INDIAN AFFAIRS – 2


Monthly Current Affairs January 2016 “INDIAN AFFAIRS – 2” key points to Remember.
Sikkim Becomes India’s First Fully Organic State
Sikkim has become India’s first fully organic state by converting around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land into sustainable cultivation. In Sikkim around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land was gradually converted to certified organic land by implementing organic practices and principles as per guidelines laid down in National Programme for Organic Production. It was 12 years ago in 2003 when the Pawan Chamling-led government decided to make Sikkim an organic farming state through a declaration in the legislative assembly.
Aadhaar not mandatory for DBT scheme,clarifies RBI
RBI in its statement said the use of Aadhaar cards and seeding of bank accounts with those numbers are purely voluntary and not mandatory on the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme. In view of the Supreme Court’s interim orders dated August 11, 2015 and October 15, 2015. In July 2013, RBI had asked banks to take steps to complete account opening and seeding Aadhaar numbers in all DBT districts.
Now, generate your rent receipts online to claim HRA benefits
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has changed the languages and also redefined many of its terms to Cleartax.in, the online tax filing platform has launched
an auto rent receipt generator for its users. It is a free-to-use product that automates the generation of rental receipts and assists individuals in submitting their House Rent Allowance (HRA) proofs to their employers. Now, there is no need to run around to get tax receipts to claim the HRA benefits anymore. One can generate them online now.
Indian diaspora population largest in the world at 16 million: UN
India has the largest diaspora population in the world, at 16 million, the United Nations has said in its newly released survey on migration trends. The survey, which looked at people residing in a country other than their that of their birth, also revealed that 244 million people were living as international migrants in 2015, a 41% increase from
2000. Of the 244 million, 20 million are refugees.
Indian Army to conduct multi-national military exercise in March
Indian Army is set to conduct one of the largest multi-national military exercises for the first time which will see participation of 18 ASEAN Plus countries. The week-long exercise code named as Ex-Force Eighteen will be held in Pune beginning from March 2. The Field Training Exercise or FTX will see participation of over 360 personnel.
Government targets road safety audit of 3,000 km of highways in 2016
The government on January 14 said it will conduct road safety audit of 3,000 km of central and state highways this year, to avoid increasing accidents. India accounts
for 5 lakh road accidents annually in which 1.5 lakh people die and another 3 lakh are crippled for life. The loss due to this is equivalent to 3 per cent of the GDP of the
country. According Road Secretary Sanjay Mitra when he was speaking at a seminar jointly organised by Road Ministry and International Road Federation (IRF) as part of the ongoing National Road Safety Week.
FIPB clears 5 FDI proposals worth Rs 6,050 cr, Cadila gets nod
The Government has approved five FDI proposals worthRs.6,050.10 crore, including ones from pharmaceutical companies Cadila Healthcare and Recipharm. The approvals are based on
the recommendations of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) at its meeting last month. The biggest proposal to get the nod was from Cadila amounting to Rs.5,000 crore. The company was given approval for the transfer of its 99.90 per cent shares currently held by an NRI to Wellness Technology and Media Private Ltd, UK.
Nag anti-tank missile successful test fired DRDO has test fired its indigenously developed, fire-and-forget anti-tank missile, Nag. It successfully hit the target 4 km away during a night trial in the Mahajan Field Firing Range, Rajasthan. DRDO used the Thermal Target System (TTS) developed by a defence laboratory at Jodhpur as target for the
missile during the test fire of Nag antitank missile. Thermal Target System (TTS) imitated the target similar to operational tank. This was possible as thermal mapping from tank to TTS was carried out for generating thermal signature.
Government launches four mobile health services
The government of India has launched four mobile health services, including MCessation which reaches out to those who want to quit tobacco through text messages on mobile phones. The objective is to enhance access and make schemes more cost effective and robust.Union Health Minister JP Nadda while launching the four services (m-Health) –
Kilkari, Mobile Academy, M-Cessation and TB Missed Call initiative, said that these are part of the government’s Digital India programme and are in line with the commitment to prioritise public health.
The Juvenile Justice(Care and Protection of Children)Act, 2015 comes into force
The Juvenile Justice Act, which allows children aged 16 to 18 years and in conflict with law to be tried as adults in cases of heinous offences, has finally comes into force. The Act, passed by the Rajya Sabha in the winter session of Parliament, received President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent on December 31. The Ministry of Woman and Child Development has passed orders stating that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 will be enforceable from January 15, 2016.
