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Government introduces rules for No – Fly List
On 8th September 2017, in New Delhi the Ministry of Civil Aviation introduced new rules for the formation of a national No – Fly list that bans unruly passengers from travelling in airplanes.
Purpose of the No – Fly list:
The No – Fly list has been introduced to ensure on-board safety of passengers, cabin crew and the airlines.
About the No – Fly list:
The No – Fly list introduced in India is unique and first of its kind in the world.
Category of unruly passengers:
Level I – behaviour that is verbally unruly
Debarment – upto 3 months
Level II – physical unruliness
Debarment – upto 6 months
Level III – life-threatening behaviour
Debarment – minimum of 2 years
How this system will be implemented:
- The complaint of unruly behavior should be filed by the pilot-in-command.
- The complaints will be examined by an internal committee set up by the airline…Click here for more detail
Uninhabited ‘Parali I’ island of Lakshadweep vanishes
On 7th September 2017, a new study claimed that one of the biodiversity-rich uninhabited island of Lakshadweep ‘Parali I’ has vanished due to coastal erosion.
About the vanishing of Parali I:
- Parali I island of Laskshadweep has been eroded completely and vanished.The island was a part of Bangaram chain of islands, and was 0.032 square km in area in 1968.
- This has been discovered by a Phd researcher Mr.Hidayathulla. He was awarded PhD in July 2017 by Calicut University in Kerala for his work on “Studies on Coastal Erosion in Selected Uninhabited Islands of Lakshadweep Archipelago with Special Reference to Biodiversity Conservation.”
- Mr.Hidayathulla did biodiversity assessment in the following five uninhabited islands of Lakshadweep namely –Bangaram, Thinnakara, Parali I, Parali II and Parali III.
- Erosion was seen by the researcher in all the uninhabited islands of Lakshadweep. Of which the severity of erosion was very high in Parali I that led to its vanishing.
Erosion was higher in the following islands:
Parali II – 80 %
Thinnakara – 14.38 %
Parali III – 11.42 %
Bangaram – 9.968 %….Click here for more details
CGWB enters into MoA with IISc Bangalore for development of ground water flow models for Karnataka
On 8th September 2017, Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Ministry of Water Resources entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore for development of ground water flow models and preparation of aquifer management plans for Karnataka, in New Delhi.
About the MoA:
- The MoA was signed by Dr.Dipankar Saha, Member, CGWB and Professor V.Rajarajan, Registrar, IISc, Bangalore.
- The model being developed is a part of the aquifer mapping and management programme.
- This will give a better understanding of the existing groundwater scenarios, predict response of groundwater system to various stress conditions and develop effective management plans.
- The study will cover an area of 48000 sq km consisting of Chikballapur and Kolar Districts and parts of Bagalkot, Bangalore Rural, Belgaum, Bellary, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Gadag, Gulbarga and Yadgir districts.
- The study shall be completed within a year.
- IISc will present an initial report and a final report.
- The initial report shall be submittedwithin 2 monthsof the signing of the agreement.
- The initial report will contain detailed work plan and timelines specific to the study area.
- The final report will contain executive summary, introduction, various analyses etc.
About Ministry of Water Resources:
- Headquarters – New Delhi
- Minister – Ms.Uma Bharathi
- Deputy Ministers (Ministers of State) – Mr.Sanjeev Balyan, Mr.Vijay Goel
- Indian Institute of Science
- Location – Bangalore
- Founder – Mr.Jamsetji Tata
- Director – Mr.Anurag Kumar
Joint Parliamentary Committee under Bhupender Yadav on the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017
On 8th September 2017, a Joint Parliamentary Committee has been formed to examine and present a report on the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017, in New Delhi.
About the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill 2017:
- The Bill claims to provide:
– Resolution to certain categories of financial service providers in distress
– Deposit insurance to consumers of certain categories of financial services
– Designation of important financial institutions
– Establishment of a ‘Resolution Corporation’ for protection of consumers of specified service providers for ensuring stability
– Recovery of the financial system
- This bill along with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, is expected to provide a resolution mechanism for the Indian economy.
