International Current Affairs
National Current Affairs September 3rd Week 2017
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National Current Affairs September 3rd Week 2017

1. DRDO tested 3rd Generation ATGM NAG successfully.

In a boost to Indian Armed Forces, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully tested Nag, the 3rd generation Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), against two different targets in the ranges of Rajasthan. As per a  press release, the ATGM Nag missile successfully hit both the targets at different ranges and conditions with very high accuracy as desired by the Armed Forces. Press Trust of India reports that DRDO has been trying to ramp up country’ military capability in sync changing security dynamics in the region.

With the two successful flights, and the flight test conducted earlier in June in the peak of summer, the complete functionality of Nag ATGM along with launcher system NAMICA has been established, and marks the successful completion of development trials of Nag Missile, the release said. As per the report, the defence ministry said yesterday’s flight tests and the trials in June marked the successful completion of development trials of Nag missile.

Earlier, PTI quoting sources had reported that missile is equipped with highly advanced Imaging Infrared Radar (IRR) seeker and has integrated avionics technology in its arsenal. As per reports, this integrated avionics technology is possessed by very few countries.

At the time of its initial launch, G Satheesh Reddy, scientific advisor to the Defence Minister and DG (missiles and strategic systems), who was also present on the occasion to witness the launch told PTI that the successful test of the missile had strengthened the defence capabilities of the country.
2. Defence Minister Flags off Women’s Circumnavigation Expedition.
Defence Minister Flags off Women’s Circumnavigation Expedition
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will flag off the Indian Navy women crew’s attempt to circumnavigate the globe here tomorrow. An all-women crew will be managing the whole operation on a sailing vessel in the first-ever global journey, said a release issued by the Press Information Bureau. “The flagging off of ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ would be held at the hands of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at 12.30 pm on September 10 at INS Mandovi Boat Pool, Verem, near Panaji,” it said.

The crew would be circumnavigating the globe on an Indian built sail boat, INSV Tarini. The circumnavigation will finish around March 2018. During this time, the team would be sailing over many oceans, a naval spokesman said. The entire distance will be covered in five legs and the crew will have stop overs at four ports for replenishment of ration and repairs, as necessary, he said. The ports where the crew will have stop overs are: Fremantle (Australia), Lyttelton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands) and Cape Town (South Africa), the spokesman said.
3. Netaji statue unveiled at Naval base in Kolkata.
Netaji statue unveiled at Naval base in Kolkata
An eight feet bronze statue of Indian freedom struggle leader Subhas Chandra Bose was unveiled yesterday at the naval base INS Netaji Subhas at Kolkata. The Statute 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.

GOC, Bengal Area, Lt Gen Gurpal Singh Sanga, Japan’s Consul-General in Kolkata Masayuki Taga and several other dignitaries were also present on the occasion. Patriotic songs were played and tricoloured balloons released into the air on occasion of the joyous unveiling ceremony.
4. Union Government to host Smart City contest with 50 lakh as prize money.
Union Government to host Smart City contest with 50 lakh as prize money
To promote competition among Smart Cities and measure the quality and impact of projects undertaken under the flagship programme, the housing and urban affairs ministry has launched Smart Cities Awards Contest, 2017, with a total prize money of over Rs 50 lakh.

Senior ministry officials said the contest was aimed at recognising and rewarding cities, projects and innovative ideas that promote the goals of the mission.

“The evaluation criteria will include impact, innovation and scalability/replicability in other areas of the city,” an official said.

All projects completed by April 1, 2018, will be eligible for participation.

The awards will be presented on June 25 next year, marking the third anniversary of the launch of the mission. “Excellence will be recognised and awarded in areas such as improving governance, quality of built environment, social infrastructure, culture and economy, environment, transportation, mobility and water and sanitation,” a ministry spokesman said.
5. IndusInd Bank and Bharat Financial Inclusion Sign Exclusivity Agreement for Merger.
IndusInd Bank and Bharat Financial Inclusion Sign Exclusivity Agreement for Merger
 Private sector lender IndusInd BankBSE -2.05 % and India`s second largest Microfinance company Bharat Financial Inclusion have signed an confidentiality agreement for the proposed merger between them. 

The Hinduja Group controlled bank has informed the exchanges about an ‘exclusivity agreement’ with the micro lender to explore merger or expansion plans. 

The deal between the two companies may formalise after due diligence, definitive documentation and their shareholders, regulatory, NCLT and other third-party approvals, as applicable. 

Shares of both the companies rose 1-2% in early Monday trades as investors expecting the deal to happen soon.
6. FSSAI launches online platform for food inspection, sampling.
FSSAI launches online platform for food inspection, sampling
To bring in transparency in food safety inspection and sampling, food regulator FSSAI today put in place a nationwide online platform and asked states to adopt this system as it would help eliminate discrepancy and make food safety officers accountable.

The web-based `FoSCoRIS` system will help verify compliance of food safety and hygiene standards by food businesses as per the government norms. The new system will bring together all key stakeholders — food businesses, food safety officers (FSOs), designated officers, state food safety commissioners — on a nation-wide IT platform and data related to inspection, sampling and test result data will be shared seamlessly by all the officials.

"This system will give a clear picture to the FSSAI on the real-time basis and helps eliminate any discrepancy, hence inspection is accountable," the regulator said in a letter written to states. The system will ease out the process of sample collection, make it transparent and traceable and controls the quality of compliances, it said.

Directing the states to adopt the new system, the FSSAI said this requires a hand-held device with internet connectivity with FSOs. It has asked those states that have already provided hand-held devices to FSOs to straightway adopt the system while other states have been asked to provide such devices to FSOs or on rental and even reimburse mobile expenses to them.

