.
4. MAG comprises officials from the RBI, I-T department, Financial
Intelligence Unit and Foreign Tax and Tax Research.
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5. The purpose of constituting MAG is to ensure speedy and


coordinated investigation in the cases of persons whose names
have appeared in the Panama paper leaks. Investigations in such
cases are being conducted by respective investigating agencies and
the progress is being monitored by MAG, the department said.
6. The issue of undisclosed foreign income was discussed in the zonal
conference of tax officers and it was decided to focus on
expeditious action, proper follow-up action in cases where
prosecution complaints have been filed and taking of effective
steps for recovery of demands raised.
7. The thrust areas identified at the conference also include
expeditious analysis of evidence gathered from all possible
sources, examination of implications of the newly enacted foreign
black money law and examination of requests of other law
enforcement agencies for sharing of relevant information and
documents.

SOLAR FOR HEALTHCARE INITIATIVE LAUNCHED


The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has signed an MoU
with the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), a policy
research institution, to launch a new Initiative on Solar for Healthcare.
The collaboration will focus on providing effective health care delivery
at the last mile by reducing uncertainty in critical infrastructure,
particularly electricity supply via cost effective solar-based solutions.
What
1. The collaboration with CEEW will bring together synergies
between the objective of time to care as mandated in the National
Health Mission (NHM) and clean energy as outlined under
the National Solar Mission (NSM).
2. Under this collaboration, on a pilot basis, we will install solar
systems at select PHCs in partnership with three state
governments and evaluate its impact on healthcare delivery and
health outcomes. The aim of the collaboration is to create resilient
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3.

4.
5.

6.

health systems in rural India, benefitting primarily women and


children.
As of 2015, nearly 35 million citizens in rural India rely on unelectrified PHCs for primary health services. In the absence of
electricity, services catered by health institutions such as
institutional deliveries, paediatric emergencies, and administering
of vaccines get severely affected.
Electricity access in health centres is also imperative as a means
to facilitate communication services, tele-health applications and
to retain skilled health workers.
The collaboration with ICMR supports the systematic and
productive advancement in national policies, regulations and
actions to leverage solar energy for a social purpose: enhancing
the quality of healthcare delivery at various levels of governance.
The synergy between health and energy are the two specific goals
of this initiative, and the efforts within this collaboration
advances on both fronts.

NATIONAL MINERAL EXPLORATION POLICY


APPROVED
The Union Cabinet has approved the National Mineral Exploration
Policy (NMEP). The NMEP primarily aims at accelerating the
exploration activity in the country through enhanced participation of
the private sector. There is a need for comprehensive mineral
exploration of the country to uncover its full mineral potential so as to
put the nations mineral resources (non-fuel and non-coal) to best use
and thereby maximize sectoral contribution to the Indian economy. The
policy emphasizes on making available baseline geoscientific data of
world standards in the public domain, quality research in a publicprivate partnership, special initiatives for search of deep-seated and
concealed deposits, quick aerogeophysical surveys of the country, and
creation of a dedicated geoscience database etc.
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1. The Ministry of Mines will carry out auctioning of identified


exploration blocks for exploration by private sector on revenue
sharing basis in case their exploration leads to auctionable
resources. The revenue will be borne by the successful bidder of
those auctionable blocks.
2. If the explorer agencies do not discover any auctionable resources,
their exploration expenditure will be reimbursed on normative
cost basis.
3. Creation of baseline geoscientific data as a public good for open
dissemination free of charge.
4. Government will carry out a National Aerogeophysical Program
for acquiring state-of-the-art baseline data for targeting concealed
mineral deposits.
5. A National Geoscientific Data Repository is proposed to be set up
to collate all baseline and mineral exploration information
generated by various central & state government agencies and
also mineral concession holders and to maintain these on
geospatial database.
6. Government proposes to establish a not-for-profit autonomous
institution that will be known as the National Centre for Mineral
Targeting (NCMT) in collaboration with scientific and research
bodies, universities and industry for scientific and technological
research to address the mineral exploration challenges in the
country.
7. Provisions for inviting private investment in exploration through
attractive revenue sharing models.
8. On the lines of UNCOVER project of Australia, the government
intends to launch a special initiative to probe deep-seated/
concealed minerals deposits in the country in collaboration with
National Geophysical Research Institute and the proposed NCMT
and Geoscience Australia.
The major impact
1. The pre-competitive baseline geoscientific data will be created
as a public good and will be fully available for open
dissemination free of charge. This is expected to benefit public
and private exploration agencies.
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2. The collaboration with scientific and research bodies,


universities and industry for the scientific and technological
development necessary for exploration in public- private
partnership.
3. Government will launch a special initiative to probe deepseated/concealed mineral deposits in the country.
Characterizing Indias geological cover, investigating Indias
lithospheric architecture, resolving 4D geodynamic and
metallogenic evolution, and detecting and characterizing the
distal footprints of ore deposits, would be the main components
of this initiative.
4. A National Aerogeophysical Mapping program will be launched
to map the entire country with low altitude and close space
flight to delineate the deep-seated and concealed mineral
deposits.
5. Government will engage private agencies for carrying out
exploration in identified blocks / areas with the right to certain
share in the revenue accruing to the State government through
auction.
6. Public expenditure on regional and detailed exploration will be
prioritized and subject to periodical review based on
assessment of criticality and strategic interests.
Background:
1. The Ministry of Mines has, in the recent past, taken a series of
measures for the growth of the mineral sector,
including allowing 100% FDI. However, these initiatives have
fetched only limited success. Further, over the years the
dynamics of the mineral sector have undergone sea change
thereby creating new demands and imperatives. There is a
compelling need to provide an impetus to exploration activity in
the country.
2. This has prompted the Government to carry out a
comprehensive review of its exploration policy and strategy.
The amendments brought in to the MMDR Act in 2015 is a step
in this direction.

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3. The most important feature of this amendment is that mining


leases (ML) and prospecting license-cum-mining lease (PL-cumML) will be granted only through an auction process. This is
expected to bring in transparency, expeditiousness and
simplification in procedures in grant of mineral concessions.
4. Against this background, the NMEP has been framed so as to
provide a new set of objectives, sense of purpose and direction
to exploration within the amended legal framework.

STATISTICS DAY 2016


Statistics Day is celebrated every year on 29th June to mark the birth
anniversary of late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, the
Father of Indian Statistics, in recognition of his valuable contribution in
the fields of statistics and economic planning. The objective of this Day
is to create public awareness, especially among the younger generation
about the role and importance of statistics in socio-economic planning
and policy formulation. Every year one particular theme of current
national importance is selected for intensive and focused efforts are
made throughout the year to fill the data gaps, improve timeliness and
quality of data related to it.
Quick facts
1. The 10th Statistics Day 2016 was celebrated all over India on the
theme Agriculture and Farmers Welfare by the Ministry of
Statistics and Programme Implementation.
2. This will complement the focus on farmer centric programmes of
the Government of India and promote the development of relevant
agricultural and rural statistics.
3. On this occasion, National Award in Statistics, constituted in the
Honour of Prof. P. V. Sukhatme was conferred on Dr. T. J. Rao,
former Professor Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Kolkata and
currently Adjunct Professor, C. R. Rao, Advanced Institute of
Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (AIMSCS),
Hyderabad for his contribution to theoretical and applied
Statistics as well as contribution to the Official Statistical System.

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CABINET CLEARS MODEL LAW


A model law that allows shops, malls and cinema halls, among other
establishments, to run 247 throughout the year received Cabinet
assent. The law covers establishments employing 10 or more workers
except manufacturing units and will provide freedom to operate 365
days with flexibility on timing to open and close.
What
1. It also provides for women to be employed on night shifts with
adequate security and calls for better working conditions for
employees such as drinking water, canteen, first aid, lavatory and
creche.
2. The Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment
and Condition of Services) Bill 2016 has been cleared by the
Cabinet.
3. The model law will not require Parliaments approval.
4. It will help in generating additional employment as shops and
establishments will have freedom to operate for longer hours
around the year, thus requiring more manpower.
5. As per the proposal mooted by the Labour Ministry, the model law
can be adopted by states with a provision of modifying it as per
their requirements.
6. The law also provides exemption to highly-skilled workers like
those in IT and bio-technology from daily working hours (9 hours)
and weekly working hours (48 hours).
7. This is designed to bring in uniformity in legislative provisions,
making it easier for all the states to adopt it and ensure uniform
working conditions across the country.
8. The Centre has been receiving suggestions from time to time to
enact the model law, which the states could consider for
enforcement either by adopting the central law or necessary
modification by the state law.

BRICS YOUTH SUMMIT 2016


Prime Minister shri Narendra Modi, in his remark at Fortaleza BRICS
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BRICS cooperation. In this regard he had also announced Under-17


Football Cup during Indias BRICS Chairmanship 2016. Shri Modi has
laid special emphasis on giving wider publicity and dissemination of the
BRICS events and their organization across the cities and provinces of
India.
1. Role of youth in fostering intra-BRICS bonds has been recognized
during the past Summits. Youthful democratic profile of most
BRICS countries combined with their economic-vibrancy can be an
asset in consolidating exchanges between BRICS countries.
Investment in youth will make them stakeholders in future
activities of the group. This is also aligned with Prime Minister s
desire that our events be participative and people-centric.
2. It is in this context that BRICS Youth Summit, 2016 is being
organised at Guwahati (Assam) from 1st to 3rd July, 2016. The
Theme for the Summit is Youth as bridge for Intra-BRICS
Exchanges. The subjects to be covered by thematic debates are (i)
Skill Development and Entreneurship, (ii) Social Inclusion, (iii)
Youth Volunteerism and (iv) Youth Participation in Governance.
The programme for the Summit also includes thematic debates,
cultural events, site-visits and interactive sessions with local
youth. The Youth Summit would also be an occasion to introduce
Indias North-East to BRICS youth.
3. The Youth delegates will also have an occasion to call upon the
External Affairs Minister in New Delhi and to meet Assam
Leadership and Senior Officials at Guwahati, Assam during the
course of the Summit.
4. All the BRICS nations have confirmed their participation in the
Summit. The Indian Youth Delegation will be led by minister of
state (independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports.Dr.
Jitendra Singh.

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July 2016
PRASHIKSHAK LAUNCHED
Honble Union Minister for Human Resource Development dedicated
Prashikshak a teacher education portal, to the nation at Vigyan
Bhawan, New Delhi. Prashikshak is launched with a vision to
strengthen District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) and
bring quality teachers into the Indian school education system.
What
1. The Prashiskshak has started only for DIETs, it will cover Block
level institutes in the future and identify gaps at the bottom of the
pyramid.
2. The Ministry of Human Resource Development also has plans for
enhancing Prashikshak to cover all Govt.
3. Teacher Education Institutions in the country, which are
recognized by the NCTE.
4. Prashikshak is, a first of its kind in the country, a unique IT
initiative which will contain a comprehensive database of all
DIETs in the country with all relevant performance indicators.
5. It will help benchmark DIETs to enable aspiring teachers to make
informed choices about their future.
6. Prashikshak was established through joint collaboration between
Ministry of Human Resource Development and Central Square
Foundation.
7. The objective of Prashikshak is to define the quality
benchmark and thus, helping DIETs to make informed decisions
about their institutes, compare the performance of their institute
against other DIETs in the state/country as well as helping
aspiring teachers make informed decision making.
About DIETs
1. DIETs were created in the early 1990s to strengthen
elementary education and support the decentralization of
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education to the district level, under the Centrally Sponsored


Scheme on Teacher Education.
2. DIETs offer pre-service and in-service teacher training
programmes for Government elementary school teachers.
3. They also undertake studies in education, annual academic
planning and reviews and function as resource centres for
teaching learning and material development.
4. As on 31.05.2016, 588 DIETs are functioning in the
country with an annual intake capacity of 49026 students.

DCN DEDICATED TO THE NATION


Indias first integrated defence communication network was on 30 June
2016 launched enabling the army, air force, navy and the Special Forces
Command to share situational awareness for a faster decision-making
process.
What
1. The Defence Communication Network (DCN), a strategic, highly
secure and scalable system, has a Pan-India reach from Ladakh
to the North East to island territories.
2. This network is a step towards joint manship that the government
is pushing for in the armed forces.
3. All the three forces have their own command, communication and
intelligence networks, this is the first time when there will be a
dedicated network for greater synergy.
4. The network has a Pan-India reach and is a testimony to the fact
that Indian Army and the Corps of Signals are well placed to meet
any challenges and responsibilities which come their way.
5. Built by HCL under a nearly Rs 600 crore project, DCN offers high
quality voice, video and data services covering 111 entities spread
across the country.
6. It is capable of working on terrestrial as well as satellite mode of
communication and has also been fixed onboard different military
vehicles.

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SC REFUSED TO MODIFY ITS 2014 ORDER ON


TRANSGENDERS
The Supreme Court on 30 June 2016 refused to modify its 2014 order on
transgenders while clarifying that lesbians, gays and bisexuals are not
third gender. A Bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri and N.V. Ramana
said it is amply clear from the verdict of April 15, 2014 that lesbians,
gays and bisexuals are not transgenders. During the hearing,
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh, appearing for the
Centre, said it is not clear from the earlier verdict if lesbians, gays and
bisexuals are transgenders or not. He said a clarification in this regard
was needed.

Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for some transgender


activists, said Centre is not implementing the 2014 Supreme
Court verdict for the past two years, saying they need clarification
on the point of transgenders. Why should we not dismiss the
application with costs, the bench asked the ASG, adding, No
clarification is required. The application (of Centre) is disposed
of.
In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court had on April 15, 2014
granted legal recognition to transgenders as third category of
gender and had directed the Centre and all states to treat them as
socially and educationally backward classes to extend reservation
in admission in educational institutions and for public
appointments. Paving way to bring transgenders in national
mainstream, the apex court directed governments to take steps to
remove problems faced by them such as fear, shame, social
pressure, depression, and social stigma. It had also said
that section 377 of IPC is being misused by police and other
authorities against them and their social and economic condition
is far from satisfactory.
However, in September 2014, the Centre had filed an application
in the apex court seeking clarification on the definition of
transgender saying lesbian, gay and bisexual cannot be treated
under the category of transgender. Interestingly, the SC in its
verdict had itself clarified that transgender does not include gay,
lesbians, bisexuals.
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The grammatical meaning of transgender, therefore, is across or


beyond gender. This has come to be known as umbrella term
which includes Gay men, Lesbians, bisexuals, and cross dressers
within its scope. However, while dealing with the present issue we
are not concerned with this aforesaid wider meaning of the
expression transgender, the SC had said. The Centre had also
sought clarification on the grant of OBC status to transgenders
saying all such people cannot be clubbed under OBC category as
some of them are SC/ST by birth.

LCA TEJAS INDUCTED


The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas inducted into No. 45 Squadron
of Indian Air Force (IAF) on 01 Jul 2016. No. 45 Squadron, also called
the Flying Daggers , was last equipped with MiG 21 Bis Aircraft and
operated from Nalia. Its motto is Ajeet Nabha. The Squadron will
operate from Bangalore for nearly two years before it moves to its
designated location at Sulur near Coimbatore. It is the first fighter
Squadron to be a part of the Southern Air Command of IAF
headquartered at Thiruvananthapuram.
What
1. Tejas is the first advance Fly-by-wire (FBW) fighter
aircraft designed, developed and manufactured in India.
2. Conceived as a MiG-21 replacement, the aircraft has
been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development
Agency (ADA) and produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
(HAL).
3. Tejas is a 4th generation fighter aircraft indigenously developed in
the country after technology gap of around two decades of HF
Marut by DRDO.
4. Its development by LCA (Tejas) team at ADA, an autonomous
society of DRDO is unique in the light of the fact that there was no
infrastructure base and negligible technological base available in
the country for undertaking development of a modern combat
aircraft.

