Current Affairs : September,2015
Important Days in September
Sept 5 : Teacher's Day (Dr. Radhakrishnan's Birth Day)
Sept 7 : Forgiveness Day
Sept 8 : International Literacy Day
Sept 14 : Hindi day,World First Aid Day
Sept 16 : World Ozone Day
Sept 21 : International Day of Peace, World Alzheimer's day
Sept 25 : Social Justice Day
Sept 27 : World Tourism Day
Union Cabinet gives nod to set up India Sign Language Research and Training Centre
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the setting up of Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC). ISLRTC will be set up as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and initially will be located at the Institute for Physically Handicapped, New Delhi.
It will be established under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities which comes under Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
About Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre Structure and Composition:
At the centre there will be General Council consisting of a President and 12 Members. There will be also an Executive Council consisting of a Chairperson and 9 Members.
Some of these members will be ex-officio and others will be experts from National Level Organizations of the Deaf or Academic Institutions or Universities or and independent experts in Indian Sign Language (ISL).
It will seek to provide equal opportunities to hearing impaired persons to fully participate in every sphere of life.
ISLRTC lead the way in academic development, training and propagation of the ISL.
It will also play important role in developing sign language interpreters along with R&D in new technology.
Implication: Setting up ISLRTC will help around 5 million deaf community of the country. It will seek to increase accessibility for the hearing impaired in education, workplace and activities of public life.
India, Laos ink two MoUs to strengthen bilateral ties
India and Laos have inked two key Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on Air services and Quick Impact
Projects under the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) programme to strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations. These MoU’s were signed in presence of Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari and his counterpart President of Lao Choummaly Sayasone in Vientiane. Vice President Hamid Ansari is on four-day official state visit to Cambodia and Laos.
It is also first visit of an Indian Vice President to Laos. MoU’s signed are MoU on Air services: Allows airlines to start a direct flight between the two countries. MoU on quick impact projects of MCG: It includes three projects in the agriculture sector.
Union Cabinet approves 150 days employment under MGNREGA in the drought hit areas
Union Cabinet has approved 150 days employment per household under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the drought hit areas of the country. Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Additional 50 days of unskilled manual work under the MGNREGA scheme will benefit people in drought-hit areas which are facing monsoon deficit affecting kharif crops and rural income. The move will enable state governments to provide additional wage employment to the rural poor from present 100 days in drought and natural calamities affected areas.
Cabinet committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) also approved setting up of committee to propose Exim bank scheme in order to offer concessional finance to companies bidding for infra projects abroad.
Union Cabinet approves National Offshore Wind Energy Policy
Union Cabinet cleared National Offshore Wind Energy Policy to generate electricity from offshore windmills located in areas within Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the country.
Under this policy, Offshore wind power projects and R&D activities will be carried in waters up to the seaward distance of 200 Nautical Miles (EEZ of the country) from the base line. Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) will be nodal Ministry. National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) will be nodal agency for allocation of offshore Wind Energy blocks.
NIWE has been authorized to carry out allocation of offshore wind energy blocks. It will also frame guidelines for coordination and allied functions with related ministries and agencies. The policy will provide a non-biased playing field to all domestic and international investors/beneficiaries.
Pave the way for offshore wind power projects along the 7600 km long Indian coastline to replicate the success of the onshore wind power projects in the offshore wind projects.
It would also help India to attain energy security and achieve National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) targets.
UN adopts agreement on Sustainable Development Goals
United Nations on 25 September 2015 unanimously adopted an ambitious agreement on the outcome document New Sustainable Development Agenda for the next 15 years i.e. till 2030. The document in this regard was adopted in 70th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and was announced by its President Mogens Lykketoft at the UN headquarters in New York.
The agreement outlines 17 non-binding goals termed as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 specific targets that comprise different socio-economic issues.
The new agenda document called “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” was built on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals will succeed 8 MDGs which was adopted in 2000 for fifteen years in Rio 20+ summit of United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlines broader sustainability agenda dealing with ‘five Ps’ people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership.
It seeks to address the universal need for development that works for all people and root causes of poverty. It calls for eradicating hunger and poverty, improving living standards, ensuring quality education, affordable and reliable energy, achieving gender equality and taking urgent action to combat climate change etc.
It also includes specific goals on economic indicators for first time.
