Current Affairs, News & Facts of 20 Jul 2015

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  • Kerala Tourism honoured with PATA Award 2015 for it's Muziris Heritage Project


    • Kerala Tourism has been awarded  prestigious Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award 2015 for  its Muziris Heritage Project this award was won by Kerala Tourism in the 'Heritage & Culture' category.
    • This award is in recognition of the Muziris project, aimed at restoring the historical and cultural significance of the ancient town that stretches across North Paravoor in Ernakulam to Kodungallur in Thrissur
    • There were 269 entries from 83 organisations and individuals worldwide for this year's award, the highest since 2007
    • Muziris Heritage Project is the flagship project of the government of Kerala and one of the biggest heritage conservation projects of modern India.
    About Muziris :-
    • Muziris was an ancient seaport and urban center  that dates back to 1st century BC and located at the mouth of the Periyar River in present south Indian state of Kerala.
    • Muziris has found historic importance in the bardic Sangam literature and a number of classical European historical sources
    • It was a key centre for trade in ancient times between southern India on one side and Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Roman Empire on the other side

    About Muziris Heritage Project:-

    It is an ambitious project of the Kerala Government to reinstate the historical and cultural significance of the legendary port of Muziris the entire project is designed to involve and integrate the local community in all intended developmental initiatives. 

    Key points of the Muziris project :-

    1. The largest heritage conservation project in India
    2. The first Green Project of the Government of Kerala
    3. More than 25 museums to appreciate the Muziris Heritage
    4. A research and academic institution to support the project

    Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) award :-

    • It is awarded to Travel and tourism industry organisations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions in successfully promoting the travel industry in the Asia Pacific region. The award is sponsored by the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO)
    • Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia-Pacific region.

    Image source : indiatvnews

  • Indian-origin doctor Shiv Pande receives honorary fellowship in UK 


    • Shiv Pande an Indian-origin doctor has received the honorary fellowship by of the University of Central Lancashire which is one of the leading British Universities 
    • Shiv Pande has been awarded the fellowship of the University for his contribution to the community as a general practitioner and medical educator.
    • Born and educated in India, Pande obtained his MBBS and Ms (General Surgery) degrees in India before moving to the UK in 1971 
    • In UK he worked in cardio-thoracic surgery at London Chest Hospital, Broad Green Hospital and Fazakerley Hospital, Liverpool until 1974.
    • Earlier, he was honoured with the award at Preston Guildhall by The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) for his contribution to medical services
    • For his community work Shiv Pande was presented with a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen Elizabeth II.

    Image source : indianexpress

  • 17 new police battalions to be raised for Jammu and Kashmir and Naxal-hit states 


    Home Ministry has approved to raise Seventeen new police battalions, comprising 18,700 personnel in Jammu and Kashmir and the Naxal-hit states

    • Of these 17 police battalions, 5 battalions will be for Jammu and Kashmir and 12 for the Maoist-affected states
    • Each of the battalions will comprise 1,100 recruits and these battalions will be raised by recruiting local youths. 
    • In case of Naxal-hit states, 75 per cent vacancies will be filled up by youths from the 27 worst-affected districts. 
    • In case of Jammu and Kashmir, the recruitment process will concentrate on insurgency prone areas. 

    The cost of raising each of the battalion will be around Rs 61 crore and 75 per cent of it will be provided by the central government although this cost is much lower than raising of a paramilitary battalion which costs around Rs 160 crore 

    Currently there are 144 India Reserve Battalions in various states. In addition, the Centre has recently approved raising eight additional IR Battalions four each for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. 

    Personnel of India Reserve Battalion are normally deployed in their respective states but they can be deployed in other states too if there is a requirement. 

