FEBRUARY 2015

81st Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sahitya Sammelana

29-1422527288-sahityalanchanaDalit poet Siddalingaiah was the president of the 81st Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sahitya Sammelana that was held at Shravanabelagola in Hassan district on February, 2015.

He is the first ever dalit writer to preside over the Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana.

Siddalingaiah is a prominent Kannada poet and one of the founders of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti. A former chairman of the Department of Kannada Studies at Bangalore University, he was a nominated member of the Legislative Council for two terms. He is also a former chairman of the Kannada Development Authority and Karnataka Book Authority

About Kannada Sahitya Sammelana: 

  • Kannada Sahitya Sammelana (Kannada Literature Conference) is the premier gathering of writers, poets and kannadigas.
  • It is held with the aim of preserving and developing Kannada language, its literature, arts, culture and music.
  • It was started in 1915 by H. V. Nanjundaiah and held at Bangalore for the first time.
  • It used to be inaugurated by prominent writers and poets from 1915 to 1948. Since then it has been inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
  • The Kannada Sahitya Parishat is responsible for holding the gathering
  • Earlier Senior Dalit writer Devanooru Mahadeva had turned the request to preside over the event due to the failure of state government o impart primary education in Kannada medium mandatorily

    List of last 6 Saahitya sammelana:

76 2010 Gadag Geetha Nagabhushan
77 2011 Bangalore G. Venkatasubbaiah
78 2012 Gangavati C.P.Krishnakumar
79 2013 Bijapur KO.Chanabassapa
80 2014 Madikeri Na D’Souza
81 2015 Sravanabelagola Dr. Siddalingaiah

About Kannada Saahithya Parishath (ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಪರಿಷತ್ತು) :

  • It is an Indian non-profit organisation that promotes the Kannada language.
  • Its headquarters is in Bangalore
  • It strives to promote Kannada language through publishing books, organising literary seminars and promoting research projects.
  • It also organises an annual conference on Kannada literature called Kannada Sahithya Sammelana.

Origin

  • During the British rule of India, Kannada speakers were spread across different provinces. Coming under the influence of different languages in those provinces, the pronunciation and grammar of Kannada language started to differ across provinces. This led to a gap in communication across the people in these provinces though they spoke the same language of Kannada.
  • Mokshagundam Vishweshwaraiah, who was the Diwan of the Mysore Kingdom felt the need to conserve and promote the Kannada language and literature. In this direction, he started the Mysore Economic Conference and created a study circle under H. V. Nanjundaiah. A sub-committee formed under the study circle came up with five different topics on which suggestions were invited:
    • To develop ideas to promote unity and co-operation among Kannada speakers spread across different regions.
    • To develop suggestions for a common written Kannada which had diversified across different regions
    • To ensure that students learning Kannada language use a common text book
    • To improve the general knowledge among the Kannada speaking population by publishing appropriate books.
    • To produce appropriate Kannada translations for words used in other languages, especially the scientific words.
  • The sub-committee received good responses from the public and it decided to organise a conference in Bangalore on 3 May 1915 to act upon these suggestions. The conference was held on the grounds of the Government High School and was attended by littérateurs, newspaper editors and other dignitaries from different regions.
  • The conference agreed to create the Karnataka Sahitya Parishat with a mandate to conserve and promote Kannada language and literature. H. V. Nanjundaiah was unanimously elected to be the President of the Parishat. Apart from the Mysore province, the Karnataka Sahitya Parishat was simultaneously started in the Madras, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kodagu provinces.

Growth

  • V. Nanjundaiah remained as President of the Parishat for the first five years of its creation.
  • In 1935, an annual event under the aegis of the Parishat called as Kannada Sahitya Sammelana commenced. The foundation ceremony of a separate building to house the Parishat was organised on 12 April 1937 under the Presidency of Karpura Srinivas Rao. The construction of this building was completed on 29 May 1938. B M Srikantaiah was the Vice President of the Parishat from 1938 till 1942.
  • In 1938, the name of Karnataka Sahitya Parishat was changed to Kannada Sahitya Parishat.
  • Under the guidance of B M Srikantaiah, the logo of the Parishat containing the map of the Mysore province with the phrase Sirigannadam gelge, Kannada Sahitya Parishat written inside it was created.
  • Over the period of time; a women’s wing, a publishing house, a Kannada journal and literature exams were also added to the repertoire of the Parishat. Kannada Sahitya Parishat branches at the district and taluk levels were also created.
  • A new building is being constructed to replace the existing building of the Parishat at a cost of Rupees five crores. During its existence, the Parishat has contributed to the growth of Kannada language by organising conferences and debates, publication and release of books, organising talks by eminent writers and also by holding the annual Kannada Sahitya Sammelana.

