Today Current Affairs 28th December 2016

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The Kerala Government has approached the Union Government for allowing use of antlers of spotted deer and sambar of Ayurveda medicines. In this regard, Kerala State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) under chairmanship of CM Pinarayi Vijayan has forwarded proposal to National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) and Ministry of Environment and Forests.  SBWL is seeking suitable amendments to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for using the antlers for medicinal purposes. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, has included antler in the definition of wildlife trophy that may be whole or any part of any captive animal or wild animal. Section 39 of the Act prohibits person from acquiring or keeping trophies in his possession without the previous permission of Chief Wildlife Warden or the authorised officer.  Wildlife and wildlife trophies are considered to be owned by the government. The Act prescribes imprisonment up to 3 years and a fine of Rs. 25,000 for offences involving wildlife trophies.  

The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has given its clearance for the Ken-Betwa inter-linking of rivers (ILR) project, paving the way to begin work for linking two rivers. The clearance of NBWL was requires since the project requires diversion of forest land from core area of Panna Tiger Reserve. However NBWL has set some conditions.  They are Integration of nearby sanctuaries including Ranipur and Rani Durgavati with the Panna Tiger Reserve to compensate loss of tiger habitat and complete ban of fresh mining lease in the area. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will take care of the landscape plan for the area with the help of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and state forest departments. The Ken-Betwa ILR project had received clearance of the Union Cabinet in July 2014 but the work could not begin as the mandatory clearance from the NBWL got stuck due to objections raised from wildlife conservationists and environmentalists.  Nearly 8,650 hectares of forest land including part of Panna National Park in Madhya Pradesh will be submerged due to implementation of this project.  The conservationists and environmentalists have been mainly opposing the project, flagging its impact on tiger reserve and wildlife sanctuaries. Ken-Betwa ILR project :  The Ken-Betwa ILR project aims to transfer surplus water from the Ken River to the Betwa basin through concrete canal to irrigate India’s worst drought-prone Bundelkhand region. The project will benefit Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in terms of meeting irrigation, drinking water and electricity needs of people across 6 districts in the two states.  The 221-km concrete canal will pass through Jhansi, Banda and Mahoba districts of Uttar Pradesh and Chhatarpur, Panna and Tikamgarh districts of Madhya Pradesh. The project also had received green signal from the Supreme Court following the tripartite MoU involving UP, MP and Centre. The apex court in February 2012 had directed Centre to implement this project in a time-bound manner and also had appointed a high-powered committee for its planning and implementation.

The Union Health Ministry in collaboration with All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) will set up a National Death Registry encompassing data about deaths and their causes in all the hospitals across the country. The announcement was made on 27 December 2016. Highlights of the National Death Registry :  The aim behind setting up of this registry is to have a nationwide database about the causes of deaths occurring in hospitals in various regions of India.  It will help the policy makers in having a better understanding of disease outbreaks so as to optimise the resources and healthcare facilities in respective regions. AIIMS already implemented the pilot version of the death registry with the unique feature of having a coding system called the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED). AIIMS will be the technical as well as the implementing partner of this programme. 

Carrie Fisher, known for her role as Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars movie, passed away on 27 December 2016 following a cardiac arrest. She was 60. She is survived by her mother, daughter and beloved French bulldog, Gary. Carrie Fisher : Escaping Hollywood in 1973, Fisher enrolled in the Central School of Speech and Drama in London to study acting.In 1975, she made her film debut in the Warren Beatty-lead movie Shampoo. Throughout the 1990s, Fisher focused on her writing career and published Surrender the Pink and Delusions of Grandma.  She also crafted the scripts for numerous Hollywood films like The Wedding Singer, Hook and Sister Act, etc. In 1990, she wrote her semi-autobiographical memoir Postcards From the Edge, which detailed her drug addiction and rehab experiences.  In 2005, she was recognized with the Women of Vision Award by the Women in Film & Video-DC. She played satirical roles on shows like Sex and the City and The Big Bang Theory and played a recurring role on the British comedy Catastrophe.She also wrote her own autobiography titled The Princess Diarist. She was born as Carrie Frances Fisher in October 1956 in Beverly Hills, California.

