Current Affairs, News & Facts of 04 Sep 2015

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  • Acclaimed writer and Princeton professor Jhumpa Lahiri to be presented with National Humanities Medal by Obama

     

    Jhumpa Lahiri

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    • Indian-American Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri has been selected for the prestigious 2014 National Humanities Medal which would be presented to her by US President Barack Obama next week. Jhumpa Lahiri  is currently a professor of creative writing at Princeton University.
    • Jhumpa, 48, has been selected for the award for enlarging the human story “In her works of fiction, Dr. Lahiri has illuminated the Indian-American experience in beautifully wrought narratives of estrangement and belonging.”
    • Ms. Lahiri’s novel, is a tale of two brothers growing up in Calcutta in the 1960s, of whom one is killed, and the other marries his pregnant widow and moves to the U.S.
    • Her debut short story collection 'Interpreter of Maladies' won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and her book 'The Lowland' was a nominee for the Man Booker Prize.

    National Humanities Medal:-

    • The first National Humanities Medal was awarded in 1996. Since then, there have been 175 recipients, 163 individuals and 12 organisations, including this year's.
    • The medal is awarded in separate categories for humanities and the arts by respective National Endowments established by the U.S. Congress in 1965, and to date they have awarded more than $5 billion to “support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities

    Note :- In addition to Lahiri, Obama would present the awards to Clemente Course in the Humanities, Annie Dillard (author), Everett L Fly (architect and preservationist), Rebecca Newberger Goldstein (philosopher and novelist), Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (historian), Fedwa Malti-Douglas (scholar), Larry McMurtry (novelist), Vicki Lynn Ruiz (historian) and Alice Waters (author and food activist)

     

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  • Arunachal social worker Binny Yanga passes away at 57

     

    Arunachal social worker Binny Yanga passes away at 57

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    • Renowned Itanagar-based social worker Binny Yanga, who was conferred the Padma Shri in 2012, died of cancer. She was 57.
    • Binny Yanga, was well known for her work for the welfare of weaker sections of society. She was member of the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women and Country Women Association of India.
    • Yanga was a first batch women police officer of the hill state,but she quited the job in 1988 to start the Oju Welfare Society that first worked for rescue and rehabilitation of girls who were victims of child marriage, forced marriage and polygamy among certain tribal communities. 
    • Even though she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2007, she continued to work for the Oju Welfare Association (OWA), set up by her, which hosts 338 orphans and destitute.
    • In 1990 she founded Himgiri Multipurpose Cooperative Society that helped several hundred tribal women in rural areas become self-reliant by way of selling traditional handloom products. 
    • She was conferred with Padma Shree in 2012 in recognition of her selfless service. She had also received the Durgabai Deshmukh Award in 2000.
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  • India to Launch Indonesian LAPAN A2/Orari Satellite

     

    India to Launch Indonesian LAPAN A2/Orari Satellite

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    • India will launch a second multi-spectral remote sensing Indonesian satellite that will help the country to monitor land-use, natural resource and in disaster mitigation. 
    • The satellite will be launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on September 27, 2015

    LAPAN A2/Orari satellite :-

    • LAPAN A2/Orari is Indonesia’s indigenously-made satellite and it is a successor to LAPAN A1/Tubsat, which was also launched in India in 2007. LAPAN A2/Orari will function as a tool to monitor land usage, ship movements, sea resources and fishing explorations. 
    • It is equipped with an automatic packet reporting system on board to aid disaster mitigation by monitoring floods, changes in the sea level as well as movements of the population. 
    • The satellite will orbit the Earth along the equator with an altitude of 650 kilometers, and travel at 7.5 kilometers per second  enabling it to circle the Earth 14 times a day. 
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  • Punjab Government establishes Special MGNREGA cell

     

    Punjab Government establishes Special MGNREGA cell

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    • Punjab Government has established a special NREGA cell at state headquarter to coordinate the effectively implementation of (NREGA) scheme all over the state 
    • Special NREGA cell has been established by Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Department at Chandigarh with an outlay of 233 crore rupees.
    • It should be noted that Government of india has decided to fix the wage rate under NREGA on the basis of consumer Price Index which will be implemented on 1st April every year and will be applicable for whole financial year.
    • The recent wage rate has been revised from 202 rupees to 210 rupees with effect from 1st April 2015. The wages will be directly transferred by state government in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries from 15th September 2015.
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  • India, Australia agree to deepen bilateral Defence Partnership

     

    India, Australia agree to deepen bilateral Defence Partnership

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    • India and Australia have decided to deepen their bilateral defence partnership by taking fresh initiatives that includes setting up of a joint working group on defence research and material cooperation. 
    • This decision was taken after the delegation-level talks between Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his visiting Australian counterpart Kevin Andrews in New Delhi
    • They decided to focus on maritime security ties in the Indian Ocean region.India also decided to take part in the first ever air excercise with Australia. This is in addition to the first-ever bilateral naval excercise AUSINDEX that is scheduled to be held later this month.