Criticism

  • The Parishat has reportedly lost focus on its goals due to various reasons including lack of funds and political interference.
  • There were also reports of irregularities conducted within the Parishat in 1987, which prompted the Karnataka Government to nominate an Administrator to the Parishat. The office of the Administrator was removed in 1989.

 

All you need to know about 14th Finance Commission

what is Finance Commission?

  • The Finance Commission is a Constitutional body formulated under Article 280 of the Indian Constitution.
  • It is constituted every five years by the President of India to review the state of finances of the Union and the States and suggest measures for maintaining a stable and sustainable fiscal environment. 
  • It also makes recommendations regarding the devolution of taxes between the Center and the States from the divisible pool which includes all central taxes excluding surcharges and cess which the Centre is constitutionally mandated to share with the States.

when was the FFC appointed and who are its members?

  • The Fourteenth Finance Commission(FFC) was appointed on 2nd January, 2013 under the chairmanship of Dr. Y. V. Reddy and its members were Sushma Nath, M. Govinda Rao, Abhijit Sen, Sudipto Mundle.

In addition to the primary objective, what were the other terms of reference of the FFC?

In addition to the primary objectives mentioned above, the terms of reference for the commission sought suggestions regarding

  1. The principles which would govern the quantum and distribution of grants-in-aid (nonplan grants to states)
  2. The measures, if needed, to augment State government finances to supplement the resources of local government
  3. To review the state of the finances, deficit and debt conditions at different levels of government

what were the recommendation of FFC?

The FFC has submitted its recommendations for the period 2015-16 to 2020-21. They are likely to have major implications for center-state relations, for budgeting by, and the fiscal situation of, the center and the states.

Some of the major recommendationsare as follows:

  • The FFC has radically enhanced the share of the states in the central divisible pool from the current 32 percent to 42 per cent which is the biggest ever increase in vertical tax devolution. The last two Finance Commissions viz. Twelfth (period 2005-10) and Thirteenth (period 2010-15) had recommended a state share of 30.5 per cent (increase of 1 percent) and 32 per cent (increase of 1.5 percent), respectively in the central divisible pool
  • The FFC has also proposed a new horizontal formula for the distribution of the states’ share in divisible pool among the states. There are changes both in the variables included/excluded as well as the weights assigned to them. Relative to the Thirteenth Finance Commission, the FFC has incorporated two new variables: 2011 population and forest cover; and excluded the fiscal discipline variable
  • Several other types of transfers have been proposed including grants to rural and urban local bodies, a performance grant along with grants for disaster relief and revenue deficit
  • The FFC has not made any recommendation concerning sector specific-grants unlike the Thirteenth Finance Commission

The accepted recommendations are for the five-year period 2015-16 to 2019-20

How do you compare the Horizontal devoution formula of the 14th FC with the earlier one?

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what are special category states?

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Government has accepted FC’s recommendation to increase the devolution of tax receipts from the Centre to the states to 42 percent

what is the implication of the recommendation?

Higher tax devolution will allow states greater autonomy in financing and designing of schemes as per their needs and requirements

Now lets understand some Concepts and definitions used in FFC

Tax Devolution

  • One of the core tasks of a Finance Commission as stipulated in Article 280 (3) (a) of the Constitution is to make recommendations regarding the distribution between the Union and the states of the net proceeds of taxes. This is the most important task of any Finance Commission, as the share of states in the net proceeds of Union taxes is the predominant channel of resource transfer from the Centre to states

Divisible Pool

  • The divisible pool is that portion of gross tax revenue which is distributed between the Centre and the States. The divisible pool consists of all taxes, except surcharges and cess levied for specific purpose, net of collection charges
  • The new article 270 provides for sharing of all the taxes and duties referred to in the Union list, except the taxes and duties referred to in articles 268 and 269, respectively, and surcharges on taxes and duties referred to in article 271 and any cess levied for specific purposes.

