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Important Awards in 2017 (From January to December)

2017 Sahitya Akademi Award Winners:Hindi - Ramesh Kuntal Megh for his literary criticism work Vishw Mithak Sarit Sagar.English - Mamang Dai for his novel the Black Hill.Sanskrit - Niranjan Mishra for his novel GangaputravadanamUrdu - Baig EhsasTamil - InqulabTelugu - Devipriya Malyalam - Kp RamanunniKannada - TP AshokaRajasthani - Nerraj Daiya Gujarati - Urmi Ghanshyam Desai Nepali - Bina Hangkhim Odia - Gayatri Saraf Kashmiri - Autar Krishen Rahbar Dogri - Shiv Mehta Konkani - Gajanan JogMaithili - Udaya Narayana Singh Santhali - Bhujanga Tudu Marathi - Srikant Deshmukh Punjabi - Nachhattar Manipuri - Rajen Tojjamba Sindhi - Jagdish Lachhani 2017 Nobel Peace Prize : Winner : International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
Vyas Samman 2017 :Winner : Mamta Kalia for her novel "Dukkham Sukkham"
Ballon d'Or AwardWinner : Cristiano Ronaldo 
Times Person of the Year for 2017Winner : The Silence Breakers (#MeToo movement)
3rd  Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) D…

Tuirial Hydropower Project, first large hydropower project in Mizoram, is inaugurated

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 60 MW (megawatt) Tuirial hydropower project in Aizawl, Mizoram.
It is first large hydropower central government project to be commissioned in Mizoram.
It is expected to boost socio-economic development of the state. 
It made Mizoram third power-surplus state in North-East after Sikkim and Tripura. The Tuirial hydropower project has been built on Tuirial River, a tributary of Barak River. It was executed by North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) under Union Ministry of Power. The hydropower project will produce 251 million units of electrical energy every year. Moreover, water stored in in its reservoir (spread over an area of 45 square km) will provide connectivity to remote villages and will also be used for development of fisheries.

Gabon gets Polio-Free Country status from WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Gabon a “polio-free country”. 
This comes after lack of new reported or suspected cases in the central African country in recent times. 
Cases of polio have decreased by 99% since 1988, when it was endemic in 125 countries and 350,000 cases were recorded worldwide. 
Now the disease is  prevalent only in two South Asian countries AfghanistanandPakistan, where WHO recorded four cases—two in each country this year. In 2016, there were 37 cases globally.
Polio is highly-infectious viral disease caused by the poliovirus. It mainly affects young children and can result in permanent paralysis. 
The virus is transmitted from person-to-person. It mainly spreads through the faecal-oral route (e.g. contaminated water or food).
After entering body, it multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the …

Indians constitute largest diaspora population in the world: UN World Migration Report (2018)

According to UN World Migration Report (2018)Indian diaspora is world’s largest, with slightly more than 15.6 million people from India living overseas. 
The report was released by International Organisation for Migration.
The Indian diaspora constitutes 6% of the total number of international migrants (people living outside the country of their birth), which was estimated at 243 million in 2015.


The Gulf nations house biggest share of the Indian diaspora — nearly 3.5 million or 22% of total Indian diaspora.
The global migrants figure has risen by 10% over that recorded in 2010. 
In other words, out of global population of 7.3 billion, one of every 30 people was migrant in 2015.  
However, if computed as percentage of world’s population, the growth of diaspora has been largely static, from 3.2% in 2010 to 3.3% in 2015.
Notably, people in working age group, between 20 to 64 years, account for nearly 72% i.e. significant chunk of international migrant population. 
Nearly half of all the in…

