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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ART AND CULTURE


FESTIVALS
DANCE
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
PANTINGS
SHIVLINGAS IN INDIA
TEMPLES IN INDIA
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMEMT
ANIMAL KINGDOM
WILDLIFE AND THEIR IUCN STATUS
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS
IN NEWS
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND PROTOCOLS
GEOGRAPHY IN NEWS
NATIONAL NEWS
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
ECONOMY NEWS
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
IN NEWS
SPACE
DEFENCE
MILITARY EXERCISE
ORGANISATIONS/INSTITUTIONS/AGENCY
SCHEMES
PERSONALITY
AWARDS/ACHIEVEMENTS/RANKINGS

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ART AND CULTURE


A. FESTIVALS
Thiru Onam

The festival falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam


(August- September).

It is also the state festival


of Kerala.
It is reminiscent of Keralas agrarian past and is considered to
be a harvest festival.
Tendong Lho Rum Faat

Celebrated annually in the month of August in Sikkim.

An annual festival of the It is a three day festival and on the first day, the tribe worships
ethnic Lepcha tribe of the Mount Tendong which is located in South Sikkim by offering
Sikkim
of prayers.
Chapchar Kut

Celebrated across the north-eastern state of Mizoram and also


in the Mizo-inhabited areas in the neighbouring states.

The traditional festival of


the Mizos
It is a spring festival celebrated every year in month of March.

It is celebrated after completion of their Jhum operation(shifting


agriculture by clearing jungle by burning and cultivating in
remnants of burning).
Losar
In Ladakh region
Jammu and Kashmir

of

Losar is Tibetan word for new year and this festival is an


important social and religious celebration in Ladakh.
Traditional celebration of festival following the old tradition,
people from Ladakh visit graveyards of ancestors and pray for
peace for the departed souls.

Hundred Drums Wangala Wangala Festival is an annual post-harvest festival of the Garos
Festival
tribes of North east India.
It is a thanks giving ceremony for Misi Saljong, which is also
known as Pattigipa Rarongipa (The Great Giver) for blessing
the people with rich harvest of the season.
Jallikattu

It is a bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu on Mattu Pongal


day as a part of Pongal celebrations i.e. harvest festival.

In Sangam literature it is
called Yeru thazhuvuthal It is one of the oldest living ancient traditions practiced in the
(means to embrace bulls). modern era.
Jallikattu has been derived from the words calli (coins) and
kattu (tie), which means a bundle of coins is tied to the bulls
horns.

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Sajibu Cheiraoba

Celebrated in Manipur to mark the beginning of a new year with


cultural gusto and religious fervour.

B. DANCES
S.No.

State

Name of Dances

Andhra Pradesh

Kuchipudi, Kolattam, Dhimsa, Veeranatyam

Arunachal
Pradesh

BardoChham

Assam

Bihu, Jumar, Bagurumba

Bihar

Paika, Kajari, Bidesia

Chhattisgarh

Panthi, RautNacha

Gujarat

Raas, tippani, Padhar, Garba

Haryana

Dhamal, Daph, Phag, Ghoomar, Jhumar, Loor

Himachal
Pradesh

KinnauriNati, Namgen

Jharkhand

Karma

Jammu
Kashmir

& Kud, Dumhal,BhandPather, BachhaNagma, Hafiza dance

Karnataka

Yakshagna, Bayalata, DolluKunitha, Veeragaase dance

Kerala

Mohiniattam,Kathakali,Padayani,Thirayattam,Theyyam,Thullal

Madhya Pradesh

Tertali, Charkula, Jawara, Matki dance, Phulpati dance, Maanch,


Gaur

Maharashtra

PavriNach, Lavani, Dangi, Koli

Manipur

Thang Ta, DholCholom

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Mizoram

Cheraw dance

Nagaland

Chang Lo or SuaLua

Odisha

Ghumura, Chau, GotiPua, Nacni, Odissi, Dhap, Dalkhai,

Punjab

Bhangra, Jhumar, Karthi,MalwaiGiddha

Rajasthan

Ghoomar, Kalbelia, Bhavai, Chirami, Gair, TeraTali

Sikkim

Singh Chaam

Tamil Nadu

BharataNatyam, Devarattam, Kamandi, Kummi

Telangana

Perini Thandavam, Lambadi, Dappu

Tripura

Hojagiri

Uttar Pradesh

Charkula, Kathak, Karma, Dadra

Uttarakhand

BaradaNati, Botiya, Cancheri, Chhapelia

Goa

Dekhnni, Fugdi, Corridinho, Dashavatara

Meghalaya

Nongkrem, Shad Suk mynsiem

West Bengal

Gambhira, Kalikapatadi, Nanci, Alkap, Domni

Some Famous Folk Dances Of North East States


1. Tripura

Hajgiri: Hajgiri is a famous folk dance of Tripura. Hajgiri dance is performed by young
girls who display a series of balancing skills and instruments of their kind.

Garia: Garia dances are held for the wealth and welfare of the people; dances of the
Reang community.

Bizu: Bizu dances are performed by the Chakma community denoting the end of the
Bengali calendar year.

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2. Sikkim

Lu Khangthamo: Lu Khangthamo is a Bhutia folk dance that is celebrated to thank all


the Gods and deities of the three worlds (heaven, hell and earth). On occasions like
house-warming and New Year celebrations, this dance is performed accompanied by
pleasing songs and music.

Rechungma: Rechungma is a kind of typical Sikkimese dance that is performed to show


gratitude towards God for his continued blessings. It is usually arranged on occasions
like childbirth, marriage and other social gatherings.

TamangSelo: TamangSelo is a Nepali form of dance that depicts the 'Tamangs'


community of the Nepalese.

Limboo or Subba Folk Dance: Limboo or Subba is a traditional folk dance of the
Sikkimese. In this dance, the dancers hang the 'Chyap-brungs', a musical instrument
around their necks. The drum is beaten with a palm on one side and with a stick on the
other side. This fancy trick creates two different sounds.

3. Meghalaya

Nongkrem Dance: Nongkrem dance is part of a religious festival for thanksgiving to


God Almighty for good harvest, peace, and prosperity of the community. It is held
annually during October November.

Wangala Festival: A major festival of the Garos, celebrated during autumn, after the
harvesting season. It culminates in the warrior's dance called the Dance of a Hundred
Drums on the final day, which is a spectacular sight.

Dorsegata Dance: Doregata dance festival is another dance in which, while dancing
the women try to knock off the turbans of their male partners. If the women succeed, it
is followed by peals of laughter.

Lahoo Dance: The Lahoo dance is performed by both male and female for
entertainment. Attired in their best costumes, usually two young men on either side of a
woman hold arms together and dance in step.

4. Assam

Bihu Dance - This is the most popular folk dance of Assam and as the name suggests, it
is related to the Bihu festival, which is celebrated with much pomp and glory throughout
the state.

JumurNach - This is a typical folk dance performed by the tea community in the state,
locally called ChahBaganarJumurNach or the Jumur dance of tea garden. Boys and
girls hold each others waist and dance to the tunes of the Jumur dance, with exact
precision of foot work.

Deodhani - Deodhani is a dance form associated with the worship of the snake goddess
Manasa. This dance is performed by a girl who, in a trance-like inspired state, goes on
dancing to the beats of the Ciphung (flute) and the Kham (drum).

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BarpetasBhortalNritya - This form of dance is mainly a propagation of the Sankari


culture of Assam and was originally developed by the well-known Satriya artist,
NarahariBurhaBhakat.

Dhuliya and Bhawariya - This is basically a form of theatrical performance, using


masks, drums and cymbals.

5. Nagaland

Chang Lo or SuaLua: This dance of the Chang tribe of Nagaland was performed to
celebrate the victory over enemies in the earlier times.

Nruirolians or cock dance: Which corresponds to the attribute of a cock, Gethinglim or


cricket dance in which there is the to and fro movement of hands etc.

Temangnetin: Men generally perform the dances which include the Temangnetin or the
fly dance with the company of music and songs. Music played includes cymbals, beaten
in regular intervals as the singers stand along one side or make a circle in order to
provide space for the dancers performing at centre.

Traditional Naga dance is performed by men during Hornbill festival, initiated by a


message in order to conserve the Hornbill. Hornbill is Nagaland's state bird.

C. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
1. Ghana Vadya- solid instruments e.g. Jhanj Player- Konark Temple
2. Tata Vadya- String instruments: Banam, Kamaicha, Santoor, Sarod, Sarangi, Sitar, Tanpura,
Ravanhatta.
3. SushiraVadya- Wind Instruments: Flute, Algoza, Kuzhal, Nadeswaram, Shehnai, Sundari, Pepa,
Been
4. AvanaddhaVadya- Percussion Instruments: Dhol, Damru, Tabla, Chenda, Nagada, Sambal,
Pakhwaj, Mridangam, Duff, Khanjira, Kartal.

D. INDIAN PAINTINGS
Some traditional Indian paintings, like those of Ajanta, Bagh and Sittanvasal, depict a love for nature
and
its
forces.
Cave
Painting
Cave paintings of India date back to the prehistoric times. The finest examples of these paintings
comprise of the murals of Ajanta, Ellora, Bagh, Sittanavasal etc. which reflect an emphasis on
naturalism. Ancient cave paintings of India serve as a window to our ancestors, who used to inhabit
these caves.
Bhimbetka is a famous cave painting- Located in central India, Bhimbetka contains over
600 rock shelters decorated with prehistoric cave paintings. Executed mainly in red and white with
the occasional use of green and yellow the paintings usually depict the lives and times of the people
who lived in the caves. Animals such as bisons, tigers, lions, and crocodiles have also been

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abundantly depicted in some caves. The oldest paintings are considered to be 12,000 years old.
Madhubani Painting
Madhubani painting originated in a small village, known as Maithili, in the state of Bihar state, India.
Initially, the womenfolk of the village drew the paintings on the walls of their home, as an illustration
of their thoughts, hopes, and dreams. With time, the paintings started becoming a part of festivities
and
special
events,
like
marriage.
MiniaturePainting
Miniatures paintings are beautiful handmade paintings, which are quite colourful but small in size.
The highlight of these paintings is the intricate and delicate brushwork, which lends them a unique
identity.
MughalPainting
Mughal painting reflects an exclusive combination of Indian, Persian and Islamic styles. As the
name suggests, these paintings evolved as well as developed during the rule of Mughal Emperors
in India, between 16th century and 19th century.
Mysore Painting is a form of classical South Indian painting, which evolved in the Mysore city of
Karnataka. During that time, Mysore was under the reign of the Wodeyars and it was under their
patronage
that
this
school
of
painting
reached
its
zenith.
PahariPainting
Pahari painting is the name given to Rajput paintings, made in the states of Himachal Pradesh and
Jammu & Kashmir of India. These painting developed as well as flourished during the period of 17th
to 19th century. Indian Pahari paintings have been done mostly in miniature forms.
RajputPainting
Rajput painting originated in the royal states of Rajasthan, somewhere around the late 16th and
early 17th century. The Mughals ruled almost all the princely states of Rajasthan at that time and
because of this most of the schools of Rajput Painting in India reflect strong Mughal influence.
TanjorePainting
Tanjorepainting is one of the most popular forms of classical South Indian painting. It is the native
art form of Thanjavur (also known as Tanjore) city in Tamil Nadu. The dense composition, surface
richness and vibrant colours of Indian Thanjavurpaintings distinguish them from the other types of
paintings.
Shadanga of Indian painting
Around the 1st century BC the Shadanga or Six Limbs of Indian Painting, were evolved, a series of
canons laying down the main principles of the art. Vatsyayana, who lived during the third century
A.D., enumerates these in his Kamasutra having extracted them from still more ancient works.
These 'Six Limbs' have been translated as follows:
1. Rupabheda: The knowledge of appearances.
2. Pramanam: Correct perception, measure, and structure.
3. Bhava: Action of feelings on forms.
4. LavanyaYojanam: Infusion of grace, artistic representation.

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5. Sadrisyam: Similitude.
6. Varnikabhanga: Artistic manner of using the brush and colours. (Tagore.)
The subsequent development of painting by the Buddhists indicates that these ' Six Limbs ' were
put into practice by Indian artists, and are the basic principles on which their art was founded.
Genres of Indian Painting
Indian paintings can be broadly classified as murals and miniatures. Murals are large works
executed on the walls of solid structures, as in the Ajanta Caves and the Kailashnath temple.
Miniature paintings are executed on a very small scale for books or albums on perishable material
such as paper and cloth. The Palas of Bengal were the pioneers of miniature painting in India. The
art of miniature painting reached its glory during the Mughal period. The tradition of miniature
paintings was carried forward by the painters of different Rajasthani schools of painting like the
Bundi, Kishangarh, Jaipur, Marwar and Mewar. The Ragamala paintings also belong to this school,
as does the Company painting produced for British clients under the British Raj.
Murals
The highest achievements of 2nd century BC to 8th 10th century AD are the caves of Ajanta,
Bagh, Sittanavasal, Armamalai Cave (Tamil Nadu), RavanChhaya rock shelter, Kailasanatha
temple in Ellora Caves.
Murals from this period depict mainly religious themes of Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu religions. There
are also the locations where paintings were made to adorn mundane premises, like the ancient
theatre room in Jogimara Cave and possible royal hunting lodge circa 7th-century AD
RavanChhaya rock shelter.
In eastern India, the principal centres of artistic and intellectual activities of the Buddhist religion
were Nalanda, Odantapuri, Vikramshila and Somarpura situated in the Pala kingdom (Bengal &
Bihar).
Eastern India painting
In Eastern India miniature painting developed in the 10th century. These miniatures, depicting
Buddhist divinities and scenes from the life of Buddha were painted on leaves (about 2.25 by
3 inches) of the palm-leaf manuscripts as well as their wooden covers. Most common Buddhist
illustrated manuscripts include the texts AstasahasrikaPrajnaparamita, Pancharaksa, Karandavyuha
and Kalachakra Tantra. The earliest extant miniatures are found in a manuscript of the
AstasahasrikaPrajnaparamita dated in the sixth regnal year of Mahipala (c. 993), presently the
possession of The Asiatic Society, Kolkata. This style disappeared from India in the late 12th
century.
Western Indian Miniature Painting
Miniature painting developed during the 10th century in western part of India, that is modern state of
Rajasthan.These paintings are seen in hastprat [mini books written by hands] of Vaishnav and Jain
sects. These paintings were made to make the subject of the book more interesting and to decorate
the books. Rajasthan state was integrated into western India of that time. Particular manuscript
miniature painting developed in the western part of India that is modern state of Rajasthan. From
17th century Rajput miniature paintingdeveloped in the western part of India that is modern
western state of Rajasthan. Rajput miniature painting has its own style and beauty.
Subjects- The subjects of these miniature paintings are in relation to the subjects of the
manuscripts, i.e.mainly religious and literary. Many paintings are from Sanskrit and folk literature. It
is on the subject of love stories. Some paintings are from Vaishnav sect of the Hindu religion and

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some are from the Jain sect. The paintings of Vaishnav sect are regarding various occasions of the
life of Lord Krishna and Gopis. Vaishnav paintings of "Gita Govinda" are about Lord Krishna. The
paintings of Jain sect are concerning Jain Lords and religious subjects.
Equipment- These paintings were created on "Taadpatra" that means the leaf of the palm tree, and
paper. During that period earlier manuscripts were created from the leaf of the palm tree, and later
on from the paper.
Characteristics- In these paintings very few human characters are seen with front face. Most of the
human characters are seen with their side profile. Big eyes, pointed nose and slim waist are the
features of these paintings. The skin colours of human being are brown and fair. The skin colour of
the Lord Krishna is Blue. The colour of the hair and eyes is black. Women characters have long
hair. Human characters wear jewellery on hand, nose, neck, hair, waist and ankles. Men and
women wear traditional Indian dress, slippers, and shoes.
Men have turbans on the head. In these paintings trees, rivers, flowers, birds, the land, the sky,
houses, traditional chairs, cushions, curtains, lamps, and human characters have been depicted.
Colours- Mostly Natural colours have been used in these paintings. Colours such as black, red,
white, brown, blue, and yellow are used to decorate the paintings.
Promoters- Kings, Courtiers of the kings, wealthy businessmen, and religious leaders of the time
were the promoters of these miniature paintings.
Painters - Painters of these pictures were from the local society."Vaachhak"was a famous painter
of the time.Painters tried to make the subject of the manuscript live by these pictures so that the
readers of the manuscript could enjoy reading.
Vernacular Indian Painting
Vernacular art is an art alive (contemporary art), based on the past (the myths, the traditions and
the religion) and made by defined groups. Vernacular art is based on the collective memory of this
group. Examples of vernacular Indian painting:

Bhil painting

Warli painting

Gond painting

Kalighat Paintings

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Kalighat painting derives its name from its place of origin Kalighat, in Kolkata. It developed
during the nineteenth century in response to the sudden prosperity brought to Calcutta by
the East India Company trade. But Kalighat painting started getting thier due attention and
appreciation only in the twentieth century.
These are characterized by generously curving figures of both men and women and an
earthy satirical style. The most interesting aspect of Kalighat painting is perhaps its strong
social themes and consciousness. Kalighat painting was the first of its kind in the Indian
subcontinent that expressed underlying sentiment and addressed customers directly. Like
most other Indian art forms, Kalighat paintings too started with a religious note.

E. SHIVLINGAS IN INDIA

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Somnath Temple in Gujarat


Jyotirlinga is situated at SomnathPatan
(the south coast of Saurashtra), near
Veraval
in
(PrabhasKshetra)
KathaiwadDistrict in Gujarat.

Mallikarjun Temple in Andhra Pradesh


Temple is situated on Shri Shaila
Mountain(Nalla Mala Hills) on the banks of
the Patal Ganga, Krishna River in the
southern part of Andhra Pradesh. Also known
as Kailash of the South,
Mallika means Parvati, while Arjuna is
another name of Shiva.

* Accounts of glory and wealth of Somnath by


the Arab traveler Al Biruni prompted a visit by
Mahmud of Ghazini who ransacked and
destroyed the temple in 1025 CE. It was
immediately rebuilt by King Bhima of Gujarat
and
King
Bhoja
of
Malwa.
* Somnath temple was destroyed again by
Alaf Khan, the general of AllauddinKhilji in
1300 CE. It was rebuilt again by King
Mahipala of the Chudasama dynasty.
* Somnath shrine was destroyed yet again in
1390, 1490, 1530 and finally in 1701 by
Aurangzeb.

Architecture
of
Mallikarjun
Temple
The huge temple is built in the Dravidian style
with lofty towers and sprawling courtyards
and is considered to be one of the finest
specimens of Vijayanagar architecture.
Temple of Tripurantakam, Siddavatam,
Alampura and Umamaheswaram located in
the vicinity of MallikarjunaJyotirlina are
considered to be the four gateways to Sri
Sailam.
Bhramaramba
Shrine
Located adjacent to the Mallikarjun Temple is
a shrine dedicated to Goddess Jagdamba
who is known as Bhramaramba here.

Mahakaleshwara Temple in Ujjain.

Brass lamps light the way to the underground


Mahakaleshwara Temple is located on the sanctum or GarbhaGriha where the
banks of theRiver Kshipra, in the dense Jyotirlinga is situated.
Mahakal forests in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.
Temple has also been referred to in the Tamil
hymns of the Nayanmar saints of the 1st
millennium CE.
Vaidyanath Temple at Deogarh:

In this temple complex there are twenty-two


other temples. The Baijnath or Vaidyanath
temple faces east. Near the temple is the

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Shivaganga Lake.

Bhimashankar
Temple
in
Pune
is situated in the ghat region of the Sahyadri
hills in the village of Bhavagiri, near Pune in
Maharashtra. Bhima Shankar Temple lies on
the banks of the River Bhima. Bhimashankar
is also the source of the River Bhima, which
flows southeast and merges with the Krishna
River near Raichur.

Structure
of
Bhimashankara
Temple
dates back to mid-18th century and is a
composite of old and the new structures and
is built in the Nagara style of architecture.
The shikara of the temple was built by Nana
Phadnavis. Shivaji - the great Maratha ruler is
said to have facilitated the carrying out of
worship services.

Rameshwaram Temple in Tamil Nadu

It is situated in the island of Rameswaram, off


the Sethu coast of Tamil Nadu and can be
reached via Pamban Bridge across the sea.
The huge temple is known for its long ornate
corridors, towers and 36 theerthams.
RameswaramJyotirlinga also boasts of a
4000 feet long pillared corridor with over
4000 pillars, supposedly the longest in the
world.

Nageshwar Temple in Dwarka

The eastern Rajagopuram towers to a height


Nageshwar Temple is located on the route of 126 feet and has nine levels. The Western
between Gomati Dwarka and the Bait Dwarka Rajagopuram is also quite impressive though
not as tall as the Eastern one.
Island on thecoast of Saurashtra in Gujarat.
Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi

The KashiVishwanath Temple is also


popularly known as the 'Golden Temple' due
Vishwanath Temple is located in the holy city the gold plating done on its 15.5-meter high
of Varanasi also known as Kashi and spire. One tonne of gold donated by
Benares on the banks of the River Ganga.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been used in the
gold plating of the spire.
The latest structure standing here dates back
to the 18th century. It is said that once Lord
Shiva came in the dream of Rani Ahilya Bai
Holkar of Indore. She, being a devotee of
Lord Shiva, got the current temple built in
1777 at a distance from the original one.

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Trimbakeshwar Temple in Nasik


Trimbakeshwartemple is located near the
mountain named Brahmagiri from which the
River Godavari flows. Godavari is also known
as Gautami Ganga and is the most sacred
river in South India.
Kedarnath
Temple
in
Himalayas
Kedarnath Temple is located at a height of
12000 feet on a mountain named Kedar.
Near Kedarnath is the source of the River
Mandakini that joins Alakananda at
Rudraprayag.

Reconstruction efforts of the temple were


undertaken by the PeshwaBalajiBajiraoin the
mid-18th century. The temple is built of black
stone in the Nagara style of architecture and
is enclosed in a spacious courtyard.

The temple at Kedarnath enshrining the


Jyotirlingam of Shiva opens only 6 months a
year (April-November) when the sun enters
the zodiac sign of Aries and it is closed when
the sun enters Scorpio. The priests then go to
Ukhimath,
where
the
worship
of
Kedareshwara is continued during the winter
season.
The
temple
was
restored
AdiSankaracharya in the 8th century.

by

Grishneshwar Temple in Daulatabad

The Grishneswar Temple was constructed by


Grishneshwar Temple is located at a village AhilyabhaiHolkar who also re-constructed the
called Verul, which lies 20 km from KashiViswanatha Temple at Varanasi and the
Daulatabad
(near
Aurangabad
in Vishnu Paada Temple at Gaya. The
Grishneshwar Temple is also known by
Maharashtra).
several other names like Kusumeswarar,
Ghushmeswara,
Grushmeswara
and
Grishneswara.