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5. It has a digital computer based attack system and an autopilot. It


can fire Air to Air Missiles, Bombs as well as Precision Guided
Munitions.
6. These aircraft are also capable of dropping unguided bombs with
much higher accuracy due to highly advanced indigenous mission
computer.
Background
1. Full Scale Engineering Development (FSED) programme was
actually sanctioned inApril 1993.
2. The historic maiden flight of the first Technology Demonstrator
(TD1) took place on January 04, 2001.
3. The scope of FSED Phase 1 was to demonstrate the
technologies so that a decision could be taken to build
operational proto vehicles, at a later stage.
4. LCA FSED Phase 1 was completed on March 31, 2004 with all
objectives of technology development achieved.
5. With efficient management of funds, four aircraft (TD1, TD2,
PV1, & PV2) have been built within the funds sanctioned for
two aircraft development. While Phase 1 programme was in
progress, the Government in November 2001 decided to
concurrently go ahead with the build of operational proto
vehicles in LCA FSED Phase 2 programme.
6. The scope of FSED Phase 2 programme was to build three
prototypes of operational aircraft including trainers and also to
build the infrastructure required for producing eight aircraft
per year and build eight Limited Series Production (LSP)
aircraft.
7. The Phase 2 programme has been split into two phases
namely, Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and Final
Operational Clearance (FOC).
8. Standard of Preparation of operational aircraft was finalized in
2004 with changes in weapons, sensors and avionics to meet
IAF requirements and overcome obsolescence.
9. LCA has accomplished about 3200 flights, testifies the point
that it is a reliable aircraft and that the LCA Programme is

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now racing smoothly toward achieving FOC after attaining IOC


in December 2013.

INDIA ABSTAINS AT UN VOTE ON LGBT


India chose to abstain at the UN Human Rights Council, which adopted
its third UN resolution, to institutionalise the office of an Independent
Expert to prevent discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgendered (LGBT) persons. The move to create this special office in
support for the LGBT community follows the June 12 mass killing at an
Orlando night club in Florida.
What
1. The resolution, which was backed by the Latin American member
states, was opposed by Russia and the Islamic countries,
while India, Philippines and South Africa abstained.
2. The official for the newly created post will shortly be appointed for
a three-year period and will serve to fight challenges faced by
LGBT persons.
3. The debate around the appointment brought out sharp differences
among member nations as several countries cited cultural
traditions against supporting the move.
4. India has been cited by several human rights annual reports as
one of the countries where rights of LGBT persons are yet to be
secure.
5. The move at Geneva comes after an initiative on June 17 when
diplomats posted in 27 embassies in Delhi celebrated the LGBTI
Pride Month.

SMART MODEL VILLAGE PROJECT INAUGURATED


The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a smart
model village pilot projecton July 2, 2016 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that in the last nearly four
years of his Presidency this was the first time that he was having the
privilege of interacting with Sarpanchs and village level
functionaries in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
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Since assuming office, he had been emphasizing on the opening of the


Rashtrapati Bhavan to the people. However, today he felt that
Rashtrapati Bhavan had been truly opened to the public since the
village representatives were present there. He said that it is only the
representatives of the villages who can transform this country which
has more than six lakh villages. Our progress and development can be
achieved at the desirable speed only in partnership with these decision
makers in the villages. We also need to empower our women and youth.
He expressed confidence that this initiative would not remain confined
to these five villages but would spread to the entire country.
What
1. This is a landmark initiative that seek to replicate the experience
in transforming the Presidents Estate into a smart model
township, in five selected villages in Haryana.
2. The five villages which will be developed into the smart villages
under this pilot project are Dhaula, Alipur, Harichandpur and Taj
Nagar from Gurgaon district and Rojka Meo from Mewat district
of Haryana.
3. This pilot project on the occasion of inauguration of the Intelligent
Operations Centre (IOC) in Rashtrapati Bhavan and launching of
a Mobile App Monitor for transformation of Presidents Estate
into a smart township on May 19, 2016.

NATIONAL MINERAL EXPLORATION POLICY


LAUNCHED
It is a consensus amongst geoscientists that India is endowed with large
mineral resource and has geological environment for many others on
account of similarity of geological set up with Australia, South Africa,
South America etc. However, survey and exploration have been broadly
concentrated on surficial and shallow mineral deposits. Exploration for
deep and concealed deposits is a cost-intensive and high-risk enterprise
which requires state-of-the-art technology and expertise. In view of the
above, the efforts made by the govt. agencies require to be extensively
supplemented with the expertise and technological innovations
available worldwide with the private sector.
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What
1. The MMDR Amendment Act, 2015 has brought in transparency in
allocation of mineral concessions in terms of Prospecting License
and Mining Lease.
2. The present regime of grant of mineral concessions provides for
Non Exclusive Reconnaissance Permit (NERP) which does not
allow seamless transitions to prospecting and mining licences.
3. On account of this, the private sectors do not seem to be enthused
to take up high risk of exploration. Keeping this in view, National
Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) prescribes for incentivising
the participation of private companies in exploration.
Under NMEP
1. Private agencies would be engaged to carry out exploration
with the right to a certain share in the revenue (by way of
royalty/premium to be accruing to the state government) from
the successful bidder of mineral block after e-auction, which
will be discovered by that private explorer.
2. The revenue sharing could be either in the form of a lump sum
or an annuity, to be paid throughout the period of mining lease,
with transferable rights.
3. Government will also work out normative cost of exploration
works for different kinds of minerals so that the exploration
agencies could be compensated, in case they could not discover
any mineable reserves in their respective areas. This will be an
added incentive for exploration agencies to mitigate their risk
of exploration.
4. The selection of private explorer is proposed to be done
following a transparent process of competitive bidding.
5. National Geoscience Data Repository (NGDR) will be set up.
GSI will collate all baseline and mineral exploration
information generated by various central and state government
agencies and also mineral concession holders and maintain
these on a geospatial database.
6. Government will coordinate and collaborate with scientific and
research bodies, universities and industry for the scientific and
technological research to address the mineral exploration
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challenges in the country. For this, the Government proposes to


establish a not-for-profit autonomous body/ company that will
be known as the National Centre for Mineral Targeting
(NCMT).
7. State Governments have a key role in building up a steady
stream of auctionable prospects. They will have to take up
mineral exploration and complete to G3 or G2 level for
auctioning. The States need to build up the exploration
capabilities, technical expertise and infrastructure facility. The
Central Government will provide support to States for capacity
building from National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET).
8. NMEP proposes to launch a special initiative to probe deepseated/concealed mineral deposits in the country on the lines of
UNCOVER project of Australia. The pilot project will be in
collaboration with National Geophysical Research Institute
(NGRI) and the proposed National Centre for Mineral
Targeting (NCMT)) and Geoscience Australia.
9. SBI Capital Markets Ltd (SBICAP) has been selected as
consultant by the Ministry of Mines for development of detailed
modalities of contractual framework for mineral exploration.
The Ministry will provide handholding support to the State
Governments in this process of engaging the private agencies.
Acquisition, processing and interpretation of pre-competitive baseline
geoscience data play a pivotal role in successful exploration process. In
this regard, the NMEP proposes the following:
1. The pre-competitive baseline geoscientific data will be created
as a public good and will be fully available for open
dissemination free of charge.
2. A National Aero-geophysical Mapping program will be
launched to map the entire country. It will help to delineate the
deep-seated and concealed mineral deposits.

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FIRST PORT IN INDIA TO IMPLEMENT LOGISTICS


DATA
Jawaharlal Nehru Port has become the first port in India to implement
logistics data tagging of containers. The logistics data bank tagging of
containers, a first of its kind facility, will help importers and exporters
track their goods in transit. An RFID (Radio Frequency Identification
Tag) tag would be attached to each container which would be tracked
through RIFD readers installed at different locations.
It will integrate the information available with various agencies across
the supply chain to provide detailed real time information within a
single window. The government claims that this is an important ease of
doing business initiative focused towards document, time and cost
reduction for the benefit of trade. This would help in reducing the
overall lead time of the container movement across the western corridor
and lower the transaction costs incurred by shippers and consignees.
According to the Ministry of Shipping, this would provide visibility and
transparency of EXIM container movement by covering the entire
movement through rail or road till the Inland Container Depot and
Container Freight Station. This would help in reducing the overall lead
time of the container movement across the western corridor and lower
the transaction costs incurred by shippers and consignees.

NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP PROMOTION SCHEME


APPROVED
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
has approved a National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme. The
Scheme has an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crores with a target of 50 lakh
apprentices to be trained by 2019-20.
What

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1. The Scheme would be implemented by Director General of


Training (DGT) under Ministry of Skill Development and
Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
2. It provides for incentivizing employers to engage apprentices. 25%
of the total stipend payable to an apprentice would be shared with
employers directly by Government of India.
3. It is for the first time a scheme has been designed to offer
financial incentives to employers to engage apprentices. In
addition, it also supports basic training, which is an essential
component of apprenticeship training.
4. 50% of the total expenditure incurred on providing basic
training would be supported by Government of India.
5. The Scheme will catalyze the entire apprenticeship ecosystem in
the country and it will offer a win-win situation for all
stakeholders. It is expected to become one of the most powerful
skill-delivery vehicle in the country.
Background:
1. Apprenticeship Training is considered to be one of the most
efficient ways to develop skilled manpower for the country.
2. It provides for an industry led, practice oriented, effective and
efficient mode of formal training.
3. The National Policy of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship,
2015 launched by the Prime Minister focuses on apprenticeship as
one of the key components for creating skilled manpower in India.
4. The present scheme also aims to achieve the objective as stated in
the National Policy, 2015. The policy proposes to work pro-actively
with the industry including MSME to facilitate tenfold increase
opportunities in the country by 2020-20.

10 ICONIC PLACES UNDER SWACHH BHARAT


MISSION
The government will carry out a drive to clean ten iconic places in the
country, including Taj Mahal, Vaishno Devi temple and Ajmer Sharif,
as part of a pilot project under the Swachh Bharat mission, Union
Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said. Tomar said his ministry is in the
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process of selecting 100 iconic places for cleaning under the mission and
most will be either tourist or religious spots.
What
1. As part of Swachh Bharat Mission to clean and sanitise the entire
country, the Ministry has identified 10 such iconic places to start
cleanliness drive as part of the pilot project under this mission.
2. The places which have been selected are Vaishno Devi temple in
Jammu and Kashmir, Taj Mahal in Uttar Pradesh, Tirupati
temple in Andhra Pradesh, Golden Temple in Punjab, Ajmer
Sharif in Rajasthan, Jagannath temple in Orissa, Chhatrapati
Shivaji Terminus in Maharashtra, Manikarnika Ghat in Uttar
Pradesh,Meenakshi Temple in Tamil Nadu and Kamakhya
Temple in Assam.
3. Once this pilot project is completed, the govt will carry out a
similar cleanliness drive at the remaining 90 places.

INDIAS FIRST PPP MODEL INCUBATOR


Start-up Village (SV), Indias first PPP model incubator, is all set for a
national scale-up with the Department of Science and Technology
approving Start-up Villages phase 2 in its completely digital version.
The worlds first digital incubator for student start-ups SV.CO will be
launched on July 13 at Thiruvananthapuram. The Phase 2 will focus on
creating an entrepreneurial culture amongst the countrys five million
engineering students by providing them a completely digital incubation
framework, ranging from application for admission to teaching,
mentoring and graduation, officials of SV said.
What
1. Kris Gopalakrishnan, Infosys co-founder and chief mentor of
Start-up Village noted that students, especially from tier 2 and
tier 3 cities, are deprived of access to the best faculty and mentors
from start-up nerve centres like Bengaluru or Silicon Valley.
2. The digital transformation of the incubator would address the
problem to a large extent. The Digital Incubator, which was built
over the last 12 months, has already received more than 1,000
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applications from students from across Kerala and towns like


Vadodara in Gujaratand Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh in
its beta stage.
3. The Phase 2 of SV comes in the wake of Department of Science
and Technology approving the project completion report of Phase 1
(2012-15) of the national award winning incubator.
4. Its original mandate was to incubate 48 start-ups during this
period, but it went on to receive an overwhelming 6,000 plus
applications. Also, 3,000 new jobs were created by the young startups, which raised more than R45 crore in funding.
5. SV Officials said that 20 teams which completed incubation in the
beta phase of SV.CO saw huge success in getting admitted to Zone
Accelerator in Mumbai, getting hired by Tally or landing
handsome jobs in leading startups like Ola and Free Charge.

INDIA SKILLS -2016


President Shri Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the first edition of
India Skills Competition on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day on
15th July, 2016.
Skill India will be celebrating its first anniversary on the occassion.
Skill India has been quite close to the Presidents heart. In a recent
initiative, he has ensured that 1500 employees at, the Rashtrapati
Bhavan, get certified under the Recognition of Prior Learning
(RPL) component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY),
across 18 job roles. The program has ensured that the people working at
the Presidents house get oriented to their job roles, are assessed on
their existing skills and then certified basis the National Skills
Qualification Framework.
What
1. India Skills is a national competition steered by Ministry of Skill
Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and National Skill
Development Corporation (NSDC) to select the best talent who
will lead Indias participation at the biennial World Skills
International Competition scheduled at Abu Dhabi in 2017.
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2. India Skills is a big opportunity for the youth of our nation to


showcase their skill sets on a global platform like World Skills
International Competition, which is globally recognized as
Olympics for Skills and is also recognised by UN, where
candidates from more than 75 member countries participate.
3. This is our effort to bring recognition and respect to our countrys
vibrant youth and make them more employable as per industry
standards, thereby transforming the skills, labour and
employment landscape of India.
4. In order to select the best talent to represent India at IndiaSkills,
MSDE and NSDC have completed more than 80 regional
competitions in 24 skills/trades including hair stylist, welding, car
painting, auto body repair, graphic designing, robotics to name a
few.
5. The Sector Skill Councils are ensuring standards aligned
to National Skill Qualification Framework are being followed in
the competition to monitor the quality and standards of the
competition which will be important to follow to compete at a
world scale.
6. The shortlisted candidates from these events will qualify for the
final selection for WorldSkills International Competition at Abu
Dhabi, 2017.
7. The competition will conclude with a closing ceremony on 17th
July, 2016. It is a platform that will bring youth, industries, and
educators together and provide youth an opportunity to compete,
experience, and learn how to become the best in the skill of their
choice.
8. This event will bring together key stakeholders including Central
Ministries/Departments, State Governments, leading Industry
Bodies, and trainees. Partnerships with all these stakeholders is
vital to ensure Skill Indias success.