EU imposes anti-dumping duty on Indian steel pipes
European Union (EU) has imposed a provisional anti-dumping duty of up to 31.2 per cent on imports of sewage and water steel pipes from India for six months to protect its domestic industry. This decision was taken after European Commission in its anti-dumping probe concluded that the material injury was caused by the dumped imports from India to the Union industry.
The anti-dumping probe was conducted by Commission with regard to imports of tubes and pipes of ductile cast iron used for sewage disposal, drinking water supply and irrigation of agricultural land, originating from India on 20 December 2014.
The probe was initiated by the European Commission following complaints filed by Saint-Gobain PAM group on behalf of producers.
This move will have negative impact on Indian exporters of these pipes to the European market. During October 2013 and September 2014 period, Indian export had significantly increased by over 22 per cent in terms of volume.
It should be noted that countries initiate anti-dumping probes to check if domestic industry has been hurt because of a surge in below cost (cheap) imports. Anti-dumping duty is imposed as a counter-measure to protect domestic industry under the multilateral World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime.
Alexis Tsipras sworn-in as Prime Minister of Greece
Alexis Tsipras of left wing Syriza party has sworn in as the Prime Minister of Greece. He was administered oath to the office by the President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. It is second time, Alexis Tsipras has sworn in as the PM of Greece.
Earlier in January 2015, he had sworn in for first becoming youngest PM of Greece since 1865 at the age of 40.
In the September 2015 general (snap) elections to the Greece’s Parliament, Alexis Tsipras led left-wing Syriza party had emerged as the largest party.
In this election, Syriza party had won 144 seats in the 300 seat Parliament by securing 35 percent of total votes.
In order to meet governing majority in the Parliament, Syriza party had formed a coalition government with the support of Independent Greeks Party
Nepal adopts new Constitution
Nepal has adopted new Constitution marking the country’s transition to a secular and democratic republic. The new Constitution was unveiled by Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav at a special ceremony held in Parliament at Kathmandu.
Earlier the Parliament had unanimously adopted the new Constitution by a 507-25 votes in the 601 seat Constituent Assembly (CA) after seven years of painstaking deliberations. The lawmakers of CA from Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) and UCPN- Maoist supported the new constitution.
The new constitution defines the Nepal, a majority Hindu nation as a secular republic divided into seven federal provinces. It should be noted that this is fifth constitution enacted by Nepal.
The previous four constitutions were enacted in 1959, 1962, 1990 and 1999.
The new Constitution has been drafted by second Constituent Assembly (CA) which was elected in 2013. Chairman of CA was Subash Nemwang.
The first CA established 2008 after the abolishment of the Himalayan country’s 240-year-old Hindu monarchy was not able to finish its task despite four extensions.
G-20 launches W-20 grouping for gender inclusive economic growth
Group of Twenty (G-20), a forum of world’s 20 largest economies, including India launched Women-20 (W20), an engagement grouping of women leaders in order to push for gender inclusive global economic growth.
It was launched in the on-going G-20 Summit of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Ankara under the Turkish Presidency.
The W20 group would 20 women leaders from G20 nations. It will work as an outreach group to promote gender inclusiveness in economic growth process by empowering women.
It would host its first summit in October 2015 in Istanbul after all member countries appoint their respective nominees. Gulden Turktan from Turkey has been appointed as the first President W20 forum.
Rajasthan Assembly passes two bills on Reservation
Rajasthan Legislative Assembly has passed two bills to provide reservation in educational institutions and government jobs to economically backward classes (EBC) and special backward classes (SBC) including Gujjars. Two Bills are
Rajasthan Special Backward Classes Reservation Bill, 2015: Provides five per cent reservation to five communities in government services and educational institution.
Five communities are: Banjara/Labana/Baldiya, Gujar/Gurjar, Gadiya/Gadoliya/Lohar, Gadariya/ Gayari /Gadri and Raika/Rebari/Debasi
Rajasthan Economically Backward Classes Reservation Bill, 2015: Provides fourteen per cent reservation to unreserved category. The state assembly also passed a resolution to include both the reservation bills in 9th Schedule of the Constitution which protects any legislation (law) inserted within it from judicial review.
With the passing of these bills, Rajasthan exceeds the 50 per cent reservation cap/limit laid down by the Supreme Court as they do not change the reservation quota of Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Class (OBCs) categories.
Presently, Rajasthan has reservation quotas amounting to 49. 5 per cent including 15 per cent for SCs, 7.5 per cent for STs and 27 per cent OBCs.