The states have been told to appoint a nodal officer for this purpose and send the details of the officers of the state food authority for integrating them with FoSCoRIS. In the initial phase, the FSSAI said, it has decided to bear the cost of rental plans for first three months to a maximum of Rs 500 per month per connection to first ten states and UTs.

"This would replace the current system of ad hoc and subjective inspections and sampling that are currently carried out by the regulatory staff," it noted.
7. India’s first advanced Homoeopathy Virology lab inaugurated in Kolkata.
India’s first advanced Homoeopathy Virology lab inaugurated in Kolkata
The Union Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge) Shri Shripad Yesso Naik inaugurated India’s first State of art virology laboratory at Dr. Anjali Chatterjee Regional Research Institute for Homoeopathy in Kolkata today. In his inaugural address the Minister appreciated the popularity of Homoeopathy in West Bengal. Shri Naik said that this laboratory has been established to develop new drugs and technologies in Homoeopathy to combat emerging challenges of viral diseases. In this context the Minister expressed his satisfaction of recognising this laboratory by the Calcutta University to undertake research work of the PhD students in Homoeopathy.
The laboratory, established at a cost of Rs. 8 crore is the only one in India for conducting basic and fundamental research in Homoeopathy for viral diseases like influenza, Japanese encephalitis, dengue, chickunguniya and swine flu. New drugs and technologies would also be developed here to combat emerging challenges of viral diseases.
The AYUSH Minister also appreciated efforts of the National Institute of Homoeopathy (NIH), Kolkata which is imparting higher education and training in homoeopathy under the Ministry of AYUSH and urged that both the institutes could forge an active collaboration on practical training to the students and research scholars in virus research, both in laboratory and in the field jointly.
Shri Shripad Naik expressed happiness over Council’s initiatives of establishing a Centre of Excellence in Fundamental Research in Homoeopathy at IIEST, Howrah to undertake fundamental research studies in homoeopathy with an interdisciplinary approach. This institute has undertaken several clinical research studies like autism, psoriasis, vitiligo, breast cancer, hypertension, migraine etc along with proving of new drugs in homoeopathy with their clinical validations. About 400 patients are being treated daily through OPD services and AYUSH outreach services being provided in villages too.
Dr. V.K. Gupta, Chairman Scientific Advisory Committee, CCRH, New Delhi, Prof. Ajoy Kumar Roy, Director, IIEST, Shibpur, Dr. Rathin  Chakravarty, Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, CCRH, New Delhi, Dr. Raj K. Manchanda, Director General, CCRH, New Delhi among eminent scientists were also present on the occasion.
8. Mother Dairy and Maharashtra Government Tie up For Processing Plant.
Mother Dairy and Maharashtra Government Tie up For Processing Plant
The Maharashtra government and Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), on Monday announced the signing of a 

lease agreement to set up plant for the processing of milk and milk products.

New initiatives
Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra Chief Minister, and Dilip Rath, NDDB Chairman, were among those present on the occasion in Mumbai. According to the MoU, a dairy development initiative will begin in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions to provide milk producers access to markets in Nagpur and Mumbai. Apart from transferring the Nagpur dairy on lease and land for setting up a new dairy at Gove Bhiwandi, Maharashtra will provide assistance, including funds, for a coordinated approach to improve  productivity through animal breeding, nutrition and health. Milk procurement Mother Dairy has already initiated milk procurement operations in Amravati, Wardha, Nagpur, Chandrapur,Nanded, Osmanabad, Buldana and Yavatmal.

At present, about 11,437 milk pourers in 573 operational Milk Pooling Points (MPPs), covering 924 villages, are collectively pouring about 70,580 litres of milk per day.

A total of 37.1 crore has been paid to milk producers from November 2016 until August 2017.

The Nagpur dairy plant has been refurbished and liquid milk packed at the dairy is being marketed in Nagpur city, said Rath.
9. ZSI releases first compendium of animal species in Indian Sundarbans.
ZSI releases first compendium of animal species in Indian Sundarbans
In a first, the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has published an compendium of animal species in the Indian Sundarbans, estimating that there are 2,626 of them in the fragile island ecosystem. The listing includes a diverse 25 phyla, as they are biologically classified.

The Indian segment of the Sundarbans, part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, forms part of the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta across 9,630 sq. km, distributed among 104 islands.

The region hosts 2,487 species that come under the zoological kingdom of Animalia, and 140 under the more primitive Protista.

“The publication titled Fauna ofSundarbanBiosphere Reserve is the first consolidated and updated information of the faunal diversity of the Sundarbans. It lists over 2,600 species, including the new species described from the mangrove ecosystem as well as threats faced by them due to climate change,” ZSI Director Kailash Chandra told The Hindu.

Biswajit Roy Chowdhury, secretary of Nature Environment and Wildlife Society, a non-governmental organisation and one of the authors of the publication, says it is encyclopedic in its scope.

“When we talk about Sundarbans we refer to only a few major species in the reserve forest area in about 4,260 sq. km. The publication catalogues the entire faunal diversity of Sundarban Biosphere Reserve covering 9,630 sq. km spread over 19 blocks in South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas of West Bengal,” Mr. Roy Chowdhury said.

Gone missing
The researchers document the famous tigers of these islands, which have adapted to aquatic conditions around, the human-tiger conflict, and behaviour of the big cat. 

The fortunes of 50 mammalian species including the Asian small-clawed Otter, Gangetic Dolphin, Grey and Marsh Mongoose and the wild Rhesus Monkey, the only primate here, are also documented.

“Due to pressure on habitat from people and natural threats that have shrunk the mangrove swamp habitat, mammal numbers are declining,” the authors say. Two Rhinos, Swamp deer, Barking deer and Hog deer and Asiatic Wild Water Buffalo are not found in Sundarbans anymore, they say.

