Famous Writer Vishwanath Tripathi chosen for 28th Moorti Devi Award



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CURRENT AFFAIRS-JULY

01.07.2016
Famous Writer Vishwanath Tripathi chosen for 28th Moorti Devi Award

  • Noted Hindi writer Vishwanath Tripathi has been selected for the 28th Moorti Devi Award for the year 2014 for his book Vyomkesh Darvesh.

  • 'Vyomkesh Darvesh' is a fictional biography of noted Hindi critic Hazariprasad Dwivedi,who is considered  doyen of Hindi language. 

Vishwanath Tripathi  :-

  • Born on February 16, 1931 in Bishkohar village of district Basti in Uttar Pradesh 

  • Vishwanath Tripathi was a student of the Banaras Hindu University and Punjab University

His other works :-

  1. "Lokwadi Tulsidas" 

  2. "Meera Ka Kavya" 

  3. "Desh ke is Daur Main" 

  4. "Kuch Kahaniyan Kuch Vichar"

  5. "Ped Ka Hath"

  6. "Jaisa Kaha Saka" 

  7. "Nagatlai Ka Gaon." 

Moorti Devi Award :-

  • The Moortidevi Award constituted by the Bhartiya Jnanpith is presented annually for a "contemplative and perceptive work which expresses, underlines and illumines human values rooted in the broad vision of Indian philosophy and cultural heritage." 

  • Books written in English and all Indian languages are considered for the Prize, which comprises a cash award of Rs four lakhs, a statue and a citation plaque

Pollution monitoring devices to be installed till September in all major Polluting Industrial Units

  • Industrial units in three critically polluting sectors petrochemicals, oil refining and thermal power have been given time till September, to install 24x7 real time pollution monitoring devices at their effluent and emission discharge points

  • To put a check on pollution caused by industry, the ministry had identified 2,800 units spread across 17 heavily polluting sectors and had given them time till June 30 to install the pollution monitoring devices. The sectors include aluminium, caustic soda, fertiliser, paper pulp, copper, pesticides, textile, tannery, dyes, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, petrochemical, thermal plants and oil refineries

  • Nearly half of the 2,800 units that had got directions from the ministry to install the devices have moved towards compliance and ministery is  confident of achieving full coverage in the next few months, hopefully by September

  •  920 units have installed the monitoring devices and another 400 units have move towards Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD). The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which is monitoring effluents from these units, has already started receiving online data of status of compliance with respect to effluents and emissions.

Afghan prez Ghani nominates first female judge to Supreme Court

  • Afghan President Ashraf Ghani  has nominated a leading lawyer to become the country's first ever female Supreme Court judge although this move has angered some Islamic conservatives.

  • Anisa Rasouli, the head of the Afghan Women Judges Association and a former juvenile court judge, was the only female nominated to the nine-member bench after the announcement was delayed due to opposition by a group of Islamic conservatives 

  • Ashraf Ghani made the announcement during a June 30 gathering of diplomats and women's rights activists should. Anisa Rasouli also gain the approval of parliament before assuming the post in the Supreme Court.

  • Under the constitution, Supreme Court judges have fixed ten-year terms. In April lawmakers approved Ghani’s nominees for a number of cabinet positions, including four women

  • The former academic and World Bank economist has already appointed two female governors for the provinces of Ghor and Daikundi, moves hailed by rights campaigners

  • Under the 1996-2001 fundamentalist Taliban regime, women were banned from leaving their homes without a male chaperone and often denied basic rights such as an education but recently, Afghan women have made giant strides and taking pat acively in very spheres

9th National Statistics Day observed with theme "Social Development"

 


  • The Union Minister of State for Statistics & Programme Implementation (Independent Charge), Minister of State for External Affairs & Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs General (Dr.) Vijay Kumar Singh, has said that theme of social development chosen for the Statistics day is relevant and is related to various themes of development set by the Prime Minister

  • He called upon Statisticians to use technology to analyze the data to make it relevant for interventions to be made in specific areas for the development of the society. He said the Government is looking for a focused interventions the areas like education, health, sanitation etc.

  • The Chairman of the National Statistical Commission Dr. Pronab Sen has said that most of the larger problems have been addressed as a part of the development agenda and now the data collection and analysis needs to be different to address specific problems in identified and focused areas.

  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has been celebrating the Statistics Day every year since 2007 to create public awareness, especially among the younger generation for drawing inspiration from Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis about the role and importance of statistics in socio-economic planning, policy formulation and good governance. 