National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 gets Cabinet nod

The Union Cabinet has approved National Medical Commission Bill, 2017. 
It will replace the Medical Council, 1956 Act and enable a forward movement in medical education reform.
The bill is aims at bringing reforms in medical education sector of the country which has been under scrutiny for corruption and unethical practices. The bill replaces existing apex medical education regulator Medical Council of India (MCI) with National Medical Council (NMC), a new body to ensure transparency. It empowers NMC to lay down policies for maintaining high quality and high standards in medical education and make necessary regulations in this behalf and ensure coordination among Autonomous Boards. It provides for constitution of four autonomous boards entrusted with conducting undergraduate and postgraduate education, assessment and accreditation of medical institutions and registration of practitioners under NMC.
The commission will have 25-members including Chairman and Member Secretary. 
It will have…

Exercise Ekuverin 2017, India-Maldives bilateral military exercise took place in Belagavi, Karnataka

The eight edition of India, Maldives bilateral military exerciseEKUVERIN 2017 was held in India in Belagavi, Karnataka. 
The aim of the exercise was to conduct military training between armies of both countries with emphasis on counter insurgency, counter terrorism operations (CICT Ops).
Indian Army and Maldives National Defence Force have been holding Exercise Ekuverin (meaning ‘friends’ in the Maldivian language) since 2009 on alternate years in their countries.
The last one was held at Kaddhoo in the Lammu Atol of Maldives. It had conducted military training between armies of both countries with emphasis on amphibious & CICT Ops.

INS Kalvari : First Scorpene-class submarines inducted in Indian Navy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has commissioned scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari into the Indian Navy in Mumbai, Maharashtra. 
It is first of the six Scorpene-class submarines built under the strategic Project 75 built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) with assistance and technology transfer from France’s DCNS. 
INS Kalvari will be the first conventional submarine to be inducted into India Navy after more than 17 years. 
INS Sindhushastra was last inducted conventional diesel-electric submarine in July 2000 which was procured from Russia.
INS Kalvari is most modern non-nuclear stealth submarine in India Navy.
‘Kalvari’ is Malayalam word that means deep-sea tiger shark. 
It is powered by two 1250 kW MAN extremely silent diesel-electric diesel engines making it very difficult to detect underwater. 
It boasts highly advanced Combat Management System and a sophisticated Integrated Platform Management System.
Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS) suite is heart of INS Kalvari’s we…

India Signs Loan Agreement with World Bank for 'SANKALP' project

A Financing Agreement for IBRD loan of USD 250 million (equivalent) for the “Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) Project” was signed with the World Bank. 
The Objective of the project is to enhance institutional mechanisms for skills development and increase access to quality and market-relevant training for the work force.

The Key result areas for the project include Institutional Strengthening at the National and State Levels for Planning, Delivering, and Monitoring High-Quality Market-Relevant Training; Improved Quality and Market Relevance of Skills Development Programs; Improved access to and completion of skills training for female trainees and other disadvantaged groups; and Expanding skills training through private-public partnerships (PPPs).


Rohit Sharma becomes first cricket player to hit 3 double centuries in ODI

Rohit Sharma, on 13 December 2017, scored 208 not out against Sri Lanka in Mohali.
It is his third double century in One Day Matches. 
He became first cricket player in the world to hit 3 double centuries in ODI.
Rohit Sharma hit 13 fours and 12 sixes in this innings of 208 runs.
Rohit Sharma also holds the world record of highest score, of 264 runs, in an ODI. He achieved this milestone against Sri Lanka.
He, along with AB De Villiers and Chris Gayle,  also holds the record of hitting most sixes (16 sixes) in an ODI match.

India ranked 109th out of 122 countries in the mobile internet speed

India ranked 109th out of 122 countries in the mobile internet speed and 76th out of 133 countries in broadband space in the November 2017 Speedtest Global Index (SGI).
The index was released by popular internet speed testing service provider Ookla.
It ranked average internet speeds in different countries on mobile and home broadband to understand a real state of the networks that internet users are relying on. 
Mobile internet speedTop 5 fastest mobile network countries: Norway (average speed of 62.66Mbps), Netherlands (53.01Mbps), Iceland (52.78Mbps), Singapore (51.50Mbps) and Malta (50.46Mbps)
India’s neighbours:  China is ranked 31st (31.22Mbps) Pakistan ranked 89th (13.08Mbps)Myanmar ranked 94th (11.72Mbps)Nepal ranked 99th (10.97Mbps)Sri Lanka ranked 107th (9.32Mbps)
India related Facts:
Average speed of mobile data networks in India is 8.80Mbps, marginally down from 8.83Mbps in October 2017 when it was ranked 108th. But it is significantly higher than 7.65Mbps average speed in January…

