Current Affairs, News & Facts of 11 Feb 2016

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  • Maharashtra tops in internet readiness index

     

    Maharashtra tops in internet readiness index

    Maharashtra has emerged as the top ranking state in terms of overall Internet readiness index, followed by Karnataka, Gujarat, Telengana and Tamil Nadu, as per recently released Index of Internet Readiness of Indian States (IIRIS) report, published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Indicus Analytics

    The Internet readiness index is a composite index that measures internet penetration and usage in Indian states based on four components (i) mobile and internet infrastructure (ii) status of the IT service sector (iii) e-participation or use of online transactions and services by citizens (iv) e-governance services offered by the states.

    Objectives of Internet readiness index :The purpose of the report was to help business and governments to leverage the strength, and policy measures that can be taken where improvements are required and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the states. It also aims to give a more holistic picture of the digital ecosphere that presently exists in the states.

    Key Points from the report :

    Top 5 states: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Telengana and Tamil Nadu. 

    Smaller states and Union Territories: Among the smaller States, Delhi has emerged on top in terms of Internet readiness index, followed by Puducherry and Goa. Among the Union Territories, Chandigarh ranks top.

    North East states: The smaller states in North East India have not even figured among the smaller states which gives clear indication that much more needs to be done in the form of investment and infrastructure development in the region.

     

     

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  • India sanctions funds for Agartala-Akhaura rail link Project

     

    India sanctions funds for Agartala-Akhaura rail link ProjectSix years after the finalisation of a new India-Bangladesh railway project, Union Government has sanctioned about 580 crore rupees for Agartala-Akhaura railway link Project to connect Kolkata (West Bengal) with Tripura via Bangladesh. The project's cost was earlier estimated at Rs.271 crore but  Rs.302 crore more was needed  to acquire around 97.6 acres of land in Tripura for laying the track.

    Agartala-Akhaura Railway Link Project : The Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) railway project was finalised in January 2010 when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during her visit to New Delhi. The 15-km-long Agartala-Akhaura railway route would connect Indian Railways with the Bangladesh Railways. Of the 15 km strategic railway track, 10 km falls in the Bangladesh side and the rest 5 km falls in India. The work on this project is expected to complete by 2017.

    Advantages of Agartala-Akhaura railway project :

    • Agartala-Akhaura railway project would provide a major boost to development and economy of the northeastern region of India and eastern Bangladesh.
    • The 1,650-km distance between Agartala and Kolkata would be reduced to only 550 km once the new rail track is linked through Banglades
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  • Rajendra K Pachauri appointed as Executive Vice Chairman of TERI

     

    Former Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Rajendra Kumar Pachauri has been appointed as Executive Vice Chairman of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The post of Executive Vice Chairman has been recently created and Pachauri will be the first to hold the post.

    Rajendra K Pachauri

    Rajendra Kumar Pachauri was born on 20 August 1940, in Nainital, Uttarakhand. He passed out from Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Jamalpur, Bihar and started his career with the Indian Railways at the Diesel Locomotive Works in Varanasi.

    Later he joined the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, USA, where he obtained an MS in Industrial Engineering in 1972, and a PhD with co-majors in Industrial Engineering and Economics in 1974.

    Later from August 1974 to May 1975 he served as Assistant Professor and Visiting Faculty Member in the Department of Economics and Business at North Carolina State, US. 

    He has also served as a Visiting Professor of Resource Economics at the College of Mineral and Energy Resources, West Virginia University. Later he had returned to India and had worked with Hyderabad based Administrative Staff College of India. 

    Later he went on to become Director of Consulting and Applied Research Division. He had joined TERI as Director in 1982. In April 2002, he was elected Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations panel established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

    During his stint as Chairman, IPCC had won Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for its 4th Assessment Report (AR). In February 2015, he was removed as Director General of TERI after one of his junior colleague accused him of sexual harassment and internal committee report found him guilty of misconduct.

    The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) 

    The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is a non-profit research institution that conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development.

    Establishment of TERI The establishment of TERI is rooted to Mithapur, a remote town in Gujarat, where a TATA engineer, Darbari Seth, was concerned about the enormous quantities of energy his factory spent on desalination. He proposed the idea of a research institute to tackle the depletion of natural resources and energy scarcity. His innovative idea was liked and accepted by the than chairman of the TATA Group, J. R. D. Tata and TERI was set up with a modest corpus of 35 million rupees. It was renamed as The Energy and Resources Institute in 2003.

    Objectives : The main motto of  TERI is to formulate local and national level strategies for shaping global solutions to critical issues. TERI has over 1200 employees, especially research professionals from different disciplines pertaining to issues of environment and energy. In 2013, International Centre for Climate Governance (ICCG) ranked it as the topmost global think-tank.

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  • NATO, EU sign agreement on cyberdefense cooperation

     

    NATO, EU sign agreement on cyberdefense cooperationEuropean Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have signed an agreement to enhance cooperation in the sphere of cyberdefense, with an aim to curb modern forms of hybrid warfare.

    The agreement was signed between NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) and the Computer Emergency Response Team – European Union (CERT-EU).

