January – Events, Observances and Miscellaneous
- Savitribai Phule
- World Leprosy Day observed on January 29, 2017
- National festival Bharat Parv held in New Delhi
- Assam Government observes first Farmer’s Martyrs day
- 25 January: National Voters’ Day
- 24 January: National Girl Child Day
- 69th Army Day observed
- 1st edition of ABU International Television Dance Festival held in Hyderabad
- DEFCOM 2017 inaugurated in Delhi
- Island Tourism Festival 2017 begins in Andaman and Nicobar
- Solexa DNA sequencing
- 2016 Bharatiya Jananpith Navlekhan award
- International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
- Bargarh Dhanua Jatra festival
- Chitwan Elephant Festival
- 2017 Island Tourism Festival
- IMD plans to set up weather stations in 660 districts
- Surya Namaskar Yajna recognised in US Congress
- Gujarat Government launches India’s first Student Startup and Innovation Policy
- Bengaluru ranked world’s most dynamic city: JLL Index
- Karnataka government to amend law for conducting kambala
- What is Kambala?
- Sahaj International
- 2016 Navlekhan Award of Bharatiya Jnanpith
- Chhabra Thermal Power Plant (CTPP)
- Atlantic Council (AC)
- Digital Dakiya
- International Vaccine Institute
- Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations
- Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)
- India Innovation Index
- Pakke-Paga Festival
- Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY)
- National Girl Child Day
- Nagarhole National Park
- Kirameki -2
- Longyangxia Dam Solar Park
- Alexander Kadakin
- Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC)
- Operation Clean Money
186th birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule was on 3 January 2017. Savitribai was among the country’s first women to speak up for the rights of women. She was the first woman teacher of the first women’s school in India and also a first pioneer in modern Marathi poetry. Born as Savitribai K. Patil on January 3, 1831 into a family of farmers. She was married at the age of nine to the 13-year old Jyotirao Phule.
- She was home taught to read and write by her husband. Later the couple founded India’s first school for girls and women in Bhidewada, Pune (Maharashtra).
- It started with just nine girls from different castes enrolled as students – but it became a historic step when female education was considered taboo in the orthodox Indian society prevalent then.
- The school was started with just 9 girls from different castes. But it was considered as historic step when female education was considered taboo in the orthodox Indian society prevalent then.
- During the British rule in India, the Phule couple had launched a crusade against social discrimination based on caste and gender, and also had sparked the flame for women’s equal rights.
During this highly patriarchal and orthodox Indian society when women had no say in anything, Savitribai’s courageous campaign covered social issues such as child marriages, child widows, practice of ‘Sati’, women education and fighting for equal rights for all women.
Even after death of Jyotirao Phule in 1890, she carried on legacy of his Satyashodhak. She died while serving people suffering from bubonic plague in Maharashtra in 1897.
As a tribute to her sheer courage and pioneering efforts in field of women education, social reform and gender equality Maharashtra government had renamed Pune University as Savitribai Phule University. India Post also had released a stamp in honour of Savitribai on March 10, 1998.
NDRF celebrates its 12th raising day
The 12th Raising Day celebration of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was observed on 31 January 2017. On the occasion, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh presented the Jeevan Raksha Padak awards and Distinguished Service Medals to the NDRF personnel. NDRF is India’s elite disaster mitigation combat force established under The Disaster Management Act, 2005. It was raised on January, 2006. It is a specialised force capable of responding to any type of disaster (natural or man-made) in the country and abroad. Its main function is to undertake relief and rescue operations, mass evacuation and immediate relief in the case of an event of any disaster, accident or emergency.
World Leprosy Day observed on January 29, 2017
The World Leprosy Day was observed on January 29, 2017 to raise global awareness of Leprosy, a deadly disease and spread awareness to the fact that it can be prevented, treated and cured. The day is annually observed around the world on the last Sunday of January. It was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau. The day was chosen to coincide with the death anniversary of Indian freedom fighter and Father of nation Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination on January 30, 1948. Leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease) is one of the oldest diseases known to humankind. It is caused by a slow-growing type of bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae). It is curable with multidrug therapy (MDT).
