Daily News Analysis for IAS / UPSC (26th August, 2016)


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Union Cabinet Approvals – August 24 2016

  • Union cabinet has given its approval for MoUs with Myanmar, Cyprus, Fiji and South Africa in different fields.
  • Union cabinet approved an MoU with Myanmar for cooperation in the field of traditional systems of medicine.
  • Cabinet gave its approval to the revisedDTAA between India and Cyprus that provides for source-based taxation of capital gains on transfer of shares instead of one based on residence.
  • Union Cabinet approved signing of a new air services agreement betweenIndia and Fiji that would allow Indian airlines to fly to any point in the island nation. 
  • approval for introduction of the “Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016” on August 24, 2016
  • Bill will regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and State Surrogacy Boards and Appropriate Authorities in the State and Union Territories.
  • legislation will ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples.
  • approved of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and South Africa to establish cooperation in Grassroots Innovation.


A decade of Integrated Food Law in the country

  • India’s Food Regulator FSSAI organized a function commemorate 10 years of the enactment of Food Safety and Standard Act(FSSAI Act) on August 23rd 2016 in New Delhi.
  • the need for the Authority to focus on empowering the consumersso that the manufacturers and suppliers of food products become responsive to consumer needs, demands and expectations.
  • All these initiatives have been developed collaboratively over the past few months along with other stakeholders and partners.
  • These 10 initiatives are dedicated on safe and nutritious food at home, school, workplace, religious places, in trains and railway stations, in restaurants and other places.
  • Food Safety Display Boards was launched that would help to connect the consumers directly to food safety officers.


Maharashtra and Telegana joins hand for three inter-state Irrigation Projects in Godavari River

  • governments of Maharashtra and Telangana signed a Memorandum of Understanding for construction of three inter-state irrigation projects. 
  • Telangana and Maharashtra agreed to build irrigation projects on the Godavari river, benefitting farmers from both the states.
  • Theinter-state water board was constituted in March, following an in-principle agreement between the two states. The board has 23 members each from both the states including their respective chief ministers
  • Telangana will take up the construction ofMedigadda, an inter-state barrage proposed under Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project, at 100 meters full reservoir level (FRL).
  • The barrage, located 20 kilometers downstream of Kaleshwaram in Warangal district will irrigate 1.64 million acres in Telangana and 50,000 acres in Maharashtra with the help of four small lift irrigation projects.


Odisha Startup Policy for youths

  • Odisha startup policy to promote entrepreneurship among youths.
  • policy envisages ushering in an innovative start-up ecosystem through creation of world class incubation centers, funding and supporting incentives structure at par with other states.
  • AStart-up Capital Infrastructure Fund (up to Rs 25 crore) would be provided by the state government to the Department of MSME through budgetary provision.
  • state government would participate in private state specific funds for start-ups to set up operations in the state, such as seed/VC funds, limited to 1/4th of the total size
  • Institutions like universities and colleges would be eligible for one time capital grant of 50 per cent of capital cost, excluding the cost of building, up to a maximum of Rs 1 crore to set up an incubation facility.
  • policy would chart out a roadmap to place Odisha among the top three investment destinations in the country by 2020.
  • It envisages ushering in an innovation and startup ecosystemthough creation of world class incubation centres, funding and supporting incentive structure at par with other States.
  • Cabinet also approved a proposal for formation of the Odisha State Higher Education Council (OSHEC) with the Higher Education Ministeras its chairperson


New railway line between Nandyala and Yerraguntla commissioned

  • a new passenger train between Nandyala and Kadapa was flagged off on the occasion
  • The 123-km railway line was built at a cost of Rs 967 crore and connects Kurnool and Kadapa districts of Andhra Pradesh.
  • This will also directly connect the Rayalaseema region with the state’s new capital Amaravati. 
  • new line will gave a fillip to industrial activity in Kurnool and Kadapa districts that have a large mineral base, particularly the cement industry.
  • There will be eight stations between Nandyala and Yerraguntla with no unmanned level crossing for a length of 75 kms out of the entire stretch.


South India’s first Children Court was inaugurated in Hyderabad

  • Telangana has become the third state to inaugurate south India’s first Children’s Court was inaugurated in Hyderabad.
  • This court is a child friendly court and sixth in the countrywith features like separate waiting rooms for children and a video camera trial for the accused, mandated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act-2012.
  • POCSO stipulates child-friendly court rooms be put in place across all states at the earliest in the interest of children in need of care. 
  • The judge and the police personnel will be in plain clothes in the children’s court and unlike a normal court set-up, the child will not be allowed to come face to face with the alleged offenders to make sure heis not intimidated while the court proceedings are on.
  • child-friendly space for recording the witness and testimony of the child will aid inimproving the conviction rates for the crimes against children.


Akashvani Maitree Channel in Kolkata

  • Akashvani Maitree– Bengal dedicated Channel to strengthen ties between India and Bangladesh.
  • Service is a venture of All India Radio which has unique features like sharing of content between Bangladesh Betar and Akashvani Maitree.
  • Channel launched from a State-of-the-art Super Power Transmitter of 1000kw with the frequency of 594 kHz/ 505 Meterinstalled at Chinsurah, West Bengal.
  • channel will work 16 hours a day in two phases which will cover whole of Bangladeshand most of South East Asia.
  • AIR also launched a multimedia website in Bangla airworldservice.org/banglaon the occasion.


