01st Sep 2017 – Current Affairs Today

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National Current Affairs

 Rajaswa Gyan Sangam 2017 held in New Delhi

The 2017 Rajaswa Gyan Sangam, a two-day annual conference of senior tax administrators was held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

  • It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The conference was jointly organised by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC).

Key Facts

  • The objective of Rajaswa Gyan Sangam 2017 was to enable two-way communication between policy-makers and senior officers in field offices with view to increase revenue collection and facilitate effective implementation of law and policies in key result areas.
  • The conference was attended by senior officers of CBDT and CBEC. The senior officers of Finance Department of the States and Union Territories for first time also had attended conference.
  • Various joint sessions, separate Technical Sessions of each Board were held during two-day Conference. Issues arising in implementation of policies and strategies to achieve targets in core functional areas were discussed. Such issues discussed included HR issues, Strategies for Revenue Maximisation, Litigation Management, Taxpayer Services, Tax Evasion, GST and Customs Reforms and Modernisation.

 

PAN-Aadhaar linking last date extended till 31 December

The deadline for linking Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar has extended by four months to 31st December.

Key Points:

  • Earlier, the last date for linking PAN to Aadhaar was 31st August. The government had made mandatory the linking of the two databases for filing ITRs.
  • According to Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act, every person having PAN as on 1st July 2017 is eligible to obtain Aadhaar and must intimate his Aadhaar number to the tax authorities.
  • As per the Income Tax laws, people who are not citizens of India, those above 80 years of age and residents of the states of Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir have been exempt from the requirement.
  • It is stated that income-tax returns filed will not be processed if tax filers fail to link Aadhaar and PAN on or before August 31, 2017.

 

CSIR ranked 9th Public Research Institution of the World

On August 31, 2017 India’s largest autonomous public research and development organisation Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been ranked the ninth best government organisation in the world.

  • The institute has been ranked ninth amongst a total of 1,207 government institutions, according to the Scimago Institutions ranking World Report 2017.
  • The ranking is based on many indicators such research performance, innovation outputs and societal impact measured by their web visibility, so as to reflect scientific, economic and social characteristics of institutions.

About CSIR:

  • It was established by Government of India in 1942.
  • Currently it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • It is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • Director General: Girish Sahni.

 

Youth Sports Centre to come up at Alipur,Delhi: Vijay Goel

On September 1, 2017, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel has announced that a new Youth Sports Centre will be built at Alipur, Delhi.

  • The project could be used by rural youth who can avail the facility for their overall development and promotion of sports in rural areas of the capital.
  • Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and Sports Authority of India (SAI) will jointly create and run this unique Youth Sports Centre.

Facilities in the centre:

  • It will have State of the art sports facilities such as football ground, an Athletic track, as well as volley ball, kabaddi and kho-kho facilities besides a multipurpose indoor hall for training players in Boxing & wrestling. A modern gym will also be developed.
  • It will have a 200 bed Youth Hostel and facilities for providing training for Youth Leadership, Skill Development, Life Skills, National Integration, Cultural and Folk-Art activities and will also have an Information facility for providing relevant information to the youth about the Flagship Schemes of Govt. of India for their development and welfare.
  • An amount of about Rs. 20 crore will be spent on the project.

 

‘Yalla Kerala’ launched to attract Arab travellers

The Kerala Tourism department has launched a campaign called ‘Yalla Kerala’ (Yalla means lets go). It has been launched to target tourists from Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.

Key Points:

  • This comes on the back of a promotional campaign launched in Dubai recently.
  • It aimed at Arab travellers by showcasing the state’s backwaters and waterfalls on their city taxis.
  • As part of the campaign, airports in Dubai and Saudi Arabia will have displays of rich greenery, beautiful landscapes, natural attractions like backwaters and hill stations and art forms in Kerala.
  • The travel magazines distributed in the flight, television and radio in Dubai, Saudi Arabia will also feature Kerala Tourism advertisements.
  • Monsoon, Ayurveda, Health and Wellness holidays, historical connections and cultural affinities will be the attractive features in Kerala for the Arabs.
  • The tourist arrivals to Kerala from the six nations have shown a growth in the range of 42.54% to 169.05% in 2016.
  • Kerala received more than one lakh visitors from the region in 2015. The majority came from Saudi Arabia with 51,149 Saudi nationals visiting last year, while Oman accounted for 18,763.
  • In the taxi campaigning, as many as 200 Kerala-branded taxis will convey the message of ‘A Faraway Land Four Hours Away’ and have eye-catching visuals that features hill stations, backwaters, waterfalls and also Ayurvedic therapies – through the streets of Dubai.