Rajasthan Assembly passes Rajasthan Vexation Litigation Prevention Bill, 2015
Rajasthan Assembly passed the Rajasthan Vexation Litigation Prevention Bill, 2015 by voice vote. The objective of the bill is to prevent filing of baseless cases and to check the misuse of law for personal benefits. It covers both civil and criminal cases in the high court and subordinate courts.
With this Rajasthan became the fifth state in India after Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Madhya Pradesh to pass such legislation.
Vexatious Litigation: It is a legal proceeding or action initiated maliciously and without Probable Cause by an individual solely to harass or subdue an opponent or adversary. This action harasses innocent and law abiding people mentally and economically and also strains overburdened judicial system.
Apart from the above bill Rajasthan Assembly also passed other two amendment bills. They are Prisons (Amendment) Bill, 2015: It aims at improving the efficiency of prisons in the state and also watch check on violence and gang wars in the prisons.
Rajasthan Police (Amendment) Bill, 2015: It adds provision for imposing monetary fine of 500 rupees on anyone who creates a nuisance on the road and obstructions or causes injures to a person or damages property. It also adds provision for fining for the similar second incidence. During second time fine of 5,000 rupees will be imposed and for the third incidence 10,000 rupees and eight days’ jail.
Perumanna Grama Panchayat becomes first Panchayat in Kerala to declare a Water Policy
Perumanna Grama Panchayat in Kozhikode district of Kerala has become the first Panchayat in the State, to declare its own water policy. The water policy has been framed in the lines of the State government’s water policy declared in 2008.
The policy was drafted with the help of the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) Kunnamangalam. It was chalked out after a detailed study of water resources and usage under taken by CWRDM in the Panchayat over the last two years 2013 and 2014).
The policy notifies a 13-point action plan to ensure proper utilisation and conservation of water in the 18 wards of Panchayat.
The first of the policy to increase water literacy in the panchayat through extensive water conservation and awareness programmes. The policy also seeks to make panchayat garbage free by 2020, thus eliminating water pollution completely.
Under the policy, Water conservation committees will be formed at ward level as well as panchayat level. These committees will work in tandem with the committees for agriculture, education, basic development, health and industrial development in order to incorporate in its activities in the essence of the water and environment policy of the State government.
Godavari, Krishna Rivers formally interlinked in Andhra Pradesh
Godavari, Krishna Rivers formally interlinked in Andhra Pradesh
Godavari River was formally interlinked with the Krishna River at Ibrahimpatnam near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. Both rivers were interlinked after Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated a pylon at Ibrahimpatnam.
State government has named this historic occasion as ‘Krishna-Godavari Pavitra Sangamam’ meaning holy confluence in Telugu.
The interlinking irrigation project located at Pattisam village in West Godavari district will pump Godavari River’s water into a canal 4 km under the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme. The pumped water will meet Krishna River at Ibrahimpatnam in Vijaywada district through 174 km long link canal.
The stored water by interlinking rivers at Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada will be diverted to irrigate paddy crop on 7 lakh acres in the Krishna, West and East Godavari districts, which are often called the rice bowl of the country.
It will also be used to bring drought prone area Rayalaseema region (Anantpur, Kurnool and Kadapa districts) under irrigation through Srisailam reservoir as it faces acute shortage of water for irrigation from June to August every year.
It will save around 80 thousand million cubic feet (TMCs) surplus water directly flowing from Godavari River into Bay of Bengal which will be used for irrigation purpose.
The inter-linking of both rivers was brainchild idea of eminent engineer and former Union minister Kanuri Lakshmana Rao (He is considered as father of the Indian Irrigation System).
RBI approves 10 entities to set up Small Finance Banks
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted in principle approval to 10 entities to set up small finance banks to provide basic banking services to small farmers and micro industries. The in-principle approval will enable these entities comply with the guidelines on Small Finance Banks and will be valid for 18 months.
10 entities are: Au Financiers (India) Ltd, Capital Local Area Bank, Disha Microfin Private Ltd, Equitas Holdings P Limited, ESAF Microfinance and Investments Private Ltd, Janalakshmi Financial Services Private Limited, RGVN (North East) Microfinance Limited, Suryoday Micro Finance Private Ltd, Ujjivan Financial Services Private Ltd and Utkarsh Micro Finance Private Ltd.
As per RBI guidelines, the small finance banks can provide basic banking services in order to promote financial inclusion. It will include services like accepting deposits and lending to the unbanked sections such as micro business enterprises, small farmers, micro and small industries and unorganised sector entities.
