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FEBRUARY 2014

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Water, Peace and War Confronting the Global Water Crisis Mr. Brahma Chellaneys
book launched
February 27, 2014
The Vice President of India, Mr. M. Hamid Ansarilaunched a book titled Water,
Peace and War Confronting the Global Water Crisis authored by Mr. Brahma Chellaney.
About the Water, Peace and War Confronting the Global Water Crisis book
Focus: On a wide range of research from scientific and policy fields to examine the global linkages
between water and peace.
Author: Mr. Brahma Chellaney.
Founds a way on how we can secure humankinds water future and promised to become the
recognized authority on the most precious natural resources of this century.
The author sketched a bleak picture of water scarcity in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East regions that
are not only struggling with unstable governments, but also rapidly growing populations.
Water stressed conditions are also appearing in developed countries, viz.Australia, Spain, and
South Korea. Even the deep-water aquifers that support modern agriculture in North America are
dwindling.
Euthanasia Plea issue: Apex Court refers matter to constitution bench
February 27, 2014
The Supreme Court of India referred the issue of legalizing
euthanasia in the country to a five-judge Constitution bench. Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally
ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. Due to conflicted opinions on euthanasia, the apex
court stated that the Constitution bench will go into all aspects of the issue and take a final decision
on framing guidelines.
The PIL filed by NGO Common Cause had contended that a person whose life was ebbing out
should be allowed to die, as the continuance of the life with the support system was an unnatural
extension of the natural life span. The Centre had vociferously opposed the plea terming it as
suicide which could not be allowed in the country.
Note: Jurisdictions where euthanasia or assisted suicide is legal
The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Estonia, Albania, and the US states of
Washington, Oregon and Montana.
Indian- American Scientist Sangeeta Bhatia developed cheap paper diagnostic for
cancer
February 27, 2014
The Indian-American scientist, Ms. Sangeeta Bhatiadeveloped a simple, cheap,
paper test that could improve cancer diagnosis rates and help people to get treated earlier. Ms.
Bhatia is professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Howard Hughes Medical
Institute.
About the paper diagnostic test for cancer
The diagnostic, which works much like a pregnancy test, could reveal within minutes, based on a

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urine sample, whether a person has cancer. The synthetic biomarker technology relies on
nanoparticles that interact with tumour proteins called proteases, each of which can trigger release of
hundreds of biomarkers that are then easily detectable in a patients urine.
Concept of synthetic biomarker technology: To amplify signals from tumor proteins (that would
be hard to detect on their own) by injecting special nanoparticles into the body.
These proteins are known as Matrix Metallo Proteinase (MMP) that help cancer cells to escape
from their original locations by cutting through proteins of the extra cellular matrix, which normally
holds cells in place.
These nanoparticles, coated with peptides (short protein fragments), can interact with tumour
proteins called proteases. In a patients body, these particles congregate at tumour sites, where
cancer proteases cleave the peptides, which then accumulate in the kidneys and are excreted in
the patients urine.
These biomarkers are easily detectable using an approach known as a lateral flow assay, the
same technology used in pregnancy tests. In tests in mice, the researchers were able to accurately
identify colon tumours, as well as blood clots.
Note: As per the current version of the technology, patients would first receive an injection of the
nanoparticles, and then urinate onto the paper test strip. To make the process more convenient, the
researchers are now working on a nanoparticle formulation that could be implanted under the skin for
longer-term monitoring.
1322- security helpline number launched by Northern Railway for passengers
February 27, 2014
Northern Railway launched 24 x 7 security helpline No.1322 to provide speedy
assistance to passengers in the event of thefts, harassment and other criminal incidents on rail
premises.
The call can be made from a landline or mobile number.
Once a passenger calls the helpline, a unique complaint number will be generated and provided to
the complainant to be followed for necessary action.
The security helpline service will be managed by Railway Protection Force (RPF).
At present, the facility will be operational in 731 stations of the Northern zone covering Ambala,
Ferozpur, Moradabad, Delhi and Lucknow divisions.
Future Plan: To launch 1322 as an all India helpline number for Railway passengers.
What is Tizen? Samsung launched Tizen-powered smart watches
February 27, 2014
Samsung launched second generation Gear smart watches powered by
Tizen operating system to break the iOS and Android duopoly in the mobile market.
Samsungs NX300M smart camera was the first device to run on Tizen, and the Gear 2 paves the
way for what Samsung calls the Tizen based wearable platform.
About second-generation Gear smart watches
Available in two models: Gear 2 and the camera-less Gear 2 Neo.
Both the variants of the Gear 2 are IP67 certified water and dust resistant.
Powered by the Tizen operating system.

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Weight: Gear 2(68 gm) and Gear 2 Neo (55 gm). Both the models are lighter than the original Galaxy
Gear (73.8 gm) and thinner too, at 10mm vs. 11.1mm.
The Super AMOLED display on the Gear 2, measures 1.63-inch with a 320-by-320 pixels resolution.
It can accept or ignore calls, messages, and also monitor heart-rate, and our movement activity.
The Gear 2 also has 4GB of internal memory, 512MB RAM, 2.0-megapixel camera (not included in
the Neo), Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and an IrLED sensor that will help control other electronic devices such
as TVs and set-top boxes through the Watch ON Remote app.
The Gear 2 will be available in Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange colors while the Gear 2
Neo will be available in Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange colors. Gear 2 Neo is made of
plastic while the Gear 2 has a metal face. Both the watches will be available from April,2014.
What is Tizen?
It is a project within the Linux Foundation and is governed by a Technical Steering Group
(TSG) composed of Samsung and Intel among others.
Open-source Linux powered operating system.
Standards-based software platform supported by leading mobile operators, device manufacturers,
and silicon suppliers for multiple device categories viz. smartphones, tablets, netbooks, in-vehicle
infotainment devices, smart TVs, smart cameras, etc.
Objective: To offer a consistent user experience across devices.
Offers an innovative operating system, applications, and a user experience that consumers can
take from device to device.
Available programming languages: HTML5, C, C++.
Provides application development tools based on the JavaScript libraries jQuery and jQuery
Mobile.
Provides a robust and flexible environment for application developers, based on
HTML5. With HTML5s robust capabilities and cross platform flexibility, it is rapidly becoming the
preferred development environment for mobile apps and services.
The Tizen SDK and API allow developers to use HTML5 and related web technologies to write
applications that run across multiple device segments.
Indira Paryavaran Bhawan inaugurated by Dr. Manmohan Singh
February 27, 2014
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurated Indira Paryavaran Bhawan in New Delhi, which
will house the Ministry of Environment and Forests and has a provision to accommodate its 600
officials.
About Indira Paryavaran Bhawan
Project of Ministry of Environment and Forests
A Project for Construction of New office Building at Aliganj, Jor Bagh Road, New Delhi.
Indias first on site Net Zero green building built by the adoption of Solar Passive design and energy
efficient building material.
The building is targeted to achieve LEED India Platinum Rating and GRIHA 5 star rating.
Cost: Rs. 209 crore, include the cost of land, solar photo voltaic power generation and its evacuation

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system, three level mechanized basement parking system, air-conditioning system supported by
geothermal
cooling, IT services, audio and video system in auditoriums and committee rooms, furniture,
provision for horticulture and other services including reuse of water by recycling the waste water and
also to make the building friendly to physically challenged.
Requirements of GRIHA 5-Star and LEEDS Platinum ratings
Effective Ventilation has been achieved by orientating the building in an East-West direction,
separating different blocks with connecting corridors and having a large central court yard.
The design is such that 75% of natural daylight is utilized to reduce energy consumption.
The entire building has an access friendly design for differently-abled persons.
With an Installed capacity of 930 KW peak power, the building has the largest roof top Solar
system among Multi storied buildings in India.
Total energy savings of about 40% has been achieved by adoption of energy Efficient Chilled
Beam system of Air Conditioning. This is an innovative air conditioning system, where air
conditioning is done by convection currents rather than air flow through diffusers and chilled water
is circulated right up to the diffuser points unlike the conventional systems.
Green materials have been used like Fly ash bricks, regional building materials, materials with high
recycled content, high reflectance terrace tiles and rock wool Insulation of outer walls.
Rapidly renewable Bamboo Jute Composite material has been used for door frames & shutters.
UPVC windows with hermetically sealed double glass, Calcium Silicate ceiling tiles having high
recycled content and grass paver blocks in pavements and roads.
Reduction in water consumption has been achieved by use of Low discharge water fixtures,
recycling of waste water through Sewage Treatment Plant, use of plants with Low water demand in
landscaping, use of Geothermal cooling for HVAC system, rain water harvesting and use of curing
compounds during construction.
Cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara: Brand ambassador of Gujarat Election Commission
February 27, 2014
Indias middle order batsman, Cheteshwar Pujara has been appointed as the brand
ambassador of the Gujarat stateElection Commission for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Objective: To encourage young voters of the region to caste their votes in the upcoming elections.
Mr. Pujara is known for his discipline, integrity and sense of duty towards his country as he has been
an integral part of Indias cricket team for the several years. He has a very clean image and has
always steered himself clear of controversies. He won the Emerging Cricketer of the Year 2013.
India and Canada inked 3 pacts to enhance business and cultural ties
February 27, 2014
India and Canada signed 3 pacts for cooperation inhealth sector, audio-visual
co-production and skill development. Currently, the Governor General of Canada, Mr. David Johnston
is on a 9 day visit to India.
MoUs signed between India and Canada:
The Grand Challenges Canada and Department ofBiotechnology will work together to address the
global health challenges especially for women and childhealthcare.

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The secretary of information and broadcasting, Mr. Bimal Julka and Mr. Stewart Beck (High
Commissioner of Canada to India) signed an agreement on the audio visual cooperation. This MoU
will enable Indian and Canadian film producers to utilize a platform for collaboration on various facets
of film making. The agreement is expected to deepen the engagement between the critical sectors of
the film industries of both countries there by, providing a new chapter of collaboration.
National Skill Development Corporation from India and Association of Canadian Community
College from Canada will work in skill development segment and to cooperate and share the
information and learning on this aspect.
Target Accelerator Programme (TAP) launched first accelerator programme for Indian
start-ups
February 27, 2014
The Indian arm of US retailer Target, Target India launched its Target Accelerator
Programme in Bangalore to incubate and provide mentoring to its first batch of five technology
startups.
Target will provide funding of up to $30,000 in cash and operational expenses to each of its
incubated ventures.
About Target Accelerator Programme (TAP)
Objective: Targets program is designed to help early-stage startups to develop ideas that could
improve the retail giants business and the broader retail industry.
Focus: on incubating startups operating in the areas of mobile, content, social, search, data and
analytics.
Runs for four-months in Target Indias Bangalore office and will annually incubate four to five
startups in the mobile, social media and big data analytics segment.
The selected startups will also be mentored and provided with business tools and operational
support.
Five shortlisted startups of the first batch of Target Accelerator Programme (TAP):
Turnaround Innovision: A website that helps in rotating 3D images to display products on host
websites.
Konotor: A two way communication channel between a client and their mobile app users.
MuHive Technologies: A startup that offers a social engagement platform to help organisations
simplify their social conversations.
Unbxd Inc: Enables personalised searches, product recommendations and website navigation.
Instaclique: by Nirmantra Technologies helps organisations to integrate social media
conversations online to decrease website bounce rates and increase customer engagement.
The Target Accelerator Programme is the first such programme launched globally by the Minneapolis
head quartered retail behemoth.
ISRO: Experimental launch of GLSV Mark III in May/June
February 27, 2014
The Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) would carry out an experimental launch of GSLV
Mark III in May/ June. The national space agency, ISRO is also set to send its next satellite IRNSS-
1B on board rocket PSLV C24 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in March/April 2014.

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About Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mark-III)
Function: Mid-Heavy Lift Launch System.
Manufacturer: ISRO.
Objective: To launch heavy satellites into geostationary orbit and will allow India to become less
dependent on foreign rockets for heavy lifting.
Three stage vehicle with a first stage consisting of two identical large solid boosters strapped onto
the second liquid stage. The third stage is a cryogenic stage.
Have an Indian built cryogenic stage with higher capacity than GSLV MK-2 and a passive cryostage
where no engine will be burnt in the third stage.
CCEA nod to convert 7,200 km of state roads to highways
February 27, 2014
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its nod to convert 7,200 Kms of states
roads into national highways. Together with this, during the UPA regime, approx 17,000 km of the
state highways converted into national highways.
Also, the Cabinet decided to rename Ennore Port in Chennai asKamarajar Port.
Note: National Highways Development Project (NHDP) is the flagship road building programme
of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, currently running into seven phases. The present
length of the National Highways in the country is about 80,000 km.
Ms Lakshmi Swaminathan : Became first Indian President of Administrative Tribunal of the
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
February 27, 2014
Ms. Lakshmi Swaminathan became the first Indian to become president of Administrative Tribunal of
the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for three years. Ms. Swaminathan is the seventh president of the
Tribunal. At present, she is a member of the Panel of Arbitrators of several public sector undertakings
and NSE.
About Administrative Tribunal of Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Establish: 1991, as an external mechanism to review personnel decisions by Management.
Composition: Consists of five judges, who are all nationals of member countries of ADB.
The Tribunal elected Judge Ms. Lakshmi Swaminathan as President and Professor Roy Lewis as
Vice-President on the occasion of the 35th session held in Manila.
ATP Delhi open: Somdev Devvarman wins singles title, Saketh Myneni and Sanam
Singh win doubles title
February 27, 2014
Indias top singles star, Somdev Devvarman won his third ATP Challenge Tennistitle after beating top
seed Aleksandr Nedovyesov by 6-3, 6-1 in the final in NewDelhi. Saketh Myneni, lifted the mens
doubles title with Sanam Singh and they put a bow on the Indian swing with doubles titles in the
capital city of New Delhi.
e-wallet Scheme launched by IRCTC
February 27, 2014
The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) launched e-Wallet Scheme to make

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payment process fast and to reduce transaction failures due to bank payment related problems.
(IRCTC is a public sector undertaking of theMinistry of Railways). At present, one has to make the
payment for the fare of the ticket, while booking e-ticket, through Credit card, Debit card or
Net banking.
e-Wallet Scheme
A rolling deposit scheme wherein the customers will have an account with the IRCTC and deposit
money to be used in future for booking e-tickets from its website (www.irctc.co.in).
Names of all passengers booked on a fully wait-listed e-ticket are dropped at the time of
preparation of reservation charts and fare is refunded automatically.
In case of ticket cancellation, the due refund will be credited to the e-Wallet account next day.
Available for PAN verified users only.
There is no difference between e-tickets booked through e-wallet scheme or those booked through
other payment options available on the website.
Click here for e-Wallet User Guide: eWALLET User Guide
Whistleblowers Protection Bill 2014: Passed by Parliament to encourage those
disclosing information on corrupt public servants
February 27, 2014
The Parliament of India approved the Whistleblowers Protection Bill 2014 to set up a mechanism to
encourage persons for disclosure of information on corruptionor willful misuse of power by public
servants. The bill also seeks to provide punishment for false or frivolous complaints. Recently,
the Rajya Sabha gave its nod to the bill without any amendment after keeping it pending for more
than two years. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill in 2011.
About Whistle-blowers Protection Bill 2014
Objective: To provide and protect mechanism, methodologies to encourage the person for
reporting any such corruption activities or any misuse of power by a bureaucrats or government
officer.
Will provide an adequate protection to persons reporting corruption or wilful misuse of discretion
which causes demonstrable loss to the government or commission of a criminal offence by a public
servant.
Sets the procedure to inquire into the disclosures and provides adequate safeguards against
victimisation of the whistleblower. It will also seek to provide punishment for false or frivolous
complaints.
Note: The bill would create a legal framework to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption
involving government officials.
Mr. Rishang Keishing: Indias oldest Parliamentarian retired after serving seven
decades
February 27, 2014
Indias oldest parliamentarian, Mr. Rishang Keishing (94) decided to retire after serving
the nation for seven decades. His term at Rajya Sabha (the Upper House of Parliament) ends on
April 9, 2014.

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Mr. Keishing started his political career as a socialist and became the member of the first Lok
Sabha in 1952 after being elected from Socialist Party; he joined the Congress in 1962. He had
served as Chief Minister of Manipur four times.
Note: After Mr. Keishings retirement, Mr. Ram Sundar Das of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) will be
the oldest MP in the Lok Sabha.
M.P.Bezbaruah Committee: For protection of rights of North Eastern people
February 27, 2014
The Union Government expanded Bezbaruah panel to look into the various kinds of concerns of the
persons hailing from the North Eastern States, who are living in different parts of the country,
especially the Metropolitan areas, and to suggest suitable remedial measures which could be taken
by the Government.
Four new members drafted in the committee: Ms. Marina Nido(Mother of the Student Nido
Tania who died after being allegedly beaten by some shopkeepers in south Delhis Lajpat Nagar),
former IPS officerS T Sangliana and students leaders J Mavio and J T
Tagam fromNagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
Earlier, a six-member panel led by Former IAS officer M P Bezbaruah, was formed to propose
remedial measures to address concerns of people from the Northeast following outrage over the
death in Delhi of a 19-year-old student from Arunachal Pradesh.
Members: Retired IAS officers H W T Syeim, Allen Temshi Jamir, Tape Bagra and P Bharat
Singh and the Deputy Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs S Saha as Member Secretary.
Terms of Reference of the Bezbaruah Committee:-
To examine the various kinds of concerns, including the concerns regarding security, of the
persons hailing from the North Eastern States.
To examine the causes behind the attacks/violence and discrimination against the people from the
North-Eastern States.
To suggest measures to be taken by the Government to address these concerns.
To suggest legal remedies to address all the concerns.
The Bezbaruah panel will interact with the students/professionals, NGOs, students organizations and
other persons from the North Eastern States living in Delhi to seek their suggestions.
Note: Suggestions can also be sent by e-mail atmpbcomm.Northeast@gmail.com and also by post to
S Saha, Member Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Room No. 172-C, North Block, New Delhi.
SOMAH Solution- to preserve donated organs; developed by Indian origin doctor Dr.
Hemant Thatte
February 27, 2014
An Indian origin doctor, Dr. Hemant Thatte developed a 21-chemical solution known as SOMAH
Solution that could preserve a donated organ for up to a week before a transplant.
Dr. Hemant Thatte is a senior cardiovascular surgeon at HarvardUniversity.
What is SOMAH Solution?
SOMAH Solution in Sanskrit means elixir of immortality.
The new preservative that is a mixture of 21 chemicals, has the potential to store the heart (and
other organs) for up to 7 days.

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A research paper published in the medical journal Circulation in October 2009 showed cells of
organs preserved in SOMAH had a lower rate of death than in another preservation solution.
The biggest advantage of SOMAH is that it can be used at room temperatures.
Presently, hearts and lungs need to be transplanted within 4-6 hours of being recovered from a
braindead
donor, the liver within 8 hours and kidneys within a bit more than 24 hours. In addition, the
available organs cannot be transported long-distance for transplant and have to be made available
locally.
Sochi 2014: Russia topped medal table as Winter Olympics came to an end
February 27, 2014
The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXII Olympic Winter Games, held in Sochi, Russia.
Host nation Russia finished on top of the medal table by winning 33 medals in the tournament.
Top five Countries who topped the list:
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze
1 Russia (RUS)* 13 11 9
2 Norway (NOR) 11 5 10
3 Canada (CAN) 10 10 5
4 United States (USA) 9 7 12
5 Netherlands (NED) 8 7 9
Ashok Kumar Mathur-7th Pay Commission: Cabinet approved merger of 50% DA with
Pay and 7th Pay Commission Terms of Reference
February 27, 2014
In order to benefit over 50 lakh employees and over 30 lakh pensioners, the Union Cabinet approved
terms of reference for seventh pay commission. This includes merging dearness allowance above
50% with basic pay.
At present, Dearness Allowance (DA) is around 90% of basic pay and another hike of 10% is
expected soon. DA is calculated on the basis of change in retail inflation.
As per practice, the government uses CPI-IW data of the past 12 months to arrive at a quantum for
the purpose of any DA hike. Thus, the retail inflation for industrial workers between January 1 to
December 31, 2013 would be used to take a final call on the matter.
Note: To revise the salary structure of Union government employees from both civil and military
services, the Union Government constituted the 7th Central Pay Commission under the
chairmanship of Mr. Ashok Kumar Mathur, a retiredSupreme Court judge and retired chairman of
Armed Forces Tribunal.
Sri Lanka makes graphic warning on cigarette packs mandatory
February 27, 2014
The Sri Lankan parliament passed a law that makes it mandatory for putting graphic warning on
cigarette packs. Under the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act, the three regulations
passed to discourage smoking in the country.
As per the regulation
Pictorial warnings should be printed on the surface of both front and back portions of every

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cigarette packet, package or carton containing cigarettes covering 80% of the pack, package or
cartoon.
Also made it mandatory to specify health warnings on the packs and includes Smoking makes
children ill, Smoking causes heart diseases, Smoking causes cancer and Smoking causes sexual
impotence mandatory.
Note: In Srilanka, the numbers of cancer patients are on increase and annual death toll due to
smoking amounts to about 20,000 persons.
Online shopping portal for authentic tribal products launched
February 27, 2014
The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched an online shopping portal for sale of authentic tribal
products that will seek to create a niche market for indigenous artisans.
About the e-commerce portal
This online portal is initially open for only Indian shoppers and forinternational buyers later.
Features 69 tribal products viz. textiles, metal artifacts and jewellery, etc.
Launched by Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Raj V Kishore Chandra Deo.
Objective: To provide branding, source certification and developing standards for products.
Shawls, stoles and mufflers will be in available in Angora, sheep wool and Pashmina material from
states viz. Orissa, Assam, etc.
Paintings from four states and dokra metal artifacts and jewelleryfrom states
viz. Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh will also be available.
Detailed write- ups of the products will also be available.
The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation ofIndia Limited (TRIFED) is
making special efforts to promote the sales of handicrafts.
Future Plans: The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has plans to launch a new website for the minor forest
produce viz. honey and tamarind.
IMF projected Indias FY15 growth at 5.4%
February 27, 2014
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected 5.4% economic growth for Indiain 2014-15 and
proposed to strengthen the inflation management polices and doing away with supply bottlenecks for
better GDP.
The IMF forecast:
Consumer prices based inflation is expected to remain near double-digits in 2014-15, driven by
high food inflation that feeds into wages and core inflation.
The tight monetary policy would slow the growth recovery.
For the fiscal year 2013-14, Indias growth will be 4.6% and will pick up to 5.4% in 2014-15 at
factor cost. (These projections of India were a conclusion of its annual discussions with India).
As per Indias official estimates, the economy is probably to expand at 4.9% in 2013-14 as against
4.5% in the previous fiscal. The government expects to growth to pick up in the 2014-15 fiscal.
Patna Worlds Longest Free Wi-Fi Zone in India
February 27, 2014

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The Chief Minister of Bihar, Mr. Nitish Kumar unveiled the worlds longest free Wi-Fi zone at the e-
Bihar summit in Patna. The free Wi-Fi zone stretched nearly 20 km between the National Institute of
Technology (NIT) at the eastern end of the Ashok Rajpath and Danapur at the western end of the
state capital, Patna.
This new free Wi-Fi zone beats the current worlds longest zone of 3.5 km in China.
In a bid to make Patna crime-free, Mr. Kumar also inaugurated the city surveillance and dial
100 project, wherein 100s of CCTV cameras would be installed all over the city for better safety and
security.
A state data centre has also been opened for storing of the data collected by these cameras.
This project will enable CCTVs to capture vehicle numbers and persons identity instantly, which
would be shared all over the network to nab any criminal. Every vehicle entering or exiting the city
would be monitored this way.
Positive Outcome of Free Wi-Fi zone: Still, internet connectivity in India is poor and Wi-Fi hubs are
rare. Also, free WiFi zones are next to negligible in the country. Such a step has put not just India on
the global map but even made Bihar an example to follow for other states.
Sikkim: Best State in implementation of rural tourism projects.
February 26, 2014
The Union Ministry of Tourism declared Sikkim as the best State in the implementation of rural
tourism projects. The Union Minister for Human Resource Development Dr. Shashi Tharoor
presented the National Tourism Award 2012-13 to Sikkims Tourism Minister Bhim Dhungel in
New Delhi.
As per the Union Tourism Ministry, Sikkim is the perfect destination to experience warm hospitality,
rich culture and scenic natural beauty.
The tourism department of Sikkim had tied up with states viz. Kerala,Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa
for tourist flow from these states to Sikkim.
To ensure international tourism flow in the state, the department is also negotiating with countries
viz. Bhutan and Nepal.
To boost tourism in Sikkim
The Chief Minister Mr. Pawan Chamling, launched an ambitious Rs.140 crore project for
developing various tourism convenience facilities, view points, halting points, conferences, retiring
units and other infrastructural facilities project in the state.
Sanctioned Rs.50 crores for setting up facilitation centres in Gangtok and various other important
tourist destinations of the state.
A total 20 facilitation centres will be set up in the state for strengthening tourism facilities, and
added that capacity building, training, marketing, manpower and human resources will be
strengthened under these facilitation centres.
The main facilitation centre will be set up in Gangtok at a total cost of Rs.40 crores, while the other
facilitation centres in small towns and major tourist destinations will be constructed at a cost of
Rs.50 lakh each. All facilitation centres will start to function by the year 2015.
Quadricycles to ply from October 1, 2014
February 26, 2014

