Tuesday, 26 May 2015


19th March 2015

>>The Lok Sabha on 18 March 2015 passed the Warehousing Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

The Bill seeks to amend the Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962.

Key facts

  • Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill states that the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) has been awarded a Mini-Ratna Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) status by the Department of Public Enterprises.
  • The bill put to end the Central Government’s responsibility of being a financial guarantor to the CWC in order to follow the criteria to be a Mini-Ratna enterprise status.
  • The one of criteria of status states that enterprise should not have financial support and it must be independent of any budgetary support or guarantee by the government.
  • The proposed amendment in the bill omits certain sections relating to the government’s responsibility of being a guarantor to the CWC.
  • It should be noted that, the Central and state warehousing corporations are established under the Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962 for the purpose of warehousing agricultural produce and other commodities.

>>Election Commission has announced that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and ballot papers will carry photographs of candidates from 1 May 2015.

  • This move of EC seeks to avoid voters being misled by several namesakes in the election fray. In this regard EC has issued an order to all political parties and State Chief Electoral Officers for implementation.
  • EC also has modified the relevant provisions of law under the Conduct of Election Rules giving effect to the photo ballot papers and EVMs.
  • Henceforth, the photo of candidate will appear between the name and election symbol on the ballot sheet and EVM.  While for designing the new photo ballot papers, the EC has specified election candidates to supply stamp size recent photograph with specification of 2.5 cm width and 2 cm height.

>>Nobel Laureate Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been confirmed as President Elect of the Royal Society. 
  • His appointment was confirmed by the society’s council met on 19 March 2015 and will assume the charge on 1 December 2015.
  •  He will succeed eminent geneticist Sir Paul Nurse who had taken on the role in 2010 and will step down after the customary 5-year term.

About Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
  • Famously known as Venki. He was born in Chidambaram in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu.
  • He holds B.Sc. degree in physics from Baroda University and Ph.D. from Ohio University, United States.
  • In 2003, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
  • Ramakrishnan was knighted for services to Molecular Biology in 2012.
  • Awards-In 2009, Ramakrishnan was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the precise structure of ribosomes i.e. the molecular machines that manufacture proteins inside all living cells. He shared this Prize with Tom Steitz and Ada Yonath.

Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine(2007) and Padma Vibhushan (2010).

About Royal Society
  •  It is a self-governing fellowship society of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, medicine and engineering.
  • Established: 1660.
  • Purpose: To support excellence in science, and to encourage its use for the benefit of humanity. The position President of the Royal Society is most important in British science and existed since 1660. The President of society is a key advocate for science in the UK and the world.

>> National Green Tribunal today announced a fine of Rs 5,000 on individuals spotted littering or throwing waste on the platforms and tracks.

  • A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, passed a slew of directions to Railways and other authorities for maintaining cleanliness on railway tracks.
  • The Tribunal directed the Railways and the municipal corporations to place dustbins after identifying exact locations for collection of garbage in 46 slum clusters here adjoining railway tracks

>>Union Ministry of Railways has constituted ‘Kaya kulp’ Council,an innovation council for Indian Railways. 
  • The council was constituted by Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu in order to fulfill the promise made in the Railway Budget Speech.
  • Noted industrialist Ratan Tata will head a new innovative council of Indian Railways, called 'Kaya Kalp', formed to turn around the ailing state-run rail network.

  • Apart from Tata Group's Chairman Emeritus, the Kaya Kalp council will also have two railway union leaders Shiv Gopal Mishra and M Raghuvaiah.

Key facts
  • Purpose of the Council-To recommend innovative methods and processes for the improvement, betterment and transformation of the Indian Railways.
  • The council will act as a standing body and will interact with all stakeholders and other interested parties.
  • Members-The Council initially will have following members
  • Shiv Gopal Mishra,General Secretary of All Indian Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF).
  • Raghavaiah,General Secretary of  National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR).

