Daily Current Affairs for Competitive Exams: September 27, 2016

India signs 'Exploration of Polymetallic Sulphides' contract with International Seabed Authority 
  • Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India, signed a 15-year contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA), for exploration of Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS) in Indian Ocean, on September 26, 2016. The ISA is an institution set up under the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea to which India is a Party. 
  • The ISA earlier approved an application submitted by the Ministry of Earth Sciences for allotment of 10,000 sq. km. area along with 15-year plan of work for exploration of PMS along Central Indian Ridge (CIR) and Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR) region of the Indian Ocean. The Union Cabinet approved signing of this 15-year contract between the Ministry and the ISA in its meeting held on June 15, 2016. 
  •  PMS, containing iron, copper, zinc, silver, gold, platinum in variable constitutions, are precipitates of hot fluids from upwelling hot magma from deep interior of the oceanic crust, discharged through mineralized chimneys. PMS in the Ocean Ridges have attracted worldwide attention for their long term commercial as well as strategic values. 
  •  By signing the 15-year contract, India’s exclusive rights for exploration of PMS in the allotted area in the Indian Ocean will be formalized. Further, it will enhance India’s presence in the Indian Ocean where other players like China, Korea and Germany are active. 
  • The program will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences with the participation from various national institutes and research laboratories/ organizations. 
Google launches instant messaging mobile app Allo
  • Google launched its latest mobile chat application, Allo, along with Google Assistant on September 21, 2016. The messaging app, which is available for Android and the iPhone, has features similar to most other messaging applications.
  • In Allo, messages are not encrypted end-to-end by default. However, the messages can be switched to an incognito mode to do so and set how long they exist before they are deleted.
World's largest solar power plant opens in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu
  • Adani Green Energy (Tamil Nadu) Ltd dedicated the world’s largest solar power plant of 648 megawatts to the nation, on September 22, 2016
  • The plant has been set up with an investment of around 4550 crore rupees at Kamuthi in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu.
  • The solar plant comprises of 380000 foundations, 2500000 solar modules, 27000 metric tonnes of structures, 154 transformers and 6000 km of cables. The panels occupy 1270 acres of land. 30000 tonnes of galvanised steel were used.
  • About 8500 personnel worked on average installing about 11 MW in a day to set up the plant in stipulated time. The entire 648 MW is now connected to the Kamuthi 400 KV substation of Tantransco.
Navtej Sarna appointed Indian Ambassador to the US
  • Navtej Sarna, India’s current High Commissioner to UK, on 22 September 2016 was appointed the Indian Ambassador to the US. Sarna succeeds Arun Singh, who is due for retirement. Sarna was serving as a Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs before he was posted in London in January 2016.
  • Government of India has also appointed 1988-batch IFS officer Taranjit Singh Sandhu as the next High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka. 
India wins historic 500th Test by 197 runs against New Zealand
  • India defeated New Zealand by 197-run to win its historic 500th cricket test match in Kanpur, on September 26, 2016. On the fifth and final day of the match at Green Park, India bowled out the visitors for 236 in their second innings, shortly after Lunch, after setting them an improbable target of 434.
  • The victory, which is India's 88th on home turf, gave them a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series. With this win, India has taken their unbeaten tally on home soil to 11 matches. On the other hand, New Zealand remained without a win on the Indian soil since 1998.
International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons observed
  • International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was observed on  September 26, 2016. The day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a high priority.
  • It also provides an opportunity to educate the public and their leaders about the real benefits of eliminating such weapons, and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them.

