Current Affairs, News & Facts of 23 Jul 2015

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  • Puducherry city emerges first to get Smart city nomination

     

    • Puducherry has emerged as the first nomination for Smart City Mission to be received by the Ministry of Urban Development
    • The Government of Union Territory of Puducherry has nominated its capital city for inclusion in the 100 Smart Cities Mission launched on the 25th of last month. 
    • Government of Puducherry has forwarded the nomination along with all the forms and documents 
    • Stage-1 of ‘City Challenge’ competition required details of evaluation of all the five urban local bodies in the Union Territory which include  Puducherry, Oulgaret, Kariakal, Mahe and Yanam
    • The High Powered Steering Committee (HPSC) constituted as per the Mission Guidelines and headed by Chief Secretary has overseen the process of first stage intra-state competition and sent its recommendations to the Urban Development Ministry of the Government of India.
    • Puducherry which has a population of 6,57,209 has done well in respect of several Stage-1 evaluation criteria and scored 75 of the possible 100 marks

    Achievements of Puducherry as per the evaluation :-

    • Achieved 18% improvement in provision of Household sanitary latrines since 2011.
    • Increased internal revenue generation continuously over the three year period 2012-13 – 2014-15 marking an improvement of 14%.
    • Paid Salaries of staff till last month.
    • Has got Accounts audited up to 2012-13.
    • Had 63% of budgeted receipts from tax revenue, fees, user charges, rents and other internal resources during 2014-15.
    • Met 23% of its capital expenditure from internal resources.
    • Met about 80% O&M costs of water supply through user charges. 
    • Has an operational online grievance redressal system and published monthly e-news letter; and 
    • Posted details of municipal budget expenditure for the last two financial years on its website.

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    Image source :btvin.com

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  • 1993 Mumbai Serial Blasts Convict Yakub Memon gets no relief from SC, to be hanged July 30 

     

    • Supreme Court dismissed the curative petition 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts convict Yakub Memon who is on the death row, he is set to be hanged on July 30. President Pranab Mukherjee too had rejected his mercy petition.
    • A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu dismissed Memon’s curative petition, which had urged the court to reconsider his capital punishment on various grounds.
    • Yakub Memon was sentenced to death eight years ago in the March 12, 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case under Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act
    • Memon had applied for curative petition after his review petition was rejected earlier by the SC upholding the death sentence to him. This will be the first execution related to the 1993 serial blasts, in which over 250 people were killed.

    What is curative petition ?

    A curative petition is the last legal remedy available to a convict and is meant to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice. After a review petition against the judgment of conviction is dismissed, a curative petition is filed. It is decided by judges in chamber unless a specific plea for an open-court hearing is allowed. 

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    Image source : sahilonline

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  • Union Government launches Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan

     

    • Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas on launched a countrywide campaign 'Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan', to create mass awareness and capacity building for safe and hygienic food.
    • The initiative complements the widely popular multi-media campaign of his Ministry under the brand name of 'Jago Grahak Jago' which empowers the consumers of its rights and demands.
    • This campaign, planned by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Consumer Organization VOICE, and National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), is an effort towards building a culture of food safety in the country.
    • Under the campaign, nationwide sensitisation sessions on cleaning, hygiene and sanitation for safe food, walkathons and media dissemination programmes for consumers, street food industries will be organized across the country.
    • Union  Minister also launched a website and a logo of the campaign along with signing a pledge for adopting safe food practices

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    Image source :sarkarimirror

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  • NDRI scientists developed Low-Cholesterol Ghee  

     

    • A team of researchers at National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), a deemed university and a premier institute of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (IARI) have developed a technique to decrease cholesterol level in Ghee (clear butter).
    • The new ghee that is scientifically tested  contains 85% less cholesterol than natural desi ghee prepared from cow or buffalo milk cream.
    • The best part of the technique is it is simple technology that does not add any extra cost in the production and the  ghee produced using this technique has been found up to the prescribed standards.
    • (NDRI) has decided to encourage milk cooperative societies in Haryana and Punjab to launch similar product to meet the demand of health-conscious section of the society.
    • NDRI signed a memorandum of understanding with Vaishal Patliputra Dugdh Utpadak Sahkari Sangh Ltd Patna, popularly known as Patna Dairy Project.  Bihar dairy officials have planned to launch the product within two months and it is a major dairy brand in Bihar.
    • The technology is patented under the names of Dr Darshan Lal, Dr Vivek Sharma and Dr Raman Seth from the NDRI's dairy chemistry division. It should be noted that Cholesterol from ghee is reduced by processing and no chemical is used in its preparation

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    Image source :foodpathshala

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  • Supreme Court rejects Centre’s review plea seeking OBC status for Jats

     

    Supreme Court dismissed the Centre’s petition and  Jat applicants asking it to reconsider its verdict that had scrapped the March 2014 notification to include Jats in the central list of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category in nine states 

    A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justice Rohinton F Nariman dismissed the plea and declared Union Government decision to grant OBC status to JAT community as unconstitutional.