RBI, Nepal Rastra Bank ink MoU for supervisory information exchange
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information.
The MoU was signed by RBI’s Executive Director Meena Hemchandra and Nepal Rastra Bank’s Executive Director Narayan Prasad Paudel in New Delhi. By signing the MoU,
RBI is seeking to promote greater co-operation and share supervisory information among the authorities. So far RBI has signed 27 such MoUs, one Letter for Supervisory Co-operation (LSC) and one Statement of Co-operation (SoC) in this regard.
Union Cabinet gives nod to introduction of Gold Monetization Schemes
The Union Cabinet approved introduction of Gold Monetization Schemes (GMS) in a bid to lure away Indians from buying physical gold. The approved schemes are Gold Deposit Scheme (GDS) and the Gold Metal Loan (GML) Scheme which were announced by Government in 2015-16 budget.
Objectives of schemes
To make the existing GMSs schemes more effective and to put the gold into productive use held by households and institutions in the country rather than only mobilising it.
The long-term objective is to reduce the country’s reliance on the import of gold to meet domestic demand.
GMS would benefit the Indian gems and jewellery sector which is a major contributor to country’s exports by accounting 12 per cent of total exports.It would enable depositors to earn interest on their on their gold accounts.
These schemes are in addition to the implementation Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme (SGBS) which was approved by the Union Cabinet. Under this scheme, bonds will be issued with an interest rate decided by Union Government and calculated on value at the time of investment.
Union Government notifies merger of FMC with SEBI
Union Government has notified the merger of commodities market regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) with Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) with an effect from 28 September 2015.
In this regard, Union Finance Ministry has issued a notification mentioning that Regulation of Commodity Derivatives Market will shift to SEBI under Securities Contracts Regulation Act (SCRA) 1956. Forward Contracts Regulation Act (FCRA), 1952 gets repealed so does the FMC cease to exist.
With this merger, all three national and six regional commodity exchanges will come under the ambit of national capital market regulator SEBI.
Implication: This merger will create a unified regulator for commodities and capital markets which in turn will help streamline monitoring of commodity futures trading and curb wild speculations in the market.
Background: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech of February 2015 had announced the merger of FMC with the capital market regulator SEBI in order to strengthen the regulation of commodity futures market.
The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) also had recommended merger of SEBI, IRDA, FMC and PFRDA into a single entity called Unified Financial Agency (UFA).
Sourav Ganguly appointed CAB president
Former Indian Cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly has been appointed as President of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). It was announced by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata in Kolkata. Sourav Ganguly will succeed Jagmohan Dalmiya as the post fallen vacant following his death. Prior to this appointment, Ganguly was the Joint-secretary of the CAB. Avishek Dalmiya, son of Jagmohan Dalmiya will now succeed Ganguly as Joint-secretary of the CAB.
Ajay Jayaram wins silver medal in 2015 Korea Open Badminton tournament
India’s Ajay Jayaram has won silver medal in 2015 Korea Open Badminton tournament in the Men’s singles category.In the final match played at Seoul, he lost to World no. one Cheng Long of China by 14-21, 12-21 score settling to silver medal.
With this Ajay Jayaram became first Indian badminton player to win a medal in Korea Open Badminton tournament.It was Cheng Long’s sixth trophy of the season and second Korea Open Badminton tournament after he had won in 2014.
Ajay Jayaram is currently ranked 32nd in the world. Earlier in the Korea Open tournament, he had defeated Viktor Axelsen of Denmark and Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei on his way to the Final.
Hangzhou City of China chosen to host 2022 Asian Games
Capital city of Zhejiang Province Hangzhou in East China has been chosen by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to host the 2022 Asian Games.
Hangzhou was the only candidate city for the 2022 Asian Games i.e. XIX edition of games. This decision was taken by the OCA at its 34th Congress held in Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan.
It will be the third Chinese city to host the Asian games following Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010.
Sports Ministry Grants Recognition to Indian Kalarippayattu Federation as RSF
Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has recognized the Indian Kalarippayattu Federation (IKF) as Regional Sports Federation (RSF) with an immediate effect. This decision was taken with a view to promote and provide due acknowledgement and importance to sports having regional spread.
This recognition also grants major role to the IKF for promotion and development of Kalarippayattu sport in India.
