SEPT 2017

CURRENT AFFAIRS SEPTEMBER 2017

INTERNATIONAL

China operationalises stealth fighter J-20

China has announced commissioning its first radar-evading J-20 stealth fighter jets into military service, giving its air force an edge in the region. The Chengdu J-20 is China’s fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet.

Saudi Authorises Women to Issue Fatwas

Saudi Arabia women can now issue fatwas after the historic recommendation was approved by 107 votes in the Shoura Council. With this, the 45 years old tradition of only specialist men being able to issue fatwas in the Kingdom ended. The ruling comes just days after Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on women’s driving.

Russia destructed its last Chemical Weapons

Russia has liquidated the last arsenals of chemical weapons in the Southwest of the country, 3 years ahead of schedule. In 2010, Moscow set a 2015 target date for eliminating its chemical stockpile and later extended it to 2020. Russia & United States are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which required them to destroy their stockpiles by 2007 with a potential extension until 2012.

Russia and US partner to build 1st ever Space Station near Moon

Russian and the United States space agencies, Roscosmos and NASA, have agreed to jointly build a “deep space gateway”, the first-ever astronaut-tended space station around the Moon. It would help prepare for manned missions to deep space destinations including Mars. NASA and Roscosmos are two of the major partners in the $100-billion Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS).

Angola swears in its First New President after 38 years

Angola swore in Joao Lourenco as the country’s President making him the first new President of the country in 38 years. He served as Angola’s Defence Minister earlier, vowed to attract more foreign investment. The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) governed since Angola’s hard-fought independence from Portugal in 1975 with Dos Santos taking power in 1979.

Russia launches world’s biggest, most powerful icebreaker

Russia has launched the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker ship, designed to transport cargo via the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic Ocean. The nuclear-powered vessel, capable of breaking ice fields up to three metres thick, will also carry out rescue work in ice conditions and ice-free waters.

China bans export of key petroleum products to North Korea

China ban exports of some petroleum products to North Korea and as well as imports of textiles from the isolated North, in line with a UN Security Council resolution, passed after Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test. The USA and South Korea are technically still at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty.

DRUZBA 2017, Pak-Russia joint Military Drill started

The joint exercise DRUZBA 2017 between special forces of Pakistan and Russian Armies started in Mineralnye Vody, Russia. Pakistan and Russia are holding two-week long joint military drill focussing on counter-terrorism operations to enhance military ties between the two countries.

Saudi allows women into stadium

Saudi Arabia has allowed women into a national stadium for the first time as it launched celebrations to mark the 87th anniversary of its founding. This marks a shift from previous celebrations in the kingdom where women are effectively barred from sports arenas. This measure represents another step into relaxing some norms as part of its “Vision 2030″ plan for economic and social reforms.

China, Australia joint military training exercise Panda Kangaroo 2017

China and Australia joint military training exercise called “Panda-Kangaroo 2017″ concluded in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province. This exercise kicked off on September 10, China and Australia each sent 10 soldiers to participate in the joint training.

Britain and Saudi Arabia sign Military Cooperation deal

Saudi Arabia and Britain signed a framework deal for military cooperation. The agreement came after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed security ties with visiting British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah. The agreement comes as Britain seeks to explore lucrative trade deals outside Europe, including energy-rich Gulf monarchies, after voting to leave the European Union.

Qatar Airways becomes World’s First Airline to launch Double beds in Business Class

Qatar Airways has launched double beds in the business class sections of aeroplanes from London to Doha in Qatar. Such cabins, called Qsuites will be rolled out next in flights from Paris and New York.

China bans use of anti-Islam words on social media

Islamophobic terms used by Chinese internet users to stigmatise Muslims have been blocked by authorities to prevent bias against Islam. The move is aimed at removing radical phrases that discriminate against Islam and are biased against Muslims to prevent worsening online hatred towards the group. The ban came after an alleged brawl involving Muslim people at a toll booth went viral. Following which netizens inundated the official Weibo accounts of Tangshan city government departments with complaints of partial treatment of Muslims for the sake of social stability.

China launches fastest bullet train in the World between Beijing and Shanghai

China launches the world’s fastest bullet train ‘Fuxing’ between Beijing and Shanghai at 350 kms per hour, covering the 1,250-km-long distance in just 4 hours and 30 minutes. China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network of over 22,000 kilometres, about 60% per cent of the world’s total.

50 Nations inks UN Nuclear Ban Treaty

Fifty countries have signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a pact that the world’s nuclear powers spurned but supporters hailed as a historic agreement nonetheless. More than 120 countries approved the new nuclear weapons ban treaty in July 2017 over opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies, who boycotted negotiations. Among 50, Brazil was the first country to sign onto the ban yesterday, followed by nations from Algeria to Venezuela.

Russia unveils statue of AK 47 inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov

The nine-metre (30ft) statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, has been unveiled in Russian capital Moscow in a controversial ceremony. Kalashnikov designed “Avtomat Kalashnikova”, which became the standard issue rifle of the Soviet army, in 1947 – hence the abbreviation AK-47.

The world is running out of antibiotics: WHO Report

The World Health Organisation has released a report titled “Antibacterial agents in clinical development – an analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline, including tuberculosis”. The report shows a serious lack f new antibiotics under development to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Saudi Arabia to lift ban on internet calling applications

Saudi Arabia will lift ban on voice and video calling apps such as WhatsApp and Skype will be widely available to users, in a move aimed at improving business confidence as the kingdom transitions into a post-oil era. Access to VoIP (Voice over internet Protocol) will reduce operational costs and spur digital entrepreneurship. Saudi Arabia, with its bulging youth population, is among the world’s top per capita users of social media. More than half of Saudi Arabia’s citizens are under 25, who spend much of their time on social media platforms.

China opens dual-use highway to Nepal through Tibet

China opened a dual-use highway in Tibet to the Nepal border which could be used for civilian and defense purposes in China. The highway is 40.4 km long and 25 m wide. It has 4 double lanes. It is classified a first-tier highway. It connects Xigaze airport and Xigaze city center in Tibet. The road helps to ease the congestions and export economy of China.

Russia and Iraq Restore Air Travel after 13-Year Freeze

Russia and Iraq restored commercial airline services for the first time since 2004, with an Iraqi Airways plane leaving for Moscow from Baghdad. Russia suspended flights to Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion pushed the Arab country into war. It is a signal on the part of the Iraqi authorities that Russian nationals can safely visit Iraq.

Iron Union 5: US and UAE Joint Military Exercise

The US and UAE’s ground forces had begun a joint military exercise in Abu Dhabi, as part of efforts to consolidate their bilateral relations and exchange training and military expertise. Code-named Iron Union 5, the drill is an extension of a series of Iron Claw exercises. The exercise aims to upgrade and boost the readiness of the UAE’s armed forces and to allow both armies to promote their international co-operation in joint military operations.

Nepal begins its first attempt to remeasure Mount Everest

Nepal has begun its first-ever survey to remeasure Mount Everest to check if the world’s tallest peak’s height was altered by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the country in 2015. Notably, the official height of Mount Everest, which lies in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas, is 8,848 metres (29,029 feet), first recorded by an Indian survey in 1954.

Cassini spacecraft ends 20-year journey

NASA’s $3.9 bn Cassini spacecraft ended its 20-year-long groundbreaking journey with a fiery plunge into Saturn’s crushing atmosphere. Cassini began its mission to Saturn in 1997, reaching the ringed planet in 2004. Its aim was to take pictures, giving the most detailed look at Saturn’s rings & it’s moons. Cassini found new moons orbiting the planet, signs of possible life on existing moons.

Tunisia abolishes ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims

Tunisia has abolished a decades-old ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims. Until now a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. The announcement comes a month after President Beji Caid Essebsi called for the government to scrap the ban dating back to 1973. Human rights groups in the North African country had campaigned for the ban’s abolition, saying it undermined the fundamental human right to choose a spouse.

World Economic Forum released Human Capital Report 2017

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released the Global Human Capital Report 2017. The Global Human Capital Report 2017 proposes a new benchmark for leaders to build the workforces of the future. The index provides a means of measuring the quantifiable elements of the world’s talent potential so that greater attention can be focused on delivering it. The Global Human Capital Index aims to provide a holistic assessment of a country’s human capital-both current and expected-across its population.

London tops in 2017 Global Financial Centres Index

London topped in the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) among 92 financial centres released by the Z/Yen and China Development Institute. It was ranked at 60th position, up by three positions compared to the previous edition. The index is a ranking of the competitiveness of financial centres based on an aggregate of indices from five key areas: business environment, the financial sector.

UNSC unanimously adopts new sanctions against North Korea

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously passed new set of tougher sanctions against North Korea over its sixth and most powerful nuclear test (claimed to be Hydrogen bomb). It was overall the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by UNSC since 2006 over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. The new sanctions imposes ban on North Korea’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil. New sanctions include:
It limits on imports of crude oil and oil products to North Korea. It bans exports of textiles, which is North Korea’s second-biggest export worth more than $700million a year. It also limits North Koreans from working overseas, which may cut off $500 million of tax revenue per year.

British Parliament passed EU Withdrawal Bill

The Union Government to extract the UK from EU law in time for Brexit passed its first Parliamentary test. The EU Withdrawal Bill was backed by MPs by 326 to 290. The bill which will end the supremacy of EU law in the UK now moves onto its next Parliamentary stage. It was previously referred to as the Great Repeal Bill, the EU Withdrawal Bill overturns the 1972 European Communities Act which took the UK into the then European Economic Community.

Shaheen VI: China-Pakistan Air Forces Joint Exercise

The air forces of China and Pakistan began a joint training exercise named “Shaheen VI” and deployed their latest fighter jets and AWACS aircraft. China has dispatched J-11 fighters, JH-7 fighter-bombers, KJ-200 AWACS aircraft and ground forces including surface-to-air missile and radar troops. The exercise will run in China. AWACS is Airborne Warning And Control System, a mobile, long-range radar surveillance and control centre for air defence.

Saudi Arabia suspend dialogue with Qatar

Saudi Arabia says it has suspended dialogue with Qatar, shortly after a phone call between the Qatari leader and the Saudi crown prince. The two sides had discussed holding talks to resolve the Qatar crisis, which has seen Doha cut off from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE. The development came after US President Trump spoke separately with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar & UAE.

Pakistan PM opens China backed 5th nuclear power plant

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the country’s fifth nuclear power plant (C-4 plant) located at Chashma in Mianwali district of the Punjab province. This 340 MW Chasma – IV (C – 4) nuclear power plant is developed in collaboration between the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991 cannot be revoked

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for “her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights” while standing up against military rulers. An online petition signed by more than 386,000 people on Change.org is calling for her prize’s removal over the persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. The Norwegian Nobel Institute announced that prize awarded to Myanmar’s Aung Sang Suu Kyi cannot be revoked.

North Korea claims successful test of Hydrogen bomb

North Korea has announced that it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb that can be placed on an intercontinental ballistic missile. The announcement was made by the state news agency after geological agencies registered a man-made quake in the north-east of the country. As per the analysts, previous North Korean nuclear tests have resulted in earthquakes, however, a 6.3 magnitude tremor indicates that the size of the nuclear test was larger than previous one.

Astronaut Peggy Whitson returns Earth after 288 days in Space

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Peggy Whitson finishing a 288-day mission that put her over the top as the American who has spent the most cumulative amount of time in space. The oldest female astronaut in the history of space exploration was the first female International Space Station commander and holds the record for number of spacewalks by a woman.

Lebanon gets first animal protection law

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has signed the country’s first animal welfare bill into law, guaranteeing that domestic and wild animals will be legally protected from abuse. The bill is the culmination of years of lobbying for the protection of animals in the Mediterranean country. The law, passed by parliament on August 16, outlines requirements for keeping domestic pets, regulations for zoos and pet shops, and penalties for violations – including jail time and fines.

INDIA & WORLD

India and Norway sign Letter of Intent to bilateral extend health cooperation

India has signed Letter of Intent (LoI) with Norway to extend cooperation within health sector through Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) for period of three years starting from 2018. Through this LoI, cooperation between both countries will continue to be aligned with development goals of India as outlined in its National Health Policy, 2017 for achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

India jumps to 14th rank as best country for expats: HSBC

India leapt up the global rankings by 12 places to take the 14th spot in terms of best country for expats to live and work in, says a HSBC survey. The list, which is topped by Singapore, is part of HSBC’s latest ‘expat explorer survey’ that covered 27,587 expats from 159 countries and territories in March and April this year.

Resolution introduced to support India’s UNSC membership

In the United States, two influential Democratic lawmakers have introduced a legislation in the House of Representative to support India’s permanent membership to the UN Security Council. Introduced by Congressman Ami Bera and Congressman Frank Pallone, the resolution would put the House officially on record in support of India’s bid. Ami Bera, Vice Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and longest serving Indian-American in Congress stated that securing a permanent spot for India on the UN Security Council would strengthen democracy around the world.

India ranks 40th in 2017 Global Competitiveness Index

India was placed at 40th spot among 137 countries in World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2017-18. India has slipped by one position compared to 39th spot in 2016 GCI.
Top 5 Countries: Switzerland (1st), United States (2nd), Singapore (3rd), Netherlands (4th) and Germany (5th).
BRICS Countries: China (27th), Russia (38th), India (40th), South Africa (61st) and Brazil (80th).

‘Incredible India’ Campaign Launched in Cairo

India launched a campaign to woo Egyptian travellers and make them aware of magnificent holiday options in the country. The month-long “Incredible India!” campaign has been organised by the Embassy of India in Cairo. As a part of the campaign, 12 buses of transport authority will showcase various tourist destinations in India, including culture, festivals, monuments, landscape, wildlife, people and food.

Railway line between India, Nepal

After remaining non-functional for the last 3 years the Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway line connecting Nepal and India is expected to become functional by 2018. It is the only railway line that once used to link India with Nepal but after 2014 its service got discontinued. The project will be completed in three phases and is estimated to cost Rs. 5.48 billion, mostly aided by Indian Government.

India to collaborate with Russia for Bangladesh nuclear power plant

India announced a collaboration with Russia to build a nuclear plant in Bangladesh. The move is the first initiative under the Indo-Russia deal to undertake atomic energy projects in the third-world nations. It will also be India’s first atomic energy venture abroad.

India replaces China as Top Retail Destination in 2017

India has replaced China as the top retail destination in 2017 as part of the global retail development index. The change in ranking was an outcome of four factors including increased consumer spending beyond essentials, rising mobile and internet penetration, favorable foreign investment climate and bold action on cashless transaction and GST. In addition to the bigger retailers and brands, the mid-size brands from across the world are also looking to cash on the relaxed retail policy in India.

Japan releases postage stamps on Indian Yoga experts

Japanese postal department released postage stamps on Yoga Expert Mr.Bishnu Charan Ghosh and his family members, in Kolkata. The country released postage stamps on Indian Yoga experts Mr.Bishnu Charan Ghosh, his son Mr.Biswanath Ghosh, daughter Ms.Karuna Ghosh and Karuna’s father in law Mr.Asutosh Ghosh. These stamps were officially displayed in Kolkata by the Japanese Consul General in Kolkata, Masayuki Taga. He is a Bengali bodybuilder and a Yoga expert.

Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2017 commences

The 13th edition of Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2017, a joint military exercise between Indian and US armies commenced at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, USA. During the two week long exercise soldiers from both countries will hone their tactical skills in counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations under a joint brigade headquarter. Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in UN peace keeping operations. The Yudh Abhyas series of joint military exercise started in the year 2004 under US Army Pacific Partnership Program.

India and Pakistan begin high-level talks on Indus Waters Treaty

The two-day high-level talks on technical issues of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) began between India and Pakistan in Washington, United States. According to the World Bank, the meetings between two countries are taking place between 14 and 15 September. The talks are a continuation of a discussion on how to safeguard the traety for the benefit of the people in both the countries.

Govt launches Operation Insaniyat to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

The Ministry of External Affairs has started Operation Insaniyat to provided assistance to Bangladesh in response to humanitarian crises being faced by it due to large influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. Under this operation, India will provide relief material consisting of items including rice, sugar, salt, pulses, cooking oil, biscuits and mosquito nets to the affected people. The relief material will be delivered in multiple consignments. The first tranche will be brought to Chittagong by an Indian Air Force (IAF) plane. Rohingya are stateless ethnic minority (mostly Muslim) from Rakhine province of Buddhist-majority Myanmar, who are forced leave their country due to communal violence and repeated military operations.

INDRA 2017: India-Russian to conduct first tri-services military exercise

India and Russia have begun discussions to work out modalities for conducting their first tri-service military exercise INDRA 2017 in October 2017 in Russia. It will be India’s first bilateral military exercise with any country involving all three services. The Final Planning Conference (FPC) of exercise will be held from September 2017 in Russia to finalise all logistical issues and modalities.

India, Belarus sign 10 pacts to expand cooperation

India and Belaru have inked 10 agreements to expand cooperation in range of areas including oil and gas, education and sports and also decided to explore joint development and manufacture of military platforms. The agreements were signed after extensive delegational levels talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Belarus President A G Lukashenko in New Delhi. Both leaders agreed to focus on ramping up economic engagement between two countries and held that their is huge scope for boosting trade and investment.

