The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has inked MoU with Common Services Centre (CSC), a SPV of Ministry of Information Technology for enabling online submission of applications under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
The MoU was signed in the presence of Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu and Union Minister for IT Ravi Shankar Prasad.
It will enable online submission of applications by the urban poor for affordable houses under PMAY (Urban).
About 60 thousand CSCs located in urban areas will enable online submission of applications at a nominal cost of 25 rupees per application. CSCs will also facilitate printing of the acknowledgement receipt with beneficiary photograph which helps applicants in tracking application status
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana : Union Government had launched Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in June 2015 in line with its ambitious Housing for All by 2022 Mission. Under this scheme government plans to build two crore houses for the poor in urban areas by year 2022, which coincides with 75 years of Independence.
The scheme has four basic components viz. slum rehabilitation, affordable housing, credit linked interest subsidy and beneficiary-led individual house construction or enhancement. Intended beneficiary will be poor people (BPL) and people living under EWS and LIG categories in urban establishments of the country. Under this scheme, the ownership of houses will be in the name of woman or jointly with husband.
The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Thiruvananthapuram, developed a compound, called Gelator, to scoop out marine oil spills.
The results based on laboratory studies were published recently in the journal Angewandte Chemie.
A team led by Dr. Kana M. Sureshan from the School of Chemistry used glucose as a starting material and through several chemical reactions produced compounds (gelators) that selectively congeal oil, including crude oil, from an oil-water mixture.
Highlights of the Gelator : The gelators, which are in a powder form, can be easily applied over oil-water mixture. In addition, they do not cause any environmental damage.
It can recover oil from oil-water mixture and can be reused several times. However, in the case of crude oil, the gelator cannot be recycled.The gelator molecule is partly hydrophobic and partly hydrophilic. While the hydrophilic part helps in self-assembling to form gelator fibres, the hydrophobic part is responsible for its diffusion into the oil layer.
To achieve better diffusion of the molecule into the oil phase and enhance the oil recovery, the researchers increased the hydrophobicity. This was done by adding an aromatic/alkyl group at some part of the molecule.
Since the outer part of the fibre is hydrophobic, oil tends to gets into the spongy network made of fibres.
Once inside the fibre network, oil loses fluidity and becomes a gel. As the self-assembly is strong, the gel maintains its structure and rigidity even under pressure.
The Union Sports Ministry has directed the National Sports Federations (NSFs) to shortlist names of potential medalists along with their support staff for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. They have been asked to submit the list by 30 November 2016.
The direction was approved by the Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel.
The potential medalists will get a head start in their Olympic preparations and a chance to work with the best support staff.
Performance of the chosen players along with their support staff will be reviewed after every six months
Results of the review will be put up on the Sports Federations’ website, suggesting full transparency.
All the financial assistance required by the NSFs will be taken care of by the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme.
Aside from this, the Sports Authority of India will take over the same role in case of sports disciplines in which NSFs are suspended like Gymnastics, Tennis and Archery.
Besides, the Department of sports also advised NSFs to prepare the programme for training and exposure of the medal prospects for the year 2017.
Mariano Rajoy was re-elected as the Prime Minister of Spain after winning a parliamentary vote. 170 lawmakers voted for him, 111 against and 68 abstained.
With this, Spain has its first fully functioning government since December 2015, when a general election left no party with a majority.
Mariano Rajoy : Mariano Rajoy became leader of the People's Party in 2004.
He was the Leader of the Opposition between 2004 and 2011 under Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government. He became the Prime Minister in 2011 following the People's Party landslide victory in the general election of 2011.
His party lost the majority in the 2015 general election. However, the election ended in deadlock. Thereafter, a second election in 2016 enabled him to be re-elected prime minister as head of a minority government.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)had directed all the banks to dispense more 100 rupees notes through ATMs within the next 15 days.
The decision came after a review of steps taken by banks for installing ATMs dispensing lower denomination banknotes was conducted. After the review, it was found that very few banks had taken initiatives in setting up ATMs dispensing lower denomination notes including 100 rupees banknotes.
In keeping with the objectives of Clean Note Policy and to ensure that genuine requirement of members of public for 100 rupees denomination banknotes are met, the banks should increase dispensation of 100 rupees banknotes through ATMs which are widely used for distribution of banknotes for retail use.
Moreover, RBI also decided to conduct a pilot project wherein 10 percent of the ATMs in the country will be calibrated to dispense 100 rupees banknotes exclusively.