Former attorney general Soli J Sorabjee was on 26 December 2016 re-elected as the President of the India International Centre (IIC), a prestigious cultural institution. He was appointed for a period of five years with effect from 1 January 2017. The Board of Directors of IIC unanimously elected Sorabjee for a second consecutive term while recognising his services in achieving the objectives of IIC. Soli J Sorabjee : Sorabjee has been working for IIC for two decades. He is known for surrendering the cases in the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court to be able to devote time for IIC affairs. In 1971, Sorabjee was designated as a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India. He was appointed as the Attorney-General of India in April 1998 and held this post until 2004.He was honored with Padma Vibhushan in 2002 for his defense of the freedom of expression and the protection of human rights. Born in March 1930 in Bombay, he studied at St Xavier's College, Mumbai and Government Law College, Mumbai.

The Union Cabinet  gave its ex-post facto approval for ratification of ISA’s Framework Agreement of International Solar Alliance (ISA) by India. The approval was given at a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. International Solar Alliance : It is an alliance of 121 nations that are primarily situated between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn launched on 30 November 2015. The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was jointly launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and France President Francois Hollande in Paris on the sidelines of the Conference of Parties 21 (CoP21) of the United Nations climate change conference (UNFCCC). It is considered as first international and inter-governmental organization mooted by India. Functions of International Solar Alliance : It tries to improve living standards by facilitating greater access to energy. The ISA works with partner countries to formulate projects and programmes to accelerate development and deployment of existing clean solar energy technologies.It also develops innovative financial mechanisms to reduce cost of capital. It is also instrumental in spreading knowledge about solar energy through knowledge e-portal. It facilitates capacity building for promotion and absorption of solar technologies and research and development activities among member countries. It encourages multilateral bodies like the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and agencies of the United Nations to contribute towards enhanced use of solar energy.

Samit Gohel, the Ranji player from Gujarat, who scored 359 not out runs in Ranji Trophy quarterfinal in Jaipur, Rajasthan, has broken the 117-year-old record in first-class cricket. He was able to create the world record with 45 boundaries and one six in 723 balls. Samit remained not out in his team’s score of 641, which was the highest first-class score for team Gujarat. With this score, Gujarat was able to enter into the semi-final of the Ranji Trophy. It defeated the Ranji team of Odisha. One of his teammates Priyank Panchal has been the top scorer in this season's Ranji Trophy. Samit, 26, registered the highest first-class 359 while carrying the bat in a match against Odisha at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium. With his score, he also broke the first-class record held by an Englishman, Bobby Abel. Surrey’s Bobby Abel scored 357 against Somerset way back in 1899 at the Oval. While Hanif Mohammed’s score of 499 remains the highest score by an opener in first-class cricket. Samit Gohel :  He is an opening batsman of Gujarat team.  He is a government job seeker and has applied for sports quota job in Dena bank as well as Income Tax department. He is also the first triple centurion opener in last 81 years in the first class cricket.

Viral V Acharya was appointed as the Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 28 December 2016. He is a professor of economics at New York University. He will be joining the ranks of Vishwanathan, S S Mundra, R Gandhi as one of four Deputy Governors of RBI. He will be serving under RBI Governor Urjit Patel.  Viral V Acharya : Hailing from an academic background, he has been serving as CV Starr Professor of Economics at the New York University Stern School of Business since 2008.  Acharya’s research interests lie in the regulation of banks and financial institutions, credit risk and valuation of corporate debt, and asset pricing with a main focus on the effects of liquidity risk. Acharya has significant experience in global finance specifically in theoretical risk assessment of the financial sector.  In 2015, Acharya co-authored a research paper that analysed the precarious condition of public sector banks in India. He has previously served on the International Advisory Board of Securities and Exchange Board of India.His papers have been published in renowned finance journals.  He was the recipient of numerous awards including the Rising Star in Finance Award.

A study involving over 1200 species of birds revealed that birds with evolved brains are more capable of surviving in harsh environments where they have to hunt for food, shelter and at times even protect themselves from predators. Conducted by researchers and scientists from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, the study was published in the scientific journal, Nature Communications. The researchers found that the birds living in highly seasonal environments such as the Polar region have relatively larger brains in comparison to those living near the equator.  They also found that birds living in areas with unpredictable climate, places that see extreme fluctuation in weather also have larger brains in comparison to their overall body size.  The researchers further predicted that since the frequency of extreme climatic events like storms, droughts and floods is expected to only increase in the coming years, smarter creatures would be able to adapt better with these changes than the ones with less brains.  Hence, this result will have significant implications in the future. According to a researcher from the University of Bath, Tamas Szakely, birds are among the most intelligent species on the planet. He stated that not only do they learn quickly and remember locations but they are also capable of making their own tools and using them.