India & Afghanistan sign four pacts in areas of health and transport

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani in New Delhi signed four agreements recently. The four agreements were exchanged in areas like health and transport. India’s commitment to support Afghanistan as a secure, stable, united and prosperous nation. Both the nations remain united in overcoming challenges posed by cross border terrorism and safe havens and sanctuaries of terrorism.

India imposes countervailing duty on some Chinese steel products for 5 years

The Union Finance Ministry has imposed 18.95% countervailing duty (CVD) on certain Chinese flat steel products for period of five years to protect domestic players from cheap subsidised imports. The decision to impose CVD was taken by finance ministry based on the recommendation of Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).This is first case of imposition of CVD on any steel product in India.

India refuses to sign Bali Declaration over Rohingya issue

India has refused to be a part of Bali Declaration adopted at conclusion of World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development held in Bali, Indonesia to show of solidarity with Myanmar. It was not adopted because it carried “inappropriate” reference to violence in Rakhine State from where 1,25,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh and was not in line with agreed global principles of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UJALA scheme launched in Melaka, Malaysia

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) of India launched UJALA (Unnati Jyoti by Affordable Lighting for All) Scheme in the State of Melaka, Malaysia. With this, Malaysia becomes the second country after the United Kingdom (UK) where EESL has launched the UJALA scheme. Under this scheme, each household in Melaka will get 10 high quality 9-watt LED bulbs at a cost of only RM 10. With this initiative Melaka will be able to reduce carbon emissions by around 19,000 tonnes per year.

SLINEX 2017: India-Sri Lanka joint maritime naval exercise

The seventh edition of India-Sri Lanka joint maritime naval exercise SLINEX 2017 was held near Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) in Bay of Bengal. It will be conducted from 7th to 14th September 2017. The seven days exercise aimed to reinforce strong neighbourly ties between both countries underscored by extensive maritime interaction and improved understanding. SLINEX 2017 focuses on fleet work, seamanship, communication, replenishment at Sea, Visit Board Search and Seize (VBSS) operations as well as helicopter operations.

Trump revokes Obama’s amnesty programme, 7000 Indian Americans to be affected

US President Donald Trump has scrapped an amnesty programme introduced during Obama’s term that granted work permits to immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as Children. The move is likely to impact over 800,000 undocumented workers including more than 7000 Indian-Americans. The announcement was made by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said that the programme known as DACA (Deferred Action for Children Arrival) that was effectuated under the Obama Administration is being withdrawn.

Surya Kiran: Indo-Nepal joint Military exercise

The 12th edition of India-Nepal joint military exercise- Surya Kiran XII was held at Nepal Army Battle School (NABS) in Saljhandi, Nepal. The 14 day exercise (from 3 to 16 September 2017) focused on skills required counter-terrorism and counter-terror, forest fighting and natural disaster management operations.

Five banks of BRICS nations sign pact for credit lines

Five banks of the BRICS Bank Cooperation Mechanism have agreed to establish credit lines in the national currencies and cooperate on credit ratings. The agreement to this effect was signed ahead of the BRICS Summit in China’s Xiamen city. Brazilian Development Bank, Vnesheconombank, Export-Import Bank of India, China Development Bank and Development Bank of South Africa signed the agreement in Beijing. Ahead of the BRICS summit, the New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS countries has approved 1.4 billion US dollar loans for sustainable development projects in India, Russia and China.

India most corrupt Asian country, Vietnam second: Forbes

A recent survey by the Transparency International states that India is the most corrupt country in Asia. Depicting how pervasive the problem is across Asia, a list released by Forbes – Asia’s Five Most Corrupt Countries – says that India beats Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan and Myanmar, when it comes to bribery rate. India is closely followed by Vietnam at 65 per cent bribery rate.

NATIONAL

Union Cabinet approves installation of telecom towers in cantonments and military areas

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for revision of policy of Ministry of Defence for providing Defence land to Communication Operators for construction of Shared Communication Towers and allied Infrastructure. The Decision in this regard was taken based on experience in implementing policy and guidelines issued by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for the issue of clearance for installation of Mobile Towers. The revised policy will cover allotment of Defence land on lease and grant of permission in Defence areas and Cantonments to Access Service Licensees and Companies registered with DoT as IP-I (Infrastructure Providers – Category-I for setting up shared communication towers and allied infrastructure.

Directorate General of Quality Assurance celebrates its Diamond Jubilee

The Diamond Jubilee of Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) observed on 28 September 2017 as it completed 60 years of its existence. To commemorate the occasion, Minister of State (MoS) for Defence, Dr Subhash Bhamare released the ‘First Day Cover’ of DGQA. He also launched portal for e-registration of vendors. The main aim is to provide Quality Assurance (QA) cover for an entire range of Arms, Ammunitions, Equipment, and Stores supplied to Armed Forces.

CARA launches monthly Jan Sampark Program to facilitate adoption

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) launched monthly Jan Sampark program to enable public to interact with its officials to obtain information related to child adoption. The first of its kind programme under it was held recently in New Delhi. Nearly 150 Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs), adoptive parents and representatives of agencies participated in the session.

INS TARASA commissioned into Indian Navy

INS Tarasa (T94), the fourth and last ship in series of Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) was commissioned into Indian Navy at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. It is an improved variant of Car Nicobar-class high-speed offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) built indigenously by Kolkata (West Bengal) based Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE), for the Indian Navy. INS Tarasa has been named after the picturesque island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in Bay of Bengal. It is powered by the latest 4,000-series MTU engines and has displacement capacity of 315 tonnes.

Rajnath Singh unveils ‘PENCIL’ Portal on Child Labour Elimination

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has launched a web portal called ‘PENCIL’ for effective implementation of the National Child Labour Project, (NCLP) in the National Conference on Child Labour organized by Ministry of Labour & Employment. PENCIL (Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) – an electronic platform for no child labour in the country is being developed by the Labour Ministry. PENCIL portal has five components – Child Tracking System, Complaint Corner, State Government, National Child Labour Project and Convergence.

Government launches Divyang Sarathi Mobile Application

The Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment has launched Divyang Sarathi-The accessible and comprehensive mobile application for easy dissemination of information to ‘Divyangjans’. The mobile app aims to empower Divyangjans by providing them easier and convenient access to information pertaining to schemes, scholarships, statutes, institutional support systems, jobs and other crucial information.

PM Narendra Modi launches ‘Saubhagya’ scheme

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana-Saubhagya’ in New Delhi to mark the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. Listed on the agenda of the Cabinet meeting held, the scheme is expected to cover all rural families after expected electrification of all villages by the end of 2017. The Yojana mainly aims to provide last mile power connectivity to all rural and urban households.

Sports Ministry recommends P.V. Sindhu for Padma Bhushan Award

Olympic silver medallist shuttler P.V. Sindhu recommended for the prestigious Padma Bhushan, country’s third highest civilian award, by the Sports Ministry. She is two-time bronze medallist at World Championship. She was awarded India’s fourth highest civilian honor, the Padma Shri.

India third in nuclear power installations: study

According to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017, India is third in the world in the number of nuclear reactors being installed, at 6, while China is leading at 20. The number of nuclear reactor units under construction is, however, declining globally for the fourth year in a row, from 68 reactors at the end of 2013 to 53 by mid-2017. In India itself, five out of the six reactors under construction is behind schedule.

Govt launches Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launched country-wide Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat scheme to distribute LPG connections among rural areas where conventional fuel is used for domestic purposes. The scheme was launched by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at Mota Ishanpur village in Gandhinagar district in Gujarat. It is backup scheme to existing Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

Tihar Jail, largest jail in India got its first open air gymnasium

Open-air gyms for prisoners has now been set up in jail number 1 of Tihar in west Delhi, which is the largest and the most populated prison in India with over 14,400 inmates. This gym is mostly used by elderly prisoners facing problems, like obesity or arthritis.

PM Narendra Modi releases Postage Stamp on Lord Ram in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a postage stamp on different aspects of Lord Ram’s life at the historic Tulsi Manas Mandir Varanasi. The Tulsi Manas temple holds great historical and cultural importance in Hinduism as it is believed that Hindu epic Ramcharitmanas was originally written by poet-saint Goswami Tulsidas in Varanasi.

Govt launches campaign to Sensitise Women about Cancer

Minister of State Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel launched a nationwide health campaign to sensitise women about the early screening and the preventive care for cancer. Themed ‘Nurturing the Nurturer’, the campaign was launched by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) in partnership with the Apollo Hospitals group.

INS Kalavari: India’s first home built submarine handed over to Indian Navy

India’s first indigenously built INS Kalavari submarine was handed over to Indian Navy by state-owned Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai, Maharashtra. This is Indian Navy’s first new conventional submarine in two decades. Its induction will be landmark milestone in India’s bid to build its underwater warfare capabilities with an eye on China and Pakistan. INS Kalavari is first of six Scorpion class submarines built in India under Project-75 by Mazagon Docks Limited with technology transfer from France’s DCNS (Direction des Constructions Navales Services), a naval shipbuilder.

‘Newton’ India’s Official Entry for Oscars 2018

‘Newton’ will be India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars 2018, according to the Film Federation of India. The movie directed by Amit Masurkar movie, starring Rajkummar Rao, tells the story of a polling officer Newton Kumar who is bent on conducting free and fair elections in the conflict ridden jungles of Chhattisgarh.

India third among countries that faced most natural disasters

According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres India ranked third among the countries that have faced the most natural disasters in the last half century. United States, followed by China, India, the Philippines and Indonesia, have experienced the most disasters since 1995 – more than 1,600, or once every five days. Climate change was among the seven global threats that listed needing immediate global action.

Govt to introduce ‘Food Street’ global food fair in New Delhi

With an aim to attract investment in the food processing sector under the Make in India initiative, the government has decided to introduce a curated food experience zone ‘Food Street’ at the global food fair in November in New Delhi. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the brand ambassador of the event at the World Food India 2017 that will be held between 3 November and 5 November 2017. The experiential platform will bring together culinary practices, flavours, fragrances from cuisines across the world.

India joins quantum computing race

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is planning to fund project to develop quantum computers in order to tap into the next big advance in computing technology. In India, Physics departments at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad, so far have only forayed into theoretical aspects of quantum computing. Experts from across country are expected to gather in Allahabad for a workshop to develop such computer.

6th international Textile and Apparel Fair, ‘VASTRA’ inaugurated

The sixth edition of the 4-day international textile and apparel fair “Vastra’ was inaugurated at Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre (JECC) in Sitapura. It was inaugurated by Union Textiles & Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Zubin Irani and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Over 250 exhibitors from 13 states will showcase their products. Around 300 overseas buyers from more than 50 countries and 200 representatives from around 100 Indian buying houses/ agents are slated to attend the event.

Zero Hunger Programme to be launched in October

India’s ambitious Zero Hunger Programme through interventions in farm sector will be launched on occasion of World Food Day (October 16) with focus on agriculture, nutrition and health in a symbiotic manner. The Programme will be initiated by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The programme consists of organisations of a farming system for nutrition, setting up genetic gardens for biofortified plants and initiation of ‘Zero Hunger training. The program will be launched in three districts namely Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Koraput (Odisha) and Thane (Maharashtra).

Vice President released Commemorative Coin on MS Subbulakshmi

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has released a commemorative Coin on Bharat Ratna Dr MS Subbulakshmi on the occasion of the Birth Centenary Commemoration of M.S. Subbulakshmi. M.S. Subbulakshmi was a legendary and iconic figure who said that what defines India is this rich heritage of music and its unifying role in bringing people together. Subbulakshmi was not only a singer but was an encyclopedia of singing. She was the first musician to be awarded Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour and first Indian musician to have performed at the United Nations General Assembly on 50th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations.

Union Government to launch mobile app for retiring govt staff

Union Government will launch a mobile application for central government employees to help them to monitor the progress of their pension settlement cases. Retired employees will also be able to assess their superannuation funds and record complaints through the pension calculator. Minister of State for Public Grievances and Pensions Dr. Jitendra Singh will launch the app in New Delhi. He will also inaugurate the first Pension Adalat.

BCCI nominates MS Dhoni for Padma Bhushan award

The Indian cricket board nominated Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the country’s third highest civilian award the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to the game. Two World titles (2011 50-over World Cup and 2007 World T20), nearly 10,000 runs, 90 Test matches. There is no one better than him, who could have been nominated, a senior condition of anonymity. The BCCI not sent any other nominations for the Padma awards this year. The 36-year-old has scored 9737 runs in 302 ODIs besides 4876 runs in 90 Test matches. He has also played 78 T20 Internationals, notching up 1212 runs.

Railways cuts down Sleeping Hours for passengers

According to a circular issued by the railway board, the passengers in the reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 pm and 6 am to allow others to sit in the seats for the rest of the time. Until the circular was issued, the existing permissible time for sleeping was between 9 pm and 6 am. The new provision replaces paragraph 652 in the Indian Railways Commercial Manual, Volume I. This provision is applicable to all reserved coaches with sleeping accommodation.

Modi inaugurates Sardar Sarovar Dam, Called ‘Gujarat’s Lifeline’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Sardar Sarovar Dam – the world’s second biggest – on the river Narmada in Gujarat. The 1.2-km-long dam, which is 163 metres deep, will irrigate over 18 lakh hectares in the state, according to officials; the water from Narmada will flow into over 9,000 villages through a canal network, Sardar Sarovar Nigam Limited (SSNL). After inaugurating the dam, PM Modi will head to Sadhu Bet, an island in the river Narmada where a 182-metre-tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – called the ‘Statue of Unity’.

President launches Swachhata Hi Campaign

President Ram Nath Kovind launched the nation-wide ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ (Cleanliness is Service) campaign. The fortnight long campaign will conclude on Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, 2017. The campaign is an initiative under Swachch Bharat Mission and it was launched from Ishwari Ganj village, Kanpur. He administered nation-wide Swachhta Hi Seva pledge initiating parallel action in all the two lakh 50 thousand plus Gram Panchayats and cities in India. It is being coordianted by the Ministry of Drinking water and sanitation and will focus on mass mobilisation and reinforce ‘jan andolan’ for sanitation to contribute to Mahatma Gnadhi’s dream of a clean India.

Nation-wide Hackathon #OpenGovDataHack launched

Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a nation-wide hackathon #OpenGovDataHack. As part of the Startup Eco-system Development program, NIC and IAMAI have collaborated to conduct Nation wide Hackathon #OpenGovDataHack across seven states of India. It aims to Support & Showcase potentially great Ideas./ Talent from Inner India. It is to enable them making their ideas developed into Apps/ Infographics primarily by use of Open Government Data around the themes of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Transport, Education, Crime and Health.

Chennai-Vladivostok sea route: India’s effort to counter China’s OBOR

India is planning to launch major connectivity initiative, connecting Chennai with key Russian port Vladivostok via sea route with an aim to harness natural resources from Northeast Asia and Western Pacific region. The Chennai-Vladivostok sea route will enable to transfer cargo between Chennai and Vladivostok in 24 days in comparison to over 40 days currently taken to transport goods from India to Far East Russia via Europe.

PM Narendra Modi, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe lay foundation stone for bullet train

Foundation stone of India’s first high-speed rail project (bullet train) project was jointly laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at Sabarmati Station ground in Ahmedabad. The 508km-long Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project will be built at cost of Rs 1.10 lakh crore. It is expected to be completed by 2022. (It was recently advanced by year from earlier deadline of 2023).

India’s first advanced Homoeopathy Virology lab inaugurated in Kolkata

India’s first state of art virology laboratory was inaugurated at Dr. Anjali Chatterjee Regional Research Institute for Homoeopathy in Kolkata, West Bengal. The lab will play important in developing new drugs and technologies in Homoeopathy to combat emerging challenges of viral diseases.

RBI to Introduce Rs 100 Coin to Mark MG Ramachandran’s Birth Centenary

As per the notification of Finance Ministry, the Reserve Bank of India will introduce 100 rupees coin to mark the birth centenary (hundredth anniversary) of AIADMK founder Late Dr. M G Ramachandran. On the obverse, the face of the coin will bear Lion Capitol of Ashoka Pillar in the center with Satyamev Jayate inscribed below on it in Devanagari script. It will also bear the rupee symbol and denominational value of 100. On the reverse side, the portrait of Dr. MG Ramachandran will be in the center. The standard weight of the coin will be 35 grams.

National Pension Scheme Upper age limit raised to 65

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) announced that the upper age limit for joining the National Pension Scheme (NPS) had been raised to 65 years, from the current 60. NPS is currently open for people between 18 and 60, and the Board has approved raising the age limit for joining to 65.

Venkaiah Naidu laid foundation of Country’s First ‘Green-Field’ Smart City

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone for Ranchi Smart City coming up on the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) land. According to the Urban Development Minister CP Singh, this would be the country’s first ‘green-field’ smart city. The smart city is coming up on 656 acres of HEC land which would be fully wi-fi, carbon free, garbage free locality with modernized housing, traffic management system, education hub and equipped with facilities like round the clock power and water supplies.

