Scientists in the United States including those of Indian origin have successfully grown three-dimensional (3D) lungs in the lab, using stem cells. The 3D lungs or organoids was created by coating tiny gel beads with lung-derived stem cells and then allowing them to self-assemble into the shapes of the air sacs found in human lungs.
To show that these tiny organoids mimicked the structure of actual human lungs, researchers compared it with real sections of human lung. Significance: The laboratory-grown 3D lungs can be used to study diseases including Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) which has been difficult to study using conventional methods and also test possible treatments for the lung diseases.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) : IPF is a chronic lung disease characterised by scarring of the lungs. The scarring makes the lungs thick and stiff. It results in progressively worsening shortness of breath and thus results in lack of oxygen to the brain and vital organs.
Though researchers do not know what causes IPF in all cases but cigarette smoking and exposure to certain types of dust can increase the risk of developing the disease.
Eminent Malayalam critic and academician M Leelavathy was chosen for the prestigious N Mohanan Suvarna Mudra Award 2016 on 17 September 2016, instituted in memory of well-known short story writer N Mohanan.
An expert panel comprising journalists M G Radhakrishnan and M Saritha Varma and Athmaraman, selected Leelavathy for the biennial award considering her contributions to Malayalam language and literature.
N Mohanan Suvarna Mudra Award : The award, instituted to commemorate N Mohanan, short story writer, is given every alternate year.The award was first presented to the late poet ONV Kurup, Jnanpith winning poet. It comprises a gold medal of one sovereign.
An Indian-origin South African Ravi Reddy was appointed as the Head of International Society for Blood Transfusion (ISBT), headquartered in Amsterdam on 18 September 2016.
With this, Reddy became the first person from the African continent to head ISBT, a global organisation of medicine professionals working for the safety of blood transfusion worldwide.
The ISBT, now with 100 member countries, was established in 1935 as a platform for exchanging knowledge and advancing the blood-transfusion practice.
Ravi Reddy : He is currently serving as the Chief Operations Officer of the South African National Blood Service (SANBS). He has served in various capacities for more than three decades after starting out as a volunteer at the age of 16 at SANBS.
He subsequently qualified as a medical technologist with an MBA from the University of Natal in South Africa.He represented the African region on the board of the ISBT between 2006 and 2012, and is also a member of the Working Party on Transfusion and Transmissible Infections. He has presented and published a large number of scientific papers.
The Chinese and Russian navies has concluded Joint Sea-2016 on 19 September 2016, eight days of naval exercises, in the South China Sea.
The Joint Sea-2016 was launched as a sign of growing cooperation between their armed forces against the backdrop of regional territorial disputes.
The exercises was conducted following a spike in tensions after Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague rejected China’s claims in the South China Sea and slammed it for causing environmental damage there.
Highlights of Joint Sea-2016 : The Joint Sea-2016 included ships, submarines, ship-borne helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, along with marines and amphibious armoured vehicles who will conduct live-firing exercises.
Tasks included defensive and rescue drills, anti-submarine exercises and the simulated seizure of an enemy island by marines from both sides.
Compared with previous years, the 2016 drill focused more on confrontational capacity such as surface warships, submarines and land-based defences. Use of an advanced command system made communication between the two navies smoother.
Hearing-impaired Indian shooter Priyesha Deshmukh won the bronze medal in her first-ever international competition at the first World Deaf Shooting Championships on 14 September 2016.
The Championships was held in Kazan, Russia from 7 September to 15 September 2016.
Deshmukh won the bronze in the 10m air rifle category.
The shooter won the medal after scoring 180.4 points.
Deshmukh had qualified for the medal round after scoring 404.9 in the qualification round.
Deshmukh has been winning national gold in her the handicapped category since last three years. However, the World Deaf Shooting Championships is her maiden international participation.
Ukraine's Svitlana Yatsenko won the gold in the Championships while Serbia's Gordana Mikovic clinched the silver.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has announced Charkhi Dadri as the 22nd district of the state on 18 September 2016.
The state CM made the announcement at a public rally in Dadri in Bhiwani district. He also announced that developmental projects worth 112 crore rupees had already been completed in the Dadri assembly segment during the two year tenure of his government.