National festival Bharat Parv held in New Delhi
National festival Bharat Parv showcasing the country’s diverse culture, cuisines, handicrafts and catch glimpses of a progressive India has begun in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Union Minister Mahesh Sharma on Thursday at the Red Fort as part of the Republic Day 2017 Celebrations. The six-day festival aims at generating patriotic mood and promote country’s cultural diversity and popularise idea of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ or One India Superior India. It will display Republic Day parade tableaux, performances by armed forces bands, crafts mela and photo exhibition by Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting with a theme ‘Mera Desh Badal Raha Hai, Aage Badh Raha Hai’.
Assam Government observes first Farmer’s Martyrs day
Assam Government for the first time observed Farmer’s Martyrs day on January 27, 2017 to pay homage to the martyrs of 1894 farmers’ rising at Patharughat. On this occasion, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal presented awards to 22 progressive farmers. On 28th January 1894, 140 innocent farmers were massacred and 150 others injured by then colonial British rulers when they rose in protest against the oppressive increase in land revenue. The farmers had collectively protested against the British tyranny as a cohesive force. With this incident, Assam emerged as one of the pioneers and forerunners of India’s independence struggle.
25 January: National Voters’ Day
The National Voters’ Day (NVD) was observed on 25 January to commemorate the foundation day of the Election Commission of India (ECI). This year it was 7th edition of the day and its theme was Empowering Young and Future Voters. On this occasion President Pranab Mukherjee gave away awards for best electoral practices to District Collectors, Superintendents of Police and other functionaries involved in election management. NVD marks the foundation day of ECI which came into existence on 25th January 1950. This day is also utilized to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process.
24 January: National Girl Child Day
The National Girl Child Day is observed every year on 24th January with an objective of raising consciousness of the society towards the girl child so that she can be valued and respected. The day was celebrated at a special function organized by the Women and Child Development Ministry in the light of exemplary achievements by nation’s daughters during 2016. On this occasion, National Plan of Action for Children 2016 was released. Besides, 10 districts under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (B3P) scheme were felicitated for their exemplary performance.
69th Army Day observed
The 69th Indian Army Day was observed on 15 January 2017. On this day in 1949, Lt. General (later Field Marshal) Kodandera Madappa Cariappa became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army (of the independent India). He had succeeded British Army General Roy Butcher (last British Commander-in-Chief of India). The day is also celebrated to pay homage and salute to the courageous and brave Indian soldiers who have been sacrificing their lives for protecting the country.
1st edition of ABU International Television Dance Festival held in Hyderabad
The first edition of Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Television Dance Festival was held in Hyderabad, capital of Telangana. It was hosted by the Prasar Bharati, India’s public service broadcaster. It showcased the traditional and contemporary dance performances by artistes from over 10 counties across the Asia-Pacific region. The countries participated in the event include Maldives, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Fiji and Indonesia. The ABU was established in 1964 as a non-profit, non-government, professional association to assist the development of broadcasting in the region.
DEFCOM 2017 inaugurated in Delhi
The 2017 DEFCOM was recently inaugurated in Delhi. This year the theme for the conference is ‘Infrastructure and Skilled Human Resource for Digital Army’. DEFCOM is an annual seminar organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Corps of Signals of Indian Army. It is considered as the most seminal forum for interaction between the officers of the Armed Forces, Indian Industry, Academia and Research & Development (R&D) organisations on matters related to operational communication systems for the Army.
Island Tourism Festival 2017 begins in Andaman and Nicobar
The Island Tourism Festival 2017 began at Port Blair, capital of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It was inaugurated by Lt. Governor Jagdish Mukhi at ITF Ground. The 10 day mega event will see performances by the cultural troupes from mainland India to help the Islanders renew their cultural ties with mainland. The cultural troupes from mainland as well as the Isles will also perform in outer Islands apart from South Andaman. An International Cultural Group from Khazkhistan will also perform in this event. The other attractions of this event will be the food courts, fun games and handicrafts etc.
Solexa DNA sequencing
An Indian-origin British professor of chemistry and DNA expert at Cambridge University Shankar Balasubramanian received Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for their contributions. He was recognised for his work as a co-inventor of Next Generation DNA sequencing (also known as Solexa sequencing), described as the most transformational advance in biology and medicine for decades.