    Image credit : indian defense news

  • Japan pledges 26% emissions cut by 2030


    • Japan which is world's sixth biggest greenhouse gas polluter, has pledged to cut emissions 26 percent from 2013 levels by 2030 in a move to fight calamitous global warming.
    • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe led government submitted its ambitious target to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
    • Japan became the 19th party, including the 28-member EU bloc, to submit a carbon-cutting pledge to the United Nations ahead of a November 30-December 11 conference in Paris.
    • Tokyo's  total greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 amounted to some 1.4 billion tonnes.
    • The total global greenhouse gas emissions is now about 50 billion tonnes per year, of which China, the United States and Europe account for about half

    Japan's network of nuclear reactors which once provided a quarter of the country's power, was switched off after the Fukushima accident  when reactors went into meltdown after their cooling systems were flooded so currently Japan is relied much more heavily on coal-fired power stations which is  among the worst emitters of planet-warming greenhouse gases.

    How does Japan plans to achieve it's target ?

    • Renewable electricity production, including hydro power, would be expanded to 22-24 percent of the total from 11 percent for the year to March 2014
    • Nuclear energy which has became deeply unpopular and offline since the 2011 tsunami-induced Fukushima disaster, must provide about 20-22 percent of electricity production by 2030

    Image source :skynews

  • Union Agriculture Minister launches PGS-India, Soil Health Card and FQCS Web Portals


    • Union Agriculture Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh has launched 3 web portals which are  Soil Health Card portal (SHC)  Fertiliser Quality Control System portal (FQCS ) and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) 
    • These portals seek to make the process of fertilisers’ quality checking, organic farming certification and issuance of soil health cards more friendly for farmers and it will also bring transparency and accountability

    Soil Health Card portal (SHC) 

    • Soil Health Card portal has been developed for registration of soil samples, recording test results of soil samples and generation of Soil Health Card (SHC) along with Fertilizer Recommendations.
    • The system has sample tracking feature and will provide alerts to farmers about sample registration and generation of Soil Health Card through SMS and Email.
    • Soil Health Card portal aims to generate and issue Soil Health Cards based on either Soil Test-Crop Response (STCR) formulae developed by ICAR or General Fertilizer Recommendations provided by State Governments. 
    • Based on test results, these recommendations will be calculated automatically by the system.  Micronutrients suggestions will also be provided by the system.

    Fertilizer Quality Control System Portal (FQCS ) 

    • Fertilizer Quality Control System (FQCS) is a web based and configurable workflow application developed by NIC for processing of sample collection, testing and generation of analysis reports
    • India imports large quantity of various fertilizers to meet the demands. About 25-30% of the requirement of Urea, 90% of the requirement of DAP and 100% of the requirement of MOP are met by imports. The CFQC&TI and its three RFCLs are assigned the responsibility to check the quality of imported fertilizers. 

    Participatory Guarantee System ( PGS )

    • Participatory Guarantee System is a process of certifying organic products which ensures agriculture production process in accordance with the standards laid down for organic products and that desired quality has been maintained
    • Participatory Guarantee System has been implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India  to promote domestic organic market growth and also to enable small and marginal farmer to have easy access to organic certification

    Image source :samachar plus

  • Israel offers help to clean up river Ganges  


    • Israel which is India’s biggest defence partner is also known for it's water purification and waste water treatment expertise has  expressed interest in sharing its expertise to help the government with its ambitious Ganga cleaning project.
    • Israel’s water management, desalination and recycling techniques, which helped it overcome a water crisis following years of drought is exemplary. 
    • Israel has proper well set module for reusing wastewater for irrigation. It treats 80 per cent of its domestic wastewater, which is recycled for agricultural use. Israel uses  nearly 50 per cent of the total water used for agriculture.
    • Israel has also offered to streamline the water management and distribution services to help India save water and improve water utilities systems,
    • The Centre had set a target of three years to rejuvenate the polluted holy river Ganga and has formed an integrated plan 'Namaami Gange' in this regard.

    Israeli officials have met their counterparts in the Union Ministry for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, headed by Uma Bharti, to offer help in water conservation and the Ganga cleaning programme for which a delegation of experts from Israel will be in India in August to assess the areas of Ganga cleaning

    Image source :


2nd Aug

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Todays test

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