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DEAL TO DEVELOP AERO ENGINES


The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) signed a
memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Indian Institutes of Technology
(IIT) Bombay and Madras to establish a bi-nodal Centre of Propulsion
Technology (CoPT) at the two institutions that would work in areas of
futuristic aero engines and hypersonic propulsion.
What
1. The CoPT will evolve mechanisms to facilitate execution of
programs related to propulsion technology and will engage the
primary Research Nodes (IIT Bombay and IIT Madras) and other
research institutions/ centres to undertake advanced collaborative
research also in the areas of critical defence technologies.
2. It will facilitate and undertake multidisciplinary directed research
in the focused areas of futuristic aero engines, hypersonic
propulsion for long duration flights, solid propellant combustion
modeling and morphing aircraft technologies.
3. In this connection, CoPT shall enable agreements/MoAs between
the primary nodesand the other participating institutes covering
programme definition, work package and fund share, technomanagerial and related responsibilities for the execution of the
projects.
4. Each project will be well thought-out and discussed in great detail
with the relevant user lab of DRDO for utility towards
development of the identified product.
5. The establishment of CoPT will further strengthen the DRDOs
relationship with IITs and other academic research institutions.

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RUSTOM-II UAV
The first flight of Indias new combat-capable unmanned aerial vehicle
(UAV) Rustom-II is scheduled to be held by the end of July
in Chitradurga test flight range.
Scientists at the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) would
move to the test range later this week for the trial as an window
between July 28 and August 2would be kept open for the flight in the
presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
What

1. Once ready, the medium-altitude, long-endurance (Male) UAV is


likely to be an asset for the military not only for its surveillance
capability, but also for its ability to be used as an unmanned
armed combat vehicle in the line of the USs Predator that New
Delhi is interested to buy.
2. Rustom-II is a very big platform with a range of 250 km. However,
for the first flight we will be flying it up to a distance of 50-100
km, said a source associated with the UAVs development.
3. Compared to Rustom-I that was test flown for the first time in
November 2009, Rustom-II will be having Electronic Intelligence,
Communication Intelligence, Medium and Long-Range ElectroOptic Payloads and Synthetic Aperture Radar that will enable it
to see through the clouds.
4. Rustom-I is a primitive vehicle with minimal capabilities. RustomII, on the other hand, has several capabilities, including the
ability to carry weapons, G Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Adviser to
Raksha Mantri.
5. Once fully ready, Rustom UAVs are meant to replace Israeli
Heron unmanned aerial vehicles being used by the air force and
the navy. The aircraft is named after former Indian Institute of
Science professor Rustom Damania, who pioneered aviation
research in India in the 1980s.
6. UAV in Delhi last November, an ADE official stated that the three
services initially projected a requirement of 76 of these platforms.
7. The biggest challenge faced by the scientists is the excess weight
of the airframe. The airframe had a weight of about 2,400 kg by
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2015 end, which ADE scientists would have to bring down to


about 1,700 kg in the final version for ACCOMMODATING every
sensor package.
8. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd partners
DRDO in the development of Rustom-II and has committed
several hundred crores as financial support.

INS KARNA COMMISSINED


Indian Navys long pursued endeavour of establishing a dedicated base
for its Special Operation Forces MARCOS (Marine Commandos)
INS Karna was commissioned here by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral
Sunil Lanba.
What
1. The establishment of the first base for Indian Navys elite force
with capability to operate in all three dimensions of warfare air,
land and sea in the homeport of the Navy on the Eastern
Seaboard marks another milestone in Indian Navy bonding with
the city of Visakhapatnam, Admiral Lanba said at the solemn
ceremony organised on the campus of INS Kalinga at
Bheemunipatnam.
2. Complementing the role of the elite force in operations undertaken
by the Indian Navy such as Operation Zabardast (Sri Lanka
February 1993), Operation Tasha (1990-2009), Operation Leech
(1998) and Operation Sagittarius (anti-piracy operations in
Malacca Strait) and Operation Rahat, among others. The Admiral
exhorted the men and officers of the special forces to adopt latest
technologies and tactics and be combat ready and said: Keep your
steel sharp and powder dry.
3. The MARCOS East unit has progressed in terms of manpower,
infrastructure, equipment holding and other resources. The
complement of the unit has risen from an initial strength of two
officers and 40 sailors to 25 officers and 300 sailors.

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INS INDIA CELEBRATED ITS 75TH ANNIVERSARY


INS India, the base depot ship at New Delhi, celebrated its 75th
anniversary on 13 July 2016. Established as HMIS India in 1941 it was
rechristened as INS India
on 26 Jan 1950. The Base Depot ship (stone ship in naval parlance) has
the privilege of being the Flagship of the Chief of the Naval Staff.
Started as small unit with a complement of just a handful of officers
and sailors, INS India is now a major establishment in New Delhi with
a plethora of duties and responsibilities. In addition, the establishment
provides administrative and logistics cover to all officers and sailors
borne in Naval Headquarters and other units at Delhi.
Cmde BK Munjal, VSM, Station Commander flagged off the event and
motivated people to live a healthy life. In the evening, traditional
Barakhana was organised for sailors and their families, where in
children, ladies and personnel put up a patriotic cultural program. A
blood donation camp was also organised on 12 Jul 16 wherein 128 units
of blood was collected from volunteers ranging from Flag Officers,
Officers, sailors, Defence Civilians and their families as a contribution
towards social welfare. During 75 years of transition of HMIS India to
the present INS India, the establishment has seen as many as 32
Commanding Officers.

PLEA FOR NCA TO CONSTITUTION BENCH


The Supreme Court on 13 July 2016 referred to the Constitution Bench
a plea seeking setting up of National Court of Appeal with regional
benches in major cities for deciding cases arising from high courts. An
apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, passed the
verdict on a PIL pressing for setting up of a National Court of Appeal at
Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata and quashing of the government order
rejecting the proposal on the issue.

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What
1. The Centre had opposed the plea on several grounds, including
that the litigants cannot be deprived of the right to approach the
apex court.
2. The Centre had also said it was neither feasible, nor desirable
and if it is set up, it will be a self-defeating exercise as after 10
years, more number of cases will clog the system and the dockets
will again get full.
3. In February 2014, petitioner V. Vasantha kumar had moved the
apex court with the same prayer when it had disposed of the
matter directing the Centre to respond to his suggestion within six
months.
4. Later, the Centre had rejected his suggestion on the ground that it
would require an amendment in Article 130 of the Constitution
which is impermissible as this would change the Constitution of
the Supreme Court completely.
5. Mr. Vasantha kumar has now approached the apex court again
seeking quashing of this decision of the central government.

INDIA SKILLS INAUGURATED


President Shri Pranab Mukherjee on 15 July 2016 inaugurated the first
edition of India Skills Competition on the occasion of World Youth
Skills Day in the gracious presence of Union cabinet Ministers. Today is
the day when Skill India is also celebrating its first anniversary.
Marking the first anniversary of the Skill India initiative, Ministry of
Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) also announced
the launch of five major initiatives reinforcing Ministrys commitment
to the youth of India.
These initiatives are
1.
2.
3.
4.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 2.0


India International Skill Centres
India Skills Online
Labour Management Information System (LMIS)
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What
1. Skill India is seeing great traction and is all geared to meet its
philosophy of speed, scale and standards ensuring there is
opportunity to get skilled for all.
2. In the past 15 days, MSDE has got cabinet approvals on 22,000
crore worth of outlay for programs like Apprenticeship
Protsahan Yojana and PMKVY 2.0, to be implemented over the
next few years.
3. The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), which
was launched last year, has secured an approval from the
cabinet for its 2.0 version with an outlay of 12,000 crores for the
next four years to train a total of 1 crore youths over the next 4
years (April 2016 to March 2020).
4. This is an endeavor by MSDE to scale up the reach of
PMKVY and at the same time strengthen the system and make
these trainings more effective with robust monitoring and
outcome.
5. PMKVY. Last years edition of the scheme saw training of close
to 20 lakh youth in 2015-16 while the overall achievement of
the ministry stood at 1.04 crore trainings across ministries.
What happened in event
The event also saw the announcement of 50 India International Skill
Centers that are slated to be open by the end of this year.
In the initial phase, 15 centers have been launched today by the
President, across the following eight sectors:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Domestic Workers
Healthcare
Retail
Security
Capital Goods
Automotive
Construction
Tourism &and Hospitality.
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These will be set up through National Skill Development Corporation


(NSDC) and will be implementing the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas
Yojana (PMKVY) and Pravasi Kaushal VikasYojana (PKVY) to the
youth seeking global mobility for jobs. The Ministry of External Affairs
(MEA) shall provide support for Pre-Departure Orientation Training,
which includes language and soft skills training modules. The first 15
will be the following States: Uttar Pradesh (6), Kerala (2) and one each
in Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, West Bengal,
Maharashtra, Punjab and Rajasthan.
Shri Mukherjee also launched a single window platform to aggregate
supply and demand trends in the Indian skill development ecosystem,
referred to as the National Labour Market Information System
(LMIS) www.lmis.gov.in.LMIS is an integrated set of institutional
arrangements, procedures, mechanisms and data systems designed to
produce labour market information as per global standards and best
practices. The system brings together statistical (quantitative) and nonstatistical (qualitative) information concerning labour market actors
and their environment and generate key analysis and reports which can
be used for various policy interventions by different government
stakeholders, as well as by the industry at large.
The National Skills Development Agency (NSDA) is designated as the
lead agency for the development of the national LMIS. NSDA is
undertaking a phase wise approach for the integration of required data.
The inputs from 21 ministries, State Governments, National Skill
Development Corporation and Sector Skill Councils is underway to be
integrated in the national database on skilling. The core function of the
LMIS is convergence of information such as data of Training Providers,
Training Centers, Employers, Certified candidates, Candidates seeking
Training etc. across Ministries/Departments/Geographies and Sectors.
Another initiative of the Ministry leveraging technology to reach
millions of skill seekers, the President announced the launch of India

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Skills Online (www.indiaskillsonline.com), an online platform for


learning skills of choice.
Flashback
1. Earlier in the day MSDE and its partners from the skill
ecosystem celebrated the day with great fanfare at multiple
locations around the country. Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of
State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship flagged off
a Skillathon (an awareness march) which began from India Gate,
having more than 2500 youth participating in it and showcasing
their solidarity towards the need and importance of skills. 40
smaller chapters of Skillathon 2016 were organised by partners of
NSDC throughout Delhi and other parts of India celebrating
World Youth Skills Day 2016.
2. India Skills is a national competition steered by Ministry of Skill
Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and National Skill
Development Corporation (NSDC) to select the best talent who
will lead Indias participation at the biennial World Skills
International Competition scheduled at Abu Dhabi in 2017.
3. In order to select the best talent to represent India at IndiaSkills,
MSDE and NSDC have completed more than 80 regional
competitions in 24 skills/trades including hair stylist, welding, car
painting, auto body repair, graphic designing, robotics to name a
few. Close to 4820 candidates registered to participate in the
competition this year. The competition will conclude with a closing
ceremony on 17th July, 2016.

FIRST STATE TO HAVE HAPPINESS DEPARTMENT


Madhya Pradesh became the first state in the country to set up
Happiness Department , with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan
saying it will work to ensure happiness in the lives of common
people on the lines of Bhutan. The Cabinet has decided to constitute
Happiness Department in the state. Besides the basic necessities
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of Roti, Kapda aur Makaan (food, cloth and shelter) people need
something more to be happy in their lives, a panel of experts will be
formed in the newly-constituted department which will give suggestions
to ensure happiness in the lives of the people.
What
1. Normally, happiness is measured with economic growth rate
which is not entirely correct as our country for ages believed
otherwise. There is something more which can bring happiness in
the lives of people.
2. Announcing the Happiness Department in April, Chouhan had
said happiness will not come into the lives of people merely with
materialistic possessions or development but by infusing positivity
in their lives so that they dont take extreme steps like suicide.
3. Meanwhile, over facing opposition in construction of a new district
court building near a pond in Indore, Chouhan said a delegation
has met him on the issue. Also Lok Sabha Speaker and local MP
Sumitra Mahajan spoke to him separately.
4. The government has decided to review its decision on the issue
keeping in mind public emotions. It has also decided to constitute
a panel comprising members from the High Court and the district
court besides others to look for an alternate site for the purpose.

NEW FEATURES FOR NPS


Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has
introduced new features for the benefit of National Pension System
(NPS) subscribers, including a mobile app. According to the statement,
through the mobile app, NPS by NSDL e-Gov, subscribers can raise a
request for transaction statement for a particular financial year that
will be sent to the registered mail ID at end of the day.
What
1. Now, the NPS subscribers can view his/her NPS account, latest
details of scheme wise units along with latest NAV and the total
value of the schemes, details of the last five contributions credited,
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2.
3.

4.
5.
6.

can change contact details (Telephone/Mobile no/Email ID),


change password/security Question add/modify his/her password
and set security question (for password reset) through Mobile App,
it added.
The subscribers also can now update/modify their address on their
own using Aadhaar based authentication.
The statement said a subscriber whose bank has not confirmed
(rejected) his/her KYC verification request can now update the
address details and confirm KYC using Aadhaar based
authentication.
Besides, the eNPS subscribers can now access the Central Record
keeping Agency (CRA) system immediately after registering
without waiting for physical I-PIN to be dispatched.
Currently, NPS has over 1.13 crore subscribers with total asset
under management of more than Rs 1.08 lakh crore.
PFRDA is mandated to promote old-age income security and has
been entrusted with the responsibility to regulate, promote and
ensure orderly growth of NPS and other pension schemes not
regulated under any other enactment.

INTER-STATE COUNCIL MEETING


A meeting of the Inter-State Council took place on 16 July 2016. The
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired the meeting. Union
Ministers participated in the meeting along with the Chief Ministers
and Administrators of States and Union Territories. This Inter-State
Council meeting has many firsts. Notable among them is that, for the
first time a meeting of the Inter-State Council has covered a wide
ranging topics of common interest to the Centre and the States.
Previously Inter-State Council meetings focused on just one or two
sectors. It is also important to add here that this meeting has been held
after a gap of 10 years.
Details
1. The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh welcomed the
Members of the Council and mentioned about the importance of
cooperative federalism and how this Government was committed
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to the ideal of Centre-State cooperation. The completion of all the


Zonal Council meetings in 2015 was a reflection of this
commitment, he added.
2. The Prime Minister, in his inaugural address mentioned, that
the Inter State Council is the most significant platform for
strengthening Centre-State and Inter-State relations. He observed
that the Council should discuss matters which are of concern to
large segments of our population. It is with that intention that the
agenda subjects for discussion in the Council have been chosen. So
far 102 crore Aadhaar cards have been distributed and today the
Aadhaar card has become a symbol of empowerment. He added
that Indias greatest assets are the youth of the country and,
therefore, they should be equipped with the skill and ability to
think logically and work creatively. He emphasized the need to
focus on intelligence sharing and ensure greater coordination
among agencies, so as to strengthen the internal security of the
country.
3. The Chief Ministers then presented their views on the agenda
items. The recommendations of the Commission on Centre-State
relations headed by Justice M.M. Punchhi, retired CJI, will be
first referred to the Standing Committee and with their
recommendations be placed before the Council. On the issue of
Aadhaar enrollment and using Aadhaar as an identifier for direct
benefit transfers, the State Governments assured that they will
provide maximum support in completing the enrollment and also
in setting up DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) cells. The consensus
view that emerged in the Council with regard to improving the
quality of education and learning outcomes was that there has to
be an improvement in the pupil-teacher ratio and in the training
of teachers. Besides, focus also needs to be there on improving
classroom processes and in the quality of school infrastructure. All
these should be achieved in a time-bound manner.
4. The Council discussed the importance of maintaining internal
security by better intelligence sharing between the States and
Central agencies. Terrorism should be put down with an iron
hand. The need for modernizing the police force with better
equipment and training was also emphasized.