>>Developing country India will host the 7th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in 2016 .
  • This announced by Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan(recently held in 2015).
  • India will be hosted in second time of Disaster Risk Reduction in 2016 and India had hosted the first time AMCDRR in 2007.
  • During 23 June to 26 June 2014, The 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was held in Thailand.
  • In 2015, it was the final regional inter-governmental meeting in Asia before the completion of the Hyogo Framework for Action and the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
  •  Earlier held in Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) – First AMCDRR held in China in 2005

          Second AMCDRR held in India in 2007

          Third AMCDRR held in Malaysia in 2008

           Fourth AMCDRR held in Republic of Korea in 2010

         Fifth Asia Ministerial conference held in Indonesia in 2012

>>The Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, YS Chowdary has launched Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) AcE Fund on March 19, 2015.
  • The BIRAC AcE Fund has been launched under the Make India Programme  with theme "Accelerating Innovations: India the Next Biotech Global Hub." This fund initiated  accelerate the growth of entrepreneurs in the Biotechnology sector in India.
  • It should be noted that the fund will be operated by BIRAC, which is a Public Sector Undertaking under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • The fund was launched on the third foundation day of BIRAC in New Delhi on March 19, 2015. 

About Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council:

  • Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council was established on March 20, 2012 as a Section 25, Not for Profit Company.
  • It is mandated to foster and promote innovation research in biotech industries specially start-ups and Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council has more than 100 young entrepreneurs, nearly 250 companies and start-ups and 15 incubators supported as an important part of the Innovation ecosystem of the country.

>>Sohail Aman was appointed as Chief of Pakistan Air Force (PAF). His appointment was approved by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and was promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal.
  • He will succeed Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt who retires from the service. Prior to this appointment, Sohail Aman was serving as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (operations) at Air Headquarters in Islamabad

>>International Conference on  Counter Terrorism begins in Jaipur
  • Inaugurated by:Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
  • This conference is a global platform for imminent scholars,strategic thinkers, field experts and policy makers engaged in counter terrorism activities from various governametn agencies,think tanks , academic and research institutions from all over the world.

>>A MoU was signed between the Inland Waterways Authority of India(IWAI) and the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India(DFCCIL) at Delhi today for creation of logistic hubs with rail connectivity at Varanasi and places on National Waterways.
  • The MoU was signed in the presence of Minister of Shipping and Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari and Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu.

>>First National   Photography & videography Workshop began at New Delhi.
  • It was organized and Inaugurated by Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting,Col(Retd) Rajyavardhan Rathore.     

>>IMF chief Christine Lagarde’s China visit begins today.

 During this visit she will meet top Chinese leadership and senior officials.

Monday, 25 May 2015

18th March 2015

>>Union Cabinet has cleared the black money bill to curb the menace of black money in the country
provisions of the bill.
  •  The proposed bill gives powers to tax authorities to track and deal with illegal wealth stashed abroad.
  • Under the provisions of the new Bill, the offences related to black money will be non-compoundable and the offenders will not be permitted to approach the Settlement Commission.
  •  The bill also has provision of punishment to deal with the black money cases. It proposes penalty at the rate of 300 per cent of taxes to be levied on the concealed income and assets, in addition to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.
  • Union Cabinet also gave its nod for signing of an agreement with the US on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The agreement will enable India to acquire information on big foreign transactions and indirectly curb black money stashing.

>>Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to collaborate with other space agencies on inter-planetary explorations.

  • It was announced by Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh in the Lok Sabha.
  • Presently ISRO is having talks with space agencies of the United States of America, Russia and France to collaborate for inter-planetary explorations.
  • From this collaboration, India will acquire the knowledge to minimize the cost of launching complex missions and enhance the technological capabilities in spacecraft design. 
  • While, the expertise gained through such collaborations will help India improve its capabilities of earth observation and satellite communication.

>>"The MoEF today withdrew the suspension of Environment Clearances. The mining industry will resume operations immediately now”.
  • The suspension of 72 out of the total 89 approved mining leases in the coastal state had been lifted, said Parsekar, adding that the remaining ones were within the one-kilometre radius of wildlife sanctuaries.

  • The environmental clearances of mines had been suspended by the then Environment Minister Jayanti Natarajan in September 2012 for alleged violation of rules.

