Daily News Analysis for IAS / UPSC (16th August, 2016)


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Marking the 70th Independence Day – August 15, 2016

  • Marking the Independence Day, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan organized a candle-light “TIRANGA MARCH” in 100 prominent District Headquarters of several States/ UTs.
  • Department of Youth Affairs will organize a candle-light “Tiranga March” in 100 prominent District Headquarters to celebrate the 70th Indian Independence Day.
  • The members of youth clubs affiliated with NYKS as well as other youth will participate in the Programs.
  • week-long “Colors of Independence” campaign has been launched by the Jute Corporation of India– JCI marking the 70th Independence Day of India.
  • In a step towards promoting national integration and jute awareness, this campaign will provide an opportunity for general public to participate, from 70 Indian citiesto celebrate 70 years of Independence.
  • Our Lady of Assumption Church” of the Succoro village, near Panaji in Bardez Taluka celebrated ‘Patolleanchem Fest’, a unique salute to the jaggery-based sweet dish called “Patolleo” on the eve of the Indolence Day of India.
  • Goa Tourism presents an exclusive bike rally called ‘Freedom Ride’, which held on 15 August 2016.The Rally will be very enjoyable and give bikers an experience of Goa while exploring its treasures packed with churches, rivers, beaches, temples, villages and much more.
  • Inauguration of Independence Day Film Festivalin Delhi’s Siri Fort Auditorium.
  • ‘Bharat Parv’ festivalat India Gate lawns and the inauguration ceremony of the festival, which will conclude on August 18
  • commemorative postage stamp on Tourism in India on the occasion of 70th IndependenceDay has been released
  • On the occasion of the 70thIndian Independence Day, a total of 948 central and state forces police personnel were awarded gallantry and other service medals.
  • Havildar Hangpan Dada honored with Ashok Chakra posthumously
  • Telangana State has received the highest number of gallantry medalsfor police personnel in the country on the eve of Independence Day and it is noted that it was the only State unit to secure the President’s police medal for gallantry (PPMG).


Assam Government become the first Indian State to ratify the GST Constitution Amendment Bill

  • government is aiming to get the bill ratified by 16 states within the first week of September to stay on course its 1 April 2017 implementation deadline
  • States need to pass the bill by a simple majority to ratify the bill.
  • GST has been unanimously been passed by both houses of the Parliament. This is a revolutionary initiative and this particular new tax regime will benefit the common people of the country and this particular transparency in tax regime will defiantly help to be part in this noble endeavor for over all development of the country.
  • TheConstitution (122nd Amendment) Bill for the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was passed by the Lok Sabha, with 443 members present in the House voting in favor of the legislation.
  • once the Constitution amendment bill is enacted, the government will constitute the GST Council that will take all important decisions regarding crucial issues like the tax rates and threshold and finalize the three GST laws.


Bihar CM unveils bunch of State Development schemes

  • a bunch of development projects and schemesregarding the “seven resolves” adopted by his government for the next five years.
  • launch of Student Credit Card schemefrom October 2 and this scheme promises Rs. four lakh interest free loan to students for pursuing higher education.
  • Another scheme of providing free Wi-fi facilitywould be made available in all state universities and colleges from February 2017.
  • new scheme of launch of startup capital of Rs. 5,000 croreto help young entrepreneurs start their ventures.
  • innovative scheme of opening centers in all 534 blocks in the state for imparting language training and computer knowledge to youths to prepare them with better employment prospects.


Government constitutes National Committee on Trade Facilitation

  • Centre has constituted a National Committee on Trade Facilitation(NCTF) to develop the pan-India road map for trade facilitation.
  • move comes after India signed the 76th WTO member to accept the TFA in line with the World Trade Organisation in March this year.
  • The national level committee will focus on pan-India road map for trade facilitation and will monitor the implementation of TFA.


Business and Economy

NPS: PFRDA lowers minimum contribution to Rs 1,000 per year

  • Insurance regulator PFRDA has substantially lowered the minimum annual contribution to Rs 1,000to keep the account active in order to encourage more people to join the National Pension System.
  • Priorly instead of 1000, a subscriber had to contribute at least Rs 6,000 in a financial yearto keep the Tier-1 account running.
  • NPS comprises of two tiers of accounts:
  • TIER – Iis the non-withdraw able permanent retirement account into which the accumulations are deposited and invested as per the option of the subscriber.
  • Tier-II is a savings account; the regulator has decided to waive the requirement of annual minimum contribution of Rs 250 and minimum balance of Rs 2,000 at the end of a fiscal year.
  • PFRDA promotes this lowering with a view to encourage the access of NPS to all segments of the society including the unorganized sector, it has been decided to reduce the requirement of minimum contribution to keep the NPS Tier I account active, from Rs 6,000 to Rs 2,000. 
  • NPS has over 1.30 crore subscribers with total Asset Under Management (AUM) of more than Rs 1.37 lakh crores. 


1st BIO-CNG project in India inaugurated in Pune

  • Pune based Primove Engineering Private Limited Commissioned India’s first Bio-CNG plantwhich will use agricultural residue to generate CNG which in-turn can be an alternate fuel to the Automobiles that run CNG.
  • CNG generation is done by using agriculture residue. Over 600 million tons of agricultural waste is generated per year in the country.
  • Has been set up as a Proof of Concept (PoC)that can be replicated elsewhere. Primove has coughed out around Rs 4.5 crore in the plant.
  • process involves treating the waste with a special bacterial solution, after which the gas so generated is cleaned and compressed for use in vehicles.
  • Bio-CNGhas got nod from the by Ministries of Road Transport as well as Chief Controller of Explosives.