Daily Current Affairs for Competitive exams; September 25, 26, 2016

ISRO launches 8 satellites from Sriharikota
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched eight satellites into two different orbits in a single mission. This was ISRO’s longest and most complex mission. These satellites were launched by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C35 (PSLV C35) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta.
  • Among the eight satellites launched, three satellites were from India, three from Algeria and one each from Canada and United States.
  • SCATSAT-1 satellite of India weighing 371 kg was the primary payload and remaining other seven customer satellites were secondary payloads (5 foreign and 2 domestic satellite) weighing 304 kg in total. It will provide weather forecasting services meant for ocean and weather forecasts, cyclone detection and tracking through wind-vector products. It will have a service life of five years.
  • Pratham is a 10-kg satellite developed by students from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. It will be used to study the total electron count in space with a resolution of 1km x 1km location grid.
  • PISAT: It is a 5.25-kg satellite made by students of Bengaluru’s PES University. It will take pictures of Earth for remote sensing applications.
  • Three Algerian satellites: Alsat-1B (103 kg), Alsat-2B (110 kg) and Alsat Nano (7 kg), will be used for remote sensing, earth observation, and technology demonstration.
  • Pathfinder-1 is a satellite owned by BlackSky, USA. It weighs 44 kg and has a high-resolution imaging microsatellite.
  • NLS-19 is a Canadian satellite developed by the University of Toronto. It is a nano-satellite weighing 8 kg. It will be used for experiments for reducing space debris.
China builds world's largest telescope
China has built the world’s largest radio telescope, the five-hundred-metre aperture spherical radio telescope (FAST), nicknamed Tianyan (The Eye of Heaven).It is located in the Dawodang depression (vast natural crater), a natural basin in Pingtang County in the Guizhou Province, Southwest China.
  • It will take nearly three years to calibrate the instruments of the telescope to become fully operational. The facility is part of China’s drive to become a science powerhouse.
  • It is an ambitious project of the National Astronomical Observatories of China.
  • It is the world’s largest filled aperture (single dish) radio telescope and the second largest radio telescope after the Russian RATAN-600, which has a sparsely filled aperture.
  • It is made up of 4,450 panels and Its reflector is as large as 30 football pitches. Its diameter is 500 meters, giving it more sensitivity.
  • It will be used to search for signs of intelligent life and to observe distant pulsars – tiny, rapidly spinning neutron stars believed to be the products of supernova explosions.
  • It will be also used to study stellar radio emissions, gravitational waves and potentially signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. China’s best supercomputers the SkyEye-1 will be used to process the massive amounts of data supplied by FAST.
Pinky Balhara wins bronze medal in 5th Asian Beach Games
India’s Pinky Balhara has won the bronze medal in the sporting event of Kurash at the 5th Asian Beach Games held at Da Nang, Vietnam. Kurash is a form of wrestling originated from Uzbekistan.
  • She won the medal in women’s 52kg category after she lost to Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy of Vietnam in the semi-finals.
  • Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy won the gold medal in this event while another Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Quynh won the silver medal.
  • To participate in the 5th Asian Beach Games, India had sent a contingent of 208 members.
First Russia-Pakistan military exercise Druzhba-2016 beginsThe first military exercise between Russia and Pakistan named Druzhba-2016 (Friendship-2016) has kicked off in Pakistan. With this, the Pakistani Army and the Russian Ground Forces (RGF) have come together for the first time in military exercises reflecting growing military ties between two former Cold War rivals.
  • The military exercise is being conducted at the Army High Altitude School in northern Pakistan’s Rattu and at a special forces training centre in Cherat.
  • The two-week-long joint military drills aim to bolster and build military cooperation between the two countries.
  • It will involve experience sharing and develop coordination in carrying out practice combat tasks in a mountainous environment, including operations against illegal armed groups. About 200 troops from the two countries will take part in the two-week-long military drills.

