Here are today’s important headlines with key details for UPSC, SSC, IBPS and other competitive examinations.
Amritsar tops the list of 27 new smart cities :
Eight other cities of pilgrim and tourism importance that made to the third list of smart cities are ; Ujjain, Tirupati, Agra, Nashik, Madurai, Thanjavur, Ajmer and Varanasi.
With this the number of cities selected under Smart City Mission for financing implementation of smart city plans has gone up to 60.
437 Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras (PMJAY) operational in the country
A Countrywide campaign, for ensuring availability of generic medicines at affordable prices for all, under the project title “Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana (PMJAY)” was initiated by the Department of Pharmaceuticals in association with Central Pharma Public Sector Undertakings. It envisages key initiative of opening of dedicated outlets Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras (PMJAK) where high quality generic medicines are sold at low prices. Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is implementing the scheme.
Following incentives are provided to open PMJAK:
When free space provided by State Govt./MCD/PSU etc.
An amount of Rs 2.5 lakhs to be given to NGOs / agency running JAS in government hospital premises:
· Rs 1 Lakh reimbursement of furniture and fixtures
· Rs 1 Lakh by way of free medicines in the beginning
· 0.5 Lakh as reimbursement for computer and other miscellaneous items
For NGO/Society/Trust/Individual Entrepreneurs/Pharmacist/Doctor etc. other than Govt. Hospital Premises PMJAK run by private entrepreneurs / pharmacists / NGOs / charitable institutions that are linked through internet are also entitled for sales incentive of 15% of monthly sales subject to ceiling of Rs 10000/- per month up to Rs 2.50 lakhs. In North east states the incentive is 15% and subject to monthly ceiling of Rs. 15000 and total limit of Rs 2.50 lakhs.
User friendly Earthquake Hazard Zoning Maps with Tehsil level details released
To enable earthquake resistant construction, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Building Materials Technology Promotion Council (BMPTC) have come out with ‘easy to use’ Earthquake Hazard Zoning Maps at the Country, State and District level incorporating Tehsil level features.
The colour coded maps easily convey location in five different Zones of earthquake intensity which helps in planning for disaster resistant construction with necessary technical assistance. BMPTC of the Ministry of HUPA has prepared these maps at the behest of NDMA.
BMPTC prepared the maps using the data available with the Survey of India, Geological Survey of India, Meteorological Department and Census of India.
The additional features of these maps include housing and population data, railway lines, expressways and highways, rivers, waterbodies, geological fault lines etc.
“Incredible India Tourism Investment Summit-2016” to begin today
Incredible India Tourism Investment Summit 2016” is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan from September 21 to 23, 2016. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
IITIS is a platform for domestic and international investors to meet project owners from across Indian states and the private sector.
India successfully test fires long range Surface to Air Barak-8Missile
India successfully test-fired the most advanced surface-to-air missile ‘Barak-8’ off the Odisha coast, on September 20, 2016.
The long-range nuclear capable ballistic missile, developed jointly with Israel, was launched from a mobile launcher at the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur in Balasore district.
The 4.5-meter missile weighs around 3 tonnes and can carry a payload of 70 kilograms. The system also includes a Multi-Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile.
Union Cabinet approves Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016
The Union Cabinet has given its approval to enact the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill 2016. The proposal to enact this bill was forwarded by the Union Ministry of Shipping in order to repeal five archaic admiralty statutes. Admiralty jurisdiction is related to the powers of the High Courts with respect to the claims associated with transport by sea and navigable waterways.
- The Bill consolidates the existing laws relating to admiralty proceedings on maritime claims, admiralty jurisdiction of courts, arrest of vessels and related issues. This legislative proposal will also fulfil a long-standing demand of the maritime legal fraternity. It also repeals five obsolete British statues on admiralty jurisdiction in civil matters.
- They are (i) Admiralty Court Act, 1840 (ii) Admiralty Court Act, 1861, (iii) Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890, (iv) Colonial Courts of Admiralty (India) Act, 1891, and (v) Provisions of the Letters Patent, 1865, Salient Features of Admirability Bill, 2016 Confers admiralty jurisdiction on High Courts located in coastal states of India, thus extending it upto territorial waters.
- It applies to every vessel irrespective of place of domicile or residence of owner. It does not apply to naval auxiliary, warships and vessels used for non-commercial purposes.
