Current Affairs 22nd August 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Railways will collaborate with Google for digitizing and showcasing its heritage on digital platforms.  Google has agreed to partner with Railways to digitise its heritage assets and help create a digital repository for universal online access free of cost . Indian Railway has a huge list of heritage assets including bridges, steam locos, buildings, artefacts and museums which can be showcased for global audience.  An agreement in this regard will be signed soon between National Rail Museum and Google Cultural Institute (GCI).  The official said collaboration will not only make NRM accessible online and offer virtual tours but also help digitise the national transporter's entire heritage inventory which includes more than 20 museums, hundreds of steam locos, coaches, station buildings, bridges among others.  GCI generally works with government organisations and not for profit groups to provide digital collection management systems and storeytelling tools free of cost.  Various ministries and institutes of the government have already collaborated with GCI for displaying and preserving India's cultural heritage digitally.  Currently Google is working with the railways in providing free Wi-Fi service at 100 stations.  Indian Railway is preparing a comprehensive conservation management plan to preserve and promote its heritage assets.  Besides, a dedicated rail heritage website under Railway Board's website is operational for dissemination of information. 

Union Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi inaugurated the state’s first animal birth control centre (ABC) at Kedarpuram.  The centre will take up birth control measures with stray dogs the population of which has been rising in the city and the state. The centres will be set up in Nainital and Mussoorie and other five municipal corporations in Haridwar, Haldwani, Kashipur, Haldwani and Roorkee and Department of Urban Development has sanctioned Rs 2 crore to set up the centres. Dr V Sati, senior veterinary officer, Dehradun Nagar Nigam told TOI,"This centre will be very beneficial since it will ensure that there is less littering and after neutralization the dogs also tend to mellow down a bit.

Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), the nodal agency under the finance ministry that co-ordinates government disinvestment programme has selected four investment banks for the proposed share sale in HUDCO (Housing & Urban Development Corporation Limited).  These four banks include Nomura, SBI Caps, ICICI Securities and IDBI Capital.  After qualifying on technical basis, DIPAM has selected Japanese investment bank Nomura that has quoted the lowest financial bids of a little over Rs 5 core and others were asked to match the fee, said one of the top official of a leading investment bank that has participated in the process.  The fee quoted by investment banks were for the entire cost of the public issue, that is going to be little over Rs 10 crore . The government is planning to sell 10% stake in HUDCO, which is under administrative control of the Urban Development Ministry, through an initial public offer (IPO). The proposed move aimed at raising about Rs 1,500 crore on a total valuation of Rs 15,000 crore . The government is starting with a mandatory 10% sale that will increased to 25% in the next three through offer for sale route . HUDCO has a paid up capital of Rs 2,000 crore, comprising of 200 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each. Under the proposed share sale programme, the government will sell about 20 crore share. The bankers are told to file the prospectus in the next two to three months so that the issue cap be completed in the current fiscal itself . The government has set a disinvestment target of Rs 56,500 crore for the current fiscal. Of this, Rs 36,000 crore will be raised from minority stake sale in state run companies and Rs 20,500 crore from strategic sale. So far, the government has managed to raise only Rs 3,183 crore from stake sale in NHPC, employee subscription in IOC and NTPC disinvestment. 

In a first among Indian carriers, Vistara announced today that Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone will be their new brand ambassador.  The airline will launch a new campaign featuring Deepika thy will be broadcast on TV channels across India starting August 22, 2016.  Vistara wishes to reach out to its core audience of corporate and frequent flyers, who value a seamless, reliable, and consistent service experience above everything else, and are willing to pay a reasonable premium for the unique offerings provided by a world-class full service airline. With this initiative, the airline also intends to make brand Vistara a household name just like its parent company brands, Tata and Singapore Airline .  Vistara : Tata SIA Airlines Limited, operating as Vistara, is an Indian domestic airline based in Gurgaon with its hub at Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport. The carrier, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, commenced operations on 9 January 2015 with its inaugural flight between Delhi and Mumbai. The airline had carried more than two million passengers by June 2016 and as of April 2016, has a 2.3% share of the domestic carrier market. The airline operates to seventeen destinations with a fleet of Airbus A320-200 aircraft. Vistara was the first airline to introduce premium economy seats on domestic routes in India.