Daily Current Affairs for Competitive exams: September 24, 2016

Hello Readers,Here are today's important headlines with key details for UPSC, SSC, IBPS and other competitive examinations.
India-Russia Joint Military Exercise Indra - 2016 begins in Vladivostok
  • The eighth edition of the India-Russia Joint Military Exercise ‘INDRA-2016’ has begun in the Ussiriysk District in Vladivostok, Russia, from September 23, 2016.
  • The main focus of this edition of the joint exercise is on ‘Counter-Terrorism Operations in semi-mountainous and jungle terrain under United Nations Mandate’.
  • 250 soldiers of the KUMAON Regiment are representing the Indian Contingent and the Russian army is being represented by 250 soldiers from the 59th Motorized Infantry Brigade.
  • About Indra: Indra series of bilateral exercises is one of the major bilateral defence cooperation initiatives between India and Russia since 2003. The Indian contingent is scheduled to return to India on upon completion of the exercise in the first week of October ‘16.
Health Ministry to launch 'Mission Parivar Vikas' in 145 High Focus districts for improved family planning services
  • On World Population Day this year, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched an initiative to develop a strategy within 3 months where vulnerable districts of the country will be targetted for intensive and improved family planning services.
  • The main objective of ‘Mission Parivas Vikas’ will be to accelerate access to high-quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services, and supplies within a rights-based framework.
  • These 145 districts have been identified based on total fertility rate and service delivery for immediate, special and accelerated efforts to reach the replacement level fertility goals <check if this needs to be explained or linked to> of 2.1 by 2025.
3 Guinness World Records Created in Samajik Adhikarita Shivir, Navsari, Gujarat
  • Three Guinness World Records were created at Samajik Adhikarita Shivir and Scheme of Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fittings of Aids/Appliances (ADIP) Camp in Navsari, Gujarat on September 17, 2016.
  • The first world record was 'Highest number of Oil lamps lit simultaneously at a single location'.
  • The second world record was ‘Biggest Wheelchair Logo’.
  • The third world record was ‘Most people fitted with hearing aids in 8 hours'.
  • These world records were the part of ADIP camp conducted by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities [Divyangjan], Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and organised by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO).
Researchers produce carbon from sugarcane waste for use in batteries
  • Researchers from Pune (Maharashtra) have produced high-quality carbon from sugarcane waste within minutes by using a low power microwave system. They used a simple, cost-effective and quick process to convert sugarcane bagasse into anode-grade porous, conducting, activated carbon material for use in Li-ion batteries.
  • The process will bring down the time to get anode-grade carbon dramatically. Thus, it will help to reduce electrical energy input substantially. The quality of carbon and battery performance using this carbon is quite good and competitive compared with carbon made through other complicated processes.
2 Indians selected for 2016 Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards
  • Two Indian forest officials have been selected for the 2016 Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards. Assistant Conservator Ritesh Sarothiya of Madhya Pradesh State Forest Service and Range officer Sanjay Dutta of Belakoba Forest Range Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, received the award for their exemplary law enforcement actions to protect wildlife.
  • About Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards: The award has been named after Clark R. Bavin, who was the Chief of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Law Enforcement. He had pioneered the highly effective use of covert investigations and ‘sting’ operations to uncover illegal wildlife trade. The award recognises the extraordinary efforts of law enforcement officers and other field-based individuals are willing to make in order to protect wildlife.
Hindi and Urdu writer Reoti Saran Sharma passes away
  • Reoti Saran Sharma, a renowned Hindi and Urdu writer, playwright and television personality, died at the age of 92 in New Delhi on September 23, 2016. He was conferred with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2007 for his contribution to theatre (dramatic literature and performance).

Daily Current Affairs for Competitive Exams: September 23, 2016

India and France sign contract for 36 Rafael fighter jets at a cost of 7.8-billion Euros
  • The deal signed between the two governments, which will provide 36 Medium-Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) Rafaels
  • The delivery of these will start 36 months and will be completed within 66 months since the date of the signing of the deal.
  • Rafaels are equipped with missiles like Meteors and Scalps. Meteors missile has a range of 150 kms and Scalps missiles have a range of 300 kms. These missiles will help enhance India's defence capabilities.
  •  Under the contract, 75% of the fleet i.e. 27 fighter are operationally available at any given point of time.
  • Another important clause in the deal is that French industry will invest 50 % of the contract value back in India which is expected to help develop expertise domestically in the aeronautics sector.
Afghanistan signs peace deal with terrorist organisation Hezb-e-Islami
  • Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan has signed a peace deal with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the Hezb-e-Islami.
  • As part of the agreement, Hekmatyar will be granted amnesty for his offences. Government will release all Hezb-e-Islam prisoners. And Hekmatyar will be provided security by Afghan government.
  • Hekmatyar, is popularly known as the 'Butcher of Kabul' for killing thousands of people in Kabul during the civil war of 1992-93. He was also a prominent anti-Soviet commander and has also launched successful attacks on US and Afghan forces.
Right Livelihood Awards 2016 awarded 
  • The Right Livelihood Awards given by the Right Livelihood Foundation, Sweden have been awarded.
  • It also known as Alternative Nobel
  • White Helmets (Syria)- A 3000-strong volunteer group has been working in Syria since 2013. It has voluteers from local communities who work as fire-fighters, search and rescue workers, and medics. They have helped reconstruction of damaged public infrastructure. As a recognition of this, the group was awarded the prize.
  •  Mozn Hassan (Eygpt)- A Feminist and human rights activist, Hassan founded the Nazra an organisation for feminist causes. Through her organisation, Hassan ensured inclusion of Womens' rights in Eygpt's  2014 Constitution.
  • Svetlana Gannuskina (Russia)- Founded the Civil Assistance Committee, through which she has provided legal assistance to migrants, refugees and internally displaced people since 1990.
  • Cumhuriyet (Turkey)- An independent newspaper known for its investigative journalism has been an outspoken about human rights, gender discrimination, secularism and protection of environment.
Three economists appointed to RBI's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)
  • MPC under the RBI decides monetary policy by setting interest rates. It aims to bring significant changes in the power the RBI governor while deciding interest rates. The three economists are:
  • Pami Dua- Director of Delhi School of Economics and is an expert in Econometrics  and forecasting.
  • Chetan Ghate- A professor at Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi centre. His areas of interest in research are economic growth, economic development, fluctuations and monetary and fiscal policy in developing and emerging market economies. He is also a member of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of RBI on monetary policy. 
  • Ravindra Dholakia- Faculty member of Economics at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmendabad. He has been an independent director in many corporations  like Union Bank of India, Air India. 