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5. Many Chief Ministers lauded the Government of India for


convening the meeting of the Inter-State Council and requested
that such meetings should be convened more frequently.
6. In his concluding address the Prime Minister mentioned that
Aadhaar seeding should be attempted to the maximum extent
possible in the implementation of welfare schemes. While
expansion of educational facilities for school education was the
only area of priority focus earlier, today we should, in addition
focus on the quality of education and learning outcomes also.
Technology can greatly help in this. We should proactively take
steps to bridge the disparities in the standards between the better
endowed and poorly endowed schools.
7. There should be better coordination and interaction between the
police departments of the States and Smart Policing should be
practiced and in this, technology and focus on training of the
police personnel in matters relating to cybercrimes should be
important points of emphasis.

MHADEI RETURNED
The Indian Navys only Ocean going sailboat, Mhadei, returned to her
homeport, Goa. A team of six young women officers from the Navy
registered a thrilling historic first when they returned to Goa
successfully after a voyage to Mauritius. The team on their maiden,
and Indias first all-women crew ocean voyage, covered a distance of
over five thousand nautical miles through treacherous monsoon seas
and heavy winds. The voyage had commenced in Goa on 24 May 16 and
reached Port Louis, Mauritius on 14 June 2016. The team has
thereafter successfully completed expedition today when they
reached INS Mandovi Boat Pool.
Details
1. The Skipper, Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cdr) Vartika Joshi, and
her five-member team comprising Lt B Aishwarya, Lt P Swathi,
Lt Pratibha Jamwal, Lt Vijaya and SLt Payal Gupta were
received by Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, the Flag Officer

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2.

3.

4.

5.

Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command. The team had


undertaken the first ever open voyage by an Indian women crew.
The all-women crew of Mhadei is presently training to undertake
an expedition to circumnavigate the Globe, a feat achieved by
lesser number of people than those who managed to climb Mount
Everest. The first Indian to solo-circumnavigate the Globe on
board Mhadei, Cdr Dilip Donde, has tutored and trained the
young all-women crew.
The voyage of over 40 days at sea was aimed at exposing the
Skipper and crew to rough seas expected during the monsoon
period in the North Indian Ocean. This was to prepare them for
the very rough weather expected to be encountered by them in the
Southern Ocean during their circumnavigation of the globe. The
aim of this training voyage was adequately met and the all-women
crew has proved themselves capable and competent at sea. The
crew would now supervise essential repairs to the boat at Goa and
prepare her for the next voyage, when Mhadei would be
participating in the prestigious Cape to Rio race 2017 commencing
from Cape Town on 26 Dec 16.
The all-women crew will thereafter shift to the new boat presently
under construction at M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa. The
New boat is of same design as Mhadei and has been named Tarini,
after the river boat goddess of Goa. The keel of the boat was laid
by the Honourable Raksha Mantri Shri Manohar Parrikar on 28
March 16 at Goa. Tarini is expected to be delivered to the Indian
Navy in Feb 2017 prior to Indias first all-women crew embarking
on circumnavigation commencing August 2017.
Two solo circumnavigations, the first with stops by Cdr Dilip
Donde, and the second, non-stop by Cdr Abhilash Tomy, has been
undertaken onboard Mhadei between 2009 and 2013.

INDIA FELICITATED MNTE


Proud moment for India to have achieved these two momentous public
health milestones. This was stated by Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister
of Health and Family Welfare as he received the official citation
from WHO and UNICEF, in the presence of Smt. Anupriya Patel,
Minister of State, Health & Family Welfare, for Elimination of
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Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus and for being YAWS-free. India is the
first country to be officially acknowledged as being Yaws-free. India was
validated for Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE) in
April 2015, much ahead of the global target date of December 2015.
What
1. These achievements reflect the dedication of the country towards
achievement of health equity and universal health coverage.
2. This has been possible due to the commitment and dedication of
the lakhs of health workers, various stakeholders and concerted
efforts of planners and policymakers.
3. India has achieved this important milestone of being Yaws-free
much before the WHO global target year of 2020.
4. The Health Minister appealed to sustain this achievement of
Maternal & Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE) by health
system strengthening; high routine immunization coverage and
promotion of institutional/Clean Delivery/clean cord practices and
effective surveillance system.
5. The gains in keeping India free from preventable deaths continues
with introduction of newer vaccines such as Rotavirus vaccine,
IPV, Adult JE and soon-to-be introduced Measles-Rubella in the
public health programme of the country.
6. India completed validation of maternal and neonatal tetanus
elimination in all of its 36 states and union territories in April
2015, much earlier than the target date of December 2015. While
progress continues to be made, by June 2016, 19 countries have
still not reached the maternal and neonatal elimination status.
7. The elimination of Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus as a public
health problem means that in our country the annual rate of
Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus is now less than 1 per 1000 live
births.
The Health Ministers released Immunization Handbook for
Medical Officers
1. Routine Immunization Monitoring Guidelines & SOPs
2. INCHIS survey report of Mission Indradhanush
3. Guidelines for establishing sentinel stillbirth surveillance
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4. Maternal & Child Health Guidelines on Birth Defects


Surveillance and Still Birth
5. Yaws Disease End of Scourge in India booklet along with the
new Communication Plan for Routine Immunization featuring
Shri Amitabh Bachchan.

3 INDIAN SITES IN UNESCOS LIST


UNESCO on 17 July 2017 listed Chandigarhs Capitol
Complex and Sikkims national park home to the worlds third highest
peak Mount Khangchendzonga among its World Heritage Sites,
approving all three nominations linked to India this session. Todays
approval comes two days after the ruins of Nalanda University in
Bihar made to the elite tag at the 40th session of The World Heritage
Committee meeting in Istanbul.
Details
This is the first time that any country got three sites inscribed in
the Word Heritage List at a single session of the committee
meeting.
The meeting had resumed for a day today, after being suspended a
day earlier due to a failed coup bid in Turkey which claimed over
260 lives.
The Capitol Complex is part of the group of 17 sites across seven
countries (France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Argentina,
Japan and India) designed by Franco-Swiss Architect Le
Corbusier which were included in the list by the Paris-based body.
Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier,
had planned Chandigarh in the 1950s.
It said the 17 sites spread over seven countries are a testimonial
to the invention of a new architectural language that made a
break with the past.
The Complexe du Capitole in Chandigarh (India), the National
Museum of Western Art, Tokyo (Japan), the House of Dr
Curutchet in La Plata (Argentina) and the Unite dhabitation in
Marseille (France) reflect the solutions that the Modern
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Movement sought to apply during the 20th century to the


challenges of inventing new architectural techniques to respond to
the needs of society.
These masterpieces of creative genius also attest to the
internationalisation of architectural practice across the planet, it
said in an official statement.
In another major recognition, Sikkims Khangchendzonga
National Park home to the worlds third highest peak, Mount
Khangchendzonga made it to the list.
Located at the heart of the Himalayan range in northern India
(State of Sikkim), the Khangchendzonga National Park includes a
unique diversity of plains, valleys, lakes, glaciers and spectacular,
snow-capped mountains covered with ancient forests, including
the worlds third highest peak, Mount Khangchendzonga which
has an elevation of 8,586 m.
A World Heritage Site is a place (such as a building, city, complex,
desert, forest, island, lake, monument, or mountain) that is listed
by the UNESCO as being of special cultural or physical
significance.

CENTRE TO ROLL OUT 100 MW CST


UNIDO, in association with the New and Renewable Energy Ministry,
is preparing a road map for 100 mw Concentrated Solar Thermal
capacity in India to promote CST in the non-conventional energy
segment. We are preparing a road map for 100 mw Concentrated Solar
Thermal (CST) capacity for the next five years in India, UNIDOs
National Project Manager Anil Misra said. It is expected to be
completed within the next two months.
What
1. CST technologies are sufficiently suited for heating, drying and
cooling applications for industrial processes and useful for cooking
and domestic purposes.
2. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization
(UNIDO) has shortlisted 14 sectors for their application that
required heat energy directly.
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3. About 250 CST systems, which are off-grid, are operating in India.
4. The ministry has provided 30 per cent subsidy for installation of
CST.
5. Under the project, It offered additional 5 per cent interest rate
subvention. This 5 per cent is equivalent as additional 20 per cent
subsidy and the net subsidy almost become 50 per cent.
6. The project aims at facilitating the installation of 45,000 sq mt of
installed CS collector area through 15-25 demonstration and 60
replication projects.

INDIAS FIRST MIXED SITE ON UNESCO


Khangchendzonga National Park (KNP), Sikkim has been inscribed
as Indias first Mixed World Heritage Site on UNESCO World
Heritage List, by fulfilling the nomination criteria under both natural
and cultural heritage. The 40th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage
Committee, at a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, granted approval for the
inscription of Indias on the coveted UNESCO World Heritage List. The
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the two
Advisory Bodies of UNESCO had earlier given their positive
recommendations to the 21 member UNESCO World Heritage
Committee, to inscribe Khangchendzonga National Park (KNP), Sikkim
as a Mixed World Heritage Site .
What
1. The KNP exhibits one of the widest altitudinal ranges of any
protected area worldwide. The Park has an extraordinary vertical
sweep of over 7 kilometres (1,220m to 8,586m) within an area of
only 178,400 ha and comprises a unique diversity of lowlands,
steep-sided valleys and spectacular snow-clad mountains
including the worlds third highest peak, Mt. Khangchendzonga.
Numerous lakes and glaciers, including the 26 km long Zemu
Glacier, dot the barren high altitudes.
2. The KNP lies within the Himalaya global biodiversity hotspot and
displays an unsurpassed range of sub-tropical to alpine
ecosystems. The Himalayas are narrowest here, resulting in
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extremely steep terrain, which magnifies the distinction between


the various eco-zones.
3. The KNP is located within a mountain range of global biodiversity
conservation significance and covers 25% of the State of Sikkim,
acknowledged as one of Indias most significant biodiversity
concentrations.
4. The KNP is home to a significant number of endemic, rare and
threatened plant and animal species and has the highest number
of plant and mammal species recorded in the Central/High Asian
Mountains, except compared to the Three Parallel Rivers of
Yunnan Protected Areas, in China; and also has a high number of
bird species.
Significance
The cultural significance of KNP is portrayed by three main different
facets:
1. Firstly, the notion of beyul or hidden sacred land, which
extends to all of Sikkim, but has its heart in the territory of
Khangchendzonga National Park, is important in Tibetan
Buddhism, not only intrinsic to Sikkim, but in the neighboring
countries and beyond that is to say, KNP is home to a sacred
site of one of the worlds leading religious traditions
2. Secondly, the multi-layered sacred landscape of
Khangchendzonga and the cultural and religious relevance of
the hidden land (beyul in Tibetan Buddhism and Mayel Lyang,
in Lepcha tradition) is specific to Sikkim and is a unique
example of co-existence and exchange between different
religious traditions and people
3. Thirdly, the indigenous religious and cultural practices of the
Lepcha with regard to the ecology and the specific properties of
local plants, which stand as an outstanding example of
traditional knowledge and environmental preservation.
Flashpoint
1. This is the first nomination dossier in which the newly
established UNESCO Category 2 Centre on World Natural
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Heritage Management and Training for Asia-Pacific Region at


Wildlife Institute of India had provided professional inputs.
2. First time both IUCN and ICOMOS had given a clear and
positive recommendation for inscription of a Natural/ Mixed
Site from India.
3. With the above inscription, the number of Indian sites on the
World Heritage List has become 35 (7 Natural + 27 Cultural +
1 Mixed).

ECI LAUNCHES SVEEP PORTAL


Election Commissioners of India launched the SVEEP Portal in Hindi
along with the release of Matdaata Mahotsav document and film during
the Conference of Chief Electoral Officers of States. A handbook
on NERP (National Electoral Rolls Purification) was also released
during the conference.
Launch of SVEEP Portal in Hindi
1. SVEEP Portal is a web based application, accessible to the Chief
Electoral Officers and all other stakeholders and serves as a
window for easy accessibility of various initiatives of the
Commission like NVSP, Online Voter Competition, information on
events, best practices, creative content and other resource
material.
2. The conversion/ translation of all the available text/ webpages/
documents/resources on the Portal in Hindi language shall serve a
long way in making the requisite information available to a
majority of Hindi Literate population, especially in the Hindi
Speaking States. Additionally, efforts have also been made to
make the website disable friendly.
Launch of Matdata Mahotsave Document and Film
1. The Commission launched Matdata Mahotsav Document and a
film on the Matadaata Mahotsav which was held in Central
Park from 14th 17th January, 2016.
2. The document and the film provided a glimpse into the myriad
events that celebrated democracy and underlined the
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importance of each voter. A first of its kind, the four day


festivities of Matadata Mahotsav witnessed huge turnout and
hence connected the common man to the process of elections
through an international exhibition, all day activities,
competitions and cultural programmes. Matadata Mahotsav
was a true salute to the voter that spread the message on
greater participation for one and all.
Release of NERP Handbook
1. The Commission released a Handbook on NERP (National
Electoral Rolls Purification) to further improve upon the
Electoral Roll and ensure it stays error free in a standardized
form.
2. The idea is to remove all the inaccuracies and optimize the
section, part boundaries and PS locations.
3. This is in continuation with NERP drive launched by the
Commission in March, 2016. This document would be of
immense help to the machinery, engaged in this drive.

INDIA EXTENDS UN PRIVILEGES TO WB AFFILIATE


IFC
India has extended the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act,
1947 (46 of 1947), which confers legal immunity akin to the kind
enjoyed by foreign missions and diplomats, to the International Finance
Corporation (IFC) and its representatives and officials. IFC, one of the
five affiliates of the World Bank, aims to address development
challenges faced by the private sector in developing countries.
Details
1. Overview listed on the IFC web site says that its financial
products enable companies to manage risk and broaden their
access to foreign and domestic capital markets. Our advice helps
unlock private sector investment, which is essential for expanding
businesses, creating jobs, and growing economies with a special

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focus on infrastructure, manufacturing, agribusiness, services,


and financial markets.
2. Among the other international institutions which are covered
under the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947
(46 of 1947) are International Civil Aviation Organisation, World
Health Organisation, International Labour Organisation, Food
and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation and International Monetary Fund.
3. Among the privileges conferred under the Act include exemption
from all direct taxes, customs duties and prohibitions and
restrictions on imports and exports in respect of articles imported
or exported by the United Nations for its official use and
immunity from personal arrest or detention and from seizure of
their personal baggage.

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August 2016
NADA VERDICT
In a sensational turn of events, Narsingh Yadav was on 1 August
2016 cleared to compete in the Rio Olympics after being exonerated of
doping charges by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), which
ruled that the wrestler was a victim of sabotage and deserved the
benefit of doubt. Ending the suspense of the last few days, NADA DG
Naveen Agarwal read out a statement clearing Narsingh, leading to
wild celebrations among his supporters. We kept in mind that in the
past, till June 2, none of his samples were positive. It was inconceivable
that one-time ingestion would be of benefit. Therefore, the panel is of
the view that the one-time ingestion was not intentional, Mr. Agarwal
said while reading out the verdict.