India’s Test captain Virat Kohli on 27 December 2016 was named Cricket Australia’s ODI team of the year. Kohli was earlier also picked as the Captain of the ICC’s ODI team of the year. Cricket Australia stated that Kohli played only 10 one-day matches in 2016; however, he underlined his status as one of the best in the 50-over format. He scored back-to-back centuries against Australia in January 2016 and then a 154 against New Zealand, which was more than half of his team's total. At present, he averages an incredible 90.10 in 59 successful run chases for India. Cricket Australia’s ODI Team of Year: Virat Kohli (India, Captain) David Warner (Australia) Quinton de Kock (South Africa, Wicket Keeper) Steve Smith (Australia) Babar Azam (Pakistan) Mitchell Marsh (Australia) Jos Buttler (England) Jasprit Bumrah (India) Imran Tahir (South Africa)

Nepal rejected India’s ‘open sky’ proposal at a meeting held at New Delhi on 20 December 2016. The proposal was to allow unlimited flights between the two countries. Nepal explained its decision by saying that it was not ready for the agreement and might consider it two years later. Currently, airlines of both the nations are allowed to operate only 30000 seats from each side. Highlights : India and Nepal signed a memorandum of understanding to create a joint technical committee, which will be responsible for looking into Nepal’s request for developing new air routes and entry points at its Bhairahawa, Janakpur and Nepalgunj airports.   The committee would convene in the first week of February 2017 to check the feasibility of the requested routes. Nepal has been looking to ease congestion on its existing air routes since long to save time and cost for its passengers. To enable the same, the nation is building a major international airport at Bhairahawa in Lumbini, western Nepal. Another airport at Pokhara is also being developed to reach up to international standards. The topic of increased air routes and service was raised in the joint statement issued by India and Nepal during the visit of Nepal’s Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal. According to the National Civil Aviation Policy, which was approved by the Union Cabinet earlier this year, India plans to initiate the ‘open sky’ agreement with all the SAARC countries and even those located beyond 5000 km radius from New Delhi. India has already signed agreements with countries like Sri Lanka, Guyana, Czech Republic, Jamaica, Spain and Finland to allow airlines to employ unlimited flights to Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata. Open Sky agreement : Generally, countries sign air agreements to decide the number of flights that airlines can fly between them.  Open sky’ agreement, however, means relaxation of all the rules and regulations. Under the agreement, there would be no restriction or limit on the number of flights and seats.  India currently doesn’t have any ‘open sky’ agreement with Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan among the SAARC countries. It does though allow unlimited flights from Maldives and Bangladesh at 18 of its

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has appointed Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as its life presidents. The IOA unanimously appointed the Kalmadi and Chautala to the post during its Annual General Meeting in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. A life president of IOA is an honorary post with no voting rights or involvement in day-to-day functioning of the body. In its 89-year old history, IOA has had 12 presidents, including the current incumbent N Ramachandran. Indian Olympic Association : The Indian Olympic Association is the body responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the Olympic Games, Asian Games and other international athletic meets. IOA acts as the Indian Commonwealth Games Association and is also responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the Commonwealth Games. India’s participation in the 1920 and 1924 Olympics created the backdrop for the creation of the IOA. Therefore, it was formed in 1927. Since then, it is being officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as India's national Olympic organisation. However, the IOA was suspended in December 2012 on the basis of corruption, government interference, and not following guidelines of the IOC.  It was in only May 2013 that IOC decided to lift the ban on IOA.In 1928, Maharaja Bhupindra Singh took over as the president of IOA.