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The Quadricycles will be allowed to run in cities across the country from
October 1, 2014. It will have hard top and doors. As a safety measure, it will be mandatory for such
vehicles to have seatbelts for both the occupants in the front and two in the rear seat.
Objective to permit Quadricycles: To replace the auto-rickshaws because the emission norms of
these vehicles are better than auto-rickshaws.
About Quadricycles
Four-wheel vehicle with a small engine.
Maximum speed: 70 kmph.
Manufactured by Bajaj Auto.
Expected to run 35 km on a litre of fuel.
Wont be allowed to ply on highways.
More efficient on security and safety concerns as it had introduced the provision of seatbelts and
braking system like that of cars, which falls under M1 category of vehicles.
The weight of the battery excluded from the vehicle curb weight to promote no carbon emission.
Odia- 6th Indian classical language
February 25, 2014
The Union Cabinet gave its nod for classifying Odia as a classical language to give impetus to
scholarships in the language. It is the sixth Indian language to get such prestigious tag after Sanskrit,
Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam.
There has been a long-standing demand that Odia, which is one of the oldest languages and has no
resemblance to Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali, Telugu, etc, be declared as a classical language.
What is a Classical Language ?
A classical language is a language with a literature (art of written work) that is classical. U.C.Berkeley
linguist George L. Hart defined Classical Language as follows:
It should be ancient, it should be an independent tradition that arose mostly on its own, not as an
offshoot of another tradition, and it must have a large and extremely rich body of ancient literature.
Classical languages are those which are ancient, of an independent nature and not a derivative of
any other tradition. And based on above, Chinese, Sanskrit, Tamil, Hebrew, Greek and Latin are
considered as the Classical Languages of the World. Of these only Chinese and Tamil are
used by masses now.
In India, Tamil was the first to gain the Classical Language status, followed by Sanskrit in
2005. These two languages (Tamil and Sanskrit) are undoubtedly parental sources for many
languages belonging to the Indo-European family and the Dravidian family of linguistic groups.
In 2006, the Union Minister for Tourism and Culture announced in the Rajya Sabha the
creation of a new category of languages as classical languages based on 4 norms:
(i) High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years;
(ii) A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by
generations of speakers;
(iii) The literary tradition should be original and not borrowed from another speech
community;
(iv) The classical language and literature being distinct from the modern, there may also be

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discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or offshoots.
A committee of linguistic experts followed it up, and based on its recommendation classical status
was conferred on Telugu and Kannada in 2008. Thus, the definition of classical languages has
undergone several changes over the years and the latest criterion too is susceptible to changes.
Benefits of declaring Odia as classical language
Two major annual international awards for scholars of eminence in Odia language.
A Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Languages can be set up.
The University Grants Commission can be requested to create, to start with at least in Central
Universities, a certain number of professional chairs for classical languages, for scholars of
eminence in Odia language.
Which are the Classical Languages of India?
Languages thus far declared to be Classical are:
1. Tamil (2004)
2. Sanskrit (2005)
3. Kannada (2008)
4. Telugu (2008)
5. Malayalam (2013)
6. Odia (2014)
ASI & Google jointly launched the 360 Degree Online View of Indian Heritage Sites
February 25, 2014
The Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) and Google jointly launched 360-degree panoramic
imagery of 30 out of 100 nationally-important monuments.
Objective: To create a dynamic, immersive online experience by which people within India and
around the world can understand and engage more of Indias diverse cultural heritage.
In pursuance of the signed agreement with ASI and Union CultureMinistry, Google created a virtual
walkthrough application using its Street View Trekker technology for the first time in India.
The images of sites that can be accessed on Google Maps through Street View are the Taj
Mahal, Humayuns Tomb, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Jantar Mantar, Fatehpuri Sikri, Itimad-ud-Daula,
Agra Fort, Krishnagiri Fort, Rajagiri Fort, Chandragiri Fort, Agha Khan Palace, Fort St George,
Nagarjuna Hill, Raigad Fort, etc.
Note: Street View Trekker Technology is a Street View camera platform, with 15 cameras on board
that capture a 360-degree view of the area around. It is mounted on a wearable backpack and the
total unit weighs around 20 kg. The operator walks through pedestrian routes and is designed to
reach places that can be accessed by foot.
Connaught Place: Worlds 8th costliest office location in 2013
February 25, 2014
As per the global property consultant Cushman & Wakefield report, Connaught Place in Delhi is the
worlds eighth costliest office location in 2013. It fell to the eighth position (from 4th position) due to
an appreciation in both the US dollar and euro against the Indian rupee in 2013.
Rank Location/City Occupancy Cost ($/sq ft/yr)

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1 West End, London (UK) 271.61
2 Central, Hong Kong 183.32
3 CBD, Moscow (Russia) 139.8
4 CBD, Beijing (China) 131.48
5 CBD, Tokyo (Japan) 128.34
8
Connaught Place, New
Delhi 122.73
Excerpts of the & Wakefield report 2014
Focus: On prime office rental performances and occupancy costs across the globe, including a
ranking of the most expensive locations across the world in which to occupy office space.
The location continues to remain high on priority for sectors viz. BFSI, consulting, trade, media,
etc.
Global office rents increased by 3% overall.
The USA and Mexico saw the prime rents rise compared to other top ranked cities that saw the fall
in prime rents.
Moscow and New Delhi recorded no change in rental values.
In Asia Pacific rental growth was largely flat on the back of a slowing economythough, the economic
climate improved as the year progressed.
Goverment directs banks: Dont publish pics of education loan defaulters
February 25, 2014
The Union Government has directed banks not to publish photographs ofeducation loan defaulters in
newspapers. The banks have been adopting name-and-shame policy to force borrowers to pay up
defaulted loans, but the step by the government may act as a shield for the youth.
When the Bombay High Court refused to stop publication of photographs of a defaulter firm, saying it
was in larger public interest and in its ruling prompted banks to even publish names of some
education loan defaulters, then the Government of India (GoI) officially stated on the public
identification of defaulters that the same yardstick cannot be applied to all cases.
Note: The directive comes at a time when in the interim budget, the government declared an interest
subsidy scheme on unpaid education loans. The government would provide interest subsidy on
outstanding education loans sanctioned before March 2009. The move will cost the exchequer Rs
2,600 crore. Most students are not wilful defaulters. A large section where loans have gone bad is
mostly because of unemployment.
Taj Mahotsav 2014
February 25, 2014
The 10- day annual festival, Taj Mahotsav 2014 began in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It is organized by the
Uttar Pradesh Department of Tourism to increase the Indian Tourism.
About Taj Mahotsav 2014
Celebrated from February 18 to 27 at Shilpgram near the Eastern gate of Taj Mahal.
Theme: Paigham-e Mohahabbat or the message of love.
This 10 days long carnival is actually a vibrant platform that gives us information of India where we

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can find Indias rich arts, crafts, cultures, cuisine, dance and music.
Legendary artisans from different parts of the country would get an opportunity to display their
exquisite works of art viz. wood or stone carvings from Tamil Nadu, Bamboo or cane work from
North East India, Paper mash work from South India and Kashmir, the marble and zardozi work
from Agra.
Taj Mahal is the most beautiful historical place of India which tells about incredible India.
Note: Taj Mahotsav started in 1992 and is organized by the Uttar Pradesh Department of Tourism to
increase the Indian Tourism.
Email Miles- Tracks how far our email has traveled
February 25, 2014
Email miles is a new GPS based system that tells us how far our email has travelled. This new
technology uses Global Positioning System (GPS) and internet tracking to calculate the number of
miles an email has travelled before reaching an inbox.
About the new technology Email miles
A free and open source plug-in for standard email software.
Inventor: J onah Brucker-Cohen
The system tracks where a message was sent from and where it was received and calculates the
total distance between the two and displays it on the screen alongside a map.
The system does all of its time and distance calculations using the internet and a coordinate
mapping system. When all of the mileage amounts are tallied, it adds them all and provides the
user with a map, the countries, continents and miles the email traveled.
In other words, Email miles show how indirect the route of emails can be.
India and Bahrain signed three pacts to boost bilateral ties, during the State Visit of
King of Kingdom of Bahrain to India
February 23, 2014
India and oil-rich Gulf nation Bahrain signed three pacts to boost bilateral ties.
The pacts were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Bahrain
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in NewDelhi.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bahrain:
In the fields of youth and sports: To strengthen bilateral cooperation through institutional
exchanges particularly through exchange of youth and sports teams in various disciplines.
On the establishment of a High-level joint commission for bilateral cooperation to replace the
Joint Committee for Technical and Economic Cooperation established in 1981. The High Joint
Commission, to be chaired by the Foreign Ministers, will serve as an umbrella framework for all
cooperation between the two countries.
Another MoU signed between the Foreign Service Institute and the Diplomatic Institute of
Bahrains Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote cooperation between the two organizations.
SC: People from any religious background are free to adopt child
February 23, 2014
The Supreme Court ruled that people are free to adopt children irrespective of their religious

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background. The move paved the way for adoption of child by persons hailing from Muslim
community even though it is not allowed under their personal law.
The bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam stated that the
Law entitles adoption by people belonging to any religion and any person, who does not submit
himself to personal law, can adopt a child.
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act is a small step towards the concept of
Uniform Civil Code mentioned in Article 44 of the Constitution of India.
Act does not mandate any compulsive action by any prospective parent leaving such person with
the liberty of accessing the provisions of the Act, if he so desires.
Act is an enabling legislation that gives a prospective parent the option of adopting an eligible child
by following due procedure.
The SC judgment came on petition filed by activist Ms. Shabnam Hashmi who had approached the
apex court after being refused permission to adopt.
Public Issues before Parliament- Mr. Vijay Dardas book released by Vice President
of India
February 23, 2014
The Vice President of India, Mr. Hamid Ansari released a book entitled Public Issues before
Parliament authored by Mr. Vijay Darda (MP) in NewDelhi.
The book is the summarization of the significant contributions made by Mr. Darda during his period
as Member of Parliament (MP).
It is dedicated to the common who considers Parliament as an embodiment of his hopes and
aspirations.
Mr. Darda is a politician from Indian National Congress party and is a Member of the Parliament of
India representing Maharashtra in theRajya Sabha since 1998.
Note: Mr. Darda is the chairman and editor-in-chief of the Marathi newspaper Lokmat.
Study: Fertilization destabilizes Global Grassland Ecosystems
February 23, 2014
As per study led by University of Minnesota researchers, the fertilization of natural grasslands,
either intentionally or unintentionally as a side effect of global farming and industry, is having a
destabilizing effect on global grassland ecosystems.
About the study on Fertilization destabilizes Global Grassland Ecosystems
First international experiment by using a network of natural grassland research sites around the
world known as Nutrient Network (or NutNet).
Assessed the effect of fertilizer on 41 sites across 5 continents.
The experimental network included eco-systems from alpine areas ofChina to Serengeti
in Tanzania.
Outcome: Found that plant diversity in natural ecosystems creates more stable ecosystems over
time because of less synchronized growth of plants.
Also found that grassland diversity and stability reduces when fertilizers added.
In other words, the balance output of the ecological safety net on addition of fertilizer was upset

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across diverse grassland as the various organisms in those disappeared.
NutNet is a grassroots campaign that is supported by scientists who volunteer their time and
resources.
Published in the international journal Nature.
Indias First Minority Cyber Village inaugurated in Rajasthan
February 23, 2014
The Minister for Minority Affairs Mr. K Rehman Khan inaugurated Indias first Minority Cyber
Village in Chandoli in Alwar district of Rajasthan. Ministry of Minority Affairs has targeted villages
with substantial population of minorities for this project. Minority people will be benefited more from
this cyber village concept.
About Indias First Minority Cyber Village
Objective: To provide computer education to the people of 15 to 59 age group.
Chandoli has been selected as the first village for the pilot project as it holds more than 80% of
minority population and also because the minorities of the Mewat region is still backward in
education.
Under this project, experts will provide training of commuter skills to the people of chandoli.
Future plan: Government pondering to open special schools on the pattern of Kendriya Vidyalayas
for minority community and planning to come up with 200 new colleges in minority dominated areas
and the areas viz. Laxmangarh, Tijara, Kishengarhbas and Ramgarh.
Facebook announces purchase of WhatsApp for $19bn
February 23, 2014
The social media giant, Facebook announced purchased popular mobile messaging
company WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion. To date, it is the largest acquisition by the Mark
Zuckerberg-led firm, which will give it a stronghold in the market for messaging. (Facebook
HQ:Menlo Park, California, US).
The whopping acquisition price includes $4 billion in cash, about $12 billion worth of Facebook
shares and $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp founders and employees
that will vest over four years following the closing of the deal.
About mobile messaging company WhatsApp
A cross-platform mobile app that allows users to exchange messages without having to pay
telecom charges.
In other words, it is simple, fast and reliable mobile messaging service that is used by over 450
million people on every major mobile platform.
Why Facebook bought WhatsApp?
The acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook is to speed up the companys ability to bring connectivity
and utility around the world. As part of the deal, theWhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan
Koum would join the Facebook board.
Benefit: WhatsApp would complement the existing chat and messaging services to provide new
tools for Facebook community.
WhatsApps core messaging product and Facebooks existing messenger app will continue to

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operate as standalone applications.
The acquisition will not impact the WhatsApps brand and the companys headquarters will remain in
Californias Mountain View.
Cabinet nod for Equal Opportunity Commission & Coal Regulator
February 23, 2014
The Union Cabinet approved the creation of Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC), to check
discrimination of minority communities in jobs and education.
About Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC)
Exclusively for minorities.
Mandate: To ensure that no minority community is discriminated against on religious grounds by
redressing complaints.
Deal with grievances viz. denial of accommodation or buying rights to minorities in housing
societies.
Has to make binding recommendations that people from minority communities find adequate
representation in government employment or educational institutions.
The Justice Sachar Committee that went into the socio-economicbackwardness of Muslims had
recommended setting up of the Commission.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) also gave its nod to the proposal to set up
coal regulator. The coal regulator would be
Set up through an executive order.
Empowered to specify the principles and methodology for determination of price of raw coal and
washed coal and any other by-product generated during washing.
Also regulate methods for testing for declaration of grades or quality of coal, specify procedure for
automatic coal sampling and adjudicate upon disputes between the parties. The bill for setting up a
regulator for the sector is pending before Parliament
Parliament nod to bill to protect rights of street vendors
February 23, 2014
Parliament passed Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street
Vending)
bill-2014 to regulate street vending activities and protect the rights of urban street vendors besides
ensuring steps against harassment by police and civic authorities. The Rajya Sabha adopted the bill
by a voice vote and without discussion. (the bill was already passed by Lok Sabha).
Excerpts of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending)
bill-2014
Objective: To protect the rights of urban street vendors and regulating street vending activities
and to create conducive atmosphere where street vendors will be eligible to carry out
their business in a fair and transparent manner, without fear of eviction and harassment.
Legalizes street vending activities to ensure urban street vendors safety from police harassment.
Propose: To set up Town Vending Committees (TVC), which will be responsible for deciding
vending zones and the number of vendors that each zone should have.
Provides protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors, regulation of urban

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street vending in the country and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Provides time-bound release of seized goods, for both perishable and non-perishable goods
There is a provision for establishment of an independent dispute redressal mechanism under
the chairmanship of retired judicial officers to maintain impartiality towards grievance redressal of
street vendors.
In order to avoid uncertainty of authorities, the Bill provides for a survey of all existing street
vendors, and subsequent survey at-least once in every five years, and issue of certificate of
vending to all the street vendors identified in the survey, with preference to SC, ST, OBC, women,
persons with disabilities, minorities etc.
As per Section 29 of the Bill street vendors will be protected from harassment by police and
other authorities and there is a prime clause to ensure they carry on their business without the fear
of harassment by the authorities under any other law.
To prevent delay in implementation, the bill provides that the Rules under the Bill have to be
notified within one year of its commencement, and Scheme has to be notified within six months
of its commencement.
Note: The Parliament also passed two other bills: Governors Emoluments, (Allowances and
Privileges) Amendment and National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research
(Amendment). These two bills were also approved by the Rajya Sabha without discussion after these
were adopted by the Lok Sabha.
Asteroid 2000 Em26: Potentially hazardous space rock safely passed by Earth
February 23, 2014
The space rock, known as 2000 EM26, poses no threat and passed the Earth at just under nine times
the distance to the moon. Though, it is defined as a potentially hazardous Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA)
that was large enough to cause significant damage in the event of an impact.
This was subtle reminder of the dangers of the asteroid impacts just one year after historic event
took place on February, 2013.
A previous-unknown discovered asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk,Russia and injured 1200
people and sent shock waves shattering windows and damaging buildings in Chelyabinsk.
About Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) 2000 EM26
Size: As big as three football fields (270m).
Speed: Approx 12.37 km/s.
Minor planet category: Aten asteroid (NEO, PHO).
Minimum possible close approach distance to Earth: 0.018 AU (27 lakh km).
Tracked by: Slooh robotic telescope service, Spain (that provided internet access to automated
observatories).
Nasas Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)
First-ever mission to identify, capture and redirect an asteroid.
Plans to use capabilities of the new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket and
highpower
solar electric propulsion to capture an asteroid in the near future.
Till now, 10,713 known near-Earth objects are discovered.

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Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned as AP Chief Minister
February 23, 2014
Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned from the post of Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and also quitted
from the membership of the State Assembly and the Congress Party. Andhra Pradesh Governor E S
L Narasimhan accepted the resignation of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and asked him to
continue in office till alternative arrangements are made.
Why Mr. Reddy resigned from the CM post of Andhra?
To protest against the Congress and Centres decision to divide AP and the way the Andhra Pradesh
Reorganization Bill was dealt with in Parliament. Now, the formation of Telangana state waited for the
formal nod of President, as the Telangana Bill passed in both Houses of Parliament.
Highlights of the Telangana Bill:
Telangana will have 10 districts and the rest of Andhra Pradesh 13 districts.
Hyderabad will remain the joint capital of Telangana and residuary Andhra Pradesh for ten years.
The Bhadrachalam division will continue to be with Khammam district which will be part of
Telangana.
NTPC will construct a 4,000 MW power project in Telangana to solve the electricity problem in the
region.
A petroleum university will be constructed in Seemandhra region while seats for Semmandhra
students in educational institutes in Telangana will be reserved for ten years.
Article 371 D will continue for the both states to ensure equitable opportunities for education and
public employment.
Note: Telangana will become the 29th state of India after the approval of President of India.
MSME Ministry to launch virtual network to link clusters
February 23, 2014
The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) is set to launch a virtual network
wherein different clusters of micro, small and medium enterprises can connect on a common platform
and share information to help them expand their business.
About Virtual Cluster Approach
An initiative of the Ministry of MSME.
Purpose: To overcome the limitations of the Physical Approach requiring the location of the units
in one geographical area besides substantial resources for creation of infrastructure.
Will enable small businesses across different sectors to co-exist with their peers on a web-portal.
Around 2,000 industrial clusters have been identified for undertaking soft and hard interventions
with a view to increase the competitiveness of the enterprises.
Till now, the Ministry of MSME helped around 850 clusters through its MSE Cluster Development
Programme.
Duas layer: Dr. Harminder Singh Dua, Indian origin UK doctor discovered new layer of
cornea
February 21, 2014
To cure blindness of eye due to glaucoma, Professor Harminder Singh Dua from the Nottingham

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University discovered an ultra-thin layer hidden deep in the human cornea that can help treat
glaucoma. (He is an Indian origin UK doctor).
About the new layer discovered by Mr. Dua
This 15 microns thick new layer also known as Duas layer.
Located at the back of the cornea between the corneal stroma and Descemets membrane.
Plays a vital role in the structure of the tissue that controls the flow of fluid from the eye.
Makes an important contribution to the sieve-like trabecular meshwork called theTrabecular
Meshwork (TM) in the periphery of the cornea.
Benefit of this discovery: It will offer new clues on why the drainage system malfunctions in the
eyes of some people, leading to high pressure.
The study was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
Previously, Scientists believed that the cornea consists of five layers- from front to back the corneal
epithelium, Bowmans layer, the corneal stroma, Descemets membrane and the corneal
endothelium.
What is Trabecular Meshwork (TM)?
TM is a wedge-shaped band of tissue that extends along the circumference of the angle of the
anterior chamber of the eye. It is made of beams of collagen wrapped in a basement membrane to
which trabecular cells and endothelial cells attach. The beams branch out randomly to form a
meshwork.
Pressure within the eye is maintained by the balance of aqueous fluid production by eye tissue
called the ciliary body and drainage principally through the TM to the canal of Schlemm, a circular
channel in the angle of the eye.
Defective drainage through the TM is an important cause of glaucoma, a condition that leads
to raised pressure in the eye that can permanently affect sight.
Note: Glaucoma is a devastating disease caused by defective drainage of fluid from the eye and is
the worlds second leading cause of blindness.
ModiNomics Sameer Kochhars book launched
February 21, 2014
The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mr. Arun Jaitley launched a book titled
ModiNomics: Inclusive Economics, Inclusive Governance, by Sameer Kocchar, in New Delhi.
About the ModiNomics: Inclusive Economics, Inclusive Governance
Author: Sameer Kochhar.
Focus: On the Gujarat story and tells how BJPs Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi brought
about a sea change through his unique brand of ModiNomics. Speaks about the vision of Narendra
Modi about economic and development strategies. Presents a deep insight of Modis idea of both
Inclusive Economics as well as Inclusive Governance.
Vizag Zoo: Soon, Indias first breeding centre for wild dogs (Dhole)
February 21, 2014
The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP) or Vizag Zoo will be the first
zoo in India to have a conservation breeding centre for the endangered wild dog or Dhole. The

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Central Zoo Authority selected IGZP to have a breeding centre for Dholes.
Project: will be completed in two to three months.
Cost: Rs. 50 lakh.
In India, the Dholes are protected underSchedule 2 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. (As per
the schedule 2 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, permission is required to kill any individual
unless in self-defense or if an individual is a man killer.
About Dhole
Also called the Asiatic wild dog or Indian wild dog.
Scientific Name: Cuon alpinus. Order: Carnivora.
Highly social and cooperative animal lives in large clans which occasionally split up into small packs
to hunt.
Highest number of wild dogs in captivity in India: 22.
Classified as an endangered species by the IUCN: Due to ongoing habitat loss, depletion of its
prey base, competition from other predators, persecution and possibly diseases from domestic and
feral dogs.
P.C. Chacko committee: To recommend punitive measures for the pepper spray
incident in the Parliament
February 21, 2014
The Lok Sabha Speaker, Ms. Meira Kumar referred the pepper spray incident in the Parliament to
the Committee of Privileges, which has powers to recommend punitive measures. The senior
Congress leader Mr. PC Chacko is the head of the privilege committee.
About the P.C. Chacko committee
Consists of 15 members
Chairman of the Committee of Privileges of Lok Sabha: Mr. P C Chacko
Function: To examine every question involving breach of privilege or contempt of the House or of
the members of any Committee thereof referred to it by the House or by the Speaker.
Enjoys power to take punitive measures which include recommending imprisonment and even
expulsion among others.
Would also consider whether Members of Parliament should be frisked for security purposes
before entering the two Houses.
What is the issue behind the forming of the privilege committee?
On the issue of the introduction of Telangana Bill in the Parliament, a pepper spray was used by
some MPs in the Parliament, which resulted in the hospitalization of three MPs (Member of
Parliamentarians) and plunged the House into extreme confusion and disorder.
Later congress member Mr. L Rajagopal was expelled and 16 Seemandhra MPs were
suspended.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat stated that the decision to refer the matter to the Privileges Committee
has been done under Rule 227 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha,
where a question of privilege is referred to the Committee by the Speaker.
About Committee of Privileges
Examines the cases of breach of privileges of the House and its members and recommends

