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Seeking to improve basic infrastructure in urban areas, theMinistry of Urban Development approved an investment of Rs. 3, 120 cr for enhancing water supply, sewerage network services, storm water drains, non-motorised transport and availability of public spaces in 102 cities, under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
An inter-ministerial Apex Committee chaired by Shri Madhusudhan Prasad, Secretary (Urban Development) approved State level Annual Action Plans for 2015-16 with an investment of:
- 438 cr for Haryana which has 18 Amrut cities
- 573 cr for Chattisgarh (9 cities)
- 416 cr for Telangana (12 cities)
- 588 cr for Kerala (9 cities)
- 1, 105 cr for West Bengal (54 cities)
Chhattisgarh declares 7 more tehsils as drought hit
Chhattisgarh government included seven more tehsils in ‘drought-hit‘ category, taking to 117 the the total number of tehsils which lost more than 50 per cent crops in the ongoing kharif season in the state said by Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Premprakash Pandey .
Tehsils : Premnagar, Odigi and Bhaiyathan of Surajpur district, Jashpur and Bagicha (Jashpur), Dhamdha ( Durg) and Bastanar ( Bastar).
With this, a total of 117 teshils in 26 districts have been declared drought affected.
Key facts :
- The state government has already sent a ‘relief package’ proposal of nearly Rs 4,000 crores to the Centre for undertaking relief works in drought-affected tehsils.
- The government has also decided to provide one quintal of paddy seeds each to drought-hit farmers in the next kharif crop season which would cost Rs 200-300 crore to the government exchequer.
- Farmers in the state who are provided free electricity supply of 7,500 units per year for their agricultural pumps of 3-5 horse power will now get free power upto 9,000 units.
Key points :
- Chhattisgarh Capital : Raipur
- Chhattisgarh CM : Raman Singh
- Chhattisgarh Governor : Balramji Das Tandon
Bihar CM announces ban on liquor sale from April 2016
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday announced a ban on sale of alcohol in the state from April 1, 2016.
- Kumar instructed officials to bring in a new excise law before the end of the current financial year to restrict the sale of alcohol.
- There are two on-going projects in Bihar for production for liquor. Cobra Beer has a plant at Bihta, while United Spirits is setting-up a beer-bottling plant near Patna.
- With this ban, Bihar joins Gujarat, Kerala, Manipur, Nagaland, and the Union Territory of Lakshwadeep that have declared prohibition.
- Excise collection in Bihar was Rs 3,400 crore in 2014-15, and this year it is expected to reach Rs 4,000 crore.
Key points :
- Bihar Capital : Patna
- Bihar CM : Nitish Kumar
- Bihar Governor : Ram Nath Kovind
13th World Robot Olympiad to be Held in Delhi in November, 2016
Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism Dr. Mahesh Sharma meets the Indian Students, who won Medals in 12th World Robot Olympiad-2015 held from 6th – 8th November 2015.
- Venue : Doha, Qatar
- Theme : World Robot Olympiad was Robot Explorers.
- Organizer : National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) with India STEM Foundation (ISF).
World Robot Olympiad
Students from more than 55 countries participated in the event.
13th World Robot Olympiad will be held in Delhi during November, 2016 for the first time.
First time in the history of World Robot Olympiad, Indian students won three medals (1Gold & 2 Silver) and one position (Eighth) in the WRO- 2015.
Winners list :
|Team India Storm Divers(Ahmadabad)||1st Rank|
|India Thunder Divers(Ahmadabad)||2nd Rank|
|Team India Shadow Bots(Delhi)||2nd Rank|
|Path Finders(Delhi)||8th Rank|
Delhi Assembly passes Delhi Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services Amendment Bill, 2015
Delhi Assembly Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill, 2015 aimed at providing citizens with time bound delivery of Government services. The bill amends Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Act, 2011.
Key provisions of Bill
- Seeks to make the life of common man hassle free by providing services in a time bound manner.
- Ensure mandatory and automatic compensation for citizens if government services are not provided to them in time.
- Mandatory for each government department, local body and public authority will issue a ‘Citizen’s Charter’.