Daily Current Affairs for Competitive Exams: September 22, 2016

Union Cabinet approves Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to enact the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill 2016. The proposal to enact this bill was forwarded by the Union Ministry of Shipping in order to repeal five archaic admiralty statutes. Admiralty jurisdiction is related to the powers of the High Courts with respect to the claims associated with transport by sea and navigable waterways. 
  • The Bill consolidates the existing laws relating to admiralty proceedings on maritime claims, admiralty jurisdiction of courts, arrest of vessels and related issues. This legislative proposal will also fulfil a long-standing demand of the maritime legal fraternity. It also repeals five obsolete British statues on admiralty jurisdiction in civil matters.
  • They are (i) Admiralty Court Act, 1840 (ii) Admiralty Court Act, 1861, (iii) Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890, (iv) Colonial Courts of Admiralty (India) Act, 1891, and (v) Provisions of the Letters Patent, 1865, Salient Features of Admirability Bill, 2016 Confers admiralty jurisdiction on High Courts located in coastal states of India, thus extending it upto territorial waters. 
  • It applies to every vessel irrespective of place of domicile or residence of owner. It does not apply to naval auxiliary, warships and vessels used for non-commercial purposes.
  • Inland vessels and vessels under construction are excluded from its application. But it empowers the Union Government to make it applicable to these vessels also by a notification.
  • It lists the jurisdiction for adjudicating on a set of maritime claims. A vessel can be arrested in certain circumstances in order to ensure security against a maritime claim.

MS Dhoni named captain of India's all time Test XI by Wisden

Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the third week of September 2016 was named the captain of the all-time India Test XI chosen by cricket magazine Wisden. The other prominent players in the team are Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag as the openers, followed by Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, all rounder Kapil Dev and Dhoni.
Veteran Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev along with Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan have been named as pacers, while legendary Bishen Singh Bedi, Harbhajan Singh and Team India coach Anil Kumble are the spinners. Azharuddin has been named as the 12th man.
  • Wisden is one of the most reputed cricket magazines in the world, announced the team to mark India's 500th Test match starting on 22 September 2016 against New Zealand at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur.
  • Wisden Test XI: Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni (captain, wicketkeeper), Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Bishan Singh Bedi, Mohammad Azharuddin (12th man).

Union Cabinet approves submarine optical fibre cable connectivity with Andaman & Nicobar Islands

The Union Cabinet on September  21, 2016 approved the provision of a direct communication link through a dedicated submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) between Mainland (Chennai) and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The project to be completed by December 2018 will connect the mainland Chennai with Port Blair & five other islands viz. Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Havelock, Kamorta and Great Nicobar.
  • The estimated cost for development of the project is 1102.38 crore rupees including operational expenses for 5 years.
  • It will equip Andaman & Nicobar Islands with appropriate bandwidth and telecom connectivity for implementation of e-Governance initiatives and establishment of enterprises & e-commerce facilities.
  • It will also enable the provision of adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge sharing, availability of job opportunities and fulfill the vision of Digital India.