Business and Economy

Mahindra AMC launches Mahindra Mutual Fund Kar Bachat Yojana

  • Open ended scheme Mahindra Mutual Fund Kar Bachat Yojana to generate long-term capital appreciation through a diversified portfolio of equity and equity related securities.
  • Kar Bachat Yojanacomes with a three year lock-in period. The New Fund Offer would close on October 7 and will reopen for continuous sale and repurchase from October 19, 2016.
  • move comes after the company has got after it received approval from SEBI, the Yojana will help people who not only want to save tax but also wish to create a tax-free corpus over long term investments.
  • AMC Company registered with SEBI, which invests its clients’ pooled funds into securities that match declared financial objectives and manages the assets of the mutual fund


Bajaj Finance ties up with India Post to facilitate two-wheeler purchase

  • Bajaj Finance Limited has joined hands with India Postto facilitate purchase of vehicles in Karnataka.
  • Bajaj Financeinked a MoU with India Post and also announced special arrangement that allows potential buyers to get information on various 2-wheeler loan schemes.
  • post offices will also hold special loan offers to the people including the installment collection set-up at the Post Offices.
  • This arrangement shall initially be available at 208 E-Payment Post Officesacross the state.
  • agreement also pave the way for customers to make repayments of their loans through the Post Offices by making the deposits.


Accenture to acquire Australian security firm

  • Accenture is set toacquire Australia­ based security company Redcore. The Deal size is not disclosed.
  • Purchase will expand Accenture’s security offerings and presence in the Asia­ Pacific region. Further it will to expand existing IAM services and Security­ as ­a­ Service (SaaS) capabilities along with other critical cyber defense services in the region.
  • Redcore develops holistic authentication, authorisation and administration services across a range of Cloud, web, mobile and adaptive access management technologies.


People in News

Sakshi Malik – Haryana’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Campaign Brand Ambassador

  • Sakshi Malik, India’s bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics, as the brand ambassador of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaignin the state.
  • The program aims to empower the girl child and reduce rates of female foeticide in districts with low child sex ratio. Haryana particularly is a state that has a skewed gender ratio.
  • At the 2016 Summer Olympics, she won the bronze medal in the 58 kg category, becoming the first Indian female wrestler to win a medal at the Olympicsand the fourth female Olympic medalist from the country.
  • She is a part of the JSW Sports Excellence Program, along with fellow female wresters Vinesh Phogat, Babita Kumari and Geeta Phogat. 
  • Malik had previously won the silver medal at the2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and the bronze medal at the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships in Doha.


Deepika Padukone – Indian Psychiatric Society’s new Brand Ambassador

  • Deepika Padukone, who herself battled depression, has joined hands with the Indian Psychiatric Society as its brand ambassadorto spread awareness about mental health and help reduce the stigma associated with its ailments.
  • Indian Psychiatric Society(IPS) is the largest association of Indian Psychiatrists. It was founded in 1929 under the banner of Royal Medico Psychological Association.


Former Governor of Bihar, West Bengal and Haryana A R Kidwai Dies

  • Former Governor of Bihar, West Bengal and Haryana,A R Kidwai passed away on August 24, 2016 in New Delhi.
  • He started his career as a professor of Chemistry, and became Dean of Faculty of Science at Aligarh Muslim University. He also served as Chairman of Union Public Service Commission from 1974 to 1977. He was Chancellor of AMU between 1983 to 1992.
  • He served as Governor of Bihartwice, from 1979 to 1985 and 1993 to 1998 and he served as Governor of Bengal between 1998 and 1999.
  • he served as Governor of Rajasthan and Haryana till 2009 and he was member of Rajya Sabhabetween 2000 and 2004.



Deepika Padukone entered the Forbes top 10 Highest-Paid actress in the World

Rank Actress Earning in Million $
1 Jennifer Lawrence 46
2 Mellissa Mccarthy 33
3 Scarlett Johansson 25
4 Jennifer Aniston 21
5 Fan bingbing 17

Telangana Aarogyasri Trust bags FICCI award

  • Telangana Aarogyasri HealthcareTrust bagged Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)’s healthcare excellence award for 2016.
  • second award for the application having secured the Elite Smart Healthcare Conclavefor being the most important mobile app in the nation.
  • mobile app was launched by Laxma Reddy three months ago. It is GPS enabled mobile app which made by the project monitoring unit of the Trust which enables any patient to locate the network hospital within 10 km radius through a map.
  • has been of much help during emergencies and road accidents which facilitates various information pertaining to specialties available in each hospital district wise, phone numbers of the network hospitals, mail ids.