All Women-crew “Navika Sagar Parikrama” flagged off

Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flagged off Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini (INSV Tarini) with an all women crew from INS Mandovi boat pool, Goa. This is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. With aim to empower women and also to discard the societal attitudes and mindset towards women in India, the expedition is titled ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’. The crew is expected to return to Goa in April 2018, on completion of the voyage. During the voyage, the crew would monitor and report marine pollution on the high seas, as also interact extensively with local PIOs during various port halts to promote Ocean sailing.

Nestle sets up First Food Safety Institute in India

The new FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal inaugurated the Nestle Food Safety Institute in Manesar, Gurugram. It will provide guidance and training on food safety. The FSSAI has been working with Nestle India for setting up the institute at Manesar. While this is the first such institute in India, Nestle already runs a similar Institute each in China and Lausanne, Switzerland.

Johnson & Johnson India introduces paternity leave

Johnson & Johnson India has announced that new and adoptive fathers would be entitled to eight weeks of paid leave during the first year of birth or adoption. For new mothers, the company has been offering up to 26 weeks of maternity leave for the past six years.

Indian Army to induct women in military police

The Indian Army has finalised plan to induct women in military police. The plan is seen as major step towards breaking gender barriers in force. Under this plan 800 women will be inducted initially with yearly intake of 52. The decision to induct women in Corps of Military Police will help in investigating allegations of gender specific crimes. Currently, women are allowed in select areas such as medical, educational, legal, signals and engineering wings of Indian Army.

NITI Aayog launches the National Nutrition Strategy

To make sure that malnutrition (Kuposhan) bids a goodbye to India, NITI Aayog has launched the National Nutrition Strategy aimed at Kuposhan Mukt Bharat. Under the strategy, the problem of malnutrition will be eradicated in a phased manner. The strategy intends at bringing nutrition to the center-stage of the National Development Agenda. The strategy was launched jointly by the leader of the Green Revolution, Cr. M S Swaminathan, Padma Shri H Sudharshan and Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Dr. Rajiv Kumar and Member Dr. Vinod Paul in New Delhi.

Union Health Ministry launched two New Contraceptives Antara and Chhaya

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched two new contraceptives- an injectable contraceptive MPA under the ‘Antara’ program and a contraceptive pill ‘Chhaya’ in the public health system to expand the basket of contraceptive choices for couples. These contraceptives have been launched in 10 states including Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, West Bengal, Odisha and Goa. The ‘Antara’ injectable is effective for three months and the ‘Chayya’ pill is effective for one week.

Modi Cabinet reshuffled- 9 New Faces as Ministers

Nine new Ministers of state were inducted into the Union Council of Ministers. Four Ministers of state were elevated to the cabinet rank. They are Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State For Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office and secrecy to them at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The portfolios of the Ministers will be announced later.
Cabinet Ministers:

  • Nirmala Sitharaman: Former Minister of State for Commerce was given the portfolio of Defence Minister. Sitharaman is the first woman after Indira Gandhi to hold the portfolio of Defence Minister. Also, along with Sushma Swaraj, she is the only other woman in Narendra Modi’s cabinet.
  • Piyush Goyal: He was given the portfolio of Railways Minister and he also retains the Ministry of Coal.
  • Dharmendra Pradhan: He will continue to have charge of Petroleum and Natural Gas and will also be Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, which Rajiv Pratap Rudy gave up two days ago.
  • Muqtar Abbas Naqvi: He will continue to handle the charge of Ministry of Minority Affairs but as a Cabinet Minister.
  • Council of Ministers Reshuffled:
  • Suresh Prabhu: Former Railways Minister will be handling the charge of Ministry of Commerce.
  • Nitin Gadkari: Apart from Transport Ministry, he was given the charge of Ministry of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • Uma Bharti: She was moved away from the Water Resources Ministry and was given the charge of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • Vijay Goel: He was moved from Sports Ministry and was given the charge of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics & Programme Implementation.
  • Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore: He was given the charge of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

New Faces in the Council of Ministers:

  • Hardeep Puri: Former diplomat was given the charge of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs as Independent charge.
  • RK Singh: Former Home Secretary and first time MP from Arrah in Bihar was given the charge of Ministry of Power and MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) as independent charge.
  • K J Alphons: Veteran bureaucrat, who led Kottayam to be first 100% literate town in India, was given the charge of Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY).
  • Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur (Rajasthan) is the new Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • Shiv Pratap Shukla: Lok Sabha MP from Buxar in Bihar, was given the charge Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Satya Pal Singh: Former Mumbai Police Commissioner and first time MP from Baghpt (Uttar Pradesh) was given the charge of Development, and Minister of State in the Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • Virendra Kumar: Lok Sabha MP from Tikamgarh (Madhya Pradesh) was made Minister of State in the Ministry of Women and Child Development, and Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority affairs.
  • Anant Kumar Hegde: Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada (Karnataka) was made Minister of State in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Outgoing Ministers:

  • The six outgoing ministers from the Cabinet include Kalraj Mishra (MoS MSME), Rajiv Pratap Rudy (MoS Independent Charge of Skill Development), Bandaru Dattatreya (Labour), Faggan Singh Kulaste (MoS Health), Sanjiv Balyan (MoS Water Resources) and Mahendra Nath Pandey (MoS HRD). Pandey was recently named BJP chief of Uttar Pradesh.

Nirmala Sitharaman: India’s first full time woman Defence Minister

Nirmala Sitharaman (58) became first full time woman Defence Minister of India after she was promoted to the Union Cabinet. She takes charge of the crucial ministry from Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Ms Sitharaman is second woman to become Defence Minister of India. First was former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was holding additional portfolio as Defence Minister from 1980-82.

CERT-In issues alert on spread of new malware Locky Ransomware

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) issued an alert on spread of new malware “Locky Ransomware” that can lock computers and demand ransom for unlocking them. The alert, issued on Cyber Swachhta Kendra , is a new wave of spam mails is circulating with common subject lines to spread variants of Locky.

STATES

Gujarat to be first big state to use EVMs with VVPAT

Gujarat will become first big state to use Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in coming Assembly elections to make election process more transparent. It was announced by Election Commission of India. Gujarat will be second state after Goa to use VVPAT system for the Assembly elections in entire state. The VVPATs will cover all 50,128 polling booths during 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections. As many as 70,182 VVPAT machines will be used during election elections. Earlier, VVPATs were used on pilot basis in limited polling booths of state in 2012 elections.

Madhya Pradesh bags ‘Best Tourism State’ Award

Madhya Pradesh has won the ‘Best Tourism State’ national award for the third consecutive year. President Ram Nath Kovind handed over the award, named as ‘Hall of Fame Award’, to Minister of State for Tourism Surendra Patwa at a ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The state bagged total 10 awards in this programme, organised on the occasion of World Tourism Day (27 September). Madhya Pradesh also received a national award for Film Promotion Policy in the category of Best Film Promotion Friendly State/Union Territory.

Kandla Port renamed as Deendayal Port

The Kandla Port one of the top 12 major ports in the country renamed as Deendayal Port from Monday in the name of Hindutva icon Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, earlier this year while laying the foundation stone for Rs 933 crore projects at Kandla Port. The port’s journey began in 1931 with the construction of a jetty by Maharao Khengarji. It became the number one port in India and created history by handling 100 million tonnes cargo in a year.

Maharashtra Govt signs MoU with South Korea

The Maharashtra government signed a MoU with South Korea for increased co-operation in infrastructure projects like development of smart cities, roads, airports, and metros on the first day of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ visit to that country. It helps with implementation strategy, legal systems, policies, technologies and information in infrastructure development. Fadnavis embarked on a three-day tour to South Korea and Singapore.

New Underground Water Treatment Plant in Agartala

In Tripura, a new underground water treatment plant has been commissioned at Sadhutilla in the southern part of Agartala. The plant has fulfilled the need for drinking water free from iron and other contamination. The plant has started functioning with supply of quality treated water initially to 565 households through pipeline. It has treatment capacity of 4 point 8 million litre per day. It has two Over Head Storage Reservoirs with capacities of 1,130 Kilo Liter and 450 Kilo Liter.

Odisha govt launched ‘Sampurna Yojana’

Odisha Government launched ‘Sampurna (Sishu Abond Matru Mrityuhara Purna Nirakaran Abhijan) Yojna’ scheme for pregnant women, in Odisha. Under the scheme, Odisha government will provide Rs.1,000 as transport cost for pregnant women to travel to the hospital from inaccessible areas arranging their own vehicles. The main objective of this scheme is to reduce the death ration of the newborn child and mother mortality rate. Around 7853 villages will be covered from 30 districts of Odisha, under this scheme.

Karnataka Govt launches Vision-2025 project

Karnataka Government to launch The Nava Karnataka 2025 or Vision 2025 was launched for charting out a development roadmap for the next seven years. The main aim of the government on several developmental goals, whether it was eliminating hunger, creating employment or decreasing malnutrition among children. The Vision 2025 exercise will cover 13 sectors including agriculture and allied sectors, infrastructure, industrial development, education, employment, health and nutrition, rural development, social justice, urban development.

UP Govt to release 100 prisoners on birth centenary of Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya

Uttar Pradesh government will release 100 inmates from various jails of the state to mark the birth centenary of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya. The prisoners will be released from Lucknow, Varanasi, Faizabad, Mathura, Agra, Kanpur, Naini, Aligarh, Banda, Mirzapur, Orai, Hardoi, Maharajganj, Bahraich, Saharanpur and Gorakhpur jails, Bareilly, Varanasi, Agra, Fatehgarh, Naini and Gorakhpur jails.

Seven States of Northeast India to launch Mission Indradhanush

Seven states in North-East India will launch ‘Mission Indradhanush’, a flagship immunization scheme of the Government of India, in an intensified manner from October 7, 2017. Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) will focus on select urban areas and other pockets where immunization coverage has been low. Under IMI, the Centre aims to reach every child under two years and pregnant women with all available vaccines under Universal Immunization Programme by 2018.

NITI Aayog’s SATH Program launched in Assam

National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog’s SATH (Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital) Program was launched in in Guwahati, Assam. The SATH program aims to provide structured support to Assam in identifying key health priorities and implement the solutions towards transforming the health and improving the well-being of people of state.

Telangana govt releases music video on 9 day Bathukamma festival

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has released a new music video prepared by Telangana Jagruthi to celebrate the nine-day Bathukamma festival, which began on September 20. This Exclusive Bangaru Bathukamma song featuring Anchor and Actress Udaya Bhanu and TRS MP Kavitha. Telangana government recently began free distribution of over one crore sarees for women below the poverty line on the occasion of Bathukamma.

Himachal Pradesh becomes first state to launch Electric Bus service

The Himachal Pradesh government has launched first-of-its-kind electric bus service in the ecologically fragile 51 km – long stretch between Manali and Rohtang Pass. The bus service was flagged off by State Transport Minister GS Bali along with Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus. The move was made amidst concern over increasing environmental degradation in the Rohtang Pass area due to plying of diesel taxis. With this initiative, the state has become the first in the world to ply electric buses at an altitude of 13 thousand feet.

Andhra CM Naidu releases ‘People First’ mobile app for grievance redressal

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has released ‘People First’ mobile application for grievance redressal at the Collectors’ conference in Vijayawada. Under this application, people of Andhra Pradesh can dial 1100 to register complaints about government services and schemes. The citizens of Andhra Pradesh can now ride the wave of technology and use the medium of mobile to register their complaints.

Puducherry to ban plastic of less than 51 microns

The Puducherry Government decided to ban manufacture and use of plastic packaging materials of less than 51 microns as these were found to be injurious to health and a source of menace during monsoon in the Union Territory. The Welfare and Environment Minister M Kandasamy informed officials of departments concerned with solid waste management that the ban would come into force in the next six months. The Government advised hotel and restaurant owners to abstain from packing ‘ready to eat’ food items in ‘butter paper’ or such plastic transparent sheets. They also directed shop owners not to use newspapers for supplying such food items.

International Yoga Festival starts in Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir governor N N Vohra inaugurated the second International Yoga Festival and International Yoga Sports Championship 2017 in which about 300 people from across the world are participating. The festival is being organized by the Yoga Society of Kashmir at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre. About 300 participants from various parts of India, Vietnam, Taiwan, Canada, Bulgaria, USA, and Nepal are participating in the festival.

Special canteen for labours in Chhattisgarh and Meals at just Rs.5

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh launched the ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Shram Anna Sahayata Yojna’ under which nutritious meal will be provided to laborers at price of Rupees five. As many as 60 such food centers will be set up in 27 districts of the states which will provide food to nearly 60,000 laborers on a daily basis. The programme aims to reach 7000 laborers across 27 districts in Chhattisgarh. The government has also registered 21 lakh workers from the organized and the unorganized sectors.

Tripura becomes first state to set up District Family Welfare committees

Tripura has became the first state in India to set up family welfare district committees. State Governor Tathagata Roy formally launched the family welfare committees in all eight districts in Tripura at a function in Tripura High Court. The committees have been set to deal with the issue of fake and biased complaints by women against their husbands, in-laws and husband’s relatives. The decision to set up the committees came following an order of the Supreme Court to form such committees in all states.

Jharkhand Government launches Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana

Jharkhand Government has launched Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana aimed at developing villages of freedom fighters in the state. It was launched from Ulihatu Village, birthplace of freedom fighter Birsa Munda. Under this scheme, villages of many tribal freedom fighters will be developed and their habitants will be provided basic amenities. These villages had remained inaccessible for long time after Independence because of Left-wing extremism. Now they will be provided with 136 pucca houses.

India’s First Lithium-Ion Battery Unit in Gujarat

Suzuki Motor invest more than Rs 1,150 crore along with Japanese partners Toshiba and Denso to set up India’s first lithium-ion battery facility in Gujarat. The announcement by the parent of the country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki is a major boost to the government’s ambitious vehicle electrification and Make in India initiatives. It will hold half the stake and meanwhile, Toshiba will own 40% and Denso the remaining 10%.

Two hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh to be commissioned in 2018

The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) its two hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh are on the verge of completion and they would be commissioned next year. The commissioning of the 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project and the 110 MW Pare Hydro Electric Project was delayed by about a couple of months due to floods and landslides. According to the officials, the Pare Hydro Project is set to be commissioned by February end next year, while the Kameng project would take another two months.

India’s First Centre for Animal Law set up in Hyderabad

India’s first Centre for Animal Law established at the city-based NALSAR University of Law. Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi inaugurated the centre according to a release issued by Humane Society International (HSI). The Centre will create curriculum on animal welfare laws, including developing topics for research. It will also conduct workshops on animal laws and animal welfare issues with judicial magistrates, animal welfare advocates, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders in the government.

Odisha to set up the first Odia language university

The Odisha government passed a bill to launch the first-ever Odia language university for post-graduation in literature and linguistics among other subjects. The university which will be established in Bhubaneswar will also devise ways to make Odia script more adaptable to technology. It mainly aims at making Odia script more adaptable to computer technology. It would also administer PG courses in literary criticism, the evolution of East Indian language scripts, historical scripts, archaeology, musicology and translation into and from Odia.

Maharashtra CM launches Maha Mission 1 Million

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today launched the ‘Maharashtra Mission 1 Million’ initiative under which over 10 lakh students across the state will play football. It is the first time in the country and Maharashtra to support was decided by Tawde. The entire Maharashtra becomes Pro football the Mission will not only create football players and lovers of the game but will also help in overall development of the state. Under the initiative, the state government aims to ensure that children come out in open spaces and play.

Karnataka, 1st Indian State to approve e-vehicle Policy

Karnataka is the first state to roll out an Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy that looks not only at boosting sales of Electrical Vehicles, but also setting up charging infrastructure and special manufacturing zones. Karnataka is looking to attract investments to the tune of Rs 31,000 crore from companies looking at R&D and manufacturing of electric vehicles in the state.

Kerala to open India’s first transgender-exclusive clinics

Kerala opens India’s first transgender-exclusive clinics at government medical colleges across the state. They are planning to open Transgender Clinics in all government medical colleges in the state. We also plan to provide facilities for their surgery at least in two medical colleges. The first clinic will be set up at the government medical college of Kottayam within the next two months and will be one of the first clinics to provide the sex-change surgery.

Sachin Tendulkar launches project to develop the poorest ward in Mumbai

Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has launched Mission-24 a programme aimed at improving the quality of life in one of Mumbai’s poorest wards through collaborative efforts in the next 24 months. The main aim of the program to provide basic amenities to residents of M-East ward that includes slums of Shivaji Nagar, Deonar and Mankhurd. Through this project, the organisations aim to provide amenities like secondary schools and colleges, Anganwadi’s, maternity homes, health posts and dispensaries in the ward. It also aims to improve sanitation, create more open spaces and look at computer safety.

Netaji statue unveiled at Naval base in Kolkata

An eight feet bronze statue of Indian freedom struggle leader Subhash Chandra Bose was unveiled at the Naval base INS Netaji Subhash at Kolkata. The statue was unveiled by Netaji’s niece-in-law Krishna Bose and Eastern Naval Command Chief, Vice Admiral H.C.S. Bisht by cutting the ribbon together.