Grants-in-aid

  • Horizontal imbalances are addressed by the Finance Commission through the system of tax devolution and grantsin-aid, the former instrument used more predominantly. Under Article 275 of the Constitution, Finance Commissions are mandated to recommend the principles as well as the quantum of grants to those States which are in need of assistance and that different sums may be fixed for different States
  • Grants recommended by the Finance Commissions are predominantly in the nature of general purpose grants meeting the difference between the assessed expenditure on the non-plan revenue account of each State and the projected revenue including the share of a State in Central taxes. These are often referred to as ‘gap filling grants’.
  • Over the years, the scope of grants to States was extended further to cover special problems. Following the seventy-third and seventy-fourth amendments to the Constitution, Finance Commissions were charged with the additional responsibility of recommending measures to augment the Consolidated Fund of a State to supplement the resources of local bodies. This has resulted in further expansion in the scope of Finance Commission grants

Fiscal capacity/Income distance

  • The income distance criterion was first used by Twelfth FC, measured by per capita GSDP as a proxy for the distance between states in tax capacity. When so proxied, the procedure implicitly applies a single average tax-toGSDP ratio to determine fiscal capacity distance between states. The Thirteenth FC changed the formula slightly and recommended the use of separate averages for measuring tax capacity, one for general category states (GCS) and another for special category states (SCS)

Fiscal discipline

  • Fiscal discipline as a criterion for tax devolution was used by Eleventh and Twelfth FC to provide an incentive to states managing their finances prudently

 

Mitochondrial Donation Technique

  • United Kingdom has become the first country to legalise the creation of three-parent IVF designer babies using Mitochondrial Donation Technique
  • Now UK’s fertility regulator Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) will decide how to license the procedure to prevent babies inheriting deadly genetic diseases. After legalisation and final procedural nod from HFEA, the first baby may be born as early as 2016
  • This law will help to prevent serious inherited diseases that are being passed on from mother to child.
  • It will also help to remove the hereditary problems related to defective mitochondrial diseases that has passed down through the generations.
  • Now in United Kingdom, women with hereditary mitochondrial diseases will be able to give birth to healthy babies without transferring their hereditary diseases
  • It does not allow passage of defective mitochondria from mother to babies.
  • Thus, preventing new born babies from dangerous diseases related brain damage, muscle wasting, heart failure and blindness due to defective mitochondria

BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA)

  • In order to effectively deal with short term liquidity pressures it will provide short-term liquidity support to the members.
  • It will also help India and other signatory countries to forestall short-term liquidity pressures.
  • CRA will strengthen financial stability among BRICS countries by providing mutual support to each other

New Development Bank (NDB)

  • Mobilise resources for projects related to infrastructure and sustainable development among member nations of BRICS i.e. in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • The bank will help India and signatory member countries to raise and avail resources for their infrastructure and sustainable development projects.
  • Act as a binding agent to maintain close relations among BRICS countries and provide a powerful instrument for increasing their economic cooperation

Union Cabinet on 25 February 2015 gave its approval for establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA)

A person can be treated as SC even after re-conversion

  • The Supreme Court on 27 February 2015 held that a person can be accorded Scheduled Caste (SC) status even on re-conversion to Hinduism
  • The status can be accorded if the person is accepted by people of his caste and he proves that before converting either he or his forefathers previously belonged to SC caste

TROPEX 2015

  • Indian Navy’s Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) exercise concluded on 27 February 2015.
  • TROPEX-2015 was a month long exercise aimed at validating the Indian Navy’s Concept of Operations and the area of operations spanned the Arabian Sea  and Northern Indian Ocean. It also encompassed all dimensions of maritime warfare

India’s 1st solar fenced elephant sanctuary to come up near Bengaluru

  • It was announced by an international animal rights and conservation group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
  • In this regard, PETA and the Bannerghatta Biological Park, Karnataka have joined hands
  • Its main objective is to allow elephants in this park to move around freely within the secure area to curb man- animal conflicts in this area. It will cover 49.5 hectare area within the Biological Park which is an extension of the Bannerghatta National Park

Jackal Research & Translocation Project

  • Wildlife SOS in collaboration with Uttar Pradesh (UP) Forest Department and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is launching Jackal Research & Translocation Project in UP.
  • Under this project, study and translocation of 30-35 wild jackals from Akbar’s Tomb in Sikandra, Agra to safe natural habitat will be undertaken
  • It seeks to protect Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) population in Akbar’s tomb as well as jackals.
  • Recent surveys have shown that jackal population has increased inside the Akbars tomb premises.
  • It had resulted in decrease in population of Blackbuck’s as jackals were preying on the young fawn of the black bucks.
  • This project will help to reduce unnatural proximity between these two species by translocating jackal to other safe natural habitat and save almost 100 blackbucks

