24 July 2016

India's first green train corridor opens in Tamil Nadu

·        Railway minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated India’s first 'green train corridor' – a 114-km stretch between Rameswaram and Manamadurai in Tamil Nadu.

·        A green corridor or zero toilet discharge section envisages that all trains crossing that route will have bio-toilets, thereby eliminating open discharge of waste on the tracks.

·        Railways has provided 40,750 bio-toilets in trains, as of June-end.

PM NarendraModi to flag off Delhi-Agartala broad gauge train service on July 31

·        Prime Minister NarendraModi will flag off the broad gauge train service between Delhi and Agartala from the national capital on July 31.

·        The new direct train would be named as ‘TripureswariSuper Fast express

INS Viraat sets sail for the last time

·        India’s majestic aircraft carrier INS Viraat, which is slated to be decommissioned later this year, set sail for the last time from Mumbai for Kochi on July 23.

·        The ship set sail for Essential Repairs and Dry Docking (ERDD) at the Cochin Shipyard.

·        Vice Admiral GirishLuthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command and other senior officers of the command, visited the ship and interacted with the crew prior to her departure.

Government to invest Rs.200 crore to scale up incubators

·        NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that the government will identify 10 startup incubators out of existing 200 such centres and invest Rs.200 crore to scale up their capacity by 10 times.

·        Each selected incubator will receive Rs.20 crore. Kant added, "We're going to open 100 new incubation centres this year. We have received 3,000 applications for it.”

ASEAN FMs’ meet begins in Laotian capital of Vientiane

·        Foreign Ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have begun a series of meetings in the Laotian capital of Vientiane.

·        Laotian Prime Minister ThonglounSisoulith stressed the importance of the association developing as a community.

·        US Secretary of State John Kerry, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are among the delegates attending meetings on the sidelines of the summit.

India to make resource mapping satellite with US

·        The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are jointly working on the development of a resource mapping satellite.

·        The Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Satellite, named 'NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR)', is slated to be completed and launched by 2021, the Indian Parliament has been informed.

23 July 2016

Kerala Tourism wins two Gold Gongs at PATA Awards

The Kerala Tourism has won two Gold Gongs at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Awards in recognition of its trend setting marketing initiatives. Kerala Tourism won the awards in the Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media and E-Newsletter categories respectively. These two Gold Gongs will be presented at the PATA Gold Awards Luncheon and Presentation scheduled to be held on 9 September 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
 In the Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media category, Visit Kerala television commercial campaign was chosen for the award. While in E-Newsletter category, Kerala Tourism E-Newsletter was chosen. Earlier in 2015, Kerala Tourism had won PATA Gold in the Heritage and Culture category for its Muziris Heritage Project.

 About Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) awards 

These awards are given by Pacific Asia Travel Association and are sponsored by Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO). These awards are presented every year in recognition of the achievements of 25 separate organisations and individuals. PATA is a membership association working to promote the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region.

Singer Bapi Lahiri honoured with  Mahanayak award by West Bengal Government

Renowned Music Director and singer Bapi Lahiri was honoured with Mahanayak award by the West Bengal Government. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee conferred the Mahanayak Samman upon Bapi Lahiri on the occasion of 36th death anniversary of Uttam Kumar.

 In addition, Bengali films “Bela sheshe” and “Shankhachil” were jointly awarded as the best Bengali films of the year. Besides, critically-acclaimed filmmaker Goutam Ghose and director-actor Kaushik Ganguly were also honoured with the award for best director. Paran Bandyopadhyay and Jishu Sengupta were also bestowed with best actor (male) award and Sohini Sarkar received the best actor (female) award. 

Mahanayak awards: 
They were instituted in 2012 by West Bengal Government in the memory of Bengali matinee idol Uttam Kumar who is revered as “Mahanayak (Great hero)” in this part of India.

Madhav Chitale committee constituted to prepare guidelines for desiltation of River Ganga

The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has constituted a committee to prepare guidelines for desiltation of Ganga River. The four member committee will be headed by Madhav Chitale (Expert Member of NGRBA). The tenure of the committee would be for a period of three months. 

Terms of Reference of Committee
  •  Prepare guidelines for desiltation of Ganga River from Bhimgauda (Uttarakhand) to Farakka (West Bengal).
  • Establish difference between desilting and sand mining.
  •  Establish need for desilting for ecology and e-flow of the river Ganga.
  •  Other members of Committee:
  • (i) Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation (ii) Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change and 
  • (iii) Dr. Mukesh Sinha, Director, Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune.
  • The committee has been constituted as per commitment made by Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti while chairing the 6th meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority in New Delhi in July, 2016

Kerala Government launches first ever Water Metro project in the country

Kerala Government has launched Kochi Water Metro project, the first ever Water Metro project in the country. It was launched by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Kochi. The project aims to provide water connectivity to people living between islands in the Kochi agglomeration area and the city.
 Key Facts 
  • Kochi Water Metro project is an integrated water transport project developed as feeder service to the Kochi Metro Rail. 
  • It will become operational in two years. The project will implemented by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL).
  •  It will be built at an estimated cost of seven hundred and forty seven crores Rupees. 
  • The project is funded by German Development Bank (Kfw). In this regard KMRL has signed agreement with Kfw. 
  • The Water Metro will connect the islands spread across Kochi backwaters to main city. 
  • The project involves construction of jetties, roads and other basic facilities apart from boat services. It would make the urban water transport network in the city modern and safer

Neeraj Chopra becomes 1st Indian to set world record in Jr athletics Championship

Image result for Neeraj Chopra becomes 1st Indian to set world record in Jr athletics ChampionshipJavelin thrower Neeraj Chopra (18) has created history by becoming first Indian Junior athlete to create a World Record in Junior athletics Championship. He achieved this feat, by throwing javelin at a record distance of 86.48 m in his second attempt in the IAAF Under-20 World Athletics Championship held in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He won gold medal in this event.

 Besides, South African Johan Grobler (80.59m) won the silver medal and Anderson Peters (79.65m) of Granada won the bronze medal. With this, Neeraj Chopra broke the previous record of 84.69 metres held by Latvian Zigismunds Sirmais by nearly two metres. Neeraj Chopra is only the third Indian athlete who has won a medal in the U-20 World Championships i.e. in the Junior athletics Championship. Other two are discus throwers Seema Antil Punia (won Bronze medal in 2002) and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (won Bronze medal in 2014).

Legendary modern artist S H Raza passes away

legendary modern Indian artist Syed Haider Raza passed away in New Delhi following a prolonged illness. He was 94. He was best known for popularising Indian concepts of art and iconography globally and was also building a towering legacy of modern art.

About Syed Haider Raza

  •  Born in 1922 in Babaria in Madala district of Madhya Pradesh. He took to drawing at the age of 12. 
  • He was alumni of Nagpur School of Art (1939-43), J J School of Art in Mumbai (1943-47). He also had studied art in Paris (1950-1953).
  • In his painting he depicted concepts like ‘purush-prakriti’, ’bindu’ and ‘nari’ especially in his recognisable geometric abstract works.
  •  He had lived in Paris for six decades and had set up studios there. He had returned to India in 2011.