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appropriate action.
Function: Semi judicial in nature.
The Lok Sabha committee has 15 members while the Rajya Sabhacommittee has 10 members.
Purushottam Express will get first Braille signage coach in India
February 21, 2014
Purushottam Express (Train Number 12801/12802) will become the first train
in India to be attached with a Braille-embedded AC coach for visually challenged passengersby
the end of February 2014. Purushottam Express is a super-fast train running between Delhi and Puri.
Purushottam Express (Train Number 12801 UP/12802 DOWN)is a daily train which runs between
Puri in Odisha and New Delhi
About the first Braille signage coach in India
Manufactured at Integrated Coach Factory in Chennai with the inputs received from Research
Designs and Standards Organization (RDSO), Lucknow and in consultation with blind
associations. Costs about Rs. 40,000 to make a coach visually-challenged friendly as Braille printing
are superimposed on the stickers which can be used by both a person with normal vision as well as a
visually impaired person.
The AC coach is equipped with Braille-embedded signages on berths, toilets, wash basins and
doors as well.
Presently, coaches are provided with signages, instructions, seat numbers, etc that are mostly in the
form of vinyl stickers or metallic plates and have no Braille characters and cannot be read by
visuallyimpaired passengers.
Note: It was declared in the Rail Budget of 2013-14 that Braille stickers will be introduced for
visuallychallenged passengers.
Avinash Aruns Marathi film Killa won Crystal Bear award at Berlin Fest
February 21, 2014
Mr. Avinash Aruns directorial debut, the Marathi feature
film Killawon the Crystal Bear (Glasernen Bar) for the Best Film awarded by the Childrens Jury in
Generation Kplus section at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival (also known as the
Berlinale).
About Marathi film Killa
First Indian feature film to win Crystal Bear award.
Deals with the universal conflict of migration and how it impacts the lives of people, especially
children.
The story is about an 11 year old child, Chinu, who is coping with the death of his father and finds
it difficult to adapt to a new place he has migrated to.
Directed by Avinash Arun.
Produced by Madhukar R Musle, Ajay G Rai and Alan McAlex under the banner, Jar Pictures and
presented by M R Filmworks.
Will be released in May, 2014.
Note: Killa is the third Marathi film to premier and compete at the Berlin film festival.
Dr. VV Dongre and Prof. Guocheng Zhang bagged International Gandhi Award 2013

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February 21, 2014
The President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee presented the International Gandhi Award for the year
2013 to Dr. Vijaykumar Vinayak Dongre and Prof. Guocheng Zhang for making outstanding
contributions in the field of leprosy to eradicate the disease through treatment, training and research
at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.
International Gandhi Award
Instituted by the Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation (GMLF) that was established in 1950 to
commemorate Mahatma Gandhis service and scientific approach towards leprosy.
GMLF introduced the International Gandhi Award in 1986.
Recognizes the commendable contributions of individuals and institutions in ameliorating the
quality of life of people afflicted with leprosy.
The two awards are given every alternate year to individuals/institutions for making outstanding
contribution in the field of leprosy.
Note: Leprosy is an infectious disease that causes severe, disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage
in the arms and legs.
Highlights of interim Union Budget 2014-2015 Tax proposal
February 21, 2014
The Union Finance Minister Mr. P Chidambaram presented an Interim Budgetfor 2014-15. For the
period up to June 30, 2014, Mr. Chidambaram reduced excise duty on:
(a) Capital goods and consumer non-durables (falling under Chapter 84 and 85 of the
Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act): from 12 to 10 %.
(b) Small cars, motors cycles, scooters and commercial vehicles: from12% to 8%.
(c) Sports Utility Vehicles, SUVs: from 12% to 8%
(d) Large & Mid-segment Cars: from 27/24% to 24/20%.
Other Key highlights of Budget 2014-2015 Tax proposal
No change in income tax rates.
Proposed to make appropriate reductions in the excise duty on chassis and trailers.
Excise duty on mobile hand set to be 6% on CENVAT credit to encourage domestic production.
The custom duty structure on non-edible grade industrial oils and its fractions, fatty acids and
fatty alcohols is reduce to 7.5% to encouragedomestic production of soaps and oleo
chemicals.
To encourage domestic production of specified road construction machinery, the exemption from
Counter Vailing Duty (CVD) on similar imported machinery is withdrawn.
A concessional custom duty 5 % on capital goods imported by the Bank Note Paper
Mill India Private Limited is provided to encourage domestic production of security paper for
printing currency notes.
The loading and un-loading, packing, storage and warehousing of rice are exempted from Service
Tax.
Interim Union Budget 2014-15
February 21, 2014
The Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presented the Interim Budget 2014-15 in the Lok

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Sabha with an estimated plan expenditure of Rs. 5,55,322 crore and non-plan expenditure of Rs.
12,07,892 crore. Excise duty on cars, two-wheelers, SUVs and capital goods and consumer durables
has been slashed to boost the manufacturing and growth. There is no change in income tax rates.
Important points of the Union Budget 2014-15
Focus: On manufacturing and manufacturing exports.
Fiscal deficit for FY14 to be contained at 4.6% of GDP; FY15 target at 4.1 %
FY14 Current Account Deficit seen at $45 bn.
FY14 Q3 & Q4 GDP growth to be at least 5.2%.
Agriculture credit will cross $ 45 billion against $41 billion in 2012-13.
Food grain production estimated at 263 million tons in 2013-14
Proposed a venture capital fund with an initial capital of Rs. 200 crore to promote entrepreneurship
among scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
No change has been introduced under the tax laws but a change has been introduced for the
indirect taxes.
Budgetary support to railways increased from Rs 26,000 crore to Rs 29,000 crore 2014-15.
Ministry-wise allocations for flagship schemes:
Rs.82, 200 crore rural development, Rs.67, 398 crore for human resource development, Rs.33,
725 crore for health and family welfare, Rs.21, 000 crore for women and child development, Rs.15,
260 crore drinking water and sanitation.
Food subsidy will be Rs 1, 15,000 crore for implementation of National Food Security Act.
One -rank-one-pension scheme for defense personnel from 2015.
Defense allocation increased by 10% to Rs 2.24 lakh crore.
To strengthen the capacity of Central Armed Police Forces by modernization and providing stateof-
the-art equipment and technology, the government has allocated Rs. 11009 crore.
To formulate and promote the scheme of community radio station, the government sanctioned a
fund of Rs.100 crore.
For the Social Justice Ministry, Rs. 6730 crore has been sanctioned.
For the Panchayati Raj Ministry, Rs.7000 crore has been sanctioned.
For food, fertilizer and fuel subsidy, Rs. 246397 crore has been allocated.
To stimulate growth, the government has slashed excise duty to 10% from 12%.
Foreign exchange reserves up by $15 billion.
Rs 2,600 crore for education loan moratorium, to benefit 9 lakh borrowers for loans taken before
March 31, 2009.
A ten point agenda has been created by Mr. Chidambaram to makeIndia the third
largest economy after US and China.
Two projects sanctioned under Nirbhaya Fund of which the original was of Rs.1000 crore that was
non-lapsable and another Rs. 1000 crore has been granted.
3 more industrial corridors Chennai-Bangalore, Bangalore-Mumbai, Amritsar-Kolkata under
various stages of implementation.
Govt. committed to Aadhaar-based LPG transfer but scheme on hold temporarily.
Chennai and Panaji (India) to host World Bridge Championship 2015

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February 21, 2014
For the first time, India will host the World Bridge Championship for Bermuda Bowl (men) and Venice
Cup (women) in 2015. About 550 players from 66 countries are expected to be seen in action in this
world meet.
Cities short-listed to host the World Bridge Championship: Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Panaji,
Goa.
About World Bridge Team Championship
Conducted by World Bridge Federation (WBF) in every two years.
WBF President: Gianrrigo Rona of Italy.
Bridge Federation of India (BFI) President: N R Kirubakara Moorthy.
Premier tournament in international bridge and sees the top teams from each geographic region
competing against one another for the Bermuda Bowl trophy.
In addition, there are separate trophies for the top women`s team as well as the top senior team
(D`Orsi Trophy) globally.
Football Legend Sir Tom Finney: Former Preston and England winger passed away
February 21, 2014
Former Preston and England winger, Sir Tom Finney (91) passed away.
Mr. Finney was one of the Englands greatest footballers and the ultimate one-club man. He was
famous for his loyalty to his league club, Preston North End for which he made 569 first-class
appearances.
About Sir Tom Finney
Nickname:Preston Plumber.
Played for Preston from 1946 until he retired.
Scored 210 goals in 473 appearances.
Footballer of the year: In 1954 and 1957 (the first player to receive the honor twice).
Appointment: Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) (1961),
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1992.
Knighted in the 1998 Queens New Year Honors.
President of Kendal Town.
67th BAFTA Awards 2014
February 21, 2014
The 67th BritishAcademy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) held at the Royal Opera House
in London.
Winners of the 67th Annual BAFTA Awards
Best Film: 12 Years a Slave
Outstanding British Film: Gravity.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarn (Gravity).
Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave).
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine).
Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips).
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle).

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Best Original Screenplay: American Hustle.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Philomena.
Best Editing: Rush.
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity).
Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby.
Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby.
Best Original Music: Gravity.
Best Makeup and Hair: American Hustle.
Best Sound: Gravity.
Best Visual Effects: Gravity.
Best Film Not in the English Language: The Great Beauty.
Best Animated Film: Frozen.
Best Documentary: The Act of Killing.
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer: Kieran Evans.
Best British Short Film: Room 8.
Best British Short Animation: Sleeping with the Fishes.
The EE Rising Star Award: Will Poulter.
Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema: Peter Greenaway.
Most awards: Gravity (6).
About British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)
Formed: 1947.
Headquarters: London.
Purpose: To supports, promotes and develops the art forms of the moving image film, television
and video games by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting
the public.
International Mother Language Day of Bangladesh 2014
February 21, 2014
International Mother Language Day (Bhasha Divas) observed across the world,
with Bangladesh leading on February 21, 2014.
Theme: Local languages for global citizenship: spotlight on science.
Objective: To promote awareness of linguistic, multilingualism and cultural diversity.
The day assumes special significance in Bangladesh where scores of people, mostly students and
teachers of the DhakaUniversity, were mercilessly shot down by the Pakistani army in 1952 in
erstwhile East Pakistan.
The activists had protested against imposition of Urdu as the national language side-stepping
Bengali their mother tongue.
But the incident calls for celebration too as the protest sowed the seeds of home-grown
nationalism that ultimately led to the creation of Bangladesh from the ashes of the Liberation War
in 1971.
About International Mother Language Day
Observed on February 21 every year.

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The Day is observed yearly by UNESCO member states and at its headquarters to promote
linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
On 16 May 2007, by resolution 61/266, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the
International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding,
through multilingualism and multiculturalism.
It is commemorated in Bangladesh since 1952 where a number of Dhaka university
students were killed by the Pakistani police and army during the Bangla Language
Movement.
Importance of International Mother Language Day: It is the greatest weapon to express ones
feeling. Mother Language of one country is the sign of independence of that country.
WTA rankings: Li Na climbs to World No.2 spot
February 20, 2014
In the latest Womens Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings, Chinese
tennis ace Li Na ranked World No.2 following her second Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open
2014.
Top five players in the WTA Singles rankings:
1. Serena Williams (United States).
2. Li Na (China)
3. Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland)
4. Victoria Azarenka (Belarus)
5. Maria Sharapova (Russia)
Top three players in the WTA doubles ranking:
1. Peng Shuai (China)
2. Hsieh Su-Wei (Chinese Taipei)
3. Vesnina Elena (Russia)
Two-time Grand Slam champion, Li Na became the first Asian to be the second ranked player in the
world and her compatriot Peng Shuai became the first Chinese player to ascent to top world spot in
doubles after winning the QatarOpen with partner Hsieh Su-wei of Chinese Taipei.
Study: Titled Climbing behavior in extant crocodiles
February 20, 2014
The researchers from University of Tennessee, USA studied the tree-climbing and basking behavior
in reptiles, under the title, Climbing behavior in extant crocodiles. They noticed crocodilian
species on three continents viz. Australia,Africa and North America and examined previous studies
and anecdotal observations.
Crocodiles are known for impressive speed and agility around the water. As stated by new study,
they are also capable of climbing trees.
As per the study titled Climbing behavior in extant crocodiles
The scientists confirmed that four different crocodile species found in Australia, Africa and the
Americas are all able to climb, some as high as 4m, where they were observed basking in trees.
These species that are able to climb trees can go as high as 4m. Their abilities also vary by
size. Those small and lightweight crocs, 1.5m long, can climb the highest branches. Those heavier

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in weight can be found in lower branches, cannot go as high as 1m above water.
It was found that crocodiles developed the agility to climb trees to laze under the sun and to survey
their surroundings against possible threats or for possible food.
The Australian freshwater crocodiles can actually climb steep slopes along riverbanks up to 1.8
m.
In North America, the team saw crocodiles up to 1 meter long lounging on the aerial roots and low
branches of mangrove trees during the day.
The most commonly observed climbers were the slender-snouted crocodiles of Central
Africa. Some African crocodiles roosted as high as 3m above the surface of rivers.
Crocodiles lack the toe and foot structure that would be expected of a climber. Though, smaller
and juvenile crocodiles in particular were observed climbing vertically while larger ones tended to
climb angled trunks and branches, all of which is a measure of the reptiles spectacular agility.
Researchers believe that the tree climbing and basking are driven by two conditions:
thermoregulation
and surveillance of habitat.
Note: People who spend time around crocodiles have known about the climbing ability for decades.
Though, this study is the first to thoroughly examine the climbing and basking behavior.
Belgium became second country to allow Mercy Killing for children
February 20, 2014
The Catholic country, Belgium became the first country to allow euthanasia for terminally ill
children of any age. This action of legalizing death for the children came 12 years after the country
legalized euthanasia for adults. The Parliament of Belgium took the decision in spite of opposition
from the Church and some paediatricians.
Belgium became the second country after Netherlands to allow mercy-killing for
children and the first to lift all age restrictions.
Under the approved legislation by the Parliament, a young child will be allowed to end their life with
the help of a doctor. The legislation has not fixed any age limit for minors suffering from a terminal
illness to opt for the death by use of a lethal injection.
Other European countries that allows active euthanasia are:-
Luxembourg: Permits active euthanasia for over 18 years in age.
Switzerland: Doctors help adult patients to commit suicide.
About Euthanasia
Refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.
Forms of euthanasia: Active and passive euthanasia
Active euthanasia: when the medical professionals, or another person, deliberately do something
that causes the patient to die.
Passive euthanasia: when the patient dies because the medical professionals either dont do
something necessary to keep the patient alive, or when they stop doing something that is keeping
the patient alive.
Jurisdictions where euthanasia or assisted suicide is legal: the Netherlands, Belgium,
Luxembourg, Switzerland, Estonia, Albania, andthe US states of Washington, Oregon and

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Montana.
Mount Kelud Volcano Erupts in Indonesia
February 20, 2014
Indonesian
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono declared a state of emergency on the main island of Java
because of a major volcanic eruption.Mount Kelud in the east Java erupted and sends a cloud of ash
30 km into the sky and blanketed villages up to 500 km away.
Ashfall occurred in large portion of JavaIsland, from Malang to the east, as well as Central Java
and Yogyakarta.
Around 200,000 people have been affected and there is widespread disruption to flights as several
airports have been closed due to poor visibility.
The 1,731-meter Mount Kelud is home to more than a half ofIndonesias 240 million people.
Kelud is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia.
Keluds last major eruption was in 1990, when it spewed out searing fumes and lava that killed
more than 30 people and injured hundreds.
Note:Indonesia lies across a series of geological fault-lines and is prone to frequent earthquakes and
volcanic eruptions. There are about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia.
SEBI approved the new Corporate Governance norms
February 20, 2014
The Market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approved the new corporate
governance norms that restrict the number of independent directors on a company board, spell out
whistleblower policies and institute checks on salaries of key managerial persons, among other
things.
Beside new corporate governance norms, SEBI board also:
Approved new KRA (KYC Registration Agency) Regulations that would make it easier for the
investors to comply with Know Your Client (KYC) requirements across various segments of the
capital markets.
Also approved the long-term policy for mutual funds in India where the minimum capital
requirement for asset management companies (AMC) has been raised from Rs 10 crore to Rs 50
crore.
Proposed the government to allow the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) to invest
up to 15% of their corpus in equities and mutual funds.
Also proposed to allow an income tax exemption under 80C of Rs 2 lakh for investments in select
mutual funds but the move would require government approval and an amendment of the Income
Tax Act.
Excerpts of new corporate governance norms
Restricted independent directors to serve as directors on a maximum of7 listed companies and
limited their total tenure to two terms of 5 years each..
In case a person is a whole time director in a listed company, then he can only be on three boards.
If somebody has already been independent director for more than five years, then he can get only
one extra term of 5 years.

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The companies would also need to adopt a whistle-blower policy for employees, while the number
of directorship a person can hold on company boards would be capped, among various other
measures to safeguard the interest of minority shareholders.
At least one woman director on the Board of the company.
Now, Companies will have to disclose remuneration policies of CEOs and executive directors,
related-party transactions and appointment and resignations of independent directors.
Note: The new corporate governance norms will be effective from October 1, 2014 for all listed
companies and are based on recommendations made by the industrialist Adi Godrej committee.
1093 Delhi Police launched a Helpline number for North-Eastern People
February 20, 2014
Delhi Police launched a new helpline number 1093 for North Eastern people living in Delhi. This
helpline number has 5 direct lines and all calls are received at the Central Police Control Room
(CPCR) situated at Delhi Police headquarters.
Objective: To curb the rising cases of racism and crime against people of northeast residing in
different parts of Delhi. (This step has taken by the Union and Delhi Government after the Nido
Tania incident).
This helpline number will allow the north eastern people to register all sorts of complaints which
may include racism complaints and harassment complaints directly to the police.
Future Plan:Delhi police will launch a Facebook page and a Twitter account for people from the
northeast where they can post complaints and suggestions.
Ms. Hillary R Clinton launched a new global review of data on women empowerment
February 20, 2014
Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton launched a new global review of data to analyze the advancement of
women and girls around the world since the mid-1990s.
Objective: To promote female participation in education, politics and the economy around the world.
Ms. Clinton publicized the new partnership at New YorkUniversity between the Clinton Foundation
and the Gates Foundation.The project is part of her No Ceilings initiative that aims to empower
women in the 21st century and will collect and review data on the progress of women since the 1995
United Nations Beijing conference.
Tropex 2014: Indian Navy started largest combat exercise with dedicated satellite G-SAT 7
February 20, 2014
Indian Navy started largest combat exercise called Tropex 2014,
with both the western and eastern fleets amassing in the Bay of Bengal for intensive combat
manoeuvres.
This month long exercise is being held under the gaze of Indias first dedicated Military Satellite
GSAT
7 or Rukmini.
This geostationary naval communication and surveillance satellite is beaming signals from its UHF, S,
Ku and C-band transponders to network all Indian warships, submarines and aircraft with operational
centres ashore through high-speed encrypted data-links.
Over 50 Indian warships viz. aircraft carrier INS Viraat, nuclear submarine INS Chakra, fighters,

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helicopters, drones, etc. would participate in the exercise.
Note: Rukmini is capable of surveying and communicate with the network of all Indian warships,
submarines and aircrafts and have a 2000 nautical mile footprint over the critical Indian Ocean region
(IOR)).
India hosted third World Congress on Agro-forestry 2014
February 19, 2014
The third World Congress on Agro-forestry 2014 (WCA14) held in New Delhi,India and was
inaugurated by President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee. This was the First ever World Agro-forestry
Congress in Asia Pacific Region.
Theme: Trees for Life: Accelerating the Impact of Agro-forestry.
Co-host: the World Agro-forestry Centre, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the
Indian Society of Agro-forestry and Global Initiatives.
Objective: To boost awareness, engagement and investments in agro-forestry,
Benefit: Would shape the next steps in the field of integrative science, transformative change in
landscapes, tree improvement, innovative tree-based value chains, and debates on global and
local sustainability, reform of land and tree tenure and holistic education.
The third edition of World Agroforestry Congress organized to-
Expand global awareness and understanding of agro-forestry.
Share the current status of knowledge and practice of agro-forestry and consolidate its research
base.
Build support for agro-forestry within governments, companies, academia, NGOs and the media.
Increase the engagement of the private sector.
About World Agroforestry Centre (or ICRAF i.e International Centre For Research On
Agriculture And Forestry)
Mission: To generate science-based knowledge about the diverse roles that trees play in
agricultural landscapes, and to use its research to advance policies and practices, and their
implementation, that benefit the poor and the environment.
To improve food security, nutrition, income, health, shelter, social cohesion, energy resources and
environmental sustainability of rural area in developing countries.
Objective: poverty alleviation which requires enhanced food security and health, improved
productivity with lower environmental and social costs, and resilience in the face of climate change
and other external shocks.
Headquarters:Nairobi, Kenya.
Regional offices: Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Peru.
Role of Agro-forestry: (a) produces food, fuel and fibre, (b) major source of livelihoods and also
help in preventing deforestation and (c) protect water resources and fighting off soil-erosion.
Note: First two World Congresses on Agro-forestry held in :Florida,USA (2004) and Nairobi,
Kenya (2009).
Odisha Lokayukta Bill 2014 passed by the Assembly of the state
February 19, 2014
Odisha Legislative Assembly passed the Odisha Lokayukta Bill 2014, with provision of keeping

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Chief Minister, ex-Chief Ministers, other ministers and public servants under the purview of a
sixmember
anti-corruption panel.
Excerpts of the provisions of the Odisha Lokayukta Bill 2014
Members of the anti-corruption watchdog panel: The head of the panel and two members will
be from judicial background while three others will be non-judicial members. From among three
non-judicial members one would be women or scheduled caste, scheduled tribe or minority
category on rotation basis.
Minimum age of Lokayukta: 50 years.
The Lokayukta will be chosen by a selection committee headed by the Chief Minister and
comprising others including the Leader of the Opposition, speaker of Odisha assembly, Chief
Justice of Odisha High Court or a judge nominated by him and an eminent jurist nominated by the
Governor.
The chairman of the Lokayukta would be appointed by the Governor on the
recommendation of the selection committee.
Lokayukta can inquire or direct an inquiry into any corruption related matters in the state.
Removal and suspension of the chairperson and members of Lokayukta: they can be
removed by the order of the Governor on the ground of misbehaviour. Before doing so, the
Governor is required to refer the petition signed by at least 25 MLAs to the Orissa High Court.
Under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 viz. Present chief minister, members of his
council of ministers, former chief ministers and ministers, MLAs, chairpersons of municipalities,
panchayat samitis, secretaries, directors and chairpersons of various government-run boards and
corporations, contractors, supplying agencies, procurement farms, outsourcing agencies and
nongovernmental
organizations receiving public funds, etc, would come under the purview of the
Lokayukta.
Penalty for those making false complaint: Imprisonment up to one year with fine which may
extend up to Rs 1 lakh.
Note: Odisha became the first state to enact the law after the Central Act was passed in Parliament
in December 2013.
Union Government okayed two plants to manufacture Semiconductor chips
February 19, 2014
In a bid to give boost to local production of electronics, the Union Government approved the setting
up of two plants to manufacture semiconductor chips inIndia.
The two electronic chip manufacturing units will be set up by:
Indias Jaiprakash Associates, IBM and Tower Jazz at a cost of Rs 34,399 crore near the
Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh.
France-based ST Microelectronics, HSMC Technologies (Hindustan Semiconductor
Manufacturing Corporation) and Malaysias Silterra at Prantij, Gujarat at a cost of Rs 29,013 crore.
Benefits given by Government of India to electronic chip manufacturing units
Offered 25% subsidy on capital expenditure, tax breaks and Rs. 5124 crore to each plant as

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interest-free loans in a bid to attract chip makers.
The companies in the consortia will get all benefits listed under theNational Policy on
Electronics viz. Modified Special Incentive Package, which allows up to Rs 10,000 crore in
benefits under the 12th Five Year Plan ending 2017.
They will benefit under section 35 AD of I-T Act and will also be allowed to deduct 100%
expenditure made on research and development for development of electronic chips.
Note: Semiconductors are neither a good conductor of electricity (like copper) nor a good insulator
(like rubber). These are usually very small and complex devices, and can be found in thousands of
electronic devices viz. transistors, mobile phones, computers, hi-tech defense equipment, etc. The
most common semiconductor materials are Silicon (Si) and Germanium(Ge).
Chinese scientists developed flexible fire resistant paper
February 19, 2014
Chinese scientists invented a new kind of fire resistant paper. The paper is first of its own kind and
can be use for long time purpose to save the important documents.
About fire resistant paper
Will not catch fire even at 1000 degrees Celsius
Formed by calcium phosphate compound.
This inorganic paper is flexible and incombustible, but still feels like ordinary paper. It can be torn,
folded, and destroyed by strong acid.
Useful for important documents to preserve for long periods of time.
Note: The research was published in ChemistryA European Journal.
Indias Air Costa signed an agreement to buy 50 Embraer Jets
February 19, 2014
Vijayawada-based airline, Air Costa signed an agreement with Brazilian aircraft
manufacturer Embraer to buy 50 E-Jets E2 aircraft worth $2.94 billion.
The acquisition of aircrafts is a mix of 25 E190-E2s and 25 E195-E2s with an additional purchase
rights for 50 aircrafts to bring the total potential order to up to 100 aircraft and can reach $5.88
billion if all are exercised.
Air Costa will be the first customer of the E-Jet E2 in the Indian market when it takes the first
delivery in 2018. The E195-E2 is scheduled to enter service in 2019.
Note: Embraer S.A. is the worlds largest manufacturer of commercial jets up to 130 seats and is one
of Brazils leading exporters.
New Zealand won 2-Cricket Test series against India 1-0
February 18, 2014
New Zealand won the two match Test Series against India by 1-0 after the second test at the Basin
Reserve, Wellington ended in a draw.
Man of the Match: Brendon McCullum.
Outcome of the series:
Brendon McCullum became New Zealands first triple-centurion in 84 years of Test cricket in the
second test match against India in Wellington. He scored 302 runs in the second innings.
India retained their second position in the ICC Test team rankings, after losing the series by 1-0.