What
1. The panel concludes that the athlete deserves the benefit of article
10.4 of the NADAs anti-doping code. Keeping in view that he was
victim of a sabotage, the panel exonerates the athlete from
charges of anti-doping rules of NADA.
2. The Wrestling Federation of India said Narsingh would now be
brought back into the squad.
3. The NADA reached the conclusion after three days of marathon
hearings last week during which Narsinghs lawyers argued that
the wrestler had been sabotaged by rivals.

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4. Narsingh had returned positive for methandienone a banned


anabolic steroid, following which he cried foul, claiming that the
entire episode was a conspiracy against him.
5. NADAs legal team had also given its arguments against the
sabotage theory before the disciplinary committee, stating that the
responsibility of keeping his system dope free lay with Narsingh.
6. The panel had summoned two cooks on the request of Narsinghs
lawyer Vidushpat Singhania on Saturday to verify the theory of
his food being contaminated.
7. Earlier, the argument put forth by NADA was that Narsingh was
not eligible for remission, which he had been asking for, because
he failed to establish that he did not commit any fault or
negligence.

COUNTRY FIRST TIGER REPOSITORY


The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) will now house the countrys first
repository on tigers, under its new Tiger Cell. We have worked with
the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on tiger
conservation and population estimation, and in the process we have
generated a huge database, WII Director V. B. Mathur told.

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What
1. The Dehradun-based WII has about 23,000 images of tigers. This
has to be maintained and the Tiger Cell will do that.
2. If a tiger skin is recovered at a place, then a properly maintained
database can be used to check where the tiger might have come
from.
3. Project clearanceThe Tiger Cell could also help with the
development-conservation debate.
4. When a project needs environmental clearance, our spatial data
can be used to overlay the project plan on our maps and check
whether the project would interfere [with wildlife habitats that
must not be disturbed].
5. The Tiger Cell was inaugurated and will be funded by the NTCA,
a statutory body under the Environment Ministry.
6. The Tiger Cell will assist in population assessment of tigers, law
enforcement, wildlife forensics, infrastructural development and
mitigation, smart patrolling and advisory role in policy
formulation.

MISSION BHAGIRATHA LAUNCHED


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi launched Mission Bhagiratha
at Komatibanda Village, Gajwel, in Medak District of Telangana. The
scheme has been launched by the State Government with an objective
to provide safe drinking water to all. The Prime Minister unveiled
plaques to lay Foundation Stones for important development projects.
These included the 1600 MW Thermal Power station of NTPC at
Ramagundam; revival of a Fertilizer Plant at Ramagundam; Kaloji
Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences, Warangal; and
Manoharabad-Kothapalli Railway line. He also dedicated to the nation
the 1200 MW Thermal Power Station of Singareni Collieries at Jaipur,
in Adilabad district.

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What
1. The State Government for the steps taken over the last two years
to fulfil the aspirations of the people. Noting the importance of
cooperative federalism for the countrys development, the Prime
Minister said the Centre and States are now working together for
this objective.
2. The Mission Bhagiratha to provide drinking water to the people of
the State.
3. In the context of the foundation stone for the new railway line, the
Prime Minister said a long pending demand of the people would
now be fulfilled. He said the fertilizer plant would help the
farmers of the State. He spoke of power sector reforms, irrigation,
and how economic progress is being linked to rail connectivity.
4. The Prime Minister asked people to beware of fake cow vigilantes,
and urged State Governments to take action against them.

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FIRST NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF IA


The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) in
coordination with National Investigation Agency (NIA) is organizing
the 1st National Conference of Investigation Agencies on 12-13th
August, 2016, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The conference has
originated from the mandate of the BPR&D and the recommendations
of Directors General of Police (DGPs)/Inspectors General of Police
(IGPs) conferences which stipulated To organize the All India
Conference of Police and Law Enforcement officers engaged in
investigation tasks.

What
1. The conference envisages to provide an annual national platform
to all the officers of law enforcement agencies engaged in
investigation tasks with the objective to discuss the latest laws
and judgments and their implications for investigation and
prosecution and to deliberate on new legislation/ criminal law
amendments and systematic changes for meeting new challenges
in investigation.
2. The conference also envisages about adoption of latest technology
in forensic sciences for expeditious and professional investigation
and to share best practices followed by different investigation
agencies which could be implemented by others.
3. The deliberations of the conference are expected to help in
improving the quality of investigation which has been a long felt
demand of public.

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4. The conference offers sessions by investigation experts of national


repute on themes of Combating Economic and Organized crime,
Digital and Technology driven crime, Terrorist Crime
Investigation, Legal issue relating to Investigation and Ideas from
States: Sharing good practices.
5. These sessions would provide exposure to the investigator about
the role and function of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and its
coordination with investigation agency, Indian Drug Enforcement
Regime and Role of investigation agency, co-ordination between
Enforcement Directorate (ED) and investigation agencies, issues
related to use of social media by terrorists and strategies to
counter them and investigation of terrorist crimes.
6. The sessions are also expected to cover combating cybercrime:
strategic responses and international experience, use of
technology to improve investigation, need for fresh legislation and
amendments required in existing laws to facilitate investigation
and database and crime investigation.
7. There will be sessions on show-casing the best practices in
investigation being followed in various States/UTs and
investigation agencies. Leading experts and practitioners in these
areas would present their views.
8. The DGs of States/UTs, Central Police Organisations (CPOs) and
the Heads of Crime Branches/ATS/Economic Offences
Wing(EOW)/STF of States/UTs and other investigative agencies
will participate in the Conference. Superintendents of Police and
other investigators too shall participate.

IROM SHARMILA ENDS FAST


Manipurs Iron Lady Irom Chanu Sharmila, who has been on fast
for about 16 years demanding repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers
Act (AFSPA) in the state, was released by a court after signing Personal
Recognition (PR) Bond. The 44-year-old iconic rights activist is,
however, yet to walk out of her jail ward at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute
of Medical Sciences pending the release order.

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Flashpoint
1. The AFSPA: The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special
Powers Act was signed into law in September 1958, and was
later renamed the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). It
authorizes the central government and heads of states and Union
Territories to declare the regions they govern to be disturbed
areas. The act gives armed forces extarordinary powers, including
immunity from legal action, and the licence to shoot to kill and
arrest people without obtaining warrants.
2. Disturbed regions: Besides parts of the North East, the AFSPA
has been in force in two other regions: Punjab and the Union
Territory of Chandigarh (withdrawn in 1997 in both jurisdictions)
and Jammu and Kashmir (still in force).
3. The beginning: The state of Manipur was first given disturbed
area status in 1980. This was done to combat four insurgent
groups who were active in the state at the time.
4. Partial withdrawal: The AFSPA was withdrawn from seven
Assembly constituencies in 2014, but is still in force everywhere
else in the state.
5. Extension of status: In December last year, Manipurs disturbed
area status was extended by a year by the Manipur government.
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6. Counter-insurgency role: The primary role of the Army in


Manipur is to engage in counter-insurgency operations. The state
shares a border with the Republic of Myanmar, from where
several terrorist outfits operate.
7. Embattled army personnel Terrorist groups active in the in the
state have targeted army personnel posted there. 18 Dogra
regiment personnel were killed last year by terrorists in
Manipurs Chandel district, in the deadliest terrorist attack in the
state since 1982, when 20 jawans were felled.
8. Separatism Some Manipuris consider their states merger with
India in 1949 to have been signed under duress, and a large
number of insurgent groups demanding a separate state are active
in the state. These include the United National Liberation Front
of Manipur, the Peoples Liberation Army of Manipur, and
Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak.
9. Extra-judicial killings It has been alleged that over 1,528 people
died in extra-judicial killings (fake encounters) carried out by the
army between 1979 and 2012 in Manipur. The Supreme Court
said the army and paramilitary forces couldnt use excessive and
retaliatory force in Manipur, and asked for a report on alleged
fake encounters in the state.

KNPP DEDICATED TO NATION


Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and
Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on 10 August 2016 jointly
dedicated to the nation the 1,000 MW Nuclear Power Plant-I in
Kudankulam, assuring it was one of the safest atomic plants in the
world. Speaking on the occasion through video conferencing from New
Delhi, Modi said Kudankulum 1, an India-Russian project, was an
important addition to the continuing efforts to scale up production of
clean energy in India.

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What
1. The KNPP had been set up using the Russian VVER type reactors
based on enriched uranium and its second unit was expected to
start operations later this year.
2. The completion of the first unit was delayed in view of strident
protests by local people, who raised safety concerns, before it
became operational.
3. The Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) VVER-1000 had gone
critical in July 2014 and the commercial operations started from
December 31 the same year, with the unit coming to the aid of the
then power starved Tamil Nadu.
4. The Cumulative Generation of Unit I since the date of commercial
operation is 6,498 million units (MU) with its capacity factor
peaking to 100 per cent in June this year.
Background
1. Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in Tirunelveli is the
outcome of a pact signed in 1988 by prime minister Rajiv Gandhi
and Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev. The construction
began only in 2002 due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and
became operational in October 2012.
2. The two Units of the KKNPP, built at a cost of over Rs. 22,000
crores with Russian technology, have continuously been the centre
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of agitation, considered as one of Indias largest anti-nuclear


protests. Led by activist S.P. Udayakumar, scores of people have
been arrested under Section 121 and under the sedition charges
Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), since the early
2000s.
3. The protests reached new heights after a devastating earthquake
off Fukushima in Japan triggered a tsunami and caused the
worlds worst nuclear accident after the Chernobyl disaster of
1986.

COMPREHENSIVE MOBILITY PLANS


25 cities have prepared Comprehensive Mobility Plans (CMP) based on
origin and destination flow of traffic, identifying major traffic corridors
and feeder corridors, land use etc. which in turn would assist in proper
urban planning. CMPs are subsequently made part of City Master
Plans. Minister of State for Urban Development and Housing & Urban
Poverty Alleviation Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, in a written reply in Lok
Sabha stated that 25 cities from 8 States prepared CMPs with central
assistance. Ministry of Urban Development assists up to 80% of the cost
of preparation of CMPs.

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What
1. In Karnataka, 14 cities that came out with CMPs are Tumkur,
Davanagere, Shimoga, Mangalore, Mysore, Belgaum, Ballary,
Gulbarga, Hubli-Dharwar, Bidar, Chitradurga, Bijapur, Hospet
and Raichur.
2. Five cities with CMPs in Punjab are Amritsar, Bhatinda,
Jalandhar, Pathankot and Patiala.
3. Other such cities are Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), KalyanDombivili(Maharashtra), Gangtok (Sikkim), Shillong (Meghalaya),
Agartala (Tripura) and Jaipur(Rajasthan).

FIRST EVER NATIONAL TEACHERS CONGRESS


The countrys first ever National Teachers Congress will be held for
three days at Pune from Sept.23 to 25. Is being organised by the

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National Teachers Congress Foundation, Pune, of which the Chief


Minister of Maharashtra is the Chief Patron.

What
1. The event is being organised under the aegis of MAEERs MIT
School of Government, Pune, in association with All India Council
for Technical Education (AICTE), Association of Indian
Universities, Maharashtra State Principals Forum, Government
of Maharashtra and UNESCO Chair of Human Rights,
Democracy, Peace and Tolerance, Pune.
2. It is actively supported by AICTE, Association of Indian
Universities (AIU), Maharashtra State Principals Forum,
Maharashtra State Government and UNESCO Chair of Human
Rights, Democracy, Peace & Tolerance, Pune.
3. More than 8000 teachers from all over the country were expected
to participate in the three-day deliberations on various
issues concerning education system of India in the context of past,
present and future.
4. Issues concerning problems confronting teaching community at
various levels would also be discussed during one of the sessions.

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FIRST STATE TO RATIFY GST BILL


Assam on 12 August 2016 became the first state to ratify the
constitution amendment bill for the goods and services tax (GST) taking
India a step closer to the implementation of this seminal tax reform.

What
1. The 122nd Constitution amendment bill received Parliaments
nod earlier this week and has subsequently been sent to states for
their consent. The bill needs to be ratified by 50% of the Indian
states before it can be sent for Presidential assent.
2. The government is aiming to get the bill ratified by 16
states within the first week of September to stay on course its 1
April 2017 implementation deadline. States need to pass the bill
by a simple majority to ratify the bill.
3. The Assam assembly unanimously passed the Constitution
Amendment Bill on GST, news agency PTI reported.
4. GST is a far reaching tax reform that aims to unite the country
into a common market and remove all barriers across states.

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5. It will subsume most of the indirect taxes levied by the centre and
states, including excise duty, service tax, value added tax, luxury
tax, entertainment tax and entry tax.
6. Once the Constitution amendment bill is enacted, the government
will constitute the GST Council that will take all important
decisions regarding crucial issues like the tax rates and threshold
and finalize the three GST laws.
7. The government is aiming to bring the central GST law and the
integrated GST law in the winter session of Parliament. The state
GST law will go to all the states for passage.

FIRST NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF IA


INAUGURATED
The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the first
National Conference of investigating agencies. The two-day conference
is being organised by the Bureau of Police Research and Development
(BPR&D) in coordination with National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Why
1. The investigation agencies are facing many challenges in the
investigation of traditional and modern crimes. This conference is
an opportunity to discuss these challenges and ways to overcome
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2.

3.

4.

5.
6.

7.

8.

9.

them. This conference will discuss ways to improve quality of


investigation especially for economic and organized crimes and
related legal issues.
The crime is an act which is committed by persons with perverted
mind or in adverse circumstances. Whatever the circumstances
under which a crime is committed, crime cannot be accepted as
legitimate by any civilized society.
The crime control has basically two dimensions: prevention and
detection. Prevention is the best remedy since crime is nipped in
the bud. However once the crime is committed, quality of
investigation is the foundation on which detection is based.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau, the conviction rate of
the crimes is very low, that is why Quality of investigation is
crucial in ensuring justice for the victims and punishment for the
offender.
Apart from the quality of investigation at police station level, we
also have to ensure proper courtesy to the victims and witnesses.
The convenience of victims and witnesses must be taken into
account when calling them for investigation. The victims should
be kept informed about the progress of investigation from time to
time.
The Government has taken various steps to improve the quality of
investigation. In case of general crime, the Government has
revamped the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network Systems
(CCTNS) project for complete computerization of the working of
police and extended it to court, jail, prosecution and forensic
laboratories.
Concern for women safety, the Government is concerned about
the crime against women and safety of women. To investigate the
crime against women, dedicated Investigative Units on Crime
against Women (IUCAW) are being established in 564 districts of
India.
These units, one- third of investigators will be women and funds
will be made available by Central and State Governments, on 5050 partnership basis.

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MONSOON SESSION ENDS


The productivity of the Lok Sabha was higher than the Rajya Sabha in
the Monsoon session which ended but its performance was less than
what it had achieved in the Budget session. Terming the performance of
the two Houses as good, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth
Kumar said while the productivity of the Lok Sabh was recorded at
110.84 per cent, that of the Rajya Sabha was 99.54 per cent.

What
1. But according to data compiled by PRS Legislative, the
productivity of the lower house in the Budget session was 121 per
cent. The Rajya Sabha had recorded a productivity of 91 per cent,
lower than what it achieved in the latest session.

