Categories
FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News (FIN): June 1-June 15

Hello Everyone, Thank you all for your amazing response to our initiative named Facts in News (FIN). Your responses help us to perform better by everyday. As promised, we have compiled facts which were in news between June 1 and June 15. We have comprehensively covered the facts so that it would be beneficial to UPSC  IAS Civil Services exam as well as other exams like State PCS, SSC etc.

Write your views in comment section, and it will help us to prepare better with time.

[Facts in News]

 

Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgements
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016
passed by Parliament
  • The Code provides a 180-day time-bound insolvency resolution process for companies, partnerships and individuals.
  • It repeals two Acts and amends 11 laws, including the Companies Act, 2013
  • The resolution processes will be conducted by licensed insolvency professionals (IPs). These IPs will be members of insolvency professional agencies (IPAs).
  • The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) will adjudicate insolvency resolution for companies
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India will be set up to regulate functioning of IPs, IPAs and IUs.
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015 passed by Lok Sabha
  • Bill seeks to establish Compensatory Afforestation Funds at the national and state levels.
  • These Funds will receive payments collected to compensate for loss of the forest ecosystem, when forest land is diverted for non forest uses (such as industrial projects). The Bill regulates administration and use of the monies in the Funds.
  • Under the Bill, the Funds will include compensation for loss of ‘environmental services’ provided by the forest
  • Under the Bill, the national authority will approve the annual plans of operations prepared by state authorities.
Mines and Minerals (Development and
Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016 passed by Parliament
  • The Act regulates the mining sector in India and specifies requirements for obtaining and granting mining leases.
  • Amends the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
  • Act allows for the transfer of mining leases which have been granted through an auction process.
  • Act allows for the transfer of mining leases which have been granted through procedures other than auction, and where the minerals are used for captive purpose
  • Captive purpose has been defined as the use of the entire quantity of mineral extracted in the lessee’s own manufacturing unit
The Indian Medical Council (Amendment),
Ordinance 2016, and the Dentists (Amendment)
Ordinance, 2016 were promulgated on May 24,2016
  • Ordinances provide for a uniform entrance examination for all MBBS, BDS and postgraduate courses
  • In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the MCI and DCI regulations of 2010 and 2012, that provided for the National Eligibility-cum Entrance Test (NEET) as a single common
    entrance test for admission to MBBS, BDS and postgraduate courses in all government and private medical colleges
Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2014 passed by
Parliament
  • The Bill repeals the Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982 to give effect to the Beijing Protocol, 2010.
  • The Protocol regulates the scope of hijacking, exercise of jurisdiction by countries, and extradition in these matters
  • The Bill provides for: (i) capital punishment, where the offence results in death of any person, and (ii) life imprisonment in all other cases
Janani Sewa
  • The scheme has been introduced by Ministry of Railways Under Janani Sewa, hot milk, hot water and baby food will be available at railway stations.

 

National & International Events
India-Morocco Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IMCCI)
  • Launched by Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane in Rabat, Morocco
  • To strengthen their relations in trade and investment
  • Motto of IMCCI is “Shake hands, strengthen ties, go with IMCCI”
Hindi Patrakarita Diwas
  • The Hindi Journalism Day is celebrated every year on May 30 in India to mark the beginning to journalism in Hindi language.
  • On this date, in 1826, the first Hindi-language newspaper of India “Udant Martand” was published from Calcutta by Pt. Jugal Kishore Shukla
India joins Hague Code of Conduct
  • A voluntary, legally, non binding multilateral body
  • To contain the spread of ballistic missiles, which can deliver weapons of mass destruction
  • HCoC was estd. in 2002
  • Austria serves as the Immediate Central Contact (Executive Secretariat) and therefore coordinates the information exchange of the HCOC
First Yuan denominated bonds
  • New Development Bank of the BRICS countries is set to issue its first Yuan denominated bonds with plans to release more bonds in local currencies including in Indian Rupee

About New Development Bank:

  • Head: M V Kamath
  • Location: Shanghai
  • China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) tied up with the NDB was expected to contribute to infrastructure development in the Asian region along with IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank
India becomes 3rd largest oil consumer
  • Surpassed Japan to become 3rd largest
  • Demand is 4.1 million Barrels Per Day behind US(19.39 mn bpd) and China(11.96 mn bpd)
  • India accounts for 4.5% of world’s oil consumption
  • By BP Statistical Review of World Energy
Exercise Anakonda 2016 (AN16)
  • The 10-day long military training exercise, Anakonda 2016 (AN16) has started in Poland from June 7, 2016.
  • It is the most important and the largest training exercise of the Polish Armed Forces in 2016.
  • The purpose of Anakonda–16 is to check the abilities of NATO to defend the territory of the eastern flank of North Atlantic Alliance.
  • It involves 31,000 soldiers from 19 NATO countries and five partner countries, including approximately 12,000 Polish troops.
India ranked 141 in Global Peace Index
  • India ranked 141st position out of 163 countries (Iceland-1st, Denmark-2nd, Austria-3rd)
  • Performance checked by: Institute for Economics and Peace in discussion with International panel of Peace experts from Peace Institute Established: 2007
United Nations International Albinism Awareness Day
  • June 13 to raise public awareness on albinism and to prevent attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism.
  • Albinism is a congenital disorder characterized by the partial or complete absence of the pigment melanin in the skin, hair, and eyes.
  • The lack of melanin in the skin makes albinos more prone to sunburn and skin cancers. Albinism is also associated with visual problems such as photophobia, amblyopia (lazy eye),nystagmus, etc
World Day Against Child Labour
  • Observed across world on 12 June
  • 2016 Theme: ‘End child labour in supply chains – It’s everyone’s business.’

 

Economy and banking
IPPB
  • India Post’s payments bank get Union Cabinet nod
  • IPPB will start operations in March 2017
  • Payments bank can hold max of 1 lakh per customer
  • Issue debit cards/atm’s, but not credit cards
  • Offer payments , remittances services, deal in mutual funds, insurance products
  • Cannot undertake lending services
Global Retail Development Index
  • India has been ranked 2nd position as per 2016 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI)
  • India has jumped 13 positions from last year to rank 2nd among 30 developing countries this year on ease of doing business
  • Sharp pick up in GDP growth and better clarity regarding FDI regulations have helped India achieve a second ranking
GDP grows @ 7.9%
  • Gross Domestic Product grew at 7.9% in the fourth quarter(Jan-March) of 2015-2016
  • The Annual GDP growth for the year is 7.6%, at constant prices, as compared to 7.2% in 2014-15
Rajasva Gyan Sangam
  • The annual conference of tax administrators 2016
  • It is for the first time that two Revenue Boards “Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) & Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC)” are holding the conference simultaneously.
  • The purpose of the conference is to motivate the revenue officers towards achieving high standards in taxpayer friendly services in view of fast paced changes in the world economy and to address some of the challenges that these Departments face in this scenario.

 

Science and Technology
Ziyuan III 02
  • China has launched a new civilian high-resolution mapping satellite from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi province.
  • For land resource surveys, natural disaster prevention, agricultural development, water resources management and urban planning
Einstein ring
  • A distorted image of a very distant galaxy termed as “the source”
  • Distortion is produced by bending of the light rays from the source due to a massive galaxy lying in between the distant galaxy and the observer
  • Phenomenon is also called gravitational lensing
Maltitol
  • Derived from maltose, a sweetening agent found in sugar free foods, such as ice creams
  • Scientists at IISc Bangalore have developed a technique in bone fractures and bone reconstruction method by mixing maltitol with other substances that become plastic and can be used to fill the bone gap, maltitol reacts to water, and as time passes it disintegrates and comes out.
  • Advantages are that it has fewer side effects and drugs can be injected to hasten healing
Ranjit Sub – 1,

Bahadur Sub – 1

  • Rice variants for submerged areas such as Barak Valley in order to yield during the monsoon season where the valley is liable to periodical floods
  • Improved version of the Ranjit and Bahadur varieties
  • The rice variants have been developed which ensures productivity even if the crops submerged during floods
  • The variants are suitable for kharif season which is from July –October during the south-west monsoon in Barak Valley
  • Developed by researchers from Assam Agricultural University
Circumbinary planet
  • A planet which orbits two stars instead of one
  • NASA and San Diego State University have found the largest planet yet to orbit a double-star system
  • Kepler-1647b is 3,700 light-years. the planet’s mass and radius are nearly identical to that of Jupiter

 

Environment
Efficient and Sustainable City Bus Service Project

 

  • A grant agreement between the Govt. of India and World Bank
  • A 9.2 million US dollar grant agreement under the World Bank-Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  • The project aims at improving the efficiency and attractiveness of bus services in select Indian cities
Eurasian Otter
  • One of the rarest Indian mammals discovered in the Satpura Tiger Reserve Madhya Pradesh and Kanha Pench corridor
  • Species is listed as NEAR THREATENED by IUCN Red list
  • Smooth coated otter and Asian small clawed otter are also present in India
8 June: World Oceans Day
  • Theme: Healthy oceans, healthy planet
  • The main focus of this year’s theme is on curbing the plastic pollution
Norway
  • First country to ban deforestation
  • Deforestation is estimated to contribute around 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions
  • Any product that contributes to deforestation will not be used in the Scandinavian country
  • Earlier Norwegian government gave $250 million to protect Guyana’s forest, a south American country, which has its forests zoned for logging
  • In 2015, Norway paid $1 billion to Brazil, home to 60 percent of the Amazon forest, for completing a 2008 agreement between the two countries to prevent deforestation
Melomys rubicola
  • Declared extinct, first mammal species wiped out due to human-induced climate change
  • A rodent found only on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
  • Also called the mosaic-tailed rat
  • Sea-level rise and weather events in the Torres Strait region, which lies between Australia and the Melanesian island of New Guinea, was determined as the root cause of the loss

 

Persons in News ( Appointments, Awards , Deaths )
Bhim Sain Bassi
  • Appointed as a member of UPSC
  • It is a constitutional post
  • He was a former Delhi Police Commissioner
  • 1977 batch of AGMUT( Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-UT’s] cadre
Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba
  • Assumed charge as the new Chief of the Naval Staff
  • 21st Navy chief
Navin Agarwal
  • Appointed as the Director General (DG)/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA
  • 1986 batch IPS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre
  • NADA is the national organization responsible for promoting, coordinating, and monitoring the doping control program in sports in all its forms in India
Amir Amanullah Khan Award
  • PM Narendra Modi was conferred the Afghanistan’s highest civilian honour
  • He received while inaugurating the Rs. 1700 crore dam built in the Herat province
Muhammed Ali
  • Former heavyweight boxing champion died at 74
  • Considered to be one of the greatest sportspersons of all time
  • Born as Cassius Clay
Manohar Aich
  • Former Mr. Universe(1952) died at 104
  • Born in Bangladesh, joined Royal Indian Air Force in 1942
  • Was nicknamed “Pocket Hercules” due to his 4ft 11 inch frame
Dia Mirza
  • Named the ambassador for Swachh Bharat mission’s youth based “Swachh Saathi”(student internship programme)
  • 2000 interns will be enrolled
  • Coordinate with around 10000 schools to ensure that all students take pledge for clean India
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
  • Honoured with Russia’s Order of Friendship by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
  • Purpose:  To award foreign nationals whose work, deeds and efforts were aimed at the betterment of relations with the Russian Federation and its people
NR Visakh
  • NR Visakh, the Tamil Nadu teenager and International Master, has created history by becoming the first Indian to won the 9th edition of Mumbai Mayor’s International Open Chess Tournament 2016
Akhil Sharma
  • An Indian born-American author, has won the prestigious 2016 International Dublin Literary Award for his novel “Family Life”.
  • The novel is the autobiography of the author, which mirrors the author’s own experience of emigrating from India to America as a child. The prize of €100,000 is awarded to the author of the winning book. Though, if the winning book is in English translation, €75,000 is awarded to the author and €25,000 to the translator
Satya Pal Jain
  • Additional Solicitor General of India and former Parliamentarian, has been appointed as a part-time member of the 21st Law Commission of India
G Kalyanakrishnan
  • Appointed Chief Executive of Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC)
  • He succeeded N Saibaba.
  • Prior to this assignment, Kalyanakrishnan was the Deputy Chief Executive of NFC.
  • The NFC is a major industrial unit of India’s Department of Atomic Energy, for the supply of nuclear fuel bundles and reactor core components. It has its headquarters at Hyderabad

 

Places in News
Haryana
  • The Haryana government has recently launched Asia’s first ‘Gyps Vulture Reintroduction Programme’ at Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore
Sikkim
  • Sikkim has become the first Indian state to launch open government data website to promote transparency.
  • The data portal ‘Sikkim.data.gov.in’ and Open Government Data Platform (Sikkim) has been launched by Sikkim Government.
  • On the open government data portal, the data produced or commissioned by the government or government controlled entities can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone.