>> France, Germany and Italy have agreed to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  • In addition, Australia, a key US ally in the Asia Pacific region, is set to decide on joining the international bank next week.South Korea, Switzerland and Luxembourg were also considering joining the AIIB.
  • The moves from the countries come as a severe blow to the Obama administration that was working hard to keep them out of the institution.
  • Britain has earlier announced its intention to become a founding member of the AIIB – a Chinese-led initiative that is expected to rival the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in the Asian region.
  • In October 2014, representatives of 21 Asian nations convened in Beijing to inaugurate the AIIB, which is focused on providing funding to infrastructure projects within Asia. The bank was initially capitalised with $50bn (£31bn, €39.5bn), half of which was funded by China.
  • Britain is the first major Western country to apply to become an AIIB member. It will meet other founding members in March to discuss governance and accountability arrangements.

>>India will hold one of the biggest global yoga meets in china to celebrate the UN’s first International Day of Yoga.
  • Over 10000 yoga enthusiasts are expected to take part in the meet being organized in Dujiangyan in Chengdu,china’s Sichuan province from 17th June to 21st June 2015.
  • China was one of the 170 countries voted for the UN yoga Day proposed by PM Narendra Modi in 2014.

>> Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani was named Young Global Leader (YGL) from India by the World economic Forum(WEF).
  • In the list of 187 YGLs for 2015 from across the world .Irani is accompanied by 10 other Indians,including Gaurav Gogoi.an MP and son of Assam CM Tarun Gogoi.

>>India’s indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile, Astra, was successfully launched from a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft.
  • “The missile was successfully tested to hit a simulated target at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, in Odisha today”.
  • The all-weather, state-of-the-art missile developed by Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) can engage and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speed. 
  • The 3.8 metre long Astra is the smallest of the DRDO-developed missiles and can be launched from different altitudes. 
  • It can reach up to 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km, 44 km when launched from an altitude of 8 km and 21 km when fired from sea level.
  • The last trial of Astra was conducted from a naval range in Western sector on May 4, 2014, and it was also successful.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

17th March 2015

>> Haryana Government has passed Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill, 2015 that bans cow slaughter.  It was unanimously passed in budget session of state with voice vote.
Key provisions of Bill
  • Objective- the Bill seeks to conserve and develop indigenous breeds of cows in the State. It also seeks to establish institutions for the purpose of sheltering and taking care of infirm, injured, stray and uneconomic cows.
  • Cow slaughter Banned- Cow slaughter is completely banned in the state and anyone found guilty would be liable for imprisonment for 3 to 10 years, along with fines from Rs. 30 thousand to Rs. 1 lakh. While, the killing of a cow in an accident or for self-defence will not be considered slaughter.
  • Ban on sale of beef– It is completely banned in the state. Violation of the ban will entail person 3 to 5 years of rigorous imprisonment with fine of up to Rs. 50 thousand. 

>> Veteran singer and music composer Bombay S. Kamal passed away on 17 March 2015 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala at the age of 85.
  • He was suffering from respiratory ailments. In past six decades, he had active presence in the field of music especially in Malayalam film music.

>> India and Kyrgyzstan on 17 March 2015 signed MoU to strengthen bilateral cooperation on textile and clothing.
  • The MoU seeks to strengthen bilateral cooperation between both nations in the three fields including Textiles and Clothing, Silk and Sericulture and Fashion.

The MoU also aims to
  • Development of trade and economic & investment relations.
  • Collaboration in techno-commercial and joint trade missions.
  • Investment cooperation.
  • Mutual assistance in R&D.
  • Technical collaboration in the field of product development and manufacturing, testing and certification. 

>> Indian researcher Minoti Apate has been named as New South Wales (NSW) Woman of the year 2015.
  • Apate was named for the award for her contributions to the field of medical research, Indian community and the tertiary education.
  • She is currently leading pre-clinical studies that are primed to suggest new treatments for pancreatic cancer - the fifth leading cause of all cancer deaths in Australia

  • Dr Apte, Professor of Medicine at the South Western Sydney Clinical School of the University of New South Wales, last year, was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her services to medical research, tertiary education and the Indian Community.
  • she is director of the Pancreatic Research Group and is an acknowledged world-leader in alcohol-induced pancreatic injury and pancreatic cancer.
  • She investigates pancreatic cancer at a cellular level to find out how and why the cancer is so aggressive and spreads so quickly.

  • Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers with a five-year survival rate of just 6 per cent.
  • She was the first in the world to develop a method to isolate pancreatic stellate cells, a technique which provided a much needed research tool for studying the path that pancreatic fibrosis (scarring of the pancreas) takes..