There are 356 species of birds, the most spectacular being raptors, or birds of prey, that occupy the highest canopies of the forest. Osprey, Brahminy Kite and White-Bellied Sea Eagle are dominant, while Rose-ringed parakeets, flycatchers and warblers are also found in the middle tier, while in the lower tier, kingfishers abound — and the Sundarbans has nine of them.

There are 11 turtles, including the famous Olive Ridley and Hawskbill sea turtles and the most threatened freshwater species, the River Terrapin.

A crocodile, 13 lizards including three species of Monitor Lizards and five Geckos are found here. The rivers, creeks channels and the islands together harbour about 30 snake species, led by the King Cobra, considered vulnerable by IUCN.

Others documented are the Monocellate or monocled cobra, Russell’s viper, common and banded kraits. Besides, ten species of frogs and toads are found.

Cartilaginous fish
The mangrove ecosystem covers about 350 species of fish. Cartilaginous fish, which have skeletons of cartilage rather than bone, make up 10.3%. The IUCN conservation status shows 6.3% fish are near-threatened and 4.85% are threatened. Also, there are 173 molluscs.

In another indication of its richness, 753 insect species are encountered in the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve. Of these, 210 are butterflies and moths. Moreover, Crustaceans — crabs, shrimp and prawns — constitute 334 species.
10. Japan PM Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad for India-Japan Annual Summit.
Japan PM Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad for India-Japan Annual Summit
In a first, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe would take part in a road show in Ahmedabad in Gujarat on September 13 when the latter begins his visit.

The eight-km-long road show would start from the Ahmedabad airport and culminate at the Sabarmati Ashram, according to the BJP.
Abe will arrive here on Wednesday on a two-day India visit during which he and Modi will hold the 12th India-Japan annual summit here.
"This is for the first time in the country when our Prime Minister along with the Prime Minister of another country is doing a joint road show. The Japanese PM is landing here directly on September 13. This makes the occasion more important, as he is visiting a state on the very first day of his India visit," Gujarat BJP unit president Jitubhai Vaghani told reporters today.

He said both the leaders will be accorded a "grand welcome" along the route of the road show.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation`s standing committee chairman Pravin Patel said a large number of people, including singing troupes who will be performing at 28 different locations along the route, will greet Modi and Abe.

"On the entire route of the the road show, which will also pass from Sabarmati Riverfront, we have erected 28 small stages where dancers from 28 different states, all dressed in their traditional attire, would showcase their performance when these leaders pass," said Patel.

After visiting the Sabarmati Ashram, where Mahatma Gandhi lived between 1917 and 1930, both the leaders would take a break till evening, said Patel.

"In the evening, both the PMs would visit the iconic Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in the eastern part of the city. The mosque is known across the world for the stone lattice work," he said, adding that both the leaders would be shown a presentation about the city`s heritage on the occasion.

On September 14, Abe and Modi will attend the ground breaking ceremony for the ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project, commonly referred to as the Bullet Train project.

Later that day, both the premiers will hold the 12th India-Japan annual summit at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.

 11. Kerala to open India`s first transgender-exclusive clinics.

Kerala to open India`s first transgender-exclusive clinics 
In a relief to thousands of transgenders in the state, the Kerala government is all set to open exclusive TG clinics and begin sex-change surgery in the state-run medical colleges for the first time. The step is part of the state government’s various initiatives to bring the marginalised group to the forefront of the society as envisaged in the state Transgender Policy, unveiled for the first time in the country in 2015.  It has been a long pending demand of the transgender community (TG) to get facilities for the sensitive, expensive and time-consuming surgery in the state.  The state Health and Social Justice departments, with the support of Legal Services Society, will begin the Transgender (TG) clinic to address various health issues of the people belonging to the third gender and provide them counselling.

Health Minister K K Shylaja said the first such clinic would be opened in Kottayam Government Medical College soon.  With an aim to empower the TGs, the government has also plans to open a skill development centre in Kochi, she said.  “We are planning to open Transgender Clinics in all government medical colleges in the state.. We have also plans to provide facilities for their surgery at least in two medical colleges,” Shylaja told PTI.
The coordination of various departments, including plastic surgery, dermatology, psychiatry, general medicine are needed for the surgery and discussions are underway regarding this, she said.  “Our plan is to start the surgery at Kottayam medical college in the next two months,” she said, adding that the initiatives would make the state health sector more TG-friendly.

The minister also said the CPI(M)-led LDF government had a positive approach towards the marginalised group and launched a series of welfare measures in the last one and half years after it came to power.  The government had issued identity cards for transgenders and earmarked Rs 10 crore for their welfare in the last budget, she said.  Sheethal, a transgender activist here, said the proposed TG clinics are expected to create awareness about the issues faced by their community in the society.  “There is a stigma on transgender identity in the health sector also.. I hope that the TG clinics will not only address our health issues but also create an awareness about us among the public,” she told PTI.

On the sex-change surgery, the activist said it was not just expensive but also a time-consuming process and majority of the community members have to depend on hospitals and clinics in the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to get the surgery done.  Based on the nature of the surgery, hospitals charge Rs 25,000 to two lakh for it, Sheethal said.  The government had promised to open post-surgery shelter homes in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam for the short stay of transgenders after the operation, she added.  According to unofficial figures, there are over 35,000 transgenders in Kerala.
12. PayU Ties up With IRCTC.
PayU Ties up With IRCTC
PayU, a payment gateway provider, has collaborated with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), to provide an option to pay for rail tickets booked on the IRCTC website.

PayU will now be available as a payment option under MPS (Multiple Payment Services) on the IRCTC website at the payment stage of booking an e- ticket.

Commenting on the collaboration, Rahul Kothari, enterprise business head, PayU India, said, "Our payment gateway operates around 80% of the e-commerce business in 

India today and this collaboration with IRCTC, which is the country`s largest platform for rail ticket bookings, adds another feather in our cap and is aligned with our vision to simplify the payment experience for the growing digital savvy consumers as well as the merchants."

"Undoubtedly, this is a very large and prestigious mandate for us. IRCTC`s biggest strength, .i.e., traffic, combined with the success rate of our payment gateway, 

which is the best in the industry today, is a great match and has a huge potential to enhance the digital transactions landscape and contribute towards making India a cashless/less cash economy," he said.
13. 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.

The RuPay-powered digital debit card will be issued to all customers who have opened their bank accounts with PPB.

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.

This debit card will come with a free insurance cover of up to Rs 2 lakh in the case of death or permanent total disability.

"Our customers will now be able to pay across all online platforms with our digital debit card and experience the same convenience that they have been accustomed to across the Paytm ecosystem," PPB MD and CEO Renu Satti told.

Major online platforms like Ola, Flipkart and Amazon do not allow users to pay for transactions using Paytm wallets currently. With these digital debit cards, they will now be able to make transactions on these platforms as well.

PPB is also looking to partner with other full-service banks to offer additional services to its customers and rolling out a full bouquet of services, including term deposits, retail and SME loans.

As a payments bank, PPB can take a demand deposit of up to Rs 1 lakh per customer, but it cannot undertake lending activities.

PPB launched its services in May this year. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma owns 51 per cent stake in PPB while One97 Communications -- which runs Paytm -- owns the remaining 49 per cent.
14. Hindi day celebrated across the country.
Hindi day celebrated across the country
Hindi is the first language of around 430 million people around the world. Apart from India, the language is also spoken in Nepal, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago,  Suriname, Fiji and Mauritius.

World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10 every year, marking the anniversary of first World Hindi Conference which was held in 1975. The first World Hindi Conference was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Since 1975, World Hindi Conference has been organised in different countries like India, Mauritius, United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, United States etc.

11 lesser known facts about Hindi:
The word Hindi has originated from the Persian word Hind, which means the land of Indus river Hindi is the first language of around 430 million people around the world

Apart from India, the language is also spoken in Nepal, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Fiji and Mauritius. Hindi and Nepalese share the same script -- Devnagari

The gender aspects of Hindi are very strict. All nouns in Hindi possess genders and the adjectives and verbs change according to gender Many English words have been derived from Hindi, such as chutney, loot, bungalow, guru, jungle, karma, yoga, thug, avatar and so on Hindi is a descendent of Sanskrit. Its words and grammar follows that of the ancient language.

In linguistic terms, Hindi belongs to the Indo-Iranian sub-family of the Indo-European family of language.

Hindi has been influenced and enriched by Turkish, Arabic, Persian, English and Dravidian (ancient South India) languages.

The earliest form of Hindi was called `Apabhramsa`, which was an offspring of Sanskrit. In 400 AD, poet Kalidas wrote Vikramorvashiyam in Apabhramsa.

The first book believed to be published in Hindi was Prem Sagar. The book was published by Lalloo Lal and depicted tales of KrishnaHindi is one of the seven Indian languages that can be used to make web URLs.
15. PM Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe jointly lay foundation stone for bullet train.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today jointly laid the foundation stone for India’s first high speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. 

Speaking on the occasion, at a large public meeting in Ahmedabad, the Prime Minister spoke of the high ambition and willpower of “New India.” He congratulated the people of India on the occasion, and said that the bullet train project will provide speed and progress, and deliver results quickly. He said the Government’s focus is on increasing productivity through high speed connectivity. The Prime Minister thanked Japan for the technical and financial help given to India, for this project. He praised Prime Minister Abe for the fact that this project is being launched within such a short time. 

The Prime Minister said that this high speed railway would not only bring two cities closer, but also bring the people living hundreds of kilometers away, closer to each other. He said a new economic system is being developed along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor, and the entire area would become a single economic zone. 

The Prime Minister said technology is useful only if it provides benefit to the common man. He said the technology transfer envisaged in this project will benefit 

Indian Railways, and boost the “Make in India” initiative. He said the project would be eco-friendly as well as human-friendly. He said “high-speed corridors” would be regions for rapid growth in the future. 

The Prime Minister said that the Government is working to ensure that infrastructure is developed keeping in mind futuristic requirements. He expressed confidence that everyone would work together to complete this project in the shortest possible time. 

Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the India-Japan partnership is special, strategic and global. He said that he hopes to see the beauty of India through the windows of the Bullet Train, a few years hence. 
16. Union Government launches Operation Insaniyat to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Union Government launches Operation Insaniyat to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
Days after Dhaka briefed New Delhi about the problems faced by it due to the influx of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, India will on Thursday send a consignment of humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh.

"In response to the humanitarian crisis being faced on account of the large influx of refugees into Bangladesh, government of India has decided to extend assistance to Bangladesh," said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement.

The relief material consists of items required urgently by the affected people, namely rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, tea, ready to eat noodles, biscuits, mosquito nets etc.

The MEA said that the relief material will be delivered in multiple consignments. "The first tranche of which will be brought to Chittagong by an Indian Air Force plane on 14th September 2017," the release said.

Stating that India has always responded readily and swiftly to any crisis in Bangladesh, MEA said, "India stands ready to provide any assistance required by Government of Bangladesh in this hour of need."

According to the UN estimates, over 379,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar`s Rakhine state into Bangladesh since August 25 when fresh wave of violence erupted.

According to media reports, the violence began when Rohingya militants attacked police posts in Myanmar`s northern Rakhine state.

Bangladesh had earlier said the new influx of Rohingya refugees is an unbearable additional burden on the country which has been hosting around 400,000 Myanmar  nationals who had to leave their country in the past due to communal violence and repeated military operations.
17. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal (JNPCT) wins “Container Terminal of the Year” Award 2017.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal (JNPCT) wins “Container Terminal of the Year” Award 2017
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal (JNPCT) was awarded Container Terminal of the Year" Award for the above 0.6 million TEUs category at The Gateway Awards 2017 held at Mumbai. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port owned JNPCT won the award for its proactive strategies to ease congestion, smooth delivery of containers and revamping of infrastructure to support trade amidst adverse conditions. 