About Kerala National Park

  • Silent Valley NP
  • Eravikulam NP
  • Periyar NP

 

Government plans to create FarmerZone

The Union Ministry of Science and Technology is planning to create FarmerZone, a collective open-source data platform for smart agriculture by using biological research and data to improve lives of small and marginal farmers.

  • It was announced by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) at recently convened Smart Agriculture Conclave in New Delhi. The objective of conclave was to set stage for “FarmerZone”.
  • It was organised by DBT in partnership with UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Research Councils UK (RCUK) India.

FarmerZone platform

  • FarmerZone envisioned by the DBT aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for effective decision-making in agriculture by integrating science, technology, innovation and farm ecosystem. This platform aims to cater all needs of farmer from dealing with climate change, weather predictions and soil, water and seed requirements.
  • It will connect farmers and scientists, government officials, economists and representatives from global companies who work in the big-data and e-commerce space to bring about technology-based localised agri-solutions. This platform will work to collect relevant quality data related to agriculture into the cloud and also develop sites to help link with farmers and evolve PPP based enterprises for data delivery.

 


International Current Affairs

 Trade-distorting farm subsidies must go: India-China

India and China have jointly submitted proposal to World Trade Organisation (WTO) calling for elimination of most trade-distorting farm subsidies by developed countries. These farm subsidies are known as known as Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) or ‘Amber Box’ support.

Significance of proposal

  • The proposal assumes importance in view for consideration of other reforms in domestic support negotiations in view of ongoing negotiations for upcoming 11th Ministerial Conference (MC) of WTO to be held in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in December 2017.
  • It counters the efforts of some WTO member countries targeting subsidies given by developing economies to their poor farmers while letting the developed rich nations retain their huge farm subsidies.
  • It argues that AMS have to be eliminated before any other reform in global farm trade can be taken up for consideration.

Features of Joint proposal

  • Under the AMS regime of WTO, farm subsidies provided by developed countries are over 50% and in some cases more than 100% of value of production concerned, while developing countries are forced to limit it within 10% of the value of production. It is resulting in a major asymmetry in the rules on global agricultural trade.
  • Developed countries like US, EU, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, and Norway continue to distort global farm trade by safeguarding their exclusive entitlements on AMS which they had secured in previous Uruguay Round of trade negotiations.
  • Developed countries are consistently providing trade-distorting subsidies to their farmers at levels much higher than ceiling applicable to developing countries. It counters the efforts by some countries to target the subsidies of the developing countries while letting the developed countries retain their huge farm subsidies.

 

Sushma Swaraj attended Indian Ocean Conference held in Colombo

On august 31 2017, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj travelled to Colombo to participate in the two-day Indian Ocean Conference in Colombo, Srilanka.

About the Conference:

  • India Foundation, a Delhi-based think tank, will host the Indian Ocean Conference 2017 (IOC) in collaboration with Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore, and National Institute of Fundamental Studies (NIFS), Colombo (both research and study centres).
  • Theme of the conference is peace, progress and prosperity. It will see participation from around 35 countries including USA, Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Germany, Kenya, South Korea and Afghanistan.

About Srilanka:

  • Capitals: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.
  • Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
  • President: Maithripala Sirisena

 

Lebanon gets first law to protect animals

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has officially signed an animal welfare and protection law. It guarantees that domestic and wild animals will be legally protected from abuse in the country announced on 30th Aug 2017.

Key Points:

  • The law was passed by parliament on 16th August. It outlines requirements for keeping domestic pets, regulations for zoos and pet shops, and penalties for violations with fines and upto 4 years in prison.
  • The importance of this law is that it can cover all institutions that care for and maintain animals.
  • Now, Lebanon has a strong and comprehensive law to give animals the legal protection they need and to punish those who abuse them.

About Lebanon

  • Capital: Beirut
  • President: Michel Aoun
  • PM: Saad Hariri
  • Currency: Lebanese Pound

 

International Hindu Conference held in Nepal

The three-day International Hindu Conference began on 31st Aug 2017. Its aim is to reinstitute Kathmandu as the global capital of Hinduism.

Key Points:

  • The theme of the conference is ‘Emerging spiritualism: Renaissance of Hinduism’.
  • Hindu scholars, religious leaders, Hindu activists and officials from different countries including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the US and the UK are attending the conference.
  • The aim of the conference is to make Kathmandu the global capital of Hinduism.
  • The opening of the conference is addressed at the Pashupatinath temple premises.
  • The conference will discuss papers on various contemporary issues including, scientific basis of Hinduism, climate change and global warming.
  • About 500 delegates, including foreign delegates, are taking part in the conference.

About Nepal

  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari
  • PM: Sher Bahadur Deuba

 


Banking & Finance

 99% of demonetized notes back in system: RBI report

As per the data released by the RBI, old notes worth Rs 15.44 lakh crore were there in the market  out of which 15.28 lakh crore have been received by the bank.

Key Notes:

  • It means all but 1.4% of the old Rs 1,000 notes have come back into the banking system.
  • As per the RBI report about 89 million units of the demonetised Rs 1,000 notes, worth Rs 8,900 crore, had not come back into the system.
  • RBI said there were as many 588.2 crore of Rs 500 notes, both old and new in circulation as of March 31, 2017.
  • The report said 98.96% of the Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denomination banknotes that had been invalidated had been returned.
  • As per the report the cost of printing of currency notes more than doubled to Rs 7,965 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 3,421 crore in the previous year on account of new currency printing.
  • As per the RBI annual report the share of the newly introduced Rs 2,000 notes in the total value of banknotes in circulation as at March-end was a little more than 50%.

 


Business

 Eight core sectors growth slips to 2.4% in July 2017

The growth of eight core sectors slowed to 2.4% in July 2017 due to contraction in output of crude oil, refinery products, fertiliser and cement. These eight sectors had witnessed 3.1% growth in July 2016.

  • Cumulatively, these eight core sectors recorded a growth of 2.5% in April-July 2017 period as against 6% in same period in 2016. In June, these eight sectors had recorded growth rate of 0.8%.
  • Slow growth in key core sectors will have implications on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) as these sectors account for about 40.27% to the total factory output.

Core sectors

  • Core sectors or industry can be defined as the main industry of the economy. In most countries, particular industry qualifying to be the core industry are said to be the backbone of all other industries. In India, there are eight core sectors comprising of coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity.
  • The electricity has maximum weight of 10.32% followed by Steel (6.68%), Petroleum Refinery (5.94%), Crude Oil production (5.22 %), Coal production (4.38 %), Cement (2.41%), Natural Gas production (1.71 %) and Fertilizer production (1.25%). These eight Core Industries comprise nearly 40.27% of weight of items included in IIP, which measures factory output.

July 2017 Core Industries Stats

  • Steel production rose by 9.2% and electricity generation by 5.4%. Natural gas output rose by 6.6%. Coal output growth decelerated to 0.7% as against 4.1% in July 2016.
    Production of crude oil declined by 0.5%, refinery products by 2.7%, fertiliser by 0.3% and cement by 2%.

 


Appointments & Resigns

Sunil Arora appointed Election Commissioner

The Union Government has appointed former Information and Broadcasting secretary Sunil Arora (61) as Election Commissioner.

He will have tenure of four years in the Election Commission. His appointment comes to fill the vacancy created by former CEC Nasim Zaidi’s retirement in July 2017.

Sunil Arora

Sunil Arora is 1980-batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre. He had retired in April 2016 as Information and Broadcasting secretary. Prior to this, he was skill development secretary. He has also worked in ministries and departments such as Finance, Textiles and Planning Commission and also has served as CMD of Indian Airlines for five years. In his home state, he had served as principal secretary of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje from 2005 to 2008.

Election Commissioners

Election commission is multi member body and currently has three members including Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). They all are appointed by the President for a term which is fixed by the President.

Tenure: The service conditions and tenure of office of CEC and Election Commissioners are determined by Act of parliament titled The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Act, 1991. This act has fixed their term for 6 years or till age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Power/salary: The CEC and election commissioners have equal power and receive equal salary, allowances and other perquisites, which are similar to judge of Supreme Court. In case of difference of opinion amongst the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioner, the matter is decided by the Commission by majority.

 

Rajiv Mehrishi appointed as Comptroller and Auditor General of India

Senior IAS officer Rajiv Mehrishi was appointed as the next Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. He will succeed Shashi Kant Sharma who is going to demit office on September 25, 2017.