    The agreement facilitates technical information sharing between NCIRC and CERT-EU so as to improve cyber incident prevention, detection and response and implement the objectives of the EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework.

    The EU-NATO cooperation in cyber security started in 2010, with staff-to-staff cyber defence consultations and informal meetings. The EU has been also observing the NATO annual cyber defence exercise, "Cyber Coalition".

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  • India ranks 37th on USCC’s 2016 Intellectual Property Index

     

    India ranks 37th on USCC’s 2016 Intellectual Property IndexIndia has ranked 37th out of 38 countries in recently released Intellectual Property Index (IPI) by United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC). The 38 countries that have been evaluated accounts for nearly 85% of the global GDP. Venezuela with 6.42 points has been ranked the lowest below India.

    In this edition of IP Index, India has scored 7.05, lower than last year’s 7.23.The country has remained at the bottom of the index for the fourth consecutive year. In 2015, it had moved one notch higher from the last position to the second last.

    Top 10 Countries: US (28.6 score), UK (27.5), Germany (27.4), France (27.2), Sweden (27.1), Singapore (25.6), Switzerland (24.9), Australia (24.8), Japan (23.3) and South Korea (23.3). BRICS Countries: Russia (20th Rank), China (22nd), South Africa (26th), Brazil (29th) and India (37th). 

    Reasons for India’s lower ranking 

    • The Patentability requirements are outside international standards
    • Compulsory licensing provisions for commercial & non-commercial situations
    • Limited framework for addressing online piracy
    • High level of software piracy, music piracy and counterfeit goods
    • India is not signatory to any of the major international IP treaties
    • Poor enforcement of civil and criminal remedies

    Intellectual Property Index : Intellectual Property Index has been prepared by USCC’s Global Intellectual Property Chamber (GIPC). It was started in 2012 and some of its criteria are patent, copyright and trademark protections, enforcement and engagement in international treaties.

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  • UAE to store crude oil in Mangalore petroleum reserve

     

    UAE to store crude oil in Mangalore petroleum reserveIn a first of its kind deal, the UAE’s national oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil (ADNOC) has agreed to store crude oil in India’s maiden Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPRs) storage and give two-third of the oil to it for free. India has partnered with other countries for storing crude oil in the SPR storage for emergency purpose.

    Strategic Petroleum Reserves : India, which imports 79 per cent of its crude oil needs,  is building underground SPR storages at Visakhapatnam (1.33 million tonnes capacity), Mangalore (1.5 million tonnes) and Padur (2.5 million tonnes) to store about 5.33 million tonnes of crude oil.These SPRs will act as buffer stock against global price shocks and supply disruptions.

    It will stock 0.75 million tonnes or 6 million barrels of oil in one compartment of the Mangalore facility. Of this, 0.5 million tons will belong to India and it can use it in emergencies. Adnoc will use the facility as a warehouse to trade its oil.

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  • February 10 observed as National Deworming Day

     

    February 10 observed as National Deworming DayThe National Deworming Day is observed on February 10 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The main objective of this day is to combat parasitic worm infections among preschool and school-age children across India. This year marks the second edition of the observance of this day after it was launched in 2015 by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

    Significance of deworming children : Worm infections have serious health effect on preschool and school-age children between the ages of 1-19 years as it causes anemia, malnourishment, impaired mental and physical development thus impacing education and overall productivity of the childern. On this day, Albendazole tablets are given to all targeted children. Children at the age of (1-2) are given half a tablet of of albendazole (400mg), while one full tablet for 2-19 years is given.

    Childern with deworming infection : As per the reports released by World Health Organization (WHO),  India has the highest burden of Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) in the world. Approximately 220 million children aged 1-14 are estimated to be at risk of worm infections. National Family Health Survey reports, 2016 says that about 7 in 10 children between 6 month and 5 years are anaemic and the risk is even higher in  rural areas.

    Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) : Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) or Parasitic worms are among the most common infections worldwide. It lives in human intestines and consume nutrients meant for the human body.  It causes complications among the children resulting in anaemia, malnutrition and improper mental and physical development.They produce thousands of eggs each day, which are passed in faeces and spread to others in areas used for public toilet. 

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  • Veteran filmmaker Aurobindo Mukherjee passes away

     

    Veteran filmmaker Aurobindo Mukherjee passes away

    Veteran filmmaker Aurobindo Mukherjee passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was 97. Mukherjee was ailing from geriatric problems for some time. Mukherjee was the maker of cult Bengali classics like 'Agniswar', 'Mouchak' and 'Nishipadma' all starring matinee idol Uttam Kumar in the early 70s. 

    He was younger brother of famous novelist Balaichand Mukhopadhyay who is popularly known as Bonophool. He joined Tollywood in 1950s. Shakti Samanta's 'Amar Prem', starring Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore, was inspired by 'Nishipadma'. 

    Aurobindo Mukherjee had given debut role to than young Jaya Bhaduri in 'Dhanyee Meye' in 1971. She later became famous Bollywood actress and married superstar Amitabh Bachchan .

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2nd Aug

Exam Date : 02-08-2016

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Ques/Time : 6/5 min


Sports

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