Assam govt to provide skill training to 30000 surrendered militants

The Assam government would be providing skill development training to around 30,000 surrendered militants. The training will also be extended to jail inmates. Along with providing training to the surrendered militants, the Assam government would be training over 24000 Assamese youth under the Prime Minister Kaushal Vikas Yojna. The Assam Skill Development Mission would be providing skill training in 40 sectors. The training sessions would be starting by the end of September 2017.

New species of edible fish found in Pampa river in Kerala

A group of researchers discovered a new species of edible freshwater fish while exploring the waters of the Pampa river in Pathanamthitta in Kerala. As per the researchers, the newly found fish could possibly be farmed on a commercial scale. The two researchers, Mathews Plamoottil, Assistant Professor, government college, Chavara, Kollam, and Primoz Zupancic from the Dinaric Research Institute, Slovenia, Europe, have reported the discovery in the latest issue of an open access research journal Bioscience Discovery.

Telangana Home Minister inaugurates water ATMs

Safe Water Network, an international NGO has partnered with Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to launch water ATMs, providing affordable, 24×7 safe water access in Hyderabad. The first of the ATMs was inaugurated by Telangana State Home Minister N Narasimha Reddy at Nalgonda X Roads. A total of 200 ATMs will be set up to reach a targeted 150,000 people. In the first phase 50 water ATMs will be operationalised by next year. The initiative is supported by USAID under the Urban WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Alliance Partnership and funded by Honeywell India.

Amazon’s Largest Fulfilment Center in Hyderabad

American e-commerce company Amazon opened its largest fulfillment center (FC) in the country at the GMR-led Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. The new facility has a carpet area of around 4 lakh square feet, along with a storage space of close to 2.1 million cubic feet. Amazon’s fifth fulfillment center in Telangana, thereby increasing the firm’s overall storage capacity to 3.3 million square feet in the state.

Andhra Pradesh Signs MoU to Build India’s First Hyperloop

The Andhra Pradesh government has signed an MoU with the US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT)to build India’s first Hyperloop system. The planned project is aimed at connecting cities Amaravati and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, supposedly covering the distance of over 35 km in just five minutes. The AP Economic Development Board (AP-EDB) and HTT signed the MoU in Amaravati. Under the MoU, a six-month feasibility study would be conducted from October.

Jharkhand Governor gives assent to Religious Freedom Bill, 2017

Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu gave her assent to the Jharkhand Religious Freedom Bill, 2017. The state government will now issue notification on the Religious Freedom Bill, after which it will become an Act. With this Jharkhand, become seventh state in the country to have anti-conversion law. Other six states with similar law are Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

President to lay foundation stone for Link-4 of SAUNI Scheme in Rajkot

President Ramnath Kovind will today lay the foundation stone for the link – 4 of Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation Scheme -SAUNI- Yojana in Rajkot district. The project launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat aims to fill up 115 major dams by diverting overflow of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada River. Three phase of SAUNI Yojana already dedicated to the people following completion of the work.

Gurugram Metro stations to get 1,000 new e-rickshaws

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in collaboration with Smart-E company will launch 1,000 e-rickshaws at five metro stations across the city. Smart-E is uniquely poised to address the last-mile connectivity challenge faced by millions of people every day. The launch of 1,000 e-rickshaws in exclusive partnership with DMRC is an important step towards making last-mile commute easy, safe, affordable and eco-friendly for the citizens.

Assam for first time extends AFSPA orders on its own

Assam Government has extended term of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958 and declared entire state a Disturbed Area for six more months under Section 3 of AFSP Act. This is for first time state government has extended AFSPA and Disturbed Area provision on its own. In the past, AFSPA provisions in state were always extended by the Centre. The law and order situation in Assam continues to be matter of concern due to violent incidents carried out by the underground groups, as many as 16 incidents involving these groups were reported between May and July 2017. These incidents had resulted in deaths of civilians, security personnel and militants.

Friday declared ‘Day of Helping Hand’ in Andhra Pradesh by CM Naidu

Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu has declared Friday as the day of the week when he will meet with the poor and underprivileged sections of Andhra Pradesh society to hear their grievances and try to resolve them. The day has been declared as the “Day of Helping Hand”. Recently, an amount of nearly Rs.9 lakhs was disbursed from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to the poor.

Arunachal Pradesh and J&K are Fastest Growing Economies

Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh were the fastest expanding State economies in 2015-16, according to a new series of gross State domestic product data with 2011-12 as the base year published by the Central Statistics Office. The two States also reported the fastest rise in per capita income in the same year. Arunachal Pradesh’s gross State domestic product (GSDP) expanded 16.5 per cent and that of Jammu and Kashmir 14.7 per cent at constant 2011-12 prices.

CONFERENCES

3-day India Mobile Congress 2017 starts in New Delhi

The first ever mobile, Internet and technology event in India – India Mobile Congress 2017 has started in New Delhi from 27th September. India Mobile Congress is a dedicated platform for B2B and B2C interaction and developing a network with various experts from the industry. The exhibitors include Google, Reliance Jio, Qualcomm, BSNL, Airtel, and many other companies.

7th ASEM Economic Ministers Meeting held in South Korea

The 7th ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Economic Ministers’ Meeting was held in Seoul, South Korea. Theme for this year’s meeting was ‘Innovative Partnership for Inclusive Prosperity’. The meeting was conducted under the Chairmanship of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea. 51 member countries signed a Joint Statement on Supporting the Multilateral Trade System.

India, US, Afghanistan join hands for 1st Trade Show in Delhi

For the first time, India, US and Afghanistan will hold a joint trade and investment show in Delhi, as New Delhi steps up to its role of being a bigger development partner to Afghanistan. The trade event, sponsored by the US and hosted by India, will be inaugurated by Afghan CEO Dr Abdullah. Abdullah’s visit will follow the first visit to India by US defence secretary James Mattis who will be holding high level talks with India on the Trump Administration’s new South Asia policy.

13th Inter-Governmental Commission Meeting in Kazakhstan

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan is in Astana, Kazakhstan to co-chair the 13th Meeting of Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) with Kazakhstan. Mr Kanat Bozumbayev, Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan will co-chair the meeting from Kazakhstan side. The IGC meeting aims to follow up on the agenda set between India and Kazakhstan during the two visits of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Kazakhstan.

India-US-Japan trilateral talks held in New York

Foreign ministers of India, US and Japan held a trilateral meeting in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd annual session of the UN General Assembly. The meeting was held to give momentum to their cooperation amid China flexing its muscles in the region. The three ministers, namely Sushma Swaraj (India), Rex Tillerson (US) and Taro Kono (Japan), emphasised on the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for international law and peaceful resolution of disputes. The decision to hold the trilateral meeting was taken at the first India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. the first India-US-Japan trilateral meeting was held in December 2011.

South Asian Women Development Forum to organize summit at Kathmandu

The South Asian Women Development Forum (SAWDF) would be organising ‘Across Barriers-International Business Women’s Summit’ on 11th & 12th September 2017 at kathmandu, nepal. The two-day event aims to encourage partnerships between women entrepreneurs from the SAARC and ASEAN member countries and China. The Ministry of Agriculture, US Embassy in Nepal and the Department for International Development (DFID), UK would be providing financial support to the event.

9th BRICS summit held in Xiamen, China

The 9th Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) summit was held in Xiamen, China. The summit is hosted by China for the second time after the 2011 Summit.The theme of the 2017 BRICS Summit is “BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”.
The four documents were signed in the presence of BRICS Leaders and they are:
Strategic Framework of BRICS Customs Cooperation
BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation(2017-2020)
BRICS Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Cooperation.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between BRICS Business Council and New Development Bank on Strategic Cooperation.

PM inaugurates annual conference ‘Rajaswa Gyan Sangam’ in Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the annual conference, Rajaswa Gyan Sangam, 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The conference jointly organised by the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Central Board of Excise and Customs. The Prime Minister addressed the tax administrators during the conference. The closing function would be conducted on 2 September 2017.

AWARDS & HONOURS

Mahtab Bamji selected for living legend award of IUNS

Mahtab Bamji selected for the Living Legend Award of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences ((IUNS). The award will be presented at its General Assembly to be held at the IUNS-ICN in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 18th October. The IUNS Council presents Living Legend Awards to individual members of Adhering Bodies in good standing who are eighty (80) years or above.

President of India presents the National Tourism Awards 2015-16

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind presented the ‘National Tourism Awards 2015-16′ to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry at a function organised by the Ministry of Tourism on the occasion of ‘World Tourism Day’ at New Delhi. The event also saw the launch of ‘Incredible India 2.0 campaign’ and ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project and new Incredible India website by the President.

CNR Rao selected for 2017 Von Hippel Award

Eminent Scientist and Bharat Ratna Prof C.N.R. Rao was awarded 2017 Von Hippel Award, the highest international prize in materials research. He is first Indian and first Asian to win this honour. The award will be presented to Prof Rao for his interdisciplinary contributions to development of novel functional materials, including nanomaterials, graphene, superconductivity, 2D materials and colossal magnetoresistance at Boston in November 2017.

Anushka, Ranveer Singh, Rajkummar Rao, Aamir won GQ Men of the Year 2017 Awards

GQ Men of The Year Awards 2017 kicked off in Mumbai. The Award Winners are:
Irrfan Khan – Outstanding Achievement
Anushka Sharma – Woman of the Year
Karan Johar – Producer of the Year
Rajkummar Rao – Actor of Year
Ranveer Singh – Entertainer of the Year
Sridevi – Excellence in Acting
Aamir Khan – Creative Maverick

Nigerian Zannah Mustapha wins UN award

Zannah Mustapha won the annual Nansen Refugee Award for his ‘crucial mediating’ role and efforts to help children affected by the insurgency in the country. Mustapha is the founder of Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School, a school that provides free Islamic-based education to children orphaned by insurgency. The school also provides free meals, uniforms and health care to its pupils.

JNPT wins “Rajbhasha Kirti Award” for 11th consecutive time

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) won the “Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar” for the year 2016-17 in the category of ‘B’ region for autonomous bodies and boards, for its excellent implementation of the Official Language. Ram Nath Kovind gave away the award at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on the occasion of Hindi Divas celebration. This is the 11th consecutive year that JNPT has won this award.

69th Primetime Emmy Awards announced

The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards was announced at the Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, California, U.S. The Handmaid’s Tale became the first web television series to win the award for Outstanding Drama Series. Westworld and Saturday Night Live were the most nominated programs, each with 22 nominations.
Complete list of the winners:
Outstanding Comedy Series: Veep
Outstanding Drama Series: The Handmaid’s Tale
Outstanding Variety Talk Series: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Limited Series: Big Little Lies
Outstanding Television Movie: Black Mirror: “”San Junipero””
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Donald Glover as Earnest “”Earn”” Marks on Atlanta
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer on Veep
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson on This Is Us
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne/ Offred on The Handmaid’s Tale
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Atlanta (Episode: “”B.A.N.””), Directed by Donald Glover
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: The Handmaid’s Tale (Episode: “”Offred””), Directed by Reed Morano
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Master of None (Episode: “”Thanksgiving””), Written by Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe

Indian start-up wins award in Israel

An Indian startup has won a prestigious award in Israel for developing an affordable modular greenhouse that aims to give farmers steady & dependable income. Kheyti, was chosen among 10 finalists in MassChallenge Israel contest that saw participation from over 500 companies. Kheyti design, adapt & implement low-cost farming solutions that help farmers increase yield & predictability of produce.

Salman Khan honoured at Britain’s House of Commons

Salman Khan received a Global Diversity Award at Britain’s House of Commons. The Global Diversity Award is given to people of immense stature in terms of diversity in the world, and he is certainly one of them. The Being Human NGO is run by the Salman Khan.

3 India-born scientists to be awarded by US’ Marconi Society

Bengaluru-born 28-year-old Google research scientist Ananda Theertha Suresh in New York has won the Paul Baran Young Scholar award for 2017. Kailath, 82, from Pune and a former professor at Stanford, is the Hitachi American Professor in Engineering Emeritus at the reputed university. He was also conferred with the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, in 2009. Netravalli, 71, a native of Ankola on Karnataka’s west coast, studied at Mumbai’s Elphinstone College and graduated in electrical engineering from IIT-Bombay before migrating to the US in 1967 for his post-graduation and doctorate from Houston’s Rice University.

74th Venice Film Festival Awards 2017

The 74th annual Venice International Film Festival was held from 30 August to 9 September 2017. The most important award is the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale and considered one of the most prestigious film awards, like the Golden Palm in Cannes and the Golden Bear of Berlin.
The awards are listed below:
Best Film – Nico, 1988, directed by Susanna Nicchiarelli
Best Director – Vahid Jalilvand, No Date, No Signature
Special Jury Prize – Caniba, directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel
Best Actress – Lyna Khoudri, Les Bienheureux
Best Actor – Navid Mohammadzadeh, No Date, No Signature
Best Screenplay – Los Versos Del Olvido, directed by Alireza Khatami
Best Short Film – Gros Chagrin, directed by Céline Devaux
Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film Jusqu’à la Garde, directed by Xavier Legrand.

2 US Scientists, Indian Economist among 2017 Balzan Prize awardees

The International Balzan Foundation has announced the winners of the 2017 Balzan Prize. This year, Indian Economist Bina Agarwal was recognised among other awardees for her work on women’s contributions to agriculture in India.
List of 2017 Balzan Prize awardees:

  • James P Allison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Robert D Schreiber of the Washington University School of Medicine were awarded for Immunological Approaches in Cancer Therapy that enhanced the survival of patients with metastatic melanoma.
  • Indian Economist Bina Agarwal of University of Manchester (UK) was recognised in the Gender Studies category for her heroic work studying women’s contributions to agriculture in India.
  • Belgian astrophysicist Michael Gillon was awarded for his work that has helped in finding new solar systems of planet Earth using robotic telescopes, instead of much more costly satellites.
  • German couple Germans Aleida and Jan Assmann were recognised for presenting collective memory as a requirement for the formation of the identity of religious and political communities.

Tahir Mahmood awarded N R Madhava Menon Best Law Teacher Award

Eminent jurist Tahir Mahmood was awarded the prestigious N R Madhava Menon Best Law Teacher Award 2017 for his distinguished services to legal education and the legal profession on the occasion of Law Teachers’ Day celebrations. The function was organized by the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) and Menon Institute of Legal Advocacy Training (MILAT). The awards are bestowed every year to honor the most deserved law teachers and institutions in India and across the SAARC region.

World University Rankings 2018: IISc ranked highest from India

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) retained top position among Indian Universities in the Times World University Rankings 2018, but its position fell in global rankings compared to its last year position. Top 10 in Universities in World are Oxford University (1st, UK), Cambridge University (2nd, UK), California institute of Technology (3rd, US), Stanford University (4th, US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (5th, US), Harvard University (6th, US), Princeton University (7th, US), Imperial College London (8th, UK), University of Chicago (9th, US), ETH-Zurich (10th, Switzerland). IISc slipped from the 201-250 band to the 251-300 one due to drop in its research influence score and research income. IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur, which were among best Indian institutions, slipped down from previous year’s position of the 401- 500 club to 501-600 band. IIT Bombay was placed in t351-400 club, same as in 2017 ranking and. IIT Kharagpur and IIT Roorkee also retained their positions in 501-600 bracket.

GIFT City wins ASSOCHAM Services Excellence Awards

India’s first operational Smart City and IFSC, Gujarat International Finance-Tec City (GIFT City), has won the prestigious Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) Services Excellence Award. At a summit held in New Delhi, GIFT SEZ was honored for its contribution to the growth of the International Financial Services and Technology Hub in India.

Narayana Murthy receives PLuS Alliance Prize

N R Narayana Murthy and Mumbai-born scientist veena Sahajwalla have been conferred the PLuS Alliance Prize – a prestigious honour that recognises research Innovation, Education Innovation, Global Leadership and Global Innovation. Both winners were recognised for the development and implementation of innovation solutions to significant global issues. Murthy was presented the PLuS Alliance Prize for Global Leadership while professor Sahajwalla was awarded the PLuS Alliance Prize for Research Innovation for her project.

Vice President honours 219 teachers with National award

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu gave away the National awards for teachers on Teachers day Function. A total of 219 teachers, including 124 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) teachers, were awarded. He also launched DIKSHA, a national digital infrastructure for teachers. DIKSHA is a customisable national digital infrastructure that states, Teacher Education Institutions (TEI) and private entities can use for their respective teacher-centric initiatives.

NHAI Awards First International Project in Myanmar to Punj Lloyd-Varaha

The National Highway Authority of India has awarded its first international project in Myanmar to a joint venture of Punj Lloyd-Varaha. This is for the upgradation of the Yagyi-Kalewa section in Myanmar to two lanes with earthern shoulder in the engineering, procurement, and construction mode. The 120-km-long project was estimated to cost Rs. 1,177.02 crore and is to be completed within 36 months. Punj Lloyd-Varaha’s bid was identified as the most competitive among four qualified bidders. It was at Rs. 1,177 crore.