 

Miscellaneous
World No Tobacco Day
  • Observed every year on May 31
  • Theme 2016:Get ready for plain packaging
  • WHO-sponsored
Retirement age of doctors, now 65
  • Retirement age of doctors in central services increased to 65 from 62
  • Aim to strengthen the healthcare sector in the country
  • Proposal was made by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, approved by the Union Govt
  • Haryana govt also decided to increase the gae to 65
Gotthard Base Tunnel
  • World’s longest and deepest rail tunnel opened in Switzerland
  • 57 km (35-mile) twin-bore Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) will provide a high-speed rail link under the Swiss Alps between Northern and Southern Europe
  • The tunnel has overtaken Japan’s 53.9 km Seikan rail tunnel as the longest rail tunnel in the world.
  • The full service will begin in December 2016
Phillumenist
  • A collector of matchbox or matchbook labels
Good Country index
  • The biannual index was founded by Simon Anholt, a British government adviser whose aim is to find ways of encouraging countries to collaborate and co-operate a lot more, and compete a bit less
  • India has been ranked 70th out of 163 countries in the 2015 Good Country index
  • Taking 35 different UN and World Bank indices into account, including global contributions to science, culture, peace and security, climate change and health and equality
ISC board
  • Class 11 and 12th ISC Science syllabus to be aligned to CBSE syllabus
  • It will affect Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics
2016 UEFA European football
  • France is the host nation of the 15th edition of UEFA European football championship 2016 (Euro 2016).
  • It is scheduled from 10 June to 10 July 2016.
  • For the first time, the European Championship final tournament will be contested by 24 teams.
  • Under this new format, the finalists will contest a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams, followed by a knockout stage including three rounds and the final.
  • The winning team of Euro 2016 earns the right to compete at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup hosted by Russia.
A little book of Happiness
  • Authored by Ruskin Bond
Butterflies of India
  • A field guide compiled by naturalist photographer Isaac Kehimkar
  • The book covers more than 1000 species of butterflies and 1800 pictures of insects from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar
  • It will be published by Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS)
  • Isaac Kehimkar is popularly known as “Butterfly man of India”

 

Categories
FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News (FIN) : May 16 – May 31

facts-in-news

Hello Everyone, Thank you all for your amazing response to our initiative named Facts in News (FIN). Your responses help us to perform better by everyday. As promised, we have compiled facts which were in news between May 16 – May 31. We have comprehensively covered the facts so that it would be beneficial to UPSC  IAS Civil Services exam as well as other exams like State PCS, SSC etc.

Write your views in comment section, and it will help us to prepare better with time.

[Facts in News]

 

Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgements
Red Line Campaign
  • Marking prescription-only antibiotics with a red line
  • To curb their irrational use and create awareness on the dangers of taking antibiotics without being prescribed
  • Launched in February this year by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • The Global Review on Antimicrobial Resistance in its final report has appreciated India’s Medicines with the Red Line campaign on antibiotics
Pehal programme
  • A programme by Himachal pradesh government
  • Purpose to speed up developmental works and government schemes through effective implementation at grassroots level
  • Focus on five key areas viz. primary education, forest rights, health and sanitation, campaign against drugs and skill development and women Empowerment
Smart Village program
  • Gujarat government launched the program to improve public facilities in the villages
  • 6,000 villages in the state are open defecation free under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Odisha Official Language (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 promulgated
  • Odisha Governor SC Jamir promulgated Odisha Official Language (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 for use of Odia language as a tool for communication in official matters
  • As per the promulgation the state government to formulate laws to implement the Odisha Official Language Act 1954
  • Article 345 of the Indian Constitution deals with the official language of a state. It empowers state legislature to adopt ‘any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes’ of the concerned State.
Umang app
  • Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance
  • The project is being developed by the union ministry of communications and information technology’s national e-governance division
  • Some of the services which will be available under UMANG are, National scholarship, Healthcare applications, Passport Seva, Women Safety (Nirbhaya),  E-Post, Crime and criminal tracking, Network and systems, Commercial tax/GST, Income tax, CBSE/State education boards, E-Municipality, IRCTC, Utility bills, Mother and child tracking, Public distribution system, Transport Vahan/Sarathi, e-Court, m-Kisan, Land records, PF/NPS

 

National & International Events
Project Collaboration Agreement (PCA)
  • Agreement between India and WHO
  • For Global promotion of Traditional Systems of Medicine
  • Aims at promoting the quality, safety and effectiveness of service provision in traditional and complementary medicine
  • It will deliver, for the first time, WHO benchmark document for training in Yoga, and WHO benchmarks for practice in Ayurveda, Unani and Panchakarma
First World Conference on Tourism for Development
  • First World Conference on Tourism for Development held in Beijing, China
  • Theme ‘Tourism for Peace and Development’ to advance the contribution of tourism to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • The event will be jointly organized by the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
  • Beside this, China, as chair of the G20, will also host the 7th G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting under the theme “Sustainable Tourism – An Effective Tool for Inclusive Development”.
2016 Women Economic Forum (WEF)
  • Hosted by New Delhi, India
  • Theme “Women: Uplifting and Uniting the World”
  • The WEF is a mega marquee global event hosted by ALL Ladies League (ALL), the world’s largest league of women.
  • In the 2016 WEF, 1500 Women from 75 countries and all walks of life will meet to discuss social empowerment, leadership, economic, business and social issues like innovation, start-ups, leadership, entrepreneurship, business and globalization, diplomacy, sustainable development, peace and spirituality, social empowerment, environment and art.
International Buddhist conference
  • Held in Lumbini, Nepal to mark the 2,560th birth anniversary of Lord Buddha.
  • Theme “Lumbini, Nepal: the birthplace of Lord Buddha and the fountain of Buddhism and world peace”.
  • The main purpose of organising the event is to highlight Lumbini as birthplace of Lord Buddha and the fountain of Buddhism, in the international arena, to establish Lumbini as the centre for interfaith and peace dialogue as well as developing Nepal as the fountain for world peace.
World Humanitarian Summit
  • First World Humanitarian Summit held at Istanbul, Turkey inaugurated by UN Secretary-General
  • To better coordinate support for and drive investment in education for children and youth affected by humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises
  • UNICEF launched new fund ’Education Cannot Wait’ fund at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS)
  • UNICEF-United Nations program provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries
  • Headquarters of UNICEF: New York City, New York, United States
Pandemic Emergency Finance Facility
  • Launched by World Bank Group
  • To quickly mobilize funds to tackle global disease outbreaks and create a new insurance market for pandemic risk
  • It is expected to bring the much needed coordination and speed for future global disease outbreak response efforts
  • [Pandemic- (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world]

 

Economy and banking
NK Singh committee
  • Constituted to review and give recommendations on Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) roadmap
  • It will also examine the need and feasibility of aligning the fiscal expansion or contraction with credit contraction or expansion respectively in the economy
  • On April 29, 2016, NK Singh was conferred with the 2nd class Gold and Silver of the Order of the Rising sun by the Japanese Government
P-Notes
  • The P-Notes are typically instruments issued by registered foreign institutional investors to overseas investors, who wish to invest in Indian markets without registering themselves directly in India to save on time
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recently made mandatory for Participatory Notes (P-Notes) users to follow Indian anti-money laundering laws and report any suspicious transactions immediately.
Islamic Development Bank
  • As part of an MoU signed between India’s EXIM Bank  and IDB, IDB announced to open its first branch in India at Ahmedabad
  • An international financial institution was established in 1975
  • IDB is headquartered at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • IDB’s main objective is to foster the economic development and social progress of member countries as well as the Muslim community in accordance with principles of Shariah (Islamic law)
  • The bank has 56 Islamic countries as its members

 

Science and Technology
Yaogan 30
  • China’s remote sensing satellite to carry out land surveys and disaster relief, land surveys, crop yield estimates
  • Launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwestern China’s Gobi Desert
Guam killer
  • A Chinese missile
  • Capable of hitting targets 3,400 miles away
  • Concerns were raised by the US as it is a threat to major U.S. military installations and stability in the Pacific Rim
World-First Scanning Helium Microscope
  • Built by Australian researchers
  • New microscope will pave the way to study human, animal and plant samples, as well as computer chips and pharmaceutical drugs, without damaging or changing them
Ashwin
  • An indigenous Advanced Air Defence interceptor missile
  • Capable of destroying any incoming hostile ballistic missile
  • India has become the fourth country to have successfully developed this anti-ballistic missile system, after United States, Russia and Israel
Prithvi-II missile
  • Indigenously developed nuclear capable missile by DRDO
  • Range of 350 km also capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines also nine-metre-tall.
  • It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.
  • DRDO developed Prithvi is India’s first indigenously-built ballistic missile. It is one of the five missiles under the country’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
HIFiRE
  • Hypersonic International Flight Research and Experimentation
  • A joint program of the US Department of Defense and Australian Defence Science and Technology Organization
  • The “purpose of this program is to investigate fundamental hypersonic phenomena and accelerate the development of aerospace vehicle technologies deemed critical to long range precision strike” by using an “affordable, accessible, prototype experimentation strategy
  • Scientists from HIFiRE are developing an engine that can fly at mach 7
Scramjet Engine
  • A scramjet (supersonic combusting ramjet) is a variant of a ramjet airbreathing jet engine in which combustion takes place in supersonic airflow
  • But a ramjet decelerates the air to subsonic velocities before combustion
  • Australian military jointly with United States Military research team successfully blasted off a hypersonic technology in Australia.
Qora
  • An indigenously developed Fecal Incontinence (FI) management system.
  • The medical device has been developed by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and is implemented at AIIMS and IIT Delhi in collaboration with International partners such as Stanford University (USA), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), etc.
  • The Fecal incontinence (FI) is a medical condition marked by inability to control one’s bowel movements, causing stool (feces) to leak unexpectedly from the rectum. It affects nearly 100 million bedridden patients worldwide.
INS Tarmugli
  • Indigenously built Fast Attack Craft
  • Indian Navy commissioned it for deployment of coastal patrol and surveillance operations along the East Coast of India
  • This is the first Follow-on Water Jet Fast Attack Craft
  • Measures 48 meters in length, can achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots also weighing 320-tonne
  • Named after an island in the Andaman Islands group
  • Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is a national park of India in Wandoor on the Andaman Islands
  • The park was created to protect marine life such as the corals and nesting sea turtles prevalent in the area
  • Tarmugli, the largest island of the park, is covered with thick mangrove vegetation, sand covered beaches, uprooted trees and sheet rocks
Obstetric Fistula
  • Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth. It is a hole between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without treatment
  • Treatable by a medical professional, requires a medical diagnosis
  • International Day to End Obstetric Fistula was observed worldwide on 23 May 2016 to raise awareness about obstetric fistula. The Day was observed for the first time in 2013
  • Theme of 2016: “End fistula within a generation”
Potassium Bromate
  • Classified as Class 2B(possibly carcinogenic-cancer causing) by the International Agency for  Research on Cancer(IARC)
  • Recently All India Bread manufacturers association voluntarily stopped using potassium bromate and potassium iodate as additives in bread
  • US and India have not banned it yet
VoLTE
  • Stands for Voice-over-LTE, and essentially, it is a technology that makes it possible for voice calls to be carried over LTE networks.
  • Right now, LTE networks only carry data, leaving voice calls to be carried by older 3G networks. With VoLTE, voice and data will travel through the same network.
ICGS Arush
  • Indigenously made Fast Patrol Vessel was commissioned into Coast Guard at Kochi by the Coast Guard Commander
  • meaning ‘first ray of sun’, and will be based at Porbandar under the administrative and operational control of North West Coast Guard Region.
  • The 50 meter vehicle displaces 421 tonnes and can go at a maximum speed of 33 knots with an endurance of 1500 nautical miles.

 

Environment
Brow antlered deer
  • Eld’s deer also known as the thamin or brow-antlered deer, is an ENDANGERED species of deer indigenous to Southeast Asia
  • The Manipur brow-antlered deer is found in Manipur, India. It is called SANGAI in Manipur
  • It is the state animal of Manipur
  • Sangai is now restricted to the Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP) in the Southeastern fringe of Loktak Lake in Manipur
  • While walking on the floating biomass(phumdis), Sangai often balances itself which looks as if it is dancing on the green grassland and therefore popularly called as “dancing deer” of Manipur
Red Sand Boa
  • A non-venomous snake
  • Boa species endemic to India, Pakistan and Iran
  • Its tail looks like a head
  • Capturing snakes and using them for display and entertainment is banned and a punishable offence under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
Brown bears sighted
  • J&K Wildlife Department has spotted eight Himalayan brown bears in Kargil’s Drass Sector
  • Himalayan brown bear is also known as the Himalayan red bear and  Isabelline bear.
  • In the IUCN list of VULNERABLE category animals the bear is included
Heat Index
  • Is a measure of how hot it really feels when the relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature
World Biodiversity Day 2016
  • Theme is: “Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods”
  • International Day of Biodiversity May 22
  • The theme emphasizes people’s’ livelihoods and sustainable development in across the domain of activity, including economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism
  • The 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 13) to be held in Cancun, Mexico from 4 to 17 December 2016
Golden Mahseer fish
  • The Himachal Pradesh government has recently launched an artificial propagation programme for rehabilitation and conservation of Golden Mahseer fish.
  • To breed the fish and release its fingerlings into the wild
  • The Golden mahseer is known as the tiger of Indian rivers
  • The population of the golden mahseer is declining in the state due to various reasons viz. construction of dams, barrages, pollution, indiscriminate fishing of brood and juvenile fish, introduction of exotic species and habitat deterioration.
  • It has been declared ENDANGERED by the IUCN
Pakke Tiger Reserve
  • Awarded with the ‘India Biodiversity Award 2016‘
  • It’s in Arunachal Pradesh
  • The Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme of the Pakke Tiger Reserve was awarded the prize under the one of its four categories titled- conservation of threatened species.

 

Persons in News ( Appointments, Awards , Deaths )
Naveen Sinha
  • Justice Naveen Sinha has been sworn-in as the new Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court.
  • Prior to this appointment, he was the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court since July 2014.
Nandini Bhandaru
  • A PhD student at IIT Kharagpur, recently conferred with European Materials Research Society’s Young Scientist Award at EMRS 2016 Spring Meeting Lille France
  • The award based on her outstanding contribution to materials science and nanotechnology, particularly nano-patterning of soft films and surfaces
  • Nano-lithography is a common method used in nano-patterning
Diwaliben Bhil
  • Legendary Gujarati folk singer passed away due to age-related ailments in Junagadh. She was 80.
  • She was awarded Padma Shri in 1991
  • Besides folk songs and garba songs, Diwaliben had also lent her voice to several film songs
Pawan Chamling
  • Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling was  honoured with ‘Yug Kavi Siddhicharan Award’ -literary award
  • His contributions towards promoting Nepali literature in India
  • 105th birth anniversary of the late poet Shrestha

 

Places in News
Amravati, Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh
  • Ancient remains of 1st century B.C. Buddhist site found
  • Three Mounds studded with brickbats and pottery in red colour. The mounds were formed on huge boulders on which a brick-built stupa was raised
Amritsar, Punjab
  • World’s largest single rooftop stretch of 42 acre solar power plant of 11.5 Mw capacity was installed in India
  • 11.5 MW solar plant is installed on nearly 42 acres of rooftop of open shed
  • Took nearly six months to make the world record
  • Project at: Beas in Punjab
New Delhi
  • First Maritime Security Dialogue between India and the United States was recently held at Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan, New Delhi.
  • The discussion focused on strategic maritime security issues such as Asia-Pacific maritime challenges, naval cooperation and multilateral engagement.
  • Both the sides agreed for “white shipping” technical arrangement to improve data sharing on commercial shipping traffic and Navy-to-Navy discussions on submarine safety and anti-submarine warfare.
Beawar, Rajasthan
  • Celebrating the Right to Information, a dark blue memorial has come up in the Beawar town of Rajasthan — where the RTI movement had started 20 years ago
Lakshadweep First Union Territory (UT) to sign “24×7 Power for All” document

Aims to provide each household access to electricity by 2019

 

Miscellaneous
2016 Man Booker International prize
  • South Korean author, Han Kang won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for her novel ‘The Vegetarian’
  • The Man Booker Prize is the leading literary award in the English speaking world.
  • The winner receives 50000 pound as well as the 2500 pound awarded to each of the shortlisted authors
World Cities Report 2016
  • The new global flagship report on sustainable urban development launched by UN-Habitat
  • It states that a New Urban Agenda is needed to unlock the transformative power of cities
  • It says top 600 cities, with 1/5th of the world’s population, produce 60 per cent of global GDP
  • Urged the Government of India to build 100 new cities with low infrastructure, denser and low energy to avoid the addition of Greenhouse gases
HeForShe stamp
  • HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality developed by UN Women
  • Its goal is to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights
  • A MoU was inked between Department of Posts and United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) in February this year for HeForShe stamp
  • Upon this move the stamps were printed in the form of sheetlet of 20 se-tenants and Miniature Sheet of two stamps
  • Se-tenant(philately) stamps or labels are printed from the same plate and sheet and adjoin one another, unsevered in a strip or block. They differ from each other by design, color, denomination or overprint. They may have a continuous design. The word “se-tenant” translates from French as meaning “joined together” or “holding together
Emergency Lessons campaign
  • Launched by UNICEF and the European Union launched the campaign
  • A new campaign to highlight the importance of education for children affected by emergencies
Cyclone Roanu
  • A tropical cyclonic storm in the bay of Bengal
  • Caused severe flooding in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
International Museum Day
  • May 18 to raise awareness on how important museums are in the development of society
  • The 2016 theme is “Museums and Cultural Landscapes
World Health Statistics for the year 2016
  • Reported by World Health Organization about Life Expectancy since 2000
  • Increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015
  • Healthy life expectancy – 63.1 years globally
  • The increase was in the African Region where life expectancy increased by 9.4 years to 60 years due to improvements in child survival, malaria control and expanded access to antiretrovirals for treatment of HIV
  • WHO is Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland
G7 summit
  • 42nd edition of G7 Summit will be held at Ise-Shima, Japan
  • Summit will discuss measures to address the global economic slowdown, terrorism, the humanitarian crisis and ongoing conflicts
  • The G7 is a group of seven leading industrialised nations viz. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States
“My Favourite Nature Stories” and “The World outside My Window”
  • Ruskin Bond has released two new books both themed on nature
  • Bond bagged Sahitya Academy Award in 1992 for Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra in English
  • He was also awarded the Padma Shri in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2014.
E-municipal council
  • Rajasthan’s Bundi is all set get an e-municipal council to provide files at a click, and detailed digital mapping with a database of its demographical and geographical information
  • The council office would make its revenue by selling accurate data and documents to the other government and non-government departments
  • The proposed office comes with solar panels and biometric entry and exit, that allows anyone would be able to view data on screen with a click through an ‘e-processor’
Nastaliq
  • The traditional Perso-Arabic script of the Kashmiri language
Millennium Technology Prize
  • The Millennium Technology Prize is Finland’s tribute to innovations for a better life
  • Millennium Technology Prize is a technology award, whereas the Nobel Prize is a science award, Nobel Prize is awarded for basic research, but the Millennium Technology Prize may be given to a recently conceived innovation which is still being developed
  • It is awarded once every two years by Technology Academy Finland
  • Frances Arnold of US has won 2016 Millennium Technology Prize
Bharatvani Portal
  • The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) launched the multilingual knowledge portal www.bharatvani.in
  • Bharatvani became the largest online repository of dictionaries in India
  • The portal has been launched in 22 scheduled languages, which eventually will be extended to 100 more languages
  • It will help the government to showcase the Indian culture and heritage to the world
Narikuravar
  • The Narikuravar is an indigenous community from Indian state of Tamil Nadu
  • Central government approved their inclusion in the list of Scheduled Tribes
Mukhota(mask)
  • A GPS based device coded in such a way that it alerts the fishermen nearing the coastal borders
  • Following frequent instances of fishing crews from Maharashtra and Gujarat being arrested for accidentally crossing international maritime boundaries, a Mumbai-based digital firm and an NGO have come up with a device that will send out an alert when they enter international waters.

 

Categories
FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News (FIN) : MAY 1 – MAY 15

Hello Everyone, Thank you all for your amazing response to our initiative named Facts in News (FIN). Your responses help us to perform better by everyday. As promised, we have compiled facts which were in news between MAY 1 – MAY 15. We have comprehensively covered the facts so that it would be beneficial to UPSC  IAS Civil Services exam as well as other exams like State PCS, SSC etc.

Write your views in comment section, and it will help us to prepare better with time.

[Facts in News]

Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgements
Pradhan Mantri
Ujjwala Yojana
  • To provide five crore LPG connections to women in Below Poverty Line (BPL) households over the next three financial years, at a cost of Rs. 8,000 crore.
  • The tagline for the scheme is Swachh Indhan, Behtar Jeevan
  • The scheme, launched at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016 passed
  • The Bill provides for transfer of mining leases
  • The also bill adds the definition of leased area as the area within which mining operations can be undertaken
  • The Bill amends the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Compensatory Afforestation Fund bill, 2015
  • Lok Sabha on 3 May 2016 passed the bill
  • It seeks to establish setting up of a National Compensatory Afforestation Fund and also a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund.
  • The bill paves the way for unlocking of nearly 41000 crore rupees earmarked for forest land which is lying unspent
Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 comes into force
  • Sets up in motion the process of making necessary operational rules and creation of institutional infrastructure for protecting the interests of consumers.
  • It also promotes the growth of real estate sector in an environment of trust, confidence, credible transactions and efficient and time bound execution of projects.
Monetary policy Committee (MPC)
  • Amendment to RBI act removes the power of the Governor of RBI of singularly setting up monetary policy
  • 6 member – deputy governor RBI(monetary policy), an officer nominated by RBI’s board, 3 members nominated by the government will be members
  • Governor will have a casting vote if there’s a tie
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Bill 2016
  • Rajya Sabha passed the bill
  • It is the biggest economic reform that will make easier to do business, the bill is to promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit as it is comprehensive and systemic reform, which will give a quantum leap to the functioning of the credit market.
  • Once the President gives accents the legislation the new bankruptcy law that will ensure time-bound settlement of insolvency and create a database of serial defaulters.
Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill 2015
  • Rajya Sabha passed the bill, it was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in August 2015
  • Amended Indian Trusts bill removes certain outdated clauses from the Indian Trusts Act, outlines the manner in which surplus funds of the trust may be invested for future use of the trust and regulates the functioning of private trusts and trustees.

 

National & International Events
International Labour Day
  • Celebration of laborers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labor movement, celebrated on May 1
  • The 2016 theme is “Celebrating the international labour movement”.
ADMM-Plus exercise
  • ADMM-Plus (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus) Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism (Ex MS & CT) started at Brunei on May 1, 2016.
  • Seeks to strengthen the strong bilateral ties and extensive maritime interactions between India and ASEAN countries.
India’s Single Emergency Number ‘112’
  • Will be active and operational on 1 january, 2017
  • All other emergency numbers will be phased out
  • It will also be accessible by those lines or SIMs whose outgoing service has been suspended or stopped
UN Zika Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF)
  • To finance unfunded priorities in the response to the Zika outbreak
  • Support the Zika Strategic Response Framework, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in consultation with UN agencies, partners and international epidemiological experts
Banaras Hindu University completes 100 years
  • Madan Mohan Malaviya founded Banaras Hindu University in 1916 to help promote the sustainable development, growth and eradication of poverty
  • It started functioning from 1st October, 1917 with the Central Hindu College as its first constituent College.
  • The University is one of the largest residential universities in Asia with over 20,000 students.

 

Economy and banking
Air Services Agreement
  • India and New Zealand have signed a landmark Air Services Agreement paving the way for introduction of direct flights between the two countries
  • It was opened with an aim to promote international air services between their respective territories.
Contactless credit card for SMEs
  • ICICI in association with Jet Airways launched for small and mid-sized enterprises and their employees
  • The card Debuted ‘Jet Airways ICICI Bank Business Advantage Card the co-branded credit card will help customers to save on their business expenses
  • A contactless smart card is a contactless 13.56-MHz credential whose dimensions are credit-card size
  • Contactless smart cards do contain read-only RFID called CSN (Card Serial Number) or UID, and a re-writeable smart card microchip that can be transcribed via radio waves.
  • Contactless smart cards can be used for identification, authentication, and data storage. They also provide a means of effecting business transactions in a flexible, secure, standard way with minimal human intervention.

 

Science and Technology
Catalytic convertor
  • An emissions control device that uses a catalyst to convert three harmful compounds(hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides) present in car exhaust into harmless compounds
  • The catalyst is a form of platinum and palladium
Fog bow
  • They are a rainbow’s colourless cousins
  • A fogbow is formed from sunlight interacting with water droplets contained in fog, mist or cloud rather than interacting with raindrops as it does in a classical rainbow.
  • Since the water droplets in fog are so small, fogbows have only weak colours or are colourless
Alloxan
  • A PIL in Madras High Court has alleged that Alloxan, a chemical, mixed with white(refined) flour  induces diabetes.
  • Alloxan is a toxic glucose analogue, which selectively destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas
  • It is banned by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI)
Noise net
  • Filling a controlled area with acoustic noise around an airfield
  • To prevent birds colliding with aircrafts
Why carrots are orange?
  • Daucus carota(wild carrot) now joins potato, cucumber, tomato and pepper whose complete genomes have been sequenced
  • Scientists in Paris unveiled the gene in carrots that gives rise to carotenoids, a critical source of Vitamin A and the pigment that turns some fruits and vegetables bright orange or red.
  • Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, a natural chemical that the body can transform into Vitamin A
  • Gene – DCAR_032551 – responsible for its defining bright orange color
  • Nyctalopia (night blindness) is one of the first signs of Vitamin A deficiency
Sea Harrier Fighters retired
  • The Indian Navy has retired the Sea Harrier fleet that operated from its aircraft carrier INS Viraat, and plans to replace them with MiG- 29Ks that India has bought from Russia
  • The Harriers heralded the beginning of the Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capability in the Navy i.e. their ability to take off vertically and hover midair like a helicopter.
  • It was a smooth transition for the Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS 300) or White Tiger
Nozzle Testing Laboratories (NTL)
  • Recently established at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
  • To carry out advanced R&D in the area of rocket nozzle. The nozzles up to Area Ratio (AR) 300 and more can be tested in the facility.
  • This NTL facility is the first of its kind in India to cater to a wide range of studies related to nozzles such as contour optimisation for large AR (Area Ratio) nozzles, flow separation, techniques for flow separation control, nozzle wall heat transfer.

 

Environment
Phobaeticus chani or Chan’s megastick

 

  • A bug over half a metre long discovered in southern China has been declared the world’s longest insect.
  • A stick insect measuring 62.4 centimetres found two years ago in the southern province of Guangxi has broken the record for length amongst the world’s 807,625 known insects
Ranganathittu Bird sanctuary
  • (Pakshi Kashi of Karnataka) is a bird sanctuary in the Mandya District, Karnataka
  • It is an important nesting and breeding ground for the thousands of bird species
  • The sanctuary is a home to streak-throated swallows, great stone plover, painted stork, Asian openbill stork, common spoonbill, woolly-necked stork, black-headed ibis, lesser whistling duck, Indian shag, stork-billed kingfisher, egret, cormorant, etc.

 

Persons in News ( Appointments, Awards , Deaths )
Neela Banerjee
  • Indian-American journalist Neela Banerjee and three of her colleagues from Inside-climate News – John Cushman Jr, David Hasemyer and Lisa Song – has won the prestigious 2016 Edgar A Poe award
  • The annual award by the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) honours journalistic work of national or regional significance.
Lokesh Chandra and Mansura Haider
  • Honoured with the “North Star”, Mongolia’s highest award
  • Awarded for their contribution to the development of friendly relations between India and Mongolia and promotion of Mongolian studies
Florence Nightingale Awards and International Nurses Day
  • These awards are given to the outstanding nursing personnel employed in Union, State/Union Territories.
  • Nurses working in government, voluntary organizations, mission institutions and the private institutions can apply with the due recommendation of concerned State Government.
  • The awards carry 50000 rupees cash prize, a certificate, a citation certificate and a Medal.
  • May 12 every year to commemorate the birthday of Florence Nightingale and to mark the nurses’ contributions towards public health.
  • May 12 is International Nurses Day
Udupi Ramachandra Rao
  • Former ISRO scientist and Professor will be honoured with the 2016 IAF Hall of Fame Award by the International Astronautical Federations
  • For his immense contribution to the progress of astronautics
  • Honour consists of a permanent gallery of these personalities, including a citation, biographical information and a picture
  • International space advocacy organisation headquartered in Paris, and founded in 1951
Greening Diplomacy Initiative Award
  • American mission in India has won the award
  • For its innovative approach to greening throughout the country
  • On each Earth Day, GDI Awards presented to recognise innovative leadership within the Department of State in energy and environmental diplomacy.