MIT develops a spectroscopic technique to detect Martian life

Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) US, have developed a spectroscopic technique that would help the 2020 Mars Rover to non-invasively identify sediments that are relatively unaltered, and maintain much of their original composition.
Such pristine samples will allow scientists to identify the signs of former life, if they existed, on the red planet.
The new technique is based on an improved way of interpreting the results of Raman spectroscopy, a common, non-destructive process used by geologists to identify the chemical composition of ancient rocks.
  • 2020 Mars Rover
NASA has plans to launch a new Mars rover that will be tasked to probe the region on the planet believed to hold remnants of ancient microbial life. The rover will collect samples of rocks and soil, and store them on the Martian surface.
The collected samples would be returned to Earth sometime in the distant future so that scientists can meticulously analyze the samples for signs of present or former extraterrestrial life.

Daily Current Affairs for Competitive Exams: September 21, 2016

Amritsar tops the list of 27 new smart cities

The Golden Temple city of Amritsar topped the list of 27 new smart cities announced by the Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu here today.
  • Eight other cities of pilgrim and tourism importance that made to the third list of smart cities are ; Ujjain, Tirupati, Agra, Nashik, Madurai, Thanjavur, Ajmer and Varanasi.
  • With this the number of cities selected under Smart City Mission for financing implementation of smart city plans has gone up to 60.

437 Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras (PMJAY) operational in the country

A Countrywide campaign, for ensuring availability of generic medicines at affordable prices for all, under the project title “Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana (PMJAY)” was initiated by the Department of Pharmaceuticals in association with Central Pharma Public Sector Undertakings. It envisages key initiative of opening of dedicated outlets Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras (PMJAK) where high quality generic medicines are sold at low prices. Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is implementing the scheme.
Following incentives are provided to open PMJAK:
  • When free space provided by State Govt./MCD/PSU etc.
An amount of Rs 2.5 lakhs to be given to NGOs / agency running JAS in government hospital premises:
· Rs 1 Lakh reimbursement of furniture and fixtures
· Rs 1 Lakh by way of free medicines in the beginning
· 0.5 Lakh as reimbursement for computer and other miscellaneous items
  • For NGO/Society/Trust/Individual Entrepreneurs/Pharmacist/Doctor etc. other than Govt. Hospital Premises PMJAK run by private entrepreneurs / pharmacists / NGOs / charitable institutions that are linked through internet are also entitled for sales incentive of 15% of monthly sales subject to ceiling of Rs 10000/- per month up to Rs 2.50 lakhs. In North east states the incentive is 15% and subject to monthly ceiling of Rs. 15000 and total limit of Rs 2.50 lakhs.

User friendly Earthquake Hazard Zoning Maps with Tehsil level details released

To enable earthquake resistant construction, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Building Materials Technology Promotion Council (BMPTC) have come out with ‘easy to use’ Earthquake Hazard Zoning Maps at the Country, State and District level incorporating Tehsil level features.
  • The colour coded maps easily convey location in five different Zones of earthquake intensity which helps in planning for disaster resistant construction with necessary technical assistance. BMPTC of the Ministry of HUPA has prepared these maps at the behest of NDMA.
  • BMPTC prepared the maps using the data available with the Survey of India, Geological Survey of India, Meteorological Department and Census of India.
  • The additional features of these maps include housing and population data, railway lines, expressways and highways, rivers, waterbodies, geological fault lines etc.

“Incredible India Tourism Investment Summit-2016” to begin today

Incredible India Tourism Investment Summit 2016” is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan from September 21 to 23, 2016. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • IITIS is a platform for domestic and international investors to meet project owners from across Indian states and the private sector.

India successfully test fires long range Surface to Air Barak-8Missile

  • India successfully test-fired the most advanced surface-to-air missile 'Barak-8' off the Odisha coast, on September 20, 2016.
  • The long-range nuclear capable ballistic missile, developed jointly with Israel, was launched from a mobile launcher at the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur in Balasore district.
  • The 4.5-meter missile weighs around 3 tonnes and can carry a payload of 70 kilograms. The system also includes a Multi-Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile.