Awards for Nine New Germplasm of Indigenous Farm Animals Registered as Breeds by ICAR

  • Dr P.S. Bhandari, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Animal Husbandry, Champawat, Uttarakhand – registration of Badri cattle of Uttarakhand.
    ii. Dr S. Jeyakumar, Senior Scientist along with 7 others form ICAR-CIARI, Port Blair – Teressa goat of A&N Islands;
    iii. Dr T.J. Harikrishnan and Dr T. Ravimurugan – Kodi Adu goat and Chevaadu sheep of Tamil Nadu respectively;
    iv. Dr Susanta Kumar Dash, Professor, OUAT, Bhubaneswar –Kendrapada sheep of Odisha
    v. Dr (Ms) M. Catherine Rutsa, Assistant Professor, Nagaland University – Tenyi Vo pig of Nagaland
    vi. Dr S. Jeyakumar, Senior Scientist along with 8 others- Nicobari pig of A&N Islands
    vii. Dr Galib Uz Zaman and Dr Subimal Laskar, Professor, AAU, Khanapara – Doom pig of Assam
    viii. Dr Th. Ranadhir Singh from CAU Imphal, Dr P.K. Vij and Dr M.S. Tantia from ICAR-NBAGR Karnal – Kaunayen chicken of Manipur


Late Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami selected for the Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award

  • Late Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami has been selected for theAsian Filmmaker of the Year Award at the Busan International Film Festival beginning October 6.
  • Abbas Kiarostamiwas an Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer and film producer. An active film-maker from 1970, Kiarostami had been involved in over forty films, including short movies and documentaries.
  • Kiarostami attained critical acclaim for directing the Koker trilogy (1987–94), Close-Up (1990),Taste of Cherry (1997) – which was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival that year – and The Wind Will Carry Us(1999).
  • Kiarostami had worked extensively as a screen writer, film editor, art director and producer and had designed credit titles and publicity material. He was also a poet, photographer, painter, illustrator, and graphic designer.


Science and Technology

Sugamaya Pustakalaya – Online Library for Persons with print Disabilities

  • online library for persons with visual disabilities Sugamya Pustakalayawas launched
  • This is a step towards government’s Digital India Program, the online Library that makes accessible content available to print-disabled people which is available in various publications across diverse subjectsand languages and multiple accessible formats.
  • This is a step towards government’s Digital India Program, the online Library that makes accessible content available to print-disabled people which is available in various publications across diverse subjectsand languages and multiple accessible formats.
  • Library has Over 2 lakhs books in various languages which are available in Accessible formats for people with visual impairment and other print disabilities.


China Launches First Tibetan-Language Search Engine

  • China has launched its first Tibetan-language search enginewhich will serve as a unified portal for all the Tibetan-language websites in China.
  • The Search Engine named Yongzin is the first search engine of Tibetan language on the world, Yongzin means master or teacher in the Tibetan language.
  • has eight sections for news, websites, images, videos, music, encyclopedia, literature and forums which can facilitates the need of the Tibetan-speaking population and can built of Tibetan digital archives.
  • search engine is developed by the Tibetan Language Information Technology Research Centerof Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
  • project of search engine Yongzin began on the project in April 2013 that costs 57 million yuan (about USD 8.7 million), is supported as part of the 12th five-year plan by the government.


mobile app ‘Kisan Suvidha’ for Farmers

  • Kisan Suvidha (farmer’s service) launched in Punjab.
  • The app developed by the Union government’sagriculture department will provide basic information on weather updates, crop prices and expert advice.
  • app is likely to have many takers as India is second largest Smartphone market in the world with 87 million mobile Internet users in rural areas.
  • app has a simple interface and provides information on five critical parameters—weather, input dealers, market price, plant protection and expert advisories.
  • An additional tab directly connects the farmer with the Kisan call centre where technical graduates answer their queries.


Hindi Website and Revamped English Website of Minority Affairs Ministry

  • The new improved and revamped website http://www.minorityaffairs.gov.in is very user friendly and provides easy navigation. The website is also adaptive to other devices such as iPads and mobiles.
  • Information about the Ministry of Minority Affairs can be accessed online in Hindi too as its new website in the language
  • The Minority Affairs Ministry wascommitted to serving the people through all means which also include use of technology, social media and others.
  • Ministry has also been planning a mobile app for scholarships to provide an easier platform to the students to apply through their mobile phones.


Environment and Ecology

Rare Endangered Primate Spotted In Vietnam

  • Delacour’s langur also called Delacour’s lutung,black and white with a full face of whiskers, is indigenous to Vietnam.
  • Scientists spotted about 40 of the primates, mostly juveniles and infants, bringing their total population to less than 250 but their numbers have dwindled as a result of poaching and mining activity in the country’s northern forests.
  • primates are critically endangered species which was discovered in the 1930s by French scientist Jean Theodore Delacour, and are only found in Vietnam.


Amatrice, Italy, devastated by earthquake

  • A powerful earthquake hit the Central Italy Amatrice overnight with a magnitude 6.2 that remain relatively rare that killed at least 73 people.
  • Central town was devastated by the strong quake 6.2 registered 100km (65 miles) north-east of Rome, not far from Perugia
  • the country is one of the most seismically active spots in Europe and has seen many.
  • it was the largest earthquake in Italy since 2009when a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit when at least 295 people and injured several hundred people.