  • In recognition of the notable contributions made by him in the fields of statistics and economic planning, Government of India has designated 29th June every year as the Statistics Day in the category of Special Days for celebration at the national level to mark his birth anniversary

  • National Awards in Statistics, constituted in the Honour of Prof. C.R. Rao were conferred by General (Dr.) Vijay Kumar Singh to Dr. Hukum Chandra, Scientist, IASRI and Dr. Pulak Ghosh, Professor IIM, Bangalore.

Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis :-

  • Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was an Indian Bengali scientist and applied statistician.

  • He is best remembered for the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure.

  • He made pioneering studies in anthropometry in India. He founded the Indian Statistical Institute, and contributed to the design of large-scale sample surveys.

Indian Railways, Army Among world's biggest employers

  • Two Indian organisations - Army and Railways - are among the world's biggest employers, together employing a whopping 2.7 million people

  • Although  it is often said that Indian Railways is the largest employer in the world, but it seems it is not. The organisation is ranked at the eighth place in the list of world’s biggest employers

  • Immediately after Indian Railways with 1.4 million staff is the Indian Armed Forces with 1.3 

  • According to a research published by the World Economic Forum, the US Department of Defense is the world's biggest employer which claims over 3.2 million employees on its roster

  • Second is People's Liberation Army (the Chinese military) with 2.3 million, and in third is the US supermarket giant Walmart with 2.1 million workers

  • UK's National Health Service was ranked at the 5th place, with 1.7 million employees, followed by state-run China National Petroleum Corporation with 1.6 million.

Odisha’s Nabakalebar Festival to be promoted through Incredible India campaign

  • Union Tourism Ministry will promote the Nabakalebar festival under the Incredible India Campaign for its international branding.

  • The Government of India will release Rs 50 crore for providing infrastructure and facilities for the Nabakalebar festival.

  • The Union Culture Ministry will release a postal stamp & coin to mark the festival. The Nabakalebar Festival will be celebrated on July 10, 2015 after a gap of 19 years.

  • Centre is making all efforts to start the first international flight from the Bhubaneswar International Airport on this occasion ,this first flight is likely to be for Abu Dhabi.

  • Odisha has been demanding an international flight from the Bhubaneswar International Airport.

What is Nabakalebar Festival:-

  • Nabakalebar is basically the periodical renewal of the wooden images of Lord, Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan. After the year 1996, next Nabakalebar festival is going to happen in 2015.It is all about transformation of Puri temple, Odisha lords into the new body. The new wooden idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra and Sudarshan are welcoming to the temple with great celebration and it is a great occasion for Odisha people. The new idols are carved and old ones are cremated with rituals mentioned in the century old Odia scriptures.

  • The temple management and priest have to identify the holy tree with a group of search team as prescribed in the temple records. They trace the trees with support of divine dream, then next they start their stopover at Kakatpur, the abode of Goddess Mangala. After that carving of the idols, transfer of Bramha from old to new idol and finally sacred burial of old bodies of Lords are the major rituals which are combinely named as the process of Nabakalebar

Why is it so special ?

The timing for the celebration of  Nabakalebar Festival is very special it is celebrated in a year with an extra (Adhika masa) Ashadha masa/month as per Hindu Calendar.This usually occurs every twelve to nineteen years.The Deities are made from a special type of Neem wood known as Daru Bramha. Preparations for the ceremony start in the month of Chaitra. The previous Nabakalebars were taken place in the years like 1969, 1978 and 1996.More than 3 million devotees are expected to visit the temple during the Nabakalevara of 2015



IDFC appoints former CAG Vinod Rai as independent director

  •  Infrastructure financing firm IDFC appointed former comptroller and auditor general Vinod Rai as an independent director

  • Vinod Rai also worked as Financial Services Secretary.He was director on several boards including the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank and Life Insurance Corporation of India and instrumental in setting up the India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited and was also on the board of that company. 

  • Vinod Rai was the 11th Comptroller and Auditor General of India.He assumed office on 7 January 2008 till 22 May 2013He is the current chairman of UN Panel of External Auditors. He is currently Honorary Advisor to the Railways and a member of the Railway Kaya Kalp Council

Airtel becomes world's 3rd largest mobile operator

  • Bharati Airtel has moved up a position in global rankings as it has became  the third largest mobile operator in the world,  in terms of subscribers

  • Bharati Airtel has now has 303 million customers across 20 countries it is present in  India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Africa

  • China Mobile, according to WCIS, is the top mobile operator in the world with 626.27 million subscribers. 

  • Vodafone Group of UK ranks second with 403.08 million subscribers. China Unicom is ranked fourth with 299.09 million subscribers, followed by America Movil with 274.14 million users.