 

Places in News
Gujarat
  • Recently declared 10% reservation quota for Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) in general category for higher education and government jobs.
  • The new category would cover all upper castes whose family income does not exceed Rs 6 lakh per annum.
Andhra Pradesh
  • Andhra Pradesh Government has recently launched “Chandranna Bima Yojana
  • An insurance scheme for the working class people in Vijayawada
  • Under the scheme, about 1.5 crore workers in the state would be covered, by which Rs. 5 lakh would be paid if the insured worker met with an accidental death, Rs. 5 lakh in case of permanent disability and Rs. 3 lakh for partial disability
Seoni district in Madhya Pradesh
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited(BHEL)commissioned 600 Megawatts (MW) coal-based thermal power plant in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Apart from the newly commissioned project, Madhya Pradesh has two supercritical units of 800 MW for NTPC at Gadarwara which are being executed by BHEL
Karnataka
  • Asia’s first rice technology park in Gangavathi, Koppal district
  • Maize Technology Park at Ranebennur in Haveri district
  • For one stop shop for all solutions related to rice and maize growers
  • Established under public private participation

 

Miscellaneous
Maori people
  • The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand
  • The rubbing of nose is a traditional Maori greeting known as “hongi”
  • Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in New Zealand
Kalvari submarine
  • Indian Navy’s first indigenous Scorpene-class stealth submarine
  • INS Kalvari is also known as Tiger Shark (or S50)
  • Scheduled to be commissioned into the Navy in September
Manoranjitham
  • A mango variety which helps fight night blindness as it is high in Vitamin A
  • Found in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh
Green zone
  • Most common name for the International Zone of Baghdad
  • Was the governmental center of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remains the center of the international presence in the city
  • Contrasting Red Zone refers to parts of Baghdad immediately outside the perimeter, but was also loosely applied to all unsecured areas outside the off-site military posts
Contract Labour Payment Management System’
  • A portal of Coal India Limited (CIL) launched
  • Web portal will help the government to curb problems like corruption and exploitation of contractual workers by contractors. It will also help in providing proper and timely wages to contractual workers.
  • It is an integrated system for all subsidiaries of CIL
Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
  • Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) team’s detection of gravitational waves won the prize
  • The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics recognizes individuals who have made profound contributions to human knowledge.
  • It is open to all physicists which are theoretical, mathematical and experimental who are working on the deepest mysteries of the Universe
Exercise Malabar
  • Trilateral naval exercise involving the United States, Japan and India as permanent partners
  • Japan became a permanent partner of the exercise in 2015
  • The annual Malabar series began in 1992
  • Includes diverse activities, ranging from fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers, through Maritime Interdiction Operations Exercises
  • In 2015 it was held in Bay of Bengal
Exercise Red Flag
  • Joint exercise between US and IAF
  • Four-week Red Flag aerial combat exercises at Alaska in the U.S
  • This Exercise is a successor to the Cope Thunder exercise series also the main phase of the exercise had commenced on last month with a mix of combat and support elements from the IAF, US Air Force and US Navy
Zabol
  • An eastern Iranian city, has been ranked first among the most polluted cities in the world, rated by WHO
  • Based on readings of fine particulate pollution in the air (PM 2.5), the four Indian cities are among the world’s 10 most polluted cities. These are Gwalior (2nd), Allahabad (3rd), Patna (6th), and Raipur (7th).
  • The National Capital of India “New Delhi” has been ranked 11th among 3,000 cities in 103 countries in terms of PM 2.5 and 25th in terms of PM 10 (coarse pollution particles) levels. In 2014, New Delhi was ranked the most polluted city.
Electronic Maintenance Management System (e-MMS)
  • Indian Air Force has launched e-MMS Project
  • An automated military maintenance system which will ease the system by keeping paper works and heavy logbooks away
  • This system has a central console that seeks to seamlessly connect squadrons, wings, commands, and Air Headquarters after its implementation
  • The project has been designed and developed by the Bengaluru based IT major Wipro
Categories
FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News (FIN) : February 16 – February 29

Hello Everyone, Thank you all for your amazing response to our initiative named Facts in News (FIN). Your responses help us to perform better by everyday. As promised, we have compiled facts which were in news between February 16 – February 29. We have comprehensively covered the facts so that it would be beneficial to UPSC  IAS Civil Services exam as well as other exams like State PCS, SSC etc.

Write your views in comment section, and it will help us to prepare better with time.

[Facts in News]

Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgements
Section 3(d) of India’s Patent Act
  • Prevents evergreening of drug Patent.
  • Evergreening is done through minor modification of existing drug.
  • In news because government is about to announce its National Intellectual Property Right (IPR) Policy.
Swachh Paryatan Mobile App
  • Application to keep tourist places clean.
  • Launched by Tourism Ministry.
Aquifer Mapping
  • Scientific mapping of aquifer to assess groundwater situation.
  • Haryana would the first state to do this.
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU)
  • Approval for establishment of AIM and (SETU) in NITI Aayog.
  • Establishment of AIM and AIM Directorate would result in implementation of Mission activities in a focused manner.
  • The headquarter of the Mission will be New Delhi.
Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • To grant voting rights to people who became citizens of India following the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh.
  • Passed by Lok Sabha.
5/20 RULE
  • A rule in National Civil Aviation Policy made by Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, requires an airline to have 5 years of domestic flying experience and at least 20 aircrafts before it can fly to overseas destinations
Swachh Bharat ranking 2015
  • Mysuru retains the top position, Damoh (Madhya Pradesh) came at the bottom of 476
  • List releases by Ministry of Urban Development.
  • These rankings are based on the extent of open defecation and solid waste management practices in these cities

 

National & International Events
Satellite centre for ASEAN
  • ISRO will set up it in Vietnam.
  • As part of Space Cooperation between India and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
IBSAMAR (India Brazil South Africa Maritime) 2016
  • Trilateral naval exercise between India, Brazil and South Africa.
  • First time it is being held in India.
Asia Ministerial conference on Tiger Conservation
  • Will be hosted by India.
  • It will be the 3rd such conference.
International fund for agricultural development
  • Established in 1977 as the 13th Specialized Agency of the United Nations.
  • India is a founder member.
  • Dinesh Sharma has been unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Council of IFAD.
Chabahar Port
  • India and Iran had agreed to develop it in 2003.
  • Located in the Gulf of Oman.
  • Will help India to expand maritime commerce in the region.
  • Cabinet has approved credit for the development of it.
  • Often seen as a Indian counter strategy aginst China’s “String of Pearls”
World spice congress
  • 13th edition of it began in Ahmedabad
  • Theme: Target 2020: Clean, Safe and   Sustainable Supply Chain’.
  • Spices are the only Indian exports that control almost half of world trade in it kind
Guantanamo Bay
  • US Military prison.
  • Known for torture and detention.
  • In news because Obama has proposed a roadmap to close it
Gender park
  • India’s first Gender Park at Kozhikode inaugurated.
  • First of its kind gender equality convergence centre in Asia.
  • Initiative of the Social Justice Department of the Kerala Government.
  • Gender Park seeks to encourage women to take part in developmental and decision making process.
Train from China to Iran
  • Beijing led Belt and Road connectivity initiative along the new Silk Road.
  • A 14 day, 10,399 Kms. of distance, train from trading hub of Yiwu arrived in Tehran.
  • Drastically reduces the transit time from China to Iran (from Shanghai to port Bandar Abbas in Iran took 45 days).
Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav 2016
  • 12th edition at Japanese peace pagoda at Dhauli, Odisha.
  • A confluence of Indian dance forms, classical, folk or martial

 

Economy and banking
Bank Board Bureau(BBB)
  • BBB will be a super authority (Autonomous Body) of eminent professionals and officials for public sector banks (PSBs).
  • It will replace the Appointments Board of Government.
  • Former CAG Vinod Rai appointed as first chairman of it
Railway Budget
  • Theme of the Budget
  • To Reorganise, Restructure and Rejuvenate Indian Railways.
  • A new approach, a new way of working – “चलो, मिलकर कुछ नया करें”
  • 3 pillars of the strategy :
  • Nav Arjan or New revenues (focus on new sources of revenue),
  • Nav Manak or New norms (optimising outgo on each activity), and
  • Nav Sanrachna or New Structures (revisiting all processes, rules, and structures).
“Bad Bank” concept
  • Concept allows “government-supported” entity to buy bad loans from stressed banks at a fair price (discount price), such an entity will be responsible for the recovery of the debt.
  • It will help banks clean up their books and use their capital resources for funding the growth in credit needs.

 

Science and Technology
Li-Fi
  • Light Fidelity, a technology that uses light waves, instead of Radio Frequency, as medium to carry data.
  • RF spectrum is getting overpopulated
  • An improvised LED bulb functions as a router.
  • Li-Flame, world’s first true Li-Fi system, high speed wireless solution
RMAb (Rabies Human Monoclonal Antibody)
  • World’s first fast acting anti rabies drug.
  • To be launched in India.
  • Developed by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) and US-based MassBiologics of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
National Science Day
  • Feb 28 is celebrated as National Science Day.
  • Theme for year 2016 is “Scientific Issues for Development of the Nation”.
  • Day marks the discovery of Raman Effect by Indian physicist CV Raman.
INS Arihant
  • India’s first indigenously built nuclear armed submarine.
  • Passed deep sea test.
Ischemic disease
  • Condition that affects the blood supply to the heart.
  • Blood vessels are narrowed due to deposition of cholesterol.
ARM missile
  • Anti-Radiation Missile detects radiation or signal radars to destroy them.
  • DRDO waiting to start trials, will be mounted on Sukhoi (SU-30) and Tejas LCA(Light Combat Aircraft).
  • Range of the missile= 100-125 kilometers.
THAAD
  • Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, an anti missile system by the US.
  • China says US using nuclear issue as an excuse in talks with South Korea to place THAAD on North Korea’s doorstep
Bedaquiline
  • A drug used to treat Tuberculosis.
  • Used in the multi drug resistant tuberculosis.
  • On the WHO’s list of essential medicine.
  • Pilot testing only on patients with resistance of Rifampicin and Isoniazid (first line TB medicines) to start in few hospitals in India to see feasibility.
  • World TB day- 24 March.
CE20
  • Cryogenic Engine developed by Liquid Propulsion System Centre(LPSC) of ISRO at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
  • ISRO chairman= A.S.Kiran Kumar
  • (ISRO=Indian Space Research Organization)
Mini-Organs
  • American scientists have developed mini-organs that produce Insulin to normalize blood sugar in patients having diabetes.
SPINK1 gene
  • A gene which causes pancreatitis in Indians and other developing countries when it gets mutated.
  • Scientists from Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology(CCMB) analyzed various genes linked to pancreatitis.

 

Environment
Falcated Duck
  • A rare vagrant species sighted in Goa.
  • Classified as Near Threatened by IUCN.

 

Persons in News ( Appointments, Awards , Deaths )
Udai Kumar
  • Appointed as MD and CEO of Metropolitan stock Exchange of India (MSEI).
  • MSEI was formerly known as MCX-SX
  • It is India’s youngest and three stock exchange recognized by SEBI.
Amit Mitra
  • New Chairman of Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • Economist and former Secretary General of FICCI (a business industry association).
Amitava Bhattacharya, Bimal Julka and Divya Prakash Sinha
  • Newly appointed Information Commissioners in Central Information Commission (CIC).
Rajendra Singh
  • Appointed Director General of Coast Guard.
  • Becomes first DG from its own internal cadre.
  • Till now top post was only held by officers who were commissioned in the Indian Navy.
Prof. Saibaba
  • In prison on the charge of having Maoist links.
  • Suspended Delhi University Professor.
Soni Sori
  • Adivasi school teacher turned political leader from Bastar, Chhattisgarh.
  • Attacked with a chemical substance by unidentified people in Dantewada district.
Justice Vineet Saran
  • Appointed as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court.
K N Vyas
  • Appointed as director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
Amar Singh
  • Indian origin person appointed as police commissioner of Malaysia’s  Kuala Lumpur.
Gianni Infantino
  • Elected as new president of FIFA
  • Swiss national
Boutros Boutros Ghali
  • Former UN secretary General, died at 93.
  • Egyptian born, served UN chief from 1992-1996.
  • Nicknamed “The Pharaoh” for reorganizing bureaucracy in the UN
  • Backed by 10 Security Council members in 1996 led by African nations for a second five year term, but was vetoed by the United States.
Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan
  • Oldest performing musician of India, died at 107 from old age related ailments.
  • Oldest Padma Bhushan recipient, awarded in 2013.
  • Trained in Gwalior Gharana of Hindustani Classical music ( Khayal, Dhrupad, Dhamar, Thumri).
  • Poet under name of “Rasan Piya”
  • Descendant of Tansen (16th generation)
Kalikho Pul
  • Sworn in as new Arunachal Chief Minister after President’s rule was revoked.
Kajol
  • Appointed as part time member of Prasar Bharati Board.
  • PBB runs public broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR).
  • She’ll serve the board till Nov 2021.
Harper Lee

(1926-2016)

  • An American writer, died at age 89
  • Pulitzer prize the year after, for  ”To Kill A Mockingbird” in 1960.
Aryabhata Award
  • It is given by Astronautical Society of India.
  • Awarded to Ex-DRDO DG  Avinash Chander.
  • Award in recognition for his contribution to missile technology.
  • Famously is known as Agni man of India.
Global CSR Excellence & Leadership Award
  • Hyderabad-based GVK Biosciences (GVK BIO).
  • For its Go Green, Grow Green plantation drive under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.
Ottaal
  • Malayalam film won Crystal Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival.
  • Ottaal means “The Trap

 

Places in News
Woody island
  • Island part of Parcels chain under Chinese control for 40 years.
  • Also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.

 

Miscellaneous
Top Arms Importer
  • India is at the top.
  • Accounts for 14% of global arm import between 2011-15.
  • Revealed by report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
Pakistan’s Parliament
  • First parliament building in world to run completely on solar power.
  • Known as Majlis-e-shoora in Urdu.
Digital state
  • Kerala is declared as first digital state.
  • Has achieved 100 percent mobile connectivity, 75 percent e-literacy, maximum digital banking, broadband connectivity upto the Panchayat level, linking bank accounts with Aadhar cards and e-district plan in all districts.
International Mother Language Day(IMLD)
  • 21st Feb, announced by UNESCO
  • To promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
  • “Ekushey” means 21st in Bengali.
IP Code
  • International Protection Marking.
  • Classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures.