About Kalarippayattu sport
Kalaripayattu sport is a Martial art played/performed in Southern state of Kerala and in contiguous parts of Tamil Nadu. It had originated as a martial art style in Kerala during 3nd century BC to the 2nd century AD.
It was originally practiced in northern and central parts of Kerala and the Tulunadu region of Karnataka. It is considered to be one of the oldest fighting system in existence and each warrior in the Sangam era received regular military training of it.
The word kalari has been derived from Sangam literature which describes both a battlefield and combat arena.
Anirban Lahiri becomes 1st Indian golfer to qualify for President’s Cup
Ace Indian Golfer Anirban Lahiri has become the first Indian to qualify for the prestigious President’s Cup of Golf. World No.40, Lahiri qualified to this prestigious cup through automatic qualifications as team member of the International Team.
The International team is set to take on United States team in the biennial Presidents Cup 2015 to be held at Incheon, South Korea. In season 2015, he has won 2 European Tour, 7 Asian Tour including the Hero Indian Open in 2015 and Malaysian Open.
So far, he has won 11 National titles in India including Ahmedabad Masters and Haryana Open. Union Government has bestowed Arjuna Award on him in 2014.
President’s Cup of Golf: The biennial Cup is a series of men’s golf matches between a team representing United States (US) and an International Team representing the rest of the world excluding Europe. In case of European counterparts, the matches are played for the Ryder Cup which older than President’s Cup.
Science & Technology
Indian Railways develops Hybrid Vacuum Toilets
Indian Railways has developed a Hybrid Vacuum Toilet design which combines the advantages of Vacuum toilets and those of Biotoilets. The first of its kind system in the world has been developed by the Development Cell of Indian Railway Board.
This newly developed toilet facility has been fitted on trial basis in Dibrugarh Rajdhani.
Features of Hybrid Vacuum Toilet
The prototype of Hybrid Vacuum Toilet consists two parts of a custom designed Vacuum toilet and a biodigester tank. The vacuum toilet has been adapted from a commercially available systems used in aircrafts.
These toilets evacuate its discharge into a biodigester tank of the biotoilets which is fitted underneath the train coach of Indian Railways which does not need large space.
The biodigester tank contains anaerobic bacteria that convert human faecal matter into water and small amount of gases (including methane) by the process of hydrolysis, acetogenesis, acidogenesis and methanogenesis.
Advantages: It will help to maintain hygiene and cleanliness in toilets or tracks of Indian Railways as there will no direct evacuation of human waste.
Vacuum toilet also saves water as it consumes only 500 Milliliters of water for flushing compared to typical conventional toilet or Biotoilet which uses 10-15 liters of water per flush.
GSAT-6 Satellite successfully positioned in orbital slot of 83 Degree East
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully positioned India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-6 into its orbital slot. It was positioned in its orbital slot 83 Degree east after carrying out four drift arresting maneuvers.
It has been collocated with other four communication satellites INSAT-4A, IRNSS1C, GSAT 12 and GSAT 10. About GSAT-6 satellite GSAT-6 satellite was carrying S-Band and C-Band transponders meant for public and strategic purposes.
It weighs 2117 kg and has mission life of nine years. The satellite is having S-Band Unfurlable Antenna (UFA) of 6 m diameter. This is the largest antenna ever made by ISRO for a satellite. This antenna is utilized for five spot beams over the Indian mainland to exploit the frequency reuse scheme and to increase frequency spectrum utilization efficiency in India.
GSAT-6 is the 25th geostationary communication satellite of India and 12th in the GSAT series.
Application: It will provide S-band multimedia communication and broadcasting services across the country. C-Band is for strategic purpose and it will provide national security and law enforcement agencies a secured satellite telephony services.
Background: ISRO had successfully launched GSAT-6 from an indigenous cryogenic engine GSLV-D6 rocket from Sriharikota on 27 August 2015. ISRO had performed successive orbit raising operation of the satellite and had deployed the UFA successfully after the launch.
Union Government gives nod to IAF’s Integrated Air Command & Control System Union Government has given its approval for implementation of Integrated Air Command & Control System (IACCS) project of Indian Air force (IAF) with allocation of 8,000-crore rupees.
Decision in this regard was taken by Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the proposal forwarded by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).
Earlier in November 2014, DAC had given its nod for addition of 4 more nodes IAF’s IACCS.
About Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS)
IACCS system is an automated command and control system for Air Defence (AD) which integrates different air sensors and radars to protect Indian airspace.