    The bench also rejected a separate plea by some Jat applicants, who cleared various stages of Probationary Officers recruitment exam under the reserved OBC category but were not given letters of appointment 

    Earlier also, the court had dismissed a plea of Jat students seeking benefits of reservation under OBC in the ongoing process of admission in post-graduate (PG) medical and dental course

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    Image source :indianexpress

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  • CCEA extends CCTNS deadline to March 2017

     

    Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA, has approved a Home Ministry proposal to extend the deadline for implementation of Crime and Criminals Tracking network and Systems (CCTNS) project till March 2017

    CCEA also approved additional five years phase for operation and maintenance of the CCTNS up to March 2022.

    The total outlay of the project will be Rs 2,000 crore out of which Rs 878 crore has already been released to implementing agencies and the balance will be released during the project implementation period

    About Criminals Tracking network and Systems (CCTNS)

    • Criminals Tracking network and Systems (CCTNS) is an  ambitious online system will help to provide number of citizen friendly services including police verification for passport verification, reporting a crime including cyber offences, linkage with UIDAI, National Population register and transport database
    • A list of proclaimed offenders, sex offenders and most wanted criminals will also be published on this citizen portal which will help law enforcing agencies as well as citizens. 
    • The portal will speed up service delivery, bring more transparency and increase convenience to citizens
    • The project will also streamline the criminal justice system by computerising the functioning of police stations, prisons, prosecution directorates, forensic laboratories and also ensuring smooth data exchange among these system as well as e-court systems that is already functional throughout the country
    • National-level crime analytics can be done in real time basis which will help policy makers as well as law makers in taking appropriate and timely action
    • The project would lead access to crime and criminal related database by investigating officers throughout the country. All police stations in the country will get networked with each other and can exchange information on a need basis

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    Image source : railnews

     

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  • Higgs Boson Theorist Peter Higgs receives world’s oldest scientific prize

     

    • Nobel prize winner Peter Higgs has won the world's oldest scientific prize  the Royal Society's Copley Medal  for his pioneering work on the theory of the Higgs boson with this he has joined the ranks of Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein  who were also the recipent of the prize during their time.
    • 86 year old  Peter Higgs received the Copley Medal for his fundamental contribution to particle physics with his theory explaining the origin of mass in elementary particles which was confirmed by the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider.
    • In 1964, Professor Higgs proposed his theory about the existence of a particle that explains why other particles have mass.At the same time, yet separately, Francois Englert and Robert Brout proposed the same theory. The existence of the Higgs boson was confirmed by two experiments carried out at the Large Hadron Collider in 2012. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 was awarded jointly to Higgs and Englert.
    • It should be noted that the Copley medal was first awarded by the Royal Society in 1731, 170 years before the first Nobel Prize.
    • Copley Medal is awarded for outstanding achievements in scientific research and has most recently been awarded to eminent scientists such as theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, DNA fingerprinting pioneer Alec Jeffreys and Andre Geim, for his discovery of graphene.

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    Image Source :home.bt.com

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  • Maruti Suzuki launches NEXA brand outlets for premium products

     

    • Based on the vision to sell two million vehicles annually by 2020 and with its eye on the growing premium car market  country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki launched a new dealership network, Nexa. 
    • Under Nexa brand the company intends to sell premium products as the company looks to further consolidate its position in the domestic market.Nearly 100 Nexa showrooms will come up across the country over the next six-eight months 
    • The company's upcoming S-Cross model would be the first product to be sold from Nexa outlets which will be launched in the first week of August and is expected to be priced around Rs. 10 lakh.  It will have two engine options, 1.6 litre and 1.3 litre diesel, which the company is sourcing from Fiat, under a licence agreement.
    • The company recently overtook its parent company Suzuki in market value and it saw its stock price touch a new high of Rs 4,243.90
    • Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) that has vast sales network with 1,650 dealerships across the country, plans to hire around 2,500 relationship managers, by the end of the fiscal for Nexa outlets.
    • The company plans to have around 30 Nexa outlets operational in the initial stage and for that over 1,000 relationship managers have already been hired 

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    Image source : indianexpress

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