Dr. Najma Heptulla was sworn-in as the 18th Governor of Manipur. She replaced Shanmuganathan who was holding the dual charge of Governor of Meghalaya and Manipur. She was administered oath of office by Acting Chief Justice of Manipur High Court Rakesh Ranjan Prasad as per the provisions of Article 159 of Constitution of India. Dr. Najma Akbarali Heptulla  : Born on 13 April 1940 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. She is five time member of the Rajya Sabha between 1986 and 2012.  She had served as and Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha for sixteen years in two different terms from 1985 to 1986 and 1988 to 2004. She is former vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In 2007, she had unsuccessfully had contested the 13th vice-presidential election against Hamid Ansari. In NDA Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi she had served as Union Minister of Minority Affairs from May 2014 to July 2016. She had resigned on age grounds.

Scientists for the first time have developed LASER (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) from fluorescent jellyfish proteins that were grown in bacteria. The first of its kind represents a major advance breakthrough in so-called polariton lasers operating at room temperature. A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. Major difference between laser and other sources of light is that, laser emits light coherently. Polariton laser works by passing photons back and forth between excited molecules. Unlike conventional lasers, the photons in Polariton laser are released and reabsorbed within the device itself before zooming out as laser light. To develop the fluorescent Polariton laser, scientists had engineered barrel-shaped fluorescent proteins from jellyfish DNA. They had filled optical microcavities (between two mirrors) with this protein before subjecting them to optical pumping. Nanosecond flashes of blue light from an external laser were used to bring the system up to the required energy to create laser light. After the threshold was reached for polariton lasing, scientists pumped more energy into the device setup that resulted in conventional lasing. Significance : These lasers have the potential to be far more efficient and compact than conventional ones. It could open up research avenues in quantum physics and optical computing. Consumes less energy compared to conventional lasers. It can be used for the purpose more efficient optical communications or in medical lasers that are less destructive to living tissue.

Subrata Banerjee, the former international umpire, passed away on 19 August 2016 in Kolkata. He was 71.Banerjee had a 15-year career at the international level, where he officiated in 13 ODIs. Subrata Banerjee : Banerjee officiated in men's and women's international matches, as well as in age group tournaments, and stood in a women's Test match.He made his international debut in November 1983 in an ODI between India and West Indies in Baroda. His last international appearance came in May 1998 in a match between India and Kenya in Gwalior.He also worked as an umpire coach for the BCCI in addition to serving as an umpire's educator.He had also served as a television umpire in ODIs and was the reserve umpire in the India-England Test in Mohali in 2001.His umpiring career spanned for 39 years wherein he officiated in 64 first-class matches.  

The 2016 Summer Olympics concluded at ceremony held at the Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro on 21 August 2016 , Brazil. More than 11000 athletes from 207 National Olympic Committees, including first time entrants Kosovo, South Sudan and the Refugee Olympic Team, took part in the games. The games featured 28 Olympic sports, including rugby sevens and golf, which were added to the Olympic programme in 2009. The United States topped the medal table for the fifth time in the past six Summer Olympics, winning 46 gold medals and 121 medals overall. Great Britain and China finished in second and third respectively. India at the Rio Olympics 2016 : The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had sent a total of 117 athletes, the nation's largest ever delegation in Summer Olympic history.Indian bagged a total of two medals, one silver and one bronze, in the games, and stood at the 67th place in the medal tally. Badminton player P V Sindhu won historic silver medal in women’s singles badminton event. With this, she became the first Indian woman to clinch a silver medal in Olympics. Wrestler Sakshi Malik secured a bronze in the 58 kg category to become India's first female wrestler to win an Olympic medal. India had qualified one artistic gymnast into the Olympic competition for the first time since 1964. Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian female ever to book an Olympic spot in the apparatus events and all-around event at the Olympic Test Event. She narrowly missed out in the bronze medal, finishing 4th in the finals of the event with a score of 15.066. Abhinav Bindra came fourth in the Men's 10m Air Rifle singles event after losing a shootoff for the top 3 to Serhiy Kulish, who finally won the silver. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Indian long distance runner Lalita Babar scored a time of 9:19.76 in her heat, qualifying to the final. With this, she became the first Indian in 32 years to enter a final in any track event. At the final, she finished 10th with a time of 9:22.74. Highlights of the 2016 Summer Olympics : The opening ceremony took place in the Maracana Stadium on 5 August 2016.The Games were officially opened by Acting President of Brazil Michel Temer. These were the first Summer Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Thomas Bach.Rio became the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics.The two new sports for 2016 Olympic Games were golf and rugby sevens. Due to the European migrant crisis and other reasons, the International Olympic Committee allowed athletes to compete as Independent Olympians under the Olympic Flag.Due to the suspension of the National Olympic Committee of Kuwait, participants from Kuwait were allowed to participate under the Olympic Flag as Independent Olympic Athletes. The official mascot of the 2016 Summer Olympics was Vinicius. It is named after musician Vinicius de Moraes. The mascot represented Brazilian wildlife and carries design traits of cats, monkeys and birds. 2020 Summer Olympics : The 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan.The city was announced as the host at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires on 7 September 2013.The games are planned to be held from 24 July 2020 to 9 August 2020.  