Amogh

  • Indian Coast Guard has inducted a high-speed patrolling ship Amogh into its fleet.
  • Amogh will be stationed off Paradip coast in Odisha.
  • It can travel at maximum speed of 63 km per hour
  • The ship has facilities like firing gun, rubber boats including one motor-run, GPS system and upgraded radar system.
  • Amogh will be utilized by Indian Coast Guard during emergency situations such as accident and natural calamities besides security purposes.
  • With the induction of this ship, the number of patrolling ships of the Coast Guard reached six

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar Scheme

  • The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has revised the Scheme of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar. This scheme was introduced by government in 2009 to encourage involvement of corporate and sports promotion boards in the development of sports in the country
  • According to the revised plan, this scheme will be given in following four categories.
  • They are
  1. Identification and nurturing of budding/young talent.
  2. Encouragement of sports through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
  3. Employment of sportspersons and sports welfare measures.
  4. Sports for Development.
  • The revised Scheme, prescribes the eligibility criteria for all four categories
  • As ‘Training to promote rural sports, nationally recognized sports, paralympic sports and Olympic sports’ have been included in the Schedule VII of the Companies Act 2013, companies spending on promotion and development of sports from their CSR funds will be considered for the award.

National Deworming Day

  • First National Deworming Day observed on 10 February
  • Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare launched the National Deworming initiative on 10th February 2015 at Jaipur, Rajasthan
  • Aim: To protect more than 24 crore children in India between the age of 1 to 19 years from intestinal worms. It also aims target intestinal parasitic worms among the children to achieve status of being Worm-free.
  • It is one of the largest programmes in the world undertaken to deworm children.
  • In the first phase, about 14 crore children will be covered across eleven States/UT. They are, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Tripura
  • Albendazole tablets will be given to all targeted children in first phase. Dosage of half tablet to 1-2 years children and one full tablet for 2-19 years will be given

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

  • Unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has been successfully launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on its third attempt
  • It was carrying unmanned Deep Space Climate Observatorysatellite. This satellite will be used by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to monitor the Sun
  • Falcon 9 rocket is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX)- a private space transport services company

HADR Exercise

  • Indian Navy had conducted Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief (HADR) exercise in Lakshadweep Islands (Kavaratti, Aggatti, Kalpeni and Androth)
  • HADR was Indian Navy’s large scale exercise to test its readiness for handling a tsunami like disasters in order to provide immediate succour and relief to the affected people.
  • It involved participation of more than 20 Indian Naval Ships from the Western and Eastern Fleet along with various aircraft of the Indian Navy

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System Project

  • CCTNS project is funded by the Union government with budget of Rs. 19 Crore
  • Himachal Pradesh is the first state in India to launch this project prepared by the Union Home Ministry after Mumbai attack of 26/11
  • This project will enable the State Police to raise the benchmark of professional efficiency besides catching interstate criminals more quickly
  • CCTNS project will also provide multiple channels to access citizen-centric services and online access for registering petitions on real-time basis

Gurpreet Singh

  • Indian-origin scientist Gurpreet Singh wins $500,000 National Science Foundation CAREER award
  • He has won this award for his research on Scalable liquid exfoliation processing of ultrathin two-dimensional metal dichalcogenides nanosheets for energy storage device
  • SIT to probe 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases
  • Union Home Ministry forms three-member SIT to probe 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases
  • Newly-constituted SIT has been empowered to examine afresh evidence in cases which had even been closed. It will also look into all serious criminal cases relating to the riots, examine evidence and even re-open cases and file charge sheets in the courts concerned
  • The SIT is constituted for re-investigation of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases on the recommendation of government-appointed committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice G.P. Mathur

Permanent Judicial Museum

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a Permanent Judicial Museum at Bombay High Court located on the ground floor of the heritage building of court
  • This museum is conceived and set up as part of the Sesquicentennial Celebration (150th year) of the Bombay High Court
  • It displays antique items associated with the rich history of the 150 year old court.
  • Museum displays some historic and important documents such as the barrister certificates of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr B R Ambedkar, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, judgment copies of sedition cases against Lokmanya Tilak
  • The first judicial museum in the country was opened at Supreme Court of India premises in Delhi. It should be noted that Madras high court, Punjab and Haryana high court and Madhya Pradesh high court, also have their own museums displaying their glorious past