On the other hand, Khattar also inaugurated nine development projects worth 45 crore rupees in Dadri.
Charkhi Dadri : Charkhi Dadri is a district in Bhiwani district in the state of Haryana.The town was made by joining the villages of Charkhi and Dadri after urban development. Charkhi Dadri is on NH 148 B (Narnaul-Bathinda ) pass through the city. It is located in southern Haryana 110 kilometres from the national capital of New Delhi.
West Bengal government will confer this year’s ‘Bangabibhushan’ to legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar.
Lata Mangeshkar has sung innumerable memorable Bengali songs. To honour her contribution, we have decided to confer her with the Bangabibhushan award this year.
The chief minister along with Sanjiv Goenka, chairman of the music and media company Saregama, formerly HMV, with whom Mangeshkar had recorded several hit songs, would visit the singer at her Mumbai residence to confer the award.
The Trinamool Congress government had started conferring Bangabibhushan to eminent personalities for their contribution to various fields since 2011. Danseuse Amala Shankar was the first person to receive of the award.
Former IAS officer Alka Sirohi has been appointed as chairman of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) .
President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Sirohi to perform the duties of the post of the chairman, UPSC, with effect from September 21 .
She is presently member in the Commission.
The Centre had in November 2014 appointed Gupta as the UPSC chief, breaking away from the tradition of appointing the chief from the serving members of the commission.
In 2014, the Centre had for the first time appointed somebody (Gupta) from outside as the UPSC chairman.
Sirohi is a retired IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre.
Before joining the Commission as a member in January 2012, she was Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training.
The UPSC conducts the prestigious civil services examination to select officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others.
The Commission is headed by a chairman and can have a maximum of 10 members.
Academicians David R Syiemlieh, Prof Hem Chandra Gupta and Pradeep Kumar Joshi, former Delhi Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi, former Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal, former IAS officer Chhatar Singh and the then in-charge of Aviation and Research Centre of external snooping agency RAW, Arvind Saxena are other members of the Commission.
Lord Narendra Babubhai Patel ,a 78-year-old Indian-origin British obstetrician and member of the UK Parliament were honored the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' during the Asian Achievers Awards for his work in the medical profession and public life in Britain over the years.
The Asian Achievers Awards was organised by Asian Business Publications Limited (ABPL) to honour British Asian achievements across different fields.
This year, the occasion coincided with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday.
Other winners included Mr Selva Pankaj, CEO of Regent Group – a London-based education skills and training development group; Ms Manjit Gill, CEO of Binti, a social enterprise that works for women's causes in India and Africa; and Paralympian Mr Ryan Raghoo, a long jumper who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Bengaluru-based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Bollywood actors Katrina Kaif and Juhi Chawla are among recipients of the Priyadarshini Global Awards 2016 which will be presented here on September 19.
Other recipients of the awards, instituted by a socio-cultural and educational organisation Priyadarshini Academy, in various fields are from Israel, Switzerland and UK. The awards are given to personalities and organisations for contribution in their respective fields.
Noted scientist and Chairman of ISRO, A S Kiran Kumar, would receive the award for the agency's outstanding contribution to development of space science and technology, according to a release issued by the Academy .
Kaif would be presented "Smita Patil Memorial Award for Best Actor" (part of the overall awards), while Chawla would be honoured for her outstanding role in promoting social causes, said the NGO which has completed 32 years of existence.
Chawla has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court against mobile tower radiation.
The awards would be presented at a function in a luxury hotel here in presence of Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Suresh Prabhu, Piyush Goyal, real estate tycoon & Chairman of Priyadarshini Academy Niranjan Hiranandani and Chairman-Emeritus of the Academy, Nanik Rupani.
Another prestigious honour titled "Ramakrishna Bajaj Memorial Global Award" would be presented to Anshu Gupta, Founder Director of Goonj, an NGO of Delhi, for his outstanding contribution in promoting the dignity of poor.
Venki Ramakrishnan, an India-born Nobel Prize winning scientist, will be presented the Priyadarshini Academy Global Award.