About the Joint Parliamentary Committee:
- This is a joint committee of both the houses of the parliament.
- Chairman – Mr.Bhupender Yadav, MP.
- Consists of 20 members of Lok Sabha and 10 members of Rajya Sabha.
- The Committee will gather views and suggestions from stakeholders and public on the provisions of the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017.
- Persons interested can submit their views or suggestions as a written Memoranda to the Committee.
- The Memoranda will be maintained ‘confidential’ by the Committee.
About the Finance Ministry:
- Headquarters – New Delhi
- Minister – Mr.Arun Jaitley
- Deputy Ministers (Ministers of State) – Mr.Arjun Ram Meghwal, Mr.Santhosh Gangwar
First water ATM inaugurated in Hyderabad
First water ATM has been inaugurated by Telangana State Home Minister N Narasimha Reddy at Nalgonda X Roads on 7th of Sept. 2017.
i.A total of 200 ATMs will be set up to reach a targeted 150,000 people. In the first phase 50 water ATMs will be operationalised by 2018.
ii.Safe Water Network, an international NGO has partnered with Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to launch water ATMs.
iii.It will provide affordable, 24×7 safe water access in Hyderabad.
iv.The initiative is supported by USAID under the Urban WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Alliance Partnership and funded by Honeywell India.
v.These water ATMs use a seven step treatment process to purify water that adheres to national norms.
vi.The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) will supply raw water for these ATMs.
vii.They are connected via cloud-based technology for real-time monitoring and analyses operational parameters, thereby minimising downtime.
About Hyderabad Tourist Destination:
Mecca Masjid: A symbolic mosque, Mecca Masjid was built 400 years ago during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Qutub Shah, the 6th Qutub Shahi Sultan of Hyderabad.
Charminar: A major landmark of Hyderabad with four graceful minarets located in the old city. It was built by Muhammed Quli Qutb Shah as a memorial for plague victims.
Qutb Shahi Tombs: It is home to various tombs dedicated to Rulers of Qutub Shahi dynasty, located at Shaikpet, near Golconda Fort.
Golconda Fort: Golconda Fort is one of the most magnificent fortress complexes in India. Seated on a hill on one side and spiraling fort on the other, its location and internal design made it one of the strongest forts in India.
Centre allows import of raw sugar through southern ports of India at 25% Import duty
The government has allowed import of 3 lakh tonnes of raw sugar at a concessional duty of 25% import duty under Open General License (Tariff Rate Quota) has been allowed through millers/refiners on 7th of Sept. 2017.
i.The import shall be open to millers/refiners who have their own capacity to convert raw sugar into refined /white.
ii.The imports will be allowed through the ports namely Tuticorin, Karaikal, Chennai, Mangalore, Kakinada, Gangavaram and Vishakapatnam in the South.
iii.The scheme shall be operated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) as per their rules and regulations.
iv.It had hiked import duty on sugar in July to 50% from 40% to curb dumping of the commodity in India as international prices fell.
v.Sugar is selling at an average price of Rs 42 per kg in the retail market, while branded sweetener is available at Rs 50 per kg.
vi.White sugar prices in the international market have fallen by 8% since July but raw sugar prices have remained stagnant.
Assam govt signs MoU with Google to increase digital literacy
Assam government has signed a MoU with Google India Pvt. Ltd. to increase digital literacy and takeInternet connectivity to the remotest part of the north-eastern state.
i.Under this MoU the government would work to provide Internet connections to 26,000 villages and 1,500 tea garden areas in Assam.
ii.Information Technology Secretary Nitin Khare and Google India Country Head (Policy) Chetan Krishnaswami has signed the Memorandum of Understanding.
iii.The MoU will be used as a launch pad to achieve the state government’s vision of women empowerment, skill development, and universal education.