For this purpose, banks are free to select the branches with the sample covering relatively large number of centres or states. Once it is completed, the banks will further share their feedback on the pilot project after a lapse of two months.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has completed the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) after more than 20 years of hard work.
This largest-ever space telescope is expected to launch in 2018 following the in-depth testing.
Highlights of the Telescope : The telescope has 18 large mirrors that will collect infrared light, sheltered behind a tennis-court-size sun shield. It is considered as the successor to NASA's iconic Hubble Space Telescope. It is a 8.8 billion US dollars worth space observatory built to observe the infrared universe like never before.
Earth's atmosphere glows in the infrared, so such measurements can't be made from the ground. Hubble emits its own heat, which would obscure infrared readings.
It can run close to absolute zero in temperature and rest at a point in space called the Lagrange Point 2, which is directly behind Earth from the sun's perspective. That way, Earth can shield the telescope from the sun's infrared emission, and the sun shield can protect the telescope from both bodies' heat.
The telescope's infrared view will pierce through obscuring cosmic dust to reveal the universe's first galaxies and spy on newly forming planetary systems.
It will also be sensitive enough to analyze the atmospheres of exoplanets that pass in front of their stars, perhaps to search for signs of life. It will be able to see a bumblebee a moon's distance away both in reflected light and in the body heat the bee emitted. Its mirrors are so smooth that if you stretched the array to the size of the US, the hills and valleys of irregularity would be only a few inches high.
The project is led by NASA but supported by international partners, including the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
The telescope was originally scheduled to launch in 2014 at a cost of about 5 billion US dollars, but a series of setbacks and budget constraints delayed and nearly canceled the project.
The telescope's testing at Goddard will ensure that it can withstand the shaking and loud noise of a rocket launch. Then, it will be moved to Texas, where its focus will be tested, and then to California for some final assembly.
The full telescope, with a 21.3-foot (6.5 meters) mirror assembly, is too large to launch fully extended, so the telescope will be carefully furled during launch and will have to unfold over the course of two weeks once it's in the air. By six months after launch, the telescope will be ready to begin doing science.
The Supreme Court (SC) has granted pension to the fake freedom fighters on humanitarian grounds. However, on the other hand, the court ordered inquiry into alleged forging of freedom fighter certificates to claim pension.
In August 2005, SC appointed Justice A B Palkar Commission to examine the case of a large number of people claiming pension as freedom fighters by allegedly forging certificates in Beed district of Maharashtra.
The court said that those falsely claiming to have participated in the freedom struggle should be dealt sternly as they were traitors. It directed the Palkar panel to complete the inquiry into claims of 354 people for freedom fighter pension and submit a report to the Maharashtra government.
The panel had rejected the claims of 298 of 354 people and termed their documents bogus. After the cancellation, the elderly people moved the Bombay HC and pleaded that they all were senior citizens and are deprived of pensionary benefits. However, the HC refused to give relief.
The case was further escalated to the SC before a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman which announced its decision in favour of the fake freedom fighters.
Kolkata-born Sarabjit Singh Marwah became the first Sikh to be appointed to the Canadian Senate.
Toronto-based Marwah is among six people from Ontario who have been appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Sarabjit Singh Marwah : Sarabjit Singh Marwah was born in Kolkata in 1952.
He completed his schooling from St Xavier's School. He is an alumnus of Delhi's St Stephen's College and the Delhi School of Economics and holds an MBA degree from the University of California in Los Angeles.
He formerly worked at Scotiabank. He had joined the company in Toronto as a financial analyst in 1978. Rising through the ranks, he went on to become the Chief Financial Officer (COO) of the bank in 1998. In 2002, he was made the bank's senior executive vice president and chief financial officer.
He is one of the founders of the Sikh Foundation of Canada that promotes Sikh culture and art among the diaspora community.
He has also served on the boards of many famous Canadian institutions such as the Toronto Star, the Toronto International Film Festival, the C.D. Howe Institute, the Royal Ontario Museum, the United Way Campaign and the Hospital for Sick Children.
Freedom House, a non-government watchdog, on 2 November 2015 released the Freedom of the Press 2016 report. The report was released with theme, The Battle for the Dominant Message.
As per the annual report, press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years in 2015. It happened because the political, criminal, and terrorist forces sought to co-opt or silence the media in their broader struggle for power.