     

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  • SAARC countries' conference on disaster mitigation begins in Delhi 

     

    SAARC countries' conference on disaster mitigation begins in Delhi

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    • A conference of  SAARC countries' to chalk out and undertake joint efforts on various issues related to disaster mapping and mitigation in the member nations has began in New Delhi
    • The conference, including the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force, is being held keeping in mind the prevalent geo-climatic conditions as well as increased frequency of natural calamities in the SAARC region, especially in the wake of the recent earthquake in Nepal 
    • The conference seeks collaborative action amongst member countries to deal jointly and individually in disaster situations and ensure minimal loss of lives and property

    South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx) :-

    • India has taken the lead to begin the process of simulation exercises on disaster management in the region coined as "South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise" (SAADMEx) 
    • India has requested the participation of all SAARC countries for augmenting current levels of individual and joint preparedness for rescue, relief and response efforts during disaster situations. 
    • The main exercise will be held from November 23-26 in the National Capital Region and will consist of three components, namely the Table Top Exercise (TTx), the Field Training Exercise (FTx) and the After Action Review (AAR) 
    • The exercise will be followed by a a day-long SAARC Workshop on sharing Best Practices on "Disaster Risk Reduction" scheduled on November 27. 
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  • RBI to issue Rs 5 coin on golden jubilee of 1965 Indo-Pak war  

     

    RBI to issue Rs 5 coin on golden jubilee of 1965 Indo-Pak war

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    The Reserve Bank of India has decided to put into circulation Rs 5 coins to commemorate golden jubilee of Indo-Pak War 1965.
    The coins will be legal tender as provided in The Coinage Act 2011. Existing coins in this denomination will also continue to be legal tender 

    Obverse side:-

    • The new coin in the obverse will bear Lion Capital of Ashoka Pillar in the centre with Satyamev Jayate inscribed below it.

    Reverse Side :-

    • On the reverse it will bear image of 'Amar Jawan' monument along with the design of olive leaves branch on its left and right sides at the center, with the inscription "veerata aur balidan" in Devnagri script on the left upper periphery and "VALOUR AND SACRIFICE" in English on the right upper periphery.
    • The year "2015" is written below the image of the monument. "GOLDEN JUBILEE 1965 OPERATIONS" in English on the lower periphery will also be written on this face of the coin 

     

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  • Russia rejected French proposal to limit veto power of UNSC’s permanent members  

     

    Russia rejected French proposal to limit veto power of UNSC’s permanent members

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    • Russia on Wednesday dismissed a proposal of France asking United Nations Security Council (UNSC) permanent members to limit the use of the veto at the UN  Security Council
    • It should be noted that France has launched an initiative to persuade the other four Security Council permanent members - Britain, China, Russia and the United States -  to refrain from using their veto when action is required to address a mass atrocity.
    • Russia in July blocked two resolutions by resorting to its veto power, one that would have declared the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia to be a genocide and another on setting up a tribunal to try those responsible for the downing of Flight MH17 over Ukraine.
    • France's idea has been welcomed by some 70 non-veto wielding member-states at the United Nations. China and the United States however have also expressed reservations.
    • Veto power can be termed as the de-facto control over the UNSC by the five nations, since the creation of UN in 1945. But in recent times calls for re-thinking its use have mounted as the world body celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2015.
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  • Haryana Government wins Skoch Order-of-Merit National award for implementing e-governance, IT

     

    Haryana Government wins Skoch Order-of-Merit National award for implementing e-governance, IT
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    • Haryana has bagged the Skoch Order-of-Merit national award in implementation of six e-Governance and IT initiatives in the state.
    • It was announced by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar while addressing the members on the second day of Monsoon session of Haryana Vidhan Sabha
    • The state government has been invited to receive this prestigious award, which will be presented to the state government on September 22-23
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  • Centre cancels Greenpeace India’s registration

     

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    In a fresh crackdown on Greenpeace, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has cancelled the registration of Greenpeace India under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. Henceforth, Greenpeace India will be not able to receive any kind of foreign donations from its international network.

    Background :-

    • In April this year, the MHA suspended registration of  Greenpeace India for six months for mixing foreign and domestic funds and not disclosing the movement of its funds. 
    • Greenpeace India then moved an application challenging the “arbitrary decision” of the MHA and was granted relief on May 27 by the court which allowed it to use two of its accounts for receiving and utilising fresh domestic donations for day-to-day functioning. 
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