- They would set out in detail the time stipulated for provision of citizen-related services and the officer responsible for providing it.
- Imposes penalty on officials for delay in providing services.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) study made the year 2015 is warmest year on record because of climate cycle El Nino and also on account of human-induced global warming.
(*El Nino is a weather phenomenon resulting from warming in Pacific Ocean regions, leading to atmospheric changes)
- Global average surface temperature in 2015 reaches the significant milestone of 1° Celsius above the pre-industrial era.
- The 2011-15 period has been the warmest five-year period on record with many extreme weather events especially heat waves influenced by climate change.
BANKING & FINANCE
HSBC to wind up private banking business in India
Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd (HSBC) will shutter its private banking business in India through which it provides asset-management services to wealthy individuals.
- The decision was taken after a review of the bank’s global private banking business in India, as HSBC felt these customers could be served by its premiere banking services, which serve clients with a business relationship worth Rs.25 lakh every year.
The private banking arm posted a $7 million profit before taxes for the first half of the year, while the retail banking and wealth management unit posted a $3 million loss.
- In 2013, the bank had shut down its retail broking and retail depository service business. At that time, 300 employees in these divisions had been laid off.
- HSBC India joins international lenders such as Standard Chartered Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland and Morgan Stanley in deciding to shut down some of their businesses in India.
HSBC Headquarters – London, United Kingdom
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Indian-origin South African freedom fighter Ahmed Kathrada has been awarded the Freedom of the City of Cape Town becoming the sixth such recipient.
- Kathrada was a close confidante of South Africa’s first black president and global anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
- The other recipients of the honour include Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.
Marathi, Bengali films shortlisted for 2015 UNESCO Fellini Medal
Marathi film “Katyar Kaljat Ghusali” and Bengali film “Cinemawala” are among the twelve films shortlisted for prestigious 2015 UNESCO Fellini Medal.
- Katyar Kaljat Ghusali has been directed by actor-turn director Subodh Bhave while Kaushik Gangualy has directed Cinemawala.
- The award will be bestowed upon film, which reflects the ideals promoted by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
For the first time, the event is being organized in India at the ongoing 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) being held in Goa in association with the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication.
About Fellini medal:
- UNESCO’s Member States had instituted this prize in 1995 after passing resolution on General Conference for the safeguarding of the cinematographic heritage.
- It was instituted after death of Italian film director Federico Fellini in 1993 as an appeal to the international community to participate in a campaign to keep the seventh art alive.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGN
IAAF president Coe steps down from Nike role
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe has quit his role as a brand ambassador for Nike.
- Coe, who leads the ruling body of world athletics, has worked as a paid ambassador for the sportswear firm but faced repeated questions about a potential conflict of interest.
- He also stepping down as chair of the British Olympic Association (BOA) after next year’s Rio Games.
Woman appointed top prosecutor
- Aishath Bisam appointed as the first woman Prosecutor General of Maldives.
- She was selected after her name was approved by the Parliament with a majority of 66 votes, according to a release of the High Commission of Maldives in Colombo.
Dhoni becomes brand ambassador for Dubai-based company Grand Midwest Group
India’s ODI cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has bagged his first endorsement deal outside the country after signing up to be the brand ambassador of Dubai-based hospitality and event management company Grand Midwest Group for three years.
- MSD is the first Indian Player to get Rajiv Gandhi Khel Rathna award and Padmashri award.
Pepsico, Reebok, Exide, TVS motors, Mysore Sandal soap, Reliance communication, Reliance energy, Orient PSPO,Aircel,Bharat petroleum, Titan Sonata,NDTV,GE Money, Siyaram, Big Bazaar, Boost, Dabur honey, Kolkatta Fashion week, Amrapali etc.
Pankaj Saran appointed as the next Ambassador of lndia to the Russian Federation
Shri Pankaj Saran ,currently High Commissioner of lndia to Bangladesh has been appointed as the nextAmbassador of lndia to the Russian Federation.
About Pankaj Saran :
- Saran has served in Indian missions in Moscow, Washington, Cairo and Geneva.
