Current Affairs, News & Facts of 07 Apr 2016

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  • BHEL commissions tiltable canal top solar plant in Andhra

     

    BHEL commissions tiltable canal top solar plant in AndhraPower plant equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)  has commissioned a seasonwise tiltable canal top solar PV plant at Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh.  This is the first canal top project in Andhra Pradesh and also first such project executed by the BHEL.

    The project is developed by NREDCAP (New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of AP Ltd). Power generation is about 10 per cent more than a fixed Module Mounting Arrangement (MMA).

    The plant has elevated control room with bottom cable that prevents ingress of water during floods. It has also movable walkway which facilitates efficient maintenance of the plant by providing easy access.

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  • Bronze bust of Aryabhatta unveiled at UNESCO Headquarters

     

    Bronze bust of Aryabhatta unveiled at UNESCO HeadquartersUnion Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani unveiled a bronze bust of  ancient Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhatta was unveiled at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. She was in the French capital to attend the high-level International Conference on Zero. 

    The bust has been sculpted by renowned Indian sculptor Ram Sutar, who was recently awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian awards in India, for his contribution to the world of art. 

    International Conference on Zero 

    The International Conference on Zero was organised by the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO,  along with Pierre and Marie Curie University. It was held to share the rich and remarkable history of mathematics through participation of some of the brilliant minds. The Conference was held on the following topics:

    The international conference was held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France from 4 April – 5 April 2016. It was hosted by the permanent delegation of India to UNESCO along with Pierre and Marie Curie University. The Conference was held on the following topics: 

    (1) Gems of Ramanujan and their Lasting Impact on Mathematics. 
    (2) Indian Mathematics: Negative Numbers, Zero, Infinity and Beyond. 
    (3) Zero: Infinity and Set Theory 
    (4) Panel discussion on the Arabic traditions in Mathematics 
    (5) Mathematics in Indian Music.

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  • 3rd phase of Mission Indradhanush begins

     

    3rd phase of Mission Indradhanush beginsThe third phase of Union Health Ministry’s universal vaccination programme Mission Indradhanush has began from today. 216 Districts across several States including Bihar, Gujarat, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh will be covered in this phase. 

    Two phases of the special drive have been completed, under  which more than 1.48crore children and 38 lakh pregnant women have been fully immunized. Across 21.3 lakh sessions were held  through the country in high and mid-priority districts.

    Know what is Mission Indradhanush ?

    Mission Indradhanush is a nationwide programme to enhance immunisation coverage among children. It was launched by Union Health Minister J P Nadda on the occasion of National Good Governance Day. Immunisation coverage in India has been growing at a rate of only one per cent with the national average increasing from 61 per cent to 65 per cent between 2009 and 2013. The goal of this programme is to achieve total immunisation coverage by 2020.

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  • Foundation stone of Haryana's first Horticulture University laid in Karnal

     

    Foundation stone of Haryana's first Horticulture University laid in KarnalUnion Agriculture and farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh laid the Foundation stone of Haryana State University of Horticultural Sciences at Karnal, Haryana.

    A full fledged horticultural university will cater the needs to support the gap between teaching, research and extension activities in the state and disseminate latest technology and horticulture education to the youths of the state.

    Significance of the University

    This university is expected to help in improving productivity levels and to adopt appropriate crop diversification that suits the agro climatic conditions of the region. 

    It will also act as a skill development centre in order to cater the larger demand for skilled  manpower in the production, post-harvest and processing industries.

    Horticulture in Haryana :

    Haryana holds tremendous potential on account of its fertile lands, favorable climate and water resources. Farmers in Haryana have also started taking up horticulture crops as a separate viable economic activity.

    Haryana has increased area under horticultural crops from 2.0 lakh hectare in the year 2002-03 to 4.5 lakh hectare during 2013-14 and production has also increased from 2.51 million tonnes to 6.30 millin tonnes during same period. 

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  • AIR stops SMS news alerts  

     

    AIR stops SMS news alertsFrom April 5, the public service broadcaster- All India Radio (AIR), has stopped sending news alerts. The decision to discontinue the service was taken on April 1 by the Prasar Bharati Corporation, the parent body of AIR. 

    The objective of the behind the free SMS services which was being provided since September 2013 was to mainly reach out to those who do not have smart phones, or did not use social media platforms for news updates. AIR sends three million SMSes to its subscribers on a daily basis. Each SMS has 160 characters.

    The main reason for discontinuing the service was the cost as the free SMS services was not cost-effective. It was meant for an advertising-based model which Akashvani couldn’t work out. 

    Background :  

    The service launched on September 9, 2013 provided national, international news, headlines in 16 languages and live news updates for special events like Mann Ki Baat, Budget, Independence Day speech of PM and the President’s address on the eve of Republic Day. 

    AIR was using NIC SMS gateway for delivering free SMSes to start with but  after TRAI’s order, AIR had to pay for sending out the alerts which incurred an expenditure of Rs. 5.5 cr. in the financial year 2015-16 so AIR had to discontinue it for financial reasons.

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  • American country music legend Merle Haggard dies

     

    American country music legend Merle Haggard diesAmerican country music songwriter, singer, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist- Merle Haggard has died of pneumonia on his 79th birthday. He was born in California in 1937. 

    He is credited with helping to define the Bakersfield sound, country music with a distinctive twang and lack of sophisticated production. Haggard wrote songs, sang and played fiddle and guitar, usually singing about American pride and outlaws.