Dr Jitendra Singh to inaugurate hall of Nuclear power in New Delhi
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 Singh will inaugurate the Hall of Nuclear Power in New Delhi on January 16, 2016. This is Northern India’s first permanent exhibition on nuclear power, built in the
national capital which is going to be opened to the public at National Science Centre (NSC).
Country’s first ‘water tourism’ to begin in Madhya Pradesh
The country’s first ‘water tourism’ will begin in Madhya Pradesh next month with the aim of attracting more tourists to the state. Named as ‘Jal Mahotsav’, the 10-day extravaganza will be inaugurated on February 12 in Hanuwantiya at Indra Sagar Dam.
President launches countrywide Pulse Polio Programme for 2016
The President of India Pranab Mukherjee launched the Pulse Polio programme for 2016 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old, at the Rahstrapati Bhawan. The programme has been launched in the presence of the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Shri J P Nadda. In the upcoming 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.
IOC begins petrol production from Paradip refinery
Indian Oil Corporation’s latest refinery in Paradip, Odisha, the first in over a decade for the nation’s largest fuel major, started production of petrol from the Rs. 34,555-
crore facility. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the 15 MMTPA Paradip Refinery, which will primarily be producing BS-IV fuels and serving the eastern and south-eastern markets apart from exports, to the nation on February 7.
IIT Kharagpur has launched an innovation centre To promote the culture of innovation among its undergraduate students right from their first year. Named after its alumnus and former faculty, the MN Faruqui Innovations Centre was launched on Saturday with seed-funding by another alumnus Arjun Malhotra, the co-founder of HCL Technologies. The centre would promote the culture of innovation among a wide cross section of students and faculty with support from its alumni and the industry.
National Conference on ‘Sustainable Agriculture, Farmer’s Welfare’
The two-day National Conference on “Sustainable Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare” has began in Sikkim on January 17, 2016. The conference is being attended by state government
representatives, scientists, academicians, bankers, experts and practitioners. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the conference on 18th January and he will be the chief guest at the plenary session of the conference. Union Agriculture Minister and several State Ministers for Agriculture will also be attending the conference.
World Bank sanctioned funds for restoration Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam will be funded $7 million for restoration and development as a world-class international ecological park by the World Bank. This is for the first time that the World Bank will be funding a zoo. Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam was heavily damaged by the cyclone Hudhud in 2014. The four
coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and East Godavari are expected to get $20 million for forest restoration and disaster prevention measures.
Most Film Friendly State/UT”, a new award The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting announced to institute a new award category under the National
Film Awards titled – The Most Film Friendly State/UT. This award will be conferred for the first time at the 63rd National Film Awards to be held on May 3, this year. The award will be conferred by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Jayalalithaa launches ‘Amma Call Centre’ for grievance redressal
Tamil Nadu Chief J Jayalalithaa on January 19 launched a round-the-clock Amma call centre for ensuring fast response to grievances, aimed at quick delivery of government services. The ‘Amma Call Centre’, which will work all through the year, was launched by the Chief Minister here through video-conferencing. Jayalalithaa is fondly addressed as ‘Amma’ (mother) by her supporters and her government is already running many initiatives named after her, including the hugely popular ‘Amma Canteens’ which provide subsidised food, and ‘Amma Mineral Water’, among others.
Bombay Stock Exchange launches algorithm trading test
BSE Ltd has launched a new service for algorithm trading test environment in partnership with Symphony Fintech Solutions Pvt Ltd. The service will enable all market participants to test their trading algorithms in equity, equity derivatives and currency derivatives segments free of cost. Algorithm trading uses mathematical models and software codes to make transaction decisions on exchanges and execute them at high speed.
Ministry of Shipping initiates Project Green Ports
The Ministry of Shipping has started ‘Project Green Ports’ which will help in making the Major Ports across India cleaner and greener. ‘Project Green Ports’ will have two verticals – one is ‘Green Ports Initiatives’ related to environmental issues and second is ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’.
Delhi government launches DVAT BILL app to boost tax collection
In order to boost Delhi government’s tax collection and bring in transparency, deputy chief minister Manish Siodia has launched ‘DVAT BILL’ app and said that people can play an important role in governance through this mobile application. The software has been developed by Delhi government’s Trade and Taxes department. Through this app, people can become a “VAT Inspectors.”
To fight China’s Andaman and Nicobar forays, India deploys submarine hunters With Chinese nuclear and conventional submarine hunters regularly popping up in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), India now begun to deploy its latest long-range maritime patrol aircraft as well as spy drones at its forward military base in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. According to defence ministry two of the country’s most potent submarine hunters/killers, the naval Poseidon-8I aircraft, are just about to complete their first-ever twoweek
deployment to the strategicallylocated Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.