Sadbhavana Diwas 2016 is celebrated on August 20 each year all over the India to commemorate the birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister of India named Rajiv Gandhi. This year the day marks the 72nd birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi. Sadbhavana Diwas : The Sadbhavana (means having good feelings for others) Diwas or Harmony Day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of the earlier Prime Minister of India named Rajiv Gandhi. Having good feelings for others was the only the mission of the government of Rajiv Gandhi. It is celebrated every year on 20th August by the Congress by cutting a cake in order to encourage the national integration, peace, national integrity, love, affection and communal harmony among the Indian people of all religions. In the year 2008, Rajiv Ratna Gandhi : Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India, serving from 1984 to 1989. He took office after the 1984 assassination of his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, to become the youngest Indian Prime Minister. Rajiv was made a general secretary of the Congress party and given significant responsibility in organising the 1982 Asian Games. Rajiv Gandhi's period in office was mired in controversies; perhaps the greatest crises were the Bhopal disaster and the Shah Bano case. In 1988 he reversed the coup in Maldives, antagonising militant Tamil groups such as PLOTE, intervening and then sending peacekeeping troops to Sri Lanka in 1987, leading to open conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE). In mid-1987 the Bofors scandal damaged his corruption-free image and resulted in a major defeat for his party in the 1989 election. In 1991 the Indian government posthumously awarded Gandhi the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award. At the India Leadership Conclave in 2009, the Revolutionary Leader of Modern India award was conferred posthumously on Gandhi.

NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters FC will kick off the third season of the Indian Super League (ISL) in Guwahati, which will also host the opening ceremony.  By awarding Guwahati the rights to host ISL 2016 opening ceremony, Football Sports Development wishes to celebrate North East's contribution to the development of Indian football and recognise the potential it has in shaping the future of the game in the country. On October 1, Indira Gandhi Stadium, Sarusajai, with a capacity of 30,000, will witness ISL teams, owners, celebrities and performers put up a visual extravaganza at the opening ceremony. Indian Super League Season  : The 2016 Indian Super League Season was the third season of the Indian Super League, a professional football league played in India since 2014. The season features eight teams. The regular season kicked-off on 3 October and ended on 6 December, while the finals began on 11 December, which will conclude with the final match on 20 December.

The government of Kerala has  approved a new debt relief scheme for low income and poor people who face the threat of revenue recovery proceedings after they fail to repay loans taken from various financial institutions under the government. The scheme, expected to cause an additional burden of ₹40 crore to the exchequer, will benefit more than 10,000 persons.To prepare a comprehensive one-time debt relief scheme in the wake of several appeals received from persons who face revenue recovery proceeding. The relief is for those who had taken loans from the State Housing Board, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Backward Welfare Corporation, State Women’s Development Corporation, the Kerala State Handicapped Persons Welfare Corporation and Revenue Departments. The principal amount, interest and penal interest on loans up to ₹5 lakh will be waived, the release said. Besides, those who face recovery proceedings even after remitting over 150 per cent of the principal amount will be given concessions.

Andhra Pradesh Police has launched DNA Index System (DIS), the first-of-its-kind initiative that allows generation of DNA profiles from live samples like saliva and blood stains. The system uses the latest DNA technology tool called RapidHIT developed by IntegenX of USA. The DIS allows generation of DNA profiles using buccal swabs, blood stains, saliva and other live samples in less than two hours.  Generation of a DNA profile takes two or more days with the technologies so far available. The AP Police launched a pilot, to test the efficacy of the DIS, to generate DNA profiles of a batch of convicts and suspects involved in various crimes. DNA profiling plays a crucial role in solving crimes and also has the potential to link a series of crimes by placing the suspects by linking them with the crime scene.  It could  also help the suspects prove their innocence,” the release added. “Our aim is to make AP a crime-free state and the DIS is a proactive policing measure using the latest technology in forensic labs.

The monogrammed suit worn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting with American President Barack Obama last year, which created huge controversy, entered Guinness Book of World Records as 'the most expensive suit sold'. The suit was sold at an auction for Rs. 43,131,311. It was bought by Laljibhai Tulsibai Patel, a resident of Surat, in Gujarat, on February 20, 2015. The proceeds from this auction have gone to the Namami Gange Fund, a project to clean the Ganga River. The pin stripped suit garnered considerable controversy and media attention for having the name 'Narendra Modi' stitched on it. Many critics then accused the Prime Minister of being 'self-obsessed' and 'narcissist' and his monogrammed suit as 'gimmick'. Congress party vice-president Rahul Gandhi then said the suit was "Make in UK" and another Congress leader Jairam Ramesh called him 'melodramatic'. Media reports claimed that the price of the suit that Prime Minister Modi wore during his interaction with President Obama at Hyderabad House on January 26, 2015 was Rs. 10 lakhs.The suit was gifted to Prime Minister Modi by an ardent fan.  

China's largest high speed train maker has announced that its first $63.4 million joint venture plant in India to repair and manufacture railway locomotive engines has started operations.  The state-run China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) is the first foreign company to set up assembly line of rail transportation equipment in India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled his ambitious 'Make in India' campaign in 2014 . The joint venture named CRRC Pioneer (India) Electric Co. Ltd., is housed in Haryana. The plant was set up with an investment $63.4 million and the Chinese side holds 51 per cent of the share  The India plant will repair and manufacture railway locomotive engines. It will also provide technology support to India's rail system and supply electric transmission systems to oil drilling, wind power generation and mining equipment making in India  This is China's first major investment in Indian Railways after the two worked out a multi-pronged collaboration for Chinese participation in the modernisation of Indian railway systems.  While Indian Railway engineers are getting trained in China in heavy hauling, China is also cooperating with India to set up a railway university similar to the one it developed.  Besides the high speed train, India and China have agreed to cooperate to identify the technical inputs required to increase speed on the existing railway line from Chennai to Mysore via Bangalore.  China is also conducting feasibility study to build a high speed railway line between Chennai and New Delhi. Japan has bagged the first bullet train project to build a high speed rail line between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.  CRRC Vice President Yu Weiping said the new plant will create jobs and tax revenue for local people and help improve infrastructure. It will advance cooperation in industrial capacity and local equipment manufacturing, he said. India has one of the world's largest railway network spanning about 64,000 kilometres.  Since its presence in the Indian market in 2007, CRRC has supplied it with subway trains, locomotive engines and other railway vehicles and parts . Given more than 60,000 kilometres of railways in India, it is far from enough to build a single locomotive engine plant in India . CRRC, formed from the merger of former rivals CNR Corp. and China CSR, has been aggressively reaching out to overseas markets, exporting rail transportation equipment to 101 countries and regions.  Its first plant in North America started operations in September 2015 in Massachusetts .

India has pledged financial assistance worth Nepali Rs 39.97 million for the construction of a new building and a hostel facility at a Sanskrit school in eastern Nepal.  A tripartite agreement between the Indian Embassy, the Local Development Officer, Ilam District, and Principal of Shree Saptmai Gurukul Sanskrit Vidhyashram Secondary School was signed in this regard . The project is being implemented through the Indian government's grant assistance under the small development programme scheme as part of India-Nepal Economic Cooperation Programme . The school has been providing quality education and is the only school in Ilam where Sanskrit, Vedic rituals, English language are part of the curriculum.  The school has residential facilities as well and many young students coming from other different parts of the country stay in the school building which is in a dilapidated condition.  The new school and hostel building would provide much- needed classrooms and safe residential area for the students thus creating an improved environment for learning. 

Shri Yogeshwar Sangwan, presently Ambassador of India to the Republic of Armenia, has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to Georgia, with residence in Yerevan (Armenia). Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan.  

Sunil Bharti Mittal has been re-appointed as the Chairman of telecom giant Bharti Airtel for another five year, with effect from October 1, 2016. Sunil Bharti Mittal has been re-appointed as the Chairman of the company for further term of five years with effect from October 1, 2016. Mittal is the Founder of Bharti Enterprises, one of India's largest conglomerates with diversified interests in telecom, insurance, real estate, agri and food, besides other ventures. The Group also has joint ventures with global leaders like Singtel, SoftBank, AXA, Del Monte amongst others. Bharti Airtel, the Group's flagship company, offers mobile, fixed broadband and digital TV solutions to over 350 million customers across India, South Asia and Africa.

N. Ramachandran, President Indian Olympic Association (IOA), on 21 August 2016 was awarded the Olympic Order for his outstanding services to the Olympic movement. The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, formally presented the award to Ramachandran. Olympic Order : The Olympic Order is the highest award of the Olympic Movement which is awarded in recognition of efforts worthy of merit in the cause of sport. It was established in May 1975 as a successor to the Olympic Certificate by the International Olympic Committee. The Olympic Order originally had three grades gold, silver and bronze, although the bronze grade fell dormant in 1984. As a tradition, IOC bestows the Olympic Order upon the chief national organiser(s) at the closing ceremony of each respective Olympic Games. The insignia of the Olympic Order is in the form of a collar (or chain), in Gold, Silver or Bronze according to grade. The front of the chain depicts the five rings of the Olympic Movement. A lapel badge, in the form of the five rings in Gold, Silver and Bronze according to grade, is presented to recipients to wear as appropriate.Nadia Comaneci is the only athlete to be awarded the Olympic Order twice, that is, in 1984 and 2004. He is also the youngest ever recipient.  

Union Government has appointed Urjit Patel (52) as new Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He will be 24th Governor of RBI He will have tenure of three years and shall succeed Raghuram Rajan. Prior to this appointment (elevation) he was Deputy Governor of RBI. He will be the eighth Deputy Governor to be elevated as Governor at RBI. The Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Urjit Patel based on the recommendation of the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee (FSRASC), headed by the Cabinet Secretary. The Committee undertook an extensive exercise to suggest a panel of names to the ACC. Urjit Patel  : Born on October 28, 1963. He had received his doctorate in economics from Yale University in 1990) and M Phil from Oxford (1986). By profession he is an eminent economist, consultant and banker. He has two decades of rich experience across sectors including financial, energy and infrastructure sectors. He has worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) covering the US, India, Bahamas and Myanmar desks between 1990 and 1995. For first time, he was appointed as the Deputy Governor of RBI in January 2013 for three year term and was later reappointed on January 2016.  He had headed committee to review the monetary policy framework and had proposed monetary policy committee to set interest rates (currently solely decided by the RBI governor). It also had recommended targeting consumer inflation to control volatile prices by shifting the current focus away from wholesale prices.  Besides, he also had worked closely with several union and state government committees especially those on market studies, direct taxes, anti-trust laws, Prime Minister’s Task Force on Infrastructure and sectors like telecom, aviation, power and pensions. The RBI is central bank of India. It regulates banks, prints money and prevents volatility in the foreign exchange market. It is also the government’s banker and lender of last resort.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has voiced its concern over alleged excesses of the Indian military and the paramilitary forces in Kashmir.  This issued had surfaced after former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai had “appreciated” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on human rights situation in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. OCI Secretary General of OIC Iyad Amin Madani had quoted that the organisation will continue to expose human rights excesses in the Kashmir Valley.  It will support to Pakistan till the issue is resolved in accordance with the United Nations resolutions and wishes of the people of Kashmir. OIC’s these comments and support to Pakistan is bound to rile India as it is not for the first that the OIC has spoken about the Kashmir issue against India. The OIC is an international organization founded in 1969. Members: It consists of 57 member states including Iran and Pakistan. Administrative centre (headquarters): Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Objective: (i) Raise the collective voice of the Muslim world. (ii) Collectively work to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony. OIC has permanent delegations to United Nations and the European Union. Issues with India: In this organisation, India is a blocked country, though it has about 12% of the world’s Muslim population. India has been blocked by Pakistan from joining the OIC over Kashmir issue. OIC regard parts of Kashmir as “occupied by India”.

Myanmar has officially announced to support for China’s ambitious One Belt and One Road (OBOR) connectivity initiative along the ancient Silk Road. It was announced in the joint statement released by both countries during official state visit of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to China. Highlights  : Myanmar also Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor meant to industrialise a stretch spanning more than 2,000-km. BCIM corridor links Kunming in China with Mandalay in Myanmar and passes through Bangladesh and ends at Kolkata in India . Myanmar also asked for China’s support to realise peace and national reconciliation through political dialogue in case of militancy. Myanmar has been a victim of militancy which for decades is fuelled by clandestine sale of drugs, jade and timber, mostly channelled through China. Myanmar also discussed on issues for China’s support for it infrastructure projects including on Myitsone dam project.  Myitsone dam project is controversial China-backed project in Northeastern Myanmmer stalled since 2011 on the grounds of causing extensive ecological damage. Talks were also held for establishing an Asian super-grid with Myanmar as one of its nodes with China’s state-owned State Grid Corporation.

Scientists from have discovered Gymnothorax indicus (proposed name Indian unpatterened moray), a new species of eel (a snake-like fish) in the northern Bay of Bengal region along the West Bengal coast. It was discovered after it was collected in a trawl net by fishermen in northern Bay of Bengal, about 70 km off the coast. Gymnothorax indicus  : The ell species Gymnothorax indicus is slender-bodied. It was found at a depth of 35 metres in the sea. It is about one feet-long and edible. It has 194 vertebrae. Its dorsal fin has a black margin. The body of the eel is uniformly pale brown without spots or patterns. Its eye rim is pale. Significance of discovery : Scientists believe that these newly discovered eel species may contribute to food security in the future. Eaten in coastal areas Eels are found mostly at the bottom of rivers and seas. Globally, about 1,000 species of eels have been identified. In India their number is around 125. Eels are local delicacy in many countries like Japan. But consumption of eels in India is limited to coastal areas. Rich marine biodiversity in Bay of Bengal  : The coastal region of West Bengal adjoining areas of Bay of Bengal are the rich marine biodiversity. Over the past few years, it has yielded two new species of fish. In 2015, Gymnothorax mishrai (Bengal moray eel), a short brown unpatterned moray eel was discovered. Scientists also had discovered another new species of Haplogenys bengalensis (Indian velvetchin), an edible marine fish from the same area.

Chinese scientists have discovered a small molecule (new drug) named XMU-MP-1 that can regenerate tissue. It has potential to eliminate transplants of some organs.  It was discovered by team of researchers from Xiamen University and  Peking University of China. The findings were published in Science Translational Medicine. The drug, XMU-MP-1 can promote repair and regeneration in the liver, intestines and skin. It was found that it has ability to inhibit the activity of two enzymes MST1 and MST2, the central component of this pathway which normally prevent cells from proliferating.  By inhibiting the activity of MST1/2, XMU-MP-1 can promote cell growth in four different mouse models with acute injuries. For this research purpose, researchers had specifically targeted a critical signalling molecule in the Hippo pathway, which controls organ size and growth. This study paves the way for medicines that help to rebuild organs instead of relying on complicated therapeutic strategies such as regenerative cells to specific spots and delivering biomaterials in the body to repair and restore injured tissue.  

Prominent film actor Kamal Haasan (61) has been selected by France for its prestigious Chevalier de L’Ordre Arts et Lettres. It is also known as Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. He has been chosen for this prestigious award recognition of his high level artistic excellence and distinguished career achievements. He will be the second Tamil actor to be chosen for this award after the legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan. Kamal Haasan  : Born on 7 November 1954 in Paramakudi in the Madras State. His birth name is Parthasarathy. He is film actor, director, screenwriter, producer, playback singer, choreographer, lyricist, philanthropist and dancer. He had made his film debut at age of four as a child artist in the film ‘Kalathur Kannamma’ (1959). His breakthrough as a lead actor was in the film Apoorva Raagangal (1975), in which he played a rebellious youth in love with an older woman.  Awards and Honours : Till date, he has won four national awards, 19 Filmfare awards. He has been also honoured with Padmashree (1990) and Padmabhushan (2014). Chevalier de L’Ordre Arts et Lettres  : The award is part of French Government’s premier award “the Legion of Honour.” It is aimed at honouring artists and writers of world repute. The other recipients of the Chevalier Order from India include actors Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Nandita Das.

Germany defeated Sweden by 2-1 to win their first ever Olympic gold medal in women's football on 19 August 2016. Germany is now one of only three women's teams to win both the Olympics and World Cup. Germany failed to qualify for the Olympics in 2012 but won the bronze the last three times they played, in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Canada won the bronze medal in the event. Germany women's national football team : The Germany women's national football team is governed by the German Football Association (DFB).The German national team is one of the most successful in women's football. They are two-time world champions, having won the 2003 and 2007 tournaments. They are also the only nation to have won both the men's and women's tournament.Birgit Prinz holds the record for most appearances and is the team's all-time leading goalscorer.Silvia Neid has been the team's head coach since 2005.

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