Rajiv Mehrishi

  • Mehrishi is IAS Officer of 1978 batch and belonged to Rajasthan cadre. His bureaucratic career spanned more than 30 years and has served in various key posts in both Centre as well as in Rajasthan government.
  • He had been Chief Secretary of Rajasthan, Principal Resident Commissioner of Rajasthan, Principal Secretary (Finance) etc. and also served as the Union Finance Secretary, Secretary (Overseas Indian Affairs) and Secretary (Fertilizers) in the Centre. He was appointed the Union Home Secretary in August 2015 and retired in July 2017.

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India

  • CAG is constitutional office under article 148 and is appointed by President of India by warrant under his hand for period of 6 years or up to age of 65 years, whichever earlier. The conditions and services of CAG are prescribed by Parliament via CAG (conditions and services) Act, 1953 as amended in 1971. Allowances and pensions payable to or in respect of persons in that office are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI).
  • Removal of CAG is as difficult and similar to removal of a Supreme Court Judge. CAG is not eligible for any office under GOI post-retirement. It is because of these conditions of independence given to CAG’s office, the report of CAG are given due respect and made as reference.

Functions of CAG

  • CAG suggests the account keeping of union and state with the approval of president. It exercises power in relation to account of union and state or any other enterprise funded by GOI as may be prescribed by law made by parliament.
  • The CAG reports to the president and governors regarding the accounts of union and state respectively. The president presents report to the parliament. In 1976 the accounting was separated from auditing form the CAG’s duty. Now accounting is done by other agencies.

 

Rajiv Kumar takes charge as NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman

Noted economist Rajiv Kumar took over as the Vice-Chairman of government National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog. He succeeds Indian- American economist Arvind Panagariya who had resigned to return to academia.

As a Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, he will hold Union Cabinet Minister rank. Prime Minister is ex-officio Chairperson of the Aayog.

Rajiv Kumar

  • Mr Kumar was a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in economics from Oxford and PhD from Lucknow University. He also served as Secretary General of industry association, FICCI.
  • He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board between 2006 and 2008. He also had served as the Chief Economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and held senior positions in the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Indian Ministry of Industries and Ministry of Finance. He has authored several books on the Indian economy and India’s national security.

NITI Aayog

  • NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Union Government, providing both directional and policy inputs. It is non-constitutional and non-statutory body established formed through resolution of Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015. It had replaced had replaced the 65-year old Planning Commission established in 1950.
  • NITI Aayog is an advisory body with mandate to provide critical directional and strategic inputs across spectrum of key elements of policy to the centre. It acts as quintessential platform of Central Government to bring States to act together in national interest and thereby fosters Cooperative Federalism. It also designs strategic and long term policies and programmes for Central Government of India and also provides relevant technical advice to Centre.

 

Indian-origin civil servant J Y Pillai appointed Singapore’s acting president

Indian-origin veteran civil servant JY Pillay has been appointed Singapore’s acting President on 1st of Sept 2017. He has been appointed until a new head of the state is elected.

Key Points:

  • Pillay took over from Tony Tan Keng Yam who completed a six-year term.
  • He acted as president in May, when Tan made state visits to Europe.
  • Pillay a chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA), will act as the president until after polling day on September 23 or after nomination day on September 13, if a candidate is elected unopposed.
  • According to the report this is the first time the office has fallen vacant since the elected presidency was introduced in 1991.

About Singapore

  • Capital: Singapore
  • President: J.Y. Pillay
  • PM: Lee Hsien Loong
  • Currency: Singapore Dollar

 


Awards & Recognition

Samurai Tete first woman from Jharkhand to win Dhyan Chand Award

On the occasion of National Sports Day on 29th August Former India Women’s Hockey captain Sumurai Tete was awarded Dhyan Chand Award 2017 by President Ramnath Kovind at a function held at Rasthrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Key Points:

  • Sumurai has become the first woman from Jharkhand to bag the prestigious national award.
  • She received statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs 5,00,000 each for her achievements and contribution to Field hockey in India.
  • Sumrai is currently working as an office superintendent at Hatia station under South Eastern Railway.
  • Chief Minister Raghubar Das announced earlier, Sumrai Tete as the brand ambassador for Jharkhand hockey.
  • It was under Sumrai Tete’s captaincy that Indian eves clinched Commonwealth Games hockey silver at Melbourne in 2006.