F. FAMOUS PILGRIMAGE PLACES IN INDIA

Badrinath

Temple Situated close to the Alaknanda River, the


abode of Lord Badrinath is located in the
ChamoliDistrict, a small town of Badrinath
(Uttarakhand) It is one of the 108 temples
dedicated to Lord Vishnu (DivyaDesams).

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The Konark Sun Temple

The Sun temple is situated in the small town


of Konark, which is situated in the Puri district
of Odisha. The temple has been built in the
shape of a chariot, which has twelve wheels
and is depicted as being dragged by seven
horses.
The temple is believed to be constructed in
the 13th century by a king called
Narasimhadeva. The mesmerizing beauty of
the place was best summed up by the
Rabindranath Tagore through these words:
Here the language of stone surpasses the
language of man.

Brihadeeswara Temple

Also known as PeruvudaiyarKovil and


RajaRajeswaram, this 11th century temple
Made entirely of granite stone, it was built as was built by the Chola emperor Raja
per the principles of VaastuShastras and RajaChola
I.
Dedicated
to
Lord
Agamas.
Shiva, Brihadeeswara temple is the largest
temple in India that is situated at Thanjavur
UNESCO World Heritage Site.
city of Tamil Nadu.
Sanchi Stupa
It is home to several Buddhist structures built
in between 3rd century BC to 12th century
AD. The most significant of them all is
the Sanchi Stupa, also known as the Great
Stupa

Vaishno Devi Mandir

Lord

Jagannath

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this famous


pilgrimage site in India was built by the great
emperor Asoka in the 3rd century BC. There
are four intricately designed gateways
surrounding the Stupa known as Toranas,
each individually symbolizing the four
emotions of love, peace, courage and trust.
The Great Stupa is 16 metres high and 37
metres in diameter and preserves the relics
of Buddha.
It is located at an altitude of 5200 feet in a
mountain called Trikuta.

Temple Built in the 12th century, Jagannath temple is


situated in Puri (Orissa) and is popularly
called JagannathPuri. Dedicated to Lord
Krishna, with the idol of Lord Krishna
(Jagannath) in between, the idols of Lord
Balabhadra (brother) and Goddess Subhadra
(sister) are placed.

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Meenakshi
Temple
This architectural wonder is situated in
Madurai (Tamil Nadu) and is dedicated to
Goddess Parvati (also known as Meenakshi)
and her husband Lord Shiva. Madurai is the
second biggest city of India and is also one of
the oldest continuously populated cities of the
world.

Lingaraja

A dip in the Golden Lotus tank, situated in the


temple, is considered auspicious and is
usually taken before visiting the main shrine
of the God and Goddess. As per a legend,
the pond was created by Shiva and is even
older than the temple. The temple has a hall,
which consists of 985 pillars; each pillar is
differently and intricately carved. The 12th
century colourful temple was among the 30
nominees of the New Seven Wonders of the
World.

Temple Lingaraja temple is one of the oldest and


largest temples of the Temple City of India
Orissa. Drenched in the architectural style
typical of Kalinga, the temple doesnt only
attract religious devotees but also the
historians.

The idol of Lingaraj usually represents Lord


Shiva, but over here it symbolizes both Shiva
and Vishnu. The combined form of both the
Gods is referred to as Harihara. A large lake
called BinduSagar touches the temple from
one side and is said to have healing powers.

Page 16 of 93

Kanchipuram Temples:
The City of Thousand Temples
Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu) is one of the
seven sacred places in India wherein the
people can attain Moksha, as per the Hindu
religion. Every temple in Kanchipuram is a
fascinating piece of architecture.

Among the most revered temples of Kanchi 3


major ones are mentioned below:
Kamakshi
Amman
Temple: Goddess
Kamakshi is one of the manifestations of
Parvati and unlike the standing poses in
which we usually find her idols, the
enchanting idol at Kamakshi temple is sitting
in Padmasana (a yogic sitting posture).
Ekambareswarar Temple: This shrine of Lord
Shiva is also the largest among all the
temples of Kanchipuram. The main lingam of
the Ekambareswarar temple is made of sand
and is said to be built by the Goddess
Parvati.
VaradarajaPerumal Temple: It is one of the
108 temples of Vishnu (DivyaDesams). This
temple along with the temples of Kamakshi
and Ekambareswarar are collectively called
Mumurtivasam (home of trio).

Khajuraho Temple

Khajuraho is a town in the state of Madhya


Pradesh, which houses several temples built
between 10th to 12th centuries. Spread
across an area of 20 sq. km, the monuments
of the town are recognized as UNESCO
World Heritage Site. The temples are built of
sandstone and dedicated to the deities of
Hindus and Jains.

Virupaksha

Shri

Digambar

Temple Built in the 7th century, the temple is famous


for being a functioning temple ever since it
came into the existence. Located in the
village of Hampi, it is one of the most famous
temples among the various other temples of
Hampi. All heritage sites of Hampi have been
recognized by the UNESCO.
Jain

LalMandir Built during the reign of Mughal emperor


Shah Jahan in 1656, Shri Digambar Jain
LalMandir is the oldest Jain temple in Delhi.
Made in the honour of the 23rd Tirthankara,
Parashvanath, the temple is made in red
sandstone.

Page 17 of 93

Gomateshwara Temple

Situated in the Shravanabelagola town of


Karnataka,
Gomateshwara
temple
is
The most important event occurs in the dedicated to Lord Bahubali also known as
temple after every 12 years. It is called Gomateshwara. Built in the 10th century it is
Mahamastakabhishek and is a very important one of the most important pilgrimage places
festival for Jains.
for Jains. The statue standing at an
enormous height of 58.8 feet the idol is
carved out of a single granite rock.
Ranakpur Temple

Ranakpur is a village in the Pali district


of Rajasthan and falls between Udaipur and
Jodhpur. One of the very famous pilgrimage
sites in India, the majestic 15th century Jain
temple is dedicated to Lord Adinatha. It is
counted among the five major sacred places
of Jains.

SreePadmanabhaswamy Temple

Thiruvananthapuram, the capital


Kerala is the place where one of
DivyaDesams (sacred dwellings
Vishnu) is situated in the form
Padmanabhaswamy.
SreePadmanabhaswamy temple
visited only by the Hindus.

city of
the 108
of Lord
of Lord
can

be

Page 18 of 93

ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT


A. ANIMAL KINGDOM
Assam state legislature has passed
Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition,
Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015.

This law was prepared in order to reign in the


rising incidents of witch hunting cases across
the state.

Indirana Salelkari

Wildlife researchers have discovered new


frog species in Netravali Forest Sanctuary of
Goa.

Named after Netravali Range Forest Officer


Prakash Salelkar for his contribution to
conservation of wildlife.

Crab Species:

Researchers have discovered four


new crab species namely Paguristes
luculentus, Diogenes canaliculatus,
Pagurus
spinossior
and
Afropinnotheres ratnakara in Kerala.

Paguristes luculentus: It is a hermit crab


species belonging to the family Diogenidae
was collected off the coast of Kollam.

Diogenes canaliculatus: It is a hermit crab


species belonging to the family Diogenidae
has light brown or tan colour.

Pagurus spinossior: It is hermit crab


belonging to Paguridae family which are right
handed crabs. It is tan in colour and was
collected from Neendakara, Kollam. Its name
spinossior refers to species strong armature
on the clawed legs.

Afropinnotheres ratnakara: It is a new


species of pinnotherid crab genus. The
genus was reported for the first time from the
Indian Ocean.

Ghatixalus
magnus
is
species
of
Rhacophorid tree frog of the genus
Ghatixalus. It is large in size and biggest
known tree frog from the Western Ghats. In
their exploration, researchers also have
rediscovered Raorchestes flaviventris, an
elusive rhacophorid bush frog species in the
Kadalar High Ranges of Idukki District in
Kerala.

Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India

Ghatixalus magnus

Researchers have discovered


a new species of tree frog
named as Ghatixalus magnus
in the Western Ghats in
Kadalar High Ranges of Idukki
District, Kerala.

Moray eel (Gymnothorax mishrai)

Page 19 of 93

(ZSI) have a discovered a new species of eel


named Bengal moray eel (Gymnothorax
mishrai) along the coast of Digha in Purba
Medinipur district of West Bengal.

The Eels are mainly snake-like


fish with fins and gills and are
mostly found at bottom of
rivers and seas.

They were discovered by researchers from


National Bureau of Agricultural Insect
Resources.

Key facts: These species have been named


adikeshavus which in Sanskrit means first
one to have long hairs.

The tadpole belongs to the so-called Indian


Dancing Frog family, Micrixalidae.

Falcated Duck is a migratory bird, breeding


in Russia and north China in summers and in
winter migrates towards north of India.

Conservation prioritisation: Falcated Duck is


classified as near threatened by IUCN.

It is a small rat-like (rodent) animal species in


the family Muridae.

It is Great Barrier Reefs only endemic (found


nowhere else) mammal species.

It was mainly found in a small coral cay


called Bramble Cay located off the north
coast of Queensland in the Torres Strait
between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Frankixalus

Researchers have discovered a new genus


of
tree
hole-breeding
frogs
named
Frankixalus in the forests of northeast India
and bordering parts of China.

Himalayan Forest Thrush

Scientists have discovered a new bird


species named Himalayan Forest Thrush in
northeastern India and adjacent parts of

Species of Wasps

Researchers from India have


discovered 5 new long-haired
species of wasps from different
parts of the country.

Micrixalus herrei

Researchers have discovered


Sand-eating tadpole species
named Micrixalus herrei in the
Western Ghats.

Falcated Duck

Birdwatchers for first time have


sighted Falcated Duck in Goa
which is considered as rare
vagrant migrant bird species to
the south of India.

Bramble Cay melomys

Australian Great Barrier Reef


rodent (also known as Bramble
Cay melomys) has become the
first mammal species driven to
extinction by human-induced
climate change.

Page 20 of 93

China.

National CAMPA Advisory Council

National CAMPA Advisory Council has


approved
the
funding
for
recovery
programme of various endangered species.
These include Gangetic River Dolphin with
budgetary support of Rs. 23 crore, Dugong
(VU) with a budget of Rs. 23.58 crore, Great
Indian Bustard (CR) with Rs. 108.25 crore,
Manipur Brow Antlered deer (EN) with
support of Rs. 99.95 crore and Wild Buffalo
(EN) with Rs. 2 crore.

Melanophidium khairei

Researchers have discovered new species


of burrowing snake named Melanophidium
khairei or Khaires Black Shieldtail in
Northwestern Ghats.

An international team of biologists have


discovered a new species of hydroid polyps
emitting green fluorescence in the Red Sea.
These species were found during the
investigations of the biodiversity of coral
reefs of the archipelago Farasan south of the
Red Sea near Saudi Arabia.

Hydroid
polyps
fluorescence

emitting

green

B. WILDLIFE AND THEIR STATUS IN IUCN LIST

Indian Elephant or the Asian Elephant

National
Parks: Bennarghatta
National
Habitat: Tropical forest habitats from moist, Park, Karnataka, Kaziranga National Park,
evergreen lowland forest to dry semi- Assam, Periyar National Park, Kerala
deciduous teak forests to cooler mountain Status in the Wild: Endangered
forests up to 10,000 feet. They also frequent
adjacent grasslands and farm areas.

Asiatic Lion
Habitat: Grasslands and plains

National Parks: Found only at the Gir


National Forest, Gujarat.
Status in the Wild: Endangered.

Page 21 of 93

Lion Tailed Macaque


Habitat: Lion-tailed macaques live in
southwest India in pockets of evergreen
forests, called sholas, in the Western Ghats
range. They live at elevations between 2,000
and 3,500 feet. Lion-tailed macaques are
unique to India. Today, they only live in
mountain forests scattered across three
Indian states: Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil
Nadu.

National
Parks: Kalakkadu
Wildlife Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu,
Mundanthuri Wildlife Sanctuary,
Tamil Nadu
Status in the Wild: Endangered

Great Indian Rhinoceros

National Parks: Kaziranga National Park,


Habitat: Found only in the tall grasslands Assam; Manas National Park, Assam
Status in the Wild: Vulnerable
and forests in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Leopard

National
Parks: Ranthambore National
Habitat: The leopard lives in all types of Park, Rajasthan; Sariska National Park,
Rajasthan
habitats from open country to thick forest.
Status in the Wild: Near Threatened
Neelgai
Habitat: They live on a variety of land types
from hillsides to level ground with scattered
grass steppes, trees, and cultivated areas,
but not in thick forests.

Royal Bengal Tiger


Habitat: Habitats include dense thickets,
long grass, or tamarisk shrubs along river
banks.

Wild Ass
Habitat: Flat grassland covered expanse
known as bets (islands where coarse grasses
springs up during the monsoon).
Pangolin or Scaly Anteater
Habitat: Variety of habitats - forests, hills,
cultivated land, rocky crevices. Found in
much of Eastern and Northern India and in
Tamil Nadu and Kerala also.

National
Parks: Sultanpur
National Park, Haryana
Status in the Wild: Secure

National Parks: Kanha National


Park, MP; Bandavgarh National
Park, MP
Status in the Wild: Endangered

National Parks: Little Rann Of


Kutch, Gujarat
Status in the Wild: Endangered

National Parks: Found in many


National Parks
Status in the Wild: Endangered

Page 22 of 93

Chinkara
Habitat: Grasslands and dessert

National Parks: Kutch Dessert


Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat, Gir
National Forest, Gujarat
Status in
concern

NilgiriTahr
Habitat: Hills of southern India at elevations
of about 1,800m (6,000 ft.)
Indian Flying Fox

the

Wild: Least

National
Parks:
Eravikulam
National Park, Kerala
Status in the Wild: Endangered
Status in the Wild: Least concern

Habitat: This species roosts in large


colonies of hundreds to thousands of
individuals on large trees in rural and
urban areas, close to agricultural fields,
ponds and by the side of roads. It feeds
on a wide variety of fruits and flowers,
both wild and cultivated.

C. GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS
Feni

Feni is a form of spirit produced exclusively in the coastal state of Goa. It is a distilled brew
made from coconut or cashew fruits. It was accorded Geographical Indication (GI) tag in
2000. It is the first liquor product in the country to obtain this status.

Moa
of
Jainagar,
Sarpuria
of
Krishnagar,
Mihidana and
Sitabhog
of
Burdwan

West Bengal government is planning to get Geographical Indication (GI) tag for four
traditional sweet delicacies of the state. These four traditional sweet delicacies are Moa of
Jainagar, Sarpuria of Krishnagar, and Mihidana and Sitabhog of Burdwan.
Geographical Indication (GI) tag: It is given to products that have a specific geographical
origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In India, GI
registration is governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and
Protection) Act, 1999.

Chengalikodan Chengalikodan banana variety from Thrissur district of Kerala has been accorded
banana
Geographical Indication (GI) status by the Chennai based Central GI registry. Other GI
status products from Kerala Vazhakkulam pineapple, Central Travancore jaggery, Pokkali
rice, Palakkadan matta rice, Wayanadan scented rice varieties Jeerakasala and
Gandhakasala are other agricultural products from Kerala already having GI status.

Page 23 of 93

Basmati rice

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has ordered Chennai based
Geographical Indications Registry (GIR) to issue Geographical Indication tag for basmati
rice. This GI tag will be issued to basmati rice variety grown in 7 states in the IndoGangetic Plains (IGP) on the foothills of the Himalayas. These states are Punjab, Haryana,
Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. This tag
will help to preserve the unique identity of Indias aromatic basmati rice in the international
markets.

D. IN NEWS
Bharat Stage (BS)
Union Ministry of Road Transport &
Highways
has
decided
to
implement the stricter emission
norms of Bharat Stage (BS) VI from
1st April 2020 in a bid to curb
vehicular pollution. Government will
directly switch over to BS-VI
emission norms from the present
BS-IV
emission
norms
and
completely skip BS-V emission
norms altogether.

Bharat Stage emission standards: Bharat stage


emission standards also known as Bharat Stage are
emission standards instituted by the Government of
India in accordance with European regulation standard
Euro norms to regulate the output of air pollutants that
vehicles emits. India adopted Bharat stage in
accordance with Euro norms from year 2000 and
stage wise introduced Bharat Stage compatible fuel
and ungraded and modified vehicles throughout the
country. Each stage specifies a certain limit on the
pollutants released, Higher the Bharat Stage goes
lesser it emits pollutants. The BS-IV complaint vehicles
release less pollutants {Carbon Mono-oxide (CO),
Hydrocarbon (HC), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and
Sulphur (SOx)} i.e. 0.025 Respirable suspended
particulate matter (RSPM) as compared to its preceding
Bharat Stage complaint vehicles. Stages: BS-I
Euro
1
2000, BS-II
Euro 2
2005 ,BS-III
Euro
3
2010 ,BS-IV Euro 4
2015 (63 cities till 1 April
2015) Note: Earlier Saumitra Chaudhri Committee had
recommended to introduce even lesser pollutant
releasing BS-V (0.005 rspm) and BS-VI (0.0025 rspm)
throughout the nation by 2022 and 2024 respectively.

Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)

ZSI is the apex institution on animal (fauna) taxonomy


in India. Established: 1 July 1916. Objective: To
Union Government has released a promote the survey, exploration, research and
commemorative postage stamp to documentation on various aspects of animal taxonomy
mark the Centenary year of ZSI.
in the Indian subcontinent. It also seeks advancement
of
knowledge
on
animal
taxonomy.
Headquarter: Kolkata. It also has 16 regional centres
located in different parts of the country. Functions
under the aegis of Union Ministry of Environment,
Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It activities
are coordinated by the Conservation and Survey
Division
of
MoEFCC.

Page 24 of 93

Tiger Conservation Project.:

Maharashtra state has six tiger reserves viz. Tadoba,


Melghat, Pench, Nagzira, Sahyadri and Bor. It should
Maharashtra
government
has be noted that except Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (located
roped Cricket legend Sachin in Konkan region) remaining five are located in
Tendulkar and Actor Amitabh Vidharbha region of state.
Bachhan as its ambassador for the
Tiger Conservation Project.
School Nursery Yojana

Union Government has launched the School Nursery


Yojana in a bid to bring school students closer to nature
by involving them in raising of saplings in school
nurseries.

Union Cabinet gave its nod to a This centre will be established as a category-2 centre
proposal to sign an agreement with (C2C) of the UN body at the Wildlife Institute of India
UNESCO for establishment of a (WII) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
Centre for World Natural Heritage
Management and Training for AsiaPacific region.
Union Government has launched
Green
Highways
(Plantation,
Transplantation,
Beautification&
Maintenance)
Policy-2015
to
promote greening of National
Highway corridors across the
country.

Key features of Green Highways Policy 2015: Promote


greening and development of eco-friendly National
Highway corridors across the country with participation
of farmers, private sector and government institutions
including Forest Department.

Page 25 of 93

What is Bioethanol?

Punjab Government has announced to set up bioethanol refinery in the state to tackle the menace of
It is an alcohol derived by process wheat and paddy straw burning.
of
fermentation
mostly
from
carbohydrates of plant produce and Benefits of bio-ethanol refinery: Would play an
feedstocks. Commonly obtained important role in solving the chronic problem of straw
from crops such as sugarcane, burning of leftover agro-based produce especially from
cassava, corn, potato, beetroot and wheat and rice feedstocks.
recently grapes, banana and dates
etc.
Ketoprofen:

Ketoprofen is extensively used for veterinary purposes


and as an alternative to banned veterinary painkiller
Tamil Nadu state government has Diclofenac. It is believed that Ketoprofen causes same
banned Ketoprofen, a non-steroid effect on the vulture population caused by Diclofenac.
anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to
save critically endangered vulture
population in the state.
Indias first Dolphin Community The reserve would be set up in the Hooghly River
Reserve will be established in West between Malda and Sundarbans as per provisions of
Bengal to protect the endangered Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
mammal, Gangetic river dolphins.
Under state governments green drive initiative 10 lakh
saplings were planted in one day within a span of eight
UP governments ambitious Clean hours on November 7, 2015 at 10 locations in the state.
UP, Green UP initiative has earned
itself a place in the Guinness Book
of World Records.
Clean UP, Green UP initiative:

Musa indandamanensis:

It was discovered by a team of scientists from the


Botanical Survey of India (BSI) from a remote Krishna
A sweet banana species with Nalah tropical rain forest on the Little Andaman Islands.
orange pulp named as Musa Key facts about Musa indandamanensis: Musa
indandamanensis
has
been indandamanensis is thrice the size of a regular banana
discovered in Andamans.
species and has unique green flowers and fruit bunch
lux (axis).
Odisha Government has imposed
seven-month ban till May, 2016 on
fishing along the Puri coast in order
to protect the vulnerable Olive
Ridley sea turtles. This ban comes
prior to arrival of Olive Ridley turtles
for nesting in winters along the east
coast of Odisha.

Olive Ridley Turtles Scientific name: Lepidochelys


olivacea. They are also known as the Pacific Ridley sea
turtle. Generally found in warm and tropical waters,
primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Protection
Status: Listed as vulnerable species in IUCN Red Data
Book because of their few remaining nesting sites in
the world. Protected under Schedule-I of Wildlife
(Protection) Act, 1972 of India.

Page 26 of 93

Biodiesel for trains

The South Western Railways (SWR) Zone with


headquarters in Hubli, Karnataka has introduced
biodiesel for trains, operating under its zone.

National Chambal Sanctuary: NCS


was set up in 1979 as a riverine
sanctuary along the Chambal
River.

It is managed by the Wildlife wing of the Uttar Pradesh


Forest Department and its headquarters are located at
Agra. The sanctuary is the main area for the Gharial
(Gavialis gangeticus), a fresh water critically
endangered (CR) crocodile species.

Biosphere Reserve Inle Lake:

With this launch Myanmar opens a new chapter in its


commitment
to
bio-diversity
and
eco-system
conservation. In June 2015, the lake was officially
designated as Myanmars first biosphere reserve under
UNESCOs Man and the Bioshpere (MAB) programme.
About Inle Lake: Inle Lake is located in Taunggyi
District in Myanmars eastern Shan state. It is the
second largest lake in Myanmar with an estimated
surface area of 116 km2

Myanmar
has
launched
the
countrys first United Nation
Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation (UNESCO) Biosphere
Reserve Inle Lake in Shan state.