Safe City Surveillance scheme for Women Safety is launched by Bihar Government

The Bihar government has launched Safe City Surveillance Scheme for checking crime against women. 
It aims to bring all major public places under watch of close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and improve overall crime control in the state.
The scheme has been launched in a phase-wise manner, will commence from capital city Patna. 
It has specially launched for checking crime against women, such as harassment, eve-teasing and molestation, snatching incidents and roadside scuffles etc. 
It will also help in keeping a track of miscreants.
The scheme will bring all major public places under the watch of CCTV cameras.

Sri Lanka hands over Hambantota port to China for 99 years

Sri Lanka has formally handed over its southern strategic port of Hambantota to China on 99-year lease. 
Two Chinese firms managed by China Merchants Port Holdings Company (CMPort) and Sri Lanka Ports Authority will own port and the investment zone around it.
Hambantota port is strategically located right in middle of vital energy supply lines in Indian Ocean, connecting Middle East and East Asia. 
It had gained strategic significance after Sri Lankan government had decided to build massive deep-sea port and airport with huge Chinese loans.
The Sri Lankan government had signed a $1.1 billion deal in July 2017 to sell a 70% stake in Hambantota port to China.  
The deal was signed after port suffered heavy losses, making it impossible for Sri Lanka to repay its debts to China which was used to open Hambantota port in 2011.
The 99-year lease deal had fanned concerns of countries with competing strategic interests with China, particularly India and US. Local residents of Hambantota are also …

7th International Ground Water Conference (IGWC-2017) held in New Delhi

The 7th International Ground Water Conference (IGWC-2017) was hosted by India in New Delhi from December 11 to 13, 2017. 
The theme of conference was “Ground water Vision 2030- Water Security, Challenges and Climate Change Adaptation”.
The conference was organized by National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) under aegis of Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
The delegates from 15 countries participated in the conference and 250 research papers were presented, including 32 Keynote papers.
The conference took stock of present status and challenges of Groundwater management in the country under the changing water use and climatic scenarios. 
It took place at time when water scenario in India, especially the ground water scenario, is getting worse day by day.
The conference discussed these burning issues in 10 focal themes spread. It looked into synergistic policy options between various sectors linked with w…

World’s largest automated container terminal opens in Shanghai

China started trial operations of world’s biggest automated container terminal at Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, the country’s commercial hub.
The terminal is located at south of Donghai Bridge, phase 4 of Yangshan Port and covers 2.23 million square metres and has a 2,350-metre shoreline. 
The project uses automated handling equipment designed and manufactured in China. 
The machinery used in loading and unloading, including bridge crane, automated guided vehicle (AGV) and rail-mounted gantry crane, are all made in China by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company.
Initially, automated terminal will have capacity to handle 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and later it will be expanded to 6.3 million TEUs at later stage. 
The automated terminal not only increases the port’s handling efficiency, but also reduces carbon emissions by up to 10%.