Sunderlal Patwa, the former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, died at a private hospital in Bhopal on 28 December 2016. He was 92. The veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and two-times chief minister of Madhya Pradesh is considered as a political mentor of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Sunderlal Patwa : He was born on 11 November 1924 at Kukdeshwar in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh.He was one of the founding pillars of BJP in the undivided state. He was appointed as Chief Minister of the state for a brief period of two months in 1980 (20 January to 17 February 1980) as a member of Janta Party and again from 5 March 1990 to 15 December 1992, as a leader of the BJP. His second tenure was curtailed by the imposition of the President’s rule in 1992. In 1997, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Chhindwara after a by-poll but lost the seat in 1998 general elections. In the by-poll elections, he defeated Congress strongman Kamal Nath from his home turf, which was taken back during the general elections. In the general elections of 1999, Patwa won the Lok Sabha seat from Hoshangabad and became a Cabinet Minister in the then government led by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.His nephew Surendra Patwa is Minister for Culture and Tourism in the incumbent BJP-led state government. The state government has announced a three-day state mourning after Patwa’s death.  

15 coaches of Sealdah Ajmer 12987 Express train derailed near Rura railway station in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh on 28 December 2016. Two coaches fell in the canal which is just before Rura station which is around 50 Kilometres away from Kanpur. As per reports, the accident claimed lives of at least two people and more than 30 passengers were injured. Relief and rescue operations are underway. The accident took place around 5:30 am. After the accident, the railways have issued helpline number for general public. The number is Helpline Railway number: 1072 at Allahabad, Kanpur Central, Tundla & Aligarh Junction Chunar: 035- 28272, 28273 Mirzapur: 035-27131 Fatehpur: 035-29257, 29258 Kanpur 0512-2323015, 2323016, 2323018 Allahabad: 0532- 2408149, 2408128, 2407353 Tundla: 05612- 220337, 220338, 220339 Aligarh: 0571- 2404056, 2404055 This is the second such accident that occurred in within weeks in the same region. Earlier on 20 November 2016, 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed at Pukhrayan in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh. The accident claimed lives of more than 120 people. The tragedy could have been caused due to a rail fracture.

India and Bhutan in December 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for extending technical cooperation in infrastructure engineering. The MoU was signed between the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) of India and Bhutan’s Department of Engineering Services in Thimpu. Under the MoU, the CPWD will assist Bhutan in – Promoting sustainability in the built environment Capacity building through training of Bhutanese manpower Benchmarking in building and road sectors Besides, the CPWD also deploy engineering experts in Bhutan to achieve the above objectives. Central Public Works Department : CPWD came into existence in July 1854 when Lord Dalhousie established a central agency for execution of public works. The central agency was named as Ajmer Provincial Division. It was later renamed as the Central Public Works Department. It has the professional expertise in disciplines including architecture, engineering, project management coupled with comprehensive experience in building construction and maintenance. In the last 162 years, the agency has executed priority of works in difficult and demanding geographical and climatic conditions.It is a comprehensive construction management department, which provides services from project concept to completion, consultancy and maintenance management.It is headed by Director General (DG) who is also the Principal Technical Advisor to the Union Government.  The regions and sub-regions are headed by Special DGs and Additional DGs respectively, while the zones in all state capitals are headed by Chief Engineers.It has a pan-India presence and has the ability to undertake construction of complex projects even in difficult terrain and maintenance in post construction stage. It had been involved in construction of stadiums and other infrastructure requirements for Asian Games 1982 and Commonwealth Games 2010. The CPWD successfully completed the construction of Afghanistan Parliament building in a hostile environment.The landmark project was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2015  

Tata Motors  roped in Bollywood star Akshay Kumar as brand ambassador for its commercial vehicle (CV) business unit.  Indian cinema's 'original Khiladi' will make his blockbuster entry in this new role at the launch of Tata Motors' latest offering in commercial vehicles, slated in January 2017  Tata Motors' association with Kumar for commercial vehicles will be supported by a multi-media campaign, beginning in the first week of January 2017  Besides products and solutions, he will be actively involved in a host of innovative marketing and customer experience initiatives to be rolled out by Tata Motors.  The Tata brand is one that most of us have grown up with and now to be associated with them is indeed an honour. No one understands Indian trucking better than the Tatas and there couldn't have been a better and more apt brand to promote. 