Two new Hindi writers Shraddha and Ghyansham Kumar Devansh have been chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year 2016. Shraddha was chosen for her short story ‘Hawa Mein Phadphadati Chitthi‘ and Devansh for his poem ‘Akash Mein Deh‘. They were unanimously chosen by a selection panel chaired by eminent poet Vishnu Nagar. The award is given to young authors in Hindi for their first creations. It was instituted in 2006 by Bharatiya Jnanpith trust. It consists of a statue of Goddess Saraswati, a citation and a cash prize each. Besides Jnanpith publishing their works.
International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared the year 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The declaration recalls the potential of tourism sector to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- The International Year aims to support a change in business practices, policies and consumer behaviour towards a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute effectively to achieve targets of the SDGs.
- It will promote tourism sector’s role in five key areas: (i) Inclusive and sustainable economic growth (ii) Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction (iii) Cultural values, diversity and heritage (iv) Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change (v) Mutual understanding, peace and security.
- Tourism is under three targets of the SDGs: They are (i) Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. (ii) Goal 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production and (iii) Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
The tourism sector accounts for 7% of worldwide exports, 10% of the world’s GDP and one in eleven jobs. If managed well, it can foster inclusive economic growth, social inclusiveness and protection of natural and cultural assets.
Bargarh Dhanua Jatra festival
The world-famous Bargarh Dhanua Jatra festival has started in Bargarh, the western Odisha town, as all the rituals were performed before Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of the event. The 11-day gala event will set the stage for all mythological places related to Lord Krishna based in the ancient city itself. Bargarh becomes the Mathuranagari and Ambapalli area is staged as Gopapur, the parenting place of Krishna. Jeera River is considered as river Yamuna and Hatapada mandap is taken as the Raj darbar of king Kansa. The Dhanu Jatra is an annual drama-based open air theatrical performance celebrated within a 6 km radius in and around the Bargarh municipality. It is considered to be the world’s largest open-air theatrical festival.
Chitwan Elephant Festival
The 13th edition of Chitwan Elephant Festival was held at the Chitwan National Park in Kathmandu, Nepal from December 26-30, 2016 to promote tourism with the participation of over 50 elephants. The festival attracted about 20,000 domestic and foreign tourists.The 5-day event showcased elephant walk, elephant polo, elephant calf football, elephant beauty contest, elephant picnic and elephant painting. The annual event was organised by Regional Hotel Association Chitwan in order to bring humans closer with elephants, to encourage wildlife protection and conservation and to promote tourism in the region.
2017 Island Tourism Festival
The 2017 Island tourism Festival has started at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar on January 6 and will continue till January 14 is to promote tourism and entertainment for islanders. The mega event has been inaugurated by Lt. Governor Jagdish Mukhi at ITF Ground in Port Blair. The festival provides a common platform where one and all irrespective of colour, caste and religion participate with equal dedication and gaiety promoting and strengthening the spirit of brotherhood. During the 10-day event, performances by the cultural troupes from mainland will help the Islanders renew their cultural ties with mainland India. An International Cultural Group from Khazkhistan will also perform the ITF Ground. Beside this, a band of artists from mainland will also perform during the festival at North & Middle Andaman and also at Nicobar Group of Islands, besides South Andaman. The other attractions will be the food courts, fun games and handicrafts etc.
IMD plans to set up weather stations in 660 districts
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has decided to set up weather stations in 660 districts of the country by 2019. In the first phase, 130 districts have shortlisted as part of the project. In this regard, IMD has tied up with the Union Ministry of Agriculture to use the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in these districts. These KVKs will be used for weather forecasting observatories and weather forecasts will be issued four days a week between Monday to Thursday. At present, weather forecasting systems are present in 130 districts which give forecasts for a cluster of neighbouring districts. But this project will now help to diversify and every district will have its own weather forecast. IMD is also planning to start state-specific weather forecasts from this year. Currently it gives region-specific weather forecasts namely for the, northwest, central, northeast regions and southern peninsula during monsoons.
Surya Namaskar Yajna recognised in US Congress
The annual “Surya Namaskar Yajna” or “Health for Humanity Yogathon” was recognised in the US House of Representative on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. This recognition highlights the importance of Surya Namaskar as simple yoga postures in ten steps having combination of breathing techniques that can provide immense health benefits to both the body and the mind.
Gujarat Government launches India’s first Student Startup and Innovation Policy
Gujarat government launched India’s first student startup and innovation policy with an aims to provide Rs 200 crore in the form of grants to ideas developed by students. The policy aims to support over 1,000 innovation per year in the state and create pre-incubation support in all universities of the state.
