Compendium -4


Oxybenzone, a common UV-filtering compound found in sunscreen killing coral reefs around the world. The chemical not only kills the coral, it causes DNA damage in adults and deforms the DNA in coral in the larval stage, making it unlikely they can develop properly. Oxybenzone also caused coral bleaching, which is prime cause of coral mortality worldwide.


China has successfully launched the APSTAR-9 communications satellite on a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province. The satellite is expected to deliver telecommunications and broadcasting services to customers across the Asia-Pacific region.

World Indigenous Games 2015

The first edition of World Indigenous Games 2015 are a multi-sport event that took place from October 23 to November 1, 2015 in Palmas, Brazil. Approx, two thousand athletes from many indigenous ethnic groups and 30 countries are taking part in the first World Indigenous Games. The Games are governed by the Inter Tribal Council, a Brazilian indigenous peoples NGO that has staged Brazil’s national Indigenous Games since 1996.

Shri Venkateswara Mobile and Electronics Manufacturing Hub

The Shri Venkateswara Mobile and Electronics Manufacturing Hub, India’s first dedicated mobile handset and electronics manufacturing facility, will be set up in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. In this hub, Foxconn, world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics, already has started its operations for manufacturing brands viz. Xiomi and Gionee. The other important mobile brands viz. Micromax, UTL (Karbonn), Lava and Celkon will also start their manufacturing operations in this hub. The honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of this manufacturing unit.

Tunnel Technology Institute

The Tunnel Technology Institute will be established by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) at Goa’s Margao town. The institute will be named as ‘George Fernandes Institute of Tunnel Technology’, after former Railway Minister George Fernandes (the driving force behind the Konkan Railway). The purpose of this upcoming institute will be to serve as a depository of knowledge, experience and data for tunnels and underground structures, to provide training of tunnel technology and consultancy services for tunnels and underground construction.

Van Dhan Jan Dhan scheme of Maharashtra

The Maharashtra government has initiated the “Van Dhan Jan Dhan” scheme for Ayurvedic medicines. It has started selling Ayurvedic medicines and herbal products derived from its forest produce. Under the scheme, the first-of-its-kind shop has recently started in Nagpur by the state government. The products that will be available at ‘Van Dhan Jan Dhan’ shops are Teak seed powder, Alovera powder, Bhui awala churna, Amla powder, Nutgrass powder, Touch me Not powder, Tulsi powder, Adulsa powder, Jamun Powder, Jalbrahmi powder, Herbal washing powder, Bija glass (for diabetes), Mahua oil and Mahua jam, Adivasi Achar, Kumari Assav and handicrafts from forest woods, etc.

Justice R V Easwar committee

The Union Government has constituted a 10-member high-level committee to simplify the provisions of the Income Tax Act (IT), 1961 under the Chairmanship of former Delhi High Court Judge, Justice R.V. Easwar. The term of the committee shall be for a period of one year from the date of its constitution. It will study and identify the provisions which are impacting the ease of doing business as well as identify the areas and provisions of the Income tax Act for simplification in the light of existing jurisprudence.

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) Financial Assiatnce

The Government has enhanced the financial powers of the Government hospitals to from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh for providing financial assistance in cases where emergency surgery is to be conducted. Only cases for financial assistance beyond Rs. 5 lakh/patient would now be required to be referred to Health Ministry. You can read more about RAN here.

Tianhui-1C mapping satellite

The Tianhui-1C mapping satellite of Tianhui-1 series has been launched by Long March 2D carrier rocket from the Jiuquan launching base located in the China’s northwestern Gansu province.The satellite has been developed and produced under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASTC) which is China’s primary launch vehicle and satellite contractor. It will be used for scientific experiments, land resource surveys, mapping, crop yield estimation and disaster relief.

World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2016

As per the latest edition of World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2016 report, India ranked at 130th among the 189 countries. The ranking of country in this list is based on index averages the country’s percentile rankings on 10 indicators each having equal weightage. The list is topped by Singapore followed by New Zealand, Denmark, South Korea, Hongkong, Britain and the USA. The ranking of BRICS countries are Russia (51), South Africa (73), China (84), Brazil (116). The ranking of India’s neighbouring countries are as follows: Pakistan (138), Bhutan (71), Sri Lanka (107), Myanmar (167), Nepal (99), Bangladesh (174).

E- Sahyog

The Union Ministry of Finance has launched “E-Sahyog” pilot project to facilitate taxpayers. The project aims to reduce compliance cost, especially for small taxpayers. The purpose of the project is to provide an online mechanism to resolve mismatches in Income tax returns of those assesses whose returns have been selected for scrutiny, without visiting the Income Tax Office.