 

Categories
FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News (FIN) : February 1 – February 15

Hello Everyone, Thank you all for your amazing response to our initiative named Facts in News (FIN). Your responses help us to perform better by everyday. As promised we have compiled facts which were in news between February 1 – February 15. We have comprehensively covered the facts so that it would be beneficial to UPSC  IAS Civil Services exam as well as other exams like State PCS, SSC etc.

Write your views in comment section, and it will help us to prepare better with time.

[Facts in News]

 

Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgements
Strategic storage of oil
  • Underground storages are being built at Mangalore, Visakhapatnam and Padur
  • To guard against global price shocks
  • Adnoc(Abu Dhabi National oil company) has agreed to store crude oil in it
Gokul Gram yojana
  • Community development programme designed to educate milk producers
  • Punjab government has launched an extensive mission to develop pure breed of the ‘Sahiwal’ cattle under this yojana
Bharat Net project
  • Project to connect all India’s households, particularly rural areas, through broadband by 2017.
  • It will be backbone of “Digital India Programme”
  • PPP model used to implement the project.
Swachh Bharat Mission
  • Solid waste management is one of key feature of it
  • It has been made mandatory for fertilizer company to buy compost that is extracted from municipal solid waste
Child surrogacy
  • In a verdict, Bombay High court directed the Central Railways to grant 180 days of maternity leave to a woman who had a child through surrogacy.
Visa on Arrival
  • No waiting time to travel to India
  • Only business and conference VIsa seekers are allowed right now
  • Categories like research and medical are “not” allowed right now
  • 113 countries citizens can get Visa on Arrival facility

 

National & International Events
Historic Meeting
  • Pope Francis and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba.
  • It could be a historic step towards healing the 1,000-year-old rift between the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity.
India – Bangladesh:

Maritime cooperation

  • India and Bangladesh signed a Standard Operating Procedure(SOP) to operationalise the agreement on coastal shipping
  • China had earlier offered to develop the Chittagong port and India sees it as encircling by China under its”String of Pearls” strategy
India-Thailand Maritime cooperation
  • Joint task force meeting to deepen maritime and defence cooperation, ocean safety, disaster management and anti terror drills
MAKE IN INDIA week
  • Organised from 13-18th February in Mumbai
  • Showcasing the potential of design, innovation and sustainability across India’s manufacturing sectors in the coming decade. A week that will spark a renewed sense of pride in India’s manufacturing – and take corporate and public participation to the next level.
Trafficking in Persons (TIP) conclave
  • Held in siliguri, West Bengal government has decided to set up a central nodal agency to  fight against human trafficking
Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2016
  • Showcases the richness and diversity of Handicrafts, Handlooms and Cultural heritage of the country
  • It’s the 30th year of the mela, held for 15 fifteen days
  • 23 countries will participate this year.
  • China and Japan will be the “focus countries
SCOPE
  • Standing Conference Of Public Enterprises.
  • An international conference summit was held jointly with ILO, titled ”Reinventing HR”
  • U.D.Choubey is Director General of SCOPE
Trans Pacific Partnership
  • A US led free trade deal in Asia-Pacific
  • 12 countries signed the agreement in feb 2016
  • China not part of the agreement
Sino-India cooperation 2016
  • First joint tactical exercise in border(Chushul-Moldo) area
  • Previously joint exercise was conducted in Sikkim
  • Part of ongoing initiatives for better cooperation
Cobra Gold
  • An Asia Pacific multilateral amphibious exercise held in Thailand every year
Nuclear compensation
  • India ratified the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage(CSC)
  • CSC allows for increasing the compensation amount in the event of nuclear incident

 

Economy and banking
Currency Swap agreement
  • Foreign exchange derivative between two institutions to exchange the principal and/or interest payments of a loan in one currency for equivalent amounts, in net present value terms, in another currency
  • Recently there is currency swap agreement between RBI and UAE’s central Bank
NSEL(National stock Exchange Limited) and FTIL(Financial Technologies India Limited) to merge
  • This is the first time that the government has ordered a merger between two private entities under Section 396 of The Companies Act, 1956
  • NSEL  was embroiled in a Rs.5,600 crore settlement scam in July 2013

 

Science and Technology
Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO)
  • Detected Gravitational waves from space
  • It is in US
Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM)
  • A low cost Indian satellite still orbiting Mars beyond its mission time
  • NASA, Mars society Australia and Birbal Sahni institute will travel to ladakh to study topography and microbial life
  • Collaboration with France for a second Mars mission
CERN
  • European Organization for nuclear research, houses the large hadron collider.
  • Has succeeded in showing atom of anti-Hydrogen is charged neutral
Novus Drive
  • A 14 seater battery powered driverless shuttle
  • “Robotic Systemz” manufactured Novus at their Gurgaon facility
  • The homegrown vehicle has a range of 150Kms in a single charge.
Aerogel
  • Lightest solid material known to man
  • Finest insulation material
  • It has super high oil absorption capacity
  • Singapore scientists have successfully converted paper waste into green cellulose aerogels which are light, non toxic and flexible.
Cancer treatment
  • Scientists in the US are using empty Hepatitis E virus shell to transfer anti cancer vaccine and drugs in the body to treat cancer or other illness
CRISPr
  • Clustered Regularly Inter Spaced Short Palindromic Repeats
  • Have resistance to foreign genetic elements and provides a form of acquired immunity
  • Ethical debates have arisen in changing DNA sequence related  unborn human babies
Hyperloop
  • A transportation concept by Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla motors.
  • Pods will have 20-30 people, which would travel in tubes at speeds of about 1127 Kms per hour.
Drishti RVR
  • An indigenously developed Runway Visual Range system
  • Beneficial in the severest of the fog
Aditya-L1
  • A mission to study the Sun sanctioned, likely  to be launched 2019-2020 on PSLV
  • L1 is lagrangian point in an orbit where the gravitational pulls of Earth and Sun don’t affect the spacecraft
  • Aditya has been designed by ADCOS, a multi faculty body of ISRO, which also designed the 2008 Chandrayaan I and 2013 Mars Orbiter Mission
Project Loon
  • Project of Google to provide internet connectivity to rural and remote areas
  • It will use helium filled balloons to provide connectivity to provide to an area of 40 Kms in diameter at 4G speeds.
  • Google is hoping to launch it India  

 

Environment
Raorshestas Travancorius
  • A rare and endemic frog species found in Kerala
  • Its was reported as extinct but now has been found again from the Periyar Tiger Reserve
CORAL
  • COral Reef Airborne Laboratory, a NASA 3 year airborne experiment
  • To survey the conditions of major coral reefs through remote sensing
  • Portable remote imaging spectrometer(PRISM) will be deployed measure optically, area covered by the reef and the reef productivity
World Wetlands Day
  • 2nd feb marks the signing of Convention on wetlands, called Ramsar Convention.
  • Theme this year is “ Wetlands for our future- Sustainable Livelihood”
Black Necked Cranes
  • Kashmir’s Endangered and vulnerable lovebirds
  • Its number has gone up
Tiger census Report
  • Karnataka tops the chart with 406 Tigers
  • Half of these tigers is in Bandipur and Nagarhole National Park

 

Persons in News ( Appointments, Awards , Deaths )
Hanumanthappa Koppad
  • Was Lance Naik in Indian Army
  • Rescued from 35 feet beneath the snow in  -45°C temperature, six days after an avalanche hit an Indian Army post in Siachen
  • But died of multiple organ failure
D.J.Pandian
  • Appointed as one of the five Vice-Presidents of the newly established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB)
  • Designation of Chief Investment Officer(CIO) to focus on infrastructure in Asia
  • He was former bureaucrat with the Govt. of Gujarat
Archana Ramasundaram
  • First woman to head a paramilitary force(SSB)
  • 1980 batch IPS of Tamil Nadu cadre
  • Currently special Director NCRB
Afroz begum and Jahan Ara
  • First women Qazis of Rajasthan
Harinder Sandhu
  • Australia’s new High Commissioner to India
  • She is of Indian Origin
Sudhir Tailang
  • A well known cartoonist, died at 55 of brain tumour
  • A Padma Shri awardee,2004, for contribution to the art of cartooning
Asad Rauf
  • Umpire from Pakistan
  • Banned by BCCI on charges of corruption and misconduct in relation to IPL spot fixing scandal
O.N.V Kurup
  • Malayalam poet died recently
  • Recipient of Jnanpith award and Padma Vibhushan
Edgar D. Mitchell
  • A NASA astronaut, Sixth man to set foot on the moon, died.
  • Space mission- Apollo 14
  • Died 1 day before his 45th anniversary of moon landing in 1971
Prashant Kishore
  • An Indian political strategist and advisor to Chief Minister of Bihar on Policies and Program Implementation
  • Public Health expert by training and had formerly worked with the United Nations
Rohith Vemula
  • Dalit Research scholar of University of Hyderabad
  • He committed suicide
Justice(retd.) Sanjay Mishra
  • Appointed lokayukta of U.P,succeeding justice(retd.) N.K.Mehrotra, who held the post since 2006
  • He has retired from the Allahabad high court
Sanjeev Rajput
  • A shooting sportsperson qualified in the Asia Olympic shooting competition
  • He will now join shooters who will represent India in RIO Olympics
Leslie Bassett
  • Pulitzer winning composer died recently
Dhirendra Hiralal Waghela
  • Appointed as new Chief Justice of Bombay High court
  • Was previously Chief Justice of Orissa High court and Karnataka High court
Nida Fazli
  • Noted Urdu poet died of heart attack at 78
  • He was awarded Padma shri in 2013

 

Places in News
Bhojshala
  • Due to the claim on the disputed  structure here by both Hindus and Muslims, it has come to be known as ‘mini-Ayodhya’
  • It is in Madhya Pradesh
Bar Simaluguri
  • Northeast’s first Smart village
  • It is along Indo-Bhutan border, in Baksa district of Assam
  • It is done under aegis of Nanda Talukdar Foundation (NTF)
Loyola College,Chennai
  • Gives preferential option for the poor and Dalits in admissions and appointments

 

Books, Movies, Literature etc.
TITLI movie
  • Won Best first foreign film award
  • Conferred by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics(FSCC) 2016
  • Directed by Kanu Behl

 

Sports
ICC under-19  world cup
  • West Indies won the series
  • Defeated India in the final
South Asian Games
  • 12th version of South Asian Games
  • “Tikhor” , a playful rhino is the mascot of the games
  • “Peace,Prosperity and Progress”, motto of the games
  • Ghosal took oath on behalf of participating athletes

 

Miscellaneous
GreenSignal Bio Pharma Pvt. Ltd.
  • An Indian company accorded PQP(prequalification of medicines programme) certification from WHO
  • PQP certification helps to participate in the global immunization programme
Intellectual property Index
  • By US
  • chamber of commerce Index is based on 30 criteria critical to innovation like patent, copyright, trademark protection, etc
  • India ranked 37 among 38 countries
National Legal Services Authority(NALSA)
  • Provides free legal services to weaker sections of the society, constituted in 1995
  • Union Govt. will extend Rs.148 crore to help provide free legal services to those who cannot afford
World Cancer Day
  • Feb 4, an international day founded by the Union for International Cancer Control(UICC)
  • Aims to raise awareness of cancer, encourage prevention, detection and treatment.
Araku Coffee
  • Araku valley is a hill station in Andhra Pradesh famous for coffee plantations
  • Premium organic “Araku Emerald” brand sells globally
Nada Kushti
  • A traditional form of wrestling of Mysore
  • “Garadis”- traditional wrestling gymnasiums
  • Vajramusthi Kalaga- Fist fighting
Beyond the Body
  • An international publication with black and white pictures of two wrestlers in a Garadi
  • Tomasz Gudzowaty- a renowned Polish photographer
  • Edited by Nan Goldin- a well known American photojournalist
Geographical Indication(GI)
  • A place name used to identify the origin, quality or reputation
  • Indian Basmati rice is set to get GI tag
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015
  • Vinita Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, and Nilesh Gupta, Managing Director, Lupin Ltd.

 

Categories
FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News (FIN) : January 16 – January 31

Hello Everyone, Thank you all for your amazing response to our initiative named Facts in News (FIN). Your responses help us to perform better by everyday. As promised, we have compiled facts which were in news between January 16 to January 31. We have comprehensively covered the facts so that it would be beneficial to UPSC  IAS Civil Services exam as well as other exams like State PCS, SSC etc.

Write your views in comment section, and it will help us to prepare better with time.

[Facts in News]

 

Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgements
Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016
passed by Parliament
  • Bill aims to empower the Election Commission to carry out delimitation of constituencies in areas that were affected by the enactment of the Constitution (100th Amendment) Act, 2015
  • Under the 2015 Act, enclaves were exchanged between India and
    Bangladesh
‘Start-up India, Stand-up India
  • Startup India campaign is based on an action plan aimed at promoting bank financing for start-up ventures to boost entrepreneurship and encourage start ups with jobs creation.
  • Stand up India” scheme, aimed at providing credit to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, and women borrowers intended to promote entrepreneurship and will involve loans ranging from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 1 crore.
Reservation for women
  • Bihar government approves 35% job reservation for women in government jobs.
Giriputrika Kalyana Pathakam Scheme
  • By Andhra Pradesh government.
  • To support tribal women in their quest for livelihood.
National Conference on e-governance
  • 19th edition held in Nagpur.
  • Organized by Department of Administrative Reforms and public grievances (DARPG)
Sahaj Scheme
  • For online booking of LPG cylinder.
  • Launched as part of Government’s 2016 year of the consumer initiative
Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act 2015
  • The amendment act has more stringent provisions for prevention of atrocities against SC and ST.
  • Came into force from 26th January 2016.
  • New offences of atrocities like tonsuring of head, moustache, or similar acts which are derogatory to the dignity of members of STs & SCs 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
  • Establishment of Exclusive Special Courts to enable speedy and expeditious disposal of cases.