Daily Current Affairs for Competitive exams: September 20, 2016

Cauvery Supervisory Committee directs Karnataka to release 3000 cusecs of water per day for 10 days
The Cauvery Supervisory Committee headed by Shashi Shekhar on 19 September 2016 directed Karnataka to release 3000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu. As per the committee’s direction, Karnataka will have to release 3000 cusecs water per day from 21 to 30 September 2016 to Tamil Nadu.
  • The other members of the committee are Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry and Central Water Commission chairman. It will once again meet in October 2016.
  • It seems that the decision of the committee will go in vain as no consensus was reached between the two states regarding the release of water. Karnataka had opposed the release of water due to ground reality and drinking water problems in the state.
  • Earlier on 5 September 2016, the Supreme Court asked Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to approach the panel and till then asked Karnataka to release 15000 cusecs of water per day for 10 days to Tamil Nadu. Later on 12 September, it revised the limit to 12000 cusecs per day till 20 September 2016.
Outcome of the decision
The Karnataka government said that it will move Supreme Court to challenge the Cauvery Supervisory Committee's order asking the state to release 3000 cusecs of water per day for 10 days. It said that the state is not in a position to release Cauvery water due to shortage being faced by them.
Anandi Ramalingam assumed charge as Bharat Electronics Limited’s first woman director
Anandi Ramalingam on took charge as director of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), on September 16, 2016.
Ramalingam has assumed charge as Director Marketing. It is the first time that a woman has been appointed as the Director of the company. Earlier, Ramalingam served as the General Manager heading the Military Communication Strategic Business Unit (SBU) at BEL's Bangalore Complex.
  • Bharat Electronics Limited is an Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company with about nine factories in India. It is owned by the Indian Government.
  • It primarily manufactures advanced electronic products for the Indian Armed Forces. It is one of nine PSUs under the Ministry of Defence of India. 
  • It has been accorded Navratna status by the Government of India.
Indian Railways launches Yatri Mitra Sewa to help elderly, differently-abled
Indian Railways has launched ‘Yatri Mitra Sewa’ in a move to make rail travel comfortable for elderly, differently-abled and ailing travellers. The ‘Yatri Mitra Sewa’ will facilitate access to wheelchairs, battery operated cars and porter services elderly, differently-abled and ailing travellers.
  • ‘Passenger Friend’ or ‘Yatri Mitra’ can be assistant (Sahayak) or any other person nominated for the purpose. The service will be available at major railway stations across the country.
  • This service can be availed at the time of online booking of tickets, calling or messaging ‘139’, accessing an app developed by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS). It can be also availed by simply dialling a dedicated mobile phone number to be activated for the purpose.
  • IRCTC has been mandated to implement the service for ‘free of cost’ by involving some charitable trust, NGOs, PSUs, etc under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) category. But, if due to lack of response the service cannot be provided free of cost then IRCTC may arrange this service on affordable and reasonable charges.
HRD Ministry innaugartes Super Computer PARAM-ISHAN at IIT Guwahati
The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar has inaugurated the super computer PARAM ISHAN at IIT Guwahati campus. PARAM ISHAN is the fastest and most powerful computer in North East, Eastern and Southern region of India outside Bengaluru (Karnataka).
Key features :
  • PARAM ISHAN has been jointly developed by IIT Guwahati and C -DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing). It has a peak computing power of 250 Teraflops and three hundred tera bites capacity.
  • It will help to augment the research initiatives and also in creating an ecosystem for attracting right talents to the field of research. Potential applications: It can be used research initiatives such as computational chemistry, computational electromagnetic, computational fluid dynamics, civil engineering structures, nana-block self-assemble, optimization etc. It can be also used for Weather, climate modeling and seismic data processing.
Alka Sirohi appointed as Chairman of UPSC
  • Former IAS officer Alka Sirohi has been appointed as chairman of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), in place of Deepak Gupta who demits office on Tuesday.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Sirohi to perform the duties of the post of the chairman, UPSC, with effect from September 21. She is presently member in the Commission.
  • Incidentally, the Centre had in November 2014 appointed Gupta as the UPSC chief, breaking away from the tradition of appointing the chief from the serving members of the commission.
  • In 2014, the Centre had for the first time appointed somebody (Gupta) from outside as the UPSC chairman.
  • At that time, Sirohi was the senior most member and could have been the chairman. Sirohi is a retired IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre.