NATIONAL

1. The Union Ministry of Women & Child Development has clarified that Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (B3P) Scheme has no provision for individual cash transfer component. It has warned the unauthorised websites/organisations, NGOs, individuals that are distributing forms in the name of cash incentives under B3P Scheme.

2. The Income Tax Department (ITD) launched Operation Clean Money (Swachh Dhan Abhiyan), an e-platform to analyse large cash deposits made during the demonetization window (9 November to 30 December 2016). Under it, e-verification of large cash has been done using data analytics for comparing the demonetisation data with information in ITD databases.

3. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has launched climate change programme to conduct study to assess the status, distribution and conservation of Pheasants and Finches in Central Himalayas. It is long-term monitoring project funded by Oracle and facilitated by CAF-India. It will focus on their conservation in the context of climate change with the help of community participation.

4. The Economic Survey 2016-17 tabled in Parliament has advocated for the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as an alternative to the various social welfare schemes in an effort to reduce poverty. It suggests that a more efficient way to help the poor will be to provide them resources directly, through a UBI. It will be an efficient substitute for a plethora of existing welfare schemes and subsidies.

5. India and Russia have held high-level consultations on counter-terrorism issues in New Delhi. Both sides shared views and assessment on the threats posed by increasing terrorist activities including India’s concern on state-sponsored, cross-border terrorism. The Indian delegation was led by Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) in the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) while the Russian delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Oleg V. Syromolotov.

6. The Union Budget 2017-18 has announced that Government will set up five Special Tourism Zones in partnership with States. These five special zones will be anchored as Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) that will be set up in partnership with the States. In this budget, government has allocated Rs. 1,840.77 crore to the Tourism Ministry, Rs. 250 crore more in the 2017-18 fiscal.

7. The Union Government has singed Financing Agreement for IDA credit of $201.50 million with World Bank for the ‘Third Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme’ (TEQIP III). The agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India.

8. India and Sri Lanka have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to construct a new multi-ethnic tri-lingual secondary school in Polonnaruwa District of Sri Lanka. The MoU was signed by of India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Secretary to the Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi.

9. The two-day meeting of SAARC Programming Committee was held in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. All eight members participated in the meeting. This was the first senior level meeting of Association since postponement of 19th SAARC Summit in November 2016 after four nations Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and India had requested for it following escalation of tension between India and Pakistan over the issue of terrorism.

10. The Union Government has announced two measures in the Budget 2017-18 to bring in greater transparency in funding of political parties. These include capping cash funding by a single anonymous donor to Rs. 2000 (one tenth of the current limit of Rs 20,000) and introduction of the electoral bonds. It will take effect from 1 April, 2018.

11. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget Speech 2017-18 announced corpus of Rs 500 crore for setting up Mahila Shakti Kendras in the 14 lakh ICDS Anganwadi Centres at village level. These kendras will provide one stop convergent support services for empowering rural women with opportunities for skill development, employment, health, nutrition and digital literacy.

12. The Union Health Ministry has notified new rules for medical devices to remove regulatory bottlenecks and ensure availability of medical devices for patients. Under the new rules, manufactures will not be required to renew licenses periodically and submission of applications and grant of licenses will be done online.

13. The Union Ministry of Railways and Italy’s public sector rail company Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane Group (FS Group) has signed MoU for technical cooperation in rail sector especially in the area of safety and modernisation. The MoU comes in the backdrop of emphasis given Railway Ministry on safety in railway operation. The Railway Board has been directed to collaborate with the international experts to identify the best practices for rail safety.

14. The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) jointly launched India Innovation Index. Besides country’s first innovation index portal was also launched. The index has been jointly developed by NITI Aayog, DIPP and CII in consultation with World Economic Forum (WEF), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University, UNIDO, ILO, OECD, UNESCO, ITU etc.

15. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in the country at Bengaluru, Karnataka. It is largest ever in any campaign against these two diseases will start from five States/UTs viz. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep covering nearly 3.6 crore target children.

16. The Union government has formed a six-member committee to study the ways to improve India’s Haj policy and look into the issue of subsidy to the pilgrimage in light of a 2012 Supreme Court order on gradually reducing and abolishing it by 2022. The convenor of committee is Afzal Amanullah, former Consul-Consul General of India in Jeddah. Besides, former Bombay High Court judge SS Parkar, former Haj Committee of India Chairman Qaiser Shamim, former Air India Chairman and Managing Director Michael Mascarenhas and Muslim scholar, Kamal Faruqui, are its members.

17. The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRB) will soon set up a department National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct examinations for higher and secondary education. NTA will be the single authority that will conduct entrance tests for all higher institutions like JEE, NEET, NET and other prestigious exams.

18. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Senegal in the field of Health and Medicine. Both countries will set up a Working Group to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.

19. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan’ (PMGDISHA) to make 6 crore rural households digitally literate by March 2019. PMGDISHA is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world. This approval comes in line with the announcement made by Union Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2016-17.

20. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) under the Department of Revenue, Union Ministry of Finance has entered into four more unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs). These four APAs are related to Manufacturing, Financial and Information Technology sectors. They cover international transactions such as Contract Manufacturing, Software Development Services and IT Enabled Services. With this, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 130. It includes 122 Unilateral APAs and 8 bilateral APAs. In the current financial year (2016-17), total 66 APAs (5 bilateral APAs and 61 unilateral APAs) were signed.

21. India will make a presentation on the proposed Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement to World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo and India Inc. The global pact proposed by India to boost services trade at the WTO-level aims to ease norms including those relating to movement of foreign skilled workers and professionals across borders for short-term work. The proposed services pact is similar to the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Goods adopted by the WTO Members in 2014 at Bali Summit to ease customs norms for boosting global goods trade.

22. The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology and innovation. The MoU was signed between India’s Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology and France’s public Investment Bank Bpifrance.

23. The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Framework Agreement between India and Vietnam on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes. The Framework Agreement was signed in September 2016. It will enable pursuing the potential interest areas of cooperation such as space science, technology and applications between both countries.

24. India and United Kingdom (UK) have signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to ease restrictions on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries. The MoU was formally signed by Union Minister of Civil Aviation Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju on behalf of India and Lord Tariq Ahmad of UK during his visit to India.

25. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up an inter-disciplinary Standing Committee on cyber security to examine various threats and suggest measures to deal with it. The committee will suggest appropriate policy interventions to strengthen cyber security and resilience in a bid to strengthen cyber security system.

26. he Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched pilot Revenue Insurance Scheme for Plantation Crops (RISPC) for protecting the growers from the risks such as pest attacks, yield loss and income decline caused by fall in prices. It was announced by Union Minister of State (MoS) Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

27. The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has constituted a sub-committee of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) to look into issues of girl’s education. It will be headed by Telangana’s Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Kadiyam Srihari. It will submit its report to the Union government within one year.

28. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed senior bureaucrat Ajay Tyagi (58) as the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

29. The Union Government is targeting an investment of about Rs. 2,200 crore in start-ups working on new technologies in the electronic sector under the Electronics Development Fund (EDF) by 2019. This investment aims at creating an eco-system to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing. Earlier, Government had approved Rs.681 crore as seed capital for building a total corpus of over Rs 6,800 crore under the EDF meant to support entrepreneurship and innovation in electronics and IT.

30. The Union Government has constituted inter-departmental task force comprising members of various regulatory Ministries and enforcement agencies to crack down on benami firms. It is first major post-demonetisation move undertaken by Government for unearthing black money from shell companies used for large-scale money laundering and tax evasion.

31. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has planned to develop large deposits of uranium found in Meghalaya to tap its potential to generate substantial nuclear fuel for atomic power plants in the country. It was announced by Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which looks after DAE, in a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha.

32. India is planning to host a conference on counter-radicalisation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in October 2017. It will provide common platform to countries for sharing experiences and ideas on prevention of radicalisation amid rise of Islamic State and other extremist ideologies

33. The Union Government is planning to come out with ‘Indradhanush 2.0’, a comprehensive plan for recapitalisation of public sector lenders. Indradhanush 2.0 will be finalised by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) after completion of Asset Quality Review (AQR) which is likely to be completed by end of March 2017. It aims to clean up the balance sheets of PSBs to ensure banks remain solvent and fully comply with global capital adequacy norms, Basel-III. Besides, revised programme of capitalisation will be also issued as part of
34. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has opened a first-of-its-kind South Asia Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTAC) in New Delhi for economic capacity building in South Asia. It will work to support local member countries of South Asia viz. India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka to build human and institutional capacity and implement policies for growth and poverty reduction.