UNESCO announces winners for Girl’s and Women’s Education Prize 2017

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) in September 2017 announced the winners of 2017 edition of the UNESCO Prize for Girl’s and Women’s Education. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova announced the names of the two laureates from Peru and Thailand recommended by an International Jury. Each of the two organisations was honoured with the prize money of USD 50000 at an official ceremony held in Xiamen, People’s Republic of China.

UNESCO announces winners of International Literacy Prizes 2017

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced the winners of the 2017 International Literacy Prizes that honour excellence and innovation in the field of global literacy. The UNESCO International Literacy Prizes are divided into two categories namely the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy that is sponsored by China and the King Sejong Literacy Prize that is sponsored by South Korea.

Hyderabad Airport bags Energy Efficiency Award

Hyderabad International Airport Ltd has bagged the National Award for ‘Excellence’ in Energy Management at a conference hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The event held here focused on recognizing companies that are engaged in energy efficiency initiatives and displaying commitment towards energy conservation.

SPORTS & GAMES

For the First Time, Five Indian Shuttlers in Top-20 of BWF Men’s Rankings

For the first time, Five Indians are in the top-20 of the BWF men’s singles rankings with H S Prannoy being the biggest gainer after his quarterfinal showing at the Japan Open. Prannoy has jumped four places to be world no.15.
The 5 Indian Shuttlers in the top 20 BWF men’s singles rankings are-
Kidambi Srikanth (8th)
HS Prannoy (15th)
B Sai Praneeth (17th)
Sameer Verma (19th)
Ajay Jayaram (20th)

India to host South Asian boxing Championship in Guwahati

Boxing Federation of India (BFI) announced that India will be hosting the South Asian boxing Championship for the first time in Guwahati from December 6 to 10. The championship will see a potential blockbuster clash against arch-rivals Pakistan besides other SAARC countries – Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, among others. The South Asian Championship will be followed by the India International Open Tournament in the third week of January 2018.

Lakshmanan Wins 5,000m gold in Athletics Nationals

Reigning Asian champion Govindan Lakshmanan of Services cruised to victory in the men’s 5000-metre race on the opening day of the 57th National Open Athletics Championships at the Nehru Stadium in Chennai. Lakshmanan has recently won gold in the 3,000m event at the Asian Indoor Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Laver Cup 2017: Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal win first doubles match

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played as doubles partners for the first time on the second day of the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague. They beat Americans Sam Querrey and Jack Sock to win Laver Cup 2017 in men’s doubles. Also, Roger Federer, ranked No. 2 in the world, defeated Australia’s Nick Kyrgios to win men’s singles in Laver Cup 2017.

ICC launches Anti-Corruption Probe into Sri Lanka Cricket

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched an anti-corruption investigation in Sri Lanka. The ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) officers had recently visited the country as part of the probe. The ICC Anti-Corruption Unit works to uphold integrity in cricket and this includes conducting investigations where there are reasonable grounds to do so.

India become World No. 1 in both ODIs and Tests

India beat Australia by 5 wickets in the third ODI played between the two sides at Indore. The victory helped them to pip South Africa to claim the no. 1 spot in the ICC ODI rankings. This now means that India is now at the top of both the Test and ODI rankings. This was India’s ninth consecutive ODI win while it is Australia 11ts successive defeat away from home.

Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar nominated for 2017 FIFA Best Mens Player award

Famous Football players Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar Jr are the final three players in contention for FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year 2017 award. The final three nominees for the Best FIFA Men’s Coach of the Year 2017 award are Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane, Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri, and Chelsea’s Antonio Conte.

India bags 4 more Medals at 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan

In the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, India bagged four medals. Sajan Prakash of India finished second with the silver medal in the Men’s 100-metre butterfly event. Divya Gurling Shilwant and Pratiksha Chandrakant Parhar bagged a bronze each in women’s Alysh classic in 70 kg and 75 kg categories in the Belt Wrestling Discipline. Wrestler Keduovilie Zumu from Nagaland won the bronze medal in the 90 kg category of Kazakh Kuresh style belt wrestling. Meanwhile, Sourav Kothari assured himself of a medal after winning his semifinal contest in men’s billiards singles against Thailand’s Thawat Sujaritthurakaran 3-0. India is at 11th spot in the medals tally with 5 gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze.

First Indian team for FIFA U-17 World Cup announced

The first ever Indian squad to participate in the a FIFA World Cup, U-17 World Cup Squad has been announced. The 21 players who will participate in the World Cup Squad include Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Sunny Dhaliwal Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Anwar Ali, Sanjeev Stalin and Hendry Antonay. FIFA U-17 World Cup is scheduled to start in Panaji from 6 October. India will take on USA on 6 October, followed by Colombia and Ghana on 9 and 12 October respectively at New Delhi.

Kuldeep Yadav becomes First Indian spinner to take hat trick in ODIs

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav (22-year-old from Kanpur) became the first Indian spinner to take a hat-trick in ODI cricket during the second match of the ongoing series against Australia at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Yadav took the wickets of Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins in consecutive balls in his eighth over. This was the first ODI hat-trick by an Indian in over 26 years. He becomes the third Indian to achieve this feat, after Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma. Yadav had also become the first Indian to take a hat-trick in the U-19 World Cup, achieving the feat against Scotland in 2014.

Australia invited for 2022 Asian Games for 1st time in history

Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) invited Australia to compete at Asiad (Asian Games) in 2022, for the first time. The invite is for selected sports like football and basketball to enable athletes to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Australia, New Zealand and a group of Pacific islands – has not taken part in the Asian Games before, but sporting ties with Asia (Olympic Council of Asia) have been growing.

Sindhu jumps to World No 2 in BWF women’s singles rankings

India shuttler P V Sindhu has jumped two places to second spot in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) women’s singles rankings, riding on her Korea Open Series title. This is the second time in her career that Sindhu, the Olympics silver medalist, occupied the second spot. Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying retained her top spot.

Asian Indoor Games: Chitra, Lakshmanan win Gold

Asian champions G. Lakshmanan and P. U. Chitra won gold medals in the athletics events of the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Tamil Nadu’s Lakshmanan won the men’s 3000m while Kerala’s Chitra, who was not cleared by the national body Athletics Federation of India for the recent World Championships in London despite making the cut, took the women’s 1500m title.

FIFA Women World Cup France 2019 official slogan, emblem launched

The official emblem and slogan for FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 were unveiled in Paris, France. The emblem features the competition trophy wrapped in blue and white, with eight shards of light around football at the top of the trophy symbolizing the eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The slogan of the tournament “Dare To Shine” reflects the development of football, especially women’s football. FIFA President Gianni Infantino and French Football Federation (FFF) President Noel le Graet attended the unveiling event.

Asian Indoor Games: Purnima Wins Gold in Pentathlon

India won its first athletics gold, through Purnima Hembram in women’s pentathlon, in the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. India also got two silvers, through Sanjivani Jadhav in women’s 3000m and Tejinder Singh Toor in men’s shot put, and a bronze through Kerala’s V. Neena in women’s long jump.

India wins four medals at Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games

India won its first athletics gold through Purnima Hembram in women’s pentathlon in the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The one gold two silver and one bronze through track and field athletes on the third day of fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, in Ashgabat. India is now at a 11th spot in the medals tally, which is led by hosts Turkmenistan (26 gold, 21 silver, 12 bronze). It is being represented by 203 athletes in 15 sports disciplines in the Games and it is second biggest multi-sporting event of the continent after the Asiad.

Lewis Hamilton won Singapore Grand Prix

Mercedes’ British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton registered his 60th career won at the Singapore Grand Prix. He defeated Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel score and reached the top of the table with 28 points. Daniel Ricciardo won the second place in the race.

PV Sindhu wins gold

PV Sindhu becomes the first Indian to win the Korea Open Superseries with an outstanding 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 win over Nozomi Okuhara in the much-talked-about women’s singles final in Seoul. Olympic silver medallist shuttler P V Sindhu beat world champion Nozomi Okuhara in a thrilling final to clinch the women’s singles title at the Korea Open Super Series.

Shuttlers Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma improve BWF ranking

Shuttlers Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma improved a rung each to reach the 16th and 25th spots respectively in the latest BWF ranking. Female Shuttler PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were static at the fourth and 12th positions respectively. Women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy slipped a place to be at the 25th spot, while mixed doubles pair of Pranav Jerry Chopra and Sikki was steady at the 20th position.

Goa to host 36th National Games

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) formally awarded the rights to host the 36th National Games to Goa in November 2017. The announcement was made by the state sports minister Manohar Ajgaonkar. The National Games of India comprises various disciplines in which sportsmen from the different states of India participate against each other. The National Games were formally known as the Indian Olympic Games.

Prakash Padukone to get badminton’s first lifetime award

Badminton Prakash Padukone conferred with the first Lifetime Achievement Award instituted by the Badminton Association of India (BAI) for his rich contribution to the sport. He is the first recipient of the lifetime achievement award. He won the 1980 All England and won a bronze at the 1983 World Championship in Copenhagen. He also won a gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. He was bestowed with the Arjuna award in 1972 and the Padma Shri in 1982.

BWF World Senior Badminton Championships- First Time in India

The coastal city of Kochi is hosting the BWF World Senior Badminton Championships. The championship is been held in India for the first time. The week-long tournament will see a total of 665 players from 40 countries battle it out. A total of 175 players will represent India including Olympians – Abhinn Shyam Gupta, Nikhil Kanetkar, and V Diju. The Indian contingent will also have Arjuna awardee and Kerala player George Thomas and Commonwealth medallist and former India doubles players Sanave Thomas and Roopesh Kumar.

Nadal wins US Open for his 16th Grand Slam title

Rafael Nadal has won his third US Open Grand Slam title in New York. Nadal defeated South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to grab the prestigious title. The Spaniard has now won two Slams in the same year for the first time since 2013, having won 5the French Open in June 2017.

India finishes 5th at Moscow Shotgun World Championships

India has finished fifth in the medals tally with one gold and two silver medals at the Moscow Shotgun World Championships. Only 16 of the 76 participating nations got amongst the medals and Italy topped the tally with nine gold medals for a total of 17 medals in all. Both their Olympic skeet champions Gabrielle Rossetti and Diana Bacosi were also crowned world champions in the process. The USA stood second with five gold medals for a total of 12. Hosts Russia were third in the overall tally with two golds for a total of eight.

Martin Hingis, Chan Yung-Jan wins US Open Women’s Doubles title

Defeating the Czech partnership of Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova, Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Taiwan’s Chan Yung-Jan won the US Open Women’s Doubles title. The win was Hingis 13th Grand Slam women’s doubles title and overall 25th Grand Slam title. On the other hand, the win gave Chan her first Grand Slam.

India wins 37 medals at 2017 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship

India won 37 medals, including 23 Gold, in the just-concluded Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in Gold coast Australia. India on the penultimate day of 2017 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships bagged two gold medals, one silver and two bronze to wrap up their successful campaign in style. In the last five days of the Championships, 34 new records were created by the Indians.

India wins 2nd SABA U-16 Championship

India has won 2nd South Asian Basketball, SABA, Under – 16 Championship. India defeated Bhutan by 131-50 in its last league match at Kathmandu in Nepal. India remained unbeaten in its all four matches and accumulated 8 points. Bangladesh finished second and host Nepal third. The championship was played in a round robin league format. India has now qualified for 2017 International Basketball Federation, FIBA, Under-16 Asian Championship to be played in Malaysia later this year.

Sloane Stephens lifts US Open Women’s Singles Title

Unseeded American Sloane Stephens lifted the US Open women’s singles title. Sloane ranked 83rd completed a spectacular return from injury to beat 15th seed Keys 6-3, 6-0 in the finals. The 24-year-old was ranked as low as 957th six weeks ago went on to become only the fifth unseeded woman to win a major title in the Open era. Sloane stunned Venus Williams in the semifinal.

India retains top position, Australia slips in latest ICC Test rankings

India continued to be at the top in the latest ICC Test rankings but Australia slipped one rung to fifth in the latest list after drawing the series against Bangladesh. India with a score of 125 points is on the top of the table, Australia just decimals behind New Zealand with a score of 97 holds for fifth position. South Africa is at second place with 110 points, England is third with 105 points.

Sjoerd Marijne Named New Coach of Indian Men’s Hockey Team

Women’s national hockey coach Sjoerd Marijne was named chief coach of the men’s side. He has replaced Roelant Oltmans. Besides, World Cup-winning junior team coach Harendra Singh was appointed High-Performance Specialist coach of the senior women’s team. The decisions were announced by newly-appointed Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

India’s Sonam wins Gold in Cadet World Wrestling Championship

India’s Sonam 43 kilogram weight category wins Gold in Cadet World Wrestling Championship. Wrestler Neelam also bagged Bronze Medal in the 43-kilogram weight category. Meanwhile, Four other wrestlers Simran, Manisha, Minakshi, Karuna will also fight for Bronze Medal in different weight categories.

India’s Ankur Mittal wins silver at ISSF World Shotgun Championship

India’s Ankur Mittal won silver medal in the men’s double trap event at the ongoing ISSF World Shotgun Championship. Sangram Dahiya ended in 20th place with 135, while Md. Asab came in 23rd with 133 hits in the qualifying round. The trio combined for a fifth spot in the Team category with 413 points, where Italy won Gold with 418. In the junior category, 17-year-old Ahvar Rizvi also won a silver medal in the same event.

India to host Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in 2019

India will host the 2019 edition of the Commonwealth (Youth, Junior and Senior) Weightlifting Championships. The Executive Board of Commonwealth Weightlifting Federation met at Gold Coast, Australia and decided to allot the 2019 edition of the competitions to India. The current edition of the tournament is being held at the Gold Coast, Australia.

FIFA U-17 World Cup song officially launched

The official song for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup football tournament was formally launched by the Local Organising Committee and Sony Pictures Networks India in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The song, “Kar Ke Dikhla De Goal”, is written by lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya and is composed by Pritam.

Wrestler Satish Kumar awarded Rs 25 lakh for being barred from 2002 Asian Games

Decorated wrestler Satish Kumar has been awarded Rs 25 lakh as compensation by a Delhi court for being wrongly restrained from taking part in the 14th Asian Games in Busan, South Korea in 2002. Kumar was barred from participating in the games due to mistaken impression that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs. The court directed the government to ensure that such incidents are never repeated and no other sportsperson goes through the humiliation which he has undergone.

Konsam Ormila Devi bags Gold at Commonwealth Young Weightlifting Championship

India’s Konsam Ormila Devi has bagged a gold medal in 44kg weight category on the opening day of the Commonwealth Young (boys & girls) weightlifting championships, held at Gold Coast, Australia. Ormila lifted 57kg in snatch and 76kg in clen and jerk for an overall effort of 133kg, to finish on the top of the podium. With this effort, Ormila has registered her best lift so far.

World Chess Cup: Viswanathan Anand wins, Harikrishna suffered defeat

Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand started off with a clinical victory over Li Tian Yeoh of Malaysia in the first round of the first game of World Chess Cup in Tbilisi. The second highest rated Indian, P Harikrishna, however suffered a defeat at the hands of Yuri Vidal Gonzales of Cuba. Harikrishan now needs to win the return match and then win the tie-breaker as well to remain in this 128-player knockout event.

Amritpal Singh: first Indian signed by Australian Basketball team

Former Indian basketball team captain Amritpal Singh will be seen shooting and guarding the Sydney King’s rim in Australia’s National Basketball League. He is the first Indian-born player to take to the court in Australia’s National League. Amrit, has been signed by the Australian club as a back-up centre, and Sydney Kings managing director.

MS Dhoni, 1st Wicketkeeper to effect 100 Stumpings

Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the first wicketkeeper in world cricket to effect 100 stumpings in One Day Internationals (ODIs). Dhoni achieved the feat in his 301st ODI in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 36-year-old Dhoni has also taken 281 catches apart from scoring 9,657 runs so far. In 90 Tests, Dhoni has taken 256 catches and effected 38 stumpings. In T20 Internationals, Dhoni has taken 43 catches and affected 23 stumpings.

Tejasvi Duduka wins women’s singles of US Open Grand Slam Carrom tournament

25-year-old Tejasvi Duduka from Hyderabad won the women’s singles of U.S. Open Grand Slam Carrom tournament. Earlier, she had won the Telangana State Women’s singles title in Nizamabad. In the men’s singles, Vemuri Anil Kumar of India finished runner up for the second year in the U.S Open. It was won by former National Champion Radhakrishnan.

India wins bronze at World Boxing Championships

Wildcard entrant Gaurav Bidhuri’s remarkable run at the World Boxing Championships ended with a bronze medal after he lost his semi-final clash to American Duke Ragan. India thus ended the tournament with a bronze medal, equalling the performance of 2009 (Vijender Singh), 2011 (Vikas Krishan) and 2015 (Shiva Thapa).