Accepting the award, Shri Neeraj Bansal, Deputy Chairman, JNPT said JNPCT has been able to create growth momentum in the last few years as a result of various initiatives to increase the overall efficiency of the terminal and the Port. These initiatives have now started showing positive results and we will continue to further increase our efficiency levels." 

The Gateway Award was instituted to recognise and promote best practices, innovation and motivation in the Indian Maritime industry. The tenth edition of the Gateway Awards showcased the outstanding achievements and exceptional accomplishments of individuals and organisations in the Indian Maritime industry. 
18. Haryana to create Wifi zone in all 6,078 Gram Panchayats.
Haryana to create Wifi zone in all 6,078 Gram Panchayats
The Haryana council of ministers on Wednesday decided to create one Wi-Fi zone in all 6,078 gram panchayats within two years and provide 4G services in every village in the next three years.

Under the Haryana Information Technology (IT) and Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Policy-2017 approved by the cabinet, the state government has promised broadband connectivity to every household and Wi-Fi zone at important public places in all towns and cities.

The policy envisages to have at least one digital literate person in every household of Haryana and aims to develop IT and ESDM sectors over five years as key growth drivers.

The five-year goal of the draft policy includes generation of employment for 15 lakh persons in the IT-ESDM sector by 2020, increasing the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the state from 9.4% to 15%, and making Haryana pioneer in research and development for ESDM by producing 1,000 patents.

“It is after the year 2000 that targeted policy for IT and ESDM sector is being launched,” a government spokesperson said.

Start-up policy

The cabinet approved a start-up policy to develop the state as a resourceful and inventive start-up hub by supporting and assisting the new-age innovators and entrepreneurial talents. The policy aims at attracting investments to the tune of Rs 1500 crore in the incubation and start-up ecosystem in Haryana during the policy period, facilitating venture capital funding of a minimum of Rs 200 crore and encouraging, facilitating and incubating at least 500 start-ups.

This is to be done by creating a sustainable ecosystem of innovation, research and development and engineering in the state, aligning Haryana with the ‘Start-up India’, a flagship initiative of the Centre, enhancing industry-academia collaboration and linking universities, research institutions and the business community and promoting businesses that are aligned with a region’s unique areas of opportunity.

For this purpose, it is proposed to establish a Start-up Hub in Gurugram and at least 22 technology, business incubators or accelerators, one in each district, covering the various sector as mapped with the resource strength of the region. It is proposed to develop incubation space of one million square feet across the state.


The cabinet also gave nod to a proposal to re-employ retired assistant professors, associate professors and principals of government colleges after superannuation beyond 58 years of age across the state. The re-employment would be given up to the age of 60 years.

Under the process of re-employment, the retired assistant professors, associate professors and principals must not have attained the age of 59 and a half years on the date of advertisement. At least 80% of their last 10 years ACRs should have the grade ‘very good’ or above. They should not have been held guilty and punished in any departmental proceedings during their service, nor should such a proceeding be pending.

Commission for safai karamcharis

The cabinet gave nod to set up ‘Haryana State Commission for Safai Karamcharis’ for redressal of complaints and grievances of Safai Karamcharis.

Among key functions of the commission will be to investigate, examine and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for Safai Karamcharis under the Constitution.

Excise police amended

The cabinet approved an amendment in provisions of the Haryana Excise Policy for 2017-18. The change in policy is following the order of the Supreme Court of July 2017 lifting the ban on setting up of bars and liquor shops along highways in urban areas. It was clarified that number of vends or sub vends will not increase beyond the number already permitted in excise policy of March 2017.

As per the amendment a licensee who has not established his vends or sub vends may be allowed to establish vends or sub vends at locations alongside national highways or state highways in municipal areas on payment of additional fee. The number of new establishments will be subject to maximum limit prescribed in the excise policy.

It is expected that the government may get additional revenue of Rs 20 crore on account of license fee, duty and VAT. It is expected that additional revenue of Rs 25 crore will be received from liquor vends that may get shifted to places along national and state highways.

Changes in dental service rules

The cabinet also gave nod to amend Haryana Civil Dental Group ‘A’ Service Rules, 1987. As per amendment, the post of Director, Health Services (Dental) would be filled up either by promotion from amongst senior dental surgeons or by transfer or deputation of an officer already in service of any State government or the Central government.

Recruitment to group C and D posts

The cabinet also decided to dispense with the interview system during the selection process in case of recruitment to Group C and D posts.

It also approved the proposal of skill development and industrial training department to promulgate an ordinance to further amend the Haryana Vishwakarma Skill University Act, 2016.

The promulgation of the ordinance has been necessitated as the state legislature is not in session. The Ordinance will be called the Haryana Vishwakarma Skill University (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017.

The cabinet approved appointment of Jaswanti Devi, married daughter of martyr Rohtash Singh, as clerk on compassionate grounds. Martyr Rohtash Singh, had died in OP PAWAN (Sri Lanka) on May 14, 1989. At that time her daughter was 12 years old.
19. Karnataka is the First Indian State to Approve e-vehicle Policy.
Karnataka is the First Indian State to Approve e-vehicle Policy
Karnataka is looking to attract investments to the tune of Rs 31,000 crore from companies looking at research and development (R&D), and manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state, at a time when the Centre is using a heavy hand to force automakers to switch to green technology.

Karnataka is the first state to roll out an Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy that looks not only at boosting sales of EVs, but also setting up charging infrastructure and special manufacturing zones.

“I am sure this policy would be a game-changer in the industry and will be a model for other states. Our real work starts now, focusing on developing a ready ecosystem for a vibrant EV sector in the state,” said R V Deshpande, Karnataka’s industries minister.

The state estimates that it will be able to create employment for 55,000 individuals over the next few years through the EV industry. One of the top mandates for Karnataka’s policy is to set up EV manufacturing zones along with facilities for testing that can be used even by start-ups. 

Karnataka already has a fledgling ecosystem for supporting electric mobility, thanks to some of the early movers such as Chetan Maini, the founder of Reva. Apart from India’s only electric car manufacturer Mahindra Electric, the state is also home to one of the most promising electric mobility start-ups Ather Energy.

Apart from manufacturers, Karnataka is also home to component makers such as Bosch and Delphi, which have begun preparing for India’s electrification drive.

Bosch has already announced its plans to supply manufacturers of electric two- and three-wheelers with motors, control units, battery packs and other ancillaries within the next 12 months. The company’s R&D unit in Bengaluru has been working on electrification solutions since early 2016, drawing on decades of research from its headquarters in Germany.

Karnataka’s policy also asks for the creation of a special purpose vehicle that will involve civic agencies, state transport and energy companies, and its renewable energy and industrial boards for the creation of charging infrastructure within the state. The state will also mandate installation of charging units in all highrise buildings, malls, information technology (IT) parks, and apartment complexes.

While states such as Delhi have looked at the use of subsidies to boost sales of EVs to counter its growing pollution problem, Karnataka is taking a much more holistic approach of supporting research, manufacturing of vehicles and charging infra, apart from looking at ways of getting EVs on the ground.

After claiming the titles of IT capital and start-up capital of the country, Karnataka is now hoping to become the EV capital of India. The state’s Cabinet approved the new policy, which has a vision “to make Karnataka, a preferred investment destination for manufacturing of EVs”.

Charged Up

Karnataka is the first state to roll out an Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy that looks not only at boosting sales of EVs, but also setting up charging infra and special manufacturing zones.

The state estimates that it will be able to create employment for 55,000 individuals over the next few years through the EV industry.

One of the top mandates for Karnataka’s policy is to set up EV manufacturing zones along with facilities for testing that can be used even by start-ups.
20. President Ram Nath Kovind to launch nation wide campaign Swacchata Hi Sewa from Kanpur.
President Ram Nath Kovind to launch nation wide campaign Swacchata Hi Sewa from Kanpur
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday which falls on September 17 will be celebrated as Seva Diwas. People from across the country will be mobilised to participate in Clean India activities. Starting Friday, multiple spots in India will witness an “accelerated campaign” to move the mission of Clean India forward as the Centre has planned a series of activities under “Swachhta Hi Seva” campaign to celebrate the third anniversary of Swachh Bharat. 

PM Modi is expected to make an appeal to the citizens to share their “Shramdhaan for Swachhta,” photographs on MyGov. in, this year. On Sunday, the DD channels will telecast Akshay Kumar’s Toilet Ek Prem Katha movie that stresses on the importance of toilets and sanitation. PM Modi had talked about the need to keep the momentum of Swachh Bharat alive in his last Mann Ki Baat. 

Swachh Bharat 3.0 will be launched on Friday by President Ram Nath Kovind in Kanpur. The campaign will look at cleaning toilets, bus stands, movie halls, railways stations, public halls and more. 

All ministries have been asked to send a detailed note to the PMO on how they plan to include the campaign in their ministry. This is the third phase of the nationwide Clean India campaign that was launched in 2015. Between September 15 and October 2, the Centre has planned five kinds of activities which will be carried out under the banner of Samagra Swachhta.
21. Force Motors and Rolls-Royce Power Tie up.
Force Motors and Rolls-Royce Power Tie up
Pune-based auto firm Force Motors Ltd on Tuesday said it 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 even as it remains steadfast towards its core engine business, managing director Prasan Firodia said in an interview on Tuesday.

The joint venture, in which Force Motors will hold a 51% stake and Rolls-Royce the rest, “will give us a global play”, Firodia said, pointing out that it is not just a “contract manufacturing agreement”.

The firms will build a new dedicated facility that will make engines for the railway and power generation businesses in India and for global markets. The plant will be operational by the first quarter of fiscal 2018-19. From now until the start of production, the two firms will invest Rs300 crore.

Force Motors makes pick-up trucks, tractors, vans and mini buses under the Traveller, Trax and Gurkha brands and critical engine parts under Jaya Hind Industries. The firm also supplies engines and engine components to luxury carmakers Mercedes Benz India Pvt. Ltd and BMW India Pvt. Ltd.

In the quarter ended June, Force Motors’ net sales dropped 1.2% to Rs744.5 crore, while net profit slumped 41% to Rs30 crore from a year earlier. The earnings were dragged down by lower volumes that came on the back of the transition to goods and services tax (GST).

HDFC Securities analyst Abhishek Jain wrote in a 20 July post-earnings report that he expects a recovery in the company’s earnings as early as the second quarter of fiscal 2018, led by restoration of channel inventory and strong traction in luxury car sales owing to a fall in prices.

“We remain positive on the stock, based on the premise that Force Motors continues as the sole supplier of power train components for Mercedes and BMW,” he wrote.

Jain declined to comment on the firm’s partnership with Rolls-Royce. “I am not clear about the finer aspects of the JV, including export potential etc, and will hence not like to comment,” he told Mint.

On Tuesday, shares of Force Motors rose 3.32% to end at Rs4,223.85 on BSE, while India’s benchmark Sensex rose 0.87% to 32,158.66.

22. Engineer`s Day is celebrated across the Nation on September 15th.

Engineer`s Day is celebrated across the Nation on September 15th
It is to honour Sir MV`s achievements and contribution towards the country India celebrates Engineer`s Day on his birthday, 15 September. 
Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, known as Sir MV had a flair for complex engineering problems and nation building. It is to honour his achievements and contribution towards the country that India celebrates Engineer`s Day on his birthday, 15 September. 