About Dhyan Chand Award

  • The Dhyan Chand Award, officially known as Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games is the lifetime achievement sporting honour of the Republic of India.
  • The award is named after Dhyan Chand (1905–79), an Indian field hockey player who scored more than 1000 goals during a career which spanned over 20 years from 1926 to 1948.
  • It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

 

Maneka Gandhi gives national level awards to Anganwadi Workers 

Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has given National Level Awards to anganwadi workers at New Delhi on 31st Aug 2017.

Key Points:

  • The awards have been given for the purpose to recognize their exemplary voluntary service in the field of child development and related areas under the ICDS Scheme.
  • The Awards for the year 2016-17 were given to 51 awardees and these awards are given annually.
  • The Award at the National Level comprises a cash prize of Rs.25,000/- and a citation. State Level Award comprises a cash prize of Rs. 5,000/- and a citation.
  • The scheme for awarding anganwadi workers at the National and State levels was formulated in the year 2000-01.
  • The role of anganwadi workers is mainly the distribution and provision of food to children and lactating mothers.
  • Anganwadi workers and Anganwadi helpers play a vital role in child development since the responsibility of taking care of small children has been given to these frontline workers across the country.
  • The Government is now shifting the emphasis to covert anganwadis into centres of pre-school education.
  • However, a massive exercise is being launched to train the anganwadi workers to become pre-school teachers.
  • There are currently about 27 lakhs anganwadi workers and helpers at 14 lakhs anganwadi centres across the country.

 

UNESCO declares winners of 2017 International Literacy Prizesunesco-international-literacy-prizes-2017

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced the winners of the 2017 International Literacy Prizes on the occasion of International Literacy Day, celebrated on 8 September.

Key Points:

  • It has been given to honor excellence and innovation in the field of global literacy.
  • The awards will be handed out to five laureates from Canada, Colombia, Jordan, Pakistan and South Africa.
  • The prize-giving ceremony will be organized at UNESCO Headquarters and has pledged to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.
  • This year’s Literacy Prizes and celebration will focus on literacy in a digital world.
  • The prizes are divided into two categories, namely the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy sponsored by China and the King Sejong Literacy Prize sponsored by South Korea.
  • Confucius Prize, which rewards projects that benefit rural populations and out-of-school youth, particularly girls and women is given to the AdulTICo Program from Columbia, The Citizens Foundation from Pakistan, and the FunDza project from South Africa.
  • The King Sejong prize, dedicated to mother-tongue literacy education and is shared by the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance from Canada and the We Love Reading programme from Jordan.
  • The five winners will each receive a medal, a certificate and $20,000.
  • Since 1967, the Unesco International Literacy Prizes have been awarded to more than 475 projects led by governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world.
  • According to UN figures, 750 million people in the world still lack basic reading and writing skills, and this population includes 102 million young people aged between 15 and 24.

About UNESCO

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris.
  • Formation: 16th Nov 1945

 


Science & Technology

 AMD launches Ryzen Pro processors for business PCs

Chipmaker AMD has presented a new line of microprocessor chips called ‘Ryzen Pro’ for commercial desktop workstations to be available in India and other countries by end of 2017.

Key Points:

  • At the global launch of Ryzen Pro, leading PC makers HP, Dell and Lenovo introduced a new high-end workstations using Ryzen Pro to meet the demand of present scenario’s toughest computing-tasks.
  • HP’s Elitedesk 705 G3, Dell’s Optiplex 5055 and Lenovo’s ThinkCentre M715/Thinkpad A 275 and A475 are presented for global launch later this month.
  • The new Ryzen Pro processors are for commercial usage. It is powerful, secure and reliable.
  • The Ryzen Pro desktop processor is an 8 core and 16 thread CPU and much faster than the rival Intel’s ‘Core i7’ which is of 4 core and 8 thread.
  • The company has launched high-performance chips Ryzen 3, 5 and 7 for consumer PCs, a chip named Epyc for corporate servers and also a revamped graphics chip called Vega.

 

XFEL: World’s biggest and powerful X-ray laser gun unveilded

The world’s largest and powerful X-ray laser- European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) was unveiled in Hamburg, Germany.

The first beams from XFEL were accelerated in April 2017 and first x-ray beams were produced in May 2017. It will help scientists penetrate the inner workings of atoms, viruses and chemical reactions.