Presently, India has 5 IACCS nodes. The addition of four more nodes will help IAF to cover isolated islands thereby providing a security umbrella to the entire country.
On completion of this project, the air headquarters will get a composite air situation picture as it is going to integrate Air Force, Army, Naval and civilian radars.
IACCS will help IAF to connect all of its air, space and ground assets quickly for total awareness of a region and facilitate real-time transport of data, images and voice amongst aircraft, satellites and ground stations.
CCS clears Military helicopters deal with US aviation giant Boeing
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has given its approval to a multi-billion dollar deal to purchase Military helicopters from United States aviation giant Boeing. Under this deal, India will purchase 22 Apache Attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers from Boeing.
Apache Attack helicopters: These attack helicopters are equipped with Longbow gunships and are armed with deadly Hellfire and Stinger missiles. They are potent as fighter helicopters and are capable of destroying enemy helicopter and tank forces.
There addition in Indian Air Force (IAF) will help to replace the ageing fleet of 15 Russian Mi-35 attack helicopters which already have undergone life extension upgrades.
Chinook heavy-lift choppers: It will help IAF to enhance its heavy-lift chopper capabilities and replace existing fleet of Russia made four gigantic Mi-26s. These choppers will play important role in warfront as well humanitarian operations for proving logistics support.
This defence deal of India with US will further push and bolster US presence in the growing defence market of the country. It will further help to advance the nascent efforts by the Indian private defence sector to create an aerospace industrial base in the country.
Anti-Tank guided Amogha-I Missile test fired
Anti-Tank guided Amogha-I Missile test fired
An indigenously developed second generation anti-tank guided missile, Amogha-I was successfully test fired. Test: Test firing was carried out on September 10, 2015 at Babina Army Range, Madhya Pradesh.
In the test two missiles were fired and both hit targets placed at 2.8 km as well as 2.6 km respectively. Both missile flights met all design parameters and designed path profile without any deviation.
Amogha-I Missile Indigenously developed by state owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). It has maximum target range of 2.8 kms. The missiles will be inducted into Indian Army after due qualification and validation trials.
AUSINDEX15, first Australia and India maritime exercise begins in Visakhapatnam
Inaugural bilateral maritime exercise between India and Australia AUSINDEX15, commenced off coast of Visakhapatnam. The inaugural biennial exercise began with briefings and practical demonstrations ashore between Royal Australian Navy and Indian Navy before moving to sea.
In this maiden edition of exercise Three Royal Australian Navy ships viz HMA Ships Sirius (fleet tanker), Arunta (Anzac class frigate) and Sheehan (Collins class submarine) and a Royal Australian Air Force P3C Orion survelliance aircraft have participated.
They will train with Indian Navy Ships Ranvijayi (Guided missile destroyer), Shivalik (Stelton frigate) and Shakti (fleet tanker) along with P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft. It will also include tabletop exercises, practical demonstrations and scenarios ashore and sea phase.
AUSINDEX15 naval exercise between navies of both countries is held in line with the Framework for Security Co-operation. The framework was announced by the Australian and Indian Prime Ministers in 2014.
The naval exercise seeks to Promote peace and prosperity in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific region, boost each other’s maritime security interests and strengthen defence co-operation. Strengthen relationship between both countries to undertake regional joint or combined operations such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Union Government launches PMKKKY for mining affected people
Union Government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) for the welfare of people affected by mining related operations. The new scheme is meant to provide for the welfare of people and areas affected by mining related operations by using the funds collected by District Mineral Foundations (DMFs).
About Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY)
Aim: Mitigate the adverse impacts due to mining operation on the health and environment. It also seeks to ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods for the affected people in mining areas.
Objective: To implement various welfare and developmental projects in mining affected areas by complementing the existing ongoing schemes of State and Central Government; To mitigate and minimize the adverse impacts during and after mining on the health, environment and socio-economics of people in mining districts.
To ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods to people in areas affected by mining.
DMF spending: 60 per cent of the DMFs will be spent on high priority areas including health care, education, drinking water supply, sanitation and skill development of the affected people.
Rest of the funds will be spent on infrastructure developmental projects such as making roads, railways, bridges, waterways projects, irrigation and alternative energy sources.
Uninor rebrands as Telenor
Telecom service provider Uninor has rebranded itself as Telenor in India. The company also has changed its tag to ‘Ab life full paisa vasool’ from ‘Sabse Sasta’.