The ‘Scientifically Validated’ Anti-Diabetes Herbal Drug “BGR-34” has jointly developed by CSIR laboratories viz. National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plant (CIMAP). The drug is a based on Ayurveda, and is meant to treat type-II diabetes mellitus. It is basically a combination of natural extracts obtained from plants. The functions of BGR-34 include the following: a) It boosts the immune system. B) Works as antioxidant. C) Helps maintain normal blood glucose levels. D) Reduces chances of complications caused by persistent high blood glucose levels. E) Improves the quality of life for patients with high blood sugar levels.

Bidhya Devi Bhandari

The Communist leader, Ms. Bidhya Devi Bhandari (54) has been elected as the first woman President of Nepal,. Ms. Bhandari succeeded Mr. Ram Baran Yadav who was elected as the country’s first President in 2008 after Nepal was declared a Republic following the abolition of a 240-year-old monarchy. Previously, Ms. Bhandari was the vice-chairperson of the Unified Marxist–Leninist party of Nepal and chair of the All Nepal Women Association.

8th National Seed Congress 2015

The 8th National Seed Congress 2015 has been organized at Hyderabad International Convention Centre to deliberate latest challenges of global seed scenario and cutting edge technologies in the Indian seed industry. The event was organised by Union Agriculture Ministry was formally inaugurated by the Telangana state Agriculture Minister, Mr. Shrinivasa Reddy. The theme of this forum is “Quality Seed for Farmers’ Prosperity”.

Mysuru, First visually challenged-friendly station

The Mysuru railway station is set to become the first visually challenged-friendly station in India.

Tsunami Warning system in Mumbai

Mumbai has successfully tested its first Tsunami early warning system siren in South Mumbai. The siren system has a digital electronic board that gives out data about the approaching tsunami. The siren has a radical range of 3 kms in all directions and it gives continuous hoot for one minute. The system is installed at the Meteorology Office of Western Naval Command by Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), an autonomous organisation under Ministry of Earth & Sciences (MoES), GoI. The siren will be connected to and remotely controlled by INCOIS, Hyderabad. India started its own interim tsunami warning centre in the first quarter of 2005 after the devastating tsunami of December 26, 2004.

Kukuza Project Development Company (KFDC)

The Exim Bank of India will set up the Kukuza Project Development Company (KPDC) in Africa to facilitate Indian participation in infrastructure projects across the continent. The other shareholders in the company are the IL&FS Group, African Development Bank and the State Bank of India (SBI). The purpose of this firm is to strengthen every partner, who will complement each other in building Indian project exports while simultaneously aiding the furtherance of economic and political ties between India and Africa.The KPDC will provide the entire gamut of project development expertise to such projects viz. project identification, pre-feasibility or feasibility studies, preparation of detailed project reports, environmental and social impact assessment, etc.

Freedom on the Net (FOTN) 2015

As per the Freedom on the Net (FOTN) report 2015, the Internet freedom is partly free in India. Among 65 countries, India scored 40 points (the score has improved by 2 points to 40 from 42 in 2014). The FOTN 2015 scores are based on a scale of 0 to 100 with 0 representing the best level of freedom on the net progress and 100 the worst. The 2015 ratings reflect the period January 1 through December 31, 2014. Iceland is the most Internet free country with 6-points followed by Estonia (7), Canada, Germany and USA. The world’s worst abuser of Internet freedom is China with 88 points was followed by Syria (87) and Iran (87).

Gautam Barua Committee

To review University Grants Commission (UGC) fellowships, the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has set up a 5-member committee headed by ex-director of IIT- Guwahati, Mr. Gautam Barua. The fellowships include National Eligibility Test (NET) based junior research fellowship and the non-NET ones. The committee’s members include Central University of Gujarat vice-chancellor Syed Bari, Central University of Himachal Pradesh vice-chancellor Kuldeep Agnihotri and Karnataka State Women’s University vice-chancellor Meena Rajiv Chandawarkar. The committee has to submit its report by December 2015.

US humanitarian award 2016

The Indian social activist and founder of the New Delhi-based Sulabh Sanitation Movement, Mr. Bindeshwar Pathak (72) has been named the recipient of the New York Global Leaders Dialogue (NYGLD) Humanitarian Award for 2016 for his contribution to sanitation and enhancing the quality of life for millions of manual scavengers. The NYGLD will be presented to Pathak on April 12, 2016 in New York. Mr. Pathak is a great humanist and known as a social reformer for his 42 years long campaign against untouchability in different parts of India.