FLIPKART invests in parenting social network Tinystep
Tinystep, India’s first parenting social network has raised seed capital from Flipkart. The money will be used to develop the product, enhance user experience and strengthen the team. The funding will also be utilized to further accelerate the company’s already impressive growth and its user engagement. Launched in September 2015, Tinystep allows users – parents – to interact on a platform where they can ask, share and connect with other parents. The startup claims to have over 10,000 parents on its platform.
Six laning of Aurangabad – Bihar/Jharkhand Border – BarwaAdda section
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for development of the six laning of Aurangabad – Bihar/Jharkhand Border – BarwaAdda section on National Highway-2 in Bihar and Jharkhand. This work will be under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-V. The approval is in BOT (Toll) mode on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (BOT/DBFOT) basis.
Seven Ancient Buddhist Caves Discovered In Mumbai National Park
A team of experts discovered ancient Buddhist caves at Mumbai National Park in India. They found a total of seven caves that they assume to be at least 2,000-years old. The caves are possibly dated between the 1st century B.C. and 5t to 6th century A.D. These caves are believed to be Buddhist viharas or monk residences, that were used by the monks
as a shelter during the monsoons. The report says that even though the site still awaits a formal approval from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for more detailed exploration and documentation with regards to these new caves, they are believed to have been constructed way before the nearby Kanheri Caves, between 1st century BC and 5th-6th century AD.
L&T bags Rs 3,115 crore order for New Ganga Bridge Project
The heavy civil infrastructure business of L&T Construction, along with its joint venture partner, Daewoo E&C of South Korea, has won an order worth Rs 3,115 crore from the Bihar State Road Development Corporation Limited (BSRDCL) for the Ganga Bridge Project.
GOI to start developing three new ports in 2016
As part of its plan to develop ports and boost maritime trade, GOI would develop three major ports in the country in 2016. GOI will start three new major ports. One is at Colachel in Tamil Nadu, the second at Sagar in West Bengal and third at Dahanur, Wadhwad in Maharashtra. The announcement was made by Union Minister Nitin Gadgari at
the second convocation of Indian Maritime University. The Road Transport and Highways minister said the plan to set up new ports would definitely add to the economic growth.
Nitin Gadkari to inaugurate 19th National Conference on e-Governance
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari will inaugurate the 19th National Conference on e-Governance to be held in Nagpur from January 21, 2016. The twoday conference is being jointly organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Department of Electronics and Information Technology and Maharashtra government.
India ranks 89th in Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2015-16 In the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) for the year 2015-16, India ranked at the 89 th position in the list of 109 countries. The list has been compiled by the INSEAD business school, in partnership with Adecco and Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI). The objective of the report is finding and linking a significant correlation between the movement of talent and economic prosperity. The List is dominated by the European countries. Among the 109 countries, Switzerland ranked at the first position in the list.
Ratan Tata invests in online coupons venture CASHKARO.com
Ratan Tata has invested in online cashback and coupons venture CashKaro.com. The amount of investment hasn’t been revealed as yet. The ecommerce company will utilize the
funding for expanding its business to international markets, build brand awareness and hire senior-level talents. Similar to the likes of CouponDunia and CouponRaja, CashKaro
offers customers cashbacks along with coupons and discounts. The e-commerce company has partnerships with about more than 10 lakh registered users
Nasscom Inaugurates T-Hub Startup Warehouse in Hyderabad
Nasscom has partnered with the Telangana government and other entities to create a “startup warehouse” that will provide an affordable co-working space to the young entrepreneurs. T-Hub Nasscom Startup Warehouse would take care of young entrepreneurs’ concerns of building right product in the market and give them a platform to emerge as stronger players, said Nasscom chairman BVR Mohan Reddy in a statement.
India home to 2.36 lakh millionaires: Report
India is home to the fourth largest population of millionaires in the Asia Pacific region, with 2.36 lakh high net worth individuals (HNWIs), while Japan topped the list with 12.60 lakh people. According to the Asia Pacific 2016 Wealth Report, by New World Wealth, India ranked among the top five Asia Pacific countries in terms of number of HNWIs. HNWIs were defined as those with net assets of $1 million or more.