India and Sri Lanka

  • India and Sri Lanka have signed an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation, Cultural cooperation during Sri Lanka’s newly elected President Maithripala Sirisen four-day visit to India. Sri Lanka has signed first such bilateral agreement on civil nuclear cooperation
  • Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy- It will facilitate the transfer and exchange of knowledge and expertise, resources in peaceful uses of Nuclear energy between both nations.
  • This agreement also includes capacity building and training of personnel for nuclear security, radioactive waste management and nuclear and radiological disaster mitigation and environmental protection
  • Programme of Cultural cooperation between both nations for years 2015-18 –It seeks to enhance cooperation in different fields like arts, visuals arts, cultural documentation, archeology, handicrafts etc between both nations
  • MoU on establishment of Nalanda University- It will enable Sri Lanka to participate in India’s Nalanda University project
  • Work Plan 2014-15 under MoU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture- It will facilitate bilateral cooperation in Agro Processing, Agricultural extension, horticulture, agricultural machinery, training in farm mechanization, livestock diseases, etc. between relevant institutes and organizations from both countries

Aero India

  • 10th edition of Aero India show has begun at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
  • During the inaugural ceremony audience witnessed the mind-boggling performance of Sarang aerobatic team from the Indian Air Force (IAF) flying the Dhruv helicopters.
  • Audience also witnessed the aerobatic performances of the aerobatic teams from Sweden, England, Czech Republic and Open Sky Jump team from US
  • This edition of Aero Show is placing special emphasis on Union governments Make in India campaign. It is also focusing to encourage small and medium industries to invest in defence manufacturing base
  • Delegates from 109 countries are participating in the event and over 700 companies from India and abroad are taking part in the exhibition
  • In the exhibition, India is showcasing its indigenously made Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv, radars, missiles, satellites, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Airborne early warning and control system (AWACS)
  • Aero India Show is a biennial air show and aviation exhibition held in Bangaluru at the Yelahanka Air Force Station. The exhibition provides a single platform to many manufacturers and service providers from the Indian aerospace and abroad to meet the potential buyers for their products. It is organized by Defence Exhibition Organisation under the aegis of Ministry of Defence. The first edition of the air show was held in 1996

Vanaj

  • The first National Tribal Festival ‘Vanaj’ concluded on 18 February 2015 in New Delhi
  • It was organised by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram on 13 February 2015 at the Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi
  • The aim of weeklong National Tribal Festival was to bridge the gaps of social divide and promote tribal culture in India.
  • The purpose of the festival was to uplift the quality of tribal lives of the country in order to conserve and promote their distinctive cultures by providing them national platform.
  • Maiden edition of the festival showcased the rich diversity of Tribal culture, art, painting, music, dance, tribal medicine, tribal food, and a special attraction- tribal cuisine

India’s Kalyani Group has announced a joint venture (JV) with Rafael Advanced Defence System of Israel

  • This joint venture company will be based in India
  • It will be the first such venture under the new Foreign direct investment (FDI) limits in defence sector

Anil Kumble inducted in ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

  • Former India Captain and ace spinner Anil Kumble has been chosen to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. He will be 77th inductee into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
  • He is the 4th Indian cricketer to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Others are Bishen Singh Bedi, Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar who were inducted into Hall of Fame in 2009
  • The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognises the achievements of the legends from the game of cricket. It was launched in January 2009 by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as part of its centenary celebrations in association with the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA)

single window e-biz portal            

  • Union Government has launched a single window government-to-business (G2B) portale-Biz (www.ebiz.gov.in) for 11 Central government services to bring transparency and ease of doing business in the country
  • It is government’s approach aimed at improving India’s ranking in Ease of doing business index by leveraging technology to bring transparency, improve efficiency and promote convenience.
  • It provides single platform for online submission and processing of forms including online payment

Soil Health Card Scheme

  • Union Government launched nationwide Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme in Suratgarh town of Sriganganagar district, Rajasthan. During the launch PM gave slogan- Swasth Dharaa. Khet Haraa (Healthy Earth, Green Farm).
  • SHC is centrally-sponsored nationwide scheme which aims to help farmers to improve the productivity of farms by providing them basic information for use of nutrients or fertilizers
  • The card carries crop-wise recommendation of fertilisers that are required for farm lands. It also helps farmers identify health of soil and judiciously use soil nutrients

MADAD (Help)