Global Tuberculosis Report 2015

The 12th Global Tuberculosis Report 2015 is published by the World Health Organization (WHO). As per the report, India, Indonesia and China had the largest number of cases: 23%, 10% and 10% of the global total, respectively. India is among 9 high-burden countries viz. Brazil, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, India, Myanmar, the Philippines, Uganda and Vietnam, where all 2015 targets for mortality, prevalence and incidence were met.

National Tribal Advisory Council

The Union Government has decided to set up National Tribal Advisory Council (NTAC) for real time monitoring of the ongoing programmes and schemes aimed at welfare of tribal people and development of tribal areas.The council will be chaired by the Prime Minister and will meet once or twice in a year.

Government has decided to set up a National Tribal Advisory Council for effecting monitoring and implementation of various tribal welfare schemes. This was announced by Union Tribal Affairs Minister Shri Jual Oram. The council will be chaired by the Prime Minister and will meet once or twice in a year.

Largest Leather Producing state: Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is the largest leather producing state in India. It accounts for 40 per cent of the country’s leather production. Chennai, Ambur, Ranipet, Vaniyambadi, Vellore, Trichy, Dindigul and Erode are major leather producing centres in Tamil Nadu. Kolkata, Kanpur, Jalandar, Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad are the other important places involved in leather manufacturing and exports in the country.

Narmada Nidhi

Narmada Nidhi is a new breed of disease-resistant chicken developed by Nanaji Deshmukh veterinary university in Madhya Pradesh. The new protein rich rooster carries genes of fowl breeds – Kadaknath and Jabalpur colour. Kadaknath is a local breed of chicken found in tribal dominated Jhabua and Alirajur district of Madhya Pradesh. The new breed is cheaper and rich in nutrition values and has been developed for the weaker section of the rural society.

Railway’s Vikalp Scheme

Railway launched Vikalp, a new scheme under which waitlisted passengers can get confirmed accommodation in next alternative train if they opt for the option while booking their tickets online. The scheme was launched in trains running on Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Jammu sectors on a pilot basis.

Upamanyu Hazarika Panel

Senior advocate Upamanyu Hazarika is the chairman of the commission appointed by the Supreme Court in May, 2015 to review illegal migrants from Bangladesh to Assam. The commission submitted its report on October 5. The commission in its report suggested to stop the continued aggression of illegal migrants. It includes restriction on the sale of land and immovable property only to those who were citizens in 1951 and their descendants. The commission has made several other recommendations to protect the indigenous inhabitants.

SLINEX Exercise

The 4th edition of Sri Lanka-India bilateral Naval Exercise (SLINEX-2015) was been held at Trincomalee coast, Sri Lanka. The 6-day exercise is focused on anti-piracy exercises, gun firings, cross-deck helicopter operations and anti-surface operations. The purpose of 2015 SLINEX is to enhance the capability of the two navies to work together at sea and contribute towards maritime security in the region. The exercise also seeks to reinforce the strong neighbourly ties underscored by extensive maritime interaction.

Rashtriya Ekta Diwas

Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) is celebrated to pay tribute to Patel, who was instrumental in keeping India united. It is to be celebrated on 31 October every year as annual commemoration of the birthday of the Iron Man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding leaders ofRepublic of India.

Moscow Declaration

BRICS nations Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa signed Moscow Declaration for partnership in addressing common regional and global socio-economic challenges by utilising science, technology and innovation (STI). It was signed at the third meeting of the BRICS Ministers for Science, Technology and Innovation held in Moscow, Russia.

Obituary: Virendra Nath Misra

V N Misra was one of the eminent archaeologists of post-independent India. He was known as doyen of Indian prehistoric archaeology. Misra was best known for his extensive field studies and excavations in Central India and Rajasthan, where he made several significant contributions to the reconstruction of India’s prehistoric past.

T S R Subramanian Committee

Ministry of Human Resource Development has decided to constitute a Drafting Committee for framing the New Education Policy. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee is Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary and the four members are: Smt. Shailaja Chandra, former Chief Secretary, NCT of Delhi; Shri Sewaram Sharma, former Home Secretary, NCT of Delhi; Shri Sudhir Mankad, former Chief Secretary, Gujarat and Prof. J S Rajput, former Director, NCERT. The National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), New Delhi will act as its Secretariat. The Committee is expected to submit the Draft National Education Policy as soon as possible but not later than 31st December, 2015. Along with the draft education policy, the Committee will also submit a Framework for Action.

Biometric Vias

To facilitate easy travel throughout the Schengen Area (Europe) and aid in issuance of long-term visas, France has introduced biometric visas to Indian nationals from November 2, 2015. The recorded biometric data will be stored for a period of 59 months (almost 5 years) and will remove the need for applicants to come in person again for renewing their visa.


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