>> Ashu Suyash has been appointed as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL).

  • She will succeed Roopa Kudva, who had been the MD & CEO at Crisil since 2007. Suyash’s appointment was confirmed by the Board of Directors of the Company and will assume charge from 1st June 2015.

>> Parliament has passed Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders Amendment Bill, 2015.

  • The bill was first passed in Rajya Sabha on February 24, 2015 and later in Lok Sabha on March 17, 2015. It was unanimously passed by a voice vote in both the houses.
  • The bill seeks to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in three states- Haryana, Karnataka, Odisha and one Union Territory- Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Key Amendments
  • The Bill amends the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and the Constitution (Dadra and Nagar Haveli) Scheduled Castes Order, 1962. The Bill adds the following communities to the list of Scheduled Castes:

 Haryana: Kabirpanthi, Julaha.
Karnataka: Bhovi, od, odde, Vaddar, Waddar.
 Odisha: Dhoba, Dhobi, Dom, Dombo, Duria Dom, Katia, Kela, Nalua Kela, Khadala and Turi.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli: Chamar.

The bill was introduced in Parliament as per the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution. Article 341 empowers Parliament to include or exclude castes from the list of Scheduled Castes in the notification. It also empowers the President to specify castes which will be deemed as Scheduled Castes through a notification.

>> Supreme Court (SC) has rejected the notification issued by Union Government to include Jats in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBC) for the benefit of reservation.

  • The Supreme Court (SC) held that Union Government took this decision by overlooking the findings of the National Commission for Backward Classes(NCBC).
  • In its report NCBC had stated that Jats do not deserve to be included in the Central list of OBC as they don’t form a socio-economic backward class.
  • Inclusion of a politically organised class like Jat would adversely impact the welfare of the other backward classes. 
  • Though the Union Government has powers under the Constitutional scheme to provide reservation to a particular class but it cannot provide reservation on the basis of a decade-old-finding about the backwardness of a caste. SC gave this decision on Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the OBC Reservation Raksha Samiti which had challenged Union Governments notification of including Jats in the Central list of OBC.

>> Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on 16 March 2015 released Trends in International Arms Transfers 2014 report.
According to it, India is the world's largest importer of weapons and military equipment, accounting for 15 percent of global imports, with Russia being its majority supplier.
India: The largest importer of arms
• India was the largest importer of major arms in 2010–14, accounting for 15 percent of the global total. Between 2005–2009 and 2010–14 imports increased by 140 percent.
• In 2010–14 India’s imports were three times larger than those of its regional rivals China and Pakistan.
• This contrasts with 2005–2009 when India’s imports were 23 percent below China’s and just over double those of Pakistan.
• India has so far failed to produce competitive indigenous-designed weapons and remains dependent on imports.
• In 2010–14 Russia supplied 70 percent of India’s arms imports, the USA 12 percent and Israel 7 percent. The acquisitions from the USA are a break with the recent past.
• Prior to 2005–2009 India barely received any major weapons from the USA. However, there now appears to be an upward trend in arms imports from the USA. Imports in 2010–14 were 15 times higher than in 2005–2009 and included advanced weapons such as anti-submarine warfare aircraft. In 2014 additional deals with the USA were agreed, including for 22 combat helicopters.

SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

April 21st 2015

>>Sitaram Yechury was unanimously elected as the general secretary Communist Party of India (Marxist) on 19 April 2015.
  • Yechury succeeded Prakash Karat, who was the General Secretary of the party for one decade i.e. from 2005 to April 2015.
  • Presently he is member of Rajya Sabha and was elected from West Bengal in July 2005

>>(ICICI) Bank has launched a payment service Tap-n-Pay. It was launched by bank in collaboration with Tech Mahindra.
  • This payment service is based on the near-field communications (NFC) technology which will enable its customers make over-the-counter payments without using cash.

Key features of Tap n Pay

  • ·  NFC technology will allow users to tap NFC enabled tag or mobile phone at the merchant’s point-of-sale device to make payments.
  • ·  It is a prepaid account which will be available to customers of any bank by simply registering for it and transferring money online from any bank account.
  • ·  ICICI Bank customers can also transfer money to the Tap-n-Pay account through an SMS.
  • ·   To start with this service bank has offered it at large campuses of corporate offices.
  •    ICICI Bank and Tech Mahi ndra also are planning to extend this service across the country.