DD’s freedish to provide 112 channels by March
DD Direct Plus, which is now FreeDish, is India’s only free to air digital directbroadcast satellite television. Encouraged by the increasing viewership and reach,Doordarshan is now planning to make a major expansion for FreeDish. Doordarshan will increase the channels available under FreeDish to 112 by March end. Right now, there are 64 channels
available for FreeDish users, which includes Aaj Tak and Big Magic, which are otherwise paid channels under private DTH services.
Cairn to seek $600 mn from India in damages
British oil explorer Cairn Energy said it would seek over $600 million from India in damages for the loss of value of its holding because of a retrospective taxation claim of Rs 10,247 crore. Using a retrospective legislation, the income tax department had in January 2014 issued the draft tax assessment order to Cairn over its internal business reorganisation in 2006 and barred it from selling its 9.8 per cent stake in Cairn India.
India Post opens exclusive counters for Ebay sellers
India Post has opened exclusive counters at the business post centres in Gurgaon and Faridabad for Ebay India sellers. The counter for eBay sellers at Gurgaon and Faridabad business post center will be exclusive for them to send their products through speed post, registered post or any other service they wish to opt for in both the cities. eBay sellers can dispatch both domestic and international parcels from eBay’s special counter at Phase-V, UdyogVihar in Gurgaon and NIT Faridabad Post Office.
Ratan Tata invests in baby care platform FirstCry
Ratan Tata has invested in baby care eCommerce platform FirstCry, continuing the slew of investments he has made in various startups globally. FirstCry is omnichannel
player with presence across desktop, mobile and offline routes offering baby and maternity products in India. It started operations in 2010 and has over 2 million customers. It has over 150 FirstCry branded franchisee offline stores across 100 cities in the country.
Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya celebrated their Foundation days
Three northeastern states of Tripura,Manipur and Meghalaya have organised numerous programmes and events to celebrate their Foundation Days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the people of Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya on their statehood days. Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy released a publication highlighting Tripura’s achievements in various fields
since 1972. Cultural functions, seminars would be held across the state till January 23.
FDI flows into India nearly doubled in 2015
According to the annual report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Foreign Direct Investment flows into India nearly doubled in 2015. Global FDI flows “unexpectedly” increased significantly by 36%. Global FDI unexpectedly increased significantly to $1.7 trillion and this is closer to the precrisis level and it is the highest since the global financial and economic crisis. Developing economies, as a whole, saw their FDI reaching a new high of $741 billion — 5% higher than 2014.
Sex ratio down, literacy rate of women up
In the past 10 years, the sex ratio has significantly decreased in nine out of 11 states of India, whereas women’s literacy has gone up in each of those states,according to the first phase of the latest national family health survey, known as NFHS-4. The 11 states surveyed in the first phase were also surveyed in the last NFHS of 2005-06. These are Goa, Meghalaya,Uttarakhand, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim,Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana,Bihar, and West Bengal.
Endangered olive ridley turtles found dead on India coast
Hundreds of endangered Olive Ridley turtles, besides a bottlenose dolphin, were found dead on Puri beach in Odisha. The turtles were lying scattered stretching from Digabarini and Chakratirtha Road on the Puri beach. Forest department officials say the turtles may have been hit by trawlers fishing along the Puri beach in Orissa. Local fishermen often flout the ban on fishing along the coast, disturbing the natural nesting space of turtles, they say. Olive ridley is one of the five species of marine turtles to mate and nest on India’s shores. The turtles come in “large numbers to Gahirmatha, mouth of rivers Devi and Rushikulya in Orissa coast, for annual nesting.
Cabinet approves India’s stand on food security at WTO
The Cabinet has cleared ex-post facto the stand taken by India on food security at the last meeting of the World Trade Organisation held in Nairobi. Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval for the approach adopted by India at Nairobi WTO meeting. The outcomes of the Conference, referred to ‘Nairobi Package’ include ministerial Decisions on
agriculture, cotton. The Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference concluded in Nairobi in December 2015. India wants a permanent solution on the issue of public stock holding for its food security programme.
USD 250 Mn worth Flood Recovery Project signed with World Bank
The Financing Agreement for World Bank (IDA) assistance of US$ 250 million for Jhelum and Tawi Flood Recovery Project has been signed between Government of India and the World Bank. The Financing Agreement was signed by Mr. Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of Government of India and Mr. Onno Ruhl, Country Director in India, on behalf of the World Bank.