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A two-Test series loss has resulted in India slipping from 117 ratings points to 112 that means that
they are ahead of Australia by just one rating point.
Here, Australia has a chance to go ahead of India on the table before the April 1, 2014 cut-off
date.
Note: At present, South Africa is at the number-one position in the ICC Test team rankings and
if they remain at the top in the list till the cut-off date, they will also collect a cheque of $450,000. The
side that finishes second will pocket $ 350,000, while $250,000 will go to the third-ranked team.
Delhi: President rule imposed after AAPs resignation
February 18, 2014
On the advice of Union cabinet, the President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjeeimposed Presidents
rule in Delhi and accepted the resignation of Chief Minister Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, along with his council
of ministers.
Though, assembly has not been dissolved and the house has been kept under suspended
animation.
In reference to the provision of Article 239 and Article 239AA of the Constitution, the National
Capital Territory of Delhi will be administered by President through Lt. Governor.
With Presidents rule imposed in Delhi, Lt-Governor Najeeb Junghas become the direct
administrator of the NationalCapitalTerritory.
Presidents Rule (Article 356 of the Constitution of India)
Purpose: To deal with the failure of the Constitutional machinery of an Indian state.
In practice presidents rule has been imposed under different circumstances viz. State Legislature
is unable to elect a leader as Chief Minister, Breakdown of a coalition, Elections postponed for
unavoidable reasons, etc.
The President on the advice of the governor or on his own attains the right to dissolve the state
government and its council of ministers, thereby impose president rule. The parliament must
approve the president rule to come into effect. After the implementation of president rule, the
governor heads the state and takes all the power.
When Presidents rule is imposed, the assembly is either dissolved or kept in suspended.
As per Article 356(1) in the Constitution of India 1949
(1) If the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a
situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with he
provisions of this Constitution, the President may by Proclamation -
(a) Assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the
powers vested in or exercisable by the Governor or any body or authority in the State other than the
Legislature of the State;
(b) Declare that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the
authority of Parliament;
(c) Make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the president to be necessary or
desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation, including provisions for suspending in
whole or in part the operation of any provisions of this constitution relating to any body or authority in

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the State Provided that nothing in this clause shall authorize the President to assume to himself any
of the powers vested in or exercisable by a High Court, or to suspend in whole or in part the operation
of any provision of this Constitution relating to High Courts.
About Article 239 and Article 239AA
Article 239 (Administration of Union territories)
Every UnionTerritory shall be administered by the President acting through an administrator to be
appointed by him with such designation as he may specify.
Notwithstanding anything contained in Part VI, the President may appoint the Governor of a State
as the administrator of an adjoining Union territory, and where a Governor is so appointed, he shall
exercise his functions as such administrator independently of his Council of Ministers.
Article 239AA (Special provisions with respect to Delhi) deal with the Legislative and
executive jurisdiction of Delhi. Entries 1, 2 and 18 of the State List under the Seventh
Schedule are not applicable to Delhi. Entry 1 deals with public order, entry 2 with police and
entry 18 with land.
Note: Here, in Delhi, the Presidents rule imposed due to the resignation of Aam Aadmi Party led
Government and no party or coalition came forward with required majority to form Government. (The
resignation of the AAP government came after it failed to introduce the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill for the
consideration of the Legislative Assembly).
Mr. Arvind Kejriwal resigned as Delhi CM
February 18, 2014
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal resigned from the post of Chief Minister
of Delhi, after failing to introduce and pass the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly.
In the 70-member Assembly, the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill was opposed by 42 MLAs: BJP (32),
Congress (8) and one of the Janata Dal (United) and an Independent.
Note: The AAP formed the government after winning 28 seats out of 70 in the Assembly election in
Delhi. Although, it didnt have the majority, the Congress party extended its unconditional support to
AAP for forming government. Mr. Kejriwal was sworn in as the second-youngest chief minister of
Delhi on December 28, 2013.
India and ADB signed loan agreement to improve rural roads in 5 States
February 16, 2014
The Government of India (GOI) andAsian Development
Bank (ADB) signed a $275 million loan agreement to continue improving rural roads in the states
of Assam,Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh,Odisha, and West Bengal. The loan represents the
second tranche of $800 million financing facility under the Rural Connectivity Investment Program
(RCIP).
Joint secretary of Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Nilaya Mitashand
Country Director of ADB,Ms. M. Teresa Kho signed the pact.
Executing agency of the project: Ministry of Rural Development(MORD) at the central level,
while the state governments of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal
are charged with overall implementation at the state level for a period of 43 months.
The loan will construct 3,693 km of all-weather rural roads in the states which will benefit nearly

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1,800 rural habitations.
Second phase of project is expected to be completed in June, 2017.
The central government will provide counterpart funds of $81.56 million for a total second tranche
project investment cost of $356.56 million.
Rural Connectivity Investment Programme (RCIP): A multi-tranche financing facility (MTFF)
started by Asian Development Bank (ADB). RCIP will construct or upgrade the 9000 km of rural roads
to an all-weather standard connecting around 4800 habitations in the States of Assam, Chhattisgarh,
Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
Note: The second tranche from the ordinary capital resources of ADB has a 25-year term including a
grace period of 5 years, commitment charge of 0.15% per year, and interest rate to be determined in
accordance with ADBs LIBOR-based lending facility.
BSE launched Institutional Trading Platform (ITP) on SME
February 16, 2014
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) launched an Institutional Trading
Platform (ITP) to helpSmall and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and start-up companies to list on the
bourses without an Initial Public Offer (IPO). BSE Ltd set up the BSE SME Platform as per the rules
and regulations laid down by SEBI.
BSE SME Institutional Trading Platform (ITP)
Facilitate capital raising by small and medium enterprises including start-up companies which are
in their early stages of growth .
Will provide easier entry and exit options for investors viz. angel investors, venture capital funds,
and private equity equity players.
Over 46 companies are listed in the SME category.
Offers an entrepreneur and investor friendly environment, which enables the listing of SMEs from
the unorganized sector scattered throughoutIndia, into a regulated and organized sector.
Will enable SMEs to raise money without having to go through the extensive IPO process.
Tax benefits to long term Investors.
With an advanced trading platform and better services launch of ITP on BSE SME will complete
the products which are valuable to investors and companies.
The Eligibility Criteria for the company desirous of listing are as follows:
Regulatory Criteria:
The company, its promoter, group company or director does not appear in the willful defaulters list
of Reserve Bank of India as maintained by Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL).
There is no winding up petition against the company that has been admitted by a competent court.
The company, group companies or subsidiaries have not been referred to the Board for Industrial
and Financial Reconstruction within a period of five years prior to the date of application for listing.
No regulatory action has been taken against the company, its promoter or director, by the Board,
Reserve Bank of India, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority or Ministry of Corporate
Affairs within a period of five years prior to the date of application for listing.
Financial Criteria:
The paid up capital of the company has not exceeded 25 crore rupees in any of the previous

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financial years.
The company has at least one full years audited financial statements, for the immediately
preceding financial year at the time of making listing application.
The company has not completed a period of more than 10 years after incorporation and its
revenues have not exceeded 100 crore rupees in any of the previous financial years
At least one of the following criteria:
1. At least one alternative investment fund, venture capital fund or other category of investors/lenders
approved by the Board has invested a minimum amount of 50 lakh rupees in equity shares of the
company.
2. At least one angel investor who is a member of an association/group of angel investors which
fulfils the criteria laid down by the recognized stock exchange, has invested a minimum amount of
50 lakh rupees in the equity shares of the company through such association/group.
3. The company has received finance from a scheduled bank for its project financing or working
capital requirements and a period of 3 years has elapsed from the date of such financing and the
funds so received have been fully utilized.
4. A registered merchant banker has exercised due diligence and has invested not less than 50 lakh
rupees in equity shares of the company which shall be locked in for a period of three years from
the date of listing.
5. A qualified institutional buyer has invested not less than 50 lakh rupees in the equity shares of the
company which shall be locked in for a period of three years from the date of listing.
6. A specialized international multilateral agency or domestic agency or a public financial institution
as defined under section 4 A of the Companies Act, 1956 has invested in the equity capital of the
company.
Note: SEBI has made the provision in ICDR guideline by introducing Chapter XC whereby listing on
the Exchange made possible without bringing Initial Public Offer (IPO).
Acenture study: India ranked 8th in demand for digital governance
February 16, 2014
As per new comparative study by Accenture, Indiaranked eighth in the list of ten
countries in terms of digital governance. Singapore topped the list, followed by Norway and the
United Arab Emirates (UAE).
As indicated in the report, high-performing digital governments are focusing on their digital
strategy, continuing long-term investment in key information and communication technology (ICT)
assets and leveraging the power of new technologies viz. social media, mobility, analytics, big data,
cloud computing, etc. These countries are also connected across agency boundaries and have a
strong culture of collaboration and data sharing.
Countries where survey conducted by Acenture: Brazil, Germany,India, Norway, Singapore,
South Korea, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States.
(Gave a cumulative score from one to 10).
Parameters that are taken into account to measure the countries digital governance: Citizen
Service Delivery Experience, Citizen Satisfaction and Service Maturity.
Citizens perception of digital government in the survey: 81% would like their government to

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provide more services through digital channels and 64%- would like to use social media to engage
with government.
Note: Digital governance means to offer online portals to access public services to employing digital
channels and social media to communicate and engage with citizens.
China and Taiwan hold first high-level meeting since 1949
February 16, 2014
The Representatives of Taiwanand China hold their first highlevel
meeting since they split 65 years ago, after a brutal Chinas civil war. The official talks held
between Taiwans Mainland Affairs Minister Mr. Wang Yu-chiand Chinas Vice Foreign MinisterMr.
Zhang Zhijun (who heads the Taiwan Affairs Office) at Nanjing, Jiangsuprovince of China.
Outcome of the official level talks: Both the countries agreed to set up representative offices as
early as possible for the two semi-official organizations which deal with ties between the two. And,
also agreed to deepen economic ties and appropriately deal with issues on medical care for
students in either place.
About China-Taiwan relations
China and Taiwan ruled by separate governments since the end of theChinese civil war in 1949.
Chinas constitution claims Taiwan as part of its territory.
Taiwan has never formally renounced its decades-old claim to the whole of China.
China has offered a one country, two systems solution, like Hong Kong.
Note: The official talks between the two countries are sensed as an attempt to facilitate wider
exchanges and building cross-strait relations and a confidence building exercise.
India-China Year of Friendly Exchanges launched by Vice President of India
February 16, 2014
The Vice President of India Mr. Mohammad Hamid Ansari launched
the India-China Year of Friendly Exchanges in New Delhi. Initiatives taken by India to form
closer
and stronger relationship with China:
To promote Chinese companies to establish production and supply chains which will link our
economies. This will also ensure a more balanced trade between our two sides. One of the ideas,
which is being looked at carefully is of a dedicated ChineseIndustrial Park in India.
To introduce Chinese language in the middle schools in India. Recently, 22 Chinese teachers have
come to teach at selected C.B.S.E. schools across the length and breadth of our country.
Plan to highlight Indian culture in China through a programme entitled Glimpses of India .
Note: The Year 2014 has been designated by the Governments of India and China as the Year of
Friendly Exchanges.
CSO: India s Economy to grow by 4.9% in 2013-14
February 16, 2014
As per the advanced estimates released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the growth in Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) during 2013-14 is estimated at 4.9% as compared to the growth rate of
4.5% in 2012-13.
The advance estimates of national income at constant (2004-05) and current prices, for the

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financial year 2013-14
Based on expected level of agricultural production from the Ministry ofAgriculture, Department of
Agriculture & Cooperation(DAC), Index of Industrial Production (IIP), monthly accounts of Union
Government Expenditure maintained by Controller General of Accounts (CGA) and of State
Government expenditure maintained by Comptroller and Auditor general of India (CAG).
Per capita income in real terms (at 2004-05 prices) during 2013-14 is probably to attain a level of
Rs 39,961 as compared to the first revised estimate for the year 2012-13 of Rs 38,856. The
growth rate in per capita income is estimated at 2.8% as against the previous years estimate of
2.1%.
Per capita income at current prices during 2013-14 is estimated to Rs 74,920 as compared to
Rs 67,839 during 2012-13, shows a rise of 10.4%.
The rates of Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) at current and constant (2004-05) prices
during 2013-14 are estimated at 28.5% and 32.5%. (GFCF is an indicator of investment)
The rate of expenditure on valuables at current prices has gone down from 2.6% in 2012-13 to
2.1% in 2013-14.
Key sectors that have taken into account while estimating the of national income at constant
(2004-05) and current prices, for the financial year 2013-14 are:
Agriculture, forestry and fishing: Will probably show a growth of 4.6% in its GDP during 2013-
14, as against the previous years growth rate of 1.4%.
Manufacturing: Expected to contract 0.2% in this financial year compared with growth of 1.1% in
the previous year.
Services sector (finance, insurance, real estate and businessservices sectors): Expected to
grow 11.2% this year compared with 10.9% in 2012-13.
Mining and quarrying: Probably to contract 1.9% as compared to 2.2% decline in production
2012-13.
Construction: Will probably improve to 1.7% from 1.1% in 2012-13.
Trade, hotels, transport and communication: Probably improve to 3.5% in this financial year.
Electricity, gas and water production: The growth in these sectors is likely to improve to 6% in
2013-14 from 2.3 per cent in 2012-13.
Community social and personal services growth would be better at 7.4% as compared to 5.3%
previously.
Note: The Chairman of the Prime Ministers Economic Advisory Council, Mr. C.
Rangarajan described the latest estimate of 4.9% for 2013-14 as an encouraging indication that
economic slowdown is over.
Major General Kosnam Himalaya Singh: First Army Officer from North Eastern States to be appointed
as Lieutenant
General
February 16, 2014
Major General Konsam Himalaya Singh became the first Lieutenant General in the army from North
East States. Singh is the senior most serving officer in the army from Manipur. Presently, Major
General KM Singh is serving in the military secretarys branch which is headquartered in New Delhi.

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In Kargil war, Singh commanded 27 Rajput Regiment and he was awarded Yudh Seva Medal for
leading successful operations. He was awarded the Ati Vishisht Sewa Medal in 2013. Albeit around 2
Indian Air Force Officers from the North Eastern region have risen to 3-star rank, Maj. Gen. Kosnam
Himalaya Singh is the first from the Army to reach this rank.
Karnataka clinched the Irani Cup 2014
February 16, 2014
Karnataka clinched the Irani Cup 2013-14 for the fifth time after
defeating Rest of India in the final held at Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. Karnataka beat Rest of
India by an innings and 222 runs to win the trophy.
Man-of-the-match: R. Vinay Kumar.
Recently, Karnataka defeatedMaharashtra by seven wickets to win2013-14 Ranji Trophy at the
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium,Hyderabad. Mr. Vinay Kumar became the third Karnataka
captain to win both the Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup in the same year. Karnataka last won the Irani Cup
in 1998 at the same venue, under Venkatesh Prasad.
Irani cup was named after the late Z.R. Irani, who was associated with the Board of Control
for Cricket in India (BCCI) from its inception in 1928, till his death in 1970.
Note: This victory of Karnataka made it the first ever Ranji Trophy champion in the last eight
seasons to win the Irani Cup also. (Karnataka are the current Ranji champions).
Sammakkaa Saarakka or Jatara: Largest tribal religious congregation of world began
February 16, 2014
In Andhra Pradesh, Sammakkaa Saarakka Fair or Jatara, the largest tribal religious
congregation in the world, began at Medaram in Warangal district of the Telangana region.
Sammakkaa Saarakka is a 4-day biennial fair which is celebrated to pay tribute to the tribal warrior
Sammakka and her daughter Saaralamma Saaralamma who sacrificed their lives while fighting
against the army of Kakatiya dynasty to protect their people. Crores of devotees from far-flung areas
viz. Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh,Maharashtra, Odisha, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu participated in the fair.
Assam became the First State to legally ban smokeless tobacco
February 16, 2014
Assam became the first state to legally ban consumption of all forms of smokeless tobacco,
including pan masala containing tobacco and nicotine. Thus sale, consumption, manufacturing,
trading, storage and advertisement of all forms of smokeless tobacco including pan masala have
been banned in Assam.
Provisions of (Ban on Smokeless Tobacco ) Act
Ban on all kind of advertisement, distribution, promotion, production, sale, trade and business. Any
thing which promotes tobacco consumption is come under this act.
Any forms which contain tobacco are prohibited in the state viz. pan masala, gutkha, khaini, etc.
For violating the law, one shall be punished with imprisonment up to 7 years and fine between
Rs.1 lakh and Rs. 5 lakh.
Consumption or possession of zarda, gutka and pan masala containing tobacco shall be punished
with a fine of Rs. 1000 for the first offence and Rs. 2000 for each subsequent offence.
Though many states have imposed similar bans under the food safety regulation, Assam would be

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the first to impose the ban through legislature.
Note: Smokeless tobacco accounts for 90% of oral cancers.
The Hindus: An Alternative History: Penguin withdraws Doniger book on Hinduism
February 16, 2014
Publisher Penguin India agreed to withdraw American Indologist Wendy Doniger s book The
Hindus: An Alternative History from the Indian market.
The decision made between the publisher and Delhi based complainant organization called Shiksha
Bachao Andolan, who moved to court alleging distortion aimed at denigrating Hindu traditions.
The main contention of all petitioners is that the book insults and offends Hindus and Indians. The
issues against the book range from factual errors, dates, maps, to use of psychoanalytical tools while
viewing Vedic, Hindu and Indian gods.
As per the settlement between the complainant and Penguin publishers, Penguin will destroy all
copies of the book, dubbed disrespectful of Hinduism , within six months
Pune Metro Rail Project approved by Central Government
February 16, 2014
The Union Ministry of Urban Development gave an in-principle approval to thePhase I of the
Pune Metro Rail Project. In-principle approval of the Centre will enable the state government to take
necessary action required for faster implementation of the project.
Pune Metro Rail Project
Objective: To provide a world class state of the art metro rail system on pattern of Delhi Metro.
Will cover a length of 31.51 km along two corridors viz. Corridor-1 cover16.59 km from PCMC to
Swargate and Corridor-2 cover 14.92 km from Vanaz to Ramwadi and improve the public transport
system in the city of Pune.
The capital expenditure is expected to be around Rs 10,183 crore and the targeted year of
completion is 2021.
Maharashtra Government has proposed to implement the project through a Special Purpose Vehicle
jointly owned by the Centre and the state government.
Union Government launched HIV Salvage Therapy
February 16, 2014
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched third-line drug therapy for people
living with HIV/AIDS and extended free Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) to more of them by revising
the eligibility norm.
The third-line therapy also known as salvage or rescue therapy is prescribed for people who have
limited drug options left.
At the launch of the National AIDS Control Programme Phase IV (2012-2017), Union Health
Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad stated that:
For receiving free ART, the minimum CD4-count limit reduced from 500 to 350. The count is a
measure of the viral load.
The highly expensive therapy (Third-Line Therapy) would enhance longevity and improve the
quality of life of patients and will also be provided free of charge to patients.
The Union Government has also tabled the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Acquired Immune

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Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014, in the Rajya Sabha to prevent the
spread of HIV/AIDS and to protect the human rights of people living with it.
The Bill seeks to prohibit any kind of discrimination against the infected person for instance,
denial or termination of employment or occupation, unfair treatment, denial of access to any sector
and forcible HIV testing.
Currently, India is estimated to have 2.39 million people living with HIV/AIDS.
Note: ART consists of the combination of at least three Anti-Retro Viral (ARV) drugs to maximally
suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of HIVdisease.
OECD issued new standard to combat black money; India to follow new standard for tracking black
money
February 16, 2014
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)revealed a new
gamechanging
mechanism to combat the menace of offshore tax evasion. Till now, 42 countries
including India adopted a new global standard for automatic exchange of information on offshore tax
evasion and committed to share tax details.
Plan: for automatic exchange of information on bank accounts holding more than $250,000 as a
real game changer that would deter evasion and help tax authorities identify citizens hiding
money offshore.
Objective: To smooth the automatic exchange procedures those are used to crack cases of
offshore tax evasion and illegal stashing of money.
Highlights of the new tax standards set by the Global economic body O.E.C.D.
Governments would automatically share information on taxpayers offshore bank and brokerage
accounts with foreign tax authorities.
Banks, brokers and some insurers and investment funds would have to report residents account
balances as well as interest, dividends and other investment income to their government. The
government would then make that information available automatically to any other government that
had signed the information-exchanging agreement.
Financial companies would also be required to identify the ultimate beneficiaries of shell
companies, trusts and similar legal arrangements that now can be used to evade taxes.
OECD will formally present the standard for the endorsement of G20 finance ministers during a
February 22-23, 2014 meeting in Sydney,Australia.
In other words, this new standard on automatic exchange of information will build
up international tax co-operation and place governments back on a more even footing as they seek to
protect the integrity of their tax systems and fight tax evasion.
NRIs set up first NaMo tea stall in Silicon valley, USA
February 16, 2014
The Indian-American professionals from many IT companies viz. Microsoft, Cisco, Apple, eBay,
Oracle, etc. set up the first NaMo tea stall in Silicon valley, USA.
Objective: To extend their support to BJP s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for
the Lok Sabha polls.