About Airtel :-

  • Airtel began operations in November 1995 in New Delhi (India) and in less than two decades it has emerged as one of the top brands in the emerging markets with an unmatched scale and diversity of operations

  • Its mobile networks cover over 1.85 billion people across its operations in 20 countries and carried over 1.23 trillion minutes of calls and over 333 petabytes of data in FY 2014-15

  • Its distribution channel is spread across 1.5 million outlets, with network presence in 5,121 census and 464,045 non-census towns and villages covering approximately 86.8 percent of the country's population.

  • In Africa, Bharti Airtel is the largest mobile operator in terms of geographical footprint. It offers 2G, 3G services and Airtel Money across all 17 countries in Africa. 

  • In Bangladesh, it is the fastest growing mobile operator, with a distribution network comprising over 146,000 retailers across the country. 

  • In Sri Lanka, its offers includes voice, data and enterprise solutions.

Adelaide Oval to host cricket's first ever day-night Test  

  • Australia and New Zealand will play cricket's first day-night Test in Adelaide from late November.

  • The Test, running November 27-December 1, will feature pink balls that Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland believes will hold up to Test match play.

  • The Test is one of six at home for the Australians - three each against New Zealand and West Indies - from November 5 until January 7

National Level Sikh museum to be constructed in Lakhnaur Sahib Village of Punjab

  • Ratan Lal Kataria, MP from Ambala announced that  a national level museum of Sikh heritage will be setup in Lakhnaur Sahib village close to Ambala City, Punjab.

  • Around 17 acres of land belonging to Maharaja Ranjit Singh had been lying vacant in the village now this land will be utilized for the museum. Some articles belonging to Guru Gobind Singh and his mother Mata Gujari will also be kept in the museum and it would be developed on the lines of Anandpur Sahib Museum.

  • Kataria  announced a contribution of 11 lakh rupees for the gurudwara from Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds.

Gurudwara Lakhnaur Sahib

  • It is associated with the Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Lakhnaur was the ancestral home of Mata Gujri Ji, the mother of Guru Gobind Singh and wife of Guru Tegh Bahadur. After his Father's Martyredom at Chandini Chauk Guru ji came to this place with his mother and uncles from Patna and spent some time 

  • Mata Gujri's well, sarovar and Baoli are remnants of the visit of Guru Gobind Singh Ji to this village. Among the other articles associated with the Guru and his family on display here include are the Guru's bed, Mata Gujri's bed, weapons and utensils used in the langar

HDFC Bank launches '30-min auto', '15-min 2-wheeler' loans  

  • Country's second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank has launched '30-min auto' and '15-min 2-wheeler' loan schemes, for which customers have to provide only their biometric details.

  • The 30-minute auto loan is available for HDFC Bank customers, as well as others. With this technology-enabled solution, loans for two-wheelers can also be approved within 15 minutes.

  • If a customer walks in to an auto dealership, they can walk out with the vehicle the same day itself, which was not the case earlier

  • The 30-minute auto loan and 15-minute two-wheeler loan is the latest initiative in HDFC Bank’s digital banking offering which is termed as "Go Digital" this campaign

  • With the launch of its ‘Go Digital - Bank Aap Ki Muththi Mein’ offering, HDFC literally converts the mobile phone into a bank branch

How will loan be approved ?

Any person wishing to take a loan can walk into an auto dealership or any other touch points of the bank and provide the Aadhaar card number and fingerprint. The biometric technology available at the point of customer contact will match these details against consolidated information accessed from several databases to authenticate customer profile. “If eligible, based on the profile, the loan will then be approved with minimal documentation required from the customer within record time.”



Death toll rises to 141 in Indonesia plane crash

  • The Hercules C130B an air force transport plane crashed in Indonesia and bursted into flames, creating a huge fireball.There were no survivors among the 113 people on board currently death toll to more than 140 

  • So far, 141 bodies have been recovered from the rubble of a residential area in Medan city. The air force says 122 people were on board, including military personnel and their families. Officials don't expect any survivors from the plane

  • Hitching rides on military planes to reach remote destinations is common in Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago that spans three time zones.  It is also common practice for government officials and relatives of military servicemen to take military flights, with permission from the base commander. 