>>Former Chief Minister (CM) of Odisha and senior Congress leader Janaki Ballabh Patnaik passed away on 21 April 2015 in Tirupati district of Andhra Pradesh. He was 89.

  • Patnaik had served as CM of Odisha for three times and was in office from 1980 to 1989 and again from 1995 to 1999.

>>A new species of the day gecko, a type of lizard usually found in warm climates, has been spotted at the ruins of the World Heritage Site of Hampi in Karnataka.
  •  The gecko has been named Cnemaspis adii after a young herpetology researcher from Hyderabad, Aditya Srinivasulu.
  • The lizard belongs to the family of day geckos characterised by round pupils unlike regular geckos which have vertical pupils.
  • “The discovery is significant because other species of day geckos have been, so far, reported only from the Western Ghats and southern Eastern Ghats in peninsular India.
  •  This is the first time that day geckos have been found in the central regions of peninsular India between Eastern and Western Ghats,” .

>>India is the fifth biggest producer of e-waste in the world, discarding 1.7 million tonnes (Mt) of electronic and electrical equipment in 2014, a UN report has warned that the volume of global e-waste is likely to rise by 21 per cent in next three years.

  • The ‘Global E-Waste Monitor 2014’, compiled by U.N.’s think tank United Nations University (UNU), said at 32 per cent, the U.S. and China produced the most e-waste overall in 2014.
  • India is behind the U.S., China, Japan and Germany.
  • The top three Asian nations with the highest e-waste generation in absolute quantities are China (6.0 Mt), Japan (2.2 Mt) and India (1.7 Mt).
  • The top per capita producers by far are the wealthy nations of northern and western Europe, the top five being Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, and the U.K.
  • The lowest amount of e-waste per inhabitant was generated in Africa (1.7 kg/inhabitant). The continent generated 1.9 Mt of e-waste in total.
  • While only 7 per cent of e-waste last year was made up of mobile phones, calculators, personal computers, printers, and small information technology equipment, almost 60 per cent was a mix of large and small equipment used in homes and businesses, such as vacuum cleaners, toasters, electric shavers, video cameras, washing machines, electric stoves, mobile phones, calculators, personal computers, and lamps.

>>Railways on Tuesday launched E-Samiksha, an online monitoring mechanism.
  • It is a very good beginning and now each and every project implementation can be monitored on real-time basis.
  • Designed by NIC, the software is currently being used by Cabinet Secretariat, PMO and other Ministries for monitoring progress implementation of various programmes and follow-up of meetings. 

  • Apart from budget-related projects, the E-Samiksha can also be used for monitoring the infrastructure target and board meeting follow-up.

>>9th Civil Services Day was observed across India by all Civil Services to re-dedicate and re-commit themselves to the cause of the people.
  •  Two day programme was organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances to mark this day. 
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi confered awards to winners of outstanding initiatives in Public Administration for the years 2012 - 13 and 2013 - 14. He also launced a book on "Best Practices - Tomorrow is Here" on this occasion.

>>Japan’s state of the art Maglev(Magnetic Levitation) train clocked a new world speed record in a test run near Mount Fuji, smashing through the 600 km (373miles) per hour mark.

>>Novak Djokovic won Monte-Carlo Masters title of Tennis played at Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
  • Djokovic and defeated Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic by 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. This was second time that Novak Djokovic has lifted this title.
  • It was 17th straight win for the Novak Djokovic who is also world's number one. By winning this title he also became the first player to won the opening three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events of a season as he already won Indian Wells and Miami titles.

Geography of India

For Geography of India CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

April 20th 2015

>>Indian Navy’s new destroyer, Visakhapatnam, with enhanced capability to operate in nuclear, biological and chemical atmosphere, will be launched in Mumbai on Monday.
  • The ship is the first of the four follow follow-up order of the Kolkata class warships and will give a major fillip to India’s maritime capabilities when it is inducted in 2018.