- Inland vessels and vessels under construction are excluded from its application. But it empowers the Union Government to make it applicable to these vessels also by a notification.
- It lists the jurisdiction for adjudicating on a set of maritime claims. A vessel can be arrested in certain circumstances in order to ensure security against a maritime claim.
MS Dhoni named captain of India’s all time Test XI by Wisden
Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the third week of September 2016 was named the captain of the all-time India Test XI chosen by cricket magazine Wisden. The other prominent players in the team are Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag as the openers, followed by Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, all rounder Kapil Dev and Dhoni.
Veteran Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev along with Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan have been named as pacers, while legendary Bishen Singh Bedi, Harbhajan Singh and Team India coach Anil Kumble are the spinners. Azharuddin has been named as the 12th man.
- Wisden is one of the most reputed cricket magazines in the world, announced the team to mark India’s 500th Test match starting on 22 September 2016 against New Zealand at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur.
- Wisden Test XI: Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni (captain, wicketkeeper), Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Bishan Singh Bedi, Mohammad Azharuddin (12th man).
Union Cabinet approves submarine optical fibre cable connectivity with Andaman & Nicobar Islands
The Union Cabinet on September 21, 2016 approved the provision of a direct communication link through a dedicated submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) between Mainland (Chennai) and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The project to be completed by December 2018 will connect the mainland Chennai with Port Blair & five other islands viz. Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Havelock, Kamorta and Great Nicobar.
- The estimated cost for development of the project is 1102.38 crore rupees including operational expenses for 5 years.
- It will equip Andaman & Nicobar Islands with appropriate bandwidth and telecom connectivity for implementation of e-Governance initiatives and establishment of enterprises & e-commerce facilities.
- It will also enable the provision of adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge sharing, availability of job opportunities and fulfill the vision of Digital India.
MIT develops a spectroscopic technique to detect Martian life
Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) US, have developed a spectroscopic technique that would help the 2020 Mars Rover to non-invasively identify sediments that are relatively unaltered, and maintain much of their original composition.
Such pristine samples will allow scientists to identify the signs of former life, if they existed, on the red planet.
The new technique is based on an improved way of interpreting the results of Raman spectroscopy, a common, non-destructive process used by geologists to identify the chemical composition of ancient rocks.
- 2020 Mars Rover
NASA has plans to launch a new Mars rover that will be tasked to probe the region on the planet believed to hold remnants of ancient microbial life. The rover will collect samples of rocks and soil, and store them on the Martian surface.
The collected samples would be returned to Earth sometime in the distant future so that scientists can meticulously analyze the samples for signs of present or former extraterrestrial life.
- The deal signed between the two governments, which will provide 36 Medium-Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) Rafaels
- The delivery of these will start 36 months and will be completed within 66 months since the date of the signing of the deal.
- Rafaels are equipped with missiles like Meteors and Scalps. Meteors missile has a range of 150 kms and Scalps missiles have a range of 300 kms. These missiles will help enhance India’s defence capabilities.
- Under the contract, 75% of the fleet i.e. 27 fighter are operationally available at any given point of time.
- Another important clause in the deal is that French industry will invest 50 % of the contract value back in India which is expected to help develop expertise domestically in the aeronautics sector.
Afghanistan signs peace deal with terrorist organisation Hezb-e-Islami
- Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan has signed a peace deal with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the Hezb-e-Islami.
- As part of the agreement, Hekmatyar will be granted amnesty for his offences. Government will release all Hezb-e-Islam prisoners. And Hekmatyar will be provided security by Afghan government.
- Hekmatyar, is popularly known as the ‘Butcher of Kabul’ for killing thousands of people in Kabul during the civil war of 1992-93. He was also a prominent anti-Soviet commander and has also launched successful attacks on US and Afghan forces.
- The Right Livelihood Awards given by the Right Livelihood Foundation, Sweden have been awarded.
- It also known as Alternative Nobel
- White Helmets (Syria)- A 3000-strong volunteer group has been working in Syria since 2013. It has voluteers from local communities who work as fire-fighters, search and rescue workers, and medics. They have helped reconstruction of damaged public infrastructure. As a recognition of this, the group was awarded the prize.
- Mozn Hassan (Eygpt)- A Feminist and human rights activist, Hassan founded the Nazra an organisation for feminist causes. Through her organisation, Hassan ensured inclusion of Womens’ rights in Eygpt’s 2014 Constitution.