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To make use of latest technology to cut power transmission losses in India, fully computerizing the
process of government tenders and providing technological aid to Indian farmers. They will compile
all the suggestions discussed and send them to a team formed by BJP in India.
These professionals met at Indian tea-stall in Ortega Park in Sunnyvale as part of the volunteer group
I Care for India . There they discussed the role of technology in solving Governance issues in
India. Such as:
Use the latest technology to cut power transmission losses in India
Fully computerize the process of government tenders and provide technological aid to Indian
farmers.
All these suggestions would send to a team formed by BJP in India to support BJPs Prime Ministerial
candidate Narendra Modi.
Note: NaMo Tea stalls or Chai pe charcha programmes are to interact with the public of India and
to take suggestions from the public on the various issues related to the progress of the country viz.
good governance, etc. This mega outreach programme is a part of Mr. Narendra Modis (BJPs prime
ministerial candidate) election campaign for the Lok Sabha elections due by May, 2014.
Digital Holographic Microscopy technique: First ever 3D film of a living sperm developed
February 16, 2014
The track of a single sperm
cell with a bent tail, in two dimensions (left) and three dimensions (right). Credit: Biomedical Optics
Express.
Scientists have developed the first 3-D movie of living sperm that can help doctors to select most
viable sperm to improve odds during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
The 3-D imaging technique also known as Digital Holographic Microscopy(DHM), gives
morphology and motility data on sperm consistent with that found in previous studies, but with the
unprecedented bonus of seeing cause and effect relationships between the two.
About the first 3-D movie of living sperm
Provides detailed 3D imaging of the sperms form and structure to detect potential infertilitycausing
anomalies, such as the bent tail that prevents the cells from swimming straight.
Generates a progressive series of holograms, scientists can watch sperm move and look for
structural anomalies that make them less viable.
Helpful for doctors: To sort the good sperm cells from the less viable ones, using a tracking
system, that takes 3-D movies of living sperm and to show the sperms movement and behavior in
real time.
First technique for collecting data on sperm cell motility a key predictor of IVF success in three
dimensions and over time.
At present, sperm concentration and mobility in semen are assessed either by subjective visual
evaluation or a process known as Computer-Assisted Sperm Analysis (CASA).
How the researchers developed the First ever 3D film of a living sperm?
Researchers first separated laser light into two beams. They transmitted one beam through a dish
containing live, swimming sperm cells and then recombined it, after magnification through a
microscope, with the second beam.

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The superimposed beams generate an interference pattern that we can record on camera.
The resulting image is a hologram containing information relative to the morphologies of the sperm
and their positioning in three-dimensional space.
Viewing a progressive series of these holograms in a real-time video, we can observe how the
sperm move and determine if that movement is affected by any abnormalities in their shape and
structure.
In other words, researchers combined microscopy and holography the creation of 3-D
images - to visualize live sperm in not only two dimensions (the x and y positions) but also their depth
(z position) as well.
Note: In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body. It
is a major treatment for infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed.
Solar mission: US again challenged India s solar export restrictions in WTO
February 16, 2014
On the second phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission(JNNSM), the Government
of India stated that it hadnt violated global trading norms under the World Trade Organization (WTO),
even as the US filed a second case against India in WTO.
Why USA Trade Representative filed a case against India at WTO on the issue of Phase II of
JNNSM?
The United States of America (USA) challenged the domestic content requirement in Phase II of
India s National Solar Mission (NSM), which requires solar power developers to use Indian-made
equipment. It alleged that the requirement was discriminatory and against international norms,
including World Trade Organization (WTO) laws, and affects US solar panel manufacturers.
In February 2013, the US had filed a similar case related to the first phase of the mission. Though,
it didnt pursue that case.
What is India s perspective against the allegations made by USA on the issue of Phase II of
JNNSM?
The Government of India dismissed the allegations and stated that its national solar mission
programme is WTO-compliant and it would defend its stand in the Geneva-based multilateral body.
India argued that its solar policies are legal under WTO government procurement rules that permit
countries to exempt projects from non-discrimination obligations.
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) pointed out that many US companies have won
contracts in phase II of Indias National Solar Mission. Thus, there should not be such issue of
discrimination against them.
Why there is a bone of contention between India and USA over the domestic content
requirement in Phase II of India s solar program?
In the Phase II of the solar mission, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has freed
half the projects from local sourcing conditions.
Phase I of policy implementation: MNRE involved developers of solar photovoltaic (PV )
projects employing crystalline silicon technology to use solar modules manufactured in India.
Phase II of policy implementation: MNRE expanded this domestic sourcing requirement to
crystalline silicon solar cells and thin film technologies as well.

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At present, solar thin film consists of the majority of US solar product exports to India and these
domestic content requirements will probably cause even greater harm to US producers than under
Phase I. Thats why, there is there is a bone of contention between USA and India.
About Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM)
Also known as the National Solar Mission. Officially launched by Prime Minister of India, Dr.
Manmohan Singh in 2010.
Objective: To establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions
for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible.
Mission: To have 20 GW of grid-connected solar power by 2022 and to make it as cheap as
electricity from conventional sources.
Part of National Action Plan on Climate Change.
Adopted 3-phase approach: Phase I (2012-13), Phase II (201317) and Phase III (201722).
The first phase with a target total of 1,200MW (off-grid and on-grid) ended in March 2013. (In the
first phase, the off-grid solar energy target was only 200 MW).
The second phase has a target of 9,000 MW grid-connected and 800 MW off-grid solar power by
2017.
Under WTO rules, if the matter is not resolved through consultations within 60 days of the request,
the US states may ask the WTO to establish a dispute settlement panel.
Note: Under WTO dispute-settlement body norms, a complainant first seeks consultations with the
target country, which typically takes 60 days. Subsequently, a panel of lawyers is constituted and the
case is officially registered as a trade dispute.
RBI imposed restrictions on intra-group investment by banks
February 16, 2014
In a bid to mitigate the financial risk from concentration of business, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
imposed curbs on banks investing in their group companies.
Objective of ITEs measures: To ensure that banks maintain arms length relationship in dealings
with their own group entities, meet minimum requirements with respect to group risk management
and group-wide oversight, and adhere to prudential limits on intra-group exposures.
As per the RBI s guidelines on management of Intra-Group Transactions and Exposures
(ITEs)
Banks are allowed to invest 5% of their paid-up capital in the case of non-financial companies and
unregulated financial services companies. The limit is 10 % for regulated financial services
companies.
Fixed an aggregate group exposure limit for intra-group transactions at 20% for all financial
and non-financial entities taken together and limited 10% for non-financial and unregulated
entities.
Banks should ensure they have systems and controls in place to identify, monitor, manage and
review exposures arising from intra-group transactions.
Banks must also ensure transactions in low-quality assets with group entities arent carried out
to hide losses or window-dress balance sheets.
If the intra-group exposure, either at the single entity level or at the aggregate level, exceeds

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prudential limits, it should be reported at the earliest in the prescribed returns along with the
reasons for the breach.
In such situations, banks cannot undertake any further intra-group exposure (at the entity or
aggregate level, as the case may be) until it is brought down to within the limit.
Banks should submit data on intra-group exposures to the RBI (Department
of Banking Supervision, Central Office), from the quarter ending December 31, 2014.
By March 31, 2016, banks will have to reduce their intra-group exposure that exceeds the
prescribed limit. At that time, the additional exposure would be deducted from the banks
common equity Tier-I capital. The apex bank might impose a penalty for frequent breaches of the
prescribed limits.
The guidelines will become effective from October 1, 2014.
Note: As per existing norms, a bank can take single borrower exposure upto 25% of bank total capital
and upto 55% for group exposure.
Mukul Mudgal Committee report on IPL spot fixing scandal
February 16, 2014
The Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee submitted its report to the Supreme Courtafter investigating
allegations of spot-fixing and betting in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
As per the Mukul Mugdal Committee report
The allegations of betting and passing of information against Mr.Gurunath Meiyappan (the Sonin-
Law of BCCI president N Srinivasan) stand proved.
More investigation is needed against Rajasthan Royals owner Mr. Raj Kundra, who is facing
charges of betting and fixing the match.
The allegations of spot-fixing and match fixing against five players Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan,
Ajit Chandila, Amit Singh and Siddharth Trivedi on the basis of evidence provided by Delhi Police
were facing criminal trial and adequate punishment has been imposed upon them by the BCCI.
Constitution of IPL Governing Council, the two teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals
may be suspended.
As per the Clause 11.3 of the IPL franchise agreement in any case, if the team, official, team
owner or anyone else associated with the team tries to bring in bad image on the league, then the
team can be suspended immediately.
Recommendations of Mukul Mudgal panel
Senior players should make ensure that younger players are aware about the spot-fixing and other
things that tarnish the image of the sport as well as the player or team.
The game should be made more clear and transparent.
Information should be shared with other agencies by BCCI.
BCCI should make a proactive approach against players and bookies instead of wait for the media
probe.
In its recommendation, it has also suggested getting registered agents of the players by BCCI and
those agents should not be allowed to travel with the players.
About Mukul Mugdal Committee
Formed: By Supreme Court in October 2013.

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Purpose: To investigate spot-fixing in IPL matches.
Chairman: Mr. Mukul Mudgal, the Retired Chief Justice of Punjab andHaryana High Court.
Other members: Additional Solicitor L N Rao and Nilay Dutta.
The panel led by Justice Mudgal made the report after compiling statements of players, officials
associated to IPL and Journalists.
Note: On March 7, 2014, the Supreme Court of India will examine the report submitted by the
panel.
Moto G: Launched by Motorola in India through Flipkart
February 16, 2014
The US-based firm, Motorola launched its much-awaitedbudget phone Moto
G in India through Flipkart. The Moto Gs 16GB version, priced at Rs 13,999 and 8 GB version priced
at Rs. 12,499. The smartphone has a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Adreno 305
GPU, a 4.5-inch capacitive (1280 x 720 pixels) touch screen, and an edge-to-edge display.
About Moto G
Dual SIM Android smartphone developed and manufactured by Motorola Mobility.
Memory: 1 GB RAM and no card slot.
Storage : 8 GB or 16 GB.
Body: Dimensions -129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm and Weight-143 gm.
Features: Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS connectivity options.
Offers: Excellent call quality and signal reception and we did not encounter issues while making
calls even in areas where cell signal is relatively weaker. The phone is able to lock to GPS without
any hiccups.
Backed by a 2070 mAh battery and will last a complete day even if we put the screen brightness at
the highest level and use 3G data all the time.
Can play video games continuously for 7 to 8 hours.
Camera: The phone has a 5MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front facing camera. The rear camera
can capture 720p video and also comes with an LED flash for taking pictures in low-light
conditions.
Software: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Soon, upgradable to Android 4.4 KitKat software.
The Android 4.4 KitKat update is expected to bring some minor cosmetic improvements viz. white
notification icons, a transparent notification bar, a new Phone dialer app, some camera improvements
in addition to other changes under the hood.
RBI allowed FIIs to purchase 30% shares in Dabur
February 16, 2014
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) to purchase shares in
Dabur India up to 30% of the firms paid up capital.
FIIs have been allowed to buy more shares in Dabur India as the company has passed a special
resolution to increase the limit for purchase of its equity shares and convertible debentures by FIIs.
As indicated by the data available on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), FIIs held 19.94% shares
in Dabur India as of quarter ended December 2013.
Under the Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS), Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), Non-Resident

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Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) are allowed to invest in the primary and secondary
capital markets in India. They can acquire shares/debentures of Indian companies through the stock
exchanges.
Note: The ceilings on FIIs/ NRIs)/ PIOs) investments in Indian companies are monitored by RBI on a
daily basis. For effective monitoring of foreign investment ceiling limits, the RBI has fixed cut-off
points that are 2% points lower than the actual ceilings.
SMSS J031300.36-670839.3: Oldest known star in the Universe discovered
February 16, 2014
The astronomers led by Dr Stefan Keller of the Australian National University(ANU) have
discovered the oldest known star, SMSS J031300.36-670839.3, in the Universe, which formed shortly
after the Big Bang 13.6 billion years ago.
Modern cosmological science stated that our universe came into existence as a result of a Big
Bang event about 13.7 billion years ago. Our Sun is approximately 4.57 billion years old.
The new star beats the previous longevity record of 13.2 billion years set by a star dubbed HD
140283 surveyed by American astronomers.
The ANU SkyMapper telescope at the Sliding Spring Observatory has discovered the oldest
known star in the Universe.
About SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 star
SMSS stands for SkyMapper Southern Sky Survey, the 031300refers to the right ascension of
the star on the sky and the 670839.3refers to the declination.
Second-generation star due to the low level of iron in the upper limit.
Composition: Mass 60 times bigger than our Sun and is relatively close to us, about 6,000 light
years from the Earth.
Age: Approximately 13.6 billion years.
Discovery indicates that the supernovae of first generation stars may not have been as powerful
as previously thought.
Showed the signs of pollution with lighter elements viz. carbon, magnesium, etc, with no traces of
iron. This indicates the primordial star s supernova explosion was of surprisingly low
energy.(Previously, primordial stars were thought to have died in violent explosions which polluted
space with iron).
In other words, the extremely low iron content of J (to give it a more manageable pseudonym)
indicates that the explosion that formed it was relatively low energy.
Though, sufficient to disintegrate the primordial star, almost all of the heavy elements such as iron,
were consumed by a black hole that formed at the heart of the explosion.
The discovery is the first step in understanding ancient stars that formed after the Big Bang.
Astronomers can measure the stars composition as well as iron pollution due to supernovae.
Benefit of the discovery: For the first time, astronomers can study the chemistry of the first stars
and can give a clearer idea of what the Universe was like in its infancy.
About Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang is the scientific theory that is most consistent with observations of the past and present
states of the universe, and it is widely accepted within the scientific community. It offers a

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comprehensive explanation for a broad range of observed phenomena, including the abundance of
light elements, the cosmic microwave background, large scale structure, and the Hubble diagram.
Note: First generation stars are predominantly tens or hundreds of times more massive than the Sun.
They live fast, die young and have not survived to the present day. Though, the second generation
stars, a little smaller than the Sun, have massive lifespan of over 13 billion years.
Sushil Koirala: Nepal s new PM
February 15, 2014
Veteran Nepali Congress President, Mr. Sushil Koirala (75) elected as Prime
Minister of Nepal, after he secured more than two-thirds of the votes in the Parliament of Nepal. He
would be the sixth head of government since the country became a Republic in 2008, following a
peace deal with Maoist rebels in 2006.
Mr. Sushil Koirala
Received 405 votes while 148 votes were cast against him out of the present 583 legislators that took
part in the voting in the Parliament in the Kathmandu a short while ago.
Became the fourth prime minister from his family, after Matrika Prasad Koirala, Bishweshwar Prasad
Koirala and Girija Prasad Koirala.
Coalition form with the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist), the second largest party,
and some other smaller groups.
In a seven-point power-sharing deal, both the parties (UML & NC) decided to draft a new constitution
and old fresh elections for the president and vice president within a year.
Had taken over the charge from Mr. Khil Raj Regmi, who was working as acting Prime Minister of
Nepal from March 14, 2013.
Mr. Jatinder Bir Singh: Appointed as a new CMD of Punjab and Sind Bank
February 16, 2014
Mr. Jatinder Bir Singh appointed new Chairman and Managing Director
of Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB). He succeeded Mr. D.P. Singh. Previously, Mr. Singh was an
Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Water Resources. He is 1983-batch IAS officer of Assam-
Meghalaya cadre.
Central Government: All public transport vehicles must have GPS by Feb 20, 2014
February 16, 2014
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways set a deadline for public transport vehicles
running in major cities with a population of over 10 lakh to install GPS devices by February 20, 2014.
The Union government has directed all state governments to follow the guidelines.
All the owners of public service vehicles are required to get Global Positioning System (GPS)
installed in their vehicles by February 20. Those who fail to install, then the necessary action shall be
taken against the defaulters.
Under the Nirbhaya Fund for women safety, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)
approved Rs 1,405-crore project to track and monitor public transport and provide alarm buttons for
alerting authorities.
The project:
Involves setting up of closed circuit television (CCTVs) and using GPS to ensure safety and

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security of women and girls in distress.
Will be implemented within two years after allocation of funds to set up a National Level Vehicle
Security and Tracking System and City Command and Control Centre with installation of GPS,
CCTV in public road transport.
Note: Earlier, the Road Ministry set the deadline for passenger vehicle owners to install these
devices by September 30, 2013.
Sikkim: India s first state to achieve 100% sanitation coverage
February 16, 2014
As per the report released by the Union Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation,Sikkim became the
only state in India to achieve 100% sanitation in rural and urban households, schools, sanitary
complexes and Aanganwadi centres.
Under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan scheme, the Himalayan state, Sikkim has constructed 98,043
individual household latrines against the target of 87,014 till January, and achieved 112.67% of its
target. The scheme was implemented by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
The state has also sensitized people to adopt a holistic approach to improve sanitation and
hygiene in a clean environment while accelerating its overall development.
Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling launched a community-led total sanitation campaign in
1999 for achieving full sanitation in the 7,096 sq km area of the state.
And, to encourage sanitation activities, the state government has instituted a Nirmal Gram
Puraskar (Clean Village Award).
Sikkim also topped the list among all states of the country in net performance indicators.
About Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA)
Community-led total sanitation program initiated by Government of India in 1999.
Mission: To eradicate the practice of open defecation by 2017.
Ambassador: Bollywood Actress Vidya Balan.
Objective: Accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Nirmal Bharat by
2022 with all gram Panchayats in the country attaining Nirmal status.
Motivate communities and Panchayati Raj Institutions promoting sustainable sanitation facilities
through awareness creation and healtheducation.
Encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable
sanitation.
Govt. of India launched Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) to encourage the Panchayati Raj
Institutions (PRIs) to take up rural sanitation promotion and attain 100% open defecation free
Panchayats.
Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) is being implemented in association with Panchayati Raj
Institutions (PRIs) at all levels, through social mobilization for construction of toilets and also
maintain clean environment by way of safe disposal of wastes.
Note: Sikkim is Indias least populated and second smallest state in area after Goa.
The ministry of road transport and highways has ordered to all public transport vehicles plying in cities
with a population of more than 10 Lakh will have to install GPS (Global Positioning System) devices
by February 20, 2014.

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Two additional attempts for all categories of candidates in UPSC s Civil Services Exams
February 16, 2014
The Union Government has decided to give an additional 2 attempts along-with a consequential age
relaxation to all categories of candidates for the Civil Services Exam conducted by Union Public
Service Commission (UPSC).
The Ministry of Personnel in its order stated that it has approved two additional attempts to all
categories of candidates with effect from Civil Services Examination 2014, with consequential age
relaxation of maximum age for all categories of candidates, if required.
The UPSC conducts the civil service exams to select members of the Indian Administrative Service
(IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) among others.
As per the existing norms of Civil Services Examination 2013
The candidates from the open category get four attempts at passing the exam, while candidates
from OBC categories get seven. The fixed age limit for these candidates is 30 and 33 respectively.
Candidates from SC/ST communities have no cap on the number of attempts but have an age limit
of 35.
The upper age limit is also relaxable upto a maximum of five years if a candidate had ordinarily
been domiciled in Jammu & Kashmir during January 1, 1980 to December 31, 1989.
For defense services personnel disabled during hostilities with a foreign country or in a disturbed
area and released as a consequence, the relaxation is up to three years.
There is also a relaxation in upper age upto a maximum of 10 years in the case of blind, deaf-mute
and orthopaedically handicapped candidates besides other categories.
Note: The Civil Services Examination (Preliminary), 2014, is tentatively scheduled for August 24,
2014. The examinations are conducted in three stages: Preliminary, mains and interview.
Mr. Vishwanath Tripathi honored with the Vyas Samman 2013
February 15, 2014
The famous Hindi writer, Mr. Vishwanath Tripathi (82) honored by the prestigiousVyas Samman
2013. He has been chosen for his memoir Vyomkesh Darvesh that is a biography of the noted
Hindi scholar Acharya Hazari Prasad Dwivedi.
The Vyas Samman 2012 was given to Hindi litterateur Narendra Kohli for his historical novel Na
Bhooto Na Bhavishyati based on Swami Vivekananda.
Mr. Surya Prasad Dikshit was the selection committee head of Vyas Samman 2013.
Mr. Tripathi has around 20 publications by his name that includes memoirs, novel and poetry
collection.
Note: The Vyas Samman award instituted in 1991 by the K.K. Birla Foundation and the award
carries a prize of Rs. 2.5 lakh. It is one the most prestigious award of India that is given every year to
the poet or writer for their out standing contribution in the Hindi language.
Dr. Marco Lambertini: New Director-General of WWF International
February 15, 2014
Dr. Marco Lambertini appointed as the Director General of World Wide Fund for
Nature (WWF) International. He will begin his new role with the global conservation organization on
May 1, 2014.

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Dr. Marco Lambertini
At present, he is the chief executive of Bird Life International.
Holds an experience of 25 years as a global conservation leader.
Began his association with WWF as a youth volunteer growing up in his native Italy.
About World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
An international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation,
research and restoration of the environment.
Founded: April 29, 1961.
Headquarters: Gland, Vaud, Switzerland.
Mission: To stop the degradation of the planets natural environment and to build a future in which
humans live in harmony with nature.
Focus: On the conservation of three biomes that contain most of the worlds biodiversity: oceans
and coasts, forests, and freshwater ecosystems.
Also concerned with endangered species, pollution and climate change.
CCEA approved National Programme on Prevention & Management of Burn Injuries (NPPMBI)
February 15, 2014
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the proposal to convert and expand
the pilot programme of Burn Injuries of the 11th Plan period into a full-fledged National Programme
on Prevention & Management of Burn Injuries (NPPMBI) during the remaining part of the 12th
Plan Period.
At an estimated cost of Rs. 4 billion, infrastructural facilities for burn management and
rehabilitation in 67 state Government Medical Colleges will be established in different States.
Additionally, Rs. 17.16 crore has also been approved for completing three Burn Units of the 11th
Plan Pilot Programme.
Objective: To improve awareness among the population, especially the vulnerable groups, i.e.
women and children and industrial workers regarding prevention of burn injuries, apart from creating
trained personnel for specialized treatment of burn injuries.
Sitaram Yechury committee report: Revisit Aircraft Act 1934 and bring out comprehensive bill
February 15, 2014
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has rejected the Civil
Aviation Authority (CAA) Bill in the present form. The committee stated that the proposal for setting
up a new aviation regulator lacks teeth in empowering the authority.
The panel, headed by Sitaram Yechury suggested the Civil Aviation Ministry to come out with a
comprehensive Bill after revisiting the Aircraft Act, 1934 because it felt that the Act is too old to
tackle the emerging problems in the aviation sector.
Excerpts of the Sitaram Yechury committee report on Transport, Tourism and Culture
The Chairperson of Civil Aviation Authority of India should be part-time only as there exists
possibility of deadlock between a full time Chairperson and the Director General would be
imminent.
Increase the number of experts in the selection committee for the appointment of Chairperson, DG
and full-time members of the Authority.