Eminent Rajasthani litterateur Satya Narayan has been chosen for the 26th Bihari Puraskar, 2016 for his Hindi book titled, "Yeh Ek Dunia". Instituted in 1991 by the Foundation, the award which is named after famous Hindi poet Bihari, recognises outstanding work in Hindi or Rajasthani, published during the last ten years by a Rajasthani writer. K K Birla Foundation announces that the twenty-sixth Bihari Puraskar for the year 2016 will be given to Dr Satya Narayan for his Hindi reportage 'Yeh Ek Dunia'. This book was published in 2010 With 'Yeh Ek Dunia', which is a meticulous depiction of various circumstances of life in the contemporary world, Narayan has gone beyond the boundaries of formal format of reporting. He has also written for various newspapers and magazines including, "Yayavar Ki Diary" and has been the recipient of several awards like 'Kanhaiyaa Laal Sahal Award' from Rajasthan Sahitya Akademi, 'Acharya Niranjannath Samman' by Sambodhan, Kankroli among others.  Last year the Bihari Puraskar was awarded to Bhagwati Lal Vyas for his Rajasthani poetry collection titled

Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, conferred the Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan with the honorary doctorate on December 26, 2016, for his contribution towards promotion of Urdu culture. Shahrukh Khan was awarded the ‘honorius causa’ (doctor of letters) at the 6th Convocation of the University by the Chancellor, Zafar Sareshwala. Besides, Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjiv Saraf founder of Rekhta Foundation was also conferred the honorary doctorate for the contribution in the promotion of Urdu language and culture. The convocation saw about 2,885 graduates and post-graduates and 276 MPhil and PhD scholars from various disciplines in regular courses to be awarded degrees. Besides, 44,235 graduates and post graduates from distance mode of learning were also given degrees in absentia. Maulana Azad National Urdu University was established in 1998 in Hyderabad. It is named after India’s first Minister of Education, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a freedom fighter in India’s struggle for independence, and a scholar of Islam and Urdu literature.

Digital payments platform, Paytm, has launched a 100 member Merchant Helpdesk to educate merchants across India on digital literacy. The E-Commerce Company has also announced that it will invest Rs 50 crore towards educating merchants. The main objective of the initiative is to work closely with the merchantsby seeking feedback and helping them understand digital payments. The initiative will be implemented with multi-channel outreach program involving mass media, on-ground initiative and strengthening the in-house merchant support team. The company has also launched a toll-free number 1800 1800 1234 to help the non-smartphone and non-internet users to pay or receive money using Paytm.

Indian Army has inked an agreement with IIT Gandhinagar to set up a research and development (R&D) cell at the IIT campus to identify problems and possible solutions for the Indian Army. The agreement also enable the IIT and Indian Army to collaborate in areas including critical technology requirements of Indian Army, sharing of professional and technical knowledge. This is an initiative which would result in meaningful realization and efficient transfer of research into customized solutions for the Indian Army.

Pune based public sector lender Bank of Maharashtra, has helped to make the village of Malangaon, in Sangli district, Maharashtra, a completely cashless village. Post the announcement of withdrawal of 500 and 1000 currency notes and the push towards a cashless society financial inclusion became the need of the hour, and the bank officials with the help of the District collector and several government officials adopted the village. Bank of Maharashtra has fully supported the government’s push to a cashless society and our initiative of making Malangaon cashless from end to end is a testament to the fact. Aadhar linked bank accounts make it easy for everyone in the village to perform banking transactions by the simple use of their fingerprint.  All businesses that were disrupted post demonetisation because of their heavy dependence on cash have continued to be performed seamlessly because of an intensive education drive and the efforts of bank officials from the Shirdhon branch to bring everyone into the fold of new-age, digital banking. 

The three-phase campaign Nagar Uday Abhiyan has been launched in all 378 urban bodies of Madhya Pradesh  on December 25, the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. To assess services being provided to citizens and bring them at standard live The first phase will be held between December 25 to 28, the second phase will be conducted between January 3 and 15 and the third phase will take place between January 20 and February 5. Teams of officers and employees of departments would be constituted in the first phase of the campaign. Ward Sabha will be held in the second phase. Status of infrastructure development and beneficiaries oriented schemes will be assessed. Necessities of employment for unemployed persons will be earmarked and work plan will be made in this regard.