Governor: Banwarilal Purohit
CM: Sarbananda Sonowal
Gujarat, GCMMF, dairies jointly to provide nutritive foods to Anganwadies children and women
The Women & Child Welfare Department of the Gujarat Government, Gujarat Milk Marketing Federation and three leading dairies have signed tripartite MOU to save the children of anginawadi from malnutrition.
i.The MoU was signed in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani in Gandhinagar.
ii.According to the MOU, under the ‘Take Home Ration’ district dairies in cooperation with the milk marketing federation will provide nutritive foods to more than 42-lakh children of 53029 anaganwadies, pregnant-mothers, foster mothers and young girls.
iii.The GCMMF has prepared a recipe book to teach the beneficiaries about the kind of food items that can be prepared from the ‘Take Home Ration’.
iv.Each child would get about 125 gms of Balbhog every day and pregnant-mothers, foster-mothers and young girls would get devibhog of about 145 gms daily in order to provide necessary, sufficient calories and proteins to the body.
v.The scheme is a part of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
vi.ICDS mainly offers a package of services to address the development needs of children under six years of age including pregnant and nursing women and adolescent girls.
Governor: Om Prakash Kohli
CM: Vijay Rupani
India refuses to sign Bali Declaration over Rohingya issue
According to the reports, an Indian parliamentary delegation, led by Speaker Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan,refused to be a part of the Bali Declaration adopted at the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development held at Nusa Dua in Indonesia.
i.India has refused to be a part of the Bali Declaration to show of solidarity with Myanmar.
ii.This was in view of the fact that the declaration, which was to be adopted at the conclusion of the Forum, was not in line with the agreed global principles of ‘sustainable development’.
iii. It was not adopted because it carried “inappropriate” reference to violence in Rakhine State from where 1,25,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh.
iv.India restated its stance that the purpose of summon the Parliamentary forum was to arrive at a mutual consensus for implementation of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) which requires inclusive and broad-based development processes.
There were an estimated 1 million Rohingya living in Myanmar. As of September 2017, nearly half of them have fled to other countries.The majority are Muslim while a minority are Hindu.
Many Rohingyas have fled to southeastern Bangladesh, where there are 500,000 refugees as well as to India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
According to the United Nations, the human rights violations against the Rohingyas could be termed “crimes against humanity”.
Pakistan’s Habib Bank kicked out of US over terror financing charge
The Department of Financial Services has fined USD 225 million to Pakistan’s Habib Bank and its New York branch announced on 8th Sept. 2017.
i.The bank has failed to comply with laws and regulations designed to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial transactions.
ii.Habib Bank, Pakistan’s largest private lender, has been ordered by the US banking regulators to shut down its New York office after nearly 40 years of operation.
iii.According to the report, Habib Bank had allowed 13,000 transactions that were not sufficiently screened to ensure they did not involve sanctioned countries.
iv.The bank has repeatedly been given more than sufficient opportunity to correct its glaring deficiencies, yet it has failed to do so.
v.Habib Bank has been operating in the US since 1978.
Banking & Finance
Ujjivan Bank to replace loans with certificate deposits
According to the Ujjivan Small Finance Bank it will bring down its cost of funds by up to 150 basis points during the current financial year.
i.It has replaced 75% of its bank loans with borrowings using money market instruments including certificate of deposits.
ii.The bank will be issuing 90-day CDs to mutual funds and insurance companies and FDs to corporates, trusts and cooperative banks.
iii.The decision follows the grant of a scheduled bank status to Ujjivan.
iv.Ujjivan, which operated a microfinance business, received a licence to operate as a small finance bank earlier this year.
v.It means that the institution can raise money from the inter-bank money market.
vi.Ujjivan offers FD interest rates upto 7.00% per annum. Interest on deposits with Ujjivan is typically compounded quarterly.
vii.Ujjivan accepts deposits starting at Rs. 1000 for various tenures.
About Ujjivan Bank
On October 7, 2015, Ujjivan received an in-principle approval from the RBI to set up Ujjivan small finance bank (“SFB”) and commenced banking operations in February 2017.