National Green Tribunal (NGT) has


banned
age-old
agricultural
practice of straw burning in
pollution-ravaged New Delhi and 4
northern western states of Punjab,
Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar
Pradesh.

National Green Tribunal NGT is a special fast-track


court to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases
pertaining to environmental issues. It has been
established under the National Green Tribunal Act,
2010 to assure the right to a healthy environment of the
citizens of India enshrined in Article 21 of Constitution.

Effects:The menace of straw


burning is making the atmosphere
in national capital Delhi more
blinding and suffocating as smoke
from it moves towards the city. The
open field burning emits Carbon
Dioxide (CO2), Carbon monoxide
(CO) and Nitrous Oxide (NO) along
with particulate matter.
The best remedy to stop this
menace is to set up bio-ethanol
refineries in order to extract
sustainable
bio-fuel
from
agricultural residue with the help of
private-public-partnership
(PPP)
and private model.

Page 27 of 93

Convention on Conservation of
Migratory Species (CMS) The CMS
(also known as Bonn Convention)
under the aegis of the United
Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) aims to conserve migratory
species throughout their range.
India had become a party to the
CMS since 1st November 1983.
Pakistan and Nepal are the Indian
neighbours who are signatories to
this MoU.

India has signed Raptor MoU, a Memorandum of


Understanding (MoU) on conservation of birds of prey
in Africa and Eurasia. With this India becomes 56th
county to sign the Raptor MoU under the Convention
on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS).
About Raptor MoU: It is an agreement under Article IV
paragraph 4 of the Conservation of Migratory Species
(CMS) and is not legally binding on signatory parties.
Of the total 76 species of birds that fall in Raptor MoU,
46 species occur in India including vultures, falcons,
eagles, owls, hawks, kites, harriers, etc.
It is also in conformity with the provisions of Wild Life
(Protection) Act, 1972 wherein the birds have been
accorded protection in India.

Northeast Indias first exclusive Kaziranga National Park It is located in the Golaghat
hospital for elephants has been and Nagaon districts of Assam and is circumscribed by
established at the Kaziranga the Brahmaputra River. It was designated with National
National Park in Assam.
Park status in 1968 and was declared UNESCO World
Heritage Site in 1985 for its unique natural
environment. The park hosts two-thirds of the worlds
great one-horned rhinoceroses which are listed as
vulnerable on the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species.
It is also home to large breeding populations of tigers,
elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
Kaziranga is also recognized as an Important Bird Area
by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal
species.
About Himalayan Brown Bears
They are also known as the
Himalayan red bear, Isabelline bear
or Dzu-The. They are a subspecies
of the brown bear.

Description: These bears are the largest mammal in the


Himalayan region, males reach up to 2.2 m long while
females are a little smaller. They are omnivorous and
hibernate in a den during the winter. In India, they are
found in 23 protected areas of the northern states of
Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and
Uttaranchal. In J&K, they are found in Suru, Zanskar,
Drass and Kargil in the Ladakh region. IUNC Status:
Critically endangered.

Page 28 of 93

175 nations including India have


signed the historic Paris Climate
Agreement at United Nations
Headquarters in New York marking
a significant step to combat global
warming.

The Paris Climate Agreement was formulated within the


framework of the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Facilitates
enforcement of global GHGs reduction measures,
adaptation and finance in the post-2020 i.e. in post
Kyoto Protocol scenario. The agreement was adopted
by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st
Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC held in Paris
(France) in December 2015. In the agreement, all
countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise
to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5
degrees Celsius. Takes into account the principle of
equity (climate justice) and common but differentiated
responsibilities (CBDR) and respective capabilities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi


inaugurated the third edition of Asia
Ministerial Conference on Tiger
Conservation at Vigyan Bhavan in
New Delhi to save wild tigers.

Ministers and government officials from all 13 tiger


range countries (TRCs) participating in the conference.
These 13 TRCs are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia,
China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar,
Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Union Cabinet has given its


formal approval for adopting the
Statute of the South Asia Wildlife
Enforcement Network (SAWEN).

SAWEN is regional inter-governmental wildlife law


enforcement support body launched in January, 2011
in Paro, Bhutan. It aims at working collectively as a
strong regional inter-governmental body to combat
wildlife crime by attainting common mutual goals and
approaches for combating illegal trade in the region.
SAWENs regional network comprises of eight South
Asia countries: Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Nepal,
Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives

International Coordinating Council


of the Man and the Biosphere
(ICCMAB) programme of UNESCO
that concluded recently in Lima,
Peru.

With the addition of the Agastyamalai Biosphere


Reserve, total 10 of the 18 biosphere reserves in the
country have made it to the list of World Network of
Biosphere Reserves. The other nine Biosphere
Reserves are: Nilgiri (Western Ghats), Gulf of Mannar
(Tamil Nadu), Sunderban (West Bengal), Nanda Devi
(Uttarakhand),
Nokrek
(Meghalaya),
Pachmarh
(Madhya Pradesh), Similipal (Odisha), AchanakmarAmarkantak (Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh) and
Great Nicobar.

Union Ministry of Environment,


Forests and Climate Change
(MoEFCC) has notified new Plastic
Waste Management (PWM) Rules.

These new rules seek to curb over 6000 tonnes of


uncollected plastic waste generated daily by industries.
The PWM Rules 2016 will replace the Plastic Waste
(Management and Handling) Rules 2011.

Page 29 of 93

The Union Ministry of Environment,


Forest and Climate Change
(MoEFCC) has released a new
Four-Colour Classification Scheme
for industries based on their
pollution potential.
Swachh
application

Parayatan

The four-colour classification scheme of industrial


sectors based on the Pollution Index (PI) which is a
function of the (i) Emissions (air pollutants) (ii) Effluents
(water pollutants) (iii) Hazardous wastes generated and
(iv) Consumption of resources.

mobile Union Government has launched Swachh Parayatan


mobile application to keep tourist places clean. It was
launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Tourism,
Culture and Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma in New
Delhi. Initially the application facility will be available for
25 Adarsh Smarak Monuments protected by
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

The Union Ministry of Environment,


Forest and Climate Change has
launched Environment Information
System (ENVIS) portal and mobile
application.

The purpose of the scheme is to integrate country-wide


efforts in environmental information collection, storage,
collation, retrieval and dissemination. The ENVIS
network presently consists of 69 centres, of which 29
are under environment departments of various state
governments/UT administrations while remaining 40
ENVIS is central sector Scheme of are operated by environment-related government and
the MOEFCC implemented since non-governmental organisations.
1982.
Wild Pig (sus scrofa) as vermin in The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate
Uttarakhand
Change (MoEFCC) has declared Wild Pig (sus scrofa)
as vermin in Uttarakhand for a year. In this regard,
MoEFCC has used its powers enshrined to it by section
62 of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972.
National Air Quality Index:
The National AQI is published for
every month by CPCB along with a
numerical value and a colour code
which helps in comparing air
pollution levels in cities.

Fulbright

Fellowship

Kalam

It is determined on the basis of concentration of 8


pollutants, including Particulate Matter (PM 2.5, PM
10), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2),
carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), ammonia (NH3)
and lead (Pb). The colour categories are classified into
6 categories depending upon numerical value as Good
(0-50), Satisfactory (51-100), Moderately polluted (101200), Poor (201-300), Very poor (301-400) and Severe
(401-500).

Climate India and United States have launched the Fulbright


Kalam Climate Fellowship enabling Indian research
scholars to work with American institutions in the field
of climate change.

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Gangetic River Dolphin as official Assams Guwahati became the first city in the country
mascot
to have its own city animal after Kamrup metropolitan
district administration declared Gangetic River Dolphin
as its official mascot.
Swachh Saathi Programme :

Under it, more than 2000 interns will be enrolled to


coordinate around 10000 schools across India. They
Swachh Saathi programme is a also will ensure that all students in the schools across
youth-based programme of Swachh India take the pledge for Clean India.
Bharat Mission.
RAJ-VAYU App:
RajVayu Information provided on
RajVayu app is based on the data
collected by sophisticated air
quality monitoring equipment and
weather sensors.

The app has been designed by Rajasthan State


Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) jointly with Indian
Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM). It would share
details about the air quality, such as levels of pollutants
likes SOx, NOx, CO, Ozone particles and Particulate
Matter (PM) with the city residents and tourists.

Asias
first
Gyps
Vulture Haryana Government has launched Asias first Gyps
Reintroduction Programme
Vulture Reintroduction Programme at the Jatayu
Conservation Breeding Centre at Pinjore
Scientists from United States have
discovered a way to take carbon
dioxide (CO2) from the air and
convert
it
into
valuable
manufacturing material carbon
nanofibres (CNFs).

CNF is cylindric nanostructures with graphene layers


arranged as stacked cones, cups or plates structure. It
has high tensile strength, less distortions with changes
in temperature and high electromagnetic shielding.
Graphene layers of CNFs wrapped into perfect
cylinders are called carbon nanotubes.

As per a new study Antarctic


Ocean
has
been
absorbing
increasing levels of Carbon Dioxide
(CO2), a potent greenhouse gas
(GHG) over the past decade.

Researchers have found that since the beginning of the


millennium, Antarctic Oceans carbon sink has become
much stronger, regaining its expected strength.
Antarctic Ocean seasonally absorbs vast amounts of
CO2 from the atmosphere and releases it back later in
the year. The seas surrounding Antarctica on an annual
average absorb significantly more CO2 than they
release.

Norway has become the first In this regard, Norwegian Parliament had pledged to
country in the world to prohibit make governments public procurement policy
deforestation.
deforestation-free

E. INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND PROTOCOLS

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1. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)


Also known as the Earth Summit
Was a major United Nations conference held in Rio deJaneiro in 1992.
In 2012, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development was also held in Rio (also called
Rio+20 or Rio Earth Summit 2012.)
Legally binding agreements (Rio Convention) were opened for signature:
1. Convention On Biodiversity (CBD)
2. UNFCCC
3. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification(UNCCD)
Earth Summit resulted in the following documents:
1. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
2. Agenda 21
3. Forest Principles
Agenda 21 : It is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action planof the United Nations
with regard to sustainable development.It is a comprehensive blue print of action tobe taken
globally, nationally and locally byorganisations of the UN, governments,and major groups in
every area in whichhumans directly affect environment.The number 21 refers to an agenda
for the21st century

2. Convention On Biodiversity (CBD)


Legally binding: First time recognised that the conservation of biological diversity is a
common concern of humankind and is an integral part of development process.
Agreement covers all species, ecosystem, genetic resources
Three main goals of CBD:
o
o
o

The conservation of biodiversity,


Sustainable use of the components of biodiversity,
Sharing of benefits arising from the commercial andother utilisation of genetic
resources in a fair and equitable way
Parties to the Convention: One hundred and ninety-five states and the European Union are
parties to theconvention. All UN member stateswith the exception of the United States
have ratified theTreaty. Non-UN member states that have ratified are the Cook Islands,
Niue, andPalestine.

Meeting of the Parties to the Convention


Conference of Parties:
1994, COP1 Nassau, Bahamas
2010, COP 10 Nagoyo, Japan Nagoyo protocol on access tobiodiversity and benefit sharing and
Aichi targets
2012, COP 11 Hyderabad, India

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2014, COP 12 in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.


2016, COP 13 in Los Cabos, Baja California South, Mexico
COP 11, Hyderabad
1. Commitment to double the international financialflows for bio diversity by 2015
2. India Hyderabad pledge US $50 million tostrengthen institutional mechanism for
biodiversityconservation in the country
3. India took charge of the presidency of CBD from Japan
Nagoya Protocol
o It provides a transparent legal framework for the implementation of one of the three
objectives of the CBD: The fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the
utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable
use of biodiversity.
o The Protocol was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, and entered into
force on 12 October 2014. It has been ratified by 60 parties.
o Relevance: The Nagoya Protocol is intended to create greater legal certainty and
transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources by:
Access obligations
Benefit-sharing obligations to provide for the fair and equitable sharing of
benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources with the contracting
party providing genetic resources. Benefits may be monetary or non-monetary
such as royalties and the sharing of research results.
Utilization includes research and development on the genetic or biochemical
composition of genetic resources, as well as subsequent applications and
commercialization. Sharing is subject to mutually agreed terms.
3. United Nation Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by WMO and
the UNEP.It is a scientific intergovernmental body under the auspices of the United Nations.
It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.
IPCC adopted UNFCCC in 1992. The conference of parties (COP) to UNFCCC is held
annually. IPCC produces reports that support the UNFCCC, which is the main international
treaty on climate change.
Note
IPCC does not carry out its own original research,
Nor does it do the work of monitoring climate or related phenomena itself.
The IPCC bases its assessment on the published literature.
Legality
Legally non-binding,
No enforcement mechanism
But framework for negotiating Specific international treaties (Protocols), that may set binding
limits on Green House Gases
Funding mechanism-

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Special climate change fund,


Global climatefund,
Global environment facility
Reducing emission from Deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), REDD+
Few COPs:
Kyoto Protocol (1997) COP 3 (CDM, JI, Emission trading)
Bali Action Plan(2007), COP 13
Copenhagen Accord (2009), COP 16
CancnAgreements (2010), COP 17
Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (2012). COP 19
Lima Conference, Paris, COP 21, 2015
Kyoto Protocol:
Was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February
2005.
Currently 192 Parties, Canada withdrew, effective December 2012.
Some of the principal concepts of the Kyoto Protocol are:
Binding commitments for the Annex I Parties.
The commitments were based on the Berlin Mandate, which was a part of UNFCCC
negotiations leading up to the Protocol
Implementation - Annex I Parties are required to prepare policies and measures for the
reduction of greenhouse gases in their respective countries.
In addition, they are required to increase the absorption of these gases and utilize all
mechanisms available,
such as joint implementation,
the clean development mechanism and
emissions trading,
In order to be rewarded with credits that would allow more greenhouse gas emissions at
home.
Minimizing Impacts on Developing Countries by establishing an adaptation fund for climate
change
Categorization of Countries:
Annex I Countries
Accepted legally binding commitment to reduce GHG
43 Parties, including theEuropean Union.
These parties are classified as industrialized (developed) countries and "economies in
transition" (EITs).
Annex II countries
Agreed to give financial assistance to developing countries in mitigation and adaptation

Page 34 of 93

24 Parties including the European Union


These Parties are made up of members of the OECD.
Non Annex Countries
Annex A List of 6 GHG that need to be controlled (CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, PFC, HFC)
Annex B Quota for each Annex I countries
Green Climate Fund:
Article 11 of UNFCCC (Financial mechanism)
GCF Support projects, programmes,
countries(Governed by GCF board)

policies

and

activities

in

Developing

World bank Interim trustee of GCF


By 2020 developed countries will contribute $100 billion to the fund
GCF is based in Incheon, South Korea.
Adaptation Fund:
To finance concrete adaptation projects in developing countries (KP)
Financed from share of proceeds from CDM projects (2% of certified emission reductions issued
for CDM projects)
Supervised by Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) 16 members
World Bank serves as an interim trustee to the Adaptation Fund.

4. UN- Convention To Combat Desertification (UNCCD)


Desertification Is a type of land degradation in which a relatively dry land region becomes
increasingly arid, typically losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife
Dry-lands occupy approx. 4041% of Earths land area and is home to more than 2 billion people.
At least 90% of the inhabitants of dry-lands live in developing nations, where they also suffer from
poor economic and social conditions
UNCCD Is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through
national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international
cooperation and partnership arrangements.
196 parties. In 2013, Canada became the first country to announce its intention to withdraw
from the convention
UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and
development to sustainable land management.

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5. CITES(Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and


Flora)
It is an international agreement between governments entered into force in 1975.
181 parties signed; Administered through UNEP; Secretariat Geneva, Switzerland
Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties, it does not take the place of national laws.
Rather it provides a framework respected by each Party, which must adopt their own
domestic legislation to implement CITES at the national level.
Roughly 5,000 species of animals and 29,000 species of plants are protected by CITES
against overexploitation through international trade.
3 Appendices Different regulations, permits and certificate
Appendix I
Species threatened with extinction and provide the greatest level of protection
Gorilla, Sea turtles, Lady slipper Orchids, Giant pandas
Appendix II
Currently not threatened with extinction, but may become extinct without tradecontrols
Appendix III
Includes species for which a range country has asked other parties to help incontrolling international
trade Map turtles, Walruses, Cape stag beetles

Limitations of CITES:
1. No Enforcement authority of their own
2. Release of seized non-native species into ecosystem
3. Black market due to regulation Rhino Horn, TigerBone (Chinese medicine), Elephant ivories
6. Convention On Migratory Species (Bonn Convention)
It is a legally binding intergovernmental treaty, concluded under the aegis of UNEP. It has
120 signatories.
Aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range.
Concerned with the conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale.
Complements and cooperates with a number of other international organisations, NGOs
and partners in the media as well as in the corporate sector.
Species coverage:
Appendix I Threatened Migratory Species
.
Appendix II Migratory Species requiring international cooperation
Memorandum of Understanding came into effect on 1 July 1993 and was amended in January
1999.

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7. Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety -(CPB)


It is the first international regulatory framework for safe transfer, handling and use of Living
Modified Organisms (LMOs) . (Legally binding)
The Protocol applies to the trans-boundary movement, transit, handling and use of all living
modified organisms that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use
of biological diversity, taking also intoaccount risks to human health.
It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by GMOs resulting from
modernbiotechnology.
Protocol has 170 parties, which includes 167 United Nations member states, Niue, the State
of Palestine, and the European Union.
Procedures for moving LMOs across borders:The "Advance Informed Agreement" (AIA)
procedure applies to the first intentional trans-boundary movement of LMOs for intentional
introduction into the environment of the Party of import.
Biosafety Clearing-House:The Protocol established a Biosafety Clearing- House (BCH), in
order to facilitate the exchange of scientific, technical, environmental and legal information
on, and experience with, living modified organisms; and to assist Parties to implement the
Protocol
Biological Diversity Act, 2002:
The Act was enacted to meet the obligations under CBD
The Act also defines biological resources as plants, animals and microorganismsor parts
thereof, their genetic material and by-products (excluding value added products) with actual
or potential use or value, but does not include human genetic material
National Biodiversity Authority
Statutory autonomous body,
HQ-Chennai, under the MOEF,
Established in 2003 to implement the provisions under the Act.
State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) has been created in 28 States along with 31,574 Biological
management committees (for each local body) across India.

8. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants


An international legally binding environmental treaty,
Signed in 2001, Effective from May 2004,
Aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
Signatories 152, Parties 179
Summary of Provisions:
Developed countries provide new and additional financial resources and measures to
Eliminate production and use of intentionally produced POPs,
eliminate unintentionally produced POPs where feasible
And manage and dispose of POPs wastes in an environmentally sound manner.
POPs
Are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate through the food
web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment.

Page 37 of 93

They are carbon compounds.


The 12 initial POPs are placed under 3 categories:
1. Pesticides Aldrin, Chlordane, DDT, Dieldrin, Endrin, Heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene, Mirex,
Toxaphene
2. Industrial Chemicals Hexachlorobenzene, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)
3. By Products Hexachlorobenzene, Polychlorinated dibenzo p dioxins, Polychlorinated
dibenzofurans
(PCDD/PCDF) and PCB

9. Basel Convention - on the Control of Trans-boundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes


and their Disposal

An international non-binding treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of


hazardous waste between nations,
And specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed
countries (LDCs)
Does not address the movement of radioactive waste.
Adopted 22 March, 1989, came into force on 1992

Parties
182 states and the European Union
Haiti and the United States have signed but not yet ratified it

10. Rotterdam Convention

Formally-the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain
Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade)
Is a multilateral legally binding treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to
importation of hazardous chemicals.
Promotes open exchange of information and calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to
use proper labelling, include directions on safe handling, and inform purchasers of any
known restrictions or bans.
Signatory nations can decide whether to allow or ban the importation of chemicals listed in
the treaty, and exporting countries are obliged to make sure that producers within their
jurisdiction comply.

Page 38 of 93

GEOGRAPHY
Pattiseema lift irrigation project

Andhra Pradesh government inaugurated Indias first river linking


project viz. Pattiseema lift irrigation project connecting Godavari
River with Krishna River from the ongoing Polavaram Multipurpose Irrigation Project. The project has been completed in a
record time of one year by the Hyderabad-based Megha
Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL).
The interlinking irrigation project located at Pattisam village in
West Godavari district will pump Godavari Rivers water into a
canal 4 km under the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme. The
pumped water will meet Krishna River at Ibrahimpatnam in
Vijaywada district through 174 km long link canal.

Name of North America Mount McKinley United States has changed the name of tallest mountain in North
changed to its original native name America Mount McKinley to its original native name Denali.
Denali
Key facts: The summit elevation of Mount Denali is 6,190 m
above sea level. It is located in the Alaska Range and Denali
National Park in the US state of Alaska. Till 1896, it was named
as Denali (meaning as High One or Great One) among the
natives of Alaska, but was renamed as Mount McKinley in the
honour of William McKinley after he was nominated to become
the US President.
Indias first River Information System Indias first River Information System (RIS) was launched by
(RIS)
Union Government to facilitate safe and accurate inland
waterway navigation. It has been launched in phases and the first
phase will cover 145-km stretch of National Waterways 1 (Phase
I- Haldia to Farakka) on the Ganges River.
Inland Waterway Authority of India (IWAI), a statutory body under
the aegis of Union Ministry of Shipping is implementing the RIS in
India.
About River Information Services (RIS): RIS are combination of
modern tracking equipment comprising of hardware and software
designed to optimize transport and traffic processes in inland
water navigation.

Page 39 of 93

Dedicated
project

Freight

Corridor

(DFC) The much-awaited ambitious Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC)


project of government has announced to commission its first 56kilometer stretch in Bihar. Out of total 3,300 km stretch the 56
kilometres
developed
between Durgawati and Sasaram
commissioned.
Dedicated Freight Corridor is double track, broad gauge freightspecific lines envisaged by government in 11th Five Year
Plan (20072012). It is in developing stage under the aegis of
Railway Ministry covering 3,300 km long stretch.
It is projected to develop in two routes. The Eastern Corridor
from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal that covers
1,839 Km. The Western Corridor from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai that covers 1,483
Km. These two corridors interlink at Khurja in Uttar Pradesh.

West-Central Railway (WCR) zone

The West-Central Railway (WCR) zone headquartered in


Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh has become the first Railway Zone in
Indian Railways to eliminate all unmanned level crossings.