World Economic Forum 2016: India ranked 22nd among world’s best countries
India has been ranked 22nd on an inaugural list of the world’s best countries, which was released on the sidelines of WEF Annual Meeting. China is ranked 17th on the list, which ranked 60 countries on the basis of sustainability, adventure, cultural influence, entrepreneurship and economic influence. The survey was conducted among 16,200 business leaders and other high-fliers. Apart from Germany being in the first position, other countries in the top five are Canada (2), the UK (3), the US (4) and Sweden (5). The report has been prepared by US News and World Report and New York-based brand consultancy BAV Consulting and Wharton School of Business. About India, the report said the country faces its fair share of international and domestic challenges.
Veer Gaatha Series of Books on Param
Veer Chakra Awardees launched The Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Zubin Irani launched ‘Veer Gaatha’ a series of books on Param Veer Chakra awardees in New Delhi. The Union Minister felicitated and expressed her gratitude to the families of Param Veer Chakra awardees for the sacrifices made by them for the country. She also appreciated the effort made by National Book Trust who materialised this initiative in collaboration with Indian army and Ministry of Defence.
ONGC gets clearance for KrishnaGodavari basin project
State-owned ONGC has got environmental clearance for drilling 45 development wells and other related infrastructure involving a cost of over Rs 53,000 crore in the Krishna-Godavari basin in Andhra Pradesh. It is expected that the proposed development drilling and subsequent development of fields would lead to production of 51.33 billion cubic metres of gas over a period of 16 years and 26.71 million cubic metres of oil in 12 years, he said.
Tougher SC/ST Act to come into force from Jan 26
To make laws tougher to tackle atrocities against the most vulnerable sections of the population, the Centre has 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.
Government of India launched online payment facility for LPG cylinders
Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on January 24 launched the online payment facility for consumers at the time of booking their LPG refill cylinder. This will avoid leaving cash with their family members or attendants while taking delivery of the cylinder. The payment facility can be availed at www.mylpg.in which can be accessed in 13 Indian
languages. Earlier, only online booking facility was available for customers of oil marketing companies (OMCs) namely Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum and consumers were required to pay cash to vendor on delivery of cylinders.
President’s Rule imposed in Arunachal Pradesh
The Government of India has imposed the President’ Rule in Arunachal Pradesh. The northeastern state is feared to be heading towards a constitutional breakdown and the Union government is looking for a strong ground to create a stable government in the state.
Union Ministry of HRD started the Seema Darshan initiative
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) initiated SEEMA DARSHAN. An initiative to provide an opportunity for the children to experience the border environment and to foster patriotism and nationalism among the students. Seema Darshan is a unique initiative being taken up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home affairs is organizing Seema Darshan programme for students for a period of five days starting from 22nd January 2016.
Bird named after Salim Ali Twenty-nine years after the demise Dr. Salim Ali, the birdman of India, an international group of ornithologists named a newly discovered species after him, thus paying homage to the man who shaped generations of ornithologists and also contributed to the better understanding of birds. Himalayan Forest Thrush, Zoothera salimalii , thus goes the name of the species, which has been described from northeastern India and adjacent parts. Earlier, a bat species Salim Ali’s fruit bat — that was first collected from Western Ghats region of Theni district, Tamil Nadu, was named after the legendary ornithologist. The research findings were published in Avian Research.
Ratan Tata backs start-up Teabox
Teabox, the global speciality tea company, is the latest to received funding from Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons. This is the fourth start-up in 2016 to receive the attention of Tata. As with Tata’s investments, this too is an undisclosed amount. The additional capital will be used to fuel Teabox’s growth as it expands to other major
markets around the world. Teabox is backed by Singapore-based JAFCO Asia, Accel Partners, Keystone Group LP and Dragoneer Investment Group.
GOI launches National Job Portal for persons with disabilities
Social Justice and Empowerment minister, Thaawarchand Gehlot has launched an exclusive job portal for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). The PwDs can avail the different facilities such as self employment loan, education loan, skill training, link to scholarships and information about jobs in a single window platform through this National Job
Portal. The minister has said the Government has given very high priority to skill training programme for Persons with Disabilities and has a target for skilling five lakh persons in next 3 years. The skill training will be provided by a network of 200 clusters of “Training Partners’ with financial assistance of government.
Cabinet gives nod to Reserve Battalions
The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the raising of 17 India Reserve Battalions (IR Bns) by Jammu & Kashmir and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected States. It includes five IR Bns in the state of J&K, four IR Bns in Chhattisgarh, three IR Bns in Jharkhand, three IR Bns in Odisha and two IR Bns in
Maharashtra.