Ujjivan’s business is primarily based on the joint liability group lending model for providing collateral free, small ticket-size loans to economically active poor women.
Airtel Business launches ‘Airtel GST Advantage’
On 7th September 2017, Airtel Business an arm of the Bharti Airtel telecom launched Airtel GST Advantage to enable small businesses and start-ups file their GST (Goods & Services Tax) returns with ease, in New Delhi.
Airtel GST Advantage:
- The Airtel GST Advanatge was launched byAirtel Business in partnership ClearTax.
- This is offered for free to all existing Airtel Business customers.
- Airtel GST Advantage caters to its customers in three ways:
– Customers can get free and secure access to the GST Network through Clear Tax
– Airtel customers will have access to its GST Advantage Helpdesk between 8 am and 8 pm on all weekdays.
– Airtel has released a GST Knowledge Bank, which provides an in-depth information about GST.
- In addition, customers can upload their returns without worrying about data charges.
- Also Airtel is the data hosting and connectivity partner for GST
About Airtel Business:
- B2B (business-to-business) arm of Bharti Airtel
- Director& CEO – Mr.Ashok Ganapathy
Nestle sets up first food safety institute in India at Manesar
The Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has inaugurated India’s first ever food safety institute set up by Nestle India in Manesar.
i.It is inaugurated by the CEO of Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Pawan Kumar Agarwal.
ii.The institute aims to train and guide its students in food safety including nutrition check and keeping the ingredients in the food items within the limit among others.
iii.Nestle Food Safety Institute will conduct training programmes on food safety management systems, testing methods and regulatory standards.
iv.It also aims to bring in global expertise in the food items.
v.Nestle is already running such institutes in China, Lausanne and Switzerland.
HQ: Vevey Switzerland
Chairman: Peter Brabeck Letmathe
CEO: Paul Bulcke
Ashok Leyland, ELCOM ink defence pact with Russian firm
Ashok Leyland Defence Systems (ALDS), Russia’s Rosoboronexport and ELCOM Group have signed a cooperation agreement in defence business announced on 6th of Sept. 2017.
i.The MoU has signed on the sidelines of the International Military Technical Forum Army, held at Kubinka, near Moscow.
ii.Rosoboronexport is the only state organisation in Russia for export of the entire range of military products and technologies.
iii.It represents Russian companies who are manufacturers of Infantry Fighting Vehicles and Main Battle Tanks, currently working with the Indian Army.
iv.ELCOM group is an India-based emerging strategic electronics player primarily involved in designing, developing, manufacturing and deploying devices in the areas of Aerospace, Electronics and Communications.
v.Ashok Leyland is an India automobile manufacturing company headquartered in Chennai, India. It is owned by the Hinduja Group.
Awards & Recognition
Oxford and Cambridge named the best universities in the world; IISc, Bangalore tops Indian universities
On 6th September 2017, The World University Rankings 2018 was published by the Times Higher Education (THE).Oxford University and Cambridge University have topped the world rankings. IISc, Bangalore has been named the top university in India.
University Rankings for 2018:
Thousand universities from 77 countries were ranked by The Times Higher Education (THE). Of which the US universities have topped the list. This year Chinese universities have made it to the top 30 for the first time.
Top 5 Global Universities:
- Oxford University
- Cambridge University
- California Institute of Technology, Stanford University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Top 5 Indian Universities:
- IISc Bangalore
Indian Universities’ downfall in the ranking:
None of the Indian Universities have come in the top 100 ranks…Click here for more details
Appointments & Resigns
Baijendra Kumar assumes charge as NMDC chief
Baijendra Kumar has assumed charge as Chairman and Managing Director of NMDC Ltd announced on 6thof Sept. He is an IAS officer of 1985 batch of Chhattisgarh cadre.
i.Prior to this post, he was holding the post of Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh, as well as Commerce & Industries and Energy Departments in the Chhattisgarh government.
ii.He headed the Administration of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi.
iii.He was the Chairman of Naya Raipur Development Authority (NRDA) and Chhattisgarh Housing Board (CGHB).