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Found fault with the qualifications needed to become the chairman of the CAA in the Bill, saying it
would seem that only a former civil aviation secretary would fulfill the requirements to head the
CAA.
Allow professionals and heads of public sector undertakings viz. Airports Authority of India, who
have the relevant experience and knowledge but were lower in rank than secretary, to head CAA.
CAA members term of office should be reduced to three years from the proposed five years as it
would block those persons having latest training and knowledge from becoming members,
particularly when the sector was growing and changing fast.
Ms. Arunima Sinha bagged Amazing Indian Award 2014
February 15, 2014
Ms Arunima Sinha bagged with Amazing Indian Award by the Vice President ofIndia, Mr. Hamid
Ansari, for scaling Mount Everest despite being physically challenged.
Ms. Sinha is the first Indian amputee who scales the Mount Everest on May, 2013. She is a
former national volleyball and footballplayer from Uttar Pradesh.
She lost her right leg in 2011 after being thrown off a moving train. Two years later she stood on
the peak of the Mount Everest with an artificial leg and an indomitable spirit to achieve the
unimaginable.
Note: The Amazing Indian Award was instituted by Times Now channel in September 2012. TIMES
NOW is Indias No. 1 English news channel that is devoted to providing pure and relevant news to its
viewers around the clock.
DRDO developing UAVs to track down Maoists
February 15, 2014
The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is developing Unmanned Aerial
Vehicles (UAVs) for the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to track down maoists in naxal hit
states viz. Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, etc. And would demonstrate the operational capability of the first
such vehicle, Nishant in Jagdalpur.
The UAVs being developed for CRPF would be able to help the forces trace and track down the
ultra Left operatives in even thick forests.
The Nishant, a multi-mission UAV developed by Indias Aeronautical Development Establishment
(ADE), a branch of DRDO, had already been inducted by the army. (Nishant consists of an air vehicle
supported by ground control station equipment mounted on Tatra vehicles and it can be moved
to any location for launching whenever required making it very versatile).
About Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
Means: Aerial vehicles which operate without a human pilot. Eaves are commonly used in both
the military and police forces in situations where the risk of sending a human piloted
aircraft is unacceptable, or the situation makes using a manned aircraft Impractical.
Uses: To get aerial video of a remote location, especially where there would be unacceptable risk
to the pilot of a manned aircraft and can be equipped with high resolution still, video, and even
infrared cameras.
The information obtained by the UAV can be streamed back to the control centre in real time.
Used to carry and deliver a variety of payloads. Helicopter type UAVs are well suited to this

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purpose, because payloads can be suspended from the bottom of the airframe, with little
aerodynamic penalty.
Production of iconic Maruti 800 stopped by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL)
February 13, 2014
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) stopped production of
the iconic Maruti 800 car brand that had been the carrier for millions of Indian middle-class families.
As per the companys policy, though the car production has stopped, spare parts will be available for
customers for next 8-10 years, for all the models which have been phased out till date.
Why Maruti Suzuki stopped the production of iconic Maruti 800?
The Maruti 800 lost its appeal among urban consumers as car buyers migrated to models such as
the Alto and Wagon R from Maruti Suzukis stable and the Santro produced by Hyundai Motor
India Ltd, among others.
Since 2010, due to the stricter emissions regulations, the company halted the sale of car in 13
major cities in India viz. Kanpur, Bangalore,Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Agra, Surat, etc.
Maruti Suzuki stated that it would be too costly to make the hatchback to meet stricter emission
standards (as per intention to cutting pollution) on congested roads.
Thats why, MSIL decided to completely stop the production and rolled out the last of its 800
model, but will continue to sell the spare parts of 800 to its customers for next 8 to 10 years.
Note: Maruti 800 was launched in India in early 1980s and the time of its launch it was priced Rs.
50000 only and at the time of closure of production it was priced at Rs. 2.35 lakh.
Google doodle celebrated Sarojini Naidu s 135th birthday or National Women s Day of India
February 13, 2014
The search giant, Google marked the
135th birth anniversary of freedom fighter and poet Sarojini Naidu with a doodle. The doodle on the
search giants homepage displayed a portrait of Ms. Naidu in the place of the second O in the
companys logo. There was also a pen in place of the letter L in logo, which seemingly depicted
Naidus writing capabilities.
In India, National Women s Day observed on February 13 every year, in memory of date of birth
of
Indias first women governor Sarojini Naidu.
Ms. Naidu was also known as the Nightingale of India and the first Indian woman to become the
president of the Indian National Congress.
The British government awarded the Naidu Kaiser-i-Hind medal for her work during the plague
epidemic in India in 1928.
Her birthday observed as a National Woman Day in recognition of the works done by her for
upliftment and development of women in India.
Note: The International Womens Day is observed and celebrated on March 8 every year.
RBI released draft Report on Enabling PKI in Payment System Applications
February 12, 2014
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released draft report on enabling Public KeyInfrastructure (PKI) in
payment system applications. Public Key Infrastructure enabled electronic payment systems that has

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been introduced by the RBI are RTGS, NEFT, CBLO, FOREX Clearing, Government Securities
Clearing and Cheque Truncation System (CTS).
Objective: To ensure a safe, secure, efficient, robust and sound payment system in the country.
Highlights of the draft Report on Enabling Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) in Payment System
Applications
The various PKI-enabled electronic payments systems introduced by RBI viz. RTGS, NEFT,
CBLO, Forex Clearing, Government Securities Clearing, and Cheque Truncation System (CTS),
etc.
In volume terms, PKI-enabled electronic payments systems contributed 25.1% whereas these
systems contributed 93.7% share to the total number of payment transactions carried out in the
year 2012-13.
Non-PKI enabled payment systems contributed 75% in volume terms but only 6.3 % in value terms
in the year 2012-13.
Of the non-PKI enabled payment systems, MICR Clearing and non-MICR clearing contributed 37%
and 10% in volume terms and 69% and 25% in value terms.
In order to ensure a safe, secure payment system in the country and to ensure legal compliance,
digital technology, such as PKI may be used.
The banks may carry out in phases PKI implementation for authentication and transaction
verification. (Payment systems are subjected to various financial risks, viz. credit risk, liquidity
risk, systemic risk, operational risk, legal risk).
The issuing bank will need to convert the older credit or debit cards with the magstrip into
EMV chip and pin enabled ones.
With reference to internet banking applications, the report recommends that customers should be
informed of risks, existing security measures and also given a choice of different methods of
authentication to be able to select a system that matches their security requirements.
All Banks Internet banking applications should mandatory create authentication environment for
password-based two-factor authentication as well as PKI-based system for authentication and
transaction verification in online banking transaction.
The validity period for the certificates may be increased from 3 to 5 years for the digital signature
certificate (DSCs).
RBI has kept suggestions in the report open for public comment till February 28, 2014.
Note: The Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a set of hardware and software that enables users of
internet to securely and privately exchange data and money by using a pair of public and private
cryptographic passwords.
DRDO developing UAVs to track down Maoists
February 12, 2014
The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is developing Unmanned Aerial
Vehicles (UAVs) for the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to track down maoists in naxal hit
states viz. Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, etc. And would demonstrate the operational capability of the first
such vehicle, Nishant in Jagdalpur.
The UAVs being developed for CRPF would be able to help the forces trace and track down the

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57
ultra Left operatives in even thick forests.
The Nishant, a multi-mission UAV developed by Indias Aeronautical Development Establishment
(ADE), a branch of DRDO, had already been inducted by the army. (Nishant consists of an air vehicle
supported by ground control station equipment mounted on Tatra vehicles and it can be moved
to any location for launching whenever required making it very versatile).
About Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
Means: Aerial vehicles which operate without a human pilot. Eaves are commonly used in both
the military and police forces in situations where the risk of sending a human piloted
aircraft is unacceptable, or the situation makes using a manned aircraft Impractical.
Uses: To get aerial video of a remote location, especially where there would be unacceptable risk
to the pilot of a manned aircraft and can be equipped with high resolution still, video, and even
infrared cameras.
The information obtained by the UAV can be streamed back to the control centre in real time.
Used to carry and deliver a variety of payloads. Helicopter type UAVs are well suited to this
purpose, because payloads can be suspended from the bottom of the airframe, with little
aerodynamic penalty.
National Green Tribunal (NGT) bans on burning tyres in Public Places
February 12, 2014
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned the burning of tyres at public places viz. roads, areas
surrounded by residential buildings and also during protests by political and religious groups, as this
leads to health hazards.
As per the Western Zone Bench of NGT-Pune ruling:
The local police shall take prompt check on burning of tyres and any negligence in the
instructions given by NGT-Pune may entail penal aftermaths as specified in section 26 of
the National Green tribunal Act, 2010. Any violation of the order may result in a penalty of up to Rs
10 crore, extendible to up to Rs 25 crores and/or imprisonment of 3 years.
The decision came on a petition filed by the Sahyog Trust and other advocates against
the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the state of Maharashtra.
Why burning of tyres is harmful for environment?
Burning tyres emit toxic soup of pollutants that contains harmful gases and chemicals viz. carbon
dioxide, carbon monoxide, chromium, arsenic, zinc, barium, cobalt, copper, iron, aluminum,
manganese and vanadium, etc. which are hazardous to the human beings as well as to
the environment. Minuscule particles released during the burning can settle deep in the lungs. Tyres
contain 25 % extender oils derived from benzene, 25% styrene, a derivative of benzene, and 25% 1,3
butadiene. both benzene and 1,3 butadiene are suspected human carcinogens. (A carcinogen is
any substance, radionuclide or radiation, that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer).
About National Green Tribunal
A special fast-track court to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to
environmental issues.
Established on October, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
Objective: For effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and

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conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right
relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property
and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall
be guided by principles of natural justice.
New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai
shall be the other four place of sitting of the Tribunal.
Note: The National Green Tribunal ruling can only be challenged in the Supreme Court.
Chip-and-PIN cards
February 9, 2014
With an aim to minimize frauds, RBI has mandated that Banks must
adopt Aadhaar as additional authentication or move toEMV (Euro pay MasterCard Visa) chip and
pin technology to ensure security in card-based payment transactions.
The apex bank made it mandatory for debit card holders to punch in their PINnumbers every time
they use the card. The PIN functions as another layer of security for the debit card which reduces the
chances of fraud. While using it at PoS, merchants will first swipe the cards at a PIN enabled PoS
terminal and punch in the transaction amount. That will be followed by customers punching their PINs
to complete the transaction.
What are Chip-and-Pin cards?
A chip-and-PIN card is a plastic card of standard size. It has two chips a) An embedded chip b) A
traditional magnetic strip. In order to accomplish a transaction, a customer has to punch in his/her
PIN number. In case the card gets stolen or lost, it is very difficult to copy the card due to presence of
the embedded microchip.
Objective: The overall system of the card designed in order to make it more difficult for criminals to
cash in on credit card fraud.
What information is stored on the chip?
Information is stored on the embedded chip, which is needed for authentication purpose during a
transaction. This information on the embedded chip is of the same nature as stored in todays
magnetic stripe. The chip is safe as there is no personal information about customers a/c stored on
the embedded chip.
Bezbaruah Committee: To address concerns of Northeastern people
February 9, 2014
The Union Government set up a Bezbaruah panel to propose remedial measures to address
concerns of people from the Northeast following outrage over the death in Delhi of a 19-year-old
student from Arunachal Pradesh.
The Bezbaruah Committee:
A six-member panel led by Former IAS officer M P Bezbaruah, who is also a member of North-
Eastern Council.
Members: Retired IAS officers H W T Syeim, Allen Temshi Jamir, Tape Bagra and P Bharat
Singh and the Deputy Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs S Saha as Member Secretary.
The Chairman of the committee shall co-opt members, one each from the other Northeastern

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states like Tripura, Mizoram and Sikkim.
Objective: The Panel will examine the causes behind attacks/violence and discrimination against
people from the Northeast, suggest measures to be taken by the government to address these
concerns besides suggesting legal remedies for the same. It will deliberate and find ways to stop
such attacks on the people from Northeast.
The panel will submit a report within two months after examining the causes behind the attacks of
discrimination against the people from Northeast.
K.V. Thomas Committee: Ad monitoring committee to draft guidelines to safeguard consumer interest
from false
advertisements
February 9, 2014
The Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC) under the chairmanship of minister K V
Thomas set up a sub-committee to draft guidelines to safeguard consumer interest from false
advertisements in the country.
Objective: To issue guidelines to monitor the advertisements. At present, there is no
any legal protection cover available for consumers against false advertisements.
Formed to see how to regulate false statements made in the advertisements in the name of
scientific claims. (Maximum false claims are made in health-related fields).
Will have the powers to (take) corrective actions and (impose) compensation.
Proposal: To hold everyone engaged in the production of advertisement responsible for its
contents. This will include the manufacturer, advertising agency, artists, actors and the media
platform, be it print or electronic.
The committee will submit its recommendations by the end of February 2014.
For instance, if the claims made by whitening creams proved unphenomenal as advertised,
Consumer should have right to claim compensation not only from the advertisers but also from the
celebrities endorsing the product.
Note: The immediate push for regulation has come from the Madhya PradeshHigh Court. The court
ordered the consumer affairs ministry to set up an ad-monitoring panel as recommended by
the Vibha Bhargava Commission. The commission had submitted its report in 2005 and it
underlined the urgent need to regulate false claims by advertisers of different products.
About Central Consumer Protection Council
The apex body is appointed by the Central Government in accordance with provisions of the Act.
Objective: To protect and promote the interest of consumers viz. the right to be protected
against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property; the right to
be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services, as
the case may be so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices, etc.
Lies under the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
The CCPC consists of the minister in charge of the consumer Affairs as chairperson, minister in
charge of States, members of parliaments, representative of the government departments,
consumer organization, women members, representatives of trade, industries and consumers.
Apple India re-launched production of iPhone 4

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February 9, 2014
Apple India re-launched the production
of iPhone 4 in India, Indonesia andBrazil. This is the first time that the American technology giant
Apple has resumed the production of a discontinued phone. The company prides itself on pushing the
design and technology envelope with every release and progressively stops the sale of older models.
Why American technology giant Apple restarted the production of iPhone 4?
Apple Inc. ceased the selling of iPhone 4 in many countries, owing to the launch of the iPhone 5s
and the iPhone 5c. Due to this move, Apple lost the share and growth slowed in the last quarter in
the markets of India, Brazil and Indonesia. Thus, to resume the growth Apple re-launched the
product iPhone 4 in these countries.
The lower cost iPhone will help Apple to recoup market share in these countries.
This combat market leaders Samsungs Grand and S4 Mini. Apples Foxconn vendor in China has
restarted production of the iPhone 4.
Note: The entry level iPhone 5s sells for Rs. 53,500 in India, while the entry level iPhone 5c is Rs.
41,900. The reintroduced 8GB iPhone 4 retails for Rs. 22,900.
NACH-ready payments services hub for India, launched by Polaris Financial Technology
February 9, 2014
Polaris Financial Technology announced the launch of its NACH-ready Indiapayments
solution. With the emergence of NACH, a high rate of adoption is anticipated to make it imperative
for banks to have a strategic roadmap for the adoption of NACH. This would include product
innovation, operational reconstructs and cutting edge technology adoption.
NACH-ready India Payments solution
Web-based solution to facilitate inter-bank, high volume electronic transactions that are repetitive
and periodic in nature.
Facilitates centralized mandate management, direct debits and bulk payments processing.
Standard features: cross-border transactions and host-to-host connectivity, etc.
Compliant with major payment systems in the country viz. National Automated Clearing
House (NACH), Next- Generation Real Time Gross Settlement (NGRTGS) and National
Electronic Funds Transfer System (NEFT).
Capable of achieving Straight Through Processing (STP) rates of over 97% across high volume
and high care payments throughbusiness rules driven data validation and enrichment.
Operational risks can be reduced by around 20%-25% using a configurable Exceptions
Management Framework which offers complete audit and control.
Polaris Financial Technology Ltd.
A Global leader in Financial Technology for Banking, Insurance and
other Financial Services. Founded in 1993.
Headquarters: Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Its iGTB division is the worlds first complete Global
Transaction Banking platform, used by the worlds top transaction banks.
Services offered: financial technology products, legacy modernization services and consultant of
core banking, corporate banking, wealth & asset management and insurance.
National Automated Clearing House (NACH)

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The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has implemented NACH for banks, financial
institutions, corporate and government to facilitate inter-bank, high volume, electronic transactions
which are repetitive and periodic in nature.
Web-based solution: A centralized system that will provide a national footprint and is expected to
cover the entire core banking enabled bank branches spread across the geography of the country
irrespective of the location of the bank branch.
Objective: To provide a single set of rules (operating and business), open standards and best
industry practices for electronic transactions which are common across all the Participants, Service
Providers and Users, etc.
Provides a robust, secure and scalable platform to the participants with both transaction and file
based transaction processing capabilities.
Facilitates the member banks to design their own products and also addresses specific needs of
the banks & corporates including a refinedMandate Management System (MMS) and an
online Dispute Management System (DMS) coupled with strong information exchange and
customized MIS capabilities.
Supports Financial Inclusion measures initiated by Government, Government Agencies and
Banks by providing support to Aadhaar based transactions.
Used for making bulk transactions towards distribution of subsidies, dividends, interest, salary,
pension, etc. and also for bulk transactions towards collection of payments pertaining to telephone,
electricity, water, loans, investments in mutual funds, insurance premium, etc.
Govt. allows FIIs, NRIs to invest in insurance sector
February 9, 2014
The Union Government has allowed 26% foreign investment in insurance sector in activities related to
insurance viz. broking, Third Party Administrators (TPAs) and surveyors and permitted Foreign
Institutional Investors (FIIs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to also invest in insurers within the
stipulated cap.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) stated that in case of insurance, the
26% cap will include FDI and investments from FIIs and NRIs.
(Earlier, only FDI under the automatic route was allowed in insurance companies.)
Apart from insurance companies, the relaxation would apply to insurance brokers, third-party
administrators (TPAs), surveyors and loss assessors. All of this investment can be made under the
automatic route.
Insurance brokers are entities which for remuneration arrange insurance contracts with insurers or
reinsurers on behalf of their clients.
The TPAs help in facilitating health insurance on behalf of insurers.
Surveyors and loss assessors provide technical services to the insurance companies.
All these entities are required to obtain a licence from the Insurance Regulatory and
Development Authority (IRDA) for undertaking specific activities.
The Arvind Mayaram Committee on definition of FII and FDI, in its draft report, recommended
composite caps whereby FDI, FII and NRI investments would form part of the total cap on foreign
investments.

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Note: The Insurance Act, 1938 does not stipulate any FDI limits for insurance intermediaries or TPAs,
but sector regulator IRDA has restricted it to 26%.
Muthoot Finance launched its first White-Label ATM
February 9, 2014
Indian gold loan company, Muthoot Finance Ltd became the first
and only Non-Banking Finance Company(NBFC) to have obtained license for setting-up WLAs
in India. The Muthoot Group launched its first White-Label ATM at its corporate office
in New Delhi and has plans to invest Rs 300 crore in the next three years. The rollout will be mainly
in tier-3 and tier-4 cities.
Goal: To set-up 9,000 WLAs over three years 1,000 in the first year, 2,000 in the second year
and 6,000 in the third.
Partner of Muthoot Finance to set up WLAs: FIS Payment Solutions Services.
Sponsor Bank for WLAs venture: Federal Bank.
The ATMs will be user-friendly, even to the differently-abled equipped with Bio-metric thumb &
voice-recognition.
The other entities that are offering White label ATMs:
Prizm Payment Services, a unit of Hitachi of Japan set up its first White Label ATM Money Spot
ATM at Chendre village in Alibaug Taluk, Raigad district of Maharashtra on January, 2014;
Tata Communications Payment Solutions launched the India s first ever network of white label
ATMs called Indicash in June 2013 at Chandrapada in Thane district of Maharashtra.
What are White label ATMs?
ATMs set up and run by non-banking entities are called White Label ATMs (WLAs). Customers from
any bank can deposit or withdraw money from such ATMs. They will provide ATM services to
customers of all banks. In June 2012, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has permitted non-banking
companies to set up ATMs, referred to as WLAs, to increase the penetration of the facility across the
country.
Objective of permitting non-banks to operate WLAs: To enhance the penetration of the machines
in semi-urban and rural areas, where bank-run ATMs are a few or none. The move is in line to the
governments objective of achieving financial inclusion.
Excerpts of the RBI s policy to set up & operate White label ATMs:
Non-bank entities would be permitted to set up WLAs in India, after obtaining authorisation from
RBI under the Payment and Settlement Systems (PSS) Act 2007.
As per the Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007, the non bank entities should have
a minimum net worth of Rs 100 crore & have to apply to RBI for seeking approval.
Every WLA operator is required to tie up with a sponsor bank, which takes care of cash
operations, dispute resolution and regulatory reporting aspects.
Being non-bank owned ATMs, the guidelines on five free transactions in a month for using other
bank ATMs would not be applicable for transactions affected on the WLAs.
WLA operators can also earn extra revenue through advertisements and value-added services.
Further, it allows autonomy of operators on deciding locations and creating their own brand with
fixed annual targets mandated by RBI.

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White-label ATMs accepts only cards issued by banks and does not accept cash deposits.
New Criteria for National Sports Awards (Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand
awards)
February 9, 2014
In order to bring more transparency and objectivity in the process for conferring the
National Sports Awards, the Union Sports Ministry has approved a set of rules to select candidates
for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awards.
As per the new criteria for National sports awards:
90% weightage to medal winners of various internationalchampionships and sports events of
disciplines covered in Olympics ( Summer, Winter and Paralympics), Asian Games and
Commonwealth Games.
10% weightage will be given to the marks awarded by the selectioncommittee for assessment of
the eligible sportspersons keeping in view factors like profile and standard of the sports events in
which he or she has won medals and qualities viz. leadership, sportsmanship, team spirit, fair play,
sense of discipline, etc.
Except for lifetime achievement awards, points for winning medals will be given to each eligible
sportsperson for his/her performance during the last four years.
Medal winners in the Olympics and Paralympics will automatically be considered for the
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna or Arjuna awards (depending on the type of medal won).
Reserved the right for not recommending the name of any deserving sportsperson as per the given
criteria for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna or Dhyan chand Award. In these particular cases, the
committee will have to justify its stance in writing.
For cricket and indigenous games (not included in Olympic / Asian Games / Commonwealth
Games disciplines), the selection committee will recommend the number of awards (not exceeding
two).
Names of not more than 2 Sportspersons ( 1 male and 1 female) and names of not more than 2
coaches in case of Dronacharya award with highest marks will be considered.
Sports journalists, experts and commentators are included in the selection committees.
The salient features of the newly introduced criteria for Sports Awards are as follows :-
S.No: Criteria
Rajiv Gandhi
Khel Ratna
Award for
most
outstanding
performance
Dronacharya
Award for
Outstanding
Coaches in
Sports

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Dhyan
chand
Award for
life time
achievement
in Sports
1.
Weightage for
the medals won
in Olympic
Games
(Summer,
Winter and
Paralympics),
Asian Games,
Commonwealth
Games and
World Cup /
World
Championships
held once in 4
years. 90% 90%* 70%
2.
Weightage to
the marks given
by the Selection
Committee for
assessment of
the eligible
sportsperson /
coach keeping
in view factors
like profile and
standard of
sports event in
which medal
has been won 10% 10% 30%**
3.
No. of awards
to be given
normally in a

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year 1 award
5
(out of 5, 2
to be given
for lifetime
contribution
in coaching) 3
* medals won by sportspersons trained by the coach under consideration for the award. Marking
criteria will not apply for the 2 awards to be given for lifetime contribution in coaching. Selection
committee will give its recommendations for such two coaches taking into consideration the
contribution made by them over a period of 20 years or more in terms of producing outstanding
sports-persons.
** includes marks for assessment for contribution made for promotion of sports after retirement for
active Sports career and for qualities like sportsmanship, leadership, and sense of discipline.
RGGVY: Evaluation Studies Show a Positive Impact on Women and Education in Rural India
February 9, 2014
Evaluation studies of RGGVY (Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana) commissioned by Rural
Electrification Corporation have revealed that the programme has empowered the rural women.
Affect of electrification under RGGVY scheme on some states:
Rajasthan: 75% of women are able to work in the fields after electricity reached their homes.
Madhya Pradesh: 85% of the villagers, in particular, women and children feel more secure and
protected against wild animals, venomous reptiles and robbers due to electrified households and
street lights.
Uttar Pradesh: 43% people are surveyed and reported that they have started using mobile
phones after electrification since it became possible to charge the mobile sets.
Bihar: As detected by the beneficiary households, the most important use of electricity is for
illumination (94.9%), security (89.9%), and communication through cellular phones (42.1%),
accessing information and entertainment (52.1%) and comforts by running fans (18.4%).
J&K: Most people feel that security & standard of life has increased. Villagers are able to get the
treatment in the night. In some of the villages, it was found that the villagers use electrical
appliances for crop processing.
Positive impact of Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana(RGGVY) programme
96% of un-electrified villages have been electrified across the country.
Intensive electrification of 80% villages has been completed while free electricity connections have
been provided to 77% BPL households under the flagship programme.
People are able to establish small scale activities in homes viz. weaving, tailoring, grocery shops,
etc.
Students in all the states are able to study for longer hours and also save money & time which they
had to spend on kerosene lamp. They also feel more comfortable during summer days due to the
fans in the class.
Beneficiaries reported positive impact of education on various states viz. UP (66%), Andhra

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Pradesh (88%), MP(46%), Bihar (48%).
Govt. launched National Cloud Under MeghRaj
February 9, 2014
Govt. launched the National Cloud under MeghRaj initiative. National Information Centre (NIC)
is
providing Cloud services under the umbrella of MeghRaj.
About MeghRaj
In order to utilize and harness the benefits of Cloud Computing, the Central Government has
embarked upon an ambitious initiative GI Cloud which has been named as MeghRaj.
Focus: To accelerate delivery of e-services in the country while optimizing ICT spending of the
Government. This will ensure optimum utilization of the infrastructure and speed up the
development and deployment of eGov applications.
Architectural vision of GI Cloud: As per the set of common protocols, guidelines and standards
issued by the Government of India, GI cloud will cover a set of discrete cloud computing
environments spread across multiple locations, built on existing or new (augmented) infrastructure.
Benefit of GI Cloud: Helpful for the departments to procure ICT services on demand in the OPEX
model rather than investing upfront on the CAPEX.
Characteristics of National Cloud: Self service portal, Multiple Cloud solutions, Secured VPN
access and Multi location Cloud.
Existing Cloud services: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS),
Software as a Service (SaaS) and Storage as a Service (STaaS).
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing and storage capacity. In cloud computing, end users
are not required to buy software or Devices as they are provided by service providers on a rental
basis. Its an Internet based technology which enables its user to share technological resources,
software and digital information from anywhere using a browser.
Note: The Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) prepared the two Policy
reports viz., GI Cloud Strategic Direction Paper and GI Cloud Adoption and Implementation
Roadmap .
Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur Committee: 7th Pay Central Commission constituted
February 9, 2014
The Central Government constituted the 7th Central Pay Commission under the chairmanship of Mr.
Ashok Kumar Mathur, a retired Supreme Court judge and retired chairman of Armed Forces
Tribunal.
Objective: To revise the salary structure of Union government employees from both civil and military
services.
Secretary of the ministry of petroleum and natural gas Mr. Vivek Raewill be a full-time member of
the Commission.
Dr Rathin Roy, director of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, will be a part-time
member.
Ms. Meena Agarwal, officer on special duty in the department of expenditure, will be the secretary