The state government in association with International Labour Organisation (ILO) will organize a two-day long national conference on labour in the city from September 20.
Odisha will organize such an event for the first time and will discuss several issues related to organized and unorganized labourers of the country in four sessions of the conference.Union minister of state for labour and employment Bandaru Dattatreya and ministers and chairpersons of labour welfare boards of 29 states will attend the conference.
Building and construction workers board of Odisha has registered 16.43 lakh people and spent Rs 175 crore to provide facilities to five lakh labourers under different schemes of the government. It has also started registering inter-state migrant labourers to provide them help under its schemes.
World Bank will invest nearly 1,000 crore rupees in Assam for the betterment of the inland waterways. It was conveyed to State Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.
The Union Minister also assured to re-construct jetty for which 100 percent assistance will be given by the Centre. On the other hand, emphasising on road safety, driving school will be set up in all districts of Assam. It is also decided that driving license will be issued from the proposed driving schools later.
Road accidents claimed lives of thousands of people every year in Assam and so the government has given much stress on road safety.
On the other hand, Patowary also requested Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to include tea course at Tocklai Tea Research Centre in Jorhat. He also urged the Union Minister to shift head office of Tea Board to Guwahati from Kolkata.
Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan might be the most underrated actor of the industry, but one didn't know that he's actually hold a Guinness World Record
.Jr Bachchan holds the record for 'Most Public Appearances made by a Film Star in 12 Hours.'
In fact, he beat Hollywood actor Will Smith who had made three public appearances in 2 hours during the promotions of his film I, Robot in 2004.
State-owned Punjab National Bank has roped in Indian test skipper Virat Kohli as brand ambassador to improve its image which has taken a hit due to rising bad loans. PNB has been people's bank serving millions of customers throughout India.
Punjab National Bank is an Indian multinational banking and financial services company. It is a state-owned corporation based in New Delhi, India.
Founded in 1894, the bank has over 6,968 branches and over 9,656 ATMs across 764 cities. It serves over 80 million customers.
Union Government has notified the new import policy for marble and travertine blocks and marble and granite slabs on 18 September 2016. The policy will come into effect from 1 October 2016.
The new policy ends the quantitative restriction on the import of marble and travertine blocks as well as the cumbersome and restrictive import licensing system.
The Minimum Import Price (MIP) for marble blocks has been reduced to 200 US dollar per metric ton. The basic customs duty on import of marble and travertine blocks has been increased from 10 percent to 40 percent to address the interest of domestic producers.
Similarly, the MIP on the import of marble slabs is being reduced to 40 US dollar per square metre and the basic customs duty on the import of marble slabs is doubled to 20 percent.
The MIP on the import of granite slabs has been reduced to 50 US Dollars per square metre and the basic customs duty on import of granite slabs has been doubled to 20 percent.
The new policy balances the interests of domestic consumers, producers and processors, and ends the cumbersome licensing system for import of Marble & Travertine blocks.
Indian shooters clinched seven medals, including three gold, on the opening day of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup for pistol, rifle and shotgun at Gabala in Azerbaijan.
A total of 279 junior athletes, representing 27 countries, are battling it out in 18 events.
Subhankar Pramanick : He clinched gold medal in 50-metre rifle prone event. The Indian shot 205.5 overall to finish top of the podium. Czech Republic's Filip Nepejchal (205.2) followed in second position, while Romania's Dragomir Iordache (185.1) was placed third at the end of the finals.Subhankar, along with team-mates Fateh Singh Dhillon and Ajaey Nithish, also helped the Indian team to win a silver in the event.
Sambhaji Patil : He won the junior men's 25-metre standard pistol event by shooting 562 to easily beat Australians Sergei Evglevski and James Ashmore.
Sambhaji along with compatriots Gurmeet and Rituraj Singh helped India to win the team gold.
The other medals won by India on the day included a silver in the junior men's team rifle prone and two bronze medals.
In the year's first Junior World Cup in May 2016 at Suhl, Germany, the Indians had finished fourth with an overall tally of three gold, four silver and three bronze medals.