 

National & International Events
Sahyog-Kaijin 2016
  • Bilateral exercise between India and Japan.
  • Exercise is a part of the cooperative arrangements between two Coast Guards for the last 15 years
US-Iran
  • US has removed wide range of nuclear sanction against Iran.
  • Because Iran has met its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) or Vienna agreement with P5+1 countries signed in July 2015.
  • P5+1(US, Russia, UK, France, China and Germany
India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference
  • Fourth Edition held in New Delhi.
  • Aims at enhancing greater co-operation between India and African Continent in the field of Hydrocarbons.
Arab India co-operation Forum
  • First meeting held in Manama, capital of Bahrain.
  • Provides platform to India to reach out of west Asian Nations.
India-Armenia
  • Signed protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance convention (DTAC) to curb tax evasion.

 

Economy and banking
SBI InCube
  • SBI launched dedicated specialized branch for startups in Bangalore.
  • Will cater to the financial needs by providing advisory services to the budding entrepreneurs.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
  • Formally opened by Chinese President XI Jinping.
  • Chairman of Bank’s council-Lou Jiwei (FM of china).
  • President- Jin Liqun (Former FM of China).
  • Headquarter is in Beijing.
  • India is the second largest shareholder after China
RV Easwar committee
  • Expert committee to simplify income tax laws
  • Headed by justice (retired) RV Easwar
IMF Reforms
  • More voting rights to India, China, Brazil and Russia.
  • India’s voting right increased to 2.6% from 2.3%.

 

Science and Technology
Akash Missile
  • Mid range surface to air missile.
  • Indigenously developed by DRDO.
  • Successfully fired at Chandipur in odisha.

 

Environment
New bird Species
  • Named Himalayan Forest Thrush has been discovered in Northeastern India
  • It is only fourth new bird species to be discovered in India after Independence

 

Persons in News ( Appointments, Awards , Deaths )

Karl Deisseroth

 

  • Winner of life science breakthrough prize for 2016.
  • Featured speaker of sixth annual cell press-TNQ India distinguished lectureship series.
Tsai Ing-wen
  • Elected as first female President of Taiwan.
Sathyabhama Das Biju
  • Popularly known as frogman of India.
  • He has discovered a new genus of tree hole-breeding frogs named Frankie Xalus in the forests of northeast India and bordering parts of China.
Atulesh Jindal
  • IRS officer appointed chairman of CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes
Pandit Shankar Ghosh
  • Well known Tabla Player.
  • Followed Farukhabad Gharana of Hindustani classical music.
  • Died recently.
Marvin Minsky
  • Pioneer of artificial intelligence.
  • Died recently.
Lala Lajpat Rai
  • Freedom fighter popularly Known as Punjab Kesari.
  • Established DAV Schools.
  • On 28th January 2016, 150th Birth Anniversary is being celebrated.
Krishi Karman Award 2014-15
  • To reward best performing states in foodgrain production.
  • Madhya Pradesh has been awarded in category of maximum foodgrain production for 4th consecutive year.
K Veeramani Social Justice award
  • Instituted by US-based Periyar International
  • An organisation of non-resident followers of Dalit icon Periyar EV Ramasami.
  • Conferred to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar
Yash Chopra Memorial Award
  • Annual award for outstanding contribution to film industry
  • Actress Rekha has been conferred award this year

 

Places in News
Sikkim
  • It became India’s fully organic state
  • It successfully implemented organic farming practices on around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land.
Ranchi
  • India’s Largest and tallest Tricolor hoisted at Ranchi.
  • Till now Faridabad (Haryana) had raised the tallest National Flag.
Free Public Wi-Fi at Mumbai Central Railway Station
  • Google India and Indian Railways Telecom arm RailTel has launched it.

 

Miscellaneous
World’s largest Rice Exporter
  • India overtook Thailand as World’s Largest Rice Exporter.
National Voter’s Day
  • Commemorates foundation day of Election Commission of India
  • Came into existence on 25th January 1950.
  • Celebrated 6th voter’s Day.
  • Theme: Inclusive and qualitative participation.
National Family Health Survey(NFHS) 4
  • Large scale multi round survey.
  • Conducted in a representative sample of household .
  • Done under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • Sex ratio in many states has decreased.
  • Literacy rate has increased.

 

 

Categories
FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News (FIN) : January 1 – January 15

Hello Everyone, Thank you all for your amazing response to our initiative named Facts in News (FIN). Your responses help us to perform better by everyday. As promised, we have compiled facts which were in news between January 1 to January 15. We have comprehensively covered the facts so that it would be beneficial to UPSC  IAS Civil Services exam as well as other exams like State PCS, SSC etc.

Write your views in comment section, and it will help us to prepare better with time.

[Facts in News]

 

Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgements
Direct
Benefit Transfer (DBT) of kerosene subsidy
  • Introduced in eight states: Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • In order to incentivize implementation of DBT, states will be provided with cash incentive of 75% of subsidy savings during the first two years, 50% in the third year and 25% in the fourth year.
Smart City Challenge competition
  • Government declared 20 cities as winners out of 98 total
  • Starting from 2016-17, these cities will be provided with central assistance of Rs 200 crore in the first year followed by Rs 100 crore
    each year for the next three years
  • Rank 1 was Bhubaneshwar followed by Pune and Jaipur, last was Bhopal
  • These 20 cities have proposed an investment of Rs 50,802 crore over five years with Public Private-Partnership as a major vehicle for
    resource mobilisation.
National Family Health Survey released
  • The survey is the fourth round of the NFHS series and covers 13 states and two union territories
  • The survey includes information regarding the health, nutrition and population in these states

 

National & International Events
Sahyog-Kaijin 2016
  • Indo -Japanese coast guard joint exercise in the Bay of Bengal
  • Held once in two years, venue shifts on alternate occasions between India and Japan for the last fifteen years
“China Tourism Year” in India 2016
  • A cultural exchange initiative by the two countries
  • Anhui Huangmei Opera theatre performs in New Delhi organized by China National Tourism Administration(CNTA)
  • Show titled “Goddess Marriage”, a love story between mortal and immortal
  • “India Tourism Year” In China was in 2015

 

Science and Technology
NAG missile
  • Indigenously built anti tank missile, 4kms range, uses infrared seeker
  • Uses HEAT(high explosive anti tank) to destroy armored protection by nullifying their ERA(explosive reactive armor)
Nisin
  • A colourless tasteless powder added to food as preservatives
  • Fights bacteria, used as sanitizer in lactating cows
  • In the news because  researchers in USA found it to treat cancer and antibiotic resistant bacteria
CIRB Gaurav, Hisar, Haryana
  • Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes has produced a cloned buffalo offspring
  • CIRB becomes world’s third and India’s second to produce cloned buffalo
Diglycerides
  • A chemical which provides as much energy as Triglycerides but not stored as fat
  • Called as “anti-obesity” cooking oil
Gigantopithecus
  • Largest ape to roam earth
  • Died 1,00,000 years ago due to various reasons related to food
Designer alloys
  • Matters with well defined properties created by chemical induced reaction
Perihelion
  • Any planet, asteroid or comet which comes closest to the Sun, that point in that orbit is called perihelion(opposite= Aphelion)
Time Scale Technique
  • A technique to measure the pull of gravity at the surface of distant stars
  • Being used in finding life on the planets revolving around distant stars
Vermicomposting
  • Plant, animal, vegetable waste is converted into 100% organic material by use of earthworms
  • Rich in organic Carbon, worm mucus, enzymes, NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium)
  • Nutrients in vermicompost are easily absorbed by the roots of the plants

 

Environment
Kangayam
  • A type of Bull breeds.
  • Young Bulls are used in Jallikattu and Rekla race in Tamil Nadu
Snowflake coral
  • An invasive species of coral found near the coast of Trivandrum
  • Known to inhabit reefs, metals and even plastic
  • It crowds out the area and dominates the space and other marine organisms

 

Persons in News ( Appointments, Awards , Deaths )
Ilaiyaraja
  • Music maestro selected for Kerala tourism’s Nishagandhi Puraskaram 2016
  • 72 year old  will be awarded at Nishagandhi annual dance and music festival
  • For his artistic excellence and contribution to Indian music film industry
  • Award carries a purse of Rs.1,50,000, a citation and a statute
Shyam Benegal
  • Head of a committee (for censor board-CBFC) to suggest best practices and to help the board members understand the films better when certifying the films
  • Committee constituted by the Union Information and Broadcast Ministry
Sarosh Homi Kapadia
  • 38th Chief Justice of India, died in Mumbai at 68
  • He was the first Parsi Chief Justice of India
  • Most notable verdict was the Vodafone Tax verdict
Sandeep Pandey
  • Removed on charges of being a “Naxalite” and engaging in  “anti-national” activities and screening a banned documentary
  • He was a visiting faculty in department of chemical engineering at the IIT-BHU
  • He is a Magsaysay award winner
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
  • Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister died due to multiple organ failure
  • He served twice as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
Amitabh Kant  
  • Appointed as Chief Executive officer of the NITI Aayog
  • He is 1980 batch, Kerala cadre, IAS officer
Urjit Patel
  • Re-appointed as deputy Governor of RBI for a second term
K.S.Bhagavan
  • Lifetime achievement award for 2013 by Karnataka Sahitya Academy
  • A rational thinker, he received threats from right wing groups for his controversial remarks about Hindu epics
David Bowie
  • An American iconic singer, died at 69 due to cancer
J.F.R Jacob
(1923-2016)
  • A lieutenant General, one of  the heroes of 1971 war with Pakistan, died at 92
  • Was Governor of Goa and Punjab after retirement of the Army in 1978
  • Started his career in British Indian Army

 

Places in News
Ganga Sagar Mela
  • Annual six day fair at the Sagar island, one among the cluster of islands south of 24 parganas district, West Bengal
  • The Ganga Sagar Mela will be declared Green Mela this year
Sabarimala
  • Hindu pilgrimage centre located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve in western ghats in Kerala
  • In the news because PET(plastic) a polluter will now be banned by intervention of Kerala High Court
  • Western ghats is a biodiversity hotspot
Chandragiri fort
  • In the new because it will host 545th birth anniversary of the famous Vijayanagara emperor, Shri Krishnadevaraya from Feb 14 to Feb 16
Mission Bhageeratha
  • The drinking water project of the Telangana state
  • In the news because 1700 hectares of land has to be acquired, which means the forest rights of scheduled tribes and other communities have to be negotiated
Bhogali Bihu
  • Harvest festival of Assam
  • People organize community fishing and feasts
  • People spent their night dancing and singing in mejis(temporary shelters made of straw)
Alstom
  • French transportation equipment maker, providing metro coaches for Kochi Metro project, Kerala

 

Miscellaneous
Azad Bachpan ki Aur
  • Book by Kailash Satyarthi
  • He is a Nobel prize winner for Peace
Towards a World of Equals
  • A book on gender equality introduced on pilot basis in engineering colleges, book is affiliated to JNTU-Hyderabad
  • Telangana has become first state to introduce compulsory gender education at the graduate level
“China -India Dialogue”
  • India centric monthly publication in China by China International Publication Group(CIPG)
Raagam
  • A 24×7 national TV channel by Prasar Bharti, airing Carnatic and Hindustani music, will be launched on 26 January
    Will be on webcast and DTH also
“The Revenant” At 73rd Golden Globe Awards
1.    Best Drama2.    Best Actor(Leonardo diCaprio)
3.    Best Director(Alejandro G.Inarritu)
“Mozart in the Jungle” At 73rd Golden Globe Awards
1.    Best comedy series
2.    Best actor in comedy series(Gael Garcia Bernal)
“The Martian”
  • Best Motion picture comedy or musical award
Gavi       
  • The Vaccine Alliance, founder- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Gavi pledged $500 million in helping Govt. of India in its immunization program
  • CEO of Gavi- Seth Berkley
Slum Museum
  • World’s first Slum museum in Dharavi,Mumbai, Asia’s biggest slum, it is a small mobile museum
  • Pottery, textiles and recycled items displayed
Army day
  • 68th Army day on 15th January 2016
  • Celebrated to commemorate the day when General K.M.Cariappa became the first commander in chief of the Indian Army after Independence

 

 

Categories
FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News (FIN) : April 15 – April 30

Hello Everyone, Thank you all for your amazing response to our initiative named Facts in News (FIN). Your responses help us to perform better by everyday. Hereby, we have compiled facts which were in news between April 15 to April 30. We have comprehensively covered the facts so that it would be beneficial to UPSC  IAS Civil Services exam as well as other exams like State PCS, SSC etc.

Write your views in comment section, and it will help us to prepare better with time.