For the rebranding exercise, the company is going to spend around 100 crore rupees.
Norway-based Telenor entered India in 2009. Initially it had a joint venture with realty major Unitech, which however exited in 2012.
The company subsequently started operating with the name of Telewings, and in 2014, Telenor bought 100 per cent stake in the company.
In 2009, Norway-based firm Telenor had entered into Indian market as Uninor through a joint venture (JV) with Unitech Wireless.
But later in 2014, Unitech had completely exited from the operations and Telenor group had increased its stake in the Indian entity to 100%. Earlier in September 2015, the company had changed its name from Telewings Communications Services to Telenor (India) Communications.
Marathi film ‘Court’ selected as India’s official entry to Oscars
Critically acclaimed Marathi film ‘Court’ has been selected as India’s official entry to the Best Foreign Language category of the 88th Academy Awards 2016 (popularly known as Oscars). The film was shortlisted from 30 other films by a Film Federation of India (FFI) jury headed by film-maker and director Amol Palekar.
It should be noted that Court is third Marathi film to be shortlisted for India’s official entry to Oscars. Other two films are Shwaas (2004) and Harishchandrachi Factory (2008).
Court is a courtroom drama film that examines the Indian legal system through the trial of an aging folk singer in a lower court in Mumbai. The film is directorial debut of Chaitanya Tamhane who also has written story of the film. It has been produced by Vivek Gomber and cast includes Vira Sathidar, Vivek Gomber and Geetanjali Kulkarni etc.
Awards and Honours: Till date the film has won 18 awards at various film festivals across the world including honours at the Vienna, Antalya, Mumbai and Singapore film festivals. The film also has won the Best Feature Film award at the 62nd National Film Awards in 2015.
24th Vyaas Samman conferred on eminent Hindi writer Dr Kamal Kishore Goenka
Eminent Hindi writer Dr Kamal Kishore Goenka has been conferred with prestigious 24th Vyaas Samman for year 2014.
He was bestowed with this award in recognition of his work ‘Premchand ki Kahaniyon ka Kaal Kramanusaar Adhyayan’. It is a critical analysis of the work Hindi literature’s doyen Munshi Premchand.
About Vyas Samman
The award was instituted by the K.K. Birla Foundation in 1991. It is awarded annually for an exceptional contribution made by Hindi writers towards the language and his work published in past 10 years.
The award carries monetary award of 2.5 lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque. Inaugural award was bestowed upon Ram Vilas Sharma in 1991 for his work Bharat ke Pracheen bhasha parivar aur Hindi.
Classical dancer Kalamandalam Sathyabhama passes away
Kalamandalam Sathyabhama, doyen of classical dance form Mohiniyattam passed away in Palakkad district of Kerala. She was 77. She was regarded as a matriarch of Mohiniyattam and was well-known for her experimental reforms in this classical dance form which helped to preserve and popularise the traditional art form.
About Kalamandalam Sathyabhama
Kalamandalam Sathyabhama was born at Shoranur in 1937 and had started learning classical dance at a very early age of 12.
Her debut on major stage was in 1955 during the silver jubilee of the Kalamandalam (Kerala Government’s Deemed University of Art and Culture).
She also was the first woman Vice Principal of Kerala Kalamandalam and later, became its Principal till she retired in 1992. She was also well versed in other classical dances of Kerala.
Union Government to develop Bodhgaya as Spiritual Capital
Union Government is going to develop Bodhgaya in Gaya district of Bihar as Spiritual Capital of the country in order to serve the civilisational bond between India and the Buddhist world.
It was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing delegates from 90 countries on the concluding day of the International Buddhist Conclave held at Bodh Gaya.
West-Central Railway becomes first zone to eliminate Unmanned Level Crossings
The West-Central Railway (WCR) zone headquartered in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh has become the first Railway Zone in Indian Railways to eliminate all unmanned level crossings.
The target was achieved after all 118 unmanned level crossings of WCR zone were eliminated in phase manner by August 31, 2015. 80 crossings were eliminated in the financial year 2014-15 and the remaining 38 crossings were eliminated in August 2015.
This target was achieved by constructing 33 Limited Height Sub Ways (LHs) and manning of 30 level crossings. It is a being considered as a big success in the safety initiative of Indian Railways as unmanned railway crossings continue to remain a deathtrap in India as alone it had killed 126 people in 2014-15.
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