ECONOMY

US fines HSBC $175 mn for Lax Forex Oversight

The US central bank has fined global banking giant HSBC $175 million for failing to oversee foreign exchange traders who misused confidential client information and colluded with traders at competing banks. Between 2008 and 2013, the bank failed to detect misconduct by senior traders, including its global head of foreign exchange cash trading, according to the Federal Reserve. The enforcement action comes two months after the Fed also fined BNP Paribas USD 246 million over similar violations. HSBC was one of six major US and European banks fined a total of $4.2 billion by global regulators in a November 2014 crackdown for attempted manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

Govt keeps interest rates unchanged

The government has kept the interest rates unchanged on small savings schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra & Sukanya Samriddhi for October-December quarter. Investments in public provident fund scheme will fetch annual rate of 7.8%, while Kisan Vikas Patra investments will yield 7.5%. Since April last year, interest rates of all small saving schemes have been recalibrated on a quarterly basis.

Syndicate Bank cuts Savings Account interest rate by 0.5%

Public sector Syndicate Bank has cut savings account interest rate by 0.50 percent to 3.50 percent for deposits up to Rs 25 lakh. The bank has revised rate of interest on savings bank deposits with effect from October 10 to 3.50 percent from 4 percent existing rate. For the deposits above Rs 25 lakh, the interest rate is unchanged at 4 percent. With this, Syndicate Bank has joined over two-dozen banks, both from the public and private sector, who have cut the interest rate on deposits in various quantum.

ICICI Bank launches ‘Cashback’ Home Loans

India’s largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank announced a new home loan scheme that offers borrowers the benefit of 1% cashback on every EMI, for the entire tenure of the loan. The offer will be valid for home loans with a minimum tenure of 15 years and maximum tenure of 30 years. Customers can choose to adjust the cashback against principal outstanding of their home loan. The cashback will start to accrue from the first EMI itself. It will first get credited to the customer after completion of the 36th EMI.

SBI eases Minimum Balance rules on Savings Accounts

State Bank of India lowered the Minimum Average Monthly Balance (MAB) requirement in a savings account to Rs 3,000 from Rs 5,000 and also revised downwards penalties for not maintaining such a balance. From July 1, tax on banking has been revised to 18 percent under Goods and Services Tax (GST), the new indirect tax regime. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed banks to levy charges on non-maintenance of minimum balance in normal savings accounts.

Apple, Google and Microsoft top list of the 100 most valuable brands

Apple and Google respectively have once again take the two top spots in a list of the world’s 100 most valuable brands, according to rankings by consultancy group Interbrand. This is the fifth consecutive year with Apple and Google at the top of the list.

Masala Bonds to be Treated as ECB: RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that Masala bonds will be treated as External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) from 3rd October 2017 thereby freeing up more investments by FPIs. Masala bonds are rupee-denominated overseas bonds. Currently, the limit for investment by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in corporate bonds is Rs 2,44,323 crore. This includes masala bonds of Rs.44,001 crore.

SBI launches Indian bond index series in London

State Bank of India (SBI) has launched the FTSE SBI Bond Index series in partnership with global index provider FTSE 100, which will give tools to investors from India, the UK and globally to analyse India’s government bond market, and drive growth in this market. This index, launched in collaboration with the London Stock Exchange, will ensure that international investors have an international benchmark that is transparent, that is well governed and that is something they can easily rely on.

WHO grants $175,000 for Rohingyas

WHO has released its first tranche of emergency funding of $175,000 to provide lifesaving healthcare to “vulnerable population” in Bangladesh. Grant will support 20 mobile medical teams to provide essential services for at least two months. WHO is working closely with UNFPA, UNICEF & other health, partners in ensuring that adequate health services are provided to the vulnerable population.

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund hits $1 Trillion value for first time

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, reached the value of $1 trillion for the first time. This amount equals nearly $189,000 (157,000 euros) for each of the 5.3 million people living in Norway. The fund mainly invests in stocks (accounting for 65.1 per cent of the portfolio at the end of the second quarter), but also in bonds and real estate. With stakes in nearly 9,000 companies, it owns 1.3 per cent of the world’s market capitalization, and 2.3 per cent in Europe.

India signs 76 Million US Dollar loan deal with JICA

The Union Government of India signed a loan deal worth $76 million with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The total cost of the project will be $ 111 million, out of which $76 million will be provided as a soft loan from JICA. The project will be executed by Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and is likely to be completed by 2022. The JICA is the governmental agency that coordinates official development assistance (ODA) for Government of Japan.

HDFC Bank is India’s Top Brand: BrandZ Top 50 Report

India’s second largest private sector bank HDFC Bank topped the list of the country’s top 50 brands according to a report released by marketing and advertising conglomerate WPP Plc and Kantar Millward Brown. The bank has retained the top slot for the fourth year in a row. Banks and telcos dominate the listing, WPP’s BrandZ Top 50. Airtel is at 2nd spot and State Bank of India is at 3rd. According to the report, consumption of packaged consumer goods fell 4.2% and 2.4% year on year in November and December 2016 respectively, but recovered 0.6% in March this year and 3.9% in April.

India’s Forex Reserves Top $400 billion for the First Time

According to the RBI Data, India’s foreign-exchange reserves rose past $400 billion for the first time ever, strengthening policy makers’ buffers ahead of an expected reduction in US stimulus. The stockpile stood at $400.7 billion. With the Federal Reserve set to shrink its balance sheet-details of which could be announced recently, the holdings may help the rupee withstand any volatility even if global funds turn away from India’s slowing economy.

Amazon ties up with Bank of Baroda to attract more sellers

Online marketplace giant Amazon India is racing against time to bring in more sellers so that they sell more on its platform during the festive season. Amazon tied up with the Bank of Baroda to offer micro loans to its sellers. The firm’s arm, Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd (ASSPL), is bringing in more financial partners so that it can cater to its 225,000 seller base. The company had last year announced the launch of a seller lending programme in India for small and medium businesses to get fast and easy access to working capital.

New Plastic Jane Austen 10-pound note launched in Britain

In an effort to tackle counterfeiting, Britain launched a new plastic 10-pound note featuring Jane Austen, one of Britain’s most renowned authors. Apart from the Queen, whose portrait is on all U.K. currency, Austen is only the third woman to feature on a modern-day British banknote, after medical innovator Florence Nightingale and social reformer Elizabeth Fry. The new ‘tenner’, as it’s commonly known, is the first British banknote with a tactile feature, a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner to help blind and partially sighted users. In 2016, it launched a similar five-pound note that showcases Winston Churchill. A new 20-pound note featuring artist JMW Turner will follow in 2020.

Force Motors, Rolls-Royce Power Tie up

Pune-based auto firm Force Motors Ltd has entered into a non-binding joint venture agreement with Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG to produce engines for power generation and rail application and complete power generation systems, including spare parts, for Indian and global markets. The joint venture with Rolls-Royce will be the company’s first step towards diversifying into the non-auto segment. In the joint venture, Force Motors will hold a 51% stake and Rolls-Royce the rest.

Paytm Partners with NPCI

Paytm Payments Bank (PPB) has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch a RuPay-powered digital debit card. With the PPB Digital debit card, customers will now be able to transact at all merchants who accept credit and debit cards. Existing Paytm users need to complete a KYC process to become an account holder with PPB. Following this, they will be issued a free digital RuPay card.

Infosys completes Brilliant Basics acquisition

India’s second largest software services firm Infosys has completed the acquisition of London-based Brilliant Basics. Through this acquisition, Infosys further expands its worldwide connected network of Digital Studios that are focused on fulfilling the needs of global clients for end-to- end digital transformation solutions. Infosys had acquired the company in a cash deal worth GBP 7.5 million, including earn-out and employee retention amounts.

Fiscal deficit touches 92.4% of budget estimates at July-end

India’s fiscal deficit at July- end touched 92.4 % of the budget mainly because of front loading of expenditure by various government departments. In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit- difference between expenditure and revenue – was Rs 5.04 lakh crore during April- July 2017-18, according to the data of Controller General of Accounts (CGA). During the same period of last financial year, 2016-17, it was 73.7 % of the target. For 2017-18, the government aims to bring down the fiscal deficit to 3.2 % of the GDP. Last fiscal, it had met the deficit target of 3.5 % of the GDP.

Pakistan’s Habib Bank to pay $225-mn New York fine for compliance failures

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced a fine of USD 225 million on Pakistan’s Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and its New York branch for failure to comply with New York laws and regulations designed illicit financial transactions. Earlier, the bank facing a possible $630 million fine over compliance failures by its New York branch. The bank also announced that it would close its branch in New York after the United States financial regulator imposed a penalty of nearly USD 630 million.

RBI releases 2017 list of Domestic Systemically Important Banks

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released its 2017 list of the Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs). The list identifies private sector lender HDFC Bank Ltd as a D-SIB. With this, inclusion in the list, the HDFC has joined State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI bank Ltd, which has been tagged as D-SIBs or too-big-to-fail for the consecutive third year.

DBS Bank Gets RBI Nod for Subsidiary in India

DBS Bank India, part of Singapore-based financial services group DBS Group Holdings, has received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to convert its existing India franchise to a locally incorporated wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS) in India. In its guidelines, the RBI had pointed out that the WOS model for foreign banks in India would involve local incorporation, a local board of directors, and a ring-fenced capital and assets profile that would not be affected by the impact of global events on its parent.

SAAB ties up with Adani Group to build Gripen E fighter jets in India

Swedish defence major SAAB announced its tie-up with Adani Group to manufacture the Gripen E fighter jets in India under the Defence Ministry’s $10 billion single-engine fighter jet procurement programme. The announcement comes within months of US’ Lockheed Martin announcing its joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems for producing the latest version of F-16 in India.

99 per cent of demonetised notes returned: RBI report

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the Status of the Return of SBNs- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Annual Report 2016-17. The report states that around 99 per cent of the demonetised notes that is Rs 15.28 lakh crore have been returned to the bank. The high value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were banned by Union Government in November 2016 as a means to combat counterfeiting, black money and the financing of terrorist activities. RBI was under intense scrutiny since January 2017 after the window for depositing the withdrawn Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes was closed.

SEBI bans Orion Capital, Orion Broking from Markets for 10 years

Markets regulator SEBI barred Orion Capital as well as Orion Broking and their partners from the securities markets for 10 years for failing to redress several investor grievances pertaining to non- settlement of funds due to the clients. The nature of investor complaints received against both the firms are predominantly on non-settlement of the funds and securities and balances due to their clients. The claim amount is more than Rs 6 crore against Orion Capital and over Rs 4 crore against Orion Broking.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Isro’s Mars Orbiter Mission completes 3 years in orbit

India’s rendezvous with the red planet continues as its celebrated Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) completes three years in orbit. The country had on 24 September 2014 successfully placed the Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft in the orbit around the red planet, in its very first attempt, thus breaking into an elite club.

Google launches mobile wallet and payments app ‘Tez’ in India

Google launched a mobile wallet and payments app ‘Tez’ in India that will let users link their phones to their bank accounts to pay for goods in physical stores and online. It is available for both Android and iOS users, the app also allows person-to-person money transfers. Google linking up with several major banks in the country by way of UPI (Unified Payments Interface) a payment standard and system backed by the government in its push to bring more integrated banking services into a very fragmented market.

IAF successfully conducts development trials of Astra missile

The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully conducted developmental trials of indigenously developed Astra beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM). Total of seven trials of Astra BVRAAM conducted in various missions and two of them were against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA) successfully fired. It is one of the smallest weapon system developed by DRDO, having a length of 3.8-metre and weighing 154kg. It is a single stage solid fuelled missile.

NASA finds ‘Shape-shifting’ bacteria on the International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) has uncovered in a report that microscopic organisms bacteria “shapeshift” in space to counteract any harm to itself. Experiments on the ISS (International Space Station) has been undergoing for a long while to see the response of microscopic organisms under different conditions. ISS noticed that the bacteria cells when treated with a common antibiotic, changing its shape to survive in near-zero gravity environments. It may pose a serious threat to astronauts getting treated for infections.

Scientists create first global map of water on Moon

Scientists from Brown University in US have created first map of water trapped in uppermost layer of Moon’s soil. The was build using NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper onboard of India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. The map builds on initial discovery of water and related molecule – hydroxyl (consists of one atom each of hydrogen and oxygen) in lunar soil in 2009. It may prove useful to future lunar explorers.

3rd Generation Anti Tank Guided Missile NAG successfully test-fired

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired NAg, the 3rd generation Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), against two different targets in the ranges of Rajasthan. The ATGM NAG missile successfully hit both the targets at different ranges and it marks the successful completion of development trials of NAG Missile. The missile is equipped with highly advanced Imaging Infrared Radar (IRR) seeker and has integrated avionics technology in its arsenal.

Scientists make cheap and clean fuel from air

Scientists from Cardiff University, UK have discovered a new way to produce methanol from methane using oxygen from the air. Methanol is an important chemical often used as fuel in vehicles. The discovery has major implications for cleaner, greener industrial processes worldwide. The new technique uses freely available air, inexpensive chemicals and an energy efficient methanol production process.

President to lay foundation stone for Link-4 of SAUNI Scheme in Rajkot

President Ramnath Kovind will today lay the foundation stone for the link – 4 of Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation Scheme -SAUNI- Yojana in Rajkot district. The project launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat aims to fill up 115 major dams by diverting overflow of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada River. Three phase of SAUNI Yojana already dedicated to the people following completion of the work.

Launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1H unsuccessful: ISRO

The launch of ISRO’s eight navigation satellite IRNSS-1H onboard of PSLV-C39 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh was unsuccessful. The heat shield did not separate as a result of which satellite did not complete the 4th stage. The IRNSS-1H was being sent to space to backup and replace the functions of India’s first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A (launched in July 2013) as its three rubidium atomic clocks on board had stopped functioning. The rubidium atomic clocks on board of IRNSS-1A that stopped working were imported from European aerospace manufacturer Astrium. The atomic clocks are used to find satellite’s position with an accuracy of 0.5 metre.

PERSONS IN NEWS

A). APPOINTMENTS

President appoints five new Governors for states and Lt Governor for Andaman

President Ram Nath Kovind, has appointed five new Governors. The appointments are as:

  • D. Mishra (Retd.) as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. Took over from Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya.
  • Banwarilal Purohit as the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Took over from C. Vidyasagar Rao.
  • Satya Pal Malik as the Governor of Bihar. Took over from Keshari Nath Tripathi.
  • Professor Jagdish Mukhi as the Governor of Assam. Took over from Banwarilal Purohit.
  • Ganga Prasad as the Governor of Meghalaya. Took over from Banwarilal Purohit.
  • Devendra Kumar Joshi as the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Took over from Jagdish Mukhi.

Rajiv Sabharwal to take charge as Tata Capital CEO

Tata Capital announced the appointment of Rajiv Sabharwal as Managing Director & CEO designate of the company. Sabharwal will be joining Tata Capital in January 2018 and would be taking over from the company’s current Managing Director & CEO Praveen P Kadle. Mr Kandle will be assuming other responsibilities in the Tata Group effective April 1, 2018. Sabharwal is currently a partner at True North Managers LLP, formerly India Value Fund Advisors. He was an Executive Director on ICICI Bank’s board before joining True North.

Bilal Dar, ambassador for Swachhata Hi Seva

Bilal Dar, a young boy from Srinagar has become the brand ambassador for Srinagar Municipal Corporation. Dar has been contributing to the ‘Swachhta Abhiyan’ since the age of 12. ‘Swachhta Hi Sewa’ campaign has turned out to be monetarily beneficial for residents and scrap buyers/dealers, besides helping in enhancing preventive measures against vector-borne diseases.

Shashi Shankar appointed CMD of ONGC

Shashi Shanker has been appointed as the chairman and managing director of India’s biggest oil and gas producer ONGC. Shankar, at present director (technical and field services), ONGC, will take over the charge as CMD from October 1. He will replace Dinesh K Sarraf, who retires on September 30, upon attaining superannuation age. Shankar will have a nearly 4-year term until March 2021.

Angela Merkel wins 4th term as Chancellor of Germany

Angela Merkel won a fourth term as chancellor in Germany elections that lifted the far-right party Alternative for Germany into parliament for the first time since the immediate aftermath World War II. Her nearest rivals, the Social Democrats, and their candidate Martin Schulz came in the second position with a post-war record low 20.8 percent.

Rajiv Mehrishi sworn in as CAG of India

Former Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi was sworn in as new Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) of India. He was administered oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind. He succeeded Shashi Kant Sharma. Mr Mehrishi is 1978 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre. He has worked for both Union and State governments at top positions and his bureaucratic career spanned more than 30 years. Before retirement from service, he had served as Home Secretary.

Balraj Joshi appointed CMD of NHPC

Balraj Joshi has been appointed as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of NHPC, the country’s premier hydro power utility. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment to the post till December 31, 2019. Joshi is at present Director (Technical) in the organisation. NHPC is among the TOP TEN companies in the country in terms of investment.

B Sambamurthy Appointed as NPCI Interim Chairman

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has appointed B Sambamurthy as interim Chairman of the board. He will replace M Balachandran, who was Non-Executive Chairman of NPCI. Sambamurthy was formerly Director and CEO of the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) and Chairman and Managing Director of Corporation Bank prior to that.