[Facts in News]

Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgments
Report of Committee on Taxation of E-Commerce
  • Committee was Chaired by Mr. Akhilesh Ranjan.
  • It was established under Ministry of Finance.
    Key Recommendations:
    1) MNCs are in advantage position than domestic companies.
    2) MNCs have more tax exemption than domestic companies, therefore domestic companies are unable to compete with them.
Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016
  • It has been Released by Ministry of Urban Development.
  • These laws provide standards to regulate the architectural and construction specifications of a building (such as area, height, etc.).
  • These standards serve to protect buildings against any hazards (fire, earthquakes, structural failures, etc.).
  • The model bye-laws will act as guidelines for state and city governments that do not have their own buildings bye-laws.
  • The last model bye-laws were released in 2004.
Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015
  • Passed by Parliament to replace the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.
  • The Act established a Bureau for the purpose of standardization, marking and certification of articles and processes.
  • The Bill broadens this ambit to include goods, services, and systems, and provide for the mandatory hallmarking of precious metal articles.
National Waterways Bill, 2015
  • It has been passed by Parliament.
  • Currently there are five inland waterways that are declared as national waterways under five different National Waterways Acts.
  • This Bill repealed these five Acts, and brought these national waterways under its purview.
  • The Bill identifies 101 additional waterways as national waterways.
  • The Constitution enables the central government to make laws on shipping on inland waterways that are classified as national waterways.
Sikh Gurdwaras
(Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • Bill to amend a 91-year-old law to exclude Sehajdharis from voting in the elections to Sikh religious bodies
  • Was passed by the Lok Sabha more than a month after Rajya Sabha approved it.
Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015
  • It has been passed by the Parliament amending the Carriage by Air Act, 1972.
  • The Act regulates carriage by air and gives effect to the Warsaw Convention, 1929, and the Montreal Convention, 1999.
  • The Act also extends these provisions to domestic travel, subject to exceptions and adaptations.
  • The Montreal Convention establishes airline liability in the case of death, injury, or delay to passengers or in cases of delay, damage, or loss of baggage and cargo.
The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016
  • It has been passed by the Lok Sabha to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
  • The Act regulates the mining sector in India and specifies requirements for obtaining and granting leases for mining operations.
Draft Coffee Bill, 2016
  • It has been released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on March 23, 2016.
  • The draft Bill seeks to replace the Coffee Act, 1942.
  • The Act established a Coffee Board to control the marketing of all the coffee produced in India and regulate its sale in the domestic and international markets.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
  • The scheme aims to provide free LPG (cooking gas) connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households.
  • It also aims to ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in India and to protect women’s health (from unclean cooking fuel).
  • Under the scheme, Rs 8,000 crore has been allocated to provide five crore LPG connections to BPL households.
  • An amount of Rs 1,600 will be provided for each LPG connection to a BPL household.
  • The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the state governments.
  • The scheme will be implemented over a period a three years (from 2016-17 to 2018-19).
Twitter Sewa
  • The Union government will launch a new service “Twitter Seva” on April 21, 2016 to address various queries of startups in a time-bound manner. In it, any startup which wants to access government irrespective of any department, they can (put their queries).
Mobility scheme
  • Addressing relocation issue of women scientists
  • Department of Sci and Tech.(Ministry of Sci & Tech) has structures all women specific programmes under one umbrella known as “KIRAN(Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing)
National & International Events
NAVIC
  • Navigation with Indian Constellation
  • India’s own navigation system
  • (7th and final satellite IRNSS-1G was launched completing the constellation)
  • ISRO will now work designing front end chips
  • PM Modi explained it was dedicated to mariners and fishermen(naviks) who have been navigating using sun and stars for many years
Sahapedia
  • Online encyclopedia on History, arts and culture
  • Sahapedia is a not-for-profit society headed by former TCS chairman S. Ramadorai, who currently helms the National Skill Development Agency
Vasant Vyakhyanmala
  • 142nd edition in Pune
  • lectures on topics, including politics, governance, history, infrastructure, music, literature and healthcare given by various speakers
  • brainchild of reformer-scholar Justice M.G. Ranade, who hit upon the idea of educating the people on a gamut of topics in 1875 when newspapers were still nascent
  • Visionaries like Justice Ranade and Lokmanya Tilak sensed the importance of educating the people so as to galvanise them against the British Raj.
The 6th edition of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Ministerial Process 2016
  • A regional conference, will be held in New Delhi on April 26, 2016.
  • The conference was established in 2011 to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbors.
Shatrujeet
  • Indian army’s exercise at Bikaner to fine tune country’s war strategy.
Economy and banking
Extended Fund Facility(EFF)
  • When a country faces serious medium-term balance of payments problems because of structural weaknesses that require time to address, the IMF can assist with the adjustment process under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
  • $1.5 billion provided to Sri lanka through 3 year long EFF
Income Tax data made public after 15 years
  • For transparency and informed policy making
  • Data shows direct tax collection has fallen in the last five years
  • 1% of people who declared in assessment year 2012-13 accounted for 20% of taxable income
  • 5% of the companies accounted for 94% of taxable income
  • India had first started publishing its income tax statistics in 1961
Science and Technology
EMALS technology
  • Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launch System
  • An aircraft catapult which the Navy might buy from the US to use it on its ships
Traditional Medicine and Homeopathy with Mauritius
  • Mauritius India and Mauritius has recently signed MoU to promote cooperation in the field of Traditional Medicine and Homoeopathy.
  • It envisages exchange of experts, supply of traditional medicinal substances, joint research and development and recognition of the traditional systems of health and medicine in both countries.
Subterranean arsenic removal (SAR) technology
  • aerated groundwater is recharged back into the aquifer to create an oxidation zone which can trap iron and arsenic on the soil particles through adsorption process
  • No chemicals are used and almost no sludge is produced during operational stage since iron and arsenic compounds are rendered inactive in the aquifer itself
Environment
Nilgiri Tahr
  • An “Endangered” mountain goat
  • Endemic to Western ghats
Quoll
  • An “endangered” furry marsupial
  • The quoll is a carnivorous marsupial native to mainland Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania.
  • A distinctive characteristic, common to many species, is that most of the young are carried in a pouch
International Mother Earth Day
  • The International Mother Earth Day is observed every year on April 22 to raise awareness among humans that they have a collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature and to balance the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations.
  • The 2016 theme is ‘Trees for the Earth’
Nandankanan Zoological Park
  • Nandankanan Zoological Park is a 400-hectare zoo and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
  • First zoo in India to join World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009
  • In the news because an elephant calf died of heat stroke
New reef system discovered
  • Discovered at the mouth of Amazon river
  • (Amazon river is the largest by volume)
Black-necked crane
  • Grus nigricollis is a medium-sized crane in Asia that breeds on the Tibetan Plateau and winters mainly in remote parts of India and Bhutan
  • Rated as ‘Vulnerable’
  • Rs. 6400 crore hydro power project in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh has been put into suspension because of threat to this crane.
Art and Culture
Domahi festival
  • Domahi or Domasi is popular harvesting festival of Kamrup and eastern Goalpara regions of Western Assam.
  • Festivals marks the commencement and end of harvesting season, and start and end of Kamrupi and Goalpariya new years.
Chithirai festival
  • Celebrated every year at the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu during the month of April for symbolizing the unity of saivism and vaishnavism.
  • It does so by re-enacting the wedding of Lord Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva) and Goddess Meenakshi (Lord Vishnu’s sister). The festival includes a procession of Kallazhagar avtar of Lord Vishnu entering Vaigai river. He travels from his abode in Azhagar Malai to get his sister married to Lord Sundareswarar. This journey from his abode to his sister’s wedding, on a golden chariot, is the legend behind celebrating the Chithirai Festival.
Persons in News ( Appointments, Awards , Deaths )
N. K.Singh
  • Former bureaucrat and parliamentarian will get “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver”
  • Will receive one of Japan’s highest civilian honours for promoting economic, educational and cultural ties between India and Japan.
  • The Orders of the Rising Sun are conferred in recognition of distinguished accomplishments of an individual.
  • Japan acknowledged Mr. Singh’s contribution to enhance Japan-India educational ties through his association with the Nalanda University.
James Cross Giblin
  • Prominent children’s book editor and publisher died at 82
  • Wrote “Life and Death of Adolf Hitler”
Dipa Karmakar
  • First ever Indian woman to qualify for Olympics in Gymnastics.
Pulitzer prize for Public Service
  • Associated Press(AP)  won the prize
  • For exposing slavery and vicious abuse in southeast asia fishing trade
Laureus awards
  • Annual prize, honors remarkable individuals from the world of sports along with the greatest sporting achievements throughout the year
  • It is given by Laureus World Sports Academy since 2000.
  • Novak Djokovic-Sportsman of the Year
  • Serena Williams-Sportswoman of the Year
  • Niki Lauda-Laureus World Sports Lifetime Achievement Award
Prince
  • A Pop icon dies at 57
  • Prince became an international sensation in the 1980s, when he popularised the Minneapolis sound of danceable funk, incorporating rock elements. His 1984 album Purple Rain is often described as one of the greatests of all time. Among his best-known songs are Purple Rain, 1999, When Doves Cry, Cream and Kiss.
Dolkun Isa
  • A German national of Uighur ethnicity
  • Leader of the so called World Uighur Congress, who has been declared a “terrorist” in China
  • He was granted an electronic visa by India to attend a conference in Dharamshala.
Joginder Paul
  • Renowned Urdu litterateur and author died
  • Born on September 5, 1925 in Sialkot in present-day Pakistan, migrated to India at the time of Partition
Places in News
Nagaland
  • Nagaland The “Twinning Network Program on Chemical Ecology” has been launched in Kohima, Nagaland by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister for Science and Earth Sciences.
  • The program is a new collaborative and interdisciplinary programme in Chemical Ecology between institutions in the North Eastern Region (NER) and partners in Bangalore.
Androth islands
  • Part of lakshadweep islands
  • Navy established a new Naval detachment at the island
  • Part of measures to enhance surveillance of crucial shipping lines
Miscellaneous
Copper plate decoded
  • decoded by the researchers of Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute(BORI)
  • Harshavardhan’s defeat to the Chalukya King Pulakeshin II can now be fixed at 618 AD.
Best Panchayat in India.
  • In Telangana, Balamallupalli village in Karimnagar district has been awarded as the best Panchayat in India.
  • The sarpanch of the Kasturi village, Tirupati Reddy will receive the award from Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Jamshedpur, Jharkhand state on April 24, 2016.
Ephedrine drug
  • Ephedrine is a medication used to prevent low blood pressure during spinal anesthesia.
  • Used in manufacturing of Mephedrone powder which is also know as meow meow.
Tatya Tope
  • The Union Government has leased a commemorative coin of 200 rupees and a circulation coin of 10 rupees on freedom fighter Tatya Tope.
  • The Union Ministry of Culture has been celebrating the 200th Birth Anniversary of Tatya Tope during 2015-16 in association with State Government of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh
  • Tatya Tope was one of the notable generals in India’s First War of Independence (1857-58) i.e. Revolt of 1857.
China to launch
‘core module’ for space station
  • Its first space station sometime around 2018
  • The “core module” for the space station would be called the “Tianhe-1”, the Chinese word for galaxy or Milky Way
  • Two space labs will be launched later and dock with the core module, Tianhe-1, The construction of the space station is expected to finish in 2022.
Smarac citizen APP
  • An app by ISRO
  • Architects and real estate developers who plan to construct close to national monuments, app will grant them construction permits within few minutes
  • App will tell how far is the new construction from the monument
Param Vir: A War Diary
  • A book celebrating lives of 21 Param Vir Chakra winners
  • Written by well known social activist Manju Lodha
  • Released by UK high commissioner Navtej Sarna in London
  • Param Vir Chakra award is the highest military honour bestowed by India to those serving in the Indian armed forces.
Excellence Award for CST
  • New Delhi government won the award
  • Excellence award for maximum deployment of ‘Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST)systems’
  • The award is for the solar water heating technology used at four locations.
  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had organised the CST and Solar Cooker Excellence Awards-2016
Categories
FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News (FIN) : April 1 – April 15

Hello Everyone, your tremendous response by comments on March Fact File, boosted us to bring the Facts in News (FIN) for April 1 to April 15. Hereby, we have compiled facts which were in news between April 1 to April 15. We have tried to comprehensively cover the facts between April 1 to 15. Though, we are aware that some of these facts would not be relevant from the UPSC point of view, but we have comprehensively covered so that these can assist you in other exams as well.
Last time, we received 109 comments, we hope that your response this time will break the previous record.

Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgements
“Stand Up India” scheme
  • Aimed at providing credit to SC’s, ST’s and women borrowers
  • Intended to promote entrepreneurship
  • Loans ranging from 10 lakhs to 1 crore
  • RuPay debit card will be provided to use the capital
  • Corpus of 5000 crore via National Guarantee Trustee Company
eNAM
  • A pan India National Agricultural market(NAM )trading portal launched.
  • To create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
  • Farmers can showcase their product online and buyers can quote their price from anywhere.
Maharashtra passes Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill
  • Seeks to crack down on extra judicial bodies such as caste and community panchayats.
  • It will be cognizable but bailable offence with imprisonment of upto 3 years or 1 lakh fine.
  • First state to enact this law.
Bihar declared a Dry state
  • Total prohibition on sale and consumption of liquor imposed
  • No new liquor licenses will be issued
Delhi high court order on Practitioners of Indian Medicine
  • Practitioners of Indian medicine like ayurveda, siddha, tibb, unani cannot prescribe modern scientific medicine unless he is qualified.
  • But they can use reports of radiology, x ray, blood test, etc
Doda Post banned
  • Drug made of poppy husk, and is consumed widely in Rajasthan and Punjab. Rajasthan is the only state in India to legally sell doda.
  • The drug was in news when Rajasthan Government recently decided to put a ban on sale of the drug.