Indian Railways broadband to touch 500,000 homes
Railtel Corporation’s broadband will reach 500,000 households through its Railwire network providing a host of services at the block level in the next two years. The Broadband Highway will involve a threelayer network – state capitals to district headquarters, district to sub-divisional and then to gram panchayats which will be joined to the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN).
AIR launches 24×7 classical music channel ‘Raagam’
All India Radio has launched a nonconventional audio broadcast channel through Internet and ‘free dish’ with easy accessibility to it for connoisseurs of art,specially classicial music- both Carnatic and Hindustani. The Channel, known as ‘RAAGAM’, is in public domain round the clock with Mobile App i.e. All India Radio Live available in Android IOS and Windows from 6 PM from January 26.
Corruption Perceptions Index : India reflects no Change
The recently released Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2015 shows that India has moved up in rank from 85 position to 76 (however the number of countries ranked in 2015 was 168 against 174 nations in 2014). Based on expert opinion from around the world, CPI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide.
Coco-Cola to launch dairy drinks in India Beverages major Coca-Cola
has announced its foray into value-added dairy drinks segment in the Indian market with Vio brand, which will make its debut across the country next month. The company, which will introduce two flavours under Vio, has tied up with Reliance Retail as part of pilot launch to make the brand available exclusively across the latter’s 500 stores.
150th birth anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid rich tribute to great freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai on his 150th birth anniversary (January 28, 2016). Born in 1865 in a village in Punjab province, Rai, was one of the tallest figures in the Indian Independence movement. Popularly known as the ‘Punjab Kesari’, he was part of the ‘Lal Bal Pal’ trio. He died in Lahore, a few weeks after sustaining serious injuries during a non-violent protest against the Simon Commission in 1928.
Fresh passports to be issued without police verification
In a major decision aimed towards liberalising the passport issuance process, the government has decided to do away with police verification for first-time normal category applicants. As per the new norms, the passport office will issue normal passports on a priority basis and leave the police verification for a later date. If a person submits application with copies of Aadhaar, Voter ID and PAN Card, with an affidavit swearing that no criminal case pending against him, then the passport office will issue a passport. The affidavit will be processed post-police verification basis, subject to successful online validation of Aadhaar number.
Permanent memorial of INS Vikrant unveiled
A permanent memorial of India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant has been unveiled in Mumbai by Vice Admiral S.P.S. Cheema, Flag Officer Commandingin-Chief of the Western Naval Command, and Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta. The memorial stands at a traffic island opposite the Lion Gate near the Naval Dockyard in south Mumbai. The sculpture
of INS Vikrant was designed by great metal sculptor Arzan Khambatta. The sculpture was made by using the pieces of metal recovered from the breaking up of INS Vikrant.
Union government releases list of 20 smart cities
The Union government has announced the names of the first 20 urban areas that will be developed as smart cities. The investment of Rs 50,802 crores has been proposed in selected smart cities and towns during the five-year period. There are five capital cities among the 20 smart cities chosen. The urban development ministry received proposals for 97 cities from state governments. The selected cities will be equipped with basic infrastructure, efficient urban mobility and public transport, IT connectivity and e-governance mechanisms. In the future, the government plans to announce 40 cities each to be developed as a Smart City.
USAID extends funding for projects for TB-free India
To support India’s efforts to end tuberculosis, US development agency USAID has announced grants aimed at scaling up innovative solutions for combating the disease in a country where an estimated 2.2 million such cases are reported annually. As part of the Tuberculosis Health Action Learning Initiative (THALI) project, $7.5 million has been awarded to the World Health Partners (WHP) for implementing activities in Kolkata while another $7.5 million has been awarded to Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) for work in
Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune.
Akash missile successfully test fired at Chandipuri in Odisha
India has test fired its indigenously-built surface-to-air Akash missile from complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha. It was as part of a user trial mission. A total of three rounds of test were carried out by Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel aiming at parabarrel targets. The Akash (sky) is a midrange surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. It is developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India under the integrated guided-missile development programme (IGMDP). Akash has the capability to “neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles” as well as ballistic missiles.
IRCTC limits passengers to just 6 tickets a month
In a bid to facilitate genuine users and prevent touting activities, a limit has been imposed by authorities on IRCTC online ticket booking and this has been cut to a maximum of 6 tickets in a month from the existing provision of maximum of 10 tickets by an individual user. This provision will come into effect from 15th February, 2015. Officials at IRCTC state that this has been done keeping in view the analysis of usage of quota of 10 tickets which indicated that 90% of users are booking up to 6 tickets in a given month
and only 10% are booking more than 6 tickets.