    Top hits : His top hits include Mama Tried, The Fugitive, If We Make It Through December and Okie from Muskogee.

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  • MHA sets up committee to suggest ways to tighten security along Indo-Pak border

     

    MHA sets up committee to suggest ways to tighten security along Indo-Pak borderThe Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has set up a high-level committee to suggest ways to strengthen the security along India-Pakistan border.The committee, headed by former Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, will suggest :-

    (i)  Ways to strengthen security and protection along the India-Pakistan Border 

    (ii) Address the issue of gaps and vulnerability in border fencing along the India-Pakistan border.

    The committee will study all types of gaps in the fencing and all other vulnerabilities along the border and suggest a comprehensive approach to fix them on interim and permanent basis. It will submit its report in three months. 

    The move to constitute to this committee comes two terrorist attacks in Punjab :- 

    (i) On July 27 last year, three terrorists in army fatigue had attacked Dinanagar police station in Punjab's Gurdaspur district and killed three civilians and four policemen, including a Superintendent of Police. 

    (ii) In January 2016 terrorists belonging to Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed had breached the Indo-Pak border in Punjab and attacked the Pathankot airbase killing seven security personnel 

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  • FinMin approves 8.7% interest on EPF for 2015-16

    FinMin approves 8.7% interest on EPF for 2015-16The Finance Ministry has approved 8.7% interest on PF deposits, lower than 8.8% decided by the Central Board of Trustees (CBT).

    This is for the first time that Finance Ministry has overruled the decision of retirement fund body EPFO's apex decision making Central Board of Trustees (CBT) headed by the Labour Minister.

    EPFO had provided 8.75% rate of interest in 2013-14 and 2014-15, which was higher than 8.5% in 2012-13 and 8.25% in 2011-12.

    The estimates of EPFO had projected that the body can easily pay 8.95% rate of interest as it would leave a surplus of Rs 100 crore.

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  • Vishwanathan Anand selected for Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award

     

    Vishwanathan Anand selected for Hridaynath Mangeshkar AwardFive-time world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand will be honoured with the prestigious Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award, which felicitates and recognises successful individuals across the country from various walks of life. Maharashtra State Governor C Vidyasagar Rao will present the award at an event to be held in Mumbai on April 12, 2016.

    Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award

    Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award was established in 2011 by Mumbai- based socio-cultural organisation Hridayesh Art in the honour of music composer and singer Hridaynath Mangeskar the only son of noted musician Deenanath Mangeshkar and younger brother of Indian music legends Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.

    The award carries monetary award of Rs 2 lakh and a memento.The previous recipients of the award include eminent personalities like Lata Mangeshkar, Babasaheb Purandare, Asha Bhosle, Amitabh Bachchan, Hariprasad Chaurasia and A R Rahman.

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  • Madras Atomic Power Station 'architect' M.H.P Rao passes away

     

    Madras Atomic Power Station 'architect' M.H.P Rao passes awayMyneni Hari Prasad Rao, considered the architect of the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) and its first project director passed away due to old age ailments. He was 88. He is praised by many as "The Father" or "Architect" of Madras Atomic Power Station.

    Myneni Hari Prasad Rao 

    Born on 21 July 1927 in Edlalanka village near Avanigaddam, he completed  master's degree in Power Systems Engineering from Illinois Institute of technology and authored many articles and research papers.

    Rao was specially appointed by the then Nuclear Power Board to oversee the construction and commissioning of the MAP. The scientists found cost-effective and practical solution for the problems they faced during the construction. He has served for many years as a member of Southern, Western and Northern Indian Regional electricity boards.

    Awards and Homours : He has received several awards, including the Padma Shri (1984) and the Sanjay Gandhi Award for contribution in Science and Technology (1983).

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  • India wins Asian Nations Cup Chess tournament

     

    India wins Asian Nations Cup Chess tournamentIndian men won the Asian Nations Cup Chess tournament, 2016 by defeating Vietnam in the final round by 3-1 score.

    In the final round match against Vietnam, Grandmasters S P Sethuraman and K Sasikiran won on the second and fourth boards while GMs B Adhiban and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi drew their respective matches on top and 3rd boards.

    India collected 17 points, two more than World and Olympiad champions China. India drew Mongolia and beat the rest of the teams in a 22-team tournament.

    This was the third time that Indian men won the event.They won at Esfahan, Iran in 2005 and Kolkata 2009 previously when China did not participate on both occasions.Therefore, this victory over China was something which will be remembered for long.

    In the women's section, top seed China won the title with 15 points. Uzbekistan were second with 14 and Kazakhstan third with 13 points. Indian women finished fourth with 12 points after drawing Iran in their final round match.

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  • Scientists Discover a Rare Planet with triple-star system

     

    Scientists Discover a Rare Planet with triple-star systemResearchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the United States have discovered a rare triple-star system named KELT-4Ab  with a gas giant planet similar in size to Jupiter.

    The research was published in The Astronomical Journal. Planetary systems with three stars are very rare. Scientists have found only three instances as such till date.

    Facts about triple-star system :

    1. The KELP-4Ab is the closest planetary system that has three stars. The main star, KELT-A is the brightest among the three stars that serve as suns for their planets. 

    2. KELT-A has a giant gas planet, similar in size to Jupiter, that takes approximately three days to make its way around its sun (star) KELT-A. The pair completes orbiting around the bigger star (KELT-A) in every 4,000 years.

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2nd Aug

Exam Date : 02-08-2016

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