Here are 5 things you should know about Sir MV:

1. After topping the Poona College of Engineering he was directly( without any interview) recruited by Government of Bombay and appointed as Assistant Engineer in Public Works Department.

2. He created automatic sluice gates which was later reused for Tigra Dam (in Madhya Pradesh) and KRS Dam(in Karnataka) as well. For this patent design he was supposed to get a recurring income in the form of royalty but he refused it so that the government could use this money for more developmental projects.

3. Between 1895 and 1905, he worked in different parts of India:
- In Hyderabad, he improved the drainage system.
- In Bombay, he introduced block system of irrigation and water weir flood gates.
- In Bihar and Orissa, he was a part of the building railway bridges project and water supply schemes.
- In Mysore, he supervised the construction of KRS dam, the then Asia`s biggest dam.

4. He was offered Dewanship (Prime Minister position) of Mysore in 1908 and given full responsibility of all the development projects. Under his Dewanship Mysore saw major transformation in the realms of Agriculture, Irrigation, Industrialization, Education , Banking and Commerce.

5. He was conferred with India`s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna in 1955 for his contribution towards engineering.

He was not only praised by the Indian government  but also received honorary awards and memberships from all over the world. Happy Engineer`s Day to all the engineers out there helping and rebuilding our nation.
23. Corporate Affairs Ministry signed agreement with CBDT.
Corporate Affairs Ministry signed agreement with CBDT
Close on the heels of clamping down of shell companies, the Corporate Affairs Ministry and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for automatic sharing of data and information on a regular basis.

The MoU will ensure that both MCA and CBDT have seamless PAN-CIN (corporate identity number) and PAN-DIN (Director Identity Number) linkage for regulatory purposes, an official release said.

The information shared will pertain to both Indian corporates as well as foreign corporates operating in India. In addition to regular exchange of data, CBDT and MCA will also exchange with each other, on request, any information available in their respective databases, for the purpose of carrying out scrutiny, inspection, investigation and prosecution.

MCA and CBDT are already collaborating for near real time allotment of PAN and TAN also at the time of incorporation of companies itself.

The MoU will also enable sharing of specific information such as Permanent Account Number (PAN) data in respect of corporates, income tax returns of corporates, financial statements filed with Registrar of Companies, returns of allotment of shares, audit reports and statement of financial transactions received from banks relating to corporates.



Abhishek Goenka, Leader Corporate and International Tax, PwC India, said : “The formal understanding reached is a welcome move and will enable two key wings of the Government to match and cross verify transactions.

Caution is however, necessary to ensure that the data is used with adequate safeguards and does not become a toll for blanket notices being issued.”

Rakesh Nangia, Managing Partner, Nangia & Co LLP, said: “Seamless exchange of information on PAN records and audit report between MCA and CBDT will equip the government to crack down hard on shell companies, thereby cleaning the economy of devices used for generating and circulating the menace of black money. These shell companies are the base for breeding the black money, which needs to be cleaned for our economy to grow. Transparency of records and easy exchange of information amongst various administrative departments shall become the new normal, which shall contribute hugely towards constructive growth”.
24. Odisha to set up the first Odia language university.
Odisha to set up the first Odia language university
The Odisha government on Thursday passed a bill for starting the first Odia language university for post-graduate in literature, linguistics and epigraphy, among others.

Tabling the University of Odia Language and Literature Bill 2017 in the assembly, higher education minister Anant Das said the university would be established in Bhubaneswar. It would also administer PG courses in literary criticism, evolution of east Indian language scripts, historical scripts, archaeology, musicology and translation into and from Odia.

The proposed university also aims at making Odia script more adaptable to computer technology.

The move comes a few days after BJP president Amit Shah mocked Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s poor command over Odia. During his visit to the state last week, Shah said Patnaik, president of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) could seek apology for his poor Odia and wondered if he would do so.

The Congress and the BJP often target Patnaik over his struggle with the state’s language. Several TV shows in the state have also lampooned the CM on the issue.

BJD spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Pratap Deb said the opposition could make fun of the CM, but the proposed university was proof of his love for the language. “In the last two-and-a-half years, the government has taken several important steps for Odia language,” said Deb.

In the BJD’s electoral manifesto before 2014 assembly polls, the party had promised the Odia Language University Bill.

In August 2016, the state government enacted the rules of the Odisha Official Language Act, 1954, formally bringing it into force for official work in Odia language. According to the Act, Odia has to be used for all gazette notifications, bills, amendment, acts, ordinances, orders, rules and regulations issued by the state government.

In February 2014, Odia became the sixth language of the country to get classical language status after the Union Cabinet conceded a long-pending demand. 
25. Two hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh to be commissioned in 2018.
Two hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh to be commissioned in 2018
The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) today said its two hydro electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh are on the verge of completion and they would be commissioned next year.

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.

"The Pare Hydro Project is set to be commissioned by February end next year, while the Kameng project would take another two months," NEEPCO Personnel Director S Borgohain said here.

Borgohain, General Manager P S Borthakur and other NEEPCO officials today donated Rs 50 lakh to the Chief Minister`s Relief Fund of Arunachal Pradesh under its corporate social responsibility.

The cheque was handed over to Chief Minister Pema Khandu who thanked NEEPCO for the contribution, an official release said here.

Khandu assured support of the state government to NEEPCO officials in overcoming the issues that may have cropped up after the damage done by torrential rains and the following flood.

Khandu also raised the issue of establishment of a NEEPCO office in the state, a long pending demand of project affected people.
Borgohain said this was being taken up with the Union Power Ministry.