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of the Commission.
The panel will submit its report in two years and the recommendations would be implemented from
Jan 1, 2016.
The Central Government constitutes Pay Commission almost every ten years to revise the pay scales
of its employees and often these are adopted by states after some modification.
The 6th Central Pay Commission under the Chairmanship of B.N.Srikrishna was approved in July
2006.The 5th Pay Commission was implemented with effect from January 1, 1996 and fourth from
January 1, 1986.
The 1st pay commission was constituted under the Chairmanship ofSrinivasa Varadachariar in
May 1946 and its report was submitted by 1947.
The first commission was based upon the idea of living wages to the employees, which was taken by
the Islington Commission.
President Pranab Mukherjee conferred Bharat Ratna on Prof. C N R Rao and Sachin Tendulkar
February 8, 2014
President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the countrys highest civilian honor
Bharat Ratna on eminent scientist Prof C.N.R. Rao and cricketmaestro Sachin Tendulkar at
Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
Prof C.N.R.Rao is the third scientist after C V Raman and former President A P J Abdul Kalam, to
be awarded with the honor.
Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket last year, is the first sports-person to be
bestowed with the honor. He is also the first active sportsperson to become a Rajya
Sabha member last year.
Union Home Ministry s guidelines about Bharat Ratna:
Under the Constitution, the award cannot be used as a prefix or suffix to the recipient`s name.
Though the award winner can use mention as Awarded Bharat Ratna by the
President or Recipient of Bharat Ratna Award in their bio-data, letter head or visiting cards.
The
recipient receives a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion. It does not carry any
monetary grant.
Note: The Bharat Ratna has been conferred after a long gap with classical vocalist Pandit Bhimsen
Joshi being the last recipient in 2008.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan voted fourth most beautiful woman of the world
February 8, 2014
Former Miss World, top notch model and a powerhouse performer, Aishwarya Rai
Bachchan (40)has voted the worlds fourth most beautiful woman in a recent poll conducted by
online magazine Hollywood Buzz.
Aishwarya ranked fourth on the list of Top Thirty Most Beautiful Women after Italian actress Monica
Belluci and American model-actress Kate Upton.
Aishwarya Rai and Deepika Padukone are the only Indian women to feature in the list. Ms.
Padukone ranked 29th in the list.
The poll conducted in December 2013 by Hollywood Buzz, listed the Official Top 30 Worlds Most

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Beautiful Women of 2014 . Over 4 million people across the world participated in the poll and
selected the most intelligent, desirable and successful women of 2013-14.
The parameters of judging were based on intelligence, desirability and success.
Top Ten stunners that rule the list of the World s Most Beautiful Women 2014:
1. Monica Bellucci
2. Kate Upton
3. Angelina Jolie
4. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
5. Irina Shayk
6. Meryem Uzerli
7. Charlize Theron
8. Amber Heard
9. Rihanna
10. Scarlet Johansson
The list of thirty also includes musicians Beyonce, Katy Perry and Rihanna, with a sprinkling of
models viz.AdrianaLima, Irina Shayk and Miranda Kerr, etc. The list of thirty also includes
musicians Beyonce, Katy Perry andRihanna, with a sprinkling of models viz.AdrianaLima, Irina
Shayk andMiranda Kerr, etc.
Yahoo email account passwords stolen
February 8, 2014
Yahoo Inc. broadcasted that usernames and passwords of its email customers have stolen and used
to gather personal information for those Yahoo mail users who have recently corresponded with. The
company didnt say how many accounts have been affected.
Danger: access to email accounts could lead to more serious breaches involving banking and
shopping sites. This is because many people reuse passwords across many sites, and also
because many sites use email to reset passwords.
The company believes that the usernames and passwords werent collected from its own systems,
but from a third-party database. Its not clear why a third-party database would have information on
Yahoo accounts.
Yahoo is resetting passwords on affected accounts and has implemented additional measures
to block further attacks.
Note: As per the research firm comScore, Yahoo is the second-largest email service worldwide,
after Googles Gmail. There are 273 million Yahoo mail accounts worldwide, including 81 million
in the US.
101st Indian Science Congress
February 8, 2014
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurated the 101st Indian Science Congress at Jammu
University, Jammu. The five-day (Feb 3-7, 2014) event will see deliberations and presentation of
papers by the scientific fraternity from across the globe.
Dr. Singh stated that the country must increase its annual expenditure onscience and technology to
at least 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the private sector must join hands with the

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government for an inclusive progress in science and technology.
Excerpts of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh s speech
India will partner with the international scientific community in establishment of the worlds major
R&D projects.
In the Gravitational Wave Experiment, India intends to host the third detector. A Neutrino-based
Observatory is proposed to be established in Tamil Nadu at a cost of about Rs. 1450 crore.
India would soon join, as an associate member, the European Organization for Nuclear
Research, CERN, where international projects such as the research on God Particle was going
on.
Favored genetically modified crops.
Supported the scientists to engage more with society and explain socially productive applications
of biotechnology and other alternatives.
Announced the names of five eminent scientists, who have been selected for the recently
instituted Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowships.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship is open to scientists who are either NobelLaureates or Fellows of
the Royal Society, or members of the United States or French academies of science. The selected
scientists are entitled to a fellowship of $1,00,000 and a research grant of Rs. 55 lakh. They will have
to do research in an institution here for 12 months, which can be spent in installments over 3 years.
The host institution would also get a grant of Rs. 10 lakh for providing laboratory and other facilities
for the research.
Bill Gates Founder and technology advisor; John Thompson new Chairman of Microsoft
February 6, 2014
Bill Gates assumes role of Founder and technology advisor of Microsoft
John Thompson appointed as the new Chairman of Microsoft
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates assumed a new role on the Board as Founder and Technology
Advisor. He will help Satya Nadella (the new CEO of Microsoft) in shaping technology and product
direction and will devote more time in making Microsoft Office more interactive and building a cloud
platform as examples of ways Microsoft can innovate in the future. He stepped down as chairman of
Microsoft in February 2014.
About Bill Gates
An American business magnate, investor, programmer, inventor and philanthropist.
Founded Microsoft in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen and served as Chief Executive
Officer (CEO) until 2000.
Chairman of the Microsoft board until Feb. 4, 2014.
As per recent poll conducted by The Times, Mr. Bill Gates is the most admired person on Earth.
Known for donating large sums of money to charitable organizations and scientific research and is
highly regarded globally.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF or the Gates Foundation): founded by Bill and
Melinda Gates in 1997.
Objective of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation: to enhancehealthcare and reduce extreme
poverty, and to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology.

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Note: Mr. John Thompson appointed as the new Chairman of Microsoft by the Board of Directors
at a meeting held in Washington, US. He succeeded Bill Gates who assumed the role of Technology
Advisor to the CEO of Microsoft. Mr. Thompson had joined the Board of Microsoft in 2012. He was
also the former chairman and CEO of Symantec Corp.
Indian-born Mr. Satya Nadella appointed as the new Microsoft CEO
February 6, 2014
Indian-born Mr. Satya Nadella (46) appointed as the new Chief Executive
Officer (CEO) and member of the Board of Directors of the Internet giant Microsoft. Previously, he
was the executive vice president of Microsofts cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building
and running the companys computing platforms, developer tools and cloud services.
Mr. Nadella is only the third chief executive in Microsofts 39-year history, following co-founder Bill
Gates and Steve Ballmer. He succeeded Mr. Steve Ballmer.
About Mr. Satya Nadella
Born: 1967 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
Residence:Bellevue, Washington, US.
Started career as a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.
Joined Microsoft in1992.
Played a major role in Microsoft s transition to the cloud: During his long tenure, he lead
major strategy and technical shifts across the companys portfolio of products and services viz.
development of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world supporting Bing, Xbox,
Office and other services.
Played a key role in bringing some of Microsofts most popular technologies viz. its database,
Windows server and developer tools, to the cloud, called Window Azure.
Helped Microsoft to bring a cloud version of Microsoft Office to the cloud, Office 365. Microsoft
says Office 365 is one of its fastest growing products ever.
Currently, responsible for a huge, largely invisible part of Microsoftsbusiness.
Note: As per Mr. Nadellas new employment agreement, the Indian-origin CEO of software major
Microsoft will be paid his salary on semi-monthly basis at an annual rate of $1.2 million (Rs 7.5
crore). His annual salary would be determined by the companys Executive Incentive Programme
(EIP).
Kashmir Solidarity Day: Pakistan invited India for dialogue on Kashmir
February 5, 2014
On the Kashmir Solidarity Day, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invited India to
engage in a comprehensive, sustained and result-oriented dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the
Kashmir issue. The mountainous region of Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and
Pakistan for more than 60 years. The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that the Indian
leadership would realize the sensitivity of the issue and will respond to his invitation of dialogue in a
positive manner and give right to self-determination to the people of Kashmir.
Why is Kashmir disputed?
The territory of Kashmir was hotly contested even before India and Pakistan won their independence
from Britain in August 1947.

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Under the partition plan provided by the Indian Independence Act of 1947, Kashmir was free to
accede to India or Pakistan.
The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, wanted to stay independent but eventually decided to
accede to India, signing over key powers to the Indian government in return for military aid and a
promised referendum. Since then, the territory has been the spark for two of the three India-
Pakistan wars: the first in 1947-8, the second in 1965.
In 1999, India fought a brief but bitter conflict with Pakistani-backed forces who had infiltrated
Indian-controlled territory in the Kargil area.
Currently a boundary the Line of Control divides the region in two, with one part administered
by India and one by Pakistan. India would like to formalise this status quo and make it the
accepted internationalboundary. But Pakistan and Kashmiri activists reject this plan because they
both want greater control over the region.
Kashmir Solidarity Day
Also known as Kashmir Day is a national holiday in Pakistan.
Celebrated every year since 1990 as a day of protest against Indian control of part of Kashmir on
February 5.
Why is Kashmir Solidarity Day celebrated?
Objective: As per Pakistan, in order to provide sympathetic and political support to the Kashmiri
separatists people who they believe are struggling for their freedom from the Indian rule. (The part of
Kashmir which are under control of Pakistan are Azad Jammu & Kashmir and GilgitBaltistan).
Dedicated to show Pakistans support and unity with the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir, their
ongoing freedom struggle, and to pay homage to Kashmiri martyrs who lost their lives fighting for
Kashmirs freedom.
Mr. Harish Rawat sworn-in as new CM of Uttrakhand
February 5, 2014
The senior congress leader, Mr. Harish Rawat sworn-in as the new Chief Minister
of Uttarakhand. He was administered the oath by the Governor Aziz Qureshi at Raj Bhawan. He
succeeded Vijay Bahuguna.
Mr. Bahuguna resigned from the post of CM due to the criticism for the way he had handled the flood
situation and relief and rescue work.
In the 70-member assembly, the Congress, which has 33 MLAs, is supported by the Progressive
Democratic Front (PDF) which comprises three BSP MLAs, three independents, and one Uttarakhand
Kranti Dal (UKD) MLA
National Mission on Libraries(NML) an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, launched
February 5, 2014
President Pranab Mukherjee launched
the National Mission on Libraries (NML)at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. He formally
inaugurated the NMLs guidelines, logo and website.
Mission: Launched by the Ministry of Culture to modernize and digitally link public libraries across
the country.
Benefit: designed for the entire spectrum of population students, researchers, scientists,

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professionals, children, artists and differently abled persons.
Nodal agency for the implementation of NML: Kolkata-based Raja Rammohun Roy Library
Foundation (RRRLF), a 10-member body headed by Prof. Deepak Pental, former Vice Chancellor of
Delhi University.
NML also planned to create a National Virtual Library of India (NVLI) to facilitate a comprehensive
database on digital resources, carry out a census on the resources available in the libraries and
conduct a study on the reading habits in different regions of the country.
Background:
The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) in its Report to the Nation (2006-2009) made ten
major recommendations on libraries. In pursuance of this, a High Level Committee to be called as
National Mission on Libraries (NML) has been set up by the Government of India. Raja Rammohun
Roy Library Foundation (RRRLF), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture will be the
central agency for the National Mission on Libraries for administrative, logistics, planning and
budgeting purposes.
The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) was set up by the Prime Minister with the challenging
mandate to transform India of the 21st century into a knowledge society. The objective of NKC was to
advise the PM on matters relating to knowledge creation, knowledge dissemination and knowledge
application within the diversity of the Indian scenario.
About the National Mission on Libraries (NML)
Objective: To create a world class library system, foster reading habits, facilitate research work
and provide information to people in a timely and convenient manner which is also universal and
equitable.
Set up in pursuance of a report of the National Knowledge Commission, which recommended a
total revamp of the Library and Information Service sector to serve the changing needs and
expectations of the users and give a fillip to the library movement in the country.
Factors of NML: up-gradation of infrastructure, digitization and modernization, census of libraries
and their development as knowledge centres and transformation of libraries into empowering and
inclusive institutions.
Core areas of Mission: Creation of a National Virtual Library of India, Setting up of National
Mission on Libraries Model Libraries, Quantitative & Qualitative Survey of Libraries and
CapacityBuilding for revamping the Public Library System & Services.
Main component: To initiate need-based training programmes to develop managerial skills and IT
competencies of their personnel in tune with demands of the Internet era.
Implementation of NML: Six libraries under the Culture Ministry, 35 Central Libraries in states
and 35 District Libraries will be developed as model libraries.
For setting up of the model libraries, existing libraries would be identified in consultation with the
state governments to improve infrastructure and upgrade technology used by them.
Emphasis will on developing these libraries in economically backward districts.
Future planning: 629 district libraries across the states would be provided network connectivity.
Ms. Silverine Swer: Meghalaya s first Padma Shri awardee, passed away
February 5, 2014

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Meghalayas first Padma Shri awardee Ms. Silverine Swer (103) passed away due to
illness. She received the Padma Shri Award from the then president R. Venkataraman in 1990.
About Ms. Silverine Swer
Born: November 12, 1910 in Christian tribal family, Meghalaya.
Fondly known as Kong Sil and was also the oldest voter from Meghalaya.
Awards & Honors: Padmashree Award, Patogan Sangma Award for social service, Silver
Elephant Medal of the Bharat Scout & Guides Award (by President of India Fakhruddin Ali
Ahmed in 1976), Kaisar-i- Hind Medal, RG Buruah Smriti Rakhya Samiti, etc.
Member of the Good Will Movement of the Moral Rearmament (MRA).
First Khasi woman to become the Trainer and Adviser of the Girls Guide Movement a movement
that became her lifelong passion until her last days.
Awarded Kaisar-i-Hind medal by the Assam government for her efficiency and integrity while
handling the rationing system and for service to the Girl Guide movement in Assam.
Saw four wars: the two World Wars, the Sino-Indian War and theBangladesh Liberation War
involving India.
1944-1949: Appointed as the Assistant Controller of Rationing during the World War II under
Assam government.
1953 -1969: Chief Social Education Organizer in Arunachal Pradeshunder erstwhile NEFA
government for 15 years.
Pioneering Principal of the Teacher Training Institute at Changlang Tirap district and retired from
service in 1968.
After retirement, she involved herself passionately with various women voluntary social welfare
organizations and governing bodies of schools, colleges and co-operative societies.
Important roles in Meghalaya taken by her: Chairman of the State Social Welfare Advisory
Board, State Commissioner (Guides), Chairperson of the International Year for Women (1979),
Member of NEHUs Executive Council and Adviser of many more organizations.
Chinese warships hold rare exercises in Indian Ocean
February 5, 2014
The Chinese warships conducted rare exercises in the Indian Ocean, and then a three- ship flotilla of
Chinese warships entered the West Pacific Ocean to start a drill there. The warships from the Nanhai
Fleet are destroyers Wuhan and Haikou and Chinas largest amphibious landing
craft Changbaishan.
The ships conducted 10 exercises viz. anti-pirate, joint search and rescue, and damage control
drills in the Indian Ocean.
Exercises based on defense and settlement of emergencies:conducted to test the command
systems response and soldiers combat skills.
The three-ship flotilla consists of an amphibious landing craft and destroyer.Changbaishan:Chinas
largest landing ship by gross tonnage and is equipped with an advanced weapons system. The flotilla
passed along the LombokStrait, Makassar Strait and the SulawesiSea to enter the West Pacific
Ocean.
FATF released report on Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing

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February 5, 2014
The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released an internationalreport on money
laundering and terrorist financing.
Objective: To identify the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) vulnerabilities and
risks of the diamond pipeline that covers all sectors in the diamond trade: production, rough
diamond sales, cutting and polishing, jewelry manufacturing and jewelry retailers.
Excerpts of the Paris-based FATF report
China and India are major markets where diamond trade is done on a large scale.
India, Israel, Belgium, Canada and the USA has reported instances where diamond prices were
overvalued for purposes of laundering and suspected financing. In these countries trade accounts
of diamondbusiness are being used to launder illegal funds to the tune of millions of dollars.
The closed and opaque nature of the diamond markets and the high value of diamonds combined
with a lack of expertise in this area on the part of the authorities have left this industry susceptible
to abuse by criminals.
In cases of suspicious money laundering instances of diamond trade, the funds transfer occurred
from India, Israel and Switzerland to the UAE.
India reported a relatively large number of sanitized cases (12) in which suspicious transaction
reports were received (in connection with diamond trade). In these specific cases, Hong Kong,
China is a destination for illicit cash flows related to the diamond trade.
Diamond trade, as an international phenomenon, needed a complete and global analysis to
understand and determine money laundering and terrorist financing threats and vulnerabilities
related to this unique trade.
The risks and vulnerabilities of the diamonds trade, identified in this report are
Global nature of trade The trade in diamonds is transnational and complex, thus convenient for
ML/TF transactions that are, in most cases, of international and multi-jurisdictional nature.
Use of diamonds as currency - Diamonds are difficult to trace and can provide anonymity in
transactions.
Trade Based Money Laundering (TBML) the specific characteristics of diamonds as a
commodity and the significant proportion of transactions related to international trade make the
diamonds trade vulnerable to the different laundering techniques of TBML in general and
over/under valuation in particular.
High amounts the trade in diamonds can reach tens of millions to billions of dollars. This has
bearing on the potential to launder large amounts of money through the diamond trade and also on
the level of risks of the diamonds trade.
Level of awareness law enforcement and AML / CFT authorities, including Financial
Intelligence Units (FIUs), have limited awareness of potential ML/TF schemes through the trade
in diamonds.
Note: FATF is a Paris-based multi-disciplinary and inter-governmental body whose purpose is the
development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and
terrorist financing. It was founded at the 1989 OECD Economic Summit as a response by the heads
of state of the G-7 nations to the growing problem of money laundering.

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Sahara group claims to create 56,000 jobs
February 5, 2014
The Sahara group will hire over 56,000 new employees this year along with investments to the tune
of nearly Rs. 32,400 crore.
The group invited applications for senior positions across businessverticals within and outside the
country and stated that these more than 56,000 new jobs need to be filled by the end of 2014. It
also claimed that the group is committed to creating four lakh salaried positions in next three years.
The businesses for which job applications will be invited are FMCG & retail, dairy, poultry, luxury
real estate & lifestyle, food factory, low-cost housing, CSR, education and cruises (Sahara Water
Homes).
The group also disclosed specific investment targets for at least four business verticals and these
investments total to an amount of Rs 32,394 crore.
Justice B.N.Srikrishna Committee recommendations to be reviewed by a 9-member IRDA panel
February 5, 2014
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) set up a 9-member panle to review
the 14 non-legislative recommendations made by theFinancial Sector Legislative Reforms
Commission (FSLRC).
The role of panel is to:
Examine the extant legislative and regulatory framework in compliance 14 Non-Legislative
Recommendations (NLRs).
Identify the gaps and possible improvements in the extant framework vis-a-vis the 14 NLR.
Suggest changes or modifications to the extant framework in compliance with the 14 NLR.
About Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) report:
Headed by former Justice B.N.Srikrishna
Contains 12 key proposals and these do not require legislative changes.
The financial sector regulators will take serious action with high penalties on violators and time
bound investigations that would act as deterrents and improve consumer protection.
The proposals that called for penalties discourage the future violations as a multiple of the
illegitimate gain of violations.
Regulators should also put in place internal manuals on conducting investigations. The
investigating officer would be kept different from the officer who would decide the penalty for the
crime.
New Maharashtra law for recovery of bad loans
February 5, 2014
Maharashtra government appointed a committee to bring a legislation that will improve the recovery
of loans given as part of government schemes. The proposed legislation will create a mechanism for
forceful recoveries of loans given under government schemes. It will not be applicable to agricultural
and other loans.
What are Non performing Assets (NPA)?
Any asset, including a leased asset, becomes a non performing when it ceases to generate income
for the bank are called Non Performing Assets or Bad loans.As per RBI guidelines, NPA is defined

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as under:
Non performing asset (NPA) is a loan or an advance where:
Interest and/ or installment of principal remain overdue for a period of more than 90 days in respect
of a term loan.
The account remains out of order in respect of an Overdraft/Cash Credit (OD/CC).
The bill remains overdue for a period of more than 90 days in the case of bills purchased and
discounted.
The installment of principal or interest there on remains overdue for two crop seasons for short
duration crops.
The installment of principal or interest there on remains overdue for one crop season for long
duration crops.
The amount of liquidity facility remains outstanding for more than 90 days, in respect of a
securitization transaction undertaken in terms of guidelines on securitization dated February 1,
2006.
In respect of derivative transactions, the overdue receivables representing positive mark-to-market
value of a derivative contract, if these remain unpaid for a period of 90 days from the specified due
date for payment.
Net NPA = Gross NPA (Balance in Interest Suspense account + DICGC/ECGC claims received
and held pending adjustment + Part payment received and kept in suspense account + Total
provisions held).
Saving Asia s Vultures from Extinction (SAVE)
February 5, 2014
The Saving Asia s Vultures from Extinction (SAVE) programme declared that it has plans to
release up to 25 birds into a 30,000-sq-km drug-free safe zone . A project hopes to start releasing
captive-bred birds into the wild by 2016, after experiencing the devastation wrought by a drug on
Asian vulture populations.
In order to ensure that the species affected do not disappear completely from the wild, SAVE
identified a number of priorities viz.
To establish a number of vast safe zones for the captive-bred birds to be released within. The
areas have a radius of 100km and the consortium has identified six such areas some of which
cross national borders into Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Establishment of a captive-breeding programme that would provide the birds to be released back
into the wider environment, once it was safe to do so.
Why Asian vulture population is declining?
Diclofenac, a painkilling drug administered to cattle, is the main cause of mass extinction of
vultures.
Vultures, which have a digestive system robust enough to even digestdisease-causing pathogens
found in rotting meat of dead, do not have a critical enzyme that breaks down diclofenac and die of
renal failure after eating carcasses of cattle administered the drug.
Vultures feeding on cattle either die from acute kidney failure within a few days or lose their ability
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In 2006, India banned the use of veterinary drug Diclofenac, which is toxic to any vulture that
feeds on the carcass of recently treated cattle, but SAVE in its study, stated that the drug continues to
be sold and used illegally today.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has put vultures on its list of critically
endangered species.
The most common species of vultures in South Asia:
Long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus), also known as the Indian vulture.
White-backed vulture (Gyps africanus).
Slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris).
Red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvushave).
Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus).
About SAVE (Saving Asia s Vultures from Extinction)
The consortium of like-minded, regional and international organizations, created to oversee and
co-ordinate conservation, campaigning and fundraising activities to help the plight of south Asias
vultures.
Objective: To save three critically important species from extinction through a single programme.
SAVE partners:Bombay Natural History Society, Bird Conservation Nepal, RSPB (UK), National
Trust for Nature Conservation (Nepal), International Centre for Birds of Prey (UK) and Zoological
Society of London.
US warned China against move to declare new ADIZ over South China Sea
February 5, 2014
The United States of America (USA) warned China against any move to declare a new
Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea including disputed islands. The
comments were made after the reports of Japanese media that stated that China is preparing to
announce another defense zone in the area, which are driven by territorial disputes with the
neighboring countries.
China claims the South China Sea in its entirety, while other countries surrounding the sea also
have claims to the area and are in dispute with China.
At present, Chinas new air defense zone over the East China Sea is creating tensions in the worlds
most geo-politically sensitive areas that includes the disputed Diaoyu or Senkaku islands in the East
China Sea, which are controlled by Japan and but claimed by China, and the submerged Leodo reef,
which is under South Koreas control.
After Delhi, Rajasthan became 2nd state to withdraw approval for FDI in multi-brand retail
February 5, 2014
Rajasthan scrapped the approval given by the previous Congress government for Foreign Direct
Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retailing. After Delhi, Rajasthan became the second state, to withdraw
approval for FDI in multi-brand retail following a change of government after the assembly elections
held in November-December.
Recently, the Aam Admi Party Government in Delhi had repealed the decision to allow FDI in retail
and told the Centre that it would not allow foreign supermarkets in the Capital as they would destroy
the local markets and close down neighbourhood shops and kirana stores.