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2. The highlights of the Monsoon session were passage of the GST


bill and unanimous resolutions in both Lok Sabha and the Rajya
Sabha on Kashmir.
3. The Rajya Sabha, took up six short duration discussions on
situation in the Kashmir Valley, price rise, atrocities on Dalits,
status of implementation of the AP Reorganisation Act,
developments in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh leading to
change in governments and the draft National EDUCATION
POLICY.
4. While 14 bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha, 15 were
passed. The Rajya Sabha passed 14 bills, while one The
Maternity Benefit (amendment) Bill, 201 was introduced.
5. Parliament passed a total of 15 bills, including the one on GST.
6. While two bills which replaced as many ordinances on the
common medical entrance exam were passed, the one which
sought to replace an ordinance on amendments to the Enemy
Property Act could not be cleared. The ordinance is set to lapse in
the coming days.

FIRST NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS INSURANCE POLICY


The countrys first Nuclear Suppliers insurance policy was unveiled
by India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP). New India Assurance Co and
INIP will issue the policy and administer the claims on behalf of the
pool. INIP is the 27th global nuclear insurance pool which was launched
by General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC), in association
with non-life insurance companies. The pool provides capacity for
insurance coverage to operators and suppliers for any nuclear liability
towards third party, GIC said in a statement.

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What
1. Within a year of launching the Rs 1,500 crore India Nuclear
Insurance Pool (INIP), state-run GIC Re today unveiled the
Nuclear Suppliers Insurance Policy (NSIP).
2. A couple of months back, New India Assurance issued a policy for
the operators of nuclear power plants under INIP by underwriting
premium to the tune of Rs 100 crore.
3. With the launch of Nuclear Suppliers Insurance Policy, we are
now in a position to issue policies for both operators and suppliers
of nuclear power plants.
4. Apprehension of suppliers of nuclear power plants that recourse of
NPCIL was not protected by any insurance policy, doesnt exist
any longer as this policy provides that cover.
5. Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Shekhar Basu said, We
have already completed the construction of 20 nuclear reactors in
the country and 10 more are under construction.
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6. The extra suppliers cover will be taken by those who will be


supplying equipment to the upcoming 10 nuclear reactors on their
becoming operational in future, he said.

SMART GANGA CITY SCHEME LAUNCHED


Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga
Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti and Union Urban Development
Minister Shri M Venkaiah Naidu launched Smart Ganga City
Scheme in ten important cities through video conference. These cities
are Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mathura-Vrindavan, Varanasi, Kanpur,
Allahabad, Lucknow, Patna, Sahibgunj and Barrackpore. National
Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)has chosen these cities in the first
phase for infrastructure development for sewage treatment. This will be
on hybrid annuity mode based on PPP model.

What
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1. The cooperation of Union Urban Development Ministry is key to


the success of Namami Gange programme. Learning from the past
experience of gaga action plan her Ministry this time has gone
for hybrid annuity mode based on PPP model.
2. The Minister said district level mentoring committees will be
constituted to monitor the speedy implementation of Namami
Gange programme.
3. The first phase only ten cities have been taken up but
gradually more and more cities will be taken up. She said the
involvement of district administration and municipal body is key
to success of this program.
4. The District Magistrates/Mayors of the ten chosen
cities participating in the video conference appreciated the
Namami Gange programme and promised the full support of state
administration and local bodies for its success
5. Earlier, Shri Rajat Bhargav, Mission Director NMCG made a
presentation on hybrid annuity mode based on PPP model to be
adopted by NMCG for speedy implementation of Namami Gange
programme.

INDIAS 1ST NATIONAL WATERWAY STARTS


The countrys first national waterway, NW-1, from Haldia to Allahabad
was notified in October 1986 and commercial transport of coal on
Haldia- Farakka stretch started in 2013. But it is only now that the
NDA government is moving forward to develop waterways, as it
launched its first trial of cargo transport carrying 200 newly assembled
Maruti cars and another 1,000 tonnes building material from Varanasi
to Kolkata.

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What
1. And this too within two years of announcing the Jal Marg Vikas
scheme to enable commercial navigation of vessels. The
governments blueprint to promote pilgrimage through cruises
mainly focuses on hubs of religious tourism. Out of the seven
major identified hubs, five
Varanasi, Allahabad, Bhagalpur, Patna and Kolkata are located
close to Ganga.
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2. It will take nearly a week for the two cargo vessels to reach
Kolkata. The two vessels will also pick up more cargo on their
way. People are interested, but what we need is to demonstrate
how its viable and they get assured service, said Prabir Pandey of
Inland Waterways Authority of India, which is responsible for
developing the stretches.
3. Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari told that many even within the
government had doubts whether such a mammoth task can
become a reality. He added the holy river can become a stretch of
major economic activities like a highway stretch without harming
the ecology and environment. Government has decided to use
liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the main fuel for water transport.
4. Gadkari even told the crowd that he would use a sea plane to
reach Varanasi when he visits the holy city next time. At least 10
cities along the Ganga can start passenger ferries to reduce
congestion on roads. More use of waterways will bring this sector
to focus and transportation through waterways will bring down
logistics costs from 18% to 12%, he said.

BRO LAUNCHES AMBITIOUS TREE PLANTATION


DRIVE
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), under Ministry of Defence,
which is one of the premier road construction agencies of the country
launched a massive tree plantation drive in the Northern & Eastern
states of India. The plantation drive was organised simultaneously in
the Headquarters in Delhi and all its 18 Project across the country,
wherein the employees along with the local populace took part in large
numbers.

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Details
1. BRO leading the drive that almost two lakh saplings will be
planted across the country under this programme. This is one of
the biggest ever tree plantation drive undertaken by the BRO,
organised with the aim to protect the ecology and increase the
green cover along the border areas of the Country. Apart from
planting of the saplings, the most important thing is to ensure
their maintenance and care.
2. The plan of BRO to include 1 percent of cost of project in the
estimates for greening of areas along the roads. This effort is also
aimed at saving the precious life and land from soil erosion and
consequent flash floods caused by the incessant rains and also to
make the people aware about the importance of tree plantation.
3. BRO also plans to conduct numerous activities to create
awareness amongst the people, by way of organizing community
participation, competitions for children and by organizing a minimarathon with the theme Run for the Roads in the near future.
4. It was very heartening to see the active participation by the BRO
officials and employees in the drive as they aim to plant 10 lakh
saplings in the next two years.

CWC REPORT ON INTER LINK RIVERS


Inter linking of rivers and repair of water-bodies are among several
measures suggested by a central agency which studied water situation I
drought-hit areas in 2015-16.

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The Central Water Commission (CWC), which conducted the spot study,
said consecutive failure of monsoon for two years was the main reason
behind the scarcity of water and suggested short and long term
measures specific to region, area, and state to deal with the situation.
As per report
1. The report has recommended construction of water harvesting
structures, mass awareness, construction of new water storage
structures, inter-linking of rivers, renovation and repair of
existing water bodies as some of the important measures.
2. The CWC has pitched for inter-linking of rivers in regions like
Marathwada in Maharashtra and Bundelkhand of Uttar Pradesh
and Madhya Pradesh, which reeled severe water shortages last
summer.
3. The Commission also recommended water budgeting and planning
cropping patterns for the coming agricultural seasons and
suggested formulating a strategy to avoid taking water intensive
crops.
4. Micro irrigation (sprinkler and drip) should be adopted to achieve
more-crop-per-drop.
5. The minimum domestic water requirements in almost all the
affected places are being met by importing water and by digging
local deep bore wells.
6. Ground water levels have been reported as falling in almost all
regions of the country due to over exploitations and inadequate
recharging mechanism. However, no specific observation on water
quality has been reported at most of the areas except in Gujarat,
where problem of salinity in coastal areas has been reported.
7. Some pockets like Marathwada, Bundelkhand, Telangana and
Andhra Pradesh are worst hit by water scarcity.
8. The main cause of water scarcity in the country is consecutive
failure of monsoon, resulting low storages in dams, during last two
years. Rainfall deficit in country as a whole during 2015 was 14
percent and in 2014 it was 12 percent.
9. Year 2012 was also a deficit year with 11 percent rainfall
deficiency. Consecutive less rainfall also resulted less carryover
storage in reservoirs.
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PREVENT DISEASE IN BANANA CROPS


The National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) has asked the Bihar
government to take effective steps to quarantine banana crops affected
by fusarium wilt disease so as to prevent the spread of the disease to
other States. Since the disease was noticed in 15 villages of Theni
district, the NRCB has advised farmers of Theni district to take
effective bio-control measures to prevent the disease, which is a lethal
soil-borne fungal disease.

What
1. The fungus will block the flow of water and nutrients through the
roots of the plants. The affected plants will eventually split at the
base and then wither. Similarly, the fungus will persist in soil for
some years and the use of chemical pesticides will have no effect.
2. The disease would spread to neighbouring plantations quickly if
effective control measures were not taken.
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3. The wilt disease had been noticed in a few parts of the country
mainly in Bihar. The Grand Nain (G-9) banana raised in
Purniaand Katihar districts of Bihar had been hit due to the
disease. It had become a cause of concern for all stakeholders,
including farmers and scientists. There was a need to enforce
domestic quarantine of the affected fields in order to prevent
spread of the disease.
4. R. Selvarajan, Principal Scientist (pathology-virology), NRCB,
said that a brain storming session was held recently in Tiruchi to
discuss ways and means to prevent the disease.
5. NRCB scientists have been closely monitoring the affected areas.
It had been planned to provide intensive training at Central
Institute for Subtropical Horticulture in Lucknow soon on the
management of the fungal wilt disease.

SCORPENE DATA LEAK


Australias The Australian newspaper uploaded a fresh tranche of
leaked documents relating to information about operating instructions
of underwater warfare system of the six Scorpene submarines which are
being built in India by French firm DCNS. However, a top defence
analyst allayed fears that it could compromise the security of the
strategically important combat vessels. Like in the previous case, the
newspaper has blacked out all details which it felt would compromise
Indias security interests.

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However, the new set of documents, with Indian Navy insignia on it and
marked Restricted Scorpene India , gives details about the sonar
system of the submarines which is used to gather intelligence
underwater. It talks about a wide range of technical specifications of the
sonars and at what degree and frequency it will function. The
documents detail the Operating Instruction Manual , which talks
about how to select a target for weapon firing, weapon configuration
selection, among others. Though the Navy has not yet officially reacted
to the release of new documents, sources maintained that it does not
compromise national security.
What has it to do with India?
1. In October 2005, India had signed a USD 3.75 bn deal for six of
submarines to be built by Mazgaon Dock Limited (MDL) in
Mumbai with transfer of technology. Additional deals were signed
with Thales and MBDA for systems and weapons.
What is the status of the deal?

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1. After repeated delays over four years, the first submarine began
sea trials in May this year and is expected to be commissioned
into the Navy by October.
2. The remaining five submarines are at various stages of
construction and MDL has assured to hand over one submarine
every nine months.
Why are submarines so important?
1. A submarine is the quietest military platform and extremely
tough to detect.Their main cover is their ability to move
stealthily under water and keep an eye on enemy movement of
vessels.
2. Submarines are the most potent military platforms currently
available even ahead of aircraft carriers which need a large
entourage to protect it.
3. The fact that nations which possess nuclear weapons base their
second strike capability (ability to strike back after being hit
first by nuclear strike) on nuclear powered ballistic missile
submarines (SSBN) underscores their importance.
What is stealth?
1. Every military platform has a footprint which shows up on
radar by which is used by adversaries to track it. So it
is extremely important to minimise the footprint to protect our
military assets and retain the element of surprise in case of an
offensive
2. For a submarine, stealth is the most important
protection. Stealth is a relative concept. It can be increased
relatively to varying levels by adopting several measures right
from the platforms design to operational measures to reduce
noise and vibrations to stay away from prowling radars and
sonars.
How do submarines operate?
As Submarines operate under water they rely on sonar or
sound waves for communication and detection. Each class of
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submarine operates over specific frequencies, their signature,


and is highly guarded.
What is the leak all about?
1. The 22,400 pages of documents leaked are essentially the
manufacturers, in this case DCNS, manual detailing the
technical specifications of the submarine.
2. They detail the combat and stealth capabilities of the Scorpene,
including what frequencies they gather intelligence at, what
levels of noise they make at various speeds and their diving
depths, range and endurance and so on. It also discloses
magnetic, electromagnetic and infra-red data as well as
specifications of the submarines torpedo launch system and the
combat system.
So does it mean the submarines are compromised?
1. Not entirely but the fact that such information has been lacked
is a concern in itself. Rival navies take years to collect such
kind of information and this coming out in public domain is not
a healthy sign.
2. While the manufacturers technical manual has come out in the
public domain, the operational and tactical procedures are
developed by the user, the Indian Navy, once the submarine is
inducted. In addition, as the submarines are still under
construction small tweaking can be done to change their
signatures, as a precautionary measure.

POCSO E-BOX LAUNCHED


An online complaint box for reporting child sexual abuse, the POCSO eBox was launched by the Minister for Women and Child Development,
Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in New Delhi. Protection of Children from
Sexual Offences (POCSO), e-Box, is an online complaint management
system for easy and direct reporting of sexual offences against children
and timely action against the offenders under the POCSO Act, 2012.

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What
1. The idea of an e-Box came out of a police initiative in
which physical complaint boxes were placed in schools.
2. The e-Box will make it possible to implement it on a large scale
throughout the country.
3. A large number of incidents of abuse are against close
relatives and so they get pushed under the carpet.
4. E-Box is very simple to operate and will help to maintain the
confidentiality of the complaint.
5. The e-Box is incorporated prominently in the home page of
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
(NCPCR) websitehttp://ncpcr.gov.in/ where a user has to simply
push a button named POSCO e-Box.

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6. This will navigate to a page with a window containing an


animation movie.
7. The animation movie reassures the child that whatever has
happened to him/her is not his/her fault and she/he need not feel
guilty and that NCPCR is a friend which will help her.
8. After the user presses the arrow on this page, it navigates to
another page where he/ she has to select at least one picture
option (describing the category of harassment) and fill the form
with details such as mobile number, e-mail and description of the
harassment followed by the submit button.
9. The complaint is then registered and a unique auto-generated
complaint number is flashed.
Flashpoint
1. Sexual offences against children are rampant but only a small
percentage gets reported. According to a study, about 53% of
children surveyed, reported having faced one or the other form of
sexual abuse in their lifetime.
2. In most cases, the offender is a family member/near relative or an
acquaintance.
3. The child victim in such cases generally does not report these
offences. Sexual abuse scars the psyche of the affected child for
entire life. A child who is sexually abused has to face very serious
consequences such as cognitive impairment, violent and risk
behaviour including depression and anxiety.
4. Feeling shame and guilt with poor interpersonal relationship &
self-esteem are other consequences of sexually abused children.
5. Being concerned about such offences against children, the
Government enacted POCSO Act, 2012 to protect them from
offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography,
while safeguarding the interest of the child at every stage of the
judicial process, by incorporating child friendly mechanisms for
reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and speedy trial of
offences through designated Special Courts.
6. Any human being up to the age of 18 years is recognised as a child
under the POCSO Act.

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CYBERCRIMES HAVE RISEN 4-FOLD


The number of cybercrime cases registered in India has risen by 350 per
cent in the three-year period from 2011 to 2014, according to a joint
study by PwC and Assocham. In the past, attacks have been mostly
initiated from countries such as the U.S., Turkey, China, Brazil,
Pakistan, Algeria, Turkey, Europe, and the UAE, according to the study
titled Protecting Interconnected Systems in the Cyber Era. However,
with the growing adoption of the Internet and smart-phones, India has
emerged as one of the favourite countries among cyber criminals.