35. According to a new study of global air pollution India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is now surpassing China’s as the deadliest in the world. The report was issued jointly by Health Effects Institute, a Boston research institute focused on the health effects of air pollution, and Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, Seattle based population health research centre.

36. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created history by successfully launching a record 104 satellites in single mission. These satellites were launched on board of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37, on its 39th mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.’

37. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has constituted a Panel on Food Fortification and Nutrition to identify critical nutritional gaps in the Indian diet in general and also in specific target groups. The 11 member panel will frame final regulations on fortification of foods and prepare strategies to address malnutrition problem.

38. India has joined Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, a global health network focused on improving the quality of care for new mothers and babies. The network is supported by World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners.

39. The Ministry of Mines has launched Transparency, Auction Monitoring and Resource Augmentation (TAMRA) Portal and Mobile Application to ensure transparent award of statutory Clearances for mining operations The TAMRA platform was simultaneously launched across 12 mineral rich states as a part of the Ease of Doing Business in the Mining sector and to double mining contribution to GDP.

40. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved establishment of Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP) at Amlaha in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh with Satellite Hubs in West Bengal and Rajasthan. Cabinet approval confers FLRP an international status as contemplated in Clause 3 of the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947. It authorizes the Department of Agricultural Research (DARE) on behalf of Union Government in all matters regarding establishment of the Platform.

41. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved to award contract in 31 contract areas of small oil and gas fields belonging to ONGC and Oil India Limited (OIL) The contract areas include 44 fields, 28 inland and 16 offshore. The will be awarded under Discovered Small Field Policy bid round – 2016.

42. The Supreme Court has introduced Middle Income Group Scheme, (MIGS) a self-supporting scheme for providing legal services to the middle and relatively lower income groups. Under this scheme, middle class people who cannot afford the expensive litigation in the apex can avail the services of the society for a nominal amount.

43. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the merger of State Bank of India (SBI) with five of its associate/subsidiary banks. These five subsidiary banks are State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore. The Union Cabinet also approved the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to repeal the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959 and the State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956.

44. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved introduction of Bill in Parliament to extend the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to Jammu & Kashmir. The Amendment will be pertained to statistics under Union (List-I) and Concurrent lists (List- III) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution and Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954.

45. The GST Council has approved a law to compensate states for any loss of revenue from the implementation of the new nationwide indirect taxation regime. The meeting was held in Udaipur, Rajasthan first time outside national capital. It was headed by Union Finance Minister and attended by representatives from all states.

46. India was ranked 143rd out of 186 economies in the annual Index of Economic Freedom 2017 that measures the degree of economic freedom in the countries of the world. The index was released by top US based Think Tank, The Heritage Foundation. In this edition, India’s overall score was 52.6 points, 3.6 points less than scored in 2016 when it was ranked 123rd.

47. The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has released the new format for recording and reporting road accident data. The uniform accident-recording format has been drawn on the lines of developed countries. It has been forwarded to all state police and transport departments for adaptation and to furnish annual road accident data.

48. The Union Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have signed MoU to step up interventions for the welfare and economic development of scheduled caste artisans. The MoU was signed between Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles and National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), a CPSU under Ministry of Social Justice.

49. India and Rwanda have inked three agreements in the fields of innovation, aviation and visa requirements to boost bilateral relations. These agreements were signed in Kigali in the presence of Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari and Rwandan Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi during a business forum meet. Vice President is the first Indian leader to officially visit Rwanda. He launched India-Rwanda innovation growth programme.

50. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched SAATHIYA Resource Kit and SAATHIYA SALAH mobile app for adolescents as part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) programme. The kit and app will help Peer Educators (Saathiyas) who are introduced under the RKSK programme. The Saathiyas act as catalyst for generating demand for adolescent health services and also impart age appropriate knowledge on key adolescent health issues to their peer groups.

51. The Union Government has announced the expansion of rotavirus vaccine in five additional states under Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP). They are Assam, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The announcement comes after 38 lakh children were vaccinated when the vaccine was first introduced in four states – Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

52. The Union Government has launched Bharat QR code, a quick response (QR) code to enable digital payments without card swiping machines. It is world’s first interoperable payment acceptance solution launched by Indian Government to move towards less-cash economy.