The United Nations High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines has called for delinking drug prices from research and development (R&D) costs. The report submitted by panel calls for human rights to be placed over intellectual property laws of pharmaceutical companies and incoherence between them should be narrowed.
All countries must freely be able to use flexibilities granted under TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) to access affordable medicines. Countries that retaliate and threaten against generic drugs makers in different countries under the TRIPS Agreement must be forced to face significant sanctions. Public health assessments must be done with every free trade negotiation to assess the possible impact on public health and creation of public health patentability criteria.
Governments engaged in bilateral and regional trade and investment treaties should ensure that these agreements do not include provisions that interfere with their obligations to fulfil the right to health. Research institutions and universities that receive public funding must prioritize public health objectives over financial returns in their patenting and licensing practices. Governments should increase their current levels of investments to in heath technology innovation to address unmet needs.
The meeting of BRICS Representatives in charge of security was held in New Delhi, India. It was hosted National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval. The meeting was attended by representatives in charge of security of BRICS nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
BRICS nations underscored the demand for an international legal order to deal with the threat of terrorism. They agreed to intensify cooperation against terror groups like the Islamic State in West Asia and North Africa region (WANA).
Highlighted the growing demand for “peace building” in the violence-torn region and focused on finding a political solution to the “outstanding issues” in the WANA region. Discuss counter-terrorism, energy security, cyber-security as well as other international and regional issues of common interest. China wants BRICS countries to play a bigger role in international and regional security issues, step up cooperation and coordination on major issues concerning security and contribute to peace, prosperity and stability of the world.
West Asia North Africa (WANA) region : The WANA region is characterized by high population growth, low and erratic rainfall, limited arable land, and severely limited water resources. It comprises 27 countries with almost 600 million inhabitants with Morocco in west, Pakistan and Afghanistan in east, Turkey in north, and Ethiopia and Sudan in south.
The region has been at conflict since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and notably after the creation of Israel. Besides this region has seen rise of terrorism, Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy conflict, conflict between Arabs and Berbers. It also has achieved its highest peaks at the 21st century in terms of security scenario such as US intervention of Iraq in 2003, rise of IS, Arab Spring that spread civil wars like situations in the whole region such as Syrian Civil War, Libyan Civil War, Iraq War and Yemeni Civil War.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft after studying Saturn, its rings and moons for more than 12 years, has entered in the final year of its epic voyage. In its epic voyage, the Cassini spacecraft will make the closest-ever observations of the planet. Beginning November 30, 2016 Cassini will make the closest-ever observations of Saturn.
Cassini will be mapping the Saturn’s magnetic and gravity fields with exquisite precision. It will be returning ultra-close views of the Saturn’s atmosphere.
Its orbit will be just past the outer edge of the main rings of Saturn. These orbits will be in a series of 20 which are called the F-ring orbits. Cassini will approach to within 7,800 kilometres of the centre of the narrow F ring with its peculiar kinked and braided structure during these weekly orbits.
Cassini–Huygens Cassini–Huygens is an unmanned spacecraft sent to the planet Saturn. It is a sophisticated robotic spacecraft orbiting the ringed planet and studying Saturnian system in detail.
It is a joint endeavor of NASA, European Space Agency (ESA) and Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI). Cassini is the 4th space probe to visit Saturn and the 1st to enter successfully in its orbit and its mission is ongoing as of 2016.
Its design includes a Saturn orbiter (Cassini) and a lander (Huygens) for the moon Titan. They are named after astronomers Giovanni Cassini and Christiaan Huygens. The spacecraft was launched on 15 October 1997 aboard a Titan IVB/Centaur and it had entered orbit around Saturn on 1 July 2004. On 25 December 2004, Huygens lander had separated from orbiter and landed on Saturn’s moon Titan on 14 January 2005. This was the first landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System.
Indian Railways has launched Swachhta Saptah (Cleanliness Week) to mark the ‘Swachh Paryavaran Diwas’ (Clean Environment Day). The special nine-day (from 17 to 25 September 2016) long public cleanliness outreach programme was launched by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi.