With an aim to establish Gujarat as a preferred destination for manufacturing of biotechnology products, the state government has announced it's 'Biotechnology Policy-2016'.  The policy has various incentives for investors who are keen to set up their units in the state. Under the policy, the state government would provide capital subsidy up to Rs 25 crore on the total investment for developing a Biotechnology (BT) Park, said Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel while announcing the policy.  In addition, the developer of such park will be eligible for 100 per cent reimbursement of stamp duty paid on sale or lease of the land for setting such park, stated the policy document.  BT Park developer will be given 100 per cent reimbursement for electricity duty paid for a period of five years, it added.  For individual BT manufacturing units having gross fixed capital investment(GFCI) up to Rs 50 crore, government would give capital subsidy up to Rs 10 per cent of the GFCI with a ceiling of Rs 5 crore.  Further, BT units with borrowings up to Rs 50 crore shall be entitled to an interest subsidy at the rate of 5 per cent with a ceiling of 2.5 crore per annum, the document added.  To encourage new start-ups in this sector, government would give 100 per cent reimbursement of stamp duty paid on sale or lease of the land for setting such start-up.  Our aim behind bringing this policy is to take this turnover to Rs 15,000 crore within next three-four years and make Gujarat number one in this sector.

Pioneering astronomer Vera Rubin passed away on 25 December 2016. She was 88. Rubin, who helped discover evidence of dark matter, passed away due to natural causes. Vera Rubin : Born on 23 July 1928, Vera Rubin was an American astronomer.She pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates. She studied galactic rotation curves and exposed the discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion. This phenomenon came to be known as the galaxy rotation problem. Her results, which initially met with scepticism, were confirmed over the subsequent years. The attempts to explain the galaxy rotation problem led to the theory of dark matter. Dark matter is an unidentified type of matter.It is distinct from dark energy, baryonic matter and neutrinos.Dark matter encompasses around 27 per cent of the mass and energy in the observable universe. It does not emit or interact with electromagnetic radiation, like light. Therefore, it is invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The existence and properties of dark matter are inferred from its gravitational effects such as the motions of visible matter, its influence on the universe's large-scale structure, gravitational lensing, etc. It is transparent to electromagnetic radiation. It is so dense and small that it fails to absorb or release enough radiation to be detectable with current imaging technology. The standard model of cosmology outlines that the total mass-energy of the universe contains 4.9 per cent ordinary matter, 26.8 per cent dark matter and 68.3 per cent dark energy. One of the most widely accepted assumptions on the form for dark matter is that it is composed of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles that interact only through gravity and the weak force. A group of astronomers reported in August 2016 that Dragonfly 44, an ultra diffuse galaxy with the mass of the Milky Way galaxy, but with almost no discernable stars or galactic structure, may be made almost entirely of dark matter.

India’s first Digi Dhan Mela was held on 26 December 2016 in Gurugram, Haryana. The mela is a first of its exercise in the country and is meant to promote cashless transactions in the post-demonetisation period. Digi Dhan Mela  : The mela (fair) showcased the government’s efforts to promote digital financial transactions. It educated the people on how to use mobile phones and AADHAR for making payments online. Dedicated counters were set up to issue AADHAR cards. In the mela, 15000 winners of the Lucky Grahak Yojana daily reward were also drawn. The winners were being identified through a random draw of the eligible Transaction IDs which are generated automatically as soon as the transaction is completed by software developed by National Payments Corporation of India. Lucky Grahak Yojana : The scheme was launched by the Union Government on 15 December 2016.Under this scheme, the government will offer a daily reward of Rs 1000 that will be given to 15000 lucky consumers for a period of 100 days. Consumers, who use the alternate modes of digital payments, will be awarded the weekly prizes of Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10000 and Rs 5000.This will include all forms of transactions- UPI, USSD, AEPS and RuPay Cards but will exclude transactions through Private Credit Cards and Digital Wallets. Along with Lucky Grahak Yojana, Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana (Merchants) was also launched by the government to promote cashless transactions at retail counters. Under this scheme, the government will award prizes to merchants for all digital transactions conducted at merchant establishments. They will be awarded the weekly prizes of Rs 50000, Rs 5000 and Rs 2500 Both the Lucky Grahak Yojana as well as the Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana (Merchants) are implemented by the National Payments Corporation of India to attain the broader objectives set forth by the Digital India campaign.