FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News (FIN) : MAY 1 – MAY 15

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[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
  • 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.


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
  • 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
  • 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


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
  • 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
  • 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
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