Cyclone Chapala

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based


on a hurricane's sustained wind speed.This scale estimates
A rare tropical Cyclone Chapala has potential property damage.
slammed into Yemen triggering heavy
flooding and causing damage in coastal Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major
region of the war racked country. The hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and
cyclone made landfall in the south damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however,
eastern provinces of Hadramawt and and require preventative measures. In the western North Pacific,
Shabwa along the Gulf of Aden coast of the term "super typhoon" is used for tropical cyclones with
Yemen in Arabian Sea bringing winds of sustained winds exceeding 150 mph.
speed more than 100 kms per hour. Key
facts: Indian Meteorological Department
(IMD) has categorized Cyclone Chapala
as a Category 4 equivalent storm on the
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
The cyclone prone eastern coast of It will be the sixth such radar on the countrys east coast and the
India will get a new doppler radar to other such 5 radars are located in Kolkata, Chennai,
boost the weather forecasting system. It Visakhapatnam, Machilipatnam and Paradip.
will be commissioned by the India
Meteorological Department (IMD) in
Gopalpur in Odisha

Page 40 of 93

Page 41 of 93

NATIONAL NEWS 2015-16

Two Indian cities for first time have been designated as members of UNESCOs Creative
Cities Network (UCCN). Two cities are
o

Varanasi: It has been added in the City of Music category of network.

Jaipur: It has been added in the City of Crafts and Folk Art category of network.The
Network covers seven creative fields including Crafts and Folk Arts, Film, Media Arts,
Gastronomy, Design, Literature and Music.

Ministry Health and Family Welfare has released National Health Profile (NHP) 2015, which
provides comprehensive information related to health sector. NHP focuses on key health
information under six major indicators viz. demographic, socio-economic, health finance and
health status indicators, comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human
resources in health in India.

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has banned the sale of Diclofenac in multi-dose
vial. Henceforth, it will be sold only in single-dose vial packaging for human use. Diclofenac
and Vulture extinction:- Diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is
administered as painkiller to cattle, is the chief cause of mass extinction of vultures.

MISSION INDRADHANUSH
It depicts 7 colours of the rainbow
It aims to cover all those children by 2020 who are either unvaccinated, or are partially
vaccinated against 7 vaccine preventable diseases.
The diseases include:diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles
and hepatitis. Under this universal vaccination programme, all vaccines will be made
available free of cost.

Union government has found residues of pesticides in vegetables, fruits, milk and other food
items collected from various retail and wholesale outlets across the country.
In 1,180 vegetables samples, non-approved pesticides residues pesticides such as
bifenthrin, triazofos, acephate, metalaxyl acetamiprid and malathion were detected in 225
fruit samples, non-approved pesticides such as acephate, acetamiprid, carbosulfan,
cypermethrin, profenofos, quinalphos and metalaxyl were found. In 43 pulses samples,
residues of non-approved pesticides especially of profenophos, hexaconazole and metalaxyl
were found. In 30 rice samples, residues of triazofos, metalaxyl, carbaryl and acephate were
detected.

Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has made a major modification in the National
Blood Policy (NBP), 2002 to allow blood banks to borrow units from one another in case of a
shortage.

The Union Government has launched Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) injection as part of the
global polio endgame strategy in New Delhi. It was launched as part of Indias next step in
Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) to fight against polio virus in the country. IPV
injections do not contain an attenuated vaccine virus which is used in Oral Polio Vaccine
(OPV). Thus it reduces the chances of Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (VDPV).

Page 42 of 93

Haryana became the first state in the country to implement the use of injectable
contraceptives as a family planning measure. In this regard, Chief Minister Manohar Lal
Khattar has launched Project Salamati in assistance of Pathfinder International.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched Indias first indigenous Rotavirus
Vaccine named Rotavac to combat infant mortality due to diarrhoea.
The Rotavirus is a genus of double-stranded RNA virus in the family Reoviridae. It is most
common causative agent of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) among infants below 11
months age group and death among children less than five years of age.

Scientists at Lucknow based CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants


(CIMAP) have found that mint plant has medicinal values that can cure cancer. They have
identified that a medicinal compound called L-Menthol derived from Mentha plant popularly
known as mint.

Indian scientists for first time have claimed to have developed herbal medicine against
mosquito borne dengue fever using traditional Indian medicine system Ayurveda. The herbal
dengue medicine was developed using alcoholic extract of Cissampelos pariera Linn (Cipa
extract) derived from velvetleaf, a species of flowering plant. The drug has proved to be
potent inhibitor to all four types (strains) of dengue virus.

The Union Government has launched Qora, an indigenously developed affordable Faecal
Incontinence Management System (FIMS). What is faecal incontinence? Faecal
incontinence (FI) is a medical condition marked by inability to control ones bowel
movements. It causes faeces (stool) to leak unexpectedly from the rectum.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched the countrys first
anti-diabetic ayurvedic drug named BGR-34 for type two Diabetes mellitus. BGR-34 stands
for Blood Glucose Regulator

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a poly-herbal


medicine by the trade name of Lukoskin for the treatment of Leucoderma. About
Leucoderma Leukoderma (also known as vitiligo): It is a cutaneous acquired condition
causing a rare skin disease which results white patches on skin. This condition is caused
due to loss of pigmentation of the skin that may occur after any number of inflammatory skin
conditions such as burns, postdermabrasion, intralesional steroid injections etc.

The Union textile Ministry has bestowed the Indian Handloom Brand tag on Chettinad cotton
saris for its unique designs and identity. This tag was bestowed under the India Handloom
Brand Scheme after checking its various quality parameters stipulated by the Standard
Operating Procedure (SOP).Chettinad cotton saree is also known as kandaangi. It is the
traditional sari of the Chettinad region in Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu.

Recently scientists have discovered presence of several colonies of an invasive species of


snowflake coral (Carijoa riisei) off the coast of Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari.

Union Government has launched an e-payment module to make the payment of


compensatory levies into the Compensatory Afforestation Management Planning Authority
(CAMPA) Funds.

Page 43 of 93

What is CAMPA Fund? Levies are imposed on development projects that seek land inside a
Reserved Forest or a Protected Area (PA) in a sanctuary or a national park. These collected
levies are accrued in the CAMPA Funds which are to be utilised to plant trees elsewhere in
order to ostensibly compensate the loss of forest due to development projects.
It was established after Supreme Court order in 2002.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the setting
up of Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC). ISLRTC will be set up
as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and initially will be located at the
Institute for Physically Handicapped, New Delhi. It will be established under the aegis of the
Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities which comes under Union Ministry
of
Social
Justice
&
Empowerment.

Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM): It was launched in 2010 by the Union
Government with a target to setup 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022. Later
in 2014, the target was enhanced upto 1,00,000 MW.

Gujarat is set to become the first state in India to launch Agro-Solar Policy to encourage the
farmers to tap the solar energy. The new policy seeks to encourage the farmers in the state
to tap free solar energy from sun, which will in turn help them to earn additional income from
power generation companies.

Perumanna Grama Panchayat in Kozhikode District of Kerala has become the first
Panchayat in the State, to declare its own water policy. The water policy has been framed in
the lines of the State governments water policy declared in 2008.

Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) of Kerala has become the first airport in the world to
fully operate on solar power

Union Government is going to develop Bodhgaya in Gaya district of Bihar as Spiritual


Capital of the country in order to serve the civilizational bond between India and the
Buddhist world.
About Bodhgaya: Bodhgaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the
Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district of Bihar. Significance: It is famous because it
place where Gautama Buddha (Founder of Buddhism) is said to have obtained
Enlightenment (Bodhimandala) under the peepal tree which is known as the Bodhi Tree. For
Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important place and one of the main four pilgrimage sites
related to the life of Gautama Buddha. Other three are Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. In
2002, Mahabodhi Temple located in Bodh Gaya was accorded with UNESCO World
Heritage Site status.

Union Cabinet has approved Marginal Fields Policy (MFP) to auction small and marginal
unexploited hydrocarbon discoveries by state owned oil companies. Key facts about
Marginal Fields Policy (MFP): 69 unexploited oil fields owned by Oil and Natural Gas
Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL) will be opened for competitive bidding to
private and foreign companies based on revenue sharing model.

Page 44 of 93

The Eighth edition of National Seed Congress (NSC) has begun in Hyderabad to deliberate
on advanced seed development technologies and regulatory measures.

The Tenth World Hindi Conference (


) has begun in Bhopal, Madhya
Pradesh with the theme of Hindi Jagat-Vistar and Sambhavnaye.

Senior IAS officer Alok Rawat became first male person to be appointed as a member of
National Commission for Women (NCW). National Commission for Women NCW is a
statutory body established under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990. It was
established in January 1992 to review the constitutional and legal safeguards for women. It
recommends remedial legislative measures, advise Government on all policy matters
affecting women and facilitate redressal of grievances related to women.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Indian Police Foundation (IPF) and
Indian Police Institute (IPI) in New Delhi. Indian Police Foundation will be a think tank for
suggesting reforms in the Indian Police. It will bring together the police professionals,
academia and other stake holders and provide a platform to research, ideate, discuss and
seek the answers. Indian Police Institute will be a research and training institute for police
officers in the Indian Police for the pursuit of professional excellence. It has been set up in
line with the Prime Ministers vision of a SMART, people-centric and professionally
competent police.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved setting up of a
National Resource Facility for Bio-medical Research (NARF) at Genome Valley in
Hyderabad, Telangana.

Union Government has launched the Technology Acquisition and Development Fund
(TADF) under the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), 2011.

The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Union
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Mozambique in the field of renewable energy.

Maharashtra government has decided to impose drought tax in a bid to raise funds to tackle
the drought like situation in the state.

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty
(MLAT) between India and Maldives in case of criminal matters. Key facts of Treaty: Aims to
enhance effectiveness of both signatory countries in investigation and prosecution of crime.
Seeks to enhance cooperation and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

Supreme Court has declared National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act,
2014 and 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014 unconstitutional and void

The Supreme Court (SC) of India has stayed Rajasthan High Courts order declaring
Santhara, a Jain ritual of voluntary and systematic fasting to death illegal.
What is Santhara? Santhara is a religious custom of Jain religion that embraces voluntary
death in order to purge oneself of bad karma and attain moksha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone Amaravati, a new capital city of
Andhra Pradesh on the occasion of Dussehra and Vijaya Dashmi.

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Indias first Paragliding World Cup has begun at Bir Billing near Baijnath town in Kangra
district of Himachal Pradesh. Snow leopard is the official mascot of this World Cup.

Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple: It is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in


Thrissur district of Kerala. It has monumental towers on all four sides and also has a
Kuttambalam displaying vignettes carved in wood. It is a classic example of the architectural
style of Kerala and has Mural paintings depicting various episodes from Mahabharata,
declared as a National Monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites
and Remains Act, 1958.

The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has decided to set up the National
Organic Farming Research Institute (NOFRI) in Sikkim.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the permanent campus of National Institute of
Science Education and Research (NISER) in Jatani near Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has declared Naga militant outfit National Socialist
Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) formally known as NSCN (K) as a terrorist organisation and
all its formations and front organisations have been declared as a terrorist organisation
under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas PBD is being held annually since 2003 by MOIA to foster greater
interaction between the Indian Diaspora and Indian government. It provides the diaspora a
single platform to put forth their issues and grievances before the government and in turn
government can leverage their resources in nation building activities. It is held annually on 9
January to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India i.e. on 9 January,
1915.

Union Government has decided to merge Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with
the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). This decision has been taken to avoid duplication of
work and to improve efficiency in line with Union Governments broad principle of minimum
government, maximum governance.

The Union Government has reserved 33 per cent posts of constables for women in Central
Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to enhance their representation.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has celebrated the 6th National Voters Day across
the country. Theme for year 2016 is Inclusive and Qualitative Participation. National Voters
Day was initiated in 2011 to commemorate the foundation day of the Election Commission of
India (ECI). Significance of Day: This day marks the foundation day of ECI which came into
existence on 25th January 1950.

Additional Solicitor General: An Additional Solicitor General acts as law officer to advice the
Union government on various legal matters. He is the third ranking lawyer of the Union
Government. Solicitor General and Additional Solicitor Generals mainly assist the Union
Governments top legal adviser Attorney General (highest law officer of the country). It
should be noted that office and duties of Attorney General is created by the Constitution
under the Article 76. While, Solicitor General and Additional Solicitor Generals office and
duties are governed by Law Officers (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1987 and not by the
Constitution.

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Article 341: It empowers Parliament to include or exclude castes from the list of Scheduled
Castes in the notification. It also empowers the President to specify castes which will be
deemed as Scheduled Castes through a notification.

Lok Sabha has passed 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. The bill seeks to amend the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1950 and
the Delimitation Act, 2002. These Acts regulate allocation of seats to the Lok Sabha and
state legislatures and delimitation (fixing boundaries) of parliamentary and state assembly
constituencies. Key facts: This bill aims to empower the Election Commission of India (ECI)
to carry out delimitation in areas that were affected by the enactment of the Constitution
(100th Amendment) Act, 2015.

Gujarat state government has decided to set up Indias first aviation park near Bagodara
village in Ahmedabad district to strengthen the aviation sector. In this regard, state
government has given this task to Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company Ltd
(GUJSAIL) to carry out the project

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first phase Kerala Tourisms Muziris Heritage
Project (MHP) at Trissur in Kerala to reinstate the historical and cultural significance of
Muziris. Muziris was an ancient seaport and urban centre which dates from at least the 1st
century BC and located at the mouth of the Periyar River in Kerala.

The Parliament has passed National Waterways Bill, 2015 to clear decks for the conversion
of 106 rivers and creeks across India into transport waterways.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) to
make India disaster resilient and reduce loss of lives. The first of its kind of national plan is
based on the four priority themes of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
2015-30. They are (i) Understanding disaster risk (ii) Improving disaster risk governance (iii)
Investing in disaster risk reduction (through structural and non-structural measures) and (iv)
Disaster preparedness, early warning and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster.

Union Government has announced it plans to implement the Sendai framework for Disaster
Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in letter and spirit. Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk
Reduction 2015-2030: It was adopted during the third UN World Conference on Disaster
Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015. Its adaptation involves adopting
integrated and inclusive institutional measures in order to work towards preventing
vulnerability to disaster.

The second World Congress on Disaster Management (WCDM) has started in


Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Key fact: Address and discuss issues such as
implementation of the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction.

Kolkata-Ashuganj-Tripura transit facility under the revised Inland Water Transit and Trade
Protocol between India and Bangladesh became operational. The facility running through a
land and river route crossing Bangladesh territory cuts the Kolkata-Agartala distance via
Siliguris chicken neck from 1600 km to 800 km. It also has reduced the time of the journey
from 30 days (via Siliguri corridor) to just 10 days.

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Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958: Empowers armed forces to deal effectively in
Disturbed Areas declared by both state and Central government. Parliament had enacted it
in 1958 to provide special legal security to the armed forces for carrying out operations in the
troubled areas of seven sisters states of North East. The act was extended to Jammu and
Kashmir in 1990 in order to confront the rising insurgency in the area.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 103rd edition of the Indian Science Congress
(ISC) on January 3, 2016 in Mysuru, Karnataka. The theme of this edition of the Congress is
Science and Technology for Indigenous Development in India. During the inaugural speech
Prime Minister gave a new mantra comprising five Es Economy, Environment, Energy,
Empathy and Equity.

Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project: It is a 9900 MW power project proposed by Nuclear Power
Corporation of India (NPCIL) at Madban village of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra. On
completion, it will become the largest nuclear power generating station in the world by net
electrical power rating. It consists of 6 European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) of 1650 MW
each. France is going to supply technology for construction and also nuclear fuel for 25
years for this plant.

The India Meteorology Department (IMD) has deployed indigenously developed Drishti, an
instrument that will provide real time visibility information to pilots. Drishti has been
developed by the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bangalore.

Heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O): It is used for cooling the nuclear reactor core i.e. as
coolant and neutron moderator. PHWR is commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its
fuel.

President Pranab Mukherjee has formally declared Kerala as the countrys first digital state.
It was announced by President after launching a digital empowerment campaign of state at a
function to be held in Kozhikode. The campaign aims at bridging the digital divide by 2020.
State has successfully linked all villages in the state with broadband connectivity under the
National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project. It is first state in country to do so. Apart from
NOFN it, two projects started by the government in 2002 viz. Akshaya and IT@School also
has helped it to attain high e literacy.

E-Tourist Visa Scheme Union Government had launched e-Tourist Visa Scheme (as Tourist
Visa on Arrival scheme) in November 2014. The e-Tourist Visa Scheme facilitates preauthorization of Visa i.e. electronic travel authorisation given to foreigners prior to travel.

Indias first indigenously developed lightest revolver (gun) Nidar weighing merely 250 grams
was successfully launched. It has been designed and manufactured by the state-run rifle
factory Ishapore located in West Bengal giving boost to the Make in India initiative in small
manufacturing sector. Key facts: Nidar is much lighter than Nirbheek (500 grams) revolver
which was exclusively designed for women.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS 2015-16

World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially declared India as Maternal and Neonatal
Tetanus free country, i.e. mothers and new-borns are free from tetanus at the time of birth.

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Sub-Regional Drug Focal Point Meeting and Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme
(CPDAP), South Asia under the Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) Expert Group Consultation
has begun in New Delhi. Main objective is to review the progress of the Drug Demand and
Supply Reduction activities in the South Asia region. Drug Menace in South Asia region
South Asia region is present on the so called Golden Crescent (overlaps Afghanistan, Iran
and Pakistan) and Golden Triangle (overlaps Myanmar, Laos and Thailand) which are two
main opium-producing areas in the world.

Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) which was launched in 1988 has played pivotal role
in eradication of wild poliovirus. When the initiative was launched the wild poliovirus existed
in 125 countries. Now, it exists in two countries Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Chinese scientists have developed a new bio-artificial liver that can help patients to survive
from liver failure long enough for an organ transplant. It has been developed by team of
researchers from the Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences and doctors from Nanjing
Drum Tower Hospital.

Researchers from France have found first evidence that mosquito-borne Zika virus might
cause a severe neurological disorder called Guillain-Barr syndrome (GBS). GBS is a rare
condition in which the bodys immune system attacks a part of the nervous system that
controls muscle strength leading to muscle weakness in the legs and arms. The syndrome
is also be caused by bacterial infections as well as the dengue and chikungunya viruses
transmitted by be vector Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (also host for Zika Virus).

Worlds first fast-acting anti-rabies drug Rabies Human Monoclonal Antibody (RMAb) will be
launched in India. RMAb drug is a human IgG1 monoclonal antibody that instantly
deactivates rabies virus by specifically binding to a conformational epitope of G glycoprotein
of the virus. It is 25% cheaper compared to the existing expensive human rabies
immunoglobulin (hRIG) treatment.

The worlds first public dengue vaccination programme was launched in the Philippines with
a French drug Dengvaxia (worlds 1st dengue fever vaccine) to combat mosquito-borne
disease. Dengvaxia has been manufactured by French pharmaceutical manufacturer Sanofi
Pasteur

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that Thailand has become the first
Asian country to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission. Previously, Cuba was the only
other country and first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission under
the WHOs criteria back in July 2015.

Scientists have genetically modified malaria-causing mosquito Anopheles gambiae species


to fight the deadly disease of malaria. The research was successfully carried by team of
researchers led by London based Imperial College and was published in the journal Nature
Biotechnology. Key facts: Scientists have genetically modified Anopheles gambiae mosquito
species so that they carry a modified gene disrupting egg production in female mosquitoes.
For this they had used a technology called gene drive which uses the technique of recessive
genes, so that many mosquitoes will inherit only one copy of the gene.

India and Nepal have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of
Raxaul-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline. This pipeline will be the first of its kind project between two
neighbouring countries in the SAARC region in the oil and gas sector. It will be constructed

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by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on behalf of Indian Government at a cost of 200 crore
rupees.

Bangladesh has become the first country in the world to receive funds from United Nations
for its fast growing Solar Home Systems. In this regard, UN Framework Convention for
Climate Change (UNFCCC) has issued carbon credits (CC) worth 3.56 million US dollars to
two Bangladeshi organisations. The two organisations are: Grameen Shakti: Founded by
Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus with an aim to take clean solar power systems and
communication technology to villages. Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (IDCOL): It
is state-owned development financial institution in Bangladesh. It finances and promotes
infrastructure and renewable energy projects in the country.

TAPI Project: It is a proposed trans-country natural gas pipeline from Caspian Sea,
Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan. Countries involved: The
abbreviation TAPI itself indicates its member countries- Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan
and India. Distance: The pipe line connects central Asia with south Asia covering 1,800 km.
Reserves: Gas reserves are 16 trillion cubic feet. Operational from: expected to be fully
operational from 2018. Runs through: Galkynysh field, Turkmenistan Herat and Kandahar
province of Afghanistan Multan via Quetta, Pakistan and ends at Fazilka (Punjab) in India.

United Nations 193 member states have reached an agreement on the outcome document
New Sustainable Development Agenda for the next 15 years i.e. till 2030. The new agenda
draft document called Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development was built on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Capital city of Zhejiang Province Hangzhou in East China has been chosen by the Olympic
Council of Asia (OCA) to host the 2022 Asian Games.

Fukushima Nuclear disaster In March 2011: Fukushima Nuclear disaster, an energy


accident had occurred in Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant located in north-eastern
Japan. It was triggered by a powerful earthquake and followed by tsunami. It is the largest
nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986

South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx) India has taken the lead to
begin SAADMEx, a simulation exercises on disaster management in the region.

NASA and US Agency for International Development (USAID) have started the SERVIRMekong project, to strengthen the environmental monitoring in Southeast Asia region. It has
been launched in the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Bangkok, Thailand to serve the
five countries of the Mekong River Basin viz. Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and
Vietnam.

On 22 October 2015, guided missile destroyer USS Lassen had entered the 12-nautical mile
zone claimed by China around Zhubi reefs in the Spratly archipelago in South China Sea.
China is claiming its full sovereignty over these disputed islands and its adjacent waters in
South China Sea

The Third India and Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) have adopted a Delhi Declaration 2015
and India-Africa Framework for Strategic Cooperation. These agreements were adopted at
the conclusion of third Summit which was attended by India and all 54 African countries in
New Delhi. Delhi Declaration-2015: Calls for continued collaboration in the fields of peace

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and security between India and Africa. Aims to provide a concrete foundation for the
consolidation of our strategic partnership between both sides.