  • Union Government has launched Consular Grievances Monitoring portal named MADAD (Help)- Because You Are Us
  • MADAD an e-portal will help Indian citizens living abroad to file consular grievances online on the services offered by the Indian Missions and Posts abroad.
  • It was launched by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the MEA headquarters in New Delhi
  • MADAD allows direct registration of the grievances by the members of the public and effective monitoring of the grievance handling process thereafter, until it is redressed.
  • It incorporates several innovative features including flexible architecture to handle a variety of grievances, linking of similar grievances on the basis of passport number to avoid duplication and automatic escalation and enhancement of priority.
  • It will also help to speed up forwarding and handling of complaints, improve tracking and redressal and escalate unresolved cases

Amendments to National Sports Awards Schemes

  • The amended schemes include Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award and Dronacharya Awards.
  • These amendments were based upon several suggestions made by selection committee for Arjuna Awards headed by Kapil Dev.
  • Henceforth, in case of Selection Committee for Arjuna Award
  • Retired Judge of Supreme Court or High Court will be its head.
  • Expert belonging to para sports will be its member. He/she will be a sportsperson of eminence or sports administrator.
  • It will have only one sportsperson or coach from a particular sports discipline as a member in order remove the biasness particularly in favour of a particular sports discipline.
  • Nominating agencies must send nominations of most deserving sportspersons, coaches. These nominations must be irrespective of whether they have applied to them for awards
  • The weightage for performance in sports events has been reduced from 90% to 80%.
  • While, the weightage of marks given by the Committee for factors like profile and standard of sports events has been increased from 10% to 20%
  • In case of the marks criteria, more marks will be given for medals won in individual events. While, for team events marks will be computed taking into consideration strength of the team.
  • Henceforth, the proceedings of Selection Committee will be videographed. Detailed internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be also prepared to deal with nominations received. Views of discipline experts will be also obtained for shortlisted nominations in team games

Sukanya Samridhi Yojna

  • Union Government’s Sukanya Samridhi Yojna under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) campaign has begun in Jaunpur district in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The first account under the scheme was opened in the name of a three-year old girl Vedika Tiwari in this district by her parents
  • This scheme encompasses all the girls of every economic strata under 10 years of age to open Sukanya Samridhi Account in Post offices and in the Banks. This account will be opened by girls parents or legal guardians
  • In the account, a minimum of one thousand Rupees and maximum of One lakh fifty thousand Rupees can be deposited annually, upon which interest of 9.1% will be accrued.
  • When the girl child attains the age of 18 years, she herself would become eligible to operate the account.
  • Under the scheme, the girl child can withdraw 50 per cent of the money after reaching age of 18 for higher education. The 18 years deadline will also help preventing child-marriages

57th Annual Grammy Awards 2015

  • This year two Indians have won Grammy Awards. They are
  • Ricky Kej- His collaborated album Winds of Samsara won the Best New Age Album Trophy.
  • Neela Vaswani- She won award in Children’s Album category for her album I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)

China launches first Maritime Silk Road cruise liner

  • China has launched first cruise liner to sail via its ambitious transcontinental initiative Maritime Silk Road (MSR).
  • The cruise liner sailed off from the Beihai port located in southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. On its maiden voyage, cruise liner will visit three South-East Asian nations including Malaysia, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand

World Ocean Science Congress

  • First World Ocean Science Congress (WOSC) concluded in Kochi, Kerala
  • Themes of WOSC-2015: Protect Oceans for Posterity and Blue Economy
  • Eminent oceanographers, environmentalists, naval exponents and maritime industrialists from across the world participated in the event
  • First edition of WOSC-2015  witnessed to deliberate findings on sustainable means to utilise ocean resources without causing damage to the oceans and their marine life.
  • It also witnessed presentation of 450 technical papers in 13 sessions by 86 Indian institutions and 14 foreign institutions

Pockets

  • The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Bank, has launched India’s first digital Bank on mobile phones, Pockets.
  • This service will enable users to instantly send money to any e-mail id, mobile number, friends on Facebook and bank account
  • Anyone, including those who are not customers of ICICI Bank, can download the e-wallet from Google Playstore.
  • This digital banking service will be funded from customers any bank account in the country.
  • Customers can also choose to add a zero balance Savings Account to this digital wallet, which will allow them to earn interest on their idle money.
  • This wallet uses a virtual VISA card which enables the users to transact on any website or mobile application in India.
  • Customers can also request for a physical card to use it at any retail outlet.
  • The users can pay bills, recharge mobiles, book movie tickets, order food, send physical & e-gifts, split and share expenses with friends by using this e-wallet