With respect to India, the report found that freedom to the press is partly free with a total score of 41 on a 0 to 100 scale with 0 representing the best level of freedom on the net progress and 100 the worst.
The report says, only 13 percent of the world’s population enjoys a free press, which means places where coverage of political news is robust, the safety of journalists is guaranteed, state intrusion in media affairs is minimal, and the press is not subject to onerous legal or economic pressures.This means one in seven people live in countries where coverage of political news is robust, the safety of journalists is guaranteed, state intrusion in media affairs is minimal, and the press is not subject to onerous legal or economic pressures.
41 percent of the world’s population has a Partly Free press.
46 percent live in Not Free media environments.
Among the countries that suffered the largest declines in 2015 were Bangladesh, Turkey, Burundi, France, Serbia, Yemen, Egypt, Macedonia, and Zimbabwe.
The report says that at present about 3.4 billion people live in a country that was rated under the Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016.
India and New Zealand signed three agreements in the areas of double taxation avoidance (DTA), sports and food security to carry forward the ties between both sides. The agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his New Zealand counterpart John Key after the delegation-level talks in New Delhi. Both countries have reached an understanding on further cooperation on cyber security, counter-terrorism, customs, education and food safety
Arrangement between the Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand regarding Food Safety Cooperation and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) MoU on cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports. It was signed between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India and Sport New Zealand. Protocol to the convention for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
Establish Bilateral Ministerial Dialogue between two Foreign Ministries. Establish Annual Foreign Ministry Consultations at Senior Officials Level. Cooperation and Dialogue on Cyber Issues.
During this visit of New Zealand PM, India failed to get outright support of New Zealand for its bid for Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) membership. India had clearly notified New Zealand that its entry to the NSG was tied to its need for clean energy and climate change commitments. Thus, it indicates that New Zealand is yet to change its position of admitting only signatories of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) countries in NSG, a group of 48 countries which works by consensus.
New Zealand is part of a group called the New Agenda for Coalition which promotes the NPT and pushes for nuclear disarmament worldwide. Comment The official state visit New Zealand PM John Key comes in run-up to a crucial NSG Consultative Group (CG) meeting to be held in Vienna in November 2016. This meeting will specifically to consider whether countries that haven’t signed on to the NPT can be considered for membership. Earlier in June 2016, India’s membership bid to NSG had failed to make headway in Seoul (South Korea) after it was opposed by China and other countries. New Zealand was also among the countries led by China that have demanded to set criteria for non-signatories of the NPT for joining NSG.
NAC is a geographically dispersed group of middle power countries that promotes the NPT and pushes for nuclear disarmament worldwide. It consists of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa. The group was officially launched in Dublin (Ireland) in June 1998 in response to the North-South divide that stymied talks on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation within the framework of the NPT.
Two Yazidi women, Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar, who escaped sexual enslavement by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq, have won Europe's top human rights award, the Sakharov prize.
The announcement of the year's joint laureates was made following a decision by European Parliament on 27 October 2016.
The Sakharov award ceremony will be held in Strasbourg on 14 December.
Kristalina Georgieva, a former head of EU humanitarian affairs and vice-president of the European commission,has been appointed chief executive of the World Bank.
The Bulgarian, who recently lost out in the race to become UN secretary general, will report to the bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim. Although the title of CEO is newly created, Georgieva will effectively replace Sri Mulyani Indrawati,formerly the bank’s managing director and chief operating officer, who was appointed Indonesian finance minister in July.
The finance ministry has released first instalment of special assistance of Rs 1,093.34 crore for repair and permanent restoration of damaged public buildings in Jammu and Kashmir in pursuance of the announcement made by the Prime Minister last November.
A total sum of Rs 2,000 crore has been provided for permanent restoration of damaged Infrastructure such as schools, colleges, hospitals, bus stations and other critical public infrastructure under Prime Minister Reconstruction Plan for J&K.
The central government gave its approval on October 27 to one-time relaxation of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) cost norms for restoration of damaged horticulture areas and development of horticulture in the state.
A total sum of Rs 500 crore has been provided under this head as part of PM Reconstruction Planfor J&K.
Earlier, as part of the package, special assistance of Rs 1,194.85 crore was released in 2015-16 towards assistance for completely or partially damaged houses and Rs 800 crore was released on April 26 for interest subvention on account of assistance for restoration of livelihood for traders / self-employed / business establishment, it said.