Islamic State (IS) militant group has destroyed part of historical Temple of Bel in the ancient
site of Palmyra in Syria. The ancient temple was dedicated to the Palmyrene gods and was
one of the best preserved parts of the historical sites of Palmyra. About Palmyra: Oasis town
of Palmyra is known as the Pearl of the Desert. In ancient time the city was famous as a
stopping point for caravans travelling on ancient Silk Route which connected East Asia and
West Asia. Prior to Syrian civil war which began in 2011, Palmyras ruins were a major
attraction as about 150,000 tourists visited city in a year. Earlier in August 2015, IS militant
group had destroyed the ancient Temple of Baalshamin in same region of Palmyra.

BRICS nations Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa signed Moscow Declaration for
partnership in addressing common regional and global socio-economic challenges by
utilising Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). It was signed at the third meeting of the
BRICS Ministers for Science, Technology and Innovation held in Moscow, Russia.

China, worlds most populous country has announced to abandon its three decades-long
one-child policy and changed it two-child policy. China had introduced its One-Child Policy in
1978 and was implemented in 1980 to rein in population growth in order to alleviate social,
economic and environmental problems in China.

Canberra based art gallery in Australia has agreed to return a 2,000-year-old Indian-origin
sculpture of Gautama Buddha back to India. The Sitting Buddha sculpture which was
displayed in this gallery has its roots traceable to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. The sculpture is
made of sandstone is an image and depicts very unique art of the ancient Mathura region.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) played important role in negotiating the legality of
returning this statue. Earlier, Germany had returned 10th century Durga idol in
Mahishasuramardini avatar to India which had gone missing from a temple at Pulwama in
Kashmir in 1990s.

12 other Pacific Rim countries have signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement
which covers about 40 per cent of the world economy. These 12 countries are: Singapore,
Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Japan, Canada, United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile,
Australia and New Zealand.

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program Set up in 2001 to bring
together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka in a project-based
partnership. This sub-regional partnership aims to strengthen regional economic
cooperation, Boosting trade among member countries,Promote regional prosperity by
improving cross-border connectivity, Build a better quality of life for the people of the
subregion.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Friendship Motor Car Rally was flagged off
from Silchar, Assam. The international rally aims at highlighting connectivity in the subregion and seamless movements of vehicles across the borders in the four nations through
implementation of BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA).

Every year on 25th November is observed as International Day for the Elimination of
Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) across the world. Significance of Day: Raise awareness

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about violence against women and girls, End the violence against the women, Show that
prevention is possible against violence of women.

India and Singapore have signed a joint declaration envisaging a Strategic Partnership to
elevate bilateral relations of both countries. The focus of the visit included five S plank i.e.
scaling up trade and investment, smart cities, speeding up connectivity, skills development
and state focus. Key facts: The strategic partnership aims to catalyse the strategic relations
between both countries ranging from political, defence and security cooperation to
economic, cultural and people-to-people contacts.

Every year October 2 is being observed as International Day of Non-violence throughout the
world on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

India has been re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)
under Category B at 29th session of the IMO Assembly held in London.

China has operationalised the Zam Hydropower Station built on Brahmaputra River which
has raised concerns in India over the likelihood of disrupting water supplies of River.

Germany celebrated 25 years of reunification on 3 October 2015 marking the day in 1990
when communist East Germany and capitalist West Germany reunited country. On 3
October 1990, Unification Treaty came into effect uniting two halves together of then divided
Germany. Since then this date is marked as Germanys national day.

Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO): JETCO aims to further improve, deepen
and strengthen the existing trade relationship between India and Ecuador. It will function as
the primary forum for discussion and other promotional activities on trade and investment
issues

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has launched Trident Juncture Military
Exercise in Italy to test the alliances ability to respond to new security threats. It will also
demonstrate NATOs capability to deal with conventional military engagements to more
subtle hybrid warfare techniques and propaganda.

United States and Spain have reached an in principle agreement to clean up land at
Palomares site (in Spain) contaminated by plutonium radiation from undetonated US nuclear
bombs.

Powerful Typhoon Koppu (also known as Lando) has hit the northern Philippines battering
the coast with powerful winds with speed of 240 kph.

South African city of Durban has been selected as the host for the 22nd edition of
Commonwealth Games to be held in 2022

Indian and France have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to conserve,


develop and publicize written heritage at the National Library in Kolkata, West Bengal.

Hurricane Patricia has struck Mexicos Pacific coast with destructive winds

As per recently released report of United Nations (UN), mortality rate among Indian girls
below the age of five higher than the boys. It was mentioned in recently published UN
Report titled The Worlds Women 2015.

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Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): Established to finance infrastructure projects


including energy, transport and infrastructure projects in Asia. AIIB is seen as a rival to the
World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) which is managed by most prominent
countries like US, Japan and European etc. Authorized capital: It will be of 100 billion US
dollars. The initial subscribed capital will be around 50 billion US Dollar and the paid-in ratio
will be 20 per cent.

International Indigenous Terra Madre- 2015 kicked off in Shillong, Meghalaya with the
theme, The Future We Want: Indigenous Perspectives and Actions. The five day-long
unique event will bring over a 100 tribes from 58 countries including from 17 Asian countries,
14 African countries, 12 American countries, 8 European countries and 7 Oceanian
countries. Key facts: It has been organised as collaboration between Slow Food, North East
Slow Food and Agro biodiversity Society (NESFAS) and Indigenous Partnership for Agro
biodiversity and Food Sovereignty (Indigenous Partnership).

Saudi Arabia has launched Islamic Military Coalition, a new military alliance of 34 nations,
mainly Muslim nations to fight terrorism. It has been established in pursuance of the
objectives and principles of the charter of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Member nations: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Pakistan, Bangladesh,
Bahrain, Turkey, Benin, Togo, Chad, Djibouti, Tunisia, Sudan, Senegal, Sierra Leone,
Gabon, Somalia, Guinea, Comoros, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait, Cote dIvoire, Lebanon,
Maldives, Libya, Mali, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Yemen.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an international organisation that seeks to


promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose,
including nuclear weapons. It was established as an autonomous organisation in 1957
through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute. The IAEA has its headquarters in
Vienna, Austria.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) has included Chinas Yuan into its elite reserve currency
basket mainly used as an international reserve asset with an effect from effect from 1st
October 2016.

Chinese Currency Renminbi which in Mandarin (Chinas official language) means the
peoples currency was officially introduced by the Communist Government of China led by
Mao Zedong in 1949 after it came to power. Prior to Renminbi, Yuan was the official name of
Chinese currency which means dollar-silver coin in Mandarin and was minted by the
Spanish empire to trade with China for over four centuries

India officially became the Associate Member State of European Molecular Biology
Organisation (EMBO). EMBO is a professional organisation of life scientists in Europe.
Presently, it has more than 1700 leading researchers. Founded: 1964 Headquarters:
Heidelberg, Germany. Functions: It promotes research in life science and enables
international exchange of scientific information between scientists.

Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC): Seeks to


establish a uniform global legal regime for compensation to victims in the unlikely event of a
nuclear accident. It was adopted on 12 September 1997. It can enter into force after
ratification by at least five countries having minimum of 400,000 units of installed nuclear
capacity. It has been framed in consistency with the principles of Vienna Convention on Civil

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Liability for Nuclear Damage (1963) and the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the
Field of Nuclear Energy (1960).

Powerful Typhoon Melor (also known as Nona) has hit the central Philippines battering the
coast with powerful winds with speed of 200 kph followed by intense rainfall.

India has emphasised to Iran for early completion of all necessary procedures for its
participation in the Farzad-B gas field worth 5 billion US dollars.

The Union Cabinet has approved the reconstruction and completion of Salma Dam Project
in Afghanistan at the Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) of 1775.69 crore rupees. The AfghanIndia Friendship Dam was earlier known as Salma Dam. It is built on Hari River in Chishti
Sharif District of Herat Province neighbouring Iran and is earth and rock fill dam. It is a
multipurpose project built to generate 42 MW of power, irrigate 75000 hectares of land,
water supply and other benefits to the people of Afghanistan. By irrigating 75000 hectares of
land it is expected to significantly boost the agricultural economy of the province.

The 68th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared year 2016 as the
International Year of Pulses (IYP). It was launched under the slogan nutritious seeds for a
sustainable future. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of UN has been
nominated to facilitate the implementation of the Year in collaboration with all stakeholders.

G-20 leaders have decided to tackle global uneven economic growth and reaffirmed their
commitment to fight terrorism unitedly at 2015 G-20 summit held at Antalya in Turkey.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC is regional economic forum comprising of 21


member countries accounting nearly half of the worlds trade and about 57 per cent of global
gross domestic product (GDP). It was established in 1989 in order to leverage the growing
interdependence of Asia-Pacific regions economies and promote free trade in the region.
Headquarters: Singapore. 21 Members are: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada,
Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand,
United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru,
Russian and Vietnam. India is observer of APEC since 2011 and has applied for
membership. However some countries have objected to granting membership to India as it
does not border the Pacific Ocean, which all current members do.

31 members of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have


signed corporate tax avoidance agreement in a bid to stem fiscal (tax) evasion by
multinational companies (MNCs). OECD is an international economic organisation of 34
countries to stimulate economic progress and world trade. Founded: 1961. Headquarters:
Paris, France.

International Energy Agency (IEA): It is Inter-governmental organisation established in 1974


as per framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Members: Presently it has 29 member countries. Headquarters (Secretariat): Paris, France.
IEA mandate: To focus on the 3Es of effectual energy policy: energy security, economic
development and environmental protection.

World Economic Forum (WEF) WEF is an international institution founded by Klaus Schwab
that works to improve the state of the world through public-private cooperation.

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The first Ministerial Meeting of Arab-India Cooperation Forum was held Manama, capital city
of Bahrain. The meeting was inaugurated by Bahrains Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al
Khalifa and was attended by representatives of 22 Arab League nations.

EU-India Agenda for Action 2020: Both sides endorsed the agenda to concrete the roadmap for the EU-India Strategic Partnership for the next five years. EU-India Broad-based
Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA): Both sides agreed to further the negotiations on
early conclusion of the BTIA.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Unites States Agency for International
Development (USAID) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for
development of solar parks in India. The MoU will facilitate 848 million US dollars in funding
to develop solar parks across India. The collaboration of ADB and USAID will initially focus
on the state of Rajasthan. Under this agreement, USAID will align the technical resources of
its existing Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Deployment (PACE-D) Program.

Ashgabat Agreement: It is a transit agreement established in year 2011. It establishes


international transport and transit corridor between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf
countries. Its founding members are Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Oman. Kazakhstan
had joined the grouping in 2015.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladeshs PM Sheikh Hasina along with Chief
Minister of Tripura inaugurated two historical projects between two countries via video
conference. These projects are 100 MW power export via transmission lines between
Surjamaninagar (Tripura) and South Comilla in Bangladesh. Announcement of Indias 3rd
Internet Gateway optical fibre connection between Cox Bazaar in Bangladesh and Agartala
(Tripura).

Nepal was officially made a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
(SCO), a Beijing-based regional security grouping. SCO is a Eurasian economic, political
and military organisation. 8 Members: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. Observers: Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus.
Headquarters:
Beijing,
China.

International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions: The ICC


Bureau is an important human rights body that serves as the Management Committee of the
International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC). It
implements all the decisions of the ICC General Meetings and directs the operations of the
ICC between these meetings. ICC Bureau consists of sixteen A status NHRIs four from
each region namely, Americas, Europe, Africa and the Asia-Pacific.

International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD): IFAD was established in 1977 as the
13th Specialised Agency of the United Nations. India is a founder member of IFAD and a
key contributor among the member countries. It is mandated to work towards removing
poverty and hunger in rural areas all over the world especially in developing countries. Goal:
Empower poor rural men and women in developing countries to achieve higher incomes and
improved food security.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and European Union (EU) have signed an
agreement to improve Cooperation in Cyber Defence to counter modern forms of hybrid

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warfareIt was signed between NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) and
the Computer Emergency Response Team European Union (CERT-EU).

Union Government has sanctioned about 580 crore rupees for Agartala-Akhaura Railway
Link Project to connect Kolkata (West Bengal) with Tripura via Bangladesh.
Agartala-Akhaura Railway Link Project: It is 15 km long strategic railway route that would
connect the Indian Railways with the Bangladesh Railways. The work on this project is
expected to complete by 2017.

The first phase of the worlds largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant was launched in
the Souss-Massa-Dra area in Morocco. It is part of Noor Ouarzazate Solar Complex which
will produce enough energy for more than one million Moroccan households on completion
by 2018.

India hosted BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave in Mumbai (Maharashtra), financial capital
of India from April 14 to 16, 2016. It was attended by the top Urban Policy makers and
Planners from BRICS Nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

2016 theme declared by United Nations: Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender
Equality.

The Kenyan Government has decided to close Dadaab refugee camp which is often referred
to as the worlds largest refugee camp over the issue of national security. The camp is home
to 330000 refugees mostly from Somalia who have fled from the civil war in their country.

The Group of 7 (G-7) countries Foreign Ministers have issued Hiroshima Declaration that
calls for a world without nuclear weapons.

For the first time, United Nations (UN) will observe the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R.
Ambedkar, father of the Indian Constitution on April 13, 2016, a day before his date of birth.
The main focus of this observance will be on combating inequalities to achieve Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs).

UNIDO: It is a specialized agency in the United Nations and is member of the United Nations
Development Group (UNDG). It is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. Objective: Promotion
and acceleration of industrial development in developing countries and countries with
economies in transition and the promotion of international industrial cooperation.

Chabahar port is strategically located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich


Persian Gulf nations southern coast.

The official trip of US President Barack Obama comes more than seven decades after an
American plane, dropped its payload (nuclear bomb), dubbed Little Boy over the western
Japanese city. The bombing had claimed lives of about 140,000 people and affected many
from radiation-related illnesses. Three days later (On 9 August 1945) US dropped a second
bomb dubbed as Fat Man on the city of Nagasaki in which 70,000 more people were killed.

Saudi Arabias Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has decided to open its first branch in India
at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The IDB is a multilateral development financing institution based in
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Presently, it has 56 Islamic countries as its members. It was founded
in 1973 by the Finance Ministers at the first Organisation of the Islamic Conference (now
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation).

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Russia has launched the new Project 22220 nuclear powered icebreaker dubbed Arktika. It
is the worlds largest and most powerful vessel of its kind. It was launched from the Baltic
Shipyard located in Russias second largest city of St. Petersburg. It has dual-draft design
which makes it possible to use it in Arctic waters and in estuaries of polar rivers. It can break
through 13 feet (3 metres) thick ice.

UNGA President: President of UNGA presides over the sessions of the General Assembly
which begins every year in September. The President is elected annually on rotational basis
between the five geographic groups namely African, Asian, Eastern European, Latin
American and Caribbean and Western European and other States. Interesting fact: Vijaya
Lakshmi Pandit was first and only Indian to serve as President of UNGA in 1953. She was
also the first woman President of UNGA.

The worlds longest and deepest railway tunnel Gotthard Base Tunnel was inaugurated in
Switzerland. The full service of twin-bore tunnel will begin in December 2016. The Gotthard
Base Tunnel is 57-kilometer long and connects northern and southern Europe and also
shortens travel time for many rail routes. It has overtaken Japans Seikan tunnel, which
measures 53.9 kilometres, as the longest rail tunnel in the world.

Civil Nuclear Deal: Later in the delegation level talks, Namibia has invited Indian companies
to directly mine Uranium from the country. However, it has asked India to enter into similar
nuclear agreements it has reached with other countries in order to convince the memberstates of the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty (ANWFZT) which is also known as
Pelindaba treaty.

India has joined a group of nearly 40 countries that have signed a Europe-led clampdown on
tax evasion and corruption. Under this group countries are committed to automatically
exchange information on beneficial ownership between law enforcement agencies and tax
authorities of partner countries.

According to recently released BP Statistical Review of World Energy, India has surpassed
Japan to become the worlds third-largest oil consumer. With demand of 4.1 million barrels a
day (bpd), India is the third-largest consumer behind the United States (19.39 million bpd)
and China (11.96 million bpd).

In recently released 2015 Good Country Index (GCI), India has been placed at 70th position
in the list of 163 countries. The list has been topped by Sweden as the best country in the
world when it comes to serving the interests of its people and contributing to the common
good of humanity.

The first long distance cargo train connecting Iran and China has arrived in the Iranian
capital city Tehran after starting its journey from China. The train had started its journey from
Chinas eastern Zhejiang province and it took 14 days to reach final destination. It had
covered around 9,500-kilometre distance and passed through two Central Asian countries
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Asias largest annual security forum Shangri-La Dialogue was inaugurated in Singapore to
talk about security issues in the Asia-Pacific region. The forum has been organised by the
London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). The three day event will be
attended by at least 20 Defence Ministers from Asia-Pacific countries including India
represented by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

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ECONOMICS CURRENT AFFAIRS


Search engine giant Google Inc. has announced formation of a new holding or parent
company called Alphabet Inc. to encompass its search engine unit and all other subsidiaries
Union Government has launched a seven pronged plan called Indradhanush Mission to
revamp functioning of public sector banks (PSBs). The seven shades of Indradhanush
mission include appointments, de-stressing PSBs, capitalisation, empowerment, framework
of accountability and governance reforms. It seeks to achieve the objective of economic
growth revival through improving credit and minimising the political interference in the
functioning of PSBs.
Union Government has decided to set up a Bank Board Bureau (BBB) to monitor key
performance indicators of two dozen public sector banks (PSBs).
Anti-Dumping:

European Union (EU) has imposed a provisional anti-dumping duty of up to 31.2 per
cent on imports of sewage and water steel pipes from India for six months to protect its
domestic industry.

India has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty for period of five years on Potassium
Carbonate imports from Taiwan and South Korea

Finance Ministry has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty on flax or linen fabric
imports from China and Hong Kong for a period of five years.

To safeguard the interest of domestic industries of India, government on 6 August


extended anti-dumping duty on import of all forms and grades of Vitamin C from China
for the period of five years.

Union Government has imposed anti-dumping duty on import of cold-rolled flat products
of stainless steel for five years from seven countries. These countries are China, South
Korea, United States, South Africa, Thailand and Taiwan and the European Union.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) suspends licence of seven non-banking finance companies
(NBFCs). The seven NBFCs whose licences were suspended are Religare Finance,
Artisans Micro Finance, Eden Trade & Commerce, RCS Parivar Finance, Nott Investments,
Dewra Stocks & Securities, Swetasree Finance. Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) is
a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956, whose principal business is lending,
investments and receiving deposits. At present there are around 12,000 NBFCs in India.
Kerala government has signed a MoU with Gautam Adani-led Adani Ports and Special
Economic Zone (APSEZ) for building 7,525 crore rupees Vizhinjam seaport project near
Kovalam beach. Vizhinjam seaport project: It is Kerala government ambitious project which
was initiated 25 years ago in 1991 to build a deepest and natural draft port near Kovalam
beach in Thiruvananthapuram.

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A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) committee has recommended conversion of Urban


Cooperative Banks (UCBs) with business size of 20,000 crore rupees or more into regular
banks. This recommendation was given by the High Powered Committee on UCBs headed
by RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi in its report.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the
Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory
Information.
Union Government has inked a loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for US
123.51 million dollars for Infrastructure Development Investment Program. The 3 tranche
loan will be used for upgrading tourism infrastructure and services in three states Punjab,
Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
The Union Cabinet has allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) under the
automatic route for white label ATM operations (WLAO). Private non-bank companies that
own and operate their own brand of ATMs are termed as White labelled ATMs. They were
meant to expand the reach of ATMs in Tier III to VI centres.
Union Government has notified the merger of commodities market regulator Forward
Markets Commission (FMC) with Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) with an effect
from 28th September 2015. With this merger, all three national and six regional commodity
exchanges will come under the ambit of national capital market regulator SEBI.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to subscribe to the
National Pension System (NPS) enabling them access old age income security.
Key facts: NPS will act as an investment option for NRIs under Foreign Exchange
Management Act (FEMA), 1999. NRIs may subscribe to the NPS through normal banking
channels and the person is eligible to invest as per the provisions of the PFRDA Act, 2013.

What is Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs)? APA usually is signed between a taxpayer
and the central tax authority (in case of India it is CBDT) for multiple years on an
appropriating transfer pricing methodology. The APA Programme was introduced in 2012 as
per the provisions of the Income Tax (IT) Act, 1961. It helps in determining the price and
ensuing taxes on intra-group overseas transactions.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved World Bank assisted
National Watershed Management Project- Neeranchal. The project will ensure access to
irrigation to every farmland (Har Khet Ko Pani) and help to achieve objectives of Pradhan
Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) for efficient use of water (Per Drop More Crop).
The Union Cabinet has given its nod for formation of Indian Skill Development Service
(ISDS). ISDS will be a Group A Service of the technical cadre of the Union Ministry of Skill
Development and Entrepreneurship (MSD&E).
Expert Committee to simplify income tax laws headed by Justice (retired) R.V. Easwar has
submitted its report to Union Finance Ministry. The 10 member committee has

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recommended simplifying provisions related to tax deduction at source (TDS), tax refunds
and claims of expenditure for deduction from taxable income. It also has suggested several
taxpayer-friendly measures to improve the ease of doing business in the country, accelerate
process of tax dispute resolutions, and reduce litigation.
Union Ministry of Urban Development has come out with a Smart National Common Mobility
Card (NCMC) model to enable seamless metro travel, shopping.
India has been ranked 131 out of 167 nations on ICT Development Index (IDI) that
measures the level of information and communication technology access. It was revealed in
UN International Telecommunications Unions (ITU) flagship annual Measuring the
Information Society (MISR) Report.
India has been placed at 130th position in the 2015 Human Development Index (HDI)
among the 188 countries. It was unveiled in the recently released Human Development
Report 2015 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Sri Lanka has
maintained its high ranking in 2015 HDI in the South Asia Region. Sri Lanka was ranked
73rd with an HDI value of 0.757. Key facts: Rankings of other seven South Asian Countries
are Maldives (104), India (130), Bhutan (132), Bangladesh (142), Nepal (145), Pakistan
(147) and Afghanistan (171).
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved introduction of Amended
Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) for technology upgradation of the textiles
industry. ATUFS targets employment generation (including women) and global export by
encouraging garment and apparel industry. Promotes Technical Textiles which is a sunrise
sector for export and employment creation
National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 aims at providing legal entitlement to 5 kg of
subsidised food grains to the identified person per month. Grains like wheat, rice and coarse
grain will be distributed at the price of Rs. 3, Rs. 2 and Rs. 1. Pregnant women and lactating
mothers and children are entitled to get meals under the prescribed nutrition by MDM and
ICDS. The age group would be 6 months to 14 years. NFSA 2013 will provide high nutrition
food to the age group of 6 years. Pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to
get maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its in principle approval for
the Hybrid Annuity Model for implementing the National Highway Projects. The main
objective of this model is to revive highway projects in the country by making it as one more
mode of delivery of highway projects.
Key features of Hybrid Annuity Model Investment: Government will invest 40 per cent of the
construction cost for building highways and the balance 60 per cent will come from the
private developer. Government investment will be based on the targeted completion of the
road project in five equal instalments. Recovery: The private developer will be able to
recover his investment from the government by receiving annuity payments over a period of
15 years. Toll collection: There is a separate provision for operation and management
payments by the government to the concessionaire. The highway toll tax will be collected by
the government i.e. by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) unlike in the build,
operate and transfer (BOT) toll model in which the private sector collects it.