European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL)

  • The XFEL is lodged in series of 3.4-kilometer tunnels up to 38 metres underground near city of Hamburg. It took 8 years to build 1.5-billion-euro ($1.7 billion) facility with funding from 11 countries. It has been hailed as one of largest and most ambitious European research projects ever.
  • Its centrepiece boasts world’s longest 1.7 kilometres superconducting linear accelerator, designed to provide energy needed to generate X-ray flashes billion times brighter than best conventional radiation sources.
  • It has capacity to generate extremely intense laser flashes, at rate of 27,000 per second generated by Self-Amplified Spontaneous Emission (SASE). It generates high-intensity electromagnetic radiation by accelerating electrons to relativistic speeds and directing them through special magnetic structures.

Applications

  • XFEL is like a camera and a microscope that will make it possible to observe tiny details and processes in the nano-world than ever before. It will help to reveal and capture in images at the sub-atomic level, promising breakthroughs and revealing secrets in medicine, biology, energy, information technology and chemistry.
  • It will help scientists to map the atomic details of viruses, take 3-D images of the molecular make-up of cells or film chemical reactions inside them. This will help to understand and treat illnesses. The light beams produced by the XFEL can also be bundled together to create extreme pressure and temperatures to study process inside Earth’s core.

  


Books & Authors

 Immortal India book by Amish Tripathi

Amish, a best selling writer who has entertained readers with his mythological series on Lord Shiva and Lord Rama, has announced to launch his new book “Immortal India” in non-fiction category.

Key Points:

  • It was published by Westland and Tranquebar Press.
  • “Immortal India” brings together Tripathi’s fascinating style with his distinctively including original thoughts on a wide array of subjects like religion, LGBT rights, history, and feminism.

About Amish Tripathi

  • Amish Tripathi, born on 18 October 1974 is an Indian author, known for his novels - The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas, The Oath of the Vayuputras, Scion of Ikshvaku and Sita: Warrior of Mithila.
  • The first three books collectively comprise the Shiva Trilogy and the later two are the first two books of the Ram Chandra Series which is going to be a collection of five books.
  • The Shiva Trilogy was the fastest selling book series in Indian publishing history and the Scion of Ikshvaku was the fastest selling book of 2015.

 


Obituary

 Sumiteru Taniguchi, Nagasaki Survivor and Nuclear Arms Foe, Dies at 88

A Japanese man Sumiteru Taniguchi who survived the Nagasaki atomic bomb in August 1945 has died of cancer at the age of 88.

Key Points:

  • He became a prominent activist against nuclear weapons and was once considered as a front-runner for the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Taniguchi, who spent about three and a half years in hospital after the blast, went on to become a prominent disarmament campaigner.
  • The US dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, killing about 140,000 people.
  • The toll includes those who survived the explosion itself but died soon after from severe radiation exposure

 


Important Days

National Nutrition Week: 1st to 7th September

The National Nutrition Week will be observed throughout the country from 1st to 7th September. The theme of for year 2017 is “Optimal Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices: Better Child Health“.

The objective of this event is to intensify awareness generation on importance of nutrition for health which has an overall impact on development, productivity, economic growth and ultimately National development.

Key Facts

  • During this week, Food and Nutrition Board of Ministry of Women & Child Development will coordinate with concerned Department of the State/UT Governments, NGOs, National Institutions and organize State/UT Level Workshops, Functionaries, Orientation Training of Fields Awareness Generation Camps, Community meetings.
  • Moreover, large numbers of awareness activities were organized at state, district and village levels. One day workshops to sensitize and for capacity building of State/Districts Level officers on importance of nutrition for better health will be also held.
  • Mini exhibition on nutrition displaying low cost nutritious diets and its importance for different age groups will also be organized at grassroots level. Besides, awareness generation on weight management and its importance through Body Mass Index (MBI) will also be held for adolescent boys and girls.

Importance of Nutrition

Nutrition is important survival, health and development issue for current and succeeding generations. All age groups represent National Economic Asset, so improving nutritional status of population is imperative for National Development.

Concerns

Under nutrition in young children continues to be a major public health problem in India. Child born underweight has impaired immune function and increased risk of diseases in their later life. Malnourished children tend to have lower IQ and impaired cognitive ability, which affects their school performance and productivity in later life. According to the NFHS4, there is no improvement in the nutritional status, especially among women and children even though level of underweight has decreased by 6.8%, stunting by 9.6%, anaemia by 11% as compared to NNHS-3 figures.

 

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