9 July 2016

DRDO inks MoA with IITs for Centre for Propulsion Technology

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with IIT-Bombay and Madras to establish a bi-nodal ‘Centre of Propulsion Technology’ (CoPT) at the two institutions. The initiative is aims to achieve synergy between DRDO and IITs for channelising the research efforts for developing products and related critical aerospace technologies.

 Key Facts 
The Centre will evolve mechanisms to facilitate execution of programmes related to propulsion technology. It will engage both IITs as primary research nodes. It will also undertake advanced collaborative research in the areas of critical defence technologies. It will facilitate and undertake multidisciplinary directed research in the focused areas of futuristic aero engines, hypersonic propulsion for long duration flight.

Union Government constitutes cyber cell to check online abuse and harassment of women

The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has constituted a cyber-cell to check the online abuse and harassment of women and children on social media platforms. Announcement in this regard was made by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi in New Delhi.

Key facts 
  • The WCD Ministry has advised women and children to send their complaints, if they are being abused or harassed on social media platforms using the hashtag #IamTrolledHelp. 
  • The cyber-cell was constituted in the wake of reported increase in abuse or harassment of women on social media. 
  • Besides, WCD Ministry will be working with Twitter India to address abusive behaviour, violent threats (direct or indirect), harassment on social media 
  • They will also be working together for the empowerment of women and children to deal with abuse, harassment and hateful conduct on social media. 
  • The complaints received by the WCD Ministry, which are of a grave nature will be reported to Twitter India for necessary action. 
  • The Ministry will also be working with the Cyber-crime Cells of the police, wherever required.

Captain Radhika Menon: First woman to receive Exceptional Bravery award at Sea

Captain Radhika Menon became the first woman in the world to receive the Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea for the year 2016 from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). She will be bestowed with this award for saving the lives of seven fishermen, whose hopes of survival were all over. The award will be presented to her at the ceremony set to take place at IMO Headquarters in London on 21 November 2016. She was chosen by 116th session of IMO Council meeting held in London. Captain Menon had displayed great determination and courage in leading the difficult rescue operation in the Bay of Bengal in June 2015. She had rescued all seven fishermen from the fishing boat Durgamma, which was adrift following engine failure and loss of anchor in severe weather. For this bravery she was nominated for the award by the Government of India.

Aurangabad to host first SAARC Tourism Summit

·        Maharashtra Tourism has said that the state's Aurangabad town will host India's first SAARC Tourism Summit during the second week of October.

·        The two-day summit aims to tap foreign direct investment under the Make in Maharashtra and Make in India schemes.

·        Maharashtra Tourism also said that it is planning to set up a Buddhist Centre at Ellora during the summit.

Joint issue of postage stamp between Department of Posts and Portugal Post

        The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi was apprised of a joint issue of postage stamps between Department of India Posts and Portugal Post.

·        Department of Posts and Portugal Post will issue joint postage stamps on the theme of folk dances (Dandiya of Gujarat)

·        India and Portugal enjoy excellent bilateral relationship with each other with frequent and active interaction through different platforms that allow both countries to exchange views on many of common issues of concern.

·        This collaboration has been fruitful and beneficial for both countries and the ties of both countries will continue to grow from strength to strength over the years.

Kerala announces pension scheme for transgenders

·        The Left Democratic Front government in Kerala announced a pension scheme, starting this year, for transgenders above 60 years of age.
·        It also announced special education aid for transgender students. Only last year, Kerala became the first state in India to announce a Transgender Welfare Board that aims to end stigma towards the sexual minority group

Government plans to clean 10 iconic places under Swachh Bharat mission

·        Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar has said that government will carry out a drive to clean ten iconic places in the country, including TajMahal, Vaishno Devi temple and Ajmer Sharif, as part of a pilot project under the Swachh Bharat mission.

·        Inaugurating a two-day National Workshop in New Delhi on Special Cleanliness drive, Mr Tomar said, his ministry is in the process of selecting 100 iconic places for cleaning under the mission and most will be either tourist or religious spots.

·        The other places which have been selected are Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh, Golden Temple in Punjab, Jagannath temple in Odisha, ChhatrapatiShivaji Terminus in Maharashtra, ManikarnikaGhat in Uttar Pradesh, Meenakshi Temple in Tamil Nadu and Kamakhya Temple in Assam.

IMF sets $5.3 billion programs for Iraq

·        The IMF has announced a $5.34 billion program for Iraq to help strengthen the country's finances, hit by the crash in oil prices and the fight against the Islamic State group.

·        The International Monetary Fund said the three-year loan will see $634 million immediately allocated to Baghdad, which needs the money to stabilise its balance of payments and ensure it can keep up with its debt obligations.

·        It will also focus on maintaining the peg of the Iraqi currency to the US dollar, while slowly removing exchange restrictions.

·        The program will involve fiscal consolidation moves aimed at cutting inefficient capital expenditure and at the same time protecting social spending. The IMF added that the money under the new program will also support measures to protect the poor, strengthen financial management, and fight corruption.

Vishal Kapoor to be the new CEO of IDFC MF

·        IDFC Mutual Fund has named Vishal Kapoor as its chief executive officer, who would assume charge from September this year.

·        Presently he is a senior executive from Standard Chartered Bank. Vishal has over two decades of rich experience in Financial Services across functions and businesses.

·        Kapoor is a management graduate from IIM­Ahmedabad and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.