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India has been ranked 76th out of 168 countries in the recently released 2015 Corruption
Perception Index (CPI). The 2015 CPI was the 21st edition of the annual index and was
published by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI).
The Union Cabinet has approved creation of a Credit Guarantee Fund (CGF) for Micro Units
Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) loans. The CGF is expected to guarantee more
than 1,00,000 crore rupees worth of loans to micro and small units in the first instance.
Features of scheme Credit Guarantee Fund for MUDRA Units (CGFMU) will guarantee
loans sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) to reduce the credit risk to
Banks and other financial intermediaries who are Member Lending Institutions (MLIs).
The Union Cabinet has approved the Stand Up India Scheme to promote entrepreneurship
among Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) and Women entrepreneurs.The Standup India is component of Start-up India, Stand up India slogan anchored by Department of
Financial Services (DFS) to encourage greenfield enterprises by Women and SC/ST
entrepreneurs. It will refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India
(SIDBI) with an initial amount 10,000 crore rupees. Under it, a credit guarantee mechanism
would be created through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC). It will
be the operating agency for the loan.
Border Haats: The Border Haats in Indian language means Rural Market. It aims at
promoting the well-being of the people dwelling in remote areas across the borders of two
countries. It seeks to establish traditional system of marketing the local produce thorough
local markets in local currency or according to barter basis.
Indias largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI) has launched dedicated specialized branch
for start-ups called SBI InCube in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
The Russian Government has approved a deal of ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) to acquire 15%
stake in Vankor oilfield from Rosneft. The deal was signed between the OVL and Rosneft in
September 2015 and is worth 1.3 billion US dollars. Vankor is Russias second biggest oil
field with capacity of total 2.5 billion recoverable reserves barrels (or 500 million tonnes).
India and China have led the developing countries in investments made in renewable energy
in 2015. It was revealed by the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment Report
published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Kisan Suvidha is an omnibus mobile app that will provide basic information on subjects such
as market prices, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, weather, and agriculture machinery.
India and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have decided to set up South Asia Regional
Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTC) in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Setu Bharatam Project to make all national
highways free of railway crossings by 2019. This project will be implemented by the Union
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
The Union Finance Ministry has approved the proposal of four states for the issuance of
Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) bonds. These four states are Uttar Pradesh,

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Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh. These states account for around about 35 per cent
or around 1.5 lakh crore rupees of the outstanding loans of State electricity distribution
utilities in the country.
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI): DRI is the major intelligence agency enforcing
prohibition of smuggling of gold, diamonds, electronics, narcotics, foreign currency,
counterfeit Indian currency etc. It was formally established on 4th December 1957/ DRI
functions under the aegis of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in the
Department of Revenue of Union Ministry of Finance.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended currency swap arrangement to South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations till mid-November 2017. All seven
SAARC member countries including Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka can avail the facility. Under the arrangement, RBI will be offering
swap arrangement up to an overall amount of US 2 billion dollars both in foreign currency
and Indian rupee.
Union Ministry of Tourism has launched 247 Toll Free Multi-Lingual Tourist Info Line for
international tourists in 12 international languages. The 12 languages include 10
International languages besides English and Hindi, namely, French, Arabic, Italian, German,
Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian and Spanish.
India has been ranked at the 90th place in a list of 126 countries on the basis of their ability
to deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy. It was revealed by Global Energy
Architecture Performance Index (GEAPI) Report compiled by World Economic Forum
(WEF). Key facts: Top 10 countries in GEAPI Report: Switzerland (1st), Norway (2nd),
Sweden (3rd), France (4th), Denmark (5th), Austria (6th), Spain (7th), Colombia (8th), New
Zealand (9th) and Uruguay(10th)
Under National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), Union Government in 2014 had announced to
set up 16 NIMZs to boost manufacturing sector. 8 of them are along the Delhi Mumbai
Industrial Corridor (DMIC). NMP aims to enhance the share of manufacturing sector in GDP
to 25% and create 100 million employment opportunities over a decade. The Union
Government has given its final approval to setting up of National Investment &
Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) in Kalinganagar, Odisha.
The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 (FRBMA) is an Act of
the Parliament of India to institutionalise financial discipline, reduce India's fiscal deficit,
improve macroeconomic management and the overall management of the public funds by
moving towards a balanced budget. The main purpose was to eliminate revenue deficit of
the country (building revenue surplus thereafter) and bring down the fiscal deficitto a
manageable 3% of the GDP by March 2008. However, due to the 2007 international
financial crisis, the deadlines for the implementation of the targets in the act was initially
postponed and subsequently suspended in 2009. In 2011, given the process of ongoing
recovery, Economic Advisory Council publicly advised the Government of India to reconsider
reinstating the provisions of the FRBMA.
Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA): The TFA is the WTOs first-ever multilateral accord that
aims to simplify customs regulations for the cross-border movement of goods. It was

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outcome of WTOs 9th Bali (Indonesia) Ministerial Package of 2013. The agreement
includes provisions for lowering import tariffs and agricultural subsidies: It will make it easier
for developing countries to trade with the developed world in global markets. Abolish hard
import quotas: Developed countries would abolish hard import quotas on agricultural
products from the developing world and instead would only be allowed to charge tariffs on
amount of agricultural imports exceeding specific limits. Reduction in red tape at
international borders: It aims to reduce red-tapism to facilitate trade by reforming customs
bureaucracies and formalities
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for expansion of India-Chile Preferential Trade
Agreement (PTA) between India and Chile.
As per recently report of World Bank, India remained the worlds largest remittance recipient
in 2015. It was revealed by the World Banks annual report Migration and Development
Brief. In 2015, India attracted about 69 billion US dollars in remittances, down from 70 billion
in 2014
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for National Capital Goods Policy 2016 to give an
impetus to the capital goods sector and the Make in India initiative. This is first ever policy
for Capital Goods sector framed by the Union Government (Ministry of Heavy Industry &
Public Enterprise). Key features of policy objectives: (i) Increase production of capital goods
from 2,30,000 crore rupees in 2014-15 to 7,50,000 crore rupees in 2025. (ii) Raise direct and
indirect employment from the current 8.4 million to 30 million. (iii) Increase exports from the
current 27% to 40% of production. (iv) Increase the share of domestic production in Indias
demand from 60% to 80% to make India a net exporter of capital goods. Aim of Policy: (i)
Facilitate improvement in technology depth across sub-sectors, (ii) Ensure mandatory
standards, (iii) Increase skill availability and promote growth and (iv) Capacity building of
MSMEs.
What are Participatory notes? Participatory Notes are offshore/overseas derivative
instruments (ODIs) issued by registered foreign institutional investors (FII) to overseas
investors. They are commonly known as P-Notes. The market regulator Securities and
Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened the Participatory Notes (P-note) norms. The
main purpose of this decision is to keep vigil on foreign investments to curb black money
inflows in the country.
Civil Aviation Policy 2016 aims at making India 3rd largest civil aviation market by 2022 from
current 9th position. Increase domestic ticketing to 30 crore by 2022 from 8 crore in 2015.
Increase airports having scheduled commercial flights from 77 in 2016 to 127 by 2019.
Increase cargo volumes to 10 million tonnes i.e. by 4 times by 2027. Under Regional
Connectivity Scheme, enabling Indians to fly at Rs. 2,500 per hour at unserved airports. For
starting international operations, requirement of 5 years of domestic flying removed.
Liberalized and Flexible open skies and code share agreements. Incentives to
Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) sector in order to develop India as hub for South
Asia. Ensure availability of quality certified 3.3 lakh skilled personnel by 2025.
The Montreal Convention, 1999: It establishes airline liability in the case of injury, death or
delay to passengers. It also includes liability in cases of damage or loss or delay of baggage

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and cargo. It also mandates that every five years, limits of liability of the air carriers should
be reviewed

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS


A. IN NEWS
Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural gas The states covered under it are Assam,
(MoPNG) has released the Hydrocarbon Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur,
Vision 2030 for north-east India.
Nagaland, Sikkim, Mizoram and Tripura.
Union Government has launched KISAN
(Crop Insurance using Space Technology
and Geoinformatics) Project to benefit
farmers.

This project will favour use of satellites,


drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) and other
geospatial technology to collect crop yield
data and to assess damage from natural
calamities.

N-Butyl Alcohol: It is a by-product of the It is used as artificial flavouring and is present


fermentation
of
sugar
and
other in many foods and beverages.
carbohydrate.
Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill,
2015:The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi has given its
approval for introduction of Regional Centre
for Biotechnology Bill, 2015.

The bill aims for establishment of a Regional


Centre for Biotechnology (RCB) in Faridabad,
Haryana and provide a legal status to the
Centre.

Titanium Sponge Plant :

Titanium Sponge: It is a Titanium (Ti) alloy


products produced by conversion of raw
titanium through Kroll process which is
subjected to leaching or heated vacuum
distillation to remove impurities and gaining
the purest form (99.7 per cent) of Titanium
Sponge. India has become the seventh
country in the world producing Titanium
sponge commercially.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)


on 10 August has fully commissioned and
started commercial production at the first
indigenous Titanium Sponge Plant at
Chavara in Kerala.

Organoid:

This medical breakthrough research was


undertaken team of researchers from Ohio
Scientists from United States (US) have State University led by Professor Rene
successfully grown a replica of a human brain Anand. Key facts: The brain called Organoid
in a laboratory dish.
was created from reprogrammed skin cells. It
is about the size of a pencil eraser.
ZipDose 3D printing technology: The
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
was first to develop Powder-liquid threedimensional printing (3DP) technology in
1980s.

Aprecia started developing ZipDose 3DP


technology in 2007 which was designed to
enable delivery of high-dose medications in a
rapidly
disintegrating
form.

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Chinas
Tianhe-2
supercomputer
has
emerged as the worlds most powerful
supercomputer system for the sixth
consecutive time. It was unveiled in 46th
edition of Top500 list of supercomputers.

The Chinese Supercomputer is capable of


performing calculations with processing
speed of 33.86 petaflops per second
(Pflop/s). It has held the title since June 2013.
Supercomputer Titan of the US Department
of Energy has been placed at second
Supercomputer Tianhe-2 or Milky Way 2 has position. It has a performance of 17.59
been developed by Chinas National Pflop/s. Supercomputer Sequoia of Tech
University of Defence Technology.
giant IBM was placed at third position. It has
processing speed of 17.17 Pflop/s. K
computer of Fujitsu was placed at fourth
position. It has processing speed of 10.51
Pflop/s. Supercomputer Mira of IBM placed at
fifth position. It has processing speed of 8.58
Pflop/s.
Loon project:
Union Government has given in principle
approval to work on Loon project of internet
search engine giant Google for providing
Internet connectivity by using large balloons.
The project will be started on a pilot basis
and state run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
(BSNL) will be partner with the project in
order to expand Internet connectivity in the
country.

Underground Coal Gasification (UCG)? UCG


is a clean coal extraction technology for
extracting energy from the coal seams and
lignite resources which cannot be mined
through traditional mining technology.

What is Googles Loon project? It is Googles


ambitious research and development project
that aims at providing low-cost Internet
access to rural and remote areas. Under the
project, high altitude floating telecom tower
balloons are positioned at a height of 20 km,
above earths surface for transmission of
internet services. Each balloon can provide
full wireless broadband internet coverage up
to an area of 40 km. These balloons are
mainly powered though solar panels. These
balloons have transceivers which can
connect to cell phone networks in order to fill
the gaps in their networks especially in
remote areas such as mountains and
deserts. Google already has successfully
tested this technology in New Zealand,
California and Brazil. Apart from Project
Loon, Google has also partnered with the
Common Service Centre (CSC) and Internet
Sathi programme (ISP) to expand Internet
reach in 3 lakh villages particularly for women
training.
It is mainly an industrial process which
converts coal into product gases such as
methane, hydrogen, CO and CO2 that are
combusted for electricity generation. The
gasification process is carried out in nonmined coal seams using injection of oxidants
which brings the product gas to surface
through production wells drilled from the

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surface.

IMPRINT:
President Pranab Mukherjee launched
Impacting
Research
Innovation
and
Technology (IMPRINT) India to boost
research in the country. The initiative is joint
venture of Indian Institutes of Technology
(IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISC).

Key facts: IMPRINT India initiative seeks to


develop a roadmap for research in order to
solve major engineering and technology
challenges in 10 identified technology
domains. These 10 domains are: Health
Care, Computer Science and ICT, Advance
Materials, Water Resources and River
systems,
Sustainable
Urban
Design,
Defence,
Nano-technology
Hardware,
Environmental Science and Climate Change
and Energy Security.

Scientists from China and United States have


developed a 3-D printing method to produce
highly uniform blocks of embryonic stem
cells. The method was developed by the
researchers from Beijing based Tsinghua
University (China) and Philadelphia based
Drexel University (US).

Key facts: The new method used extrusiondeposition based 3-D printing technology to
produce a grid-like 3-D (three dimensional)
cell structure to grow embryoid body. This 3D
printed embryoid body demonstrated cell
viability and rapid self-renewal for 7 days by
maintaining high pluripotentcy. The grown
embryoid body in such a controlled manner is
uniform and homogenous and serves as a
basic starting point for further tissue growth.

Indian Computer Emergency Response


Team (CERT-In) has signed cybersecurity
agreement with its counterparts in Malaysia,
Singapore and Japan

Indian Computer Emergency Response


Team (CERT-In) is nodal department under
the
aegis
of
Union
Ministry
of
Communications and Information Technology
that deals with cyber security threats like
hacking and phishing in India. Headquarters:
New Delhi. Objective: To protect Indian
cyberspace and software infrastructure
against destructive and hacking activities.
Strengthen security-related defence of the
Indian Internet domain.

Page 67 of 93

CIRB Gaurav:
Scientists at the Central Institute for
Research on Buffaloes (CIRB) in Hisar,
Haryana have successfully produced a
cloned buffalo offspring named Cirb Gaurav.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): John McCarthy is
being credited with coining the term artificial
intelligence in 1955. He had defined it as the
science and engineering of making intelligent
machines.

With this achievement, CIRB becomes


the Indias second and worlds third institute
to produce cloned buffalo. Karnal (Haryana)
based National Dairy Research Institute
(NDRI) was the Indias first institute to
produce a cloned calf.
In other terms, AI is the computer science
field that studies the synthesis and analysis
of computational agents that act intelligently.
It deals with creation of computers along with
software that make machine hardware
capable of intelligent behaviour.

A team of scientists in US led by an Indian- SnO is a new kind of 2D semiconducting


origin Ashutosh Tiwari has discovered Tin material for electronics that opens the door
Monoxide (SnO) conductor to replace silicon. for
much
speedier
computers
and
smartphones that consumes less power.
LIGO-India project (Laser Interferometer Key facts: LIGO-India project is piloted by
Gravitational-wave Observatory in India):
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and
Department of Science and Technology
The Union Cabinet has approved the LIGO- (DST). It will give impetus to scientific
India
project
(Laser
Interferometer research in the country. It will establish a
Gravitational-wave Observatory in India) state-of-the-art
Gravitational
Wave
proposal for research on gravitational waves. Observatory in India in collaboration with the
The approval coincides with the historic first US based LIGO Laboratory run by Caltech
time detection of gravitational waves that had and MIT.
opened up of a new window on the universe
to unravel some of its greatest mysteries.
NRDC has signed a Memorandum of
Agreement
(MoA)
with
IACS
for
commercialisation of technologies and
intellectual properties (IP) developed at IACS.

Indian Association for the Cultivation of


Science (IACS) based in Kolkata is an
autonomous and oldest research institute in
India. It is devoted to the pursuit of
fundamental research in the frontier areas of
Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Polymer,
Energy and Materials.

As per recently released Index of Internet


Readiness of Indian States (IIRIS) report,
Maharashtra has topped in terms of the
overall Internet readiness index.

The report has been compiled and published


by Internet and Mobile Association of India
(IAMAI) and Indicus Analyticsence Film
Festival held in Mumbai.

Page 68 of 93

Canal top solar PV plant at Bhimavaram

Public Sector Power equipment manufacturer


Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has
commissioned a seasonwise til table canal
top solar PV plant at Bhimavaram, Andhra
Pradesh. It is the first canal top project in
Andhra Pradesh and also of its kind project to
be executed by BHEL.

Indian scientists have developed an ecofriendly biopolymer using nanotechnology for


water-softening
and water
purification
applications.The eco-friendly biopolymer has
been created using a naturally occurring
substance, called chitosan. The chitosan
has been obtained naturally from the hard
outer skeleton of shellfish including crab,
lobster, and shrimp as a backbone for the
carbon nanoparticles to sit on.

In this biopolymer, nanoparticles are the


functional parts of the technology as they
remove calcium and magnesium components
of water through ion exchange. Thus, it
shows the same process that is used by
common water purifiers. Significance: This
natural material is the first of its kind with
potential to act as a biodegradable and green
material for water-softening applications. This
eco-friendly biodegradable biopolymer can be
used in civic water treatment plants for
generating potable water.

Chinese
researchers
have
developed Key facts: The new all-weather solar cell is
Graphene based all-weather solar cell that made up of highly efficient dye-sensitised
can generate electricity even during rains.
solar cell coated with a very thin film of
graphene. Graphene is a two-dimensional
(2D) form of carbon in which the atoms are
bonded into a honeycomb arrangement.
National Technology Day is being observed
across India on May 11 to glorify the
importance of science in day-to-day life and
motivate students to adopt science as a
career option. 2016 Theme: Technology
enablers of Startup India. Several events are
organized in various engineering colleges
and technical institutes to mark the occasion.

Significance of the day: The day is being


commemorated to celebrate the anniversary
of first of the five tests of Operation Shakti
(Pokhran-II) nuclear test, held on 11 May
1998 in Pokhran, Rajasthan. Apart from
Pokhran nuclear test, on this day first
indigenous aircraft Hansa-3 was test flown at
Bangalore. India also conducted successful
test firing of the Trishul missile on the same
day.

A team of scientists from Harvard University


(United States) has created a unique bionic
leaf that uses sunlight (solar energy) to split
water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen
and hydrogen-eating bacteria to produce
liquid fuels from CO2.

This artificial photosynthesis device has been


dubbed bionic leaf 2.0. The new system can
convert solar energy to biomass with 10%
efficiency. Its efficiency is much higher than
the 1% seen in the fastest growing plants.

Page 69 of 93

The International Union of Pure and Applied


Chemistry (IUPAC) has announced four
proposed names for the four new elements
that were added in periodic table in January
2016.
International Union of Pure and Applied
Chemistry (IUPAC): IUPAC is panel of
scientists that governs chemical research and
the admission of the new elements in the
periodic table. Under its rules, names of the
elements must reflect one of the physical
characteristics or chemical properties, a
place, a mineral, a scientist (living or dead),
or a mythological concept.

Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS):


The Union Cabinet has given its approval for
signing of 15 years contract for undertaking
exploration
and
other
developmental
activities related to Poly-Metallic Sulphides
(PMS). The contract was approved between
the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences and the
International Seabed Authority (ISA).

Atomic No Element Name Element Symbol


Facts:
113 Nihonium Nh: It was created by a group
of Japanese researchers. The element
incorporates word Nihon which means
Japan in Japanese.
115 Moscovium Mc: It has been named after
Russian capital Moscow.
117 Tennessine Ts: It has been named after
American state of Tennessee by American
researchers.
Indian scientist Susanta Lahiri also had
played an important role in discovering it. 118
Oganesson Og Named in honour of Russian
researcher Yuri Oganessian. It is only the
second element to be named after a living
scientist.
Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS): PMS are
mineral deposit with three or more metals in
commercial quantities that may occur in
volcanogenic, magmatic or hydrothermal
environments. Deep seabed PMS mainly
contain iron, silver, gold, zinc, copper,
platinum in variable constitutions.

Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC)

It was established in 1971 and has its


headquarters at Hyderabad, Telangana. It is
Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) The NFC is a Indias unique nuclear facility where natural
major industrial unit of Department of Atomic and enriched uranium fuel, zirconium alloy
Energy (DAE), for the supply of nuclear fuel cladding and reactor core components are
bundles and reactor core components.
manufactured under single roof.

B. OUTER SPACE

For the first time, a team of scientists have discovered two complex organic molecules viz.
Ethyl alcohol and a simple sugar known as glycolaldehyde on a comet. These molecules
were discovered on Comet Lovejoy from gas emitted by a comet by scientists from NASA,
the Paris Observatory, and other organisations.
Scientists have discovered a rare triple-star system named KELT-4Ab with a gas giant
planet similar in size to Jupiter.