The Prime Minister Reconstruction Plan for J&K was announced by Narendra Modi on November 7, 2015, for Rs 80,068 crore for post flood relief and restoration and long-term development of the state, including assistance for small trade and business, power, new and renewable energy.
Indian actor Rekha will be honoured by the upcoming Dubai International Film Festival with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The festival runs from December 7 to 14, and is now arguably the leading cinematic event in the region with both Doha and Abu Dhabi having shut shop some time ago.
In a four-decade career that saw her act in 180 movies, Rekha’s first steps into filmdom were unimpressive and seemed dangerously close to being one that would crash even before taking off
Although her first work as a heroine was no less than one with the reigning Kannadasuperstar of the day, Rajkumar, in Operation Jackpot Nalli CID 999 in 1969, she actually came into the limelight with a Hindi picture, Sawan Badon, in 1970 co-starring with Navin Nischol
Several awards have gone to her – including a Padma Shri and a Filmfare trophy. And the festival’s chairman, Abdulhamid Juma, went to the extent of saying in a note that “Rekha has played an instrumental role in the evolution of Hindi cinema, sustaining her legendary status throughout an astounding 40- year career, and has rightfully earned the recognition she has seen all over the world, including here in the UAE.
Punjab government will observe November 1 as ‘No Tobacco Day’ in an effort to discourage tobacco use in the state.
Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has issued directions to all the deputy commissioners in this regard.
He said the state government is committed towards better health of the people of the state.
Principal health secretary Vini Mahajan said the aim of this campaign is to reduce prevalence of tobacco or nicotine use in Punjab in order to reduce prevalence of non-communicable diseases.
She also said that the sale of loose cigarettes, tobacco and e-cigarettes are banned in Punjab.
Lieutenant General J S Sandhu has taken charge as the General officer Commanding of the Army's strategic Chinar Corps which is responsible for guarding the Line of Control in Kashmir Valley.
Commissioned into the 5th Gorkha Rifles regiment, he has had an illustrious military career spanning 36 years during which he held several prestigious command, staff and instructional appointments.
The General officer has an incisive understanding of Jammu and Kashmir, having served five earlier stints in the state, including command of an Infantry Battalion on the Line of Control, a Mountain Brigade and the elite Kupwara Division.
A graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Higher Command Course and National Defence College, Sandhu has also served in the Army Headquarters, Infantry School, Army War College and the DSSC.
He has also represented the country in the Indian Embassy at Kathmandu, Nepal. On assuming the charge, he conveyed his greetings to the people of Kashmir and the entire Chinar Corps fraternity.
Dua's tenure, which began on August 27 last year, has been characterized by a balanced approach of robust operations along the LoC and in hinterland on one hand, and constructive engagement with the populace, especially the youth on the other.
Dua's tenure though, will be defined by the successful surgical strikes in September launched by the Army in response to the Uri terror attack.
He expressed hope that the situation in the Valley would soon return to normal and conveyed his best wishes to the people of Kashmir and soldiers of Chinar Corps.
State-owned NTPC said that Saptarshi Roy has taken over the charge as its Director (HR).
Roy (56 years) is graduate in electrical engineering, with career spanning over 36 years of outstanding contribution in NTPC as Regional Executive Director (North) and ER-I Regions as well as Executive Director (Corporate Planning) besides Head of HR at Projects and Corporate Office.
NTPC Limited : NTPC Limited is an Indian PSU Public Sector Undertaking, engaged in the business of generation of electricity and allied activities. It is a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1956 and a "Government Company" within the meaning of the act.
Veteran journalist S Nihal Singh has been chosen for the 'Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award' for his outstanding contribution to journalism which is presented by the Press Council of India (PCI).
The award will be presented on November 16 and carries a cash component of Rs 1 lakh.
The PCI also announced other winners of the National Journalism Awards 2016, as per which Renjith Jonh of Deepika Daily has been chosen for his work for the award on Rural journalism and Developmental reporting.
In the same category a special mention certificate will be jointly given to freelancer Arvind Kumar Singh and X Xavier Selvakumar of Dinamilar, Coimbatore, the statement added.
T P Dhanesh (Malayala Manorama) and Pritam Bandopadhyay (The Asian Age) were chosen in the Single news picture category while Vijay Verma of PTI was selected for a special mention certificate.