- Svetlana Gannuskina (Russia)- Founded the Civil Assistance Committee, through which she has provided legal assistance to migrants, refugees and internally displaced people since 1990.
- Cumhuriyet (Turkey)- An independent newspaper known for its investigative journalism has been an outspoken about human rights, gender discrimination, secularism and protection of environment.
Three economists appointed to RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)
- MPC under the RBI decides monetary policy by setting interest rates. It aims to bring significant changes in the power the RBI governor while deciding interest rates. The three economists are:
- Pami Dua- Director of Delhi School of Economics and is an expert in Econometrics and forecasting.
- Chetan Ghate- A professor at Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi centre. His areas of interest in research are economic growth, economic development, fluctuations and monetary and fiscal policy in developing and emerging market economies. He is also a member of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of RBI on monetary policy.
- Ravindra Dholakia- Faculty member of Economics at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmendabad. He has been an independent director in many corporations like Union Bank of India, Air India.
India-Russia Joint Military Exercise Indra – 2016 begins in Vladivostok
- The eighth edition of the India-Russia Joint Military Exercise ‘INDRA-2016’ has begun in the Ussiriysk District in Vladivostok, Russia, from September 23, 2016.
- The main focus of this edition of the joint exercise is on ‘Counter-Terrorism Operations in semi-mountainous and jungle terrain under United Nations Mandate’.
- 250 soldiers of the KUMAON Regiment are representing the Indian Contingent and the Russian army is being represented by 250 soldiers from the 59th Motorized Infantry Brigade.
- About Indra: Indra series of bilateral exercises is one of the major bilateral defence cooperation initiatives between India and Russia since 2003. The Indian contingent is scheduled to return to India on upon completion of the exercise in the first week of October ‘16.
Health Ministry to launch ‘Mission Parivar Vikas’ in 145 High Focus districts for improved family planning services
- On World Population Day this year, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched an initiative to develop a strategy within 3 months where vulnerable districts of the country will be targetted for intensive and improved family planning services.
- The main objective of ‘Mission Parivas Vikas’ will be to accelerate access to high-quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services, and supplies within a rights-based framework.
- These 145 districts have been identified based on total fertility rate and service delivery for immediate, special and accelerated efforts to reach the replacement level fertility goals <check if this needs to be explained or linked to> of 2.1 by 2025.
3 Guinness World Records Created in Samajik Adhikarita Shivir, Navsari, Gujarat
- Three Guinness World Records were created at Samajik Adhikarita Shivir and Scheme of Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fittings of Aids/Appliances (ADIP) Camp in Navsari, Gujarat on September 17, 2016.
- The first world record was ‘Highest number of Oil lamps lit simultaneously at a single location’.
- The second world record was ‘Biggest Wheelchair Logo’.
- The third world record was ‘Most people fitted with hearing aids in 8 hours’.
- These world records were the part of ADIP camp conducted by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities [Divyangjan], Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and organised by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO).
Researchers produce carbon from sugarcane waste for use in batteries
- Researchers from Pune (Maharashtra) have produced high-quality carbon from sugarcane waste within minutes by using a low power microwave system. They used a simple, cost-effective and quick process to convert sugarcane bagasse into anode-grade porous, conducting, activated carbon material for use in Li-ion batteries.
- The process will bring down the time to get anode-grade carbon dramatically. Thus, it will help to reduce electrical energy input substantially. The quality of carbon and battery performance using this carbon is quite good and competitive compared with carbon made through other complicated processes.
2 Indians selected for 2016 Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards
- Two Indian forest officials have been selected for the 2016 Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards. Assistant Conservator Ritesh Sarothiya of Madhya Pradesh State Forest Service and Range officer Sanjay Dutta of Belakoba Forest Range Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, received the award for their exemplary law enforcement actions to protect wildlife.
- About Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards: The award has been named after Clark R. Bavin, who was the Chief of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Law Enforcement. He had pioneered the highly effective use of covert investigations and ‘sting’ operations to uncover illegal wildlife trade. The award recognises the extraordinary efforts of law enforcement officers and other field-based individuals are willing to make in order to protect wildlife.
Hindi and Urdu writer Reoti Saran Sharma passes away
- Reoti Saran Sharma, a renowned Hindi and Urdu writer, playwright and television personality, died at the age of 92 in New Delhi on September 23, 2016. He was conferred with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2007 for his contribution to theatre (dramatic literature and performance).