Akshay Kumar appointed Uttarakhand Swachh Bharat Mission Brand Ambassador

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat announced the appointment of actor Akshay Kumar as the brand ambassador of the Swachh Bharat Mission in the state. Akshay was also appointed as the brand ambassador for the cleanliness campaign in Uttar Pradesh in August 2017 and his film “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” was made tax-free in the state.

India appoints Ajay Bisaria New High Commissioner to Pakistan

India’s ambassador to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale will now head the Indian mission in China, while envoy to Poland Ajay Bisaria will replace him in Islamabad. The reshuffle was necessitated by appointment of India’s ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale as Secretary (Economic Relations) in MEA. Gokhale played the lead role in defusing the Doklam crisis with Beijing.

Robbins as Executive Chairman of Cisco

Cisco has announced that its CEO Chuck Robbins will be appointed as the Executive Chairman of the company. The announcement came after John Chambers, present Executive Chairman, notified the Board of Directors that he will not stand for re-election. Robbins had joined Cisco in 1997 & assumed the role of CEO in July, 2015. Chambers will be given the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus.

Bambawale is new envoy to China

India’s high commissioner to Pak Gautam Bambawale has been appointed as the ambassador to China. He has served as joint secretary of East Asia division where he handled both China & Japan. Reshuffle was necessitated as India’s current ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale was appointed as Secretary (Economic Relations) in MEA. Gokhale played a lead role in defusing the Doklam crisis with Beijing.

Raquel Dodge became first woman General Prosecutor of Brazil

Raquel Dodge was appointed the first woman General Prosecutor of Brazil. She took over the position, replacing Rodrigo Janot, who held the position for four years. Raquel Dodge was sworn in as the new prosecutor general in the presence of President Michel Temer and Supreme Court President Carmen Lucia.

Rajni Kant Mishra appointed new DG of SSB

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed senior IPS officer Rajni Kant Mishra (58) as new Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). He will succeed Archana Ramasundaram, who holds distinction of being first woman IPS officer to head a para-military force in the country. Mr. Mishra is a 1984 batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre. He is native of Bihar and had joined Border Security Force (BSF) as Inspector General in 2012. He was elevated to Additional Director General of the BSF in November 2014. He was recently elevated to Special Director General rank in the BSF.

Y C Modi appointed as Director General of National Investigation Agency

Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Y C Modi was appointed the new Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA). The order regarding the appointment was issued by the Union Ministry for Home Affairs. Modi will replace Sharad Kumar, who is will retire on 30 October 2017. Modi is an IPS officer of the 1979 batch of the Haryana cadre. He had also been part of a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed 2002 Gujarat riots case. He has also served as the Additional Director General of Police in Shillong, and Additional Director in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Peruvian President appoints Mercedes Araoz Fernandez as New PM

The President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has appointed a former Economy Minister Mercedes Araoz Fernandez as new Prime Minister of Peru. Mercedes Araoz, who is also a lawmaker and one of Peru’s two Vice Presidents, is the new Chief Minister in a reconstituted Cabinet. She served as an economy minister during part of the 2006-11 administration of President Alan Garcia. Araoz replaced Fernando Zavala, who lost the vote of confidence by lawmakers on 15 September 2017.

Former UN Secretary-General elected as Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission

Former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was elected as Chair of Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a four-year term. Ban succeeds Youssoupha Ndiaye of Senegal whose term has come to an end. His appointment was proposed by the IOC Executive Board and was approved during the IOC Session in Lima with a 74-4 majority.

Mahendra Pratap Mall Appointed IRCTC CMD

Mahendra Pratap Mall was appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd. He is at present director (finance) in the same organisation. The appointments committee of the Union cabinet has approved his appointment to the post for a period of five years, as per the order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

M Nagaraja Sarma is the new CMD of United India Insurance

  1. Nagaraja Sarma appointed the chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of the United India Insurance Co. Ltd. He is at present the general manager, Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. He is appointed for five years.

Trump appoints Indian-American Raj Shah to key position in Communications team

US President Donald Trump has appointed Indian-American Raj Shah to a key position in his Communications team. Shah will serve as Deputy Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Press Secretary. Formerly, Shah was served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director. Trump also appointed Hope Hicks as his Communications Director. Earlier, Hicks was served as Assistant to the President and Interim Communications Director.

Halimah Yacob- 1st Female President of Singapore

Halimah Yacob was sworn-in as the 8th President of Singapore. She became the country’s first female President and the first in five decades to come from the Malay ethnicity. She was certified by the Presidential Elections Commission as the only eligible candidate, and since she has no opponent, there was no election held.

UN Secretary-General appoints Peter Thomson as 1st Special Envoy for Oceans

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Peter Thomson, the outgoing president of the UN General Assembly as the first Special Envoy for the oceans. Peter Thomson had played a leading role in the first-ever UN conference on oceans, which was held in June 2016. The conference saw 193 UN member states issue an urgent call for action to reverse the decline in the health and productivity of the world’s oceans.

Viveck Goenka elected as chairman of Press Trust of India

Viveck Goenka, chairman and managing director of Express Group was unanimously elected as Chairman of Press Trust of India (PTI). N Ravi, former editor-in-chief of The Hindu was elected vice-chairman. They were elected at meeting of board of directors of PTI following the company’s 69th annual general meeting. Goenka who was earlier vice-chairman, will succeed Riyad Mathew of Malayala Manorama group.

Parineeti First Indian Women Ambassador for Tourism Australia

The Tourism Australia has roped in Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra to be its first Indian woman Ambassador to encourage Indians to visit the country. She was presented the Friend of Australia (FOA) recognition by Australian COnsul General Tony Huber for her contribution to promote Australia. Chopra will be the first Indian woman ambassador to be a part of the FOA advocacy panel. The panel also includes influential personalities like Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle.

Dr Inder Jit Singh appointed Chairperson of NACWC

Dr. Inder Jit Singh has been given the additional charge of the post of Chairperson, National Authority Chemical Weapons Convention (NACWC). Dr. Inder Jit Singh is a 1985-batch IAS officer of Kerala Cadre and at present he is serving as the Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat.

N Baijendra Kumar CMD of National Mineral Development Corporation

N Baijendra Kumar, the IAS officer of the Chhattisgarh cadre take charge as Chairman-Cum-Managing Director (CMD) of the state-run National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC). He was additional chief secretary to the Chhattisgarh chief minister and held the charge of power, commerce & industries.

Sankara Narayanan takes charge as MD & CEO of Vijaya Bank

R A Sankara Narayanan has taken charge as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Vijaya Bank. He has taken over the reigns of the bank from Kishore Sansi, who reached superannuation on August 31. He joined Bank of India as a direct recruit officer in 1983 and has headed various branches.

Tamilnadu Mercantile Bank gets new CEO & MD

KV Rama Moorthy took charge as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tamilnadu Mercantile Bank. He succeeds HS Upendra Kamath. His appointment is for a period of three years. Prior to joining TMB, he was Executive Director of United Bank of India.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore appointed as New Sports Minister

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is appointed as the new Youth Affairs and Sports Minister. The 47-year-old Rathore was up until now serving as the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting. Rathore served as a commissioned officer in The Grenadiers regiment of the Indian Army before retiring in 2013 as a colonel. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2005.

Hockey India sacks chief coach Roelant Oltmans

Hockey India sacked national coach Roelant Oltmans of the Netherlands after a string of unimpressive outings at the international level. High Performance Director David John will be in charge till a suitable replacement is found for a smooth transition of the men’s team. The most notable performance for India under Oltmans was a silver medal at the Champions Trophy last year. He also guided the junior team to World Cup gold as an advisor.

Indian-origin Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay appointed as Interim President of Singapore

Indian-origin civil servant Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay was appointed as Interim President of Singapore until the new President is sworn-in. Pillay succeeds Tony Tan Keng Yam who completed a six-year term on 31 August 2017. At present, Pillay is serving as the Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA). This is the first time that the office of the President of Singapore has fallen vacant since the elected presidency was introduced in 1991. As per Singapore law, when the office of the President is vacant, the first in line to exercise its powers is the CPA Chairman followed by the Speaker of Parliament.

Rajiv Kumar assumes charge of Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog

Noted economist Rajiv Kumar took over as the vice-chairman of government think tank Niti Aayog. Kumar succeeded Arvind Panagariya, an Indian-American Economics Professor at Columbia University. Kumar had also served as the chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and held senior positions in the Asian Development Bank, the Indian Ministry of Industries, and the Ministry of Finance.

Kenneth I. Juster Named U.S Ambassador to India

Kenneth I. Juster, deputy director of the National Economic Council at the White House, has been nominated as the next U.S ambassador to India. The appointment will take effect once the U.S Senate confirms him. The post has been vacant since January 20, 2017.

Rajiv Mehrishi appointed as Comptroller and Auditor General

Rajiv Mehrishi was appointed as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. Mehrishi retired as Union Home Secretary on 30 August 2017. Mehrishi will succeed incumbent Shashi Kant Sharma who will complete his tenure on 23 September 2017. sharma assumed the office of CAG in May 2013. Mehrishi is the first Home Secretary who completed his two-year tenure after the NDA government came to power.

Sunil Arora appointed Election Commissioner

Former bureaucrat Sunil Arora was appointed as the Election Commissioner of India. Arora’s appointment will be effective from the day he assumes charge. After Nasim Zaidi retired as Chief Election Commissioner in July 2017, there was a vacancy in the Election Commission of India. While Achal Kumar Joti is the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and the Om Prakash Rawat is the other Election Commissioner. Before being appointed as the Election Commissioner, Arora had been the Information and Broadcasting Secretary, and Secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Anita Karwal replaces RK Chaturvedi as CBSE Chairperson

IAS officer Anita Karwal was appointed as the new Chairperson of Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE. The 1988-batch officer from Gujarat cadre is currently serving as additional secretary in HRD Ministry. She was the Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer during the Lok Sabha election in 2014. She would be replacing Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi, who has been appointed as Director General of the National Skill Development Agency.

B). RESIGNS

Infosys Senior VP Sanjay Rajagopalan Quits

Infosys Senior Vice President Sanjay Rajagopalan has resigned from his post. The decision has come a month after Vishal Sikka stepped down as the company’s MD and CEO. He was employed with Infosys from August 2014 to September 2017.

Iceland Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson resigns

Iceland Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson gave his resignation to President Gudni Th. Johannesson. Th resignation paves the way for new election to be held on November 4, 2017. Benediktsson took office in January 2017, uniting his Independence Party, the Reform Party and the centrists. Benediktsson lost his nine-month-old, center-right coalition after one party quit over an attempt by the prime minister’s father to help clear the name of a convicted pedophile.

Stephane Cottalorda, India’s first foreign coach for Women Boxers resigns

Indian women’s boxing’s first foreign coach, Stephane Cottalorda, has resigned after just one month of appointment, alleging delay in salary and other payments. Cottalorda has claimed in his resignation letter that he hasn’t been paid his salary for the first month in full and has also cited ‘lack of professionalism’ on part of Boxing Federation of India (BFI) as his reasons for not coming back to India.

NITI Aayog’s Rajiv Kumar resigns from DHFL board

NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar has reigned from his post of independent director in the board of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL), the third largest home loan & housing finance company in India. The move came after Kumar got the top post at NITI Aayog, the government think tank.

Uruguay Vice President resigns amid allegations of credit card graft

Uruguay’s Vice President Raul Sendic resigned amid allegations of corruptions stemming from his tenure as head of state oil company ANCAP. He has been accused of engaging in unacceptable use of public funds. As per allegations, he used corporate credit cards to make purchases at jewellery, electronics, furniture and other stores apparently unrelated to his official business between 2010 and 2013. It is the first time a vice president has stepped down in the South American nation.

Ashish Kashyap resigns as President and Co-founder of MakeMyTrip

Ashish Kashyap resigned as the President and Co-founder of MakeMyTrip with effect from 30 September 2017. As per the settlement agreement, kashyap will be under non-solicitation and non-competition obligation for the next two year. Kashyap had assumed the role of President and Co-founder after MakeMyTrip acquired Ibibo Group in October 2016. Kashyap was earlier designated as the Chief Executive Officer of the Ibibo Group.

C). DEATHS

Veteran actor Tom Alter dies at 67

Veteran film, television and theatre actor and Padma Shri Tom Alter has died at aged 67. The renowned actor and one-time sports writer and author had been battling stage four skin cancer. Alter acted in over 300 movies apart from numerous TV shows, most famously as the gangster Keshav Kalsi in the hit soap opera Junoon which ran for a record five years during the 1990s. In addition to acting, Alter also ventured into direction and was a sports journalist in the 80s and 90s. He was the first person to interview Sachin Tendulkar for TV when the cricketer was yet to debut for India. Alter has written three books, one non-fiction and two fiction, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government in recognition for his services to the field of arts and cinema.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner passes away

Playboy magazine founder and sexual revolution symbol Hugh Hefner has passed away. He was 91. He died at his home of natural causes. He founded the magazine in 1953. Hefner built a brand that defined the sexual culture of the second half of the 20th century.

Former world’s heaviest woman Eman Abd El Aty dies

Eman Ahmed, the world’s heaviest woman who made news when she arrived in Mumbai earlier this year for a weight-loss surgery, passed away in Abu Dhabi. She had lost more than 300kg (660lb) of her 500kg but had died from complications from other health conditions.

Liliane Bettencourt, Richest Woman in the World dies at 94

French businesswoman and heiress of cosmetics giant L’Oreal Liliane Bettencourt, 94, has died. In March 2017, Forbes ranked Bettencourt the world’s richest woman, putting her net worth at $39.5 billion.

Yesteryear Bollywood actress Shakila passes away

Yesteryear Bollywood actress Shakila was passed away following a massive heart attack. She was 82. Shakila was best known for her roles in Aar Par and CID. Shakila’s nephew Nasir Khan announced the death of her aunt on social media website Facebook.

Legendary Boxer, Jake LaMotta passes away

Jake LaMotta, former boxing champion whose life of violence in and out of the ring was portrayed in the movie “Raging Bull” passed away in Miami. He was in his 90s and died of complications of pneumonia. Fighting mostly as a middleweight and known as the “Raging Bull” and “Bronx Bull,” LaMotta finished his 13-year career with 83 victories (30 by knockout), 19 losses and four draws. He was ranked 52nd in the list of 80 best fighters in the year 2002.

Kirpal Chugh, India’s father of nephrology dies

Dr Kirpal Chugh, fondly called father of nephrology in India, passed away at 85. He is fondly called father of nephrology in India for single-handedly first separating this discipline from medicine & then developing this into super-specialty in India. He was awarded Padma Shri, 4th highest civilian award in 2000. He produced 72 Doctorate in Medicine in his career of 3 decades at PGIMER.

Arjan Singh: Sole marshal of IAF passes away

The sole Marshal of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Arjan Singh passed away following cardiac arrest in New Delhi. He was 98. He was known for shaping IAF in its early years as well as during some of its most difficult junctures. In 2002, on the occasion of Republic Day, he was granted honorary rank of Marshal, highest military rank attainable, which before him only two Army chiefs, K M Carriappa and Sam Manekshaw, had achieved.

World’s Oldest Person Dies at 117

The world’s oldest person Violet Mosse-Brown from Jamaica has died at the age of 117. She was born on March 10, 1900, in Jamaica. The prime minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, informed about Mosse-Brown’s death. Brown had been given the honor in April 2017 when Italy’s Emma Morano died, also at the age of 117. With the death of Brown, Japanese 117-year-old Nabi Tajima is now the known oldest human on the planet.

Frank Vincent, Veteran Actor passes away

Frank Vincent, who played tough guys and mobsters in “The Sopranos” and a number of director Martin Scorsese movies, died at age 80. In 2006, Vincent wrote the nonfiction book ‘A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man’. “The Death Collector,” was his debut movie.

Constitutional law expert Pavani Parameswara Rao dies

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Pavani Parameswara Rao passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest in New Delhi. He wa 84. Widely considered a doyen of Constitutional Law, Rao argued a number of landmark cases before the Supreme Court. He had helped develop the argument against the legal challenge to President’s Rule in four Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, after demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

Gay rights activist Edith Windsor passes away

Gay rights activist Edith Windsor, whose same-gender marriage fight led to a landmark US ruling, passed away. She was 88. It was Windsor’s efforts that Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, granting same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time.

Noted Journalist Gauri Lankesh shot dead in Bengaluru

Noted journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead. She was shot down from close range by unidentified persons at her residence at Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwari Nagar. Gauri Lankesh was the editor of popular Kannada tabloid Lankesh Patrike founded by her father and well-known writer P Lankesh. Gauri Lankesh was also part of a panel formed by State government to help Surrender Naxals to reform.

Former Union Minister Shri Sultan Ahmed passes away

Sultan Ahmed, Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP, passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 64. Ahmed had served as the Union Minister of State for Tourism in the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Uluberia constituency on a Trinamool Congress ticket and was elected to the West Bengal Assembly twice.