As per Study
1. Cyber-attacks around the world are occurring at a greater
frequency and intensity.

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2. A new breed of cyber criminals has now emerged, whose main aim
is not just financial gains but also causing disruption and chaos to
businesses in particular and the nation at large.
3. In the U.S. alone, there has been an increase of nearly 50 per cent
in reported cyber incidents against its critical infrastructure from
2012 to 2015.
4. Attackers can gain control of vital systems such as nuclear plants,
railways, transportation or hospitals that can subsequently lead to
dire consequences.

NATIONAL HEALTH ACCOUNTS (NHA) REPORT


Indians spent eight times more on private hospitals and twice as much
on transporting patients compared to costs in government hospitals,
according to the National Health Accounts (NHA) Estimates for the
financial year 2013-14. The data was recently released by the Health
Ministry after almost a decade.

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What
1. The estimates say that households spent Rs. 64,628 crores on
private hospitals compared to just Rs. 8,193 crores on government
hospitals. A total of Rs. 18,149 crores were spent on patient
transportation services, like use of an ambulance.
2. Considering all revenue sources, including government funding,
expenditure on private hospitals Rs. 88,552 crores was
double that on government hospitals Rs. 41,797 crores.
3. The NHA monitors the flow of resources in the countrys health
system and provides details of health finances.

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Low public spending


1. India spent a total of Rs. 4.5 lakh crore on healthcare in 2013-14
at 4 per cent of the GDP, of which Rs. 3.06 lakh crore came from
households.
2. Public spending is abysmally low, constituting around 29 per cent
of the total health expenditure 1 per cent of GDP. There has
been a marginal improvement from 2004-05, when the share of
government spending was just 22 per cent.
3. Preventive care gets just 9.6 per cent of the total money that flows
in Indias healthcare system.
4. The current expenditure on preventive care is estimated at Rs
40,627 crore. All the government-funded national health
programmes such as the National Disease Control Programmes
are covered under this category.

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High out-of-pocket costs


1. Indians out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure on healthcare, which is
the money individuals pay on their own rather than being covered
by insurance or health benefits, has been estimated to be around
Rs. 2.9 lakh crore or 69 per cent of total health expenditure (THE)
in the country.
2. This is alarmingly high and India stands among the highest in
this metric worldwide.
3. The share of OOP as a percentage of Current Health Expenditure
(CHE) has however, decreased from 69.4 per cent in 2004-05 to
64.2 per cent in 2013-14. The CHE comprises 93 per cent, the rest
7 per cent going to Capital Expenditure.

HEALTH IN INDIA
National Health Accounts (NHA) monitors the flow of resources in a
countrys health system and provides detailed data on health finances.
The NHA estimates for India for the financial year 2013-14 were
published, after a long void of almost a decade. The previous estimates
were for the year 2004-05. In 2013-14, the Total Healthcare
Expenditure (THE) of India was Rs. 4.5 lakh crores, which amounts to 4
per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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What
1. The Draft National Health Policy 2015 recognises this to be a
problem. It says: Global evidence on health spending shows that
unless a country spends at least 5-6 per cent of its GDP on
health and the major part of it is from government expenditure,
basic health care needs are seldom met.
2. Of the total amount of Rs. 4.5 lakh crores,Current Health
Expenditure (CHE) constituted Rs. 4.2 lakh crores (93 per cent).
Rs. 31.9 thousand crores (7 per cent) went to Capital Expenditure.
3. These estimates help us answer key questions pertaining to
healthcare finances.
Where do the financial resources come from?
1. Households continue to be the dominant contributors (73 per cent
of CHE) to health finance in India. The bulk of the total money
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circulating in Indian healthcare around 69 per cent comes


from Out of Pocket (OOP) payment by households. OOP is the
money which individuals pay out of their own.
2. High OOP spending is a result of abysmally low government
spending on health, constituting just 1.15 per cent of GDP and 30
per cent of CHE the lowest among the BRICS nations.
3. It has long been argued that government spending on health
should increase to 2.5 per cent of GDP, a figure also envisaged by
the Draft National Health Policy 2015.
Which healthcare providers get the money?
1. A third of all money Rs. 1.5 lakh crores (35.7 per cent) . was
spent in pharmacies. Rs. 88.5 thousand crores (21 per cent) was
spent in private hospitals, almost double compared to that of
government hospitals which consume 41.7 thousand crores (9.9
per cent).
2. Around Rs. 28 thousand crores (6.7 per cent) was spent in labs
and medical diagnostics.
What goods and services are being consumed?
1. Outpatient care is when a patient doesnt stay in the hospital
overnight spends less than 24 hours. When care of patients
requires them to get admitted to the hospital, it is called inpatient
care.
2. Around 45 per cent is spent on outpatient care (including both
general and special treatment) as compared to 35 per cent in
inpatient care.
3. Overall, the current expenditure on curative care is estimated at
Rs 3.4 lakh crores (80.4 per cent) whereas. In contrast, a meagre
9.6 per cent Rs. 40.6 thousand crores is spent on preventive
care. All the government-funded national health programmes such
as the National Disease Control Programmes are covered under
this category. However, it does not include spending on sanitation
or providing access to clean drinking water.
4. Rs. 19 thousand crores (4.5 per cent) was spent in patient
transportation.
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September 2016
FIRST COUNTRY TO SIGNS OPEN SKIES
AGREEMENT
India signs open skies agreement with Greece. Greece is the first
country that has signed open skies with India after the aviation policy
was cleared by the Cabinet. This will allow carriers from our country to
launch any number of flights to any destination in Greece. The key
cities areDelhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai.
At present, there are no direct flights between India and Greece and
passengers travel one stop via Gulf states or Turkey to Greece. In fact,
there was no air services agreement between India and Greece till now
thus preventing the start of air services between two countries.
What
1. The aviation ministry is also going to call Indian airlines to
discuss their demands for the Dubai.
2. The Indians carriers have exhausted the seat entitlements
between India and Dubai and the government is looking at
increasing it depending on the requirements of the Indian
carriers.
3. Indian carriers have in the past complained that they do not get
desired slots at Dubai.
4. India had entered into an open skies agreement with the US and
Britain. The open skies with Britain covers airports excluding
London Heathrow.
5. According to the civil aviation policy, the government can enter
into an open sky air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with
SAARC nations as well as countries with territory located entirely
beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from New Delhi.
6. Open sky beyond 5,000-km, even without any restrictions, will
have very limited or no impact as there is very low demand for
additional bilaterals on these routes.

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SWACHHTA (CLEANLINESS) SURVEY


Sikkim and the Left Front-ruled Kerala have been ranked as top
performing states in a Swachhta (cleanliness) survey conducted by
the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) while Chhattisgarh and
Jharkhand have been placed among the last on the table. An official
report released by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation on 8
September 2016 also found Dungarpur in Rajasthan and Panchmahal
in Gujarat among the low ranking districts, while Sindhudurg in
Maharashtra tops having recorded 99 percent of houses having access
to safe toilets.
As per report
1. Nadia district in West Bengal has been ranked second followed by
Satara (Maharashtra) and Midnapur East (West Bengal).
2. Among the states, Sikkim has recorded 100 per cent in the category
of people using household/community toilets and 98.2 per cent in the
category of households having sanitary toilet.
3. Kerala has been ranked second, followed by Mizoram in third
place and Himachal Pradesh in the fourth.
4. A survey on Swachhta status was conducted by NSSO during MayJune 2015 covering 73,176 households in 3788 villages across India,
said the report entitled Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2016.
5. The percentage figures have been derived by multiplying the
percentage of households having sanitary toilets and the percentage
of people using household/community toilets of the people having
access to toilets.
6. Chhattisgarh has 21.2 percentage of households having sanitary
toilet while Jharkhand has only 18.8 per cent.
7. Among the performing states besides Sikkim and Kerala, other
states which show good results are Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh,
Nagaland and Haryana.
8. The state of West Bengal has been ranked 12th while Jammu and
Kashmir with 47.4 per cent of households having sanitary toilet
stands at 17th position.
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9. 75 districts including 22 from north east and special category states


across the country were also shortlisted on the basis of their
performance on following indicators as per the data available with
the ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
10. Mandi in Himachal, West Sikkim in Sikkim, Shimla in
Himachal have been designated as the three best performing
districts among the north east and special category states while
Papum Pare and Anjaw in Arunachal Pradesh have been ranked at
the bottom of the table.

FIRST STATE TO ROLL OUT TWITTER SEVA


Uttar Pradesh became the first state in the country on 8 September
2016 to roll out the Twitter Seva project, when in one go 122 Twitter
handles were unveiled in the state capital. The live customer services
resolution solution, senior officials of the micro-blogging site said, was
by far the biggest engagement by them with any department of any
government in India.
What
1. The idea behind the service was to provide the UP police, among
other things, strengthening of its primary relationship with the
citizens by providing fast, efficient and real time response to
complaints and SoSs raised by the 220 plus million population in the
state.
2. It is the next level of public engagement wherein we have facilities
like time stamping so that the whole process is not only transparent
but also accountable.
3. The state police force, which is the biggest in the world, has been at
the receiving end for spiralling crime and poor law and order but the
police has received some good reviews for its proactive action on
complaints that were posted on its Twitter handle.
4. Officials explained that from now on, with the launch of the Twitter
Seva, citizens can simply tweet their query, complaint to the police
account (@uppolice) and the request will be tackled real time by the
concerned district or other officials according to the issue raised.

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PROPOSAL TO REPLACE MCI APPROVED


NITI Aayogs proposal to replace the existing scandals-tainted Medical
Council of India (MCI) with a National Medical Commission has
received the go-ahead with a majority of the States in favour of the
recommendations. NITI Aayog met representatives from 20 States to
hold discussion on the overhaul of the MCI. The meeting was chaired by
its Vice-Chairman, Arvind Panagariya. Most States were on board with
the recommendations given by the Aayogs. One of the significant
proposals is that instead of just one chairman of the new regulatory
body, there should be some members also. Also, the States have asked
for more representation in the commission.
Consultative committee
1. Separately, it has been proposed that a consultative committee be
formed, whose function will be to advise the commission.
2. However, the suggestions will not be binding on the commission.
3. The final recommendations will now be sent for approval of the
Prime Minister. The official said the final Bill was likely to be
presented in the upcoming winter session of Parliament.
4. In March 2016, a Parliamentary Standing Committee report had
called for radical reform of the MCI, saying that it neither
represents professional excellence nor its ethos and that its
composition was opaque.

ICGS SARATHI COMMISSIONED


Indian Coast Guard Ship Sarathi, third ship in the series of six
Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) was commissioned by the Home Minister
Shri Rajnath Singh at Goa, in the presence of Defence Minister Shri
Manohar Parrikar. Sarathi meaning charioteer is a projection of
Indian Coast Guards will and commitment To serve and protect the
maritime interest of the nation.
What
1. This 105 meters OPV has been designed and built indigenously by
GSL and is fitted with most advanced state-of-the-art navigation
and communication equipment, sensors and machineries.
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2. The features include 30 mm CRN 91 Naval Gun, Integrated


Bridge System (IBS), Integrated Machinery Control System
(IMCS), Power Management System (PMS) andHigh Power
External Fire Fighting System.
3. The ship is designed to carry one twin engine Light Helicopter and
five high speed boats including two Quick Reaction Inflatable
Boats for swift boarding operations, search and rescue, law
enforcement and maritime patrol.
4. The ship is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment
to contain oil spill at sea.
5. The ship on joining Coast Guard Fleet will be based at Kochi and
will form part of theNaval Training Squadron.
6. In addition, the ship will be deployed for the EEZ surveillance and
other duties to safeguard the maritime interests of India.
Presently, Indian Coast Guard has a fleet of 123 ships/boats,
further 68 ships/boats are at various stages of construction at
different shipyards.
7. The commissioning of ICGS Sarathi will enhance the Indian
Coast Guards operational capability to discharge the multifarious
maritime tasks.

AADHAARS E-SIGN AWAITS RBI NOD


The ministry of electronics and IT (MEIT) had written to the Reserve
Bank of India (RBI) requesting for clear directions from the banking
regulator for the use of esign an Aadhaar-based electronic signature
mechanism developed by the government. Even though the e-sign
system is fully developed and operational, many agencies have
apprehensions using it since there are no explicit directions from RBI
on whether it is permitted or not.

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What
1. The service is being pitched as a convenient alternative for the
current process of getting a digital signature, through a dongle,
which is cost intensive, time consuming and relatively unsafe and
can be used to authenticate documents for a myriad of government
services such as filing income-tax returns, availing financial and
telecom services and getting different kind of certificates on the
fly.
2. E-sign takes away the hassle from digitally signing documents by
using the real-time Aadhaar-based authentication system and is
pegged to be one of the major components of driving Modi
government's ease of doing campaign.
Aadhaars e-sign awaits RBI nod
1. Aruna Sundararajan, newly appointed secretary of MEIT, that the
ministry has sent a letter to the RBI explaining the concept (of esign), and asking them to allow this. "So this will be a much
cheaper alternative to the digital signature and much convenient
as well. We have taken up the matter institutionally with RBI.
2. The e-sign framework has been developed by the Centre of
Development for Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the government's
in-house research and development arm.
3. Private agencies such as eMudhra and nCode Solutions are also
offering e-signature facility along with C-DAC.

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4. Because of the Unique Identity number, the Unified Payment


Interface, the Digital Locker ande-sign, the entire ecosystem is
coming off age.
5. She added that her ministry is continuously pursuing the matter
with the department of financial services and the regulators to
ensure the new services get the required push.
6. Currently, to digitally sign a document, one has to get a pen drive
or a dongle from one of the authorised service providers or get a
key from one of the online agencies which is stored in the
computer.

INDIA DECLARES ITSELF FREE FROM H5N1


The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in the
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare has
declared India free from Avian Influenza (H5N1). India had notified
outbreak of Avian Influenza (H5N1) at Humnabad, Bidar district,
Karnataka. There has been no further outbreak reported in the country
thereafter.

The control measures adopted in the radius of one Km around


outbreak location included following:
1. Stamping out of entire poultry population including destruction of
eggs, feed, litter and other infected materials, restriction on
movement of poultry and poultry products to and from the area of
outbreak, disinfection and cleaning up of infected premises and
the Post Operation Surveillance Plan (POSP) from 6th June, 2016

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2. Surveillance was carried out throughout the country. Surveillance


around the areas of the outbreaks since completion of the operation
(including culling, disinfection and clean -up)
3. Post the surveillance the state has shown no evidence of presence of
Avian Influenza. India has declared itself free from Avian Influenza
(H5N1) from 5th September, 2016 and notified the same to OIE.

MISSILE DESTROYER 'MORMUGAO' LAUNCHED


The Indian Navy on 17 september 2016 launched country's latest
destroyer, the Mormugao, at Mumbai's Mazagon Docks. The ship will be
inducted into the Navy two years later. MDL (Mazagon Dock
Limited) priest Shri Puranik did the mandatory pooja and blessed the
ship.