Facts about the stealth destroyer:
1) The ship, named Visakhapatnam (Project 15 B), a stealth destroyer, is 65 per cent indigenous and has a number of weapon systems which have been made at home.
2) At 7,300 tonnes, Visakhapatnam will be the largest destroyer commissioned by the Indian Navy and will be equipped with the Israeli Multi Function Surveillance Threat Alert Radar.
3) The ship will be carrying 8 BrahMos missiles.
4) Navy officials said the Visakhapatnam is likely to be inducted in the Indian Navy by 2018.
5) The Visakhapatnam will be armed with a 127 mm main gun while the INS Kolkata has a 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount. 
6) She is equipped with a Ship Data Network, an Automatic Power Management System and a Combat Management System.  Essentially, all information critical for the operation of the warship during all operations is available to key officers through the SDN which the Navy describes as a data information highway. 
7) With a displacement of 7,300 tonnes, each ship will be spanning 163 metres in length and 17.4 meters at the beam. It will be propelled by four gas turbines in Combined Gas and Gas configuration.
8) The ships are capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots and have maximum endurance of 4000 nm at economical speed of 14 knots.
9) The ship’s fire power consists of sophisticated weapons-sensor suite including vertically launch capable Surface to Air and Surface-to-Surface Missiles for long distance engagement of shore and sea based targets.
>> Former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar was appointed as chief adviser of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Anti-Corruption & Security Unit (ACSU).

Decision in this regard was taken at the Governing Council Meeting of the Indian Premier League (IPL) chaired by IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla in New Delhi.

>> The Kerala government on Sunday launched a major campaign "Subodham" to help people in the state overcome alcohol, drug and other substance abuse.
  • The project was launched by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravishankar here in the presence of religious leaders, representatives of student organisations and NGOs working against drug abuse.
  • The "Subodham" project, envisaged by the excise department, will be implemented by a high-level committee comprising experts from various fields.
  • "'Subodham' heralds the first step towards 'Punarjani 2030 Project', a state government initiative to completely eradicate the menace of substance abuse in Kerala."
  • The state education department, meanwhile, agreed to include anti-drug and alcohol awareness content in the state curriculum from the next academic year.

>> Chinese President Xi Jinping will launch energy and infrastructure projects worth $46 billion on a visit to Pakistan next week as China cements links with its old ally and generates opportunities for firms hit by slack growth at home.
  •  Also being finalised is a long-discussed plan to sell Pakistan eight Chinese submarines. The deal, worth between $4 billion and $5 billion
  • Pakistan and China often boast of being "iron brothers" and two-way trade grew to $10 billion last year from $4 billion in 2007, Pakistani data shows.
  • Xi`s trip is expected to focus on a Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, a planned $46-billion network of roads, railways and energy projects linking Pakistan`s deepwater Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea with China`s far-western Xinjiang region.
  • It would shorten the route for China`s energy imports, bypassing the Straits of Malacca between Malaysia and Indonesia, a bottleneck at risk of blockade in wartime.
  • China`s own submarines could use the station to extend their range in the Indian Ocean.
  • "China is thinking in terms of a maritime silk road now, something to connect the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean," .
  • For Pakistan, the corridor is a cheap way to develop its violence-plagued and poverty-stricken Baluchistan province, home to Gwadar.
  • China has promised to invest about $34 billion in energy projects and nearly $12 billion in infrastructure.

>> The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex policy making body of the I-T Department, has recently issued a notification making the Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) and Aadhaar, issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India, valid proof of “date of birth” for obtaining PAN card.

  • Till now, both these photo ID cards were only considered as valid proof for substantiating the “identity” and “address” of an individual and not their date of birth.

  • As part of the new notification, the government has also made a “photo identity card issued by the central government or state government or central public sector undertaking or state public sector undertaking or the central government health service scheme photo card or ex-servicemen contributory health scheme photo card” as the valid proofs for establishing the date of birth of an individual.

>> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday laid the foundation stone of Dr BR Ambedkar International Centre at New Delhi

>>Chhurim Sherpa became the first woman to climb the 8850 metre (29035 feet) Mount Everest summit twice in a week. 
  • Sherpa was in news as during her third ascent to Mount Everest she will take a cricket bat and two jerseys of deceased Australian cricketer Phil Hughes.