Arunachal Pradesh Health Minister passes away

Arunachal Pradesh Health and Family Welfare Minister Jomde Kena died at a private hospital in Guwahati after a prolonged illness. 52-year-old Kena, a resident of Gensi village in Lower Siang district was undergoing treatment at Guwahati for the past one month.

Pulitzer-Prize Winning Poet John Ashbery Passes Away

Pulitzer-prize winning poet John Ashbery, a post-modern American trailblazer, has passed away at age of 90 in Hudson, New York. His 1975 collection “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” made history when he became the lone writer to earn three major accolades the same year for the same work: the Pulitzer in addition to a National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award.

D). VISITORS

 Japan PM in Ahmedabad for India-Japan Annual Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi received his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Mr. Abe is in India on a two-day visit to attend the India-Japan annual summit meeting. The 12th edition of the summit will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The two leaders will review the recent progress in the multifaceted co-operation between India and Japan under the framework of their ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’. They will also attend a function to mark the commencement of work of India’s first high-speed rail project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

Belarus President on Two-Day Visit in India

India and Belarus are signed agreements on their bilateral cooperation, including in defence and security, as the Eastern European country’s President Alexander Lukashenko is on a two-day visit to New Delhi. Belarus and India are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Bilateral trade between India and Belarus stands at $200 million, with pharmaceutical products being India’s main exports to the East European nation.

List of MoUs signed during Visit of PM Modi to Myanmar

After attending the BRICS Summit in China, PM Modi left for his three-day visit to Myanmar. He was received by the Myanmar President Htin Kyaw. Following set of agreements were signed between the two nation.

  • MoU on Maritime Security Cooperation
  • Cultural Exchange Programme for the year 2017-2020.
  • MoU on Enhancing the Cooperation of the Upgradation of the Women’s Police Training Centre at Yamethin, Myanmar.
  • MoU for Sharing White Shipping Information between the Indian Navy and Myanmar Navy
  • Technical Agreement for providing Coastal Surveillance System
  • MoU between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), Ministry Of Health and Family Welfare of the Republic of India and Food and Drugs (FDA), Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar on Cooperation in Medical Products Regulation.
  • Exchange of Letter for Extension of MoU on the establishment of MIIT
  • Exchange of Letter for Extension of MoU on the establishment of India-Myanmar Center for Enhancement of IT-Skill
  • MoU in the field of elections between the Election Commission of India and The Union Election Commission of Myanmar.
  • MoU on Cooperation between Myanmar Press Council and the Press Council of India.

Sushma Swaraj arrives in Russia for third Eastern Economic Forum

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Russian port city of Vladivostok on a three-day visit to attend the third Eastern Economic Forum which will deliberate on pressing issues relating to global trade. She holds bilateral talks with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov during which various issues relating to trade, investment, and defense cooperation. The Eastern Economic Forum is considered as the biggest international communication platform for cooperation between businesses leaders and senior government representatives from Russia, the Pacific Region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Swiss President on 3-Day Visit to India

President of Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard is on the three-day visit to India. A number of agreements are expected to be signed in several areas after the talks. India and Switzerland enjoy robust economic ties, with Switzerland being seventh largest trading partner and eleventh largest foreign investor for India.

E). MISCELLANEOUS

 Aparna Kumar, First Indian woman to scale Mt Manaslu

An Indian Police Service Officer of UP Cadre, Aparna Kumar became the first Indian woman to scale Mount Manaslu, which is the 8th highest mountain peak in the world. Exactly at 10.00 am on September 25, Kumar took up a mission to climb Mount Manaslu in the west-central part of Nepal. She has already successfully scaled the highest peaks of six continents out of seven continents.

CISF Security at Mumbai Airport rated Best in World

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) security at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai has been recognised as the best service in this domain by a global quality rating agency. The latest initiative of doing away with the tagging and stamping of hand baggage, handling increasing passenger footfalls smoothly, and feeling of being safe and secure by passengers, etc, were taken into account while deciding the award.

Priyanka is eighth highest paid TV actress, Sofia Vergara tops the list

According to Forbes, Priyanka Chopra came in at number eight as the ‘Quantico’ star made USD 10 million ( INR 65 crore) between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2017, while ‘Modern Family’ star Sofia Vergara earned a whopping USD 41.5 million (Rs 271 crore) during the same period, topping the list for the sixth consecutive year.

Sebi chief Ajay Tyagi named among world’s top 10 regulators

Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi has been named among the top ten regulators in the world, according to a report. He has been ranked at the seventh position among the top 10 regulators worldwide. The rankings are part of the World’s Most Influential People in Market Structure. The list of ten regulators is topped by European Union’s Commissioner (Competition) Margrethe Vestager.

Nooyi, Kochhar, Shikha on Fortune’s most powerful women in business list

Two Indians – Chanda Kochhar and Shikha Sharma – have made it to the rankings of most powerful women in business outside the United States drawn up by the Fortune magazine while Indra Nooyi featured in the top three on the US edition list. The Most Powerful Women in Business Outside the US list, which was topped by Banco Santander group executive chairman Ana Botin, placed ICICI Bank’s Kochhar at the fifth spot while Axis Bank’s Sharma has been ranked 21st. PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi came in at No. 2 on the US Most Powerful Women in Business list, led by General Motors chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

Patanjali CEO among top 10 richest Indians with ₹70,000 cr wealth

Patanjali Ayurved CEO Acharya Balkrishna has been named among India’s top 10 richest people for the first time in Hurun Rich List 2017, with a wealth of ₹70,000 crore. Now India’s 8th richest person, Balkrishna saw a 173% increase in his wealth in a year. Notably, he is the most followed entrepreneur on the Indian social media. Mukesh Ambani retains the richest Indian title for the sixth year.

Mary Kom to be AIBA representative at IOC athletes’ forum

Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medalist M C Mary Kom has become the first Indian to be picked as the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) representative for the 8th IOC Athletes’ Forum, which will take place in Lausanne from November 11 to 13, 2017. She is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. Nicknamed “Magnificent Mary”, she is the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the flyweight (51 kg) category and winning the bronze medal. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced Mary Kom as the brand ambassador for 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.

China Hui Ka Yan becomes the Richest Man in Asia

According to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List, Hui Ka Yan, the chairman of Chinese real estate giant Evergrande Group, has become Asia’s richest man, with a net worth of $41.1 billion. Hui ranks No. 15 globally. The Asia’s second and third richest persons are Tencent Holdings Chairman Ma Huateng ($39.1 billion), Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma ($38.9 billion) respectively.

Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu becomes first woman minister in Mizoram in 30 yrs

The 38-year-old Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu became the first woman minister in Mizoram in 30 years, since the 1987 state assembly elections. She is the president of the Mizoram Pradesh Youth Congress Committee and was elected from Hrangturzo seat in central Serchhip district in a bye-election. In Mizoram’s political history, Chawngthu became the fourth woman legislator. Lalhlimpui Hmar was the first woman to hold a ministerial post in Mizoram, in 1987.

Three Indians among World’s ’100 Greatest Living Business Minds’
Three Indian entrepreneurial legends, Ratan Tata, Lakshmi Mittal and Vinod Khosla have been included in Forbes’s special list of the world’s ‘100 Greatest Living Business Minds. Some of the notable honorees alongside Blank are- Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump and more.

Cyclist Mark Beaumont Breaks the World Record

Mark Beaumont broke the world record for cycling around the world – by 44 days. The 34-year-old, from Perthshire, arrived in Paris one day ahead of schedule having cycled the 18,000-mile route in 79 days. He set a new world record of 194 days in 2008. He was on his bike for more than 16 hours a day and only slept for five hours each night.

Prince Charles becomes Longest-serving Prince of Wales

Prince Charles has become the longest-serving Prince of Wales in history. The 68-year-old broke the record of Queen Victoria’s son Albert, who went on to become King Edward VII after holding the title of Prince of Wales for more than 59 years before becoming monarch. The milestone came a day after his wife, Camilla – Duchess of Cornwall, named a Royal Navy aircraft carrier after her husband.

Mother Teresa declared as co-patron of Archdiocese of Calcutta

Saint Teresa, also known as Mother Teresa, was declared as the co-patron of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta, 131 years after St Francis Xavier was declared as first patron. the declaration was made by Vicar General, Archdiocese of Calcutta in the presence of the Vatican’s ambassador to India Giambattista Diquattro, bishops from across the state and nuns of the Missionaries of Charity which was founded by Mother Teresa in 1950 within Archdiocese of Calcutta.

PLACES IN NEWS

Parali I island: Uninhabited Lakshadweep island vanishes

According to a study, Parali I island, one of biodiversity-rich uninhabited islands part of Lakshadweep has disappeared due to coastal erosion and another four such islands in Lakshadweep sea are shrinking fast. The researcher had conducted studies on assessment of biodiversity confining to five uninhabited islands– Parali I, II and III, Bangaram, Thinnakara in Lakshadweep, an archipelago of 36 islands in Lakshadweep sea.

Ahmedabad gets India’s first ‘World Heritage City’ tag from UNESCO

The city of Ahmedabad, known as the commercial hub of Gujarat, was formally accorded the status of India’s first ‘World Heritage City’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The certificate for the same was handed over by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova to the state’s Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani.

World’s Highest Sandcastle Built in German City

The world’s highest sandcastle is now standing 16.68 meters tall in the German city of Duisburg. A German travel operator organized the construction of the mammoth sandcastle, bringing in 3,500 tons of sand over the past three and a half weeks to the site at a former steelworks in the inland city. It takes the title from a 14.84-metre sandcastle built early this year in India by sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik.

BOOKS IN NEWS

Union Finance Minister releases book on Financial Management

The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley along with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu released a book on financial management in New Delhi. The book titled “A to Z of Financial Management in Autonomous Institutions” is authored by Dr. Rajat Bhargava and Shri Deenanath Pathak.

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

The book titled “The Golden House” by Salman Rushdie is “NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER”. It ranks among Rushdie’s most ambitious and provocative books and displays the quicksilver wit and playful storytelling of Rushdie’s best work. It is a modern American epic set against the panorama of contemporary politics and culture – a hurting, page-turning mystery. The Golden House also marks Salman Rushdie’s triumphant and exciting return to realism. The result is a modern epic of love and terrorism, loss and reinvention- a powerful, timely story told with the daring and panache.

The Shershah of Kargil: the biography of Kargil war hero Vikram Batra

The book titled “”The Shershah of Kargil” is a biography of Kargil war hero Late Captain Vikram Batra, who was posthumously awarded Param Veer Chakra (PVC) – the highest gallantry award of India. The book written by Deepak Surana is an inspiring story of the young captain Vikram Batra, which takes you through the various dimensions of Captain Batra’s life.

Book titled “India: Priorities for the Future” by Bimal Jalan

Book title “India: Priorities for the Future” authored by Bimal Jalan is a formadable analysis of the last four decades of India’s economic journey. The book illuminates the nation’s transition from a strictly regulated, slow-growth state enterprise to one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

Unstoppable: My Life So Far authored by Maria Sharapova

The book titled “Unstoppable: My Life So Far” authored by tennis star Maria Sharapova was unveiled in September 2017. The book talks about Sharapova’s rise from nowhere to tennis stardom, and the unending fight to stay on top. The book tells how a seventeen-year-old Maria Sharapova became an overnight sensation by defeating the two-time defending champion Serena Williams to win the prestigious Wimbledon.

COMMITTEES

 PM Modi forms Economic Advisory Council

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reconstituted the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to guide him on economic issues and appointed economist Bibek Debroy as its chairman. Debroy is a member of government think tank Niti Aayog. The four other part-time EAC members are Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal and Ratan Watal.

Centre decides to form inter-ministerial committee to monitor schools

The Union Government has decided to form an inter-ministerial committee to monitor implementation of safety measures in its schools across the country. The committee was formed in the wake of the brutal killing of a student in Gurugram and rape of a girl by a school peon in the national capital, Delhi. The decision was taken during a meeting between Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar and Women & Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi in New Delhi. The WCD minister also informed that a committee of six secretaries will be constituted to monitor the implementation and progress of the guidelines.

AIMPLB to form committee to examine Supreme Court’s verdict on Triple Talaq

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has decided to constitute a committee comprising experts that would look into the method and process for undertaking large scale community reform program within the Islamic Sharia (Islamic Law). The board passed a resolution in this connection in its one-day-long marathon meeting that was held in Bhopal to discuss the way forward after Supreme Court of India recently adjudged the popular Islamic divorce practice of instant triple talaq as unconstitutional.

IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

 30 September: International Translation Day

The observance of this day seeks to recognize contribution of unsung heroes behind international diplomacy who work as language professionals to facilitate dialogue and contribute to development and strengthens world peace and security. International Translation Day 2017 theme is Translation and Diversity.

28th September: World Rabies Day

World Rabies Day is celebrated annually to raise awareness about rabies prevention. This day also marks the anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s death, the French chemist and microbiologist, who developed the first rabies vaccine. World Rabies Day is the first and only global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention. The 2017 World Rabies Day theme is ‘Rabies: Zero by 30′.

World Maritime Day is observed on 28 September

The World Maritime Day is celebrated across the world on 28 September across the world. The theme for 2017 World Maritime Day is ‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People’. The main aim is to do so by focusing on helping International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach.

27 September: World Tourism Day

The World Tourism Day is celebrated across the world on 27th of September. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The theme for World Tourism Day 2017 is ‘Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development’. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency is responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

PM Modi salutes brave Indian soldiers on occasion Haifa Day

On the occasion of Haifa Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted the brave Indian soldiers who fought for the liberation of Haifa city in modern day Israel in 1918. On his visit to Israel in July 2017, Modi had visited the Indian cemetery in Haifa, along with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to lay wreaths. In the Battle of Haifa, the India’s 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade, 5th Cavalry Division and part of the Desert Mounted Corps attacked rear guard forces of the Ottoman Empire that resulted in the capture of the towns of Haifa and Acre.

International Day of Peace is observed around the world

Every year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. This day was established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations (UN) resolution. Theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”.

16th September: World Ozone Day

The International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer (World Ozone Day) is observed every year on September 16 for the preservation of the Ozone Layer. The theme of the year 2017 is ‘Caring for all life under the sun’. The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Ozone Secretariat will launch a communication campaign ahead of World Ozone Day to be marked on 16 September 2017.

15 September: International Day of Democracy

The International Day of Democracy is observed on September 15th across the world. The theme of the year 2017 is Democracy and Conflict prevention. This year’s theme of democracy and conflict prevention focuses on the critical need to strengthen democratic institutions to promote peace and stability.

15th September: Engineer’s Day

The Indian nation celebrates Engineer’s Day to mark the 156th birth anniversary of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya, one of the greatest engineers India produced and a person behind many iconic constructions in India. He will mark the 49th anniversary of the Engineers Day in India. He began his career as an Assistant Engineer with Public Works Department (PWD) at Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1884 and was later requested to join the Indian Irrigation Commission. As a Public Works Department engineer, he accomplished several projects related to maintenance of public buildings, road construction and laying out city developments plans in several important towns.

14 September: National Hindi Day

Hindi Day is being celebrated across the country on 14 September 2017. It was on this day in 1949 that the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of the country. On this occasion, President Ram Nath Kovind gives away Rajbhasha awards for the year 2016-17 at a function in New Delhi. The Rajbhasha awards were instituted by the Department of Official Language of Home Ministry to recognize the excellent contribution of Ministries, Departments and Nationalized Banks in the field of Hindi.

International Day for South-South Cooperation 2017 observed globally

The International Day for South-South Cooperation was observed on 12 September 2017 by United Nations (UN). The day celebrates the economic, social and political developments made in recent years by regions and countries in the south. It also highlights UN’s efforts to work on technical cooperation among developing countries. South-South cooperation is a broad framework of collaboration among countries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains.

8 September: International Literacy Day

The International Literacy Day (ILD) is being observed every year on 8 September to emphasize the importance of literacy to individuals, society and communities. The day was established in 1966 by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This year it is 51st International Literacy Day. The theme announced by UNESCO for this year is `Literacy in a digital world’. In India to observe this day, several functions were organised by the National Literacy Mission Authority. It included distribution of Saakshar Bharat Awards to best performing States, Districts, Gram Panchayats and NGOs. Government uses occasion of ILD for raising public awareness to eradicate illiteracy and create environment in favour of adult education programmes.

September 5th: National Teachers Day

In India, National Teachers Day is celebrated on September 5th to honor Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Birthday. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan a great scholar, philosopher, and teacher of modern India and was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954. He became the first Vice President of India (from 1952 to 1962) and the second President of India (from 1962 to 1967). Since 1962, India has commemorated his birth anniversary. Teachers Day is an occasion to pay reverence to the teachers and convey them that they hold special respect in our hearts. Celebrating Teachers Day is acknowledged by UNESCO and fairly popular in several countries across the globe.

September 5: International Day of Charity

The United Nations (UN) observes September 5 every year as International Charity Day. The Day calls for a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. The Day also acknowledges the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and that of civil society organizations and philanthropic organizations in the implementation of the new Agenda.