Page 70 of 93

Cepheid stars: These stars pulsate at rates that correspond to their true brightness. This can
be compared with their apparent brightness as seen from Earth in order to accurately
determine their distance.
Type Ia supernovae: It is another commonly used cosmic yardstick. They are exploding
stars that flare with the same brightness and are brilliant enough to be seen from relatively
longer distances.
Scientists from Iceland have discovered a new way to trap the greenhouse gas (GHG)
carbon dioxide (CO2) deep underground by changing it into rock. The new way was
discovered by Scientists from Columbia Universitys Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory as
part of a pilot program called CarbFix project. The pilot programme was launched in 2012 at
the Hellisheidi power plant- the worlds largest geothermal facility in Iceland.
EINSTEIN RING:An international team of astrophysicists have discovered an unusual
astronomical object an Einstein ring. This phenomenon was predicted by Einsteins
theory of General Relativity and has been given its own name The Canarias Einstein ring.
In observational astronomy, an Einstein ring (Einstein-Chwolson ring) is the deformation
(distortion) of the light from a source (such as a star or galaxy) into a ring through
gravitational lensing of the sources light by an object with an extremely large mass (such as
a black hole or another galaxy).
Kepler spacecraft: Kepler was launched in March 2009 and was tasked with determining
how commonly, Earth-like planets occur throughout the Milky Way galaxy. Since its launch,
the mission has been incredibly successful and has led to finding of more than 1,000 alien
planets of which half are exoplanets to be ever discovered.
Indias Space Program
ISRO has successfully placed communication satellite GSAT-6 into its intended
geosynchronous transfer orbit. It was launched by the indigenously built Geosynchronous
Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)-D6 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
GSAT-6 satellite was carrying S-Band and C-Band transponders meant for public and
strategic purposes. The satellite has S-Band Unfurlable Antenna of 6 m diameter. This is the
largest antenna ever made by ISRO for a satellite. It has been collocated with other four
communication satellites INSAT-4A, IRNSS1C, GSAT 12 and GSAT 10. GSLV-D6 is threestage heavy weight rocket with indigenously made Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS). It is
fuelled by liquid Oxygen and liquid Hydrogen propellants. CUS provides rocket more thrust
for every kilogram of propellant it burns compared to earlier solid and earth-storable liquid
propellant rocket stages..
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted hotbed test of
the indigenously developed high-thrust cryogenic engine (CE20) of the GSLV Mark 3
(LVM3) rocket for the upper stage. The long-duration test was conducted at ISRO
Propulsion Research Centre at Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu and lasted for 640 seconds. It was
conducted with Mixture Ratio Controller (MRC) in a closed loop mode.
Indigenously developed Communication satellite GSAT-15 of Indian Space Research
Organisation was successfully launched from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana. It

Page 71 of 93

was launched by Ariane-5 VA-227 rocket (launch vehicle) of Arianespace into a


Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) along with Arabsat-6B (BADR-7) satellite of Airbus
Defence and Space. About GSAT-15: GSAT-15 is a high power satellite being inducted into
the INSAT/GSAT communication satellite system and weighs around 3,164 kg. Carries a
total of 24 communication transponders in Ku-band along with GPS Aided GEO Augmented
Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands It is the 3rd satellite to carry
GAGAN payload after GSAT-8 and GSAT-10 which already are providing navigation
services from orbit.
Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM): Mangalyaan is indigenously designed, built and launched by
ISRO in record period of less than two years in 450 crore rupees (73 million US dollars)
budget which is considered as cheapest inter-planetary mission till date to reach Mars. The
spacecraft has five instruments mounted on it for collecting scientific data of Mars
morphology, atmospheric processes, surface temperature, surface geology and atmospheric
escape process. These five instruments are Lyman-Alpha Photometer (LAP), Methane
Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA), Thermal
Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS) and Mars Colour Camera (MCC)
ISRO has successfully placed six commercial satellites from Singapore in their dedicated
orbits. These satellites were launched using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C29) from
the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This
successful launch coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic
relations between India and Singapore in year 2015. Key facts: The PSLV-C29 was
launched in the core-alone version. It was overall PSLVs 32nd space flight and the 31st
consecutively successful one. The major payload was TeLEOS-One remote sensing satellite
weighing 400 kg. It would be used for urban planning and disaster monitoring of Singapore.
The other five satellites included two micro satellites and one nano satellite. These satellites
are VELOX-CI (123 kg), VELOX-II (13 kg) 6U-Cubesat technology demonstrator, Athenoxat1, Kent Ridge-1 (78 kg) and Galassia (3.4 kg) 2U-Cubesat.
Indias first dedicated satellite for astronomy research Astrosat has been successfully
launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. It was launched along with 6
foreign satellites by the ISROs work horse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C30 (PSLV-C30).
The first and third stages of PSLV-C30 launch were powered by solid fuel while the second
and fourth stages are powered by liquid fuel. Astrosat is Indias first dedicated multiwavelength space observatory.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scripted history by launching a record
number of 22 satellites in a single mission in May 2016. These satellites (micro and nano)
were launched using ISROs workhorse Polar rocket PSLV C34. It was carrying Indias
Cartosat 2C along with 21 other satellites from other countries, including US, Canada,
Indonesia and Germany as co-passengers. Earlier in 2008, ISRO had sent ten satellites into
orbit in a single mission.
India will launch Indonesias second multi-spectral remote sensing satellite LAPAN A2/Orari.
Asias largest and first of its kind optical telescope Aryabhatta Research Institute of
Observational Sciences (ARIES) was unveiled at Devasthal in Nainital District, Uttarakhand.

Page 72 of 93

Aries telescope was joint collaborative technological effort between Indian and Belgian
scientists.
Indias first indigenous composites sonar dome, a ships underwater eyes and ears, was
dedicated to the nation and will be delivered to Mazgaon Docks, Mumbai for use in the
warships of Indian Navy. Sonaris an acronym for SOund Navigation And Ranging. It is a
technique that uses sound propagation (usually underwater) to navigate, communicate with
or detect objects on or under the surface of the water, such as other vessels.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has installed the Gadanki Ionospheric
Radar Interferometer (GIRI) Radar System near Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. It was installed at
the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), which is an autonomous research
institute of the Department of Space (DoS).
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch the countrys first solar
mission called Aditya-L1. Aditya-L1 satellite will be placed in an orbit about 15 lakh
kilometres from the earth in a halo orbit around the L1 Lagranian point. It will be launched by
using the PSLV XL. Its primary objective will be to study the solar corona and the
chromosphere in different wavebands, dynamic nature of the suns outer most layers, and
collect data about Coronal Mass Ejections (CME).
Lagrangian points: They are the locations in space where the combined gravitational pull of
two large masses roughly balance each other. There are five such points in Sun-Earth
system and they are denoted as L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5. In this location, small mass remains
at constant distances relative to the large masses. Halo orbit: It is a periodic threedimensional (3D) orbit near the Lagrangian points L1, L2 or L3.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working to establishment of a Satellite
Tracking & Data Reception Station and Data Processing Facility for ASEAN Member
countries in Vietnam.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has decided to test an Air-breathing
Propulsion System after successful test of Reusable launch Vehicle- Technology
Demonstration (RLV-TD). The testing of air-breathing propulsion system aims to capitalize
on the oxygen in the atmosphere instead of liquefied oxygen while in flight. ISRO is evolving
and testing various technologies to bring down the cost of launch vehicles and the airbreathing propulsion system is part of its new space endeavour.
India has joined the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC), a
global ballistic missile proliferation regime.The HCoC is a voluntary, legally non-binding
international confidence building and transparency measure that seeks to prevent the
proliferation of ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction
(WMD). It was established on 25 November 2002 as a result of international efforts to
regulate access to ballistic missiles which can potentially deliver WMDs
International Space Program
Russias newest defence satellite dubbed as EKS Kosmos-2510 was successfully launched
into space and has been placed into its dedicated orbit. It was launched using Russian

Page 73 of 93

Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome which is a military facility in northwestern Russia.
Chinas first lunar rover, Yutu, has set the new record for the longest stay by a rover on the
lunar surface. With working on the Moon for almost two years it has surpassed previous
record of Soviet Unions (USSRs) 1970 launched rover Lunokhod 1, which had spent 11
months on the Moon.
China has successfully launched Tianhui-1C, a third mapping satellite of the Tianhui-1 series
into its designated orbit.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has successfully launched the
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Jason-3 Ocean-monitoring satellite. Jason-3 is the 4th
mission in the joint US-European series of satellite missions that measure the height of the
ocean surface.
An unmanned spacecraft named ExoMars 2016 was successfully launched jointly Europe
and Russia to search for biosignatures on Mars (or Martian life) in past or present.ExoMars
2016: It consists of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and Schiaparelli, an entry, descent and
landing demonstrator module. TGOs sole purpose is to search (trace) evidence of methane
(CH4) and other atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or
geological processes on Mars. TGO has four suites of science instruments. They are ACS
(Atmospheric Chemistry Suite), FREND (Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector),
CaSSIS (Color and Stereo Surface Imaging System) and NOMAD (Nadir and Occultation for
MArs Discovery)
IRNSS system is similar to other satellite navigation systems like US GPS (Global
Positioning System), Russias Glonass, Japans Quasi Zenith, Europes Galileo and Chinas
Beidou.
Japan has successfully launched ASTRO-H space observation satellite to probe mysterious
black holes.
China has successfully launched its most sophisticated observation satellite Gaofen-4, as
part of the countrys high-definition (HD) earth observation Gaofen project. It was launched
aboard a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the
southwestern province of Sichuan. Gaofen-4 is Chinas first geosynchronous orbit highdefinition optical imaging satellite and worlds most sophisticated HD geosynchronous orbit
remote sensing satellite. It is located at the orbit 36,000 km away from the earth and moves
synchronously with the earth.

C. DEFENCE
Indian Navy has commissioned INS Kochi, a Kolkata-class Guided Missile Destroyer in its
contingent to showcase Indias indigenous efforts in the field of underwater warfare.It has
been built at Mazagaon Docks (MDL), Mumbai and it is the 10th destroyer in Indias combat
fleet.

Page 74 of 93

Indias first Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) was
commissioned in Kochi, Kerala. First of its kind system in the country is part of initiatives to
strengthen and beef up coastal security in the western coastline. IUHDSS has been
designed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Consists of advance sensors, coastal
surveillance radars and sound navigation and ranging systems (SONAR). Capable of
detecting, tracking, identifying and generating warning for all types of underwater and
surface threats to harbour security.
Seychelles government allowed India to build its first Naval Base on the Assumption Island
in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) as a joint project between both countries. Indias first Naval
Base project has acquired significance following China acquiring its first African naval base
in Djibouti (near Horn of Africa) in November 2014.
Indias first indigenously designed warship INS Godavari has been decommissioned after 32
years of service. INS Godavari was the first of the three in her Class of guided-missile
frigates and was commissioned into Indian Navy on 10 December 1983. The ship was
considered as a symbol of Indias growing military might and self-reliance. It was first of
three Godavari Class frigates, others being Ganga and Gomati.
INS Vishwakarma, the erstwhile Shipwright School (SWS) and a premier training
establishment of the Indian Navy has been commissioned. INS Vishwakarma was
commissioned in keeping with the Navys thrust towards indigenisation and Make in India
initiative.
Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette INS Kadmatt has been commission in the Indian
Navy by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan at naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam.
It is the second ship of Project 28 (P28) class ASW corvettes and is the latest ship after
Shivalik class, Kolkata class and INS Kamorta.
Indias first indigenously built nuclear armed submarine INS Arihant has successfully passed
several deep sea diving drills as well as weapons launch tests. These successful tests
undertaken off Vishakhapatnam coast. INS Arihants design is based on the Russian Akula1 class submarine. It is a 6,000-tonne nuclear powered submarine and is 112 metre long.
The Indian Navy has commissioned indigenously built highly manoeuvrable Fast Attack
Craft INS Tarmugli at the commissioning ceremony held in Visakhapatnam, Andhra
Pradesh.INS Tarmugli is indigenously conceived, designed and built by M/s Garden Reach
Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE). It is the first Follow-on Water Jet Fast Attack Craft
(WJFAC) and is an improved version of WJFAC, earlier constructed by GRSE.
Nuclear capable submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLMB) code named K-4, was
successfully test fired from an undisclosed location in the Bay of Bengal.The K-4 is part of
the K-family of missiles, a series of SLBMs (Submarine-launched ballistic missile). The
series is named after former president and scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Maritime India Summit 2016 in Mumbai,
Maharashtra. This is Indias first ever Maritime Summit and the flagship event organised by
Union Ministry of Shipping.The main focus of summit is to give impetus to Make In India and

Page 75 of 93

blue economy under the Union Governments ambitious Sagarmala Project emphasising on
port-led development
The Southern Command of the Indian Navy has inaugurated a naval detachment at Androth
Island of the Lakshadweep archipelago. The naval detachment seeks to strengthen maritime
security in and around Arabian Sea and enhance surveillance of crucial shipping lanes.
The International Fleet Review (IFR) 2016, an international military exercise hosted and
conducted by Indian Navy was inaugurated in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Theme of
this edition on IFR is United through Oceans and its objective is to enhance mutual trust
and confidence with neighbouring navies by inviting their ships to participate in the event.
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) of Union Government has given its
final approval to Kerala Governments approval to set up Indias first Defence Industrial Park
at Ottappalam.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established the worlds
Highest Terrestrial Research Centre near Pengong Lake at Changla in Ladakh. The centre
dubbed as Extreme Altitude Research Centre is located at 17,600 feet above mean sea
level.
An indigenously developed ( by BDL) second generation anti-tank guided missile, Amogha-I
was successfully test fired. It has maximum target range of 2.8 kms.
Lakshya: It is remotely piloted high speed target drone system developed by Aeronautical
Development Establishment, a Bengaluru unit of DRDO in 1985.
Indigenously developed by DRDO under Ballistic Missile Defence Programme, the
supersonic Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile was successfully test fired from
the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.
Indigenously developed Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile, Ashwin was
successfully test fired. The test was the twelfth test of interceptor missiles fired from a
warship in the Bay of Bengal. Of the 11 tests held earlier, 9 were successful.AAD interceptor
missile Ashwin is the advanced version of low altitude supersonic ballistic interceptor
missile.
Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM):Co-developed by India and Israel was
successfully test-fired for the first time from an Israeli Naval Platform.LRSAM is also called
Barak 8 missile in Israel which in Hebrew language means lightning. Barak 8 is an
advanced, long-range missile defence and air defence system. Its main features are long
range, active radar seeker missile, vertical launch and multiple simultaneous engagements.
The nuclear-capable Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test fired from warship
Subhadra, off the Puri coast of Odisha in the Bay of Bengal.The surface-to-surface missile is
a naval variant of Prithvi-II missile and can carry both conventional as well as a nuclear
payload of 500 kg.
Nuclear capable surface-to-surface Agni-IV missile was successfully test-fired by the Indian
Armys Strategic Forces Command (SFC).Agni-IV is a surface-to-surface missile and is

Page 76 of 93

capable of hitting a target at a distance of 4,000 km. The two-stage solid-propelled missile is
about 20 metres tall and weighs 17 tonnes. It is equipped with modern and advanced ring
laser gyro-based Inertial Navigation system (RINS).
Indian Army has successfully test fired the Brahmos supersonic land attack cruise missile at
Pokhran in Jaisalmer District of Rajasthan.
Indigenously-built surface-to-air Akash missile was successfully test fired from complex-3 of
the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipuri in Odisha.It has been indigenously developed
by DRDO under the Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). The
missile has supersonic speeds ranging from Mach 2.8 to 3.5. It has capability to carry
warhead of 60 kg. It can engage aerial targets up to a range of approximately 25 kms.
The indigenously-built , by DRDO under IGMDP, third generation anti-tank missile Nag was
successfully test fired at Mahajan Field Firing Range in Rajasthan. It is fire-and-forget antitank missile. HeliNa is a helicopter-launched version of Nag missile. Operational range:
500m to 4km (Land version), 7-10km (Air-launched).
Indias biggest ever land, naval and homeland security exhibition Defence Expo 2016 began
in Goa. This for the first time, the Expo is being held outside the national capital New
Delhi.The 2016 theme is Rise of Futurism and its vision is to make India prosperous by
establishing world class science and technology base in defence sector.DRDO will display
live demo of Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AEWCS), Light Combat Aircraft
(LCA) Tejas, Main Battle Tank (MTB) Arjun, Wheeled Armoured Platform AKASH, Air
Defence System, Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher, state of art Radars, and other
equipment.
A joint US-Australian military research team successfully tested a hypersonic technology in
the Australian desert.Hypersonic flight involves travelling at more than 5 times the speed of
sound (Mach 5). For this purpose, scientists working in the Hypersonic International Flight
Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) programme are developing an engine that can fly at
Mach 7 speed. HiFiRE programme consists of a scramjet engine attached to a rocket
booster. Scramjetis a supersonic combustion engine that uses oxygen from the atmosphere
for fuel. It is lighter and faster than fuel-carrying rockets and is suitable for flying at
hypersonic (Mach 5 and above) speed
PRITHVI:-Indigenously developed short range nuclear capable Prithvi-II surface-to-surface
missile was successfully test-fired from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha.
Military Exercise
YUDH ABHYAS 2015

India-US Combined Military Training Exercise YUDH ABHYAS 2015 held from
9th September 2015 at Joint Base Lewis McChord in United States.

MALABAR
trilateral India, Japan and United States (US) navies have kicked off 2016 MALABAR
naval Exercise
trilateral naval Exercise near South China Sea. This year it is the 20th edition of
the naval exercise in which over 100 aircraft and 22 naval ships including a
nuclear submarine are participating.

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AUSINDEX15

Inaugural bilateral maritime exercise between India and Australia AUSINDEX15,


commenced off coast of Visakhapatnam. The inaugural biennial exercise began
with briefings and practical demonstrations ashore between Royal Australian
Navy and Indian Navy before moving to sea.

KUVERIN 2015

The sixth Indo-Maldives joint Training Exercise, KUVERIN 2015 has


commenced at Pangode Military Station in Thiruvananthapuram district of
Kerala.

MITRA SHAKTI 2015

India-Sri Lanka joint military training exercise MITRA SHAKTI 2015 held at
Aundh Military Station in Pune, Maharashtra. It is third edition of the joint training
exercise between both countries that seeks to build Military to Military cooperation and interoperability.

SLINEX 2015

The fourth edition of Sri Lanka-India bilateral naval exercise SLINEX 2015
began off Trincomalee coast, Sri Lanka.

Shatrujeet

The Indian Army conducted major battle exercise named as Shatrujeet in the
Thar Desert of Rajasthan near to the border with Pakistan.

Surya Kiran IX

The 9th edition of India-Nepal Combined Military Exercise Surya Kiran IX has
commenced at Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.

Hand-in-Hand series of For the first time, border troops of India and China have held their first joint
India-China
Joint tactical exercise codenamed Sino-India Cooperation 2016 in Chushul-Moldo in
Exercises
Jammu and Kashmir. This exercise is complement to the Hand-in-Hand series
of India-China Joint Exercises and the recently conducted joint exercise in
Sikkim.
Nomadic Elephant The eleventh edition of India-Mongolia joint military training exercise Nomadic
2016
Elephant 2016 has commenced at Mongolia. It seeks to promote military
associations between India and Mongolia. The first joint exercise was held in
2004 and since then it is annually held.
Indra-2015

The seventh edition India-Russia Joint Military exercise Indra-2015 has begun
in Bikaner District of Rajasthan. This edition of exercise is focusing on Counter
Terrorism Operations in Desert Terrain under a United Nations Mandate.

INDRA NAVY-15

The eighth edition of India-Russia joint naval exercise-INDRA NAVY-15 - in


Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

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Cobra Gold 2016

For the first time, India has participated in the Cobra Gold 2016 multilateral
amphibious exercise hosted by Thailand after a 12 member Indian Army
delegation
joined
it.
Cobra Gold multilateral amphibious exercise is the largest Asia-Pacific military
exercise held annually in Thailand. It was first held in 1982 in order to improve
relations and coordination between the armed forces of Thailand and US in both
humanitarian and hostile military efforts

LAMITYE 2016

The 7th edition of India, Seychelles joint military exercise LAMITYE 2016 has
begun in Victoria, Seychelles. The fourteen day exercise has been conducted at
Seychelles Defence Academy (SDA), Victoria till February 28, 2016

Shakti-2016

India and France had their eight-day counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency


bilateral military exercise Shakti-2016 in Rajasthan.

Sahayog-Kaijin 2016

The 15th edition of bilateral exercise by the Indian Coast Guard and its
Japanese counterpart titled Sahayog-Kaijin 2016 has begun off the coast of
Chennai, Tamil Nadu in the Bay of Bengal.

Garuda Shakti

The fourth edition of the India-Indonesia Joint Training Exercise Garuda Shakti
has begun at Magelang in Indonesia. The 13 days (till 23 March) bilateral
exercise aims at (i) Building and promoting positive relations between the
Armies of India and Indonesia. (ii) Enhancing their abilities to undertake joint
tactical level operations in a counter insurgency environment under United
Nations Charter.

ORGANISATION/AGENCY/INSTITUTE/BODY
Food Safety and Standards Authority
of India (FSSAI)

FSSAI was established under the


Food Safety and Standards Act,
2006 and operates under aegis of
Union Ministry of Health & Family
Welfare.

FSSAI is a nodal statutory agency


responsible for protecting and promoting
public health in India through the
regulation and supervision of food safety.

Functions: FSSAI has been established to


lay down science based standards for
various food products in order ensure
availability of safe and wholesome food
for human consumption. It also regulates
the manufacture, storage, distribution,
sale and import of food products for
human consumption.

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The first commission was constituted in


1955 and since then various commissions
were re-constituted every three years. It is
usually headed by a retired Supreme
Court judge or former Chief Justice of a
High
Court.

It is national organisation responsible for


promoting, coordinating, and monitoring
doping control programme in sports in all
its forms.

The primary objectives of NADA are:


Implement anti-doping rules as per World
Anti-Doping Code, Regulate dope control
programme, Promote education and
research and Create awareness about
doping and its ill effects.

Commission

UPSC is a constitutional body


which conducts the prestigious
civil services examination to
select IAS, IFS and IPS officers
among others.

It has been established under Article 315


of the Constitution and consists of a
Chairman and ten Members; appointed
and removed by the President.

The Chairman and Members of the


Commission hold office for a term of six
years or until they attain the age of 65
years, whichever is earlier.

It has headquarter in New Delhi.

NAM is quasi-judicial body that


functions under the aegis of Union
Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

It
is
empowered
to
make
recommendations to Union Government
for grading and classifying centrally
protected monuments and protected
areas declared as being of national
importance.

National Investment and Infrastructure


Fund (NIIF)

The objective of NIIF is to maximize


economic growth of the country mainly
through infrastructure development in
commercially
viable
projects
(both
greenfield and brownfield), including
stalled projects.

Law Commission of India (LCI)

The LCI is a non-statutory and


non-constitutional
body
constituted
by
the
Union
Government from time to time.

National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA)

NADA was set up as a registered


society under the Societies
Registration Act of 1890, in
November 2005, with a mandate
for dope free sports in India.
It functions under the aegis of
Union Ministry of Youth Affairs
and Sports.

Union Public
(UPSC)

Service

National Monuments Authority (NMA)

The NIIF has been established by


Union Government as a Category
II Alternate Investment Funds
(AIF) as per the regulations of the
Securities and Exchange Board of

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India (SEBI).

G 20[Members: Brazil, China, Russia,


India, South Africa, Australia, Argentina,
Canada, France, Indonesia, Germany,
Italy, Mexico, Japan, Saudi Arabia,
Turkey, South Korea, United Kingdom
(UK), United States (US) and European
Union (EU).]

India is going to chair Group of


Twenty (G20) nations forum in
year 2018 and New Delhi could
be the host of the prestigious
annual G20 summit.