 

National & International Events
National Maritime Day
  • April 5 celebrated as National maritime Day
  • On this day, in 1919 navigation history was created when SS Loyalty, the first ship of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company, journeyed to the United Kingdom.
Gyan Chakra
  • A think tank on defence and strategic affairs
  • Formed by the army’s western command
  • Launched to fulfill long standing requirement of defence veterans
  • Will be extension of kheterpal Officers Institute(KOI)
International Day of Mines Awareness and Assistance in Mine action
  • Celebrated on April 4.
  • The 2016 theme is “Mine Action is Humanitarian Action”.
  • The International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is observed every year on April 4 to foster the establishment and development of national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population or an impediment to social and economic development at the national and local levels.
World Health Day

2016

  • World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April
  • Under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • THEME – Halt the rise: beat diabetes

 

Economy and banking
ITR 1(SAHAJ) and

ITR 4S(SUGAM) forms

  • An online income tax return calculator for filers to do a check and obtain their annual tax liability.
  • Income Tax Department of India  has released these forms.
  • SAHAJ is for individuals having income from salary and interest.
  • SUGAM is for individuals, HUF, and partnership firms having income from presumptive business.
Consumer Sentiments Index
  • An index by CMIE- Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy
  • Consumer economic conditions, sentiments and expectations of what the future holds

 

Science and Technology
Viral Load Testing Kits
  • Used to test if a person is HIV positive or not
Quantum Spin Liquid
  • A new state of matter detected
  • International team of scientists detected a matter where  an  electron of an atom would also break into pieces
  • Found in a two dimensional material, similar structure as graphene
Ovillanta
  • Canadian innovation to destroy mosquito eggs
  • Created from two 50 cms pieces of old car tyre with a fluid release valve at the bottom
  • A milk based solution lures the mosquitos and then their eggs are destroyed using fire or ethanol
Xeno-transplantation
  • The process of grafting or transplanting organs between members of different species
Potassium Chlorate
  • A banned explosive, a highly reactive substance
  • When ignited it produces oxygen which further increases the temperature
  • It is used in tiny amount in matchsticks which is mixed with red phosphorous
Spear Phishing
  • An email that appears to be sent from an individual  or a business familiar to you, but is actually sent by fraudsters

 

Environment and Biodiversity
Tiger population increased
  • Globally 3890 from 3200 of 2010
  • India 2226 from 1706 based on world wildlife fund (WWF) and global tiger forum (GTF)
  • Tiger is an “Endangered” species.
Bio-
methanation
  • Bio-methanation is a process by which organic material is micro-biologically converted under anaerobic conditions to bio-gas.
Krill
  • An inch long shrimp like crustacean
  • A keystone species of the Antarctic
  • Forms the basis of southern ocean food chain
  • Krill eat sea algae where they grow under ice where it is relatively warm
  • Source of Omega 3 oil supplements

 

Persons in News ( Appointments, Awards , Deaths )
Mehbooba Mufti
  • First woman chief minister of J&K state
  • She is 56.
  • She belongs to Peoples Democratic Party
Zaha Hadid
  • World renowned architect died at 65.
  • A british designer born in Iraq
  • Twice won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA prize
  • Recently received Royal Gold Medal 2016.
Ashok Kumar Singhvi
  • Conferred with the 2014 the National Geo-science Award for Excellence
  • For his outstanding contributions in the field of Quaternary Geology.
Justice Permod Kohli
  • New Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal(CAT)
  • Earlier Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court
  • Succeeds Syed Rafat Alam
  • The CAT has been established for adjudication of disputes with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts under the control of the Union government
Subhash Palekar
  • Subhash Palekar, popularly known as Krishi ka Rishi (the “sage of agriculture”), is a famous exponent of natural farming.
Mother Teresa
  • Mother Teresa has been posthumously honoured with the UK’s prestigious Founders Award 2016
  • This award is given to recognize and reward exemplary achievements of people within the global Asian community.
  • She founded the Missionaries of Charity and spent 45 years serving the poor, the sick, the orphaned and the dying on the streets of Kolkata. The award was received by the Agi Bojazhiu (niece), Teresa’s only living relative.
Aishwarya Rai
  •    Named Global Indian of the year

 

Miscellaneous
Gatimaan Express
  • India’s first semi high speed train
  • Runs at maximum 160 kmph
  • 6 days a week from Nizamuddin to Agra cantt
Jhulelal Chaliha
  • A 40 day long festival of Sindhi community
Indian Red Cross blood donation app
  • A blood bank app on android and ios
  • User can donate blood and withdraw as and when required
  • User can even transfer to a friends account
  • Blood bank depend heavily on replacement, this app is meant to avoid all those hassles
  • The app will record, track account and provide timely reminders when donation is due
India ranks 6th in military spending
  • A report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI)
  • US is on top followed by China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and UK
Dragon capsule arrives at the ISS
  • Capsule made by SpaceX arrived at the International Space centre
  • Blasted off on a Falcon 9 rocket
  • It carried BEAM(Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) among other things
  • It is an inflatable pop up room for testing space debris and solar radiation
Solar boat
  • A 12 seater pontoon shaped boat powered by solar power
  • Launched in waters of krishna, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
  • Can cruise at 7 knots for 35 miles
Menstrupedia
  • A comic book which explains menstruation to children  in a format they can relate to.
  • Won National Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for gender sensitivity.
Categories
FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News ( FIN ) : March 15- March 31

Good Morning Friends,
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Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgements
Income > 10 Lakh = No LPG Subsidy ● New directive by Govt Says if income > 10 lakh no LPG subsidy

● Earlier this was voluntary under Give It Up Scheme where people could by choice give up Subsidy

National Court of Appeal ● A National Court of Appeal (NCA) with regional benches is being considered to be final court of appeal in all civil and Criminal Cases

● Supreme Court Bogged down by high pendency of cases

● Hence a Constitutional Bench has been set up by SC to debate for the need for NCA

● If NCA is set up, then SC will only hear Constitutional and Public law cases

Aadhar iIll 2016 ● Passed in the Parliament as a money bill

● Money bill does not require approval of Rajya Sabha

● Opposition had concerns over mass surveillance, Govt said delivery of benefits and subsidies were more important

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwal Yojana ● Scheme approved by Cabinet committee

● To provide 5 crore subsidized LPG connections to women of BPL in next 3 years

● Rs. 8000 crore allocated

Pradhan Mantri fasal Bima Yojana ● Finance minister to include 50% of farmers under the scheme

● Low premium insurance scheme will provide relief for farmers(compensation will be higher) even if the crop is damaged by nature

Housing for All scheme ● Financial assistance of 1.3 lakhs will be provided to homeless families for construction of pucca houses

● Beneficiaries will be entitled to 90 days of unskilled labour under MGNREGS

● Target to build 2.95 crore houses is 2022- India’s 75th year of independence

● Cost of unit shared between Central and state govt. is 60:40 in plain regions and 90:10 in the north east and the hilly regions.

Rural employment mobile app ● Karnataka developed mobile app named “MGNREGA M-platform”

● Helps officials monitor MGNREGA

● Allows beneficiaries to monitor progress at every stage

● Reduce fund diversion and interference by middlemen

● Helps in collecting data for the government

OCI cards ● Overseas citizen of India and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards were merged last year

● No visa will be required to enter India, OCI cards will be enough, but passport is necessary.

● OCI cards will be equipped with high security which cannot be tampered

Farmer  suicides ● 25,000 crore allocated to agricultural sector in Maharashtra

● Farmers distress and suicides forced the Govt of Maharashtra to take this step.

Women allowed in temples ● Bombay high court verdicts says no law stops women from entering the temples

● Verdict came after a PIL was filed by activist Vidya Bal and advocate Nilima Varta

● Not only temple but also sanctum sanctorum of Shani Shingnapur temple in Mumbai where it all started

● But no verdict has been given on Haji Ali dargah

Clinical trials ● Health ministry amended Drug and Cosmetic act  exempting academic institutions from taking permission from DCGI for clinical trials

● DGCI is Drug Controller General of India

● Rule 122 DA refers to the clinical trials in D&C act

● This has come from the recommendations of Ranjit Roy Choudhury Committee

 

 

National & International Events
Asia’s largest Tulip Garden This has been opened up for Tourists; It is in Srinagar ; It is located on foothills of Zabarwan Range
World Sleep Day ● On Friday before March Equinox (in 2016 it is March 18)

● 2016 slogan “Good Sleep is a Reachable Dream

● To raise awareness about sleep disorders and to promote about sleep disorder prevention and management

● Annual event organised by committee of World Association of Sleep Medicine(WASM)

BRICS 2016 ● 8th summit, Venue : Goa, India, Theme:Building responsive, inclusive and collective solutions for the grouping
● 7th summit: Ufa, Russia, 2015
India France sign MoU For 6 nuclear reactors in Jaitapur, Maharashtra
Nuclear Security Summit ● Fourth summit to be held in Washington from 31 march

● Iran and DPRK not invited

● Russia not participating

National awards 2016 Special jury award:
Kalki Koechlin for her role in Margarita with a Straw
USAID and ADB MoU ● US agency for International Development and Asian Development Bank signed MoU to $848 mn funding for solar parks in India

● Ministry of Renewable energy plans to build 25 solar parks across the nation with total capacity of 20000 MW

 

 

Economy and banking
Safeguard duty ● a trade remedy recognised by the World Trade Organisation

● temporary measure to counter the adverse impact caused to the domestic industry due to a sudden and unforeseen surge in (low-priced) imports of the item

Cabotage rules ● Cabotage is transportation of good and people along the coast

● Transhipment is offloading from one ship to another for domestic or abroad

● Govt. has eased cabotage rules to encourage transhipment

● This will enable foreign vessels bring goods at any of the Indian ports which are meant to be shipped to other destinations

Cairn UK Tax Department has asked for Rs. 10,000 crore tax + 18,800 Interest.

 

 

Science and Technology
El -Nino ● Heating of water in central eastern region of the equatorial pacific with average rise in temperature of 0.5 degrees celsius

● Meteorologists say 2016 will be normal monsoon (89cms of rainfall)

● 2015 was fourth time that El-Nino conditions were there in 100 years for more than successive 2 years

Microbeads ● Small plastic pieces measuring less than 1mm in size made of PE,PP, PET, PMMA and nylon

● National Green Tribunal wants to ban these microplastics which are now packed in cosmetic products as exfoliating agents

● Water pollution increases, they are non biodegradable, ingested by marine organisms, fish and marine mammals

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) Resistance of a microbe to an antimicrobial medication that used to be effective in treating or preventing an infection caused by that microbe.
India’s Rotavirus vaccine launched-ROTAVAC Health ministry launched rotavirus vaccine for diarrhea

 

Blood test to test TB infection A set of 16 genes used as biomarkers to check if the individual has TB or not
Renewable plastic Replacing styrene with lignin

This will bring cleaner and cheaper raw materials

 

Environment
Biosphere reserves

 

  • 20 names added to the UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve List at a meeting in Lima
  • Now 669 reserves across 120 countries
  • 16 sites spread across more than one country
  • Spain with largest number of sites
  • Agasthyamala in Western Ghats also added.
  • It has Three wildlife sanctuaries – Shendurney, Peppara, Neyyar and Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger reserve included in it

 

New Shark and Ray species found ● 13 species Sharks and Rays have been found in Indian waters

● They have been bar coded,

● DNA barcoding was successfully used for accurate identification of chondrichthyans which included the chimaeras, sharks, rays, and skates in the Indian waters

● Recently, the government had imposed a ban on the export of shark fins

Sumatran rhino A critically endangered rhino found after 40 years in Borneo

Borneo is third largest island and is shared between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei

Sumatran rhino is

● Smallest rhino

● Only asian rhino with 2 horns

● Covered with long hair

African catfish ● Native to africa and middle east

● Nocturnal predatory fish feeds on living and dead

● High tolerance for oxygenated water

 

 

Persons in News ( Appointments, Awards , Deaths )
Htin Kyaw First elected President of Myanmar in five decades ; Belongs to Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy ( NLD ) , who won Elections in November 2015
Dr Atiur Rehman ● Governor of Central Bank of Bangladesh;

● Resigned because of a scam in Bangladesh Central Bank;

● Governor did not inform the government

● Loss due to scam = 80 million USD

Mother Teresa Pope has approved Mother Teresa’s Sainthood
Ustad Ali Ahmed Hussain Khan ● Eminent Shehnai player, dies at 77 due to kidney related problems

● Sangeet Natak Academy award in 2009 for contribution to Hindustani instrumental music

● “Banga bhushan” award by West Bengal government in 2012

 

Hinda Bha rwad ● Animal rights activist consumed pesticide and died

● He wanted that cow be declared national animal

Sir Andrew Wiles ● Won the Abel prize, Abel prize is given in the field of mathematics

● For his proof of “Fermat’s Last Theorem”

● He is professor at Oxford University’s Mathematical Institute.

Shreehari Aney ●        Maharashtra’s Advocate General resigned from the post after sharp disapproval from the opposition

●        He demanded separate statehood for Marathwada in Maharashtra

Andrew Grove Intel’s mastermind passes away at 79

First hire of Intel, the chipmaker company in 1968

Pandit Shambhu Nath Sopori Sitar player “Father of Indian Classical music” died

Father of well known Santoor maestro Bhajan Sopori

Command over classical and Sufiana music shown in instrumental and vocal performances

Tim Chittock Pedalled his cycle on Golden Quadrilateral in 24 Days

He is from New Zealand

It’s a Guinness world record

Noor Inayat Khan Prize 2016 ● Geetakshi Arora, student of University of London for her dissertation on “Goddess myths in graphic novels: Reimagining Indian feminity”

● Trust awards annual prize to post graduate student from SOAS, University of London, working in the area of gender studies and south asian history

● Noor Inayat, Indian descent, was a secret agent in WW2, sent to Nazi occupied area, she was betrayed and killed.

 

 

Places in News
Chitradurga ● DRDO to open a Aeronautical Test Range(ATR)

● Chitradurga is near Bengaluru

● Multi agency mega complex will also house facilities of BARC, ISRO, IISc

Palakkad Gap Ecosystem ● A 45 Kms gap in the western ghats between Coimbatore in TN and Palakkad in Kerala

● Facing environmental destruction due to mining and deforestation

● Initiatives by Kerala Biodiversity Board have resulted nothing

Brussels attack ● 34 killed at Zaventem airport by attack claimed by Islamic State

● Belgium has headquarters of NATO and European Union

 

Miscellaneous
Emergency number ● 112 to be the common emergency number for all services

● It was approved by Telecom commission after recommended by TRAI

ICGS Arnwesh commissioned ● Fast vehicle vessel of Indian coast guard flagged off from Vishakhapatnam

● It main armament comprises 40/60 bofors gun

Rajasthan’s first IT day ● RajNET a wide area network connecting state capital with all the panchayats

● Built as a multi mode connectivity network

Will enable effective delivery of services like eMitra and MGNREGA

Theme: “promotion of IT startups”

Iron Fist Exercise of Indian Air Force. First held in 2013; Again being held in 2016 in Pokhran
Tobacco Pictorial Warnings ● New regulations require that 85% of the front and back cover of cigarette packets should have anti cancer warnings;

● Parliamentary Panel is now asking that it should be 50% only as it will be too harsh on “tobacco industry”.

● But change comes into effect from April 1. Tobacco companies say – it will impact business and have shut down a number of factories.