  • The plane had traveled from the capital, Jakarta, and stopped at two locations before arriving at Medan on Sumatra, one of Indonesia's main islands

  • In September 2005, a Boeing 737 came down in a crowded residential area shortly after take-off from Medan's Polonia airport, killing 143 people including 30 on the ground

02.07.2015

Greece became first developed nation to default on IMF debt

  • Greece became the first advanced economy to default on an International Monetary Fund (IMF) repayment with its failure to repay the roughly $1.8bn to the IMF the largest, single missed repayment in the IMF’s history.The last country to do so was Zimbabwe in 2001 others are Somalia and Sudan.

  • The deadline for debt payment was missed by Greece after Eurozone Finance Ministers refused to extend its bailout. They had refused the bailout after Greece rejected the proposal given  by International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission (EC).

  • Greece made a last-ditch effort to extend its bailout but Eurozone Finance Ministers refused to extend its bailout to Greece because Greece has rejected the proposal

  • of International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission (EC) and European Central Bank (ECB)

  • The proposal had asked Greece to raise its primary surplus within two years in order to avail the 15.5 billion Euros of funding, which in turn required pension and tax reforms which will be a problem for the common public of Greece.

  • Greece has debt worth nearly 180 percent of its GDP after receiving two bailouts worth $266bn since 2010.

  • Unemployment has more than doubled since 2009 to 25.6 percent and pensions and benefits have roughly halved between 2010 and 2014.

Impacts of being a defaulter :-

  • Greece, which is now in arrears, is at a risk of leaving Euro and shifting back to its old currency Drachma. Euro replaced Drachma as a currency of Greece in 2001

  • Drachma the currency of  Greece has lower value than Euro this will  lead to increase in the cost of imports which will bring inflation in the Greece economy which the country is already facing

  • Failure to repay the IMF could push the European Central Bank on Wednesday to ask Greek banks for more assets if they want more money. The ECB has been keeping Greek banks alive with 89bn euros of emergency funding

Impact on Indian economy:-

Europe is India’s largest trading partner with 129 billion US dollars of merchandise trade registered in 2014-15. Of this the European Union accounted for 97 billion US dollars with the UK, Germany, France and Italy being the leading partners.India will face loss on its exports especially engineering goods for which is the Europe is the largest destination



Sudan’s largest power plant commissioned by BHEL

  • State-owned power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.  (BHEL) has commissioned Sudan's largest power plant.

  • It has designed, manufactured, supplied and installed the complete power project with four units of 125 MW each  including associated civil works. Bhel has executed this project on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis. 

  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has added another feather in its cap by successfully commissioning the 500 MW Kosti Thermal Power Station (TPS) (4x125 MW) in Sudan which is Sudan’s largest power plant.

  • The project uses crude oil from South Sudan as fuel, for which Bhel has designed special boilers. All the major equipment for the project -- boilers, steam-turbines, generators, Controls & Instrumentation (C&I), transformers -- have been manufactured in-house.

  • The company has also constructed a canal from the White Nile River to supply water for the project. The project is funded by the India's Line of Credit of USD 350 million

  • The company has also constructed a canal from the White Nile River to supply water for the project. The project is funded by the India's Line of Credit of USD 350 million

Projects that BHEL is executing outside India:-

  • 64 MW Grand Katende hydro project in Congo

  • 18 MW power plant in Comoros 

  • 8x183 MW Keban hydro rehabilitation project in Turkey 

  • 3 hydro projects in Bhutan with a combined capacity of 2,940 MW.

Madhya Pradesh government starts e-registration of property 

  •  Madhya Pradesh government has started  the facility of e-registration of property documents in all the districts of state.

  •  The e-registration of property documentation will be done through software named Sampada. Under this facility, people can obtain e-stamp through internet banking or service provider.

  • They can also obtain information about market value of their property and registration fees to be payable on its purchase or sale through internet.

  • Earlier in December 2014, state government had started this facility of e-registration of property documents in 5 districts on pilot basis. These five districts were Ujjain, Sehore, Tikamgarh, Balaghat and Anuppur.

15-Year-Old Byron Wake becomes Britain’s Youngest ‘Cyborg’

  • A 15-year-old boy in the UK have become Britain's youngest 'cyborg' - part-human, part machine as he has used a hypodermic syringe to insert a microchip under the skin. The chip is the size of a grain of rice and is encased in 'bio-safe' glass

  • Byron Wake who is from Martock in Somerset has inserted a microchip under his hand by the help of which he can now unlock his mobile phone and operate some Bluetooth devices with a wave of his hand

  • The xNT chip emits a low-power radio signal that can perform simple functions such as unlocking a mobile or opening a door

  • It is estimated that around 10,000 people worldwide have implanted the chip in their body. It should be noted that Kevin Warwick from UK was the world’s first cyborg when he had a chip implanted in his body in 1998.