Established: in 1999 as a meeting


of Finance Ministers and Central
Bank Governors on member
countries in the aftermath of the
1997 Asian financial crisis.

Women-20(W-20)

It has hosted its first summit in


October 2015 in Istanbul after all
member countries appoint their
respective nominees.

Gulden Turktan from Turkey has


been appointed as the first
President W20 forum

G-4

G-4
countries
viz.
Brazil,
Germany, India and Japan have
issued a Joint Statement on
United Nations Security Council
Reforms (UNSC).

Group of Twenty (G20) G20 is the premier


forum (It is not an organisation) for global
economic and financial cooperation. Being
a forum it does not have any permanent
secretariat
or
management
and
administrative structure.

The forum brings together 20 nations that


represent worlds major advanced and
emerging economies, representing around
85 per cent of global GDP. Presidency of
the G20: Every year one nation holds the
chair of G20 known as Presidency which
rotates annually among its member
groups. The presidency establishes a
temporary secretariat for the duration till it
holds the Chair.

Group of Twenty (G-20), a forum of


worlds 20 largest economies, including
India launched Women-20 (W20), an
engagement grouping of women leaders
in order to push for gender inclusive
global economic growth. It was launched
in the on-going G-20 Summit of Finance
Ministers and Central Bank Governors in
Ankara under the Turkish Presidency.

G-4 leaders in meeting stressed on more


legitimate, representative and effective
UNSC reforms to address the global
conflicts and crises which have spiralled in
recent years.

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Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

NSG is a multinational body


concerned with reducing nuclear
proliferation by controlling the
export and re-transfer of materials
that may be used for development
of nuclear weapons.

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Long-pending 2010 Quota and


Governance Reforms have finally
become
effective.
These
proposed reforms are the biggest
change in the governance of the
IMF (lender of last resort) since it
was established after World War
II in 1945 after the Bretton Woods
Conference.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate


Change (IPCC)

It was set up in 1974 as a reaction to


Indias first successful nuclear tests (code
name: Smiling Buddha; conducted on 18
May 1974) to stop so called misuse of
nuclear material meant for peaceful
purposes.

Currently NSG has 48 members.

It is owned by 67 members 48 from the


region including India. It is dedicated to
reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific
through inclusive economic growth,
environmentally sustainable growth, and
regional integration.

Key facts: Gives boost the representation


of emerging economies like India, China,
Brazil, Russia and increases their power
and greater say in IMF.

The doubling of quotas means that the


shares (roles) of advanced European and
Gulf countries have been reduced and
that of emerging nations particularly China
have been increased.

IPCC is the leading international body for


the assessment of climate change.

Members: Open to all member countries


of UN and WMO. Currently 195 countries
are its members.

Headquarter: Manila, Philippines

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Headquarters:
Geneva,
Switzerland. Established: In 1988
by
the
United
Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP)
and the World Meteorological
Organisation (WMO).

TRAFFIC:
Founded in 1976, Cambridge, U K.
It is a Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network.
It is a global network,research-driven and action-oriented,committed to delivering innovative
and practical solutions to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the
conservation of nature.
Is a joint programme ofWorld Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)and IUCN(the World
Conservation Union )

Page 82 of 93

Also works in close co-operation with the Secretariat of CITES.

WWF FOR NATURE (WWF):


An international NGO, Founded in 1961.
It is the world's largest conservation organisation ,working on issues regarding conservation,
research and restoration of the environment.
Mission is "to stop the degradation of the planets natural environment and to build a future
in which humans live in harmony with nature."

United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF)


Was established by ECOSOC in 2000
Objective to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all
types of forests and to strengthen long term political commitment to this end
Based on Rio Declaration, Forest Principles, Chapter 11 of Agenda 21
Membership Universal

Page 83 of 93

SCHEMES
Digital
Saksharta The Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (DISHA) mission was launched on 21 August 2014
Abhiyan (DISHA):
that envisages providing digital literacy to non IT literate citizens. The scheme
imparts IT training to 52.5 lakh persons that include Anganwadi and ASHA
workers and authorised ration dealers in all the States/UTs across the country.
Suraksha
drive

SAMANVAY
portal

Bandhan Union Government has launched Suraksha Bandhan drive in a Mission Mode
through participating insurance companies and banks. The drive aims at taking
forward Union Governments objective of creating a universal social security
system in the country, especially for the poor and the under-privileged sections.
web Union Ministry of Rural Development has launched SAMANVAY web portal to
monitor progress and implementation of the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana
(SAGY) for development of Gram Panchayats. SAMANVAY web portal consist a
compilation of all Government schemes of both Central and State governments
for Gram Panchayats.

Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Union Governments ambitious Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh (PAHAL) scheme
Laabh (PAHAL)
has been acknowledged as the worlds largest cash transfer programme
(households) by the Guinness Book of World Records. Pratyaksha Hastaantarit
Laabh (PAHAL) scheme The scheme was formally launched as Direct Benefit
Transfer Scheme for LPG subsidy in 2013 in 291 districts under the aegis of
Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Three
gold
schemes

related Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched three gold related schemes viz. Gold
Monetization Scheme (GMS), Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme (SGBS) and Indian
Gold Coins (IGC). These ambitious schemes were launched to reduce the
physical demand for gold and fish out 20,000 tonnes of the precious metal lying
idle with households and institutions.

APJ Abdul Kalam Amrut Maharashtra Government has approved APJ Abdul Kalam Amrut Yojana scheme
Yojana
to provide one full hot cooked nutritious food to pregnant, lactating women in the
tribal areas.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Farmers will pay uniform premium of 2 per cent for all Kharif crops and 1.5
Bima Yojana
percent for all Rabi crops. In case of annual horticultural and commercial crops,
farmers will pay 5 per cent premium. These premium rates are very low.
Government will pay balance premium to provide full insured amount to the
farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.
Government subsidy: There will be no upper limit subsidy given by Government
even if balance premium is 90 percent.
Capping the Premium: The provision of capping the premium rate has been
removed and farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction.

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e-Vahan Bima Scheme

Ujwal
Assurance
(UDAY)

Telangana Government has launched e-Vahan Bima Scheme to issue motor


insurance policy in digital form.

DISCOM Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its nod Ujwal
Yojana DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) for financial restructuring of debt of power
distribution companies. The Scheme aims for financial turnaround and revival of
Power Distribution companies (DISCOMs) and also ensures a sustainable
permanent solution to the problem.

Mahila E-HAAT

Mahila E-HAAT is an online marketing platform to facilitate women entrepreneurs


to sell their products to buyers. It is an initiative mainly for women across the
country and is part of Union Governments flagship Digital India and Stand Up
India initiatives. Objective: To strengthen the financial inclusion of women
entrepreneurs by providing continued support to their creativity. Joint initiative of
Union Women and Child Development Ministry and Rashtriya Mahila Kosh
(RMK) for meeting the needs of women entrepreneurs.

National
Rurban Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Rurban Mission (NRM) from
Mission (NRM)
Kurubhat in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh.
National Rurban Mission (NRM)
Twin objectives: (i) Strengthening of rural areas and de-burdening the urban
areas. (ii) Balanced regional development and growth of the country by
simultaneously benefiting the rural as well as urban areas of the country.
Fourteen components: Optimum level of development components include (a)
Skill development training (b)Agro Processing/Agri Storage/ Services and
Warehousing (c) Sanitation (d) Digital Literacy (e) Solid and liquid waste
management (f) Provision of piped water supply (g) Village streets and drains (h)
Street lights (i) Upgrading school/higher education facilities (j) fully equipped
mobile health unit (k) Service Centres for electronic delivery of citizen centric
services/e-gram connectivity (l) Public transport (m) Inter-village road connectivity
(n) LPG gas connections.
sikkim.data.gov.in

Sikkim became the first state in India to have an open government data portal
linked sikkim.data.gov.in.

Project Sunrise

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, J P Nadda has launched Project
Sunrise on for prevention of AIDS especially among people injecting drugs in the
eight North-Eastern states. The AIDS prevention special project aims to diagnose
90 per cent of such drug addicts with HIV and put them under treatment by 2020.

Page 85 of 93

Sugamya
Bharat Union Government has launched Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan (Accessible India
Abhiyan
(Accessible Campaign), a nationwide campaign in a bid to achieve universal accessibility to
India Campaign)
persons with disabilities.
Target set by the campaign: Envisages making all railway stations of A1, A & B
categories and the international airports in the country fully accessible to the
disabled by July 2016.
JANANI-SEWA

The Union Ministry of Railways launched three passenger service initiatives viz. a
Janani Sewa for mothers, optional catering in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains on a
pilot basis and a childrens menu on trains.
Janani Sewa: Under this scheme hot milk, hot water and baby food will be
available at railway stations. Initially on pilot basis this scheme will be available at
25 railway stations including New Delhi, Howrah, Mumbai, Chennai, Surat and
Lucknow.

web-based
portal Government launched a web-based portal www.vidyalakshmi.co.in for the
www.vidyalakshmi.co.in students seeking educational loans. In order to ensure that no student misses out
on higher education due to lack of funds, Finance Minister in the Union Budget for
2015-16 had proposed to set up a fully IT-based Student Financial Aid Authority.
In line with this proposal this portal was launched with an aim to administer and
monitor scholarship as well as educational loan schemes under the Pradhan
Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram (PMVLK). The launch of this portal also aims to
bring all banks providing educational loans under one roof.
SEHAT

Union Government has launched a telemedicine initiative dubbed as Sehat to


provide quality and affordable healthcare facilities in rural areas in collaboration
with Apollo Hospitals. Under the Sehat initiative people will be able to consult
doctors through video link i.e. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and also order
generic drugs.

multilingual knowledge The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has launched the
portal
multilingual knowledge portal www.bharatvani.in
www.bharatvani.in
Bharatavani is the largest online repository of dictionaries in India consisting more
than 130 dictionaries, glossaries and terminology books. It will ensure
universalization of education and also towards creation of a knowledge society in
the digital age.
Swadesh Darshan

Key facts Ramayana Circuit: Under it 11 tourist destinations spread across six
states have been proposed. The covered destinations are: Uttar Pradesh:
Ayodhya, Shringhverpur Nandigram and Chitrakoot (ii) Bihar: Sitamarhi, Buxar
and Darbhanga (iii) Telangana: Bhadrachalam (iv) Chattisgarh: Jagdalpur (v)
Karnataka: Hampi (vi) Tamil Nadu: Besides expert committee has suggested to
include Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Mahendragiri (Odisha), Nagpur and Nashik
(Maharashtra) in the proposed circuit. Krishna Circuit: Under it 12 destinations

Page 86 of 93

spread across 5 states have been proposed. The destinations covered are: (i)
Gujarat: Dwarka (ii) Rajasthan: Nathdwara, Jaipur and Sikar (iii) Uttar Pradesh:
Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana, Gokul, Nandgaon and Govardhan (iv) Odisha:
AboutSwadesh Darshan Scheme:
The Union Ministry of Tourism had launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in
2014-15 with an aim to develop theme based tourist circuits in the country. These
tourist circuits will be developed on the principles of high tourist value,
competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner. They will be
developed by synergizing efforts to focus on concerns and needs of all
stakeholders to enrich tourist experience and enhance employment opportunities.
Under this scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development.
They are Buddhist Circuit, North-East India Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Himalayan
Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Tribal Circuit,
Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
Surya Mitra mobile App

Internet
programme

The Union Ministry of Power has launched Surya Mitra mobile App to serve
customers in the field of renewable energy. The App will serve customers at their
doorsteps with quality installation, repair, and Observations and Measurements
(O&M) in the field of renewable energy. The App has been developed by National
Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), an autonomous institution of Union Ministry of
New & Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Saathi The Indian unit of search giant Google Inc. and Tata Trusts have jointly launched
Internet Saathi programme in Purulia district of West Bengal. The initiative has
been launched as part of Googles Helping Women Get Online campaign, in
order to create awareness about the benefits of Internet among women in rural
India.

Global
Initiative
of Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has launched Global
Academic
Networks Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) Scheme to boost the quality of higher
(GIAN) Scheme
education in India GIAN Scheme aims at improving the quality of higher education
in the country through international collaboration.
Pradhan Mantri Khanij Union Government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan
Kshetra Kalyan Yojana Yojana (PMKKKY) for the welfare of people affected by mining related operations.
(PMKKKY)
The new scheme is meant to provide for the welfare of people and areas affected
by mining related operations by using the funds collected by District Mineral
Foundations (DMFs).

Page 87 of 93

Ganga Gram Yojana

The Union Government has launched Ganga Gram Yojana to develop 1600
villages in Uttar Pradesh (UP) situated along the banks of Ganga River. Under
this programme, these selected villages will be developed under the Sichewal
model (Village in Punjab) which is based on cooperation of the villagers for water
management and waste disposal. Union Ministry of Water Resources, River
Development and Ganga Rejuvenation also deployed the first company of Ganga
Task Force Battalion to fast track implementation of Namami Gange Programme.

Gram Uday Se Bharat


Uday Abhiyan (Village
Self
Governance
Campaign)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan
(Village Self Governance Campaign) to strengthen Panchayati Raj in villages and
ensure social harmony in villages. It was launched on the occasion of 125th birth
anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar at his birthplace at Mhow, Madhya
Pradesh.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala The Union Government launched Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) for
Yojana (PMUY)
providing free of cost LPG (cooking gas) connections to women from BPL
Households. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Maldepur
Morh, Ballia in Uttar Pradesh. The tagline for the scheme is Swachh Indhan,
Behtar Jeevan. Key facts Under PMUY, each of the beneficiaries will receive
monetary support of about 1,600 rupees to get a connection of cooking gas. It
includes administrative cost, pressure regulator booklet and safety hose. The
scheme seeks to empower women and protect their health by shifting them from
traditional cooking based on unclean cooking fuels or on fossil fuels to clean
cooking gas. It is being implemented by Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural
Gas. It is for the first time this Ministry is implementing a welfare scheme. The
identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State
Governments and the Union Territories. It will be implemented over three years
time frame namely in the FY 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

NOTE: Only those Schemes which were not covered in first uploaded file are mentioned
here.

Page 88 of 93

PERSONALITY
Ustad Ali Ahmad Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan was famously known for his innovative style and mastery
Hussain Khan
over the classical and semi-classical and folk music repertoire. He had played Shehnai at
the inauguration ceremony of Doordarshan television channel in 1973 with Pandit Ravi
Shankar and also had rendered its signature tune.
Srinivasa
Ramanujan

Dr
B
Ambedkar

Rani Gaidinliu

Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on 22nd December, 1887 in Erode district of Tamil Nadu.
He was considered as doyen of number theory, infinite series, mathematical analysis,
and making formulas and equations without any formal training in pure mathematics.
R

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released 2 commemorative coins on Dr B R


Ambedkar as part of the 125th birth anniversary year celebrations of the
architecture of Indian Constitution.

The coins are of 10 rupee and 125 rupee denomination and were issued on the
60th Mahaparinirvan Divas of Babasaheb Ambedkar.

The Constitution Day of India is being observed on 26th November to spread


awareness of Indian Constitution and its architect Dr. B R Ambedkar.

2015 Constitution Day is the first edition of this day and part of year-long
nationwide celebrations of 125th birth Anniversary of Dr. B R Ambedkar,
Chairman of the Drafting Committee of Constituent Assembly.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 August 2015 inaugurated birth centenary


celebrations of freedom fighter Rani Gaidinliu. On this occasion he launched
commemorative coin of 100 rupees and circulation coin of 5 rupees of Rani Gaidinliu to
mark her birth centenary celebrations.
About Rani Gaidinliu: Rani Gaidinliu was a Naga political and spiritual leader who had led
a revolt against British colonial rule in India. Her political struggle in present North east
India was based on Gandhian principles of Satyagraha, non-violence, self-reliance. She
had also played an important role in Indias wider freedom movement by spreading the
message of Gandhi ji in Manipur region.

Lala Lajpat Rai

150th birth anniversary of great freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai, also known as Punjab
Kesri is being celebrated 28th January 2016.
Lala Lajpat Rai He was born on 28 January 1865 in Dhudike (now Moga District) of
Punjab. He was a lawyer by profession and had practiced his legal profession for few
years but later curtailed it to focus all his efforts on the freedom struggle. He was
popularly known as Punjab Kesari meaning The Lion of Punjab and also known as SherE- Punjab in Punjabi for his contribution to the freedom movement.
Freedom Movement: He was part of the Lal Bal Pal trio of assertive nationalists that
included Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Bipin Chandra Pal from 1905 to 1918.
Lal Bal Pal trio had advocated the Swadeshi movement involving the boycott of all
imported items and the use of Indian-made goods in 1907 during the anti-Partition

Page 89 of 93

agitation in Bengal which began in 1905. He was also associated with the foundation of
Punjab National Bank in 1895 and later Lakshmi Insurance Company.
President of INC: In 1888 and 1889 he was a delegate to the annual sessions of Indian
National Congress (INC) and was elected as its President in the Calcutta Special Session
of 1920.
Social Work: In 1921, he had founded Servants of the People Society, a non-profit
welfare organisation, in Lahore, which shifted its base to Delhi after partition, and has
branches in many parts of India.
Arya Samaj: He also had helped to establish the nationalistic Dayanand Anglo-Vedic
School and became a follower of Dayanand Saraswati (founder of the Arya Samaj).
His books: As an author he had written many books which includes The Story of My
Deportation (1908), Arya Samaj (1915), The United States of America: A Hindus
Impression (1916), Unhappy India (1928) etc.
Death: He died on 17 November 1928 after sustaining serious injuries in lathi charge
carried by the police when he leading a non-violent protest against the Simon
Commission.

Page 90 of 93

AWARDS/RANKING/ACHIEVMENTS
Rajiv Gandhi Khel President Pranab Mukherjee presented Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award to Sania
Ratna Award
Mirza In recognition of her outstanding achievements in game of Tennis. Presently
she is ranked no 1 womens player in Womens Double category.
Most
attractive Indias historic Mughal mausoleum Taj Mahal has been ranked fifth position in the
travel hotspot in prestigious list of most attractive travel hotspots in the world. It was revealed in the
the world
recently released Ultimate Travelist of Lonely Planet which has described the
monument as a magnificent Mughal masterpiece.
Top Four travel hotspot in the world:
The Temples of Angkor: It was placed at first position in the list. These temples are
UNESCO World Heritage site located in northern Cambodia. It has more than 1,000
temples, shrines and tombs which attracts more than 2 million tourists annually. The
Great Barrier Reef: A UNESCO World Heritage located in Australia is placed at
number two position.
Inca city of Machu Picchu: It was placed at third position. It is also UNESCO World
Heritage site, located in Peru.
Great Wall of China: It was placed at fourth position in the list. It is also a UNESCO
World Heritage site, located in China.

AWARD: Machu Picchu stands 2,430 m above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical
mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most
amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls, terraces and
ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments.
The natural setting, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper
Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna.
2015
UNESCO Marathi film Katyar Kaljat Ghusali and Bengali film Cinemawala are among the
Fellini Medal
twelve films shortlisted for prestigious 2015 UNESCO Fellini Medal.
UNESCO
prize India has won the UNESCO prize Award of Excellence 2015 for the conservation
Award
of efforts of the Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple in Kerala. The top award was given in
Excellence 2015
the Asia Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
Sahitya
Award

Akademi Sahitya Akademi Award is conferred on writers of outstanding works in one of the
twenty-four major Indian languages (22 Scheduled Languages+ English and
Rajasthani). 24 major Indian languages are: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri,
English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri,
Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu,
and Urdu.

Page 91 of 93

Karman Madhya Pradesh has been conferred the Union Governments prestigious Krishi
Karman Award in maximum food grains production category for year 2014-15 for the
4th consecutive year.

Krishi
Award

Other Awardees
Haryana, Assam: Rice.
Rajasthan: Wheat.
Chhattisgarh: Pulses.
West Bengal: Oil Seeds
Skoch
Merit
award

Order-of- Haryana Government has won the Skoch Order-of-Merit national award for
national implementing six e-Governance and IT initiatives in the state.

Golden
Beaver Nagaland is changing, But film has won the Golden Beaver Best Film Award in
Best Film Award
the institutional category at the 6th National Science Film Festival held in Mumbai.

Ranking/Achievements

India has been placed at 55th position on 2015 Global Competitiveness Index of the worlds
most competitive economies. It was published in Global Competitiveness Report of World
Economic Forum (WEF) which has assessed total 140 countries.

India has emerged as the worlds largest cotton producer in the season ending in September
30, 2015 by surpassing China.

As per latest report published by credit rating agency Brickwork Ratings, Maharashtra is the
biggest economy among the states in India. Maharashtra accounts for 16.87 lakh crore
rupees in terms of gross state domestic product (GSDP) and is followed by Tamil Nadu and
Uttar Pradesh.

Telangana has become the first state in the country to introduce compulsory gender
education at the graduate level. In this regard, state government has introduced bilingual
textbook titled Towards a World of Equals on a pilot basis in engineering colleges.

Kerala has become the first Indian state to achieve 100 per cent primary education.

Kerala Tourisms campaign titled New Worlds has won the prestigious Golden City Gate
Award at the at the Internationale Tourismus-Brse Berlin (ITB-Berlin) 2016.

Haryana is set become the first state in the country to complete aquifer mapping for its
groundwater resources by May 2016. Aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing rock
from which groundwater can be extracted. Key facts about Aquifer mapping: It is scientific
mapping of aquifers to assess the groundwater situation. Objective: To prepare
management plans in consultation with stakeholders and state governments to take
measures to replenish the declining groundwater. Nodal Agency: This aquifer mapping is
undertaken by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) on the scale of 1:50,000 in 3D.

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Technology: For this purpose, CGWB is using advanced technologies like heli-borne
geophysical surveys and sophisticated software for preparing management plans.

Himachal Pradesh became the first state in the country to have a State Data Centre (SDC),
designed using green data centre concept. It was launched by Chief Minister Virbhadra
Singh in Shimla.
Key Facts: The SDC will offer 101 people-oriented services online through an integrated
data base. It would integrate the websites of various departments and all services can be
accessed through the integrated data base.

Sikkim has formally become Indias first fully organic state after it successfully implemented
organic farming practices on around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land.

Mysuru city from Karnataka has been ranked first in terms of cleanliness for second time in
row among the 73 surveyed cities in Swachh Sarvekshan 2016.The rankings of the Swachh
Survekshan Survey 2016 were conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI) as part of
Swachh Bharat Mission.

India has overtaken Thailand as the worlds largest rice exporter in the year 2015 by
shipping (exporting) 10.23 million tonnes of rice.

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