The NMDC (National Mineral Development Corporation) Limited is a state-controlled mineral producer of the Government of India.
It is owned by the Government of India and is under administrative control of the Ministry of Steel.
Sjoerd Mrijne named India men’s hockey team coach, Harendra Singh given charge of women’s team
Hockey India has named Sjoerd Mrijne as the new chief coach of the India men’s senior hockey team announced on 8th of Sept. 2017.
i.The current coach of the senior women’s team Mrijne will take the position of Roelant Oltmans who was fired by Hockey India recently.
ii.Junior World Cup winning coach Harendra Singh will take the charge of the women’s team as the High Performance Specialist.
Science & Technology
Government sets up online service for importers, exporters to resolve all foreign trade-related issues
On 8th September 2017, the Government set up an online service facility to help importers and exporters resolve all foreign trade-related issues, in New Delhi.
Contact @DGFT service:
- The online system has been named Contact @DGFT.
- DGFT – Directorate General of Foreign Trade. This comes under commerce ministry.
- This system has been as a single point of contact for all foreign trade-related issues.
- Traders can raise issues related to the directorate or other agencies of the Centre and States.
- To make this service effective traders are expected not to send their queries through twitter or e-mail.
About ministry of commerce:
- Headquarters – New Delhi
- Minister – Mr.Suresh Prabhu
CSIR scientist’s develops artificial leaf creates fuel from sunlight, water
Scientists have developed an artificial leaf that absorbs sunlight to generate hydrogen fuel from water. It is an advance technology that may provide clean energy for powering eco-friendly cars in the future.
i.The ultra-thin wireless device mimics plant leaves to produce energy using water and sunlight.
ii.The device consists of semiconductors stacked in a manner to simulate the natural leaf system.
iii.When visible light strikes the semiconductors, electrons move in one direction, producing electric current.
iv.The current almost instantaneously splits water into hydrogen which researchers believe is one of the cleanest forms of fuel as its main byproduct is water.
v.According to the research, published in the journal Scientific Reports a palm-sized device can produce six litres of hydrogen fuel per hour.
vi.Auto makers are also trying to make cars run by hydrogen-powered fuel cells.
vii.To improve the light-absorbing efficiency of the artificial leaf, researchers used gold nanoparticles, titanium dioxide and quantum dots.
viii.Hydrogen generation from renewable resources will be the ultimate solution to energy and environment problems.
ix.CSIR is a state-funded research and development organization.
Ankur Mittal, Ahvar Rizvi won silver medals at ISSF Shotgun World Championships 2017
India’s Ankur Mittal has won the silver medal in the men’s double trap event at the ISSF Shotgun World Championships held in Moscow.
i.Russia’s Vitaly Fokeev has won the gold medal at ISSF Shotgun World Championships.
ii.In the junior category, Ahvar Rizvi also won a silver medal in the same event.
iii.Sangram Dahiya ended in 20th place with 135, while Md. Asab came in 23rd with 133 hits in the qualifying round.
iv.In the junior men’s double trap team event, India won the gold with a combined score of 401. Italy won silver with 389 and China won bronze with 387.
v.Italy is on top of the medal table with 6 Gold medals and a total of 11 medals. India is in fourth spot withone Gold and two Silver medals.
51st International Literacy Day
On 8th September 2017, 51st International Literacy Day was celebrated at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The theme was`Literacy in a digital world’.
History of the International Litearcy Day:
- In 1965, the World Congress of Ministers of Education met in Tehran for the first time to discuss about education at the international level.
- This day was coined by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as the International Literacy Day.
Literacy Day Celebrations in India:
- International Literacy Day is celebrated in India every year since 1988.
- On this day, public awareness is created to eradicate illiteracy and spread the importance of adult education programmes.
- Saakshar Bharat Awards was distributed to the best performing States, Districts, Gram Panchayats and NGOs.
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
- Headquarters – Paris, France
- Director General – Ms. Irina Bokova