Pollution monitoring devices to be installed till September in all major Polluting Industrial Units

  • Industrial units in three critically polluting sectors petrochemicals, oil refining and thermal power have been given time till September, to install 24x7 real time pollution monitoring devices at their effluent and emission discharge points

  • To put a check on pollution caused by industry, the ministry had identified 2,800 units spread across 17 heavily polluting sectors and had given them time till June 30 to install the pollution monitoring devices. The sectors include aluminium, caustic soda, fertiliser, paper pulp, copper, pesticides, textile, tannery, dyes, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, petrochemical, thermal plants and oil refineries

  • Nearly half of the 2,800 units that had got directions from the ministry to install the devices have moved towards compliance and ministery is  confident of achieving full coverage in the next few months, hopefully by September

  •  920 units have installed the monitoring devices and another 400 units have move towards Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD). The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which is monitoring effluents from these units, has already started receiving online data of status of compliance with respect to effluents and emissions.

Abhijeet Gupta bagged gold in Commonwealth Chess Championship

  • Former world junior champion and Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta won the 19th Commonwealth Chess Championship

  • Abhijeet Gupta bagged the gold medal after settling for a quick draw with his opponent Arghyadip Das in the ninth and final round played at Mumbai, Maharashtra

  • Gupta regained the crown with a very impressive eight points out of a possible nine, winning the first seven games in the championship and drawing the last two very easily 

  •  Arghyadip Das came second winning the silver medal by beating M R Lalith Babu who won the bronze medal 

  • In the women's section, Padmini Rout, S Vijayalakshmi and S Meenakshi all won their games to win medals.

  • Rout won the gold, Vijayalakshmi won silver while Meenakshi bagged the bronze. Both Vijayalakshmi and Meenakshi won the last six games in the championship.

Shimla Rs 643 Cr water scheme cleared for World Bank fund

  • Rs 643 crore project for augmenting the water supply to the growing hill city of Shimla had been approved by the union government.

  • The project got the union finance ministry nod and it would be placed before World Bank for funding purposes.The loan component would be Rs 514 crore and the state government would be contributing Rs 129 crore for funding the project.

  • The project involves lifting water from Kol Dam reservoir on River Satluj and it would meet the water needs of Shimla municipal corporation as well suburban areas under the special planning area.The project would ensure uninterrupted water supply to Shimla town.

SBI partners with MakeMyTrip for travel biz

  • In its series of digital initiatives and tie-ups, State Bank of India, country’s largest bank, partnered with online travel company MakeMyTrip.com to capitalise on the business opportunities of the booming e-commerce and m-commerce ecosystem.

  • The alliance includes partnership with personal banking unit for consumer facing propositions – including EMIs on purchase of holidays & international travel, customized travel products like Forex cards and travel products that inspire SBI customers to travel.

  •  SBI aims at becoming a “One Stop” solution provider for the entire range of financial needs of e-Commerce players as well as our customers in the market.

  •  Deep Kalra, Chairman & Group CEO – MakeMyTrip, elaborated, MakeMyTrip constitutes about 46% of the bookings in the online space and a lot of product work is being done in the $22-23 billion travel industry ecosystem.

World Bank approves $650 mn loan for Eastern Freight Corridor

  • The World Bank has cleared a $650 million loan for Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor to facilitate faster and more efficient movement of goods between northern and eastern parts of India.The Eastern Corridor is 1,840 km long and extends from Ludhiana to Kolkata.

  • The Indian Railways urgently needs to add freight routes to meet the growing freight traffic in India, which is projected to increase more than 7 percent annually

  •  The World Bank is supporting the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) as a series of projects in which the three sections with a total route length of 1,146 km will be delivered sequentially, but with considerable overlap in their construction schedules.

  • The first loan of $975 million for the 343 km Khurja-Kanpur section in the EDFC program was approved by the World Bank Board in May 2011

  • The second loan of $1.1 billion for EDFC2 which covers 402 km from Kanpur to Mughal Sarai was approved by the World Bank in April 2014. 

  • The loan is the third from the World Bank to help fund the freight corridor.

  • EDFC 3, approved today, will build the 401 km Ludhiana-Khurja section in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. The Project will help increase the capacity of these freight-only lines by raising the axle-load limit from 22.9 to 25 tons and enable speeds of up to 100 km/hr. It will also help develop the institutional capacity of the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) to build and maintain the DFC infrastructure network.

  • India's railways, built mostly by the British before independence in 1947, are among the most extensive in the world but have struggled to expand to keep up with demand.


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