53. The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched Cyber Swachhta Kendra in New Delhi for Botnet cleaning and Malware analysis. It was launched by Union Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad as part of Union Government’s ambitious digital India initiative to create a secure cyber space by detecting botnet infections. Besides, minister also launched some cyber security tools. They are USB Pratirodh: It is a desktop security solution to protect from USB mass storage device threats. AppSamvid: It is a desktop solution to protect systems by allowing installation of genuine applications through white listing. It helps in preventing threats from malicious applications. M-Kavach: It is an indigenously developed mobile application to address the security threats in mobiles.

54. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved investment for the generation component of 900-MW Arun 3 hydropower project for an estimated Rs. 5723.72 crore ($854.4 million). The project is located on Arun River in Sankhuwasabha district of eastern Nepal. It is expected to be completed within five years from the date of financial closure, which is planned for September 2017.

55. Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Greece. At present there is no ASA between India and Greece. The delegations both countries in September 2016 had finalized the text of ASA. The agreement is as per latest International Civil Aviation

56. Indian Railways has unveiled Antyodaya Express, a new train for the unreserved passengers. It was unveiled by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi’s Safdarjang station. The first Antyodaya Express is slated to start between Mumbai (Maharashtra) and Tatanagar (Jharkhand) and second between Ernakulam and Howrah.

57. The first Strategic Dialogue between India and China was held in Beijing, capital of China to shore up bilateral ties. The meeting was co-chaired by India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and China’s Executive Vice Foreign minister Zhang Yesui.

58. Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Greece. At present there is no ASA between India and Greece. The delegations both countries in September 2016 had finalized the text of ASA. The agreement is as per latest International Civil Aviation

59. The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Goods of World Trade Organisation (WTO) came into effect with its ratification by two-thirds members of WTO including India. The TFA in Goods was adopted by the WTO Members in 2014. It aims to streamline, simplify, standardise and ease customs procedures and norms. It will help to cut trade costs around the world.

60. Sikkim became 22nd state in the country to join Union Government’s Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY). In this regard, Central Government and the state government have signed MoU for operational improvement of Sikkim’s Power Distribution Department.

61. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has launched a mobile application for Goods and Services Tax (GST) to inform the taxpayers of the latest updates on GST. The app has been launched inline Union Government’s flagship Digital India initiative. It enables taxpayers to be well informed of the latest updates on GST.

62. India and Bangladesh have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the sustainable development of Sylhet, a metropolitan city in northeastern Bangladesh with financial aid from India. The signing of MoU comes after Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar’s visit to Bangladesh to discuss preparatory aspects of PM Sheikh Hasina’s proposed visit to India in April 2017 and other aspects of bilateral relations.

63. The Union Urban Development Ministry has formulated ‘National Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Policy’ to address the challenges of urbanisation. The policy framework aims to promote living close to mass urban transit corridors like the Metros, monorail and bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors

64. The Union Ministry of Urban Development approved development of 6 km long Bet Dwarka Darshan Circuit in Gujarat under Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY). Decision in this regard, was taken HRIDAY National Empowered Committee meeting chaired by Urban Development Secretary in New Delhi.

65. India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed $375 million pact for loans and grants to develop 800 km Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor. It is the first phase of a planned 2,500-km East Coast Economic Corridor. Earlier in September 2016, ADB had approved $631 million in loans and grants for the industrial corridor.

66. India and Germany have ratified a comprehensive Social Security Agreement (SSA) to improve investment flows between the two countries. The agreement was signed in October 2011 and its instruments of ratification were exchanged in February 2017. It will come into force from May 1, 2017.

67. india’s first integrated heliport was inaugurated today at Rohini in North Delhi. This heliport has been developed by Pawan Hans Limited. It will play an important role in providing various helicopter services ranging from offshore transport, connecting remote & inaccessible Islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep besides promoting heli-tourism in India.

68. Senior tribal leader from Chhattisgarh and ex-parliamentarian Nand Kumar Sai took charge as Chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in Delhi. He succeeds Rameshwar Oraon, whose tenure had ended on October 31, 2016. He will have tenure of three years and has been given the rank of Union Cabinet Minister.

INTERNATIONAL

1. China has successfully tested a new version of a DF-5C missile that can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads in January 2017. The flight test of the missile was carried using 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles, (MIRVs), from the Taiyuan Space Launch Centre in Shanxi province and to an impact range in the western Taklamakan desert.

