Kachhabali Becomes 1st Liquor-free village in Rajasthan
- Rajasthan Excise Act, 1975, that provides for the closure of a country liquor shop, was invoked.
- Polling was carried out by the excise department of the state
- 94% of the voters demanded that they want a complete ban on the sale of alcohol in the village
Mumbai to get its first Arbitration Centre
- India’s first arbitration center for dealing the financial disputes.
- Financial disputes of India were dealt in the Singapore Arbitration center until now.
- Out of the 259 cases registered at Singapore arbitration center in 2013, 85 were from Indian companies
New building bye laws in New Delhi
- combines the rules and regulations of various departments in obtaining permission for constructing a building
- by-laws have been amended after a gap of 33 years
- permissions to be obtained has been reduced to 14 from 40
250 Mw unit at Nabinagar plant in Bihar
- 250 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Bihar commissioned by BHEL.
- The first 250 MW unit to be commissioned in the plant located at Nabinagar in Aurangabad district of Bihar.
Stay on floor test in Uttarakhand
- Center had approached the court questioning the permission for voting while the state is under President’s Rule
- Opposition parties had approached the court questioning the rights of nine disqualified MLAs to participate in the ballot.
Budget sets priorities for government spending
- New system divides Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) into three categories:
- Core of the Core.
- Optional Schemes.
- New system has accorded the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme the highest priority by deeming it ‘Core of the Core’.
- Core of the Core schemes will retain their expenditure allocation framework.
- Core schemes will have a 60:40 formula, while the Optional schemes will have a 50:50 formula
- States having the flexibility to decide whether to invest in these or not.
- Eight schemes will be classified as Core of the Core. Including MGNREGA and all the umbrella schemes for the upliftment of minorities, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes.
- Core schemes include schemes like Krishi Unnati Yojana, the Smart Cities programme, and the modernisation of the police force.
PM for simultaneous LS, Assembly elections
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in favor of simultaneous polls for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.
- Due the administrative issues arising out of frequent and successive elections in various states.
- With the Model Code of Conduct coming into force in one State or the other and even for the Centre in some cases, this leads to administrative lethargy and issues.
British Medical Journal calls for revamp of MCI
- Radical revamp of the Medical Council of India (MCI) in order to eliminate corruption and lack of ethics in healthcare.
- BMJ has also said that the MCI has failed to create a rigorous transparent system for accrediting medical colleges, leading to geographical maldistribution and creation of ‘ghost faculties’ in private medical colleges.
- Pointed out the MCI’s failure to oversee quality and integrity in health services in the country.
- Committee had criticized the MCI for being a biased organization, acting against larger public health goals.
Taxes from disinvestment help government receipts increase
- In one day, the center has raised Rs 4,500 crore by participating in a shares buyback offer of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL).
- Government has also raised Rs 980 crore through the taxes it generated in these two disinvestment transactions.
- In this financial year the Government has raised a total of Rs 25,000 crore.
- In 2014-15, the Centre had raised Rs 24,348.71 crore, the maximum in a single year through disinvestment.
India opts not to join global terror database
- Unhindered access to the Americans to the database of terror suspects in India, which includes their biometric details
- Opposed by both the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
- Indian security agencies are apprehensive of giving unhindered access to the U.S. on sensitive data related to terrorists.
National anthem mandatory in UP primary schools
- National anthem must be sung by the students every day in the primary schools of Uttar Pradesh
- Every Wednesday, schools will have to observe swachhata diwas -Cleanliness Day.
- Sports period has also been made mandatory for the first four working days
Ebola threat ends in West Africa
- The viral disease which was threatening the world nations for 20 months killing more than 11,300 people is finally under control
- Proposal to lift the trade and travel restrictions imposed in the Ebola affected Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea
France operation ‘Sangaris’ comes to an end in CAR
- France will end its three year-long military operation ‘Sangaris’ in Central African Republic
- The operation came into force after communal violence in 2013 when Muslim rebels ousted the Christian president Francois from power
- 2500 troops were deployed in the security operation assisting the UN peacekeeping force
Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC
- Will be attended by the leaders of more than 50 countries
- Goal of the NSS is to address concerns about fissile material falling into the wrong hands at a head-of-state level
- Includes minimizing the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU), bolstering security at nuclear facilities through enhanced national regulations and implementation of best practices
- The twin goals for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit are:
- Advancing tangible improvements in nuclear security behavior.
- Strengthening the global nuclear security architecture.