Renuka Puri of The Indian Express was chosen for the award in the category 'Photo feature' which carries a cash component of Rs 50,000. Baiju Poulose of Malayala Manorama was chosen the winner in the Best newspaper art category, while Rohit Jose also of Malayala Manorama was chosen for the special mention.
The PCI said that it has also been decided to honour veterans in the field Raghu Rai (photo journalist), Sheetla Singh (senior journalist), Harish Chandra Shukla (Kak) (senior cartoonist) and senior journalists Potturi Venkateswara Rao and Mrinal Pande.
The Reserve Bank of India has set up the second office of the banking ombudsman at its office in New Delhi. The new office has been opened in view of the significant increase in banking network during the recent past and the large jurisdiction being covered by the present office of the ombudsman, New Delhi.
The first office of the banking ombudsman at RBI, New Delhi, will have jurisdiction over Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir.
The second office will have jurisdiction over Haryana (except Panchkula, Yamuna Nagar and Ambala districts) and Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddha Nagar districts of Uttar Pradesh. The banking ombudsman scheme provides an expeditious and inexpensive forum to bank customers for resolution of complaints relating to certain services rendered by banks. The banking ombudsman is a senior official appointed by the RBI to redress customer complaints against deficiency in certain banking services.
The scheme was introduced under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, by the RBI with effect from 1995. All scheduled commercial banks, regional rural banks and scheduled primary co-operative banks are covered under the scheme.
Ministry of Railways has appointed Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, the founder of Sulabh International, as a Brand Ambassador for Swachh Rail Mission. Minister of Railway Suresh Prabhu felicitated Pathak at a function in New Delhi.
As part of the mission, Sulabh International has been assigned the task to clean some important railway stations across the country. Sulabh International is an India-based social service organization which works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, non-conventional sources of energy, waste management and social reforms through education.
Bindeshwar Pathak : Bindeshwar Pathak is an Indian sociologist and the founder of Sulabh International.His work is considered pioneering in social reform, especially in the field of sanitation and hygiene.
He received various national and international awards for his work with this organization. Awards and recognitions felicitated on him includes
Padma Bhushan, Stockholm Water Prize,Energy Globe Award,Dubai International Award for Best Practices, Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Environment, In 2003, his name was added to the Global 500 Roll of Honour,In June, 2013, he also received the Legend of Planet award from the French senate in Paris, ahead of World Environment Day.
Antarrashtriya Bhojpuri Samman was awarded to him in the 4th world Bhojpuri Sammelan in Port Louis.In April 2016, Mayor of New York Bill De Blasio, declared 14 April 2016 as Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak Day.
Swachh Rail Mission : The initiative will help push the cleanliness drive of the Railway.
As a pilot project, Sulabh has started cleaning and maintenance of five important railway stations from September 2016. These railway stations are Gorakhpur, Old Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Gwalior.Besides, to ensure cleanliness of the tracks, the government is installing bio-toilet at various trains. It has also introduced vaccum-bio-toilet which will be installed in trains.
Few of the initiative undertaken by Indian railways to ensure cleanliness as part of the swachh rail mission includes Swachh Stations (Clean Stations), Swachh Rail Gaadi (Clean Train), Swachh Sahyog (Cleanliness Participation), Swachh Parisar (Clean Complex), Swachh Neer (Clean Water), Swachh Samvad (Cleanliness Dialogue), Swachh Samarpan (Dedication for ensuring Cleanliness), and Swachh Aahar (Clean Food) among others
Indian shuttler Pratul Joshi won the men’s singles title of the Bahrain International Challenge badminton tournament on 30 October 2016. This was his maiden international title.
In the summit clash played at Segayya in Bahrain, Pratul defeated Aditya Joshi 21-17, 12-21, 21-15.
On the other hand, the women’s singles title went to Sri fatmawati of Indonesia. In the final clash, she defeated compatriot Asty Dwi Widyaningru.
Indians to reach the finals in the tournament were
Men's doubles : Indian pair of Vighnesh Devlekar and Rohan Kapoor lost 18-21 17-21 to Russian pair of Evgenij Dremin and Denis Grachev.
Women's doubles: Indian pair of Farha Mather and Ashna Roy lost the finals 12-21 18-21 to Bahrain's Tanisha Crasto and Aprilsasi Lejarsar Variella of Indonesia.
Bahrain International Challenge 2016 : Bahrain International Challenge is an open international badminton tournament in Bahrain. It was established in 2013. The 2016 edition of the tournament was held from 27 October and 30 October 2016.