2. The two-day meeting of SAARC Programming Committee was held in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. All eight members participated in the meeting. This was the first senior level meeting of Association since postponement of 19th SAARC Summit in November 2016 after four nations Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and India had requested for it following escalation of tension between India and Pakistan over the issue of terrorism.

3. The fourth edition of BIMSTEC Summit-2017 will be held in Nepal. It was announced in the 17th session of BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) held in Kathmandu, capital Nepal. In this meeting, delegates of seven member countries reviewed the progress made by BIMSTEC and recommended future course of action to strengthen regional cooperation among the group. The importance of BIMSTEC was highlighted during the BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit held at Goa in October 2016. In this summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his desire to promote BIMSTEC and assured full cooperation it needs to move on.

4. Scientists for the first time have successfully implanted world’s smallest pacemaker dubbed as Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) in a patient in United States. The pacemaker about size of large vitamin capsule is for patients with bradycardia, a condition characterised by a slow heart rate, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute.

5. NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft completed closest flyby of Jupiter mysterious cloud tops for the fourth time. All eight of Juno’s science instruments were switched on during the flyby. During its closest approach it was roughly 4,300 km above Jupiter’s cloud tops and travelled at a speed of about 208,000 kmph. Currently, Juno is locked in a 53-day orbit around Jupiter. It is expected to perform three dozen flybys over the next one and a half years. During its flybys, Juno probes beneath the cloud cover of Jupiter and studies Jupiter’s auroras to learn more about its origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

6. Geologists have claimed discovery of new geological continent named Zealandia submerged beneath the south-west Pacific Ocean. Zealandia is around 4.5-million square km land mass and is 94% under water. Only its highest points — New Zealand and New Caledonia are visible.

PERSON IN NEWS

1. Edappadi K Palaniswamy was sworn in as the 13th chief minister of Tamil Nadu. He was administered oath of office and secrecy in a simple ceremony held at the Durbar Hall of Raj Bhavan in Chennai, state capital. Along with Palaniswamy, 30 other ministers also took oath, with the total strength of the cabinet at 31. Now Palaniswamy will seek vote of confidence on the floor of the state Assembly.

2. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed senior bureaucrat Ajay Tyagi (58) as the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Mr. Tyagi will have tenure of 5 years or till the age of 65 years or until further orders. He will succeed UK Sinha whose term ends on March 1, 2017. His name was recommended by the search-cum-selection panel headed by the cabinet secretary along with some other candidates.

3. Dr P Raghu Ram, President of Association of Breast Surgeons of India was awarded prestigious Dr B C Roy national award for outstanding service in the field of socio-medical relief for 2016. The award will be conferred on him by President Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of the Doctors day observed every year on 1st July.

4. Senior tribal leader from Chhattisgarh and ex-parliamentarian Nand Kumar Sai (71) took charge as Chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in Delhi. He succeeds Rameshwar Oraon, whose tenure had ended on October 31, 2016. He will have tenure of three years and has been given the rank of Union Cabinet Minister.

5. Shurhozelie Liezitsu (81) was sworn-in as the 17th Chief Minister of Nagaland. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor PB Acharya at a ceremony in the state capital Kohima. He succeeded TR Zeliang, who had resigned as the Chief Minister following widespread protests over reservation to women in local body elections. Besides CM, 10 other members of the Council also took oath.

6. Renowned Hindi Scholar, litterateur and playwright Surendra Verma (75) was selected for the prestigious Vyas Samman 2016. He was chosen for this award for his novel Kaatna Shami Ka Vriksha : Padma Pankhuri Ki Dhar Se, published in 2010.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Scientists from US and India have found that consumption of litchi fruit on an empty stomach can result in very low blood glucose level and acute encephalopathy leading to seizures and coma, and causes death in Children in many cases. Litchi fruit contains the toxins hypoglycin A and methylenecyclopropyl-glycine (MCPG). Its consumption and skipping evening meals causes very low blood glucose level (less than normal 70 mg/dL) and acute encephalopathy in children.

2. Scientists have confirmed the existence of a “lost continent” under the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. It is left over by the break-up of the super-continent Gondwana, which started about 200 million years ago. The discovery was based on study of Zircon, a mineral found in rocks spewed up by lava during volcanic eruptions which is too old to belong to Mauritius.