- He earlier served in Bangladesh from 1989 to 1992 as the first secretary (political).
- In New Delhi, he served in the external affairs ministry in the East Europe Division, as deputy secretary in the Foreign Secretary’s Office and as joint secretary (north) while heading the division dealing with India’s relations with Nepal and Bhutan.
- He also served twice on deputation to the Prime Minister’s Office, first from 1995 to 1999 as directordealing largely with economic, energy and science and technology issues, and as joint secretary from 2007 to 2012. In the latter capacity.
Sushil Kumar Singhal accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Shri Sushil Kumar Singhal, presently Ambassador of India to Republic of Angola has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, with residence in Luanda.
Anil Wadhwa appointed as the next Ambassador of lndia to the Republic of ltaly
Anil Wadhwa, currently secretary (east) in the External Affairs Ministry named India’s new ambassador toItaly.He will replace Basant K Gupta at the Indian embassy in Rome.
About Anil Wadhwa :
- Wadhwa has been a member of the Indian Foreign Service since July 1, 1979.
- Second secretary and first secretary in the Indian embassy in Beijing, under secretary/deputy secretary in the external affairs ministry in New Delhi.
- UN disarmament fellow in Geneva, first secretary (disarmament) at the permanent mission of India in Geneva, and counsellor at the Indian embassy in Beijing.
- He was also director/joint secretary on deputation to the Provisional Technical Secretariat and later the Technical Secretariat for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, chief advisor in the external affairs ministry (earthquake relief) in Gujarat, and joint secretary (central and eastern Europe) in the ministry.
- Wadhwa has served as the Indian ambassador to Poland, Oman, and Thailand.
- Wadhwa has contributed a number of articles, mainly in the field of disarmament and international security, to various publications.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
India has successfully test-fired the indigenously built nuclear-capable Agni-I missile from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha.
- The surface-to-surface missile capable of hitting targets up to 700 km away was fired from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) as part of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) training exercise.
Missile Designer – Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
Manufacturer – Bharat Dynamics Limited
Unit cost – Rs 250-350 million
he public sector shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has launched the second anti-submarine warfare (ASW) called ‘Kadmatt’ for the Indian Navy. Kadmatt is being built at a cost of ₹17 billion.
- The Kadmatt ASW is part of Indian Navy’s Project -28 which aims to modernize the navy by creating stealth corvettes to destroy enemy submarines.
- INS Kamorta, the first in the class, was handed over to the navy last year.
China launches latest remote sensing satellite
China has successfully launched a remote sensing satellite which will focus on experiments on survey of land, crop yields and disaster relief.
- The satellite named Yaogan – 29 was carried by a Long March – 4C rocket after it was launched on from Taiyuan in the northern Shanxi province.
- This is the 219th mission for the Long March rocket family.
- China launched the first “Yaogan” series satellite in 2006.
Western analysts believe the series of satellites are of a military nature, using electronic intelligence, electro – optical and synthetic aperture radar sensing equipment.
The IAAF has named American decathlete Ashton Eaton and Ethiopian middle-distance runner Genzebe Dibaba as World Athletes of the Year.
About Ashton Eaton
Eaton (27) broke his own decathlon world record at the world championships in Beijing in August. He also won world gold in Moscow in 2013, a year after clinching Olympic gold in London.
About Genzebe Dibaba
Dibaba (24) is the current world record holder in the women’s 1500m and holds three furtherworld records indoors.
Australia, New Zealand create history by playing first day-night Test
Australia and New Zealand have created history by playing first day-night Test match at the Adelaide Oval Cricket Stadium with a pink Kookaburra ball.
- The first day-night test match was the third match of the series between Australia and New Zealand played for 2015 Trans-Tasman Trophy.
- The idea of playing day-night test matches par with One Day Internationals (ODIs) was raised by Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland. It was approved by International Cricket Council (ICC), an apex body for regulating cricket in July 2015.
This Test match numbered 2188 has a five-day limit and six-ball overs bowled with bright pink Kookaburra ball to ensure proper visibility in floodlights. This match is being played as per recommendations of the MCC World Cricket Committee to keep the test cricket alive.