The objective behind the initiative is to spread wider awareness on sanitation and cleanliness in rail premises and make hygiene a habit amongst the travelling public. It also marks out the Railway’s commitment by recounting the initiatives taken under the ‘Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat Mission’ Each day of the cleanliness drive will be earmarking specific focus area for spruce-up, the cleanliness programme has certain defined thrusts.
It will include Swachh Stations (Clean Stations), Swachh Neer (Clean Water), Swachh Rail Gaadi (Clean Train), Swachh Sahyog (Cleanliness Participation), Swachh Parisar (Clean Complex), Swachh Samvad (Cleanliness Dialogue), Swachh Samarpan (Dedication for ensuring Cleanliness), Swachh Aahar (Clean Food).
Union Government has chosen 105-year-old Kunwar Bai from Chhattisgarh’s Dhamtari district as the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ mascot. PM Modi felicitated the old but spirited lady at a function held in New Delhi to mark ‘Swachhta Diwas’ on September 17, 2016
She was recognised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for building toilet by selling off her 8-10 goats to build two toilets at her home. Apart from that, she started showing other villagers the toilets at her home while educating them about its importance.
She has also encouraged others from the village to build toilets Her efforts had help to make her village ‘open defecation free as very home in her village has toilets.
The Union Water Resources Ministry has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Agriculture Ministry for speedy implementation of Namami Gange programme. The MoU will encourage farmers of over 5,000 villages along the Ganga River to take up organic farming to curb pollution caused by chemical fertiliser-laden runoff in the river.
The Union Agriculture Ministry will develop organic farming in over 5,000 villages along the Ganga River under Paramaparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana. Each Gram Panchayat along the Ganga River will represent a single cluster and it will promote organic farming through awareness programmes, self-help groups, mobile apps etc.
Government will provide training on Integrated Nutrient Management and micro-irrigation techniques. It will also encourage livelihood opportunities and natural farming, based on animal husbandry. The achievement and progress of implementation will be monitored by a steering committee consisting of the nodal officers from each ministry which will meet once in three months or whenever necessary.
Namami Gange is a “multi-disciplinary” programme and its success depends largely on the participation of other ministries, state governments and local communities. The MoU will remain in effect for three years and thereafter can be extended on mutual agreement between the two parties.
Indian Navy’s indigenously built most Advanced Guided Missile Stealth Destroyer ‘Mormugao’ was launched in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The bedecked ship was launched by Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba’s wife Reena at a function at Mazagaon Docks.
It has been Christened ‘Mormugao’ after the Mormugao port of Goa, the home State of Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The stealth vessel was built by government-run Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd and belongs to Visakhapatnam class of ships being constructed under Project 15B. Mormugao has a displacement of 7,300 tonne with maximum speed of over 30 knots. It is fitted also with the Barak-8 long-range missiles.
The vessel has been fitted with multi-mission radar for surveillance along with medium range air and surface surveillance radar and other advanced electronic warfare and decoys. It is equipped with surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles and anti-submarine rocket launchers. It is also capable of carrying two anti-submarine warfare helicopters.
Project 15B : Union Government in 2011 had sanctioned four 15B ships at the cost of 29,700 crore rupees to develop a class of stealth guided missile destroyers for the Indian Navy.
The Project 15B missile destroyers are modern warships equipped with latest weapons package in continuation of lineage of the highly successful Delhi and Kolkata Class ships. The first ship of the project, guided-missile destroyer ‘Visakhapatnam’ was launched on April 20, 2015. Four more such stealth destroyers would be built and delivered by MDL during 2020-2024.
A committee set up by the Union Government said that the Delhi government splurged the exchequer's money on advertisements projecting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party that violated Supreme Court guidelines.
The three-member panel headed by former Chief Election Commissioner BB Tandon has asked the Delhi government to reimburse the money expenditure since the violation of the Supreme Court order of 13 May 2015, has taken place. The other two members of the panel were adman Piyush Pandey and journalist Rajat Sharma. The violations shown by the panel includes
Outstation advertisements,Advertisements for self-glorification and to target political opponents,Advertisements against media,Advertisements mentioning the party in power by name,Advertisements issued on incidents occurring in other states
The committee was constituted by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on the directions of the Supreme Court to address issues related to Content Regulation in Government Advertising.