Business and Economy
SEBI raises FPI investment limit
- Proposed the hike in two tranches one in April and the other in July
- This will help in attracting more foreign inflow into the nation.
- It also allows increase in State Development Loans
Japan commits loan worth 14251 crores
- Transmission System Strengthening Project in Madhya Pradesh -JPY 15.45 billion
- Odisha Integrated Sanitation Improvement Project -JPY 25.7 billion
- Dedicated Freight Corridor Project (Phase 1) -JPY 103.6 billion or Rs 6,170 crore
- North East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project- JPY 67.1 billion
- Jharkhand Horticulture Intensification by Micro Drip Irrigation Project -JPY 4.65 billion
Adani Aero Defense ties up with Elbit, Alpha for unmanned aircraft systems
- Pact reflects the realization of Make in India for global requirements
- Subsidiary of Adani group Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd has tied up with the Israeli company Elbit Systems for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
SC approves Centre’s guidelines to protect Good Samaritans
- Supreme Court approved the central government’s guidelines to protect people who help victims of road
- Directed the Centre to give wide publicity to the guidelines, which clearly stipulate that people who help victims of road accidents or other calamities are not harassed in any way.
Russia approved OVL deal to acquire 15% stake in Vankor oil field for $1.3 billion
- New deal enables OVL’s stake in Vankor will raise to 26% from 15%
- Will give it about 3.5 million metric tons of oil a year
- Vankor is Russia’s second biggest oil field with capacity of total 500 million tons recoverable reserves barrels.
Sun Pharma buys Novartis’ 14 brands for $ 293 mn in Japan
- Will acquire 14 well-known prescription brands, having combined annual revenues of approximately $160 million, from Novartis
- Acquired brands will be distributed under the Sun Pharma label
- Sun pharmaceutical industry has become the third largest producer in the world in terms of volumes.
Science and Technology
Asia’s Biggest telescope Aries to be launched in Nainital
- Combined effort of Indian, Russian and Belgian scientists to develop a telescope to study the structure of stars
- Contract undertaken by the Aries and Belgian company- Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems in March, 2007
Govt launches e-CGHS cards, GIS-enabled HMIS application
- To provide easy access to health services to the public to strengthen the public health systems
- Providing user-friendly health services.
- Services provided are:
- GIS-enabled HMIS application
- The self-printing of e-CGHS card
Vidyut PRAVAH app launched
- App is aimed at empowering common people to demand 24X7 power from the states
- Expected to take transparency to the next level and make state governments more accountable.
- The mobile application provides highlights of the power availability in India on real time basis.
Walk on Mars with Buzz Aldrin
- Guided tour of Mars using the HoloLens headset technology
- Technology will offer people a virtual tour of an area of Mars with astronaut Buzz Aldrin in an interactive exhibit using the Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headset.
- Aldrin, an Apollo 11 astronaut who walked on the moon in 1969, will serve as the “holographic tour guide”
- Guests will “visit” several sites on Mars, reconstructed using real images from NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover
Environment and Ecology
Sand-eating Micrixalidae tadpoles species found in Western Ghats
- Were discovered from the deep recesses of streambeds,
- These tadpoles lack teeth but have well-serrated jaw sheaths which helps them avoid large sand grains while feeding.
- Have skin-covered eyes, which helps them to burrow through gravel beds.
- Lives in total darkness that they are of fossorial nature and comes out after fully developing into a young frog.
People in News
Faustin-Archange Touadera sworn in as President of Central Africa
- Central African Republic has been at political unrest since 2013 due to the communal violence between Christians and Muslims.
- France sent its troops and established ‘Sangaris’ operation to restore peace.
Jitendra Jagota Appointed As the Chairman of IDSA
- He was the Director Legal and Government Affairs, Avon Beauty Products India Pvt. Ltd
Wipro appoints Patrick Dupuis as its Board member
- Patrick Dupuis was the Senior Vice President of Paypal Holdings
- His role was vital in separating Paypal from e-bay and in the listing of Paypal in NASDAQ
- He joined Paypal in 2010 as CFO.
- Been a part of BJC healthcare and functioned as the CFO of Sitel, one of the largest customer care company
First female speaker for Vietnam Parliament
- Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan is the first female speaker of Vietnam Parliament
- Got 472 votes out of the total 481 votes
- Earlier she served as the Vice Chairperson of the National Assembly
Sharmila acquitted in 2006 suicide bid case
- Manipuri civil rights activist Iron Sharmila was acquitted in a case of attempted suicide registered in 2006
- Sharmila launched her fast-unto-death in October 2006 demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.