Besides the Pare and Kameng electric projects, NEEPCO runs the 405 MW Ranganadi hydro electric project in Lower Subansiri district, which was commissioned in 2002.

26. India`s First Centre for Animal Law set up at Hyderabad.
India`s First Centre for Animal Law set up at Hyderabad 
Nalsar University of Law here has established India’s first Centre for Animal law. Union minister for Women and Child development Maneka Gandhi inaugurated the centre at the Shamirpet campus on Friday.

Humane Society International will also play an important role in the functioning of the centre by steering and coordinate its activities.

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.

Noted animal protection activist and environmentalist Maneka Gandhi stressed the need for a centre for animal law considering the quantum of litigations in relation with animals in the country.

“Efforts are being made in the country by people with little regard to the animal human interface to eliminate predators such as snakes unleashing a rise in rodents that damage one fourth of the grain in the country,” she said. She argued for protection of camels, as dwindling numbers of the animal have impact on border security in Kutch of Gujarat.

She wanted law graduates to undertake gap studies in relation with animal rights in the country. 

“There is a need to study impact of China on Indian animals, for instance tigers and their extinction due to demand for it`s by-products, impact of diclofenac used on buffaloes and its impact on vultures etc,” she said. “Animal welfare is nothing but human welfare,” she stressed.

According to a statement, N.G. Jayasimha managing director HIS India and also the honorary director of the centre said : “we hope that the Centre will be the first of many institutions dedicated to research and advocate animal protection, the most ignored yet crucial branch of law because research shows that animal cruelty and criminal behavior against humans are linked”.
27. IAF successfully conducts development trials of Astra missile.
IAF successfully conducts development trials of Astra missile
Final development trials of indigenous beyond visual range air-to-air missile Astra were successfully concluded, moving it a step closer to induction into the Indian Air Force, an official statement said on Friday.

The trials were conducted between September 11 and 14 over the Bay of Bengal off Odisha coast at Chandipur, with the missile being test-fired from a Su-30 fighter aircraft.

A total of seven trials were conducted against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA), and were successful, the statement said.

The missions included engagement of target at very long range, engagement of high manoeuvring target at medium range and multiple launches of missiles in salvo to engage multiple targets.

“All the sub-systems including the indigenous RF Seeker performed accurately, meeting all the mission parameters and objectives. Two missiles were also launched in the combat configuration with the warhead and the targets were neutralised,” the statement said.

“This effort for building a state-of-the-art BVRAAM by Defence Research and Development Organisation, together with Indian Air Force has completed the development phase of the weapon system successfully,” it added.

The project was delayed long over the seeker, which was being developed by DRDO and was finally tested earlier this year for the single-stage solid-propellant missile, which has a 154 kg launch weight and a 15 kg conventional explosive payload.

The statement also said that the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration, while more than 50 public and private industries have contributed in building the Astra weapon system.

Programme Director S. Venugopal led the launch operations and flight trials along with the teams from multiple organisations.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and DRDO Chief S. Christopher congratulated DRDO, IAF, and other defence public sector undertakings and industries for the missile’s successful trials.

Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems G. Satheesh Reddy, meanwhile, said the technologies developed under the programme will be the building blocks for development of more variants of air-to-air and surface-to-air Missiles.

According to scientists, the technology for this missile is more complicated than that of ballistic Agni missiles, as Astra works on a terminal active radar-seeker and an updated mid-course internal guidance system that helps the missile in locating the target.

The missile, when fired from the aircraft, does not have its target in view. However, once the target is locked, the missile, which has a high energy propellant, has the capability to follow it while the seeker helps keeping the target in focus.

The missile has been designed to be capable of engaging high-speed targets at short range, up to 20 km in tail chase mode and long range, up to 80 km in head-on chase mode as per DRDO.

At sea level it has a range of up to 20 km but could have a range of 44 km from an altitude of 8,000 m and 80 km if launched from an altitude of 15,000 m.
28. India’s First Lithium-Ion Battery Unit in Gujarat.
India’s First Lithium-Ion Battery Unit in Gujarat
Japanese automobile giant Suzuki Motor Corp’s (SMC) Chairman Osamu Suzuki on Thursday announced setting up of a lithium ion battery plant at the company`s existing facility at Hansalpur in Gujarat.

Suzuki stated that the new plant, which will make lithium-ion batteries for hybrid car models to be sold in domestic and international markets, will be set up jointly by Suzuki, Toshiba Corporation and Denso with a proposed investment of $180 million (?1,151 crore).

The proposed plant to be located in the suppliers park at Suzuki`s Hansalpur plant in Gujarat is expected to be operational from 2020. Suzuki made this announcement during the 12th India-Japan Annual Summit at Mahatma Mandir here in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

The two leaders also performed a symbolic inauguration of the existing vehicle plant and foundation stone laying for the battery plant.
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“We plan to use these batteries for hybrid vehicles that will be sold in India and exported too. This facility is being set up as part of our commitment to Make In India," Suzuki said in his address.

Hansalpur facility
SMC`s wholly-owned subsidiary Suzuki Motor Gujarat Pvt Ltd (SMG) had commissioned its Hansalpur facility in February 2017 and manufactures Baleno model with annual capacity of 250,000 units at Plant A of the facility.

Suzuki further announced to set up third plant (Plant C) of the company at the Hansalpur facility taking the total installed capacity to 750,000 vehicles per annum.

The third line of production will be set up with a fresh investment of ?3,800 crore taking SMC’s total investment to ?13,400 crore generating employment for 10,000.

The construction of plant B with capacity of 250,000 vehicles has already begun along with the construction for engine plant, which will have a capacity of 500,000 units. The two plants are expected to be commissioned by 2019.

The company has already committed investment of $1.5 billion (?9,600 crore) for the existing vehicle facility and the two under-implementation plants at Hansalpur.