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Note: The states that allow global retailers to open supermarket chains (mostly Congress-led)
viz. Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Manipur, Karnataka, etc.
India s first monorail inaugurated in Mumbai
February 5, 2014
Indias first monorail service started in Mumbai. The monorail service that would link the city to major
stations began its first phase of 8.93 km between Wadala and Chembur in the eastern fringes of the
Commercial Capital.
The first phase of the monorail covered seven stations: Wadala depot, Mysore Colony,
BhaktiPark, Bharat Petroleum, V.N. Purav Marg, Fertiliser Colony, and Chembur.
Will be able to carry about 2,500 passengers (each car will accommodate 568 commuters). The
fares will be between Rs. 5 and Rs. 11.
Average speed: 65 km/hr; Maximum speed: 80 km/hr.
Expected to reduce the travel time between Wadala and Chembur by almost half. It takes 40
minutes at present but the monorail will take only about 21 minutes.
Second phase connecting Wadala with Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk in South Mumbai will be
completed by mid-2015.
It will cover a distance of 11.2 km and include the following 11 stations: Chinchpokli, Chembur
Naka, Wadala Bridge, Mint Colony, Acharya Atra Nagar, Antop Hill, Wadala, GTB Nagar, Fertilizer
Company and Bharat Petroleum.
Mumbai monorail will display three colours pink, green and blue.
The project executed by a consortium of engineering major Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) and
Malaysian firm Scomi Engineering and owned and operated by Mumbai Metropolitan Region
Development Authority (MMRDA).
The overall monorail project covers a 19.17 km stretch in the Chembur-Wadala-Jacob
Circle corridor, which will be the second longest corridor with 17 stations. (The longest one
is Japan s Osaka Monorail).
What is Monorail?
A monorail is a rail-based transportation system based on a single rail, which acts as its sole support
and its guideway. The term is also used variously to describe the beam of the system, or the vehicles
travelling on such a beam or track. The beam in a monorail system is narrower than the vehicle.
Note: After the launch of Mumbai monorail, India joined the elite group of countries viz. the
U.S., Germany, China, Japan, Australia and Malaysia that run monorails.
India and Fiji inkedd DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement)
February 3, 2014
India and Fiji signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) for the
avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
The DTAA signed in New Delhi by the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Fijis Minister of Justice,
Public Enterprises, and Industry and Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum also holds
charges of Communications, Civil Aviation andTourism.
It will provide tax stability to the residents of India and Fiji and facilitate mutual economic
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both countries.
The agreement also incorporates provisions for an effective exchange of information and assistance
in collection of taxes between tax authorities of the two countries including exchange
of banking information.
Agriculture Ministry Issues Detailed Guidelines for NMOOP
February 3, 2014
Agriculture Ministry issued detailed guidelines and strategy to be adopted for implementation of
the National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP).The Centre and States will bear costs in
the ratio of 75:25.
Objective: To enhance production of traditional oilseed and tree-borne oilseed and also significant
area is sought to be brought under oil palm.
Sanctioned: Rs. 3507 crore under 12th plan.
Strategy to implement the proposed NMOOP Mission:
Increase Seed Replacement Ratio (SRR) with focus on Varietal Replacement.
Increase irrigation coverage under oilseeds from 26% to 36%.
Diversification of area from low yielding cereals crops to oilseeds crops.
Inter-cropping of oilseeds with cereals/ pulses/ sugarcane.
Use the fallow land after paddy /potato cultivation.
Expand the cultivation of Oil Palm and tree borne oilseeds in watersheds and wastelands.
Increase availability of quality planting material enhancing procurement of oilseeds and collection.
Process tree borne oilseeds.
Inter-cropping during gestation period of oil palm and tree borne oilseeds would provide economic
return to the farmers when there is no production.
India became world s No.3 crude importer
February 3, 2014
With 3.86 million barrels per day of crude oil imports, India has overtaken Japanas the worlds
thirdbiggest
crude oil importer in 2013.
World s Top Five Oil-Importing Countries:
China:China imports 6.30 million barrels per day
U.S.A:USA imports 6.24 million barrels per day
India:India imports 3.86 million barrels per day
Japan:Japan imports 3.64 million barrels per day
Germany:Germany imports 2.67 million barrels per day
Indias imports were nearly 6% higher than Japans customs-cleared imports of 3.64 million bpd
(211,716,710 kilolitres).
Govt. suspended LPG subsidy transfer scheme and hiked cylinder quota
February 3, 2014
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) increased the quota of subsidized domestic
LPG cylinders to 12 from 9 annually per household.
The Union Government also suspended the direct transfer of LPG subsidy into the consumers

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bank accounts linked to Aadhaar unique identity numbers. Thus, consumers will continue to pay
only the subsidized price to their LPG distributors and in turn the public sector oil marketing
company will get the subsidy from the Government.
The increased subsidy cap will be effective from February 1. Though, for the current fiscal (2013-
14) the total number of subsidized cylinders available for each household will be restricted to 11,
as there are only two more months left.
The increase in cap of cylinders will mean that LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) will be available at a
subsidized rate for 97 % of its total consumer base of 140 million.
The increases quoto will add another Rs 5,000 crore to the burgeoning subsidy burden on
petroleum products, expected to be Rs 141,000 crore this financial year.
Note: In September 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that that Aadhaar cards or Unique Identification
number (UID) could not be made mandatory for people to get services or benefits under Government
schemes viz. LPG subsidy, transfer benefits, food security, vehicle registration, scholarships,
marriage registration, salaries and provident fund, etc, and nobody should be deprived of any such
facilities for want of the card. It also rejected the review petition filed by the government on this issue.
Butterfly Bacteria Study revealed certain surprises about Metamorphosis
February 3, 2014
Scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder sequenced the bacteria of the red postman
butterfly to learn more about the insects three major stages of life. The new study that has
sequenced internal bacteria makeup of a butterfly has revealed some surprise discoveries about
metamorphosis. It has shown that the internal microbial make-up of the red postman butterfly
changed dramatically from caterpillar to pupa to adult. This is the first time researchers have ever
sequenced the entire microbiome of a butterfly.
The red postman is a tropical butterfly found commonly in Central and South America. Scientific
name: Heliconius erato.
Objective of study: To help the agriculture industry understands why butterflies and caterpillars
can be damaging to crops.
Why the red postman butterfly chose by scientists to study bacteria?
Typically, butterflies feed on nectar and have very short lifespan. However, the red postman
butterflies can extract nutrients from the pollen and greatly extend its life. They feed on pollen, known
to be rich in amino acids.
As per the study
The red postmans internal bacteria split in half upon transitioning from caterpillar to chrysalis. Also
known as the pupil stage, the internal bacteria then doubled again when it went from the chrysalis
into butterfly adulthood.
In other words, the microbial community simplified and reorganized itself during the transition from
caterpillar to pupa. The diversity double after the adult butterflies had emerged and began going
about theirbusiness of feeding.
Butterflies are microbial habitats for bacteria. Butterflies are ecologically and scientifically
important, and their transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis to winged adult is one of the most
remarkable phenomena of the natural world.

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Objective of the study: The communities of bacteria inhabiting other insects have been shown to
affect host nutrition, digestion, detoxification and defensefrom predators, parasites and pathogens.
Mr. Anand Kumar, founder of Super30 classes bestowed with the prestigious Ramanujan
Mathematics award
February 3, 2014
Leading mathematician and founder of Super30 classes Mr. Anand Kumar bestowed with the
prestigious 2014 Ramanujan Mathematics Award at the 8thNational Mathematics Convention
organized by a Rajkot-based school. Renowned atomic scientist Pitamber Patel and famous scientist
J J Rawal presented the cash award of Rs 20,000 to Kumar.
Mr. Kumar, who is a native of Bihar, is founder of Super30, which imparts free residential
mentoring to 30 selected students from underprivileged families for IIT entrance exam and has
achievedinternational recognition for social awakening.
His papers published in a number of international journals viz. Mathematical Spectrum and
Mathematical Gazette of the UK, etc and was thrice invited jointly by the Mathematical Association
of America and the American Mathematical Society to present his papers.
Note: The Ramanujan Mathematics Award is given to a person who has at least three papers
published in international journals and is involved in teaching mathematics.
Hero MotoCorp unveiled diesel concept motorcycle
February 3, 2014
The two-wheeler maker, Hero MotoCorp unveiled a diesel-electric hybrid scooter concept, RNT,
which is probably the worlds first and smallest diesel engine for two-wheelers.
The concept unveiled along with four more products Leap (hybrid scooter) and 250 cc bike
HXR250R are completely new products, while Dash (110cc scooter) and Xtreme Sports (150cc bike)
models are based on existing platforms.
Hero Dash is a Maestro-sized scooter has an 111cc 4-stroke 8.4PS/9.4Nm engine. It has 12-inch
tyres and a 6-litre fuel tank. Comes with Heros Integrated Braking. Drum brakes on both the ends.
Hero Leap is a petrol-hybrid has a 3-litre fuel tank. It weighs in at 140kg and will be launched by
the next fiscal year.
About RNT 150cc diesel motorcycle
Has a hub electric motor on the front wheel, which is powered by an electric battery pack to give
the rider a unique two wheel drive option for off road and slushy road conditions.
Features: wide, flat-loading surfaces, multi-use folding side racks, spacious footboards, removable
secondary LED headlight and a large, comfortable seat. It comes with an electric drive at front
wheel for off-road conditions.
The bike boasts of a power take-off shaft which can be used to drive a generator or water pump.
Rider can also shut off the rear drive and move on electric power front wheel-drive in towns and
cities.
Ms. Kiwi Kathy Cross: First woman in ICC umpire s panel
February 2, 2014
New Zealands Kathy Cross (56) became the first woman to be inducted in
the International Cricket Councils (ICCs) umpires panel. Previously, she was officiated in the

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Womens World Cup in Australia in 2009 and in India in 2013.
Ms. Cross and Nigel Morrison have joined Sameer Bandekar, Mark Hawthorne, Wynand Louw, David
Odhiambo, Buddhi Pradhan, Sarika Siva Prasad, Richard Smith, Ian Ramage and Courtney Young in
the panel for 2014. The panel was named by the Associate and Affiliate SelectionCommittee.
The umpires on the ICC Associate and Affiliate Panel of International Umpires can be assigned to
ODI and T20 matches involving Associate and Affiliate Members, Intercontinental Cup matches,
Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Divisions 3 to 6 and other Associate and Affiliate tournaments, as
well as Development Events.
Indian Rupee to be legal tender in Zimbabwe
February 2, 2014
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe approved domestic trading in the Chinese Yuan
(CYN), Indian Rupee(INR), Japanese Yen (JPY) and Australian Dollar (AUD) and soon these
currencies will become legal tender.
The central bank of Zimbabwe advised the exporters and the general transacting public that in
addition to open accounts denominated in Botswana Pula, British Sterling Pound, Euro, South African
Rand, United States Dollar, individuals and corporate can also open accounts denominated in the
Australian Dollar (AUD), Chinese Yuan (CYN), Indian Rupee (INR) and Japanese Yen (JPY).
Till now, Zimbabwe accepted the US dollar and the South African rand as the main legal tender,
which helped the country to stabilize the economy after world-record inflation threw it into a tailspin.
The addition of four Asian currencies to theinternational currencies stands to nine which are
circulating in the country.
Note: Zimbabwe was forced to abandon its own currency in 2009 amid chronic hyper-inflation and a
deep economic crisis and introduced a basket of foreign currencies dominated by the US dollar.
IAMAI: India to have 243 million internet users by June 2014
February 2, 2014
As per the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the Internet user base in the country
stood at 190 million at the end of June, 2013. For the whole year 2013, the internet user base grew
42% to 213 million, from 150 million in 2012. Of the total user base, mobile internet users accounted
for 130 million in 2013, a growth of about 92% from 68 million in 2012.
IAMAI expects the number of mobile internet users to touch 185 million by June 2014, accounting for
about 76% of the internet user base in the country. The growth of Internet users has also led to a
substantial growth of other digital industries such as e-commerce and digital advertising. The study
projects the online advertising market in India to touch Rs. 2,938 crore by March 2014.
Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)
Not-for-profit industry body registered under the Societies Act, 1986.
Founded: 2004.
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
President: Dr. Subho Ray.
Put forward the problems and requirements of the businesses to the consumers, shareholders,
investors and the Government of India.
Purpose: To improve and expand the value added services pertaining to mobiles and several

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online services.
Officers of IAS, IPS & IFS to spend minimum of 2 Years at each posting
February 2, 2014
In a bid to check political interference, officers of the three premier services IAS, IPS and IFS will
now spend a minimum of two years at each posting. Under the new rules circulated by Department of
Personnel and Training (DoPT), transfers and postings before two years can be done by a Civil
Services Board to be constituted by states.
Excerpts from the amended rules for IAS/IPS/IFoS cadre:-
The Centre or the state government may transfer a cadre officer before the minimum specified
period on the recommendation of the Civil Services Board
Though, the competent authority may reject the recommendation of the board by recording the
reasons for the same.
Every state will now have to make appointments of cadre officers on the recommendation of a Civil
Services Board constituted by it under chairmanship of the chief secretary.
A cadre officer, appointed to any cadre post, shall hold the office for at least two years unless he or
she is promoted, retired or sent on deputation outside the state or for training exceeding two
months.
The DoPT stated that any exception in the form of transfers or new appointments will only be done
upon the recommendation of a civil services board. The new rules aimed at checking political
interference.
The Civil Services Board could seek justification from the administrative department of the
concerned state for premature transfers, obtain comments or views of the officer proposed to be
transferred, and not recommend premature transfer unless satisfied with the reasons.
The board shall also submit a quarterly report to the Centre giving details of officers recommended
to be transferred before the minimum tenure and the reasons thereof.
Now, States have to constitute a civil services board, which is to be headed by the chief secretary, to
consider questions of transfer of the said civil services officers.
India suffered worst ODI series defeat against New Zealand
February 2, 2014
Indian cricket team slumped to its worst ODI series defeat in New Zealand. New Zealand won the
series by 4-0 in Wellington by thrashing India by 87 runs in the fifth and final ODI.
Its 5th time that India have not won a match in a five-match (or more) bilateral series. Last time they
failed to win even a single match in a bilateral series involving five or more matches, was
in England in 2011, when they lost three matches, tied one and one game was abandoned.
Including this defeat, India has now gone without a win in seven consecutive ODIs that have ended
in a result.
This is only the third time New Zealand have finished unbeaten in a series in which they have
played five or more matches.
New Zealand player, Kane Williamson became only the second batsman in ODIs to hit fifty-plus
scores in all the matches of a five-match series. Before that, Pakistans Yasir Hameed hit four
fifties and a century in a five-match series against New Zealand in 2003-04, is the other batsman

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to achieve this feat.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the fourth fastest batsman to complete 8,000 runs in
one-day cricket during the fifth and final ODI against New Zealand in Wellington. The three men
ahead of him in the list are famous compatriots Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly and the
West Indian legend Brian Lara. Dhoni has taken 214 innings to touch the landmark.
TCS set to replace Genpact as top BPO
February 1, 2014
The BPO unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is set to take the No. 1 slot in
the business category in India, replacing long-time leader Genpact. The change in BPO market
ranking could happen either in the just-concluded December quarter or the ongoing January-March
quarter.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
An Indian multinational information technology (IT) services, business solutions and consulting
company.
Founded: 1968 by J.R.D Tata.
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Operates in 46 countries and has 199 branches across the world.
Offers: BPO services for the banking, financial and insurance sector, retail and consumer
packaged goods, drug development, telecom, media and manufacturing. It has invested in building
domain expertise and made acquisitions to fill gaps in their portfolio. TCS bought the captive BPO
arm of Citigroup for $505 million in October 2008, one of the largest acquisitions in the IT-BPO
space till then.
MoU signed between Union Ministry of Rural Development and Digital Green
February 1, 2014
The Union Ministry of Rural Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
with Digital Green (Microsoft Research Project) to document best agricultural practices and
disseminates this to all rural agricultural households headed by women.
This initiative will be kick-started through self-help groups working with women farmers engaged in
traditional agriculture, non-timber forest produce and livestock projects.
Purpose: To exchange the relevant livelihood practices among rural communities under the National
Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).
Its innovative ICT-based approach focuses on low-cost and effective, peer-to-peer learning processes
which seek to empower poor households for increasing productivity and incomes sustainably. It builds
on and strengthens the existing extension systems of public, private, and civil society organizations to
be more effective and efficient.
About Digital Green
An international, non-profit development organization, supported by Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation, Ford Foundation and Government ofIndia.
Mission: to integrate innovative technology with global development efforts to improve human well
being.
Objective: To provide strategic direction, management, and coordination of the development,

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successful implementation, and monitoring of Digital Greens livelihood-related activities.
Focus on: Training farmers to make and show short videos where they record their problems,
share solutions and highlight success stories.
Builds on the existing extension systems of public, private, and civil society organizations and
strengthens them to be more effective and efficient.
Uses an innovative digital platform for community engagement to improve livelihoods of rural
communities across South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Uniform tax rate for foreign portfolio investors
February 1, 2014
The Union Government stated that Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) will attract uniform tax rate in
all categories. The Central Board of Direct Taxes notified that the new class of investors, FPIs, would
be treated as FIIs under the Income Tax Act, 1961. As per their risk profiles, FPIs are divided into
three categories.
These are as follows:-
Category I - the lowest risk entities comprises foreign government and government-related foreign
investors.
Category II regulated entities such as university funds, university-related endowments and
pension funds, etc.
Category III other entities viz. Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs), etc.
FPIs brought together all the three investment categories Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs),
their sub-accounts and Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs). The tax rate for FPIs would be the same
as that extended to FIIs. The new system would be especially beneficial for QFIs, who were
subjected to higher tax rate earlier.
As per the new norms:-
FPIs have been divided into three categories as per their risk profile and the KYC (Know Your
Client) requirements, and other registration procedures would be much simpler for FPIs compared
to the current practices.
The new class would be given a permanent registration, as against the current practice of granting
approvals for one year or five years to the overseas entities seeking to invest in Indian markets.
Such registration would be permanent unless suspended or cancelled by SEBI or surrendered by
the FPI.
In the new tax regime, there would be no deduction of tax at source on income earned by way of
capital gains by FPIs (including erstwhile QFIs) but a discharge of tax by QFIs themselves only post
which remittances outside India would be permitted.
India ranked lowest in US chamber s global IP index
February 1, 2014
For the second consecutive year, Global Intellectual Property Centre (GIPC)International IP
Index ranked India lowest amongst the countries assessed for protection and enforcement of
Intellectual Property Practices.
In the second edition of the chambers GIPC index, India continued to score lowest, most notably in
categories relating to patents, copyrights and international treaties. India scored 6.95 points out of a

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maximum 30 while US topped with 28.5 amongst 25 countries surveyed.
None of the 25 countries surveyed received a perfect score of 30; the US received the highest score
of 28.3, making it the global leader in protecting IP. In both the 2012 and 2014 GIPC Index, India
finished last in both editions, as the country continues to allow for the deterioration of its IP climate.
Global Intellectual Property Centre (GIPC) International IP Index
The GIPC Index provides an updated roadmap for economies seeking to create jobs, promote
innovation, ensure safety, and provide access to the creations and inventions of the 21st
century. Ranking is based on efforts to protect the copyrights and patents that protect goods and
services ranging from pharmaceuticals to software to Hollywood films.
National Waqf Development Corporation Limited (NAWADCO) inaugurated by Prime Minister
February 1, 2014
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurated National Waqf Development Corporation Limited
(NAWADCO), a new Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
The NAWADCO is termed as an important institution for the development of Waqf properties and for
the community welfare, particularly of Muslims in India. The establishment of NAWADCO is a follow
up of Sachar Committee recommendations.
National Waqf Development Corporation Limited (NAWADCO):
Established with Authorized Share Capital of Rs.500 Crore with a paid up capital of Rs.100 crore.
National Minority Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) have 49% shares in
NAWADCO.
Objective: To facilitate and mobilize financial resources for the development of Waqf properties for
community development purposes in a joint venture with the State/ Union Territory Waqf Boards
and the Mutawallis.
Till yet, the Waqf Boards and the Muthawallis were not having the financial resources to develop the
properties leading to encroachments. The Sachar Committee has estimated that such properties, if
properly developed, with a minimum return of 10%, would be capable of generating an income of Rs
12,000 crore per annum.
Recently, the Indian Government enacted the Waqf (Amendment) Act, 2013 and made administration
of Waqf properties transparent. The Act will also provide an enabling environment for development
and utilization of Waqf lands for welfare of minorities.
What is Waqf ?
A waqf/ wakf, is basically donating (a building/ plot of land/ cash) for Muslim religious/ charitable
purposes.These donated assets / grants ( known as Mushrut-ul-Khidmat) are held by a
charitable
trust. The person who makes the grant/ Mushrut-ul-Khidmat is known as Waqif/ Wakif.
#Note: India has the largest number of Waqf properties in the world. There are more than 4.9
lakh registered Auqaf (Waqf properties) and the current annual income from these properties is about
Rs.163 crores.
56th Grammy Awards 2014
February 1, 2014
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards were held on, at the StaplesCenter in Los Angeles. This year the

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Grammy Awards werent just about the music and they were also about making a statement in the
same-sex marriage debate.
Category Album Artist
Best album of the
year
Random access
memories Daft Punk
Best record of the
year Get Lucky
Daft Punk , Pharrell
Williams and Nile
Rodgers
Best song of the
year Royals Lorde
Best new artist -
Macklemore and Ryan
Lewis
Childrens Album
Throw a Penny in the
Wishing Well Jennifer Gasoi
Best Pop solo
performance Royals Lorde
Best Pop
Duo/Group
Performance Get Lucky
Daft Punk & Pharrell
Williams
For complete list of Winners and Nominees kindly visit: http://www.grammy.com
Chinese scientists invented Water-jet printer
February 1, 2014
Scientists of the Jilin University, China have invented a printer that uses water to print, instead of
ink. After about 22 hours, the paper fades back to a plain sheet of white paper, allowing it to be
reused.
The water-jet technology is capable of reprinting numerous times, spares people their money
and
saves trees. As per the statistics, many papers (40% of office Prints) are throwing into the dustbin
after the single reading.
What technology applies in the water-jet printer?
In the water-jet printer, the technology work is the paper, which is treated with an invisible dye that
colours upon exposure to water and later disappears. It uses a dye compound
called oxazolidine that gives a clear, blue print in less than one second upon application of water.

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Within a day, the used paper fades back to white which makes it reusable.
At temperature lesser than 35 degree Celsius, the print would fade away in 22 hours, while at
higher temperature, it would fade faster. The technology is ideal for documents that are printed to
be read once and then discarded.
At 70 degree Celsius , the colour disappears within about 30 seconds.
At present, there are four water-printed colours - blue, magenta, gold and purple. Though, they
can only print in one hue at a time.
The technology does not require changing a printer but only replacing the ink in the cartridge with
H20, using a syringe.
A chemistry professor, Mr. Sean Xiao-An Zhang, supervised the work.
The scientists are also working on a machine that will heat pre-printed sheets of paper as they are fed
into the machine, fading the pages instantaneously for re-printing. Their next step is to improve both
the resolution and the duration of the print