India’s first Nuclear Suppliers’ Insurance Policy unveiled

  • State-run General Insurance Corporation of India in association with non-life insurance companies unveiled the Nuclear Supplier’s Insurance Policy (NSIP).
  • It is first of its kind in India.
  • move comes a year after launching the Rs 1,500 crore India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) which is the 27th global nuclear insurance pool which was launched.
  • As part of this initiative New India Assurance Co (NIAC) and INIP will issue the policy and administer the claims on behalf of the pool.
  • The company NIAC couple of months back issued a policy for nuclear power plants operators under INIP by underwriting premium to the tune of Rs 100 crore.


India’s exports better placed in product diversification: Study

  • India’s exports are better placed in terms of product diversificationas the top ten export products account for 58 per cent of the total export items accounted.
  • study observes the concentration of the top 10 export productsfor the major economies, including Hong Kong (89 per cent), the Republic of Korea (86 per cent), Japan (77 per cent), the UK (71 per cent), Germany (70 per cent), the US (68 per cent), China (68 per cent), the Netherlands (63 per cent) and France (60 per cent).
  • Study went on to say that India has consistently diversifiedin terms of export as the concentration of the top ten export products was 60 per cent in 2010 and 58 per cent in 2015.
  • country placed 19thplace in the list of exporters with merchandise exports valued at $262 billion.


Microsoft’s Xbox Acquires Seattle based Live Streaming Platform – Beam

  • Microsoft’s Xbox team acquired Beam, an interactive live streaming platform for gamers on August 12.
  • Xboxis a video gaming brand created and owned by Microsoft.
  • It represents a series of video game consoles developed by Microsoft, with three consoles released in the sixth, seventh, and eighth generations respectively.
  • Beam was launched 8 months ago by an 18-year-old Matt Salsamendi and this startup has 24 employees.
  • Beam emerged as the Battlefield winner, winning $50,000.In June, Salsamendi and cofounder James Boehm, 20, were named Thiel Fellows in June 2016.
  • Investor Peter Thiel’s organization pays young entrepreneurs $100,000 over the course of two years in exchange for skipping college or dropping out to work on their own ventures.



M S Subbulakshmi honored at UN on Independence Day

  • Legendary carnatic vocalist M. S. Subbulakshmi  honoured at the United Nations on India’s 70th Independence Day by a performance by Oscar-winning composer R. Rahman
  • The United Nations Postal Administration will issue astamp to mark the birth centenary of Indian music legend M S Subbulakshmi on the occasion of India’s 70th Independence Day.
  • India’s independence day will be commemorated at the world body’s headquarters this year as Versatile composer A.R Rahman,who is going to become the second Indian artiste after MS Subbulaksmi to perform at the iconic UN hall will execute a concert on the Independence Day at the headquarters of the UN in New York
  • This year also marks the 50th anniversary of her performance at the UN and the photo exhibitionwill depict various facets and moments of Ms Subbulakshmi’s life and times providing a rare insight to the music legend’s achievements.


CLRI scientist bags A P J Abdul Kalam award

  • Scientist P Shanmugam, Central Leather Research Institute –Chennai, was presented the award for meritorious services in the Higher Education Department in the state during the 70th Independence Daycelebrations
  • The award comprising a certificate, Rs five lakh cheque and eight gram gold medal.
  • In the same Occasion the Kalpana Chawla Award which is given for Courage and Daring Enterprise was bestowed to Jayanthi from Namakkal District. The award carriesRs 5 lakh cash, certificate and gold coated medal.


Presidential Award for Certificate of Honour and Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman to Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Arabic and Persian Scholars for the Year 2016

  • Certificates of Honour to eminent scholars of Sanskrit, Pali/Prakrit, Arabic and Persian and the Maharishi Badrayan Vyas Samman to young scholars at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • The list of several scholars and their respective language are as follows includes Sanskrit(13), Sanskrit-International(1), Arabic(3), Parsian (3), Pali (1) , Prakrit( 1).
    while in Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman  the Sanskrit(5), Arabic(1), Parsian (1), Pali (1) , Prakrit( 1).


Four Indians of Bangalore firm clinch Guinness records title after making largest dirt cake

  • Bangalore based Bangalore Baking Buddieshas entered their name in Guinness World Records 2016 after making a world largest dirt that weighed a whopping 1,078 kg was unveiled at The Park hotel in Bangalore.
  • The specially made dirt cake prepared using sandwich cookies and pudding in combination with other ingredients to create a dessert that has a dirty, gardenlike look.
  • The dirt cake was distributed to 17 institutions and some schools in the vicinity after the show case.


Science and Technology

New sensor developed to detect heart attacks in just a minute

  • team of researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST) in South Korea has developed a new electrical immunosensor for swift and reliable diagnosis of heart Attack.
  • the device that holds considerable potential for use as a platform for sensing distinct types of proteins.
  • The electrical immunosensor measures within a minute and able to rapidly diagnose the level of heart attacks at the point of care.
  • The sensor uses a single droplet of blood to identify the level of cardiac troponin, a type of proteinthat is excreted by the heart muscle into the blood which causes acute myocardial infarction, also called heart attack.