3. Chinese scientists from Northwest A&F University have produced world’s first live cows with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis (TB). This development shows that genetic modification technology can be better suited to producing transgenic livestock with purposefully manipulated genetic.

4. Scientists for the first time have successfully implanted world’s smallest pacemaker dubbed as Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) in a patient in United States. The pacemaker about size of large vitamin capsule is for patients with bradycardia, a condition characterised by a slow heart rate, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute.

5. NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft completed closest flyby of Jupiter mysterious cloud tops for the fourth time. All eight of Juno’s science instruments were switched on during the flyby. During its closest approach it was roughly 4,300 km above Jupiter’s cloud tops and travelled at a speed of about 208,000 kmph. Currently, Juno is locked in a 53-day orbit around Jupiter. It is expected to perform three dozen flybys over the next one and a half years. During its flybys, Juno probes beneath the cloud cover of Jupiter and studies Jupiter’s auroras to learn more about its origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

6. According to recent study, an innovative vaccine made from genetic material protected lab animals from the Zika virus in experiments. A single, low dose of the vaccine shielded mice exposed to Zika five months after the shot. Even monkeys exposed five weeks after they were innoculated were also not affected by the virus.

7. Scientists from Japan have developed terahertz (THz) transmitter technology, a next generation system which can transmit digital data over 10 times faster than 5G mobile networks. It will pave transmitting digital data at a rate exceeding 100 gigabits per second (gbps) over a single channel using the 300-gigahertz band.

8. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), a United Nations agricultural agency has called for International collaboration on wheat rust to curb threat to global supplies. According to studies produced by scientists in collaboration with FAO, wheat in Africa, Asia and Europe is increasingly threatened by fresh groups of wheat rust.

9. Researchers from MIT have developed a small battery that runs on stomach acids and is capable of powering e-pills to monitor patient health. The small system can generate enough power to run small sensors or drug delivery devices that can reside in the gastrointestinal tract for extended periods of time.

10. According to new study was published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, scientists have identified the evolutionary pathway that led some plants to turn carnivorous. The new finding explains why pitcher plants (carnivorous plants) from different parts of the world appear strikingly similar despite having evolved independently.

11. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created history by successfully launching a record 104 satellites in single mission. These satellites were launched on board of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37, on its 39th mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.’

12. Scientists have developed novel rubber like material nicknamed ‘thubber’ which has high thermal conductivity and elasticity. It is an electrically insulating composite material that exhibits an unprecedented combination of metal-like thermal conductivity, elasticity similar to soft, biological tissue.

13. Scientists have developed novel rubber like material nicknamed ‘thubber’ which has high thermal conductivity and elasticity. It is an electrically insulating composite material that exhibits an unprecedented combination of metal-like thermal conductivity, elasticity similar to soft, biological tissue.

14. Scientists from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have made world’s strongest material graphene commercially more viable by using soybean. They have developed a novel “GraphAir technology” which transforms soybean oil, a renewable, natural material into graphene films in a single step.

15. Scientists from University of Western Australia have successfully mapped three-dimensional molecular structure of EptA protein that shields superbugs from antibiotics. The EptA protein causes multi-drug resistance by masking bacteria from both the human immune system and important antibiotics.

16. Geologists have claimed discovery of new geological continent named Zealandia submerged beneath the south-west Pacific Ocean. Zealandia is around 4.5-million square km land mass and is 94% under water. Only its highest points — New Zealand and New Caledonia are visible.

17. Researchers from US based Michigan State University have developed the first stretchable integrated circuit (IC) made entirely using an inkjet printer. This elastic material is made up of several materials fabricated from nanomaterials and organic compounds. These compounds are dissolved in solution to produce different electronic inks, which can easily run through printer to make devices.
18. The Union Government has launched Bharat QR code, a quick response (QR) code to enable digital payments without card swiping machines. It is world’s first interoperable payment acceptance solution launched by Indian Government to move towards less-cash economy
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19. The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched Cyber Swachhta Kendra in New Delhi for Botnet cleaning and Malware analysis. It was launched by Union Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad as part of Union Government’s ambitious digital India initiative to create a secure cyber space by detecting botnet infections.

20. Scientists have discovered four new species of miniature night frogs no bigger than a human thumbnail in Western Ghats, a global biodiversity hotspot. These species were discovered among the seven new ‘Night Frogs’ by a team of researchers from the University of Delhi and Kerala Forest Department.

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