Laqshya and Safe Delivery Application (mHealth) initiatives are launched by Health Ministry

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched ‘LaQshya’ Initiative and mHealth: Safe Delivery Application on the occasion of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day. 
Moreover, Operational Guidelines for Obstetric High Dependency Units and Intensive Care Units were also released.
Universal Health Coverage Day is observed every year on 12 December to commemorate first unanimous United Nations resolution calling for countries to provide affordable, quality health care to every person, everywhere.  Laqshya- A Labour Room Quality Improvement InitiativeIts objective is to improve quality of care provided to pregnant mother in Labour Room and Maternity Operation Theatres (OTs), thereby preventing undesirable adverse outcomes associated with childbirth.
It aims to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity OTs. 
It will be implemented in government Medical Colleges (MCs), District Hospita…

NIC-CERT is launched to prevent and predict cyber-attacks on Government utilities

The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) launched first NIC-CERT, a setup of National Informatics Centre (NIC) to prevent and predict cyber-attacks on government utilities.
It was launched by Union Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi as part of Digital India Initiative.
The NIC-CERT will monitor and help in early detection and mitigation of cyberattacks on government networks. 
It has been setup with objective of creating comprehensive framework that integrates world class security components and inbuilt threat intelligence for detection, prevention and incident response.
It will operate in close co-ordination and collaboration with other sectoral CERTs and more so with CERT-In. 
The government had already announced setting up of sectoral CERTs (computer emergency response teams) for sectors such as finance and power.
National Informatics Centre (NIC):The NIC (Rashtriya Suchna Vigyan Kendra)…

Kacheguda: The first energy-efficient railway station of India

Kacheguda Railway Station in Hyderabad has become the first energy-efficient ‘A1 Category’ railway station in India. 
It falls under the Hyderabad division of the South Central Railway (SCR).
Kacheguda Railway Station attained the 100% energy-efficient status by replacing 1312 conventional lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, 12 air conditioners (ACs) with energy efficient inverter type ACs and 370 ceiling fans with Brushless DC Electrical (BLDC) motors energy-efficient fans. 
On account of these changes, it will save about 1.76 lakh units and Rs. 14.08 lakh annually with reduction of the connected load by 46.18 kW for Railways.
Kacheguda Railway station is one of the historic building in Hyderabad that has completed 100 years. It is situated in the heart of Hyderabad. 
It was built in 1916 by Nizam’s Guaranteed State Railway during reign of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh Nizam.

Vyas Samman 2017 goes to Hindi writer Mamta Kalia

Renowned Hindi scholar and writer Mamta Kalia (77) was chosen for Vyas Samman 2017 for her novel “Dukkham Sukkham”. 
She was selected by selection committee headed by author Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari.
Dukkham Sukkham published in 2009 is saga of a lower middle-class familys three generations. The literary work focuses on the transition in relations and situations of our society. About Mamta Kalia: She was born in 1940 in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh. She had received MA in English from Delhi University before taking up lecturership at SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai. Since 1973, she headed degree college in Allahabad before retiring in 2001.
She is known for her works in Hindi and English including “Beghar”, “Janch Abhi Jaari Hai”, “Nirmohi”, and “Bolne Wali Aurat”.
Earlier she has received “Yashpal Katha Samman” from Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan, “Ram Manohar Lohia Samman” and “Sahitya Bhushan Samman”.
About Vyas Samman award:The Vyas Samman award was instituted by KK Birla Foundation in 19…

India’s first-ever mobile food testing laboratory is launched in Goa

India’s ‘first’ mobile food testing laboratory enabling on-the-spot food safety tests is launched in Goa. It was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
This is the first ever ‘Food Safety on Wheel’ mobile laboratory in the country. 
The vehicle is equipped to conduct on-the-spot tests to check food quality and curb adulteration. 
It will also check hygiene level of water and the results can be received within 15 minutes.
The mobile laboratory costs Rs.45 lakh and has been fully funded by the Centre. 
It will do away with need to get the food samples to FDA laboratory near Panaji for tests, thus avoid the delays. 
It will either be used to conduct surprise checks by the FDA for scheduled tests.
The vehicle is equipped with milk analyser, hot air oven, hot plate, mixer grinder, digital weighing scale, digital multi parameter hand-held meter, power generator, air conditioner and refrigerator.