What
1. The indigenous content of the ship is 68 per cent.
2. The Mormugao is 163.2 metres long and is powered by four Ukranian
gas turbine engines to achieve speeds over 56 km per hour.
3. The Mormugao is the second of a class of Project 15B destroyers,
slated to be the most advanced destroyers built in India.
4. P15B-Missile Destroyers are warships with latest weapon package in
continuation of the lineage of highly successful Delhi and Kolkata
Class ships.
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5. Under this project, MDL will build four Destroyers and deliveries are
expected to be from 2020 to 2024. First ship of the class was
launched on April 20, 2015. P15B ships will have displacement of
7300 T and maximum speed of 31-32 knots.
6. The vessel is equipped with Surface to Surface Missiles, Surface to
Air Missiles, Anti-Submarine launchers.
7. This vessel is also fitted with Multi mission Radar for surveillance
along with medium range Air/surface surveillance radar and other
advanced electronic warfare and decoys.
Brief on Project 15B
Four Guided Missile Destroyers of Project 15B (P 15B) are under
construction at M/s Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai.
The contract for construction of these four ships was signed on 28
Jan 11.
These ships are amongst the most technologically advanced Guided
Missile Destroyers of the world, with state-of-the-art weapon/sensor
package, advanced stealth features and a high degree of automation.
The design of P15B ships has been developed in house by the
Directorate of Naval Design.
With a displacement of 7300 tons, each ship will span 163 meters in
length and 17.4 meters at the beam. These ships will be propelled by
four gas turbines in Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG)
configuration and are capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30
knots with a maximum endurance of 4000 nm.
The P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved
survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship maneuverability.
These ships will be equipped to carry and operate two multi-role
helicopters. State of art rail less helo traversing system is being
introduced on these ships for efficient helicopter handling onboard.
These ships can truly be classified as possessing a Network of
Networks, as they are equipped with Integrated Platform
Management System (IPMS), Ship Data Network (SDN), Automatic
Power Management System (APMS) and Combat Management
System (CMS). While control and monitoring of machinery and
auxiliaries is achieved through the IPMS, power management is
done using the APMS.
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The CMS performs threat evaluation and resource allocation based


on the tactical picture compiled and ammunition available onboard.
The SDN is the information highway on which data from all the
sensors and weapons ride.
Stealth has been a major thrust area in P15B design. Enhanced
stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use
of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to
detect.
The ship embodies features such as Multiple Fire Zones, Total
Atmospheric Control System (TACS) for Air Conditioning, Battle
Damage Control Systems (BDCS), Distributional Power Systems and
Emergency DA to enhance survivability and reliability in emergent
scenarios.
These ships have been designed for a complement of 50 officers and
250 sailors. The accommodation and working spaces have been
designed with special emphasis on ergonomics and habitability.
The ships fire power consists of sophisticated weapons-sensor suite
including vertically launched Surface to Air Missiles
(SAM) and Surface-to-Surface Missiles (SSM) for long distance
engagement of shore and sea based targets.
It is also noteworthy that this ship has significantly high indigenous
content, in the form of weapons, machinery and material. These
ships therefore showcase the Nations growing capability in
developing and delivering complex warships, which serves as a true
hall mark of self reliance attained by our country in warship design
and construction.
This high level of indigenization has been achieved through
participation of both public and private sector.
The second ship of P15B Yard 12705, christened, Mormugao, is
planned to be launched on 17 Sep 16 at MDL, Mumbai, and will be
the fifth frontline warship, including the indigenous aircraft carrier,
being launched in last six years, in addition to the delivery of three
frigates, three destroyers and two corvettes during the same period.

15% OF WORLDS MATERNAL DEATHS IN INDIA


One-third of the total deaths during pregnancy and childbirth in 2015
happened in India and Nigeria even as the total number of global
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maternal deaths has almost halved since 1990, a Lancet report


revealed.

As per report
Worldwide, the annual number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live
births fell by 44% between 1990 and 2015, from approximately 385 to
216.
The sub-Saharan African region accounted for an estimated 66%
(201,000) of global maternal deaths, followed by southern Asia at
22% (66,000 deaths).
Basically, only 5% of the worlds countries accounted for over half of
maternal deaths. Nigeria with 58,000 deaths accounted for 19% and
India at 45,000 deaths, accounted for 15% of the total deaths,
according to the reporta series of six papers by an international
team of researchers.
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One of Indias millennium development goals (MDG) was to reduce


its Maternal Mortality Ratio by three quarters. India did not reach
this goal and its MMR stands at 174 and haemorrhages and
infections still continue to be the leading causes.
According to the MDG mandate, India needs to reduce its MMR to
103. Though Indias MMR is reducing at an average of 4.5%
annually, it has to bring down the MMR at the annual rate of 5.5% to
meet the Millennium Development Goal.
While births in the presence of skilled birth attendants rose from
57% to 74% between 1990 and 2013, the report warns that many
women in poor and rural settings do not have access to such care,
while the increase in coverage does not necessarily mean such care is
of high quality.
A key strategy for reducing maternal mortality is to ensure that
every birth occurred with the assistance of a doctor, nurse, or
midwife. The major challenge faced by India is lack of accurate
information about births and deaths, particularly when women give
birth at home.
The government is working towards addressing the issue of maternal
deaths and to accelerate the pace of reduction of MMR across all
states under its flagship health programme National Health Mission.
This includes promotion of institutional deliveries through Janani
Suraksha Yojana, operationalization of sub-centres, primary health
centres, community health centres and district hospitals for
providing round the clock basic and comprehensive obstetric care.
The report also said that globally, caesarean section rates are rising
in nearly every country and region,with 40.5% of all births being by
caesarean section in Latin America and the Caribbean, and increases
in some low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The past decade has seen India cross the WHO threshold (not to
exceed 10-15%) for caesareans at an overall level, and leave it way
behind in the case of births at private hospitals across several states
and districts.

27 NEW CITIES INCLUDE IN SMART CITY LIST


Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced the next
set of 27 cities for financing under the Smart City Mission. Prime
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Minister Narendra Modis Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi along with


Kanpur and Agra are among the 27 centres to be developed as smart
cities.
What
1. Uttar Pradesh has three cities in the list. Vadodara, Agra, Nagpur,
Ajmer, Amritsar, Gwalior, Thane and Thanjavur are some of the
other cities that have been named to be developed as smart cities.
2. So far, the urban development ministry has selected 60 cities in
three rounds and has covered 27 states and Union Territories. Only
nine more states and UTs are still to get on board including
Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.
3. A maximum of five cities from Maharashtra have found place in the
list of new citiesthat was released by Union urban development
minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
4. Four cities each from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have also made it
to the list followed by three from Uttar Pradesh and two each from
Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan.
5. One city each from Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha,
Gujarat, Sikkim and Nagaland has been selected in this round.
6. In January, the government had announced a list of 20 cities for
partial funding to be developed as smart cities, which would have
facilities such as assured water and power supply, sanitation and
solid waste management systems, efficient urban mobility and public
transportation, IT connectivity and e-governance, among others.
7. Each city will receive Central assistance of Rs 200 crore in the first
year and Rs 100 crore over the three subsequent financial years.
S.No

City

State

Amritsar

Punjab

KalyanDombivili

Maharashtra

Ujjain

Madhya
Pradesh

Tirupati

Andhra
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Pradesh
5

Nagpur

Maharashtra

Managaluru

Karnataka

Vellore

Tamil Nadu

Thane

Maharashtra

Gwalior

MP

10

Agra

Uttar
Pradesh

11

Nashik

Maharashtra

12

Rourkela

Odisha

13

Kanpur

UP

14

Madurai

Tamil Nadu

15

Tumakuru

Karnataka

16

Kota

Rajasthan

17

Thanjavur

Tamil Nadu

18

Namchi

Sikkim

19

Jalandhar

Punjab

20

Shivamogga

Karnataka

21

Salem

Tamil Nadu

22

Ajmer

Rajasthan

23

Varanasi

UP

24

Kohima

Nagaland

25

HubbaliDharwad

Karnataka

26

Aurangabad Maharashtra

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27

Vadodara

Gujarat

RAIL BUDGET SCRAPPED


The Cabinet has cleared merger of Railway Budget with General
Budget and that will end the 92-year long journey of separate budget
for Railways. The cabinet has also given an in-principle approval
for advancing of presentation of budget dates in Parliament from the
existing last day of February. However, the cabinet did not decide the
new date. "Budget date will be decided depending on state assembly
polls," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told.
What
1. The government wants finance bill to be passed before March 31.
This will set in motion the process of the biggest overhaul in the
budgeting process in 15 years.
2. The Modi government is likely to present the Union Budget in the
last week of January or the first week of February. This
will ensure the Finance Bill is passed before the start of the
financial year, on April 1, so that all central government
departments get their full allocations to work with right from the
first day.
3. In the existing system, the Lok Sabha passes a vote-on-account for
the April-June quarter, under which departments are provided a
sixth of their total allocation for the year. This is done by March.
The Finance Bill is not passed before May. Advancing the date
would enable the government to do away with the vote-on-account.
4. Rail minister Suresh Prabhu was the one who initiated the
process of scrapping the Railway Budget. Except India, no other
country in the world has a Railway Budget.
5. Certain key issues such as pension liabilities, dividend, gross
budgetary support and other sticking points between the finance
and rail ministries are yet to be decided.

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6. A call on these points will be taken closer to the Budget. The Rail
Ministry is expected to continue to have full financial autonomy
on matters such as fare, tariff revisions and market borrowings.
7. Once passed, the finance ministries and various government
departments will actually get down to the modalities of the
changes being planned. Advancing the Budget also means that the
Budget session of Parliament will have to be held earlier than
usual.
8. The last time such a major change occurred in the Budget was
when Atal Bihari Vajpayees finance minister Yashwant Sinha
presented the 2000-01 Budget at 11:00 am instead of 5:00 pm,
which had been the practice till then.

DIGITAL INDIA GETS LOCAL LANGUAGE


At a time when global technology giants such as Google and Microsoft
are exploring ways to incorporate Indian languages in their products
and services, a government-run research organisation hasdeveloped a
language interface that facilitates real-time translation of online
content in more than 15 languages.
What
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), a research
organisation of theDepartment of Electronics and Information
Technology, has developed a localisation framework that translates
content from websites, applications and databases into multiple
Indian languages.
There is a huge government focus on e-governance. Under Digital
India, the government has been talking about making digital
information databases and services available to citizens This
requires massive inputs in languages, because 90 per cent of people
require their local language to be able to consume that information.
The Digital India initiative aims to connect 1.2 billion Indians
through internet and provide government services online at an
estimated investment of Rs 1.13 lakh crore over the next three to five
years.
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Late last year, Google launched a virtual keyboard for Android that
allows typing in 11 Indian languages.
In May this year, Google released a feature called Tap to Translate
that allows instant translation of any text on any Android app.
Of the 103 languages that the feature supports globally, 10 are
Indian. Google also launched voice search in Hindi and seven other
Indian languages.
Earlier this month, C-DAC collaborated with the Election
Commission to launch an application under which the enrolment
forms and electoral services were made available in 15 Indian
languages.
These forms, which were earlier available in one official language,
can now be converted into 15 Indian languages in real time.
C-DAC is also implementing the language interfacing abilities
formygov.in andfarmer.gov.in.
Going for the Mass play
India is expected to have 730 million internet users by 2020,
compared with 400 million at present
More than 7 out of every 10 new users to emerge from rural areas
Only 10% Indians understand English
Regional language capabilities to help government deliver digital
services to masses
CDAC has created a framework to convert content on government
websites, applications and databases from English to more than 15
Indian languages in real time
Companies like Google and Microsoft have been working to bring
Indian language capabilities in their products and services
In addition to Google Translate, which completed 10 years in 2016,
the company has launched virtual keyboard for Android with 11
Indian languages
Googles Tap to Translate initiative features 103 languages, of
which 10 are Indian
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ADIEU, INS VIRAAT


INS Viraat, the oldest aircraft carrier in the world has completed the
decommissioning refit in Cochin Shipyard on 04th September 2016. The
ship will be towed back to Mumbai from Kochi for the decommissioning
ceremony later this year. The ship arrived Kochi in last July
for Essential Repairs and Dry Docking (ERDD) prior to the
decommissioning. The second Centaur-Class aircraft carrier of the
country has spent 29 years under the Indian flag and 27 years with the
Royal Navy of UK, making it a total of 56 years of operational service
and she holds the Guinness Record for being the oldest serving
warship.
What
The iconic warship played a major role in Operation
Jupiter, Operation Parakram andOperation Vijay after
commissioned into Indian Navy. Decommissioning of INS Viraat is
indeed an emotional moment for India.
INS Viraat was commissioned into Indian Navy on 12th May 1987 at
Plymouth, United Kingdom by Dr. P. C. Alexander, High
Commissioner of India to UK.
The ship operated Sea Harrier (White Tigers- fighter aircrafts),
Seaking 42B (Harpoons- Anti Submarine helicopters) & Seaking 42C
(Commando Carrier helicopters) and Chetak (Angles- SAR
helicopter) as her main air elements.
The Sea Harrier fleet was also decommissioned at Goa in May 2016.
Under the Indian Flag, various aircrafts have flown more than
22,034 hours from the decks of INS Viraat.
She has spent nearly 2,250 days at sea sailing 5,88,288 NM
(10,94,215 KM). This implies that Viraat has been at sea for over six
years covering the entire globe about 27 times.
INS Viraat involved in her first major operation- Operation Jupiter
in July 1989 as a part of Indian Peace Keeping Operations in Sri
Lanka in the wake of the breakdown of the Indo- Sri Lankan Accord
of 1986.
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On 27th July 1989, the ship mounted 76 helo sorties off Kochi to
embark over 350 army personnel and over 35 tons of stores of 7
Garhwal Rifles.
She also played a pivotal role in Operation Parakram followed after
the terrorist attack on Indian Parliament in 2013.
The Ship also played a key role in Operation Vijay by creating
blockade against Pakistan during Kargil War in 1999.
The ship has also participated in various international joint exercises
like Malabar (with US Navy), Varuna (with French Navy), NaseemAl-Bahr (with Oman Navy) and has been an integral element of
annual Theater Level Operational Exercise (TROPEX).
The last operational deployment of the ship was the participation in
International Fleet Review (IFR-2016) at Vishakhapatanam on
February, 2016.
Background
1. INS Viraat was originally commissioned by the British Royal Navy
as HMS Hermes on 18th November 1959. Between 1959 and 1970
Hermes served as one of the Royal Navys four Strike Carriers,
mainly operating in the Indian Ocean.
2. In 1970, she switched to her second existence as a Commando
Carrier or a Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) and her third
avatar, between 1976 and 1980 was of an Anti-Submarine Warfare
(ASW) carrier with the option to revert to the LPH role at short
notice.
3. In 1982, Hermes saw action in the Falklands under the command of
Captain Middletonwhere she distinguished herself as the Flagship of
the Royal Navy in the campaign to regain Falklands and South
Georgia from Argentina.
4. On 24th April 1986 it was announced in Parliament that India would
acquire HMS Hermes at a cost of 63 million. Hermes commenced a
year long refit and refurbishment schedule in April 1986 before
commissioning as INS Viraat.
5. The motto of INS Viraat Jalamev Yasya, Balamev Tasya (One Who
Controls the Sea is All Powerful) is truly reflective of the role that

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she is expected to discharge in furtherance of the nations maritime


goals.
6. The ship is affiliated to Garhwal Rifles and Scouts, an elite infantry
regiment of the Indian Army, since their joint participation in
Operation Jupiter.

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