India to host BRICS summit in October
- The summit will be hosted in Goa.
- India assumed chairmanship of BRICS from Russia on February 15, 2016 and it will last till December 31 2016.
- Core-theme will be building responsive, inclusive and collective solutions for the grouping.
- India’s emphasis would be on institution building, implementation of previous commitments flowing from the past summits, and exploring synergies among the existing mechanisms.
Health Ministry launches Longitudinal Ageing Study in India
- This is the largest survey of its kind.
- It will survey more than 60,000 elderly over 25 years plan.
- Jointly funded by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the United States’ National Institute on Ageing, and the United Nations Population Fund-India.
- Will investigate various health structures, and impact of social determinants on health of the elderly. It will also help in framing evidence-based policy.
- Will help design policies to mainstream the elderly, to reduce their vulnerabilities and enhance access to various services.
Punjab Assembly passes Agriculture Indebtedness bill
- Provides relief to the farmers. The bill specifies that the interest payable on debt shall be calculated at such rate as may be notified by the government.
- This would be in accordance with the interest rates charged by banks on yearly basis.
Wages of NREGS hiked by 6%
- A new committee has been appointed to revise the wage calculation formula for the MGNREGA workers.
The wages will be calculated on CPI-rural index
- The current scheme of wages is based on the agricultural labor index
India Post releases customized ‘My Stamp’ on HAL
- The stamp is released in recognition of the company’s 75 years services to the nation.
Telangana signs pact with French aviation trainer
- A training institute will come up at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad.
- The French company plans to set up an academy to train local talent in addition to skilled workforce for the maintenance, repair and overhaul.
- Program aiming to train at least 1,000 students a year in aerospace and related areas.
Government clears new Defense Procurement Policy
- Key changes to accord priority to locally made equipment and fund private-sector R&D
- Policy will come into effect from April 1, 2016.
- Will introduce measures to promote indigenization and self-reliance in defense
- Will be unveiled at the Defexpo India 2016
- Government will come with the update in Ordnance Factory Board and Defense Procurement Manuals in two months.
NTPC starts 250 MW unit in Bihar
- Total capacity of Nabinagar Thermal Power Station has become 250 MW and the total installed capacity of NTPC group has become 45,798 MW
Consumer Affairs Ministry signs MoUs to promote consumer welfare
- Has signed MoUs with the Industry bodies
- MoUs broadly covers the collaborative programs on developing and implementing a self-regulatory code of fair business practices
- MoU initiates advocacy action against unfair trade practices and preventing fake, counterfeit and sub-standard products and services and adoption of voluntary standards.
Central Government amends Atal Pension Yojana(APY)
- The spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled to receive the same pension amount as that of the subscriber until the death of the spouse
- After death of both the subscriber and the spouse, the nominee of the subscriber shall be entitled to receive the pension wealth, as accumulated till age of 60 years of the subscriber.
Anand Mahindra and Aditya Puri among top global 30 CEO’s
- Companies in the list – Amazon, JP Morgan, Netflix, Disney, Alphabet and Google are few top firms in the list
- The top CEOs are
- Warren Buffet(Berkshire Hathaway)
- David Cote(Honeywell)
- Jamie Dimon(JP Morgan Chase)
- Larry Page(Alphabet)
- Howard Schultz(Starbucks) and
- Mark Zuckerberg(Facebook)
Business and Economy
India’s GDP growth projected at 7.7%
- GDP growth for the current fiscal is estimated at 7.6%
- It is projected to grow to 7.75% in 2016-17
- Increase in domestic consumption after the implementation of the Seventh Central Pay Commission’s recommendations and One Rank One Pension (OROP) is the reason for growth.
Bajaj Finance enters life care financing segment
- It will finance expenses for stem cells storage units, cosmetics-based hair treatment, dental and eye care, and many other issues.
- Anyone can get interest-free loan for personal care treatment at VLCC, Kaya Skin Clinic and Enhance Clinic, among others.
- The segment has the potential to grow up to 12% of the portfolio.
Sachin Tendulkar invests in Smartron India
- Sachin invested undisclosed amount and also become the brand ambassador of the company.
- Company is set to launch a range of smart devices and IoT products for consumer and enterprise markets in the first quarter of FY 2016-17.
- Smartron is a US-based semiconductor company with operations in US, India, and Russia.
Ola acquires payment solutions-Qarth technologies
- Has been acquired by Ola to integrate it with its Ola money to facilitate payment
- Qarth Technologies is incubated from IIT madras
- Qarth developed an app X-pay that will enable customers to pay across 26 banks across the country
Science and Technology
Researchers develop new Gravity Map of Mars
- Gravity maps allow us to see inside a planet. It will be helpful for future Mars Exploration missions.
- Better knowledge of the planet’s gravity anomalies helps mission controllers insert spacecraft more precisely into orbit about Mars.
- Improved resolution of the gravity map will help understand the still-mysterious formation of specific regions of the planet.
British troops test ‘invisibility cloak’
- Cloak is known as “Vatec” and allows soldiers to hide from infrared and heat-searching devices.
- This cloak allows them to hide from the enemy.
- Cloak attempts to replicate the special ability of cephalopods such as the octopus and squid to blend in with the environment to evade their predators
Indian Coast Guard ship Arnvesh commissioned at Visakhapatnam
- The Ship will enhance Coast Guard’s capability in furthering its mandate of maritime safety, security on the eastern sea board
DRDO develops RADAR to look through walls
- Developed by: LRDE (Electronics & Radar Development Establishment) of DRDO
- It looks through walls of 20-30cm thickness and it works based on Thermal RADAR technique
India deploys P8I maritime aircraft to Seychelles
- Will be deployed in Seychelles till March 23, 2016
- Will help in curbing illegal activities and piracy and ensuring stability and safety in the Indian Ocean region
Environment & Ecology
New standards for gensets
- First time such mandated certifications have been notified for gensets running on LPG or natural gas or in combination with diesel and petrol.
- Primary aim is to control air and noise pollution emanating from the gensets.
- Standards will be revisited in 4-5 years once air and noise emission quality data and technological details pertaining to the gensets are available.
India’s Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve added to list of perfect biospheres
- There are 669 biosphere reserves in as many as 120 countries.
- Out of 18 biosphere reserves in India, Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is the tenth one to be included in the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Network.
- It covers about 3500 square kilometres, and is part of Tirunalveli and Kankyakumari in Tamil Nadu, and Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Patanamthitta in Kerala.
- More than 2,250 species of dicotyledonous plants are in the area and 29 are endemic to the region.
- It is home to more than 2000 species of plants, three wildlife sanctuaries and a tiger reserve
Sundarbans becomes no-pollution zone
- Objective of this program to maintain a clean and green Sundarbans this polling season.
- A consensus was reached to restrict the use of plastic or any other non-biodegradable material during the campaign.
People in News
Justice H L Dattu appointed as member of International Coordinating Committee
- Chief justice presence in the ICC Bureau will be aimed at strengthening the ICC and also enhancing the role of NHRIs in the UN mechanisms.
- NHRC, India will now be representing the Asia-Pacific region along with Mongolia, Qatar and Australia.
Paytm appoints ex-head of Alibaba as its President
- Paytm has appointed Bhusan Patil as its new President
- to help Paytm grow across the borders
- Paytm has a user base of 125 Million and it has planned to sell $ 2 billion worth products in 2016
- Women’s Doubles – US Pair Bethanie Sands and Coco Vandeweghe