Minister of State for Culture inaugurates the ‘Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage’

India hosted “Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage” at New Delhi as part of celebrations of 20th Anniversary of BIMSTEC. 
The Festival was inaugurated by Minister of State (IC) for Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma.
The festival was held at IGNCA, Janpath (Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. 
It had diverse components including exhibition of​ international and Indian Buddhist art and ​architecture, discourses by eminent ​scholars and practitioners of Buddhism​,​ guided meditation and chanting by Buddhist monks and ​choir, dance and music performances, screening of ​film on Buddhism and a food ​trail​. The objective of festival is to emphasise and raise awareness of Buddhism, a rich and common heritage and mark the 20th anniversary of BIMSTEC.  Its purpose was to spread universal message of peace and tolerance practiced by Buddhism to address growing sense of inadequacy in face of changes and conflicts that people and the world face.
BIMSTEC is international organisation com…

Govt launches public procurement portal for MSMEs - MSME Sambandh

The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) launched Public Procurement Portal ‘MSME Sambandh’ for Public Procurement Portal for MSMEs.
The objective of the portal is to monitor the implementation of the Public Procurement from MSEs by Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). 
It will help MSMEs in participating in the procurement process. Besides, it will help Ministries and the CPSEs to assess their performance in procurement process as stipulated in Procurement Policy, 2012.
The Procurement Policy launched in 2012 mandates the Central Government Departments, CPSEs to procure necessarily from MSEs. It means that every Central Ministry, Department, PSU shall set an annual goal for procurement from MSE sector at beginning of year. Its objective is to achieve overall procurement goal of minimum of 20% of the total annual purchases of the products or services produced or rendered by MSEs.

Noble Peace Award 2017 is received by ICAN

The Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize at ceremony held in Oslo, Norway. 
ICAN, a coalition of 468 grassroots non-governmental groups has been in forefront of pushing for end to use of nuclear weapons through United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted by 122 nations in July 2017.
UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear WeaponsIt is the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years. 
The treaty was open for signature during the annual UN General Assembly in November 2017. 
As of September 20, 50 states had signed treaty, which bans use, development, testing or storing of nuclear weapons under any circumstances. 

India is declared Free from Trachoma (bacterial infection of eye)

India was declared free from infective Trachoma, a contagious bacterial infection of the eye. The infection causes inflamed granulation on the inner surface of the lids.
It was announced by Union Health Minister J P Nadda after releasing National Trachoma Survey Report (2014-17) in New Delhi. 
With this, India met goal of trachoma elimination as specified by World Health Organisation (WHO) under its GET2020 (Global Elimination of Trachoma by the year 2020) program. TrachomaTrachoma is a chronic infective disease of eye and is leading cause of infective blindness globally. 
It is outcome of poor environmental and personal hygiene and inadequate access to water and sanitation. 
It affects conjunctiva under the eyelids.
It was found affecting the population North Indian states like Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh.

World Human Rights Day : December 10

The World Human Rights Day (WHRD) is observed every year on December 10 to commemorate adaptation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 
Observance of the day seeks to encourage, support and amplify measures to be taken by everyone to defend human rights.
This year theme is ‘Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity’. 
This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In run up to the celebration of Human Rights Day, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had organised a series of events in India.
On this day in 1948, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had adopted and proclaimed Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. 

Father of DNA fingerprinting in India, Lalji Singh, passes away

--> Eminent scientist and ‘father of DNA fingerprinting in India’ Lalji Singh died following a heart attack.
--> Dr. Singh was one of the leaders instrumental in making DNA fingerprinting mainstream in India, both at the level of research as well as for forensic applications.
--> This was after techniques advanced by him led to DNA profiling being used to establish parentage as well as solve some high profile crime cases in India.
-->Based on his work he was tasked by the government — in the late 1990s — to establish the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) with a mandate of making it a nodal centre for DNA fingerprinting and diagnostics for all species and several diseases.
--> He also set up a slew of dedicated labs that worked on several aspects of genetics such as population biology, structural biology and transgenic research.
-->Dr. Singh served as a director at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad from 1998 to 2009.
--&…