- The policy will encourage the students from the state to undertake innovative projects related to society, industries, and community instead of conventional academic projects.
- It will support student-led startups and innovations as well as create an Innovation and Pre-incubation Ecosystem Support (IPIES) across all universities of the state.
- Under the pre-incubation support, help will be provided to students to convert their ideas from proof of concept (PoC) upto minimum viable proto-type (MVP) and also providing support for patent filing.
The policy has been developed under the aegis of Education Department and state government will provide Rs 200 crore as State Innovation Fund (SIF) during the next five years.
Of the Rs 200 crore SIF, Rs 100 crore will be allocated by the state government and the remaining amount will be created by internal sources, like university funds and CSR funds. Earlier in 2015, Gujarat Government had unveiled startup-assistant scheme, as part of Gujarat Industrial Policy and in 2016 also had launched Information Technology Startup Policy.
Bengaluru ranked world’s most dynamic city: JLL Index
According to recently released Jones Lang LaSalle’s City Momentum Index (CMI), Bengaluru (capital of Karnatak) has emerged as the most dynamic city in the world.
The index tracks the speed of change of a city’s economy and commercial real estate market. It covers 134 major established and emerging business hubs and ranks them on parameters like technology, connectivity, population, education and real estate investments.
- Top 10 cities in 2017 CMI:Bengaluru (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Silicon Valley (US), Shanghai (China), Hyderabad (India), London (UK), Austin (US), Hanoi (Vietnam), Boston (US) and Nairobi (Kenya).
- Most dynamic cities around the world share the ability to embrace technological change, absorb rapid population growth and strengthen global connectivity.
- Cities in India, China and Vietnam, along with several in the United States head the list of the world’s fastest changing cities.
- In this edition of CMI, cities from Asia-Pacific region comprise half of the top 30 fastest-changing cities. India has over taken China as home to some of the world’s most dynamic cities.
- Six Indian cities feature in the CMI Global Top 30 that includes Pune (13th rank), Chennai (17th), Delhi (23rd), Mumbai (25th).
Karnataka government to amend law for conducting kambala
The Karnataka government has decided to bring an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960 for conducting traditional sports of Kambala and bull-cart race in the State.
State Cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah approved amendments to the Act and announced that bill will be placed before both Houses of the State legislature.
Karnatak state government is going to follow the model of the Tamil Nadu government and bring changes to the PCA. The Bill passed by the legislature will require an assent from the President.
The traditional sport along with bull-cart race was banned in the state by the Karnataka high court in November 2016 in an interim order while hearing a case filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) citing animal cruelty. Earlier, the high court had stayed this event in view of the Supreme Court’s verdict on jallikattu, a traditional bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu.
What is Kambala?
Kambala is an annual traditional Buffalo Race (he-buffalo) held in coastal districts of Karnataka to entertain rural people of the area. Slushy/marshy paddy field track is used for Kambala. The sports season generally starts in November and lasts till March. The contest generally takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, each pair race in two seprate wet rice fields tracks, controlled by a whip-lashing farmer. In the traditional form of Kambala, buffalo racing is non-competitive and he-buffalo pairs run one by one in paddy fields. Besides, there is also ritualistic approach also as some agriculturists race their he-buffaloes for thanks giving to god for protecting their animals from diseases. But in recent times, Kambala has become an organised rural sport.
India’s first transgender school “Sahaj International” has started at Thrikkakara in Kerala’s Ernakulam district. It was inaugurated by transgender activist, writer and actor Kalki Subramaniam. The purpose of Transgender School is to provide transgenders security, salvation and sustainability. The new learning centre will help them continue their education and appear for Class X and XII examinations.This alternative learning centre works in collaboration with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
The two Hindi writers Shraddha and Ghyansham Kumar Devansh have been chosen for 2016 Navlekhan Award of Bharatiya Jnanpith. The award conferred to Shraddha for her short story ‘Hawa Mein Phadphadati Chitthi’ and on Devansh for his poem ‘Akash Mein Deh’. The award, which is given to young authors in Hindi for their first creations, consists of a statue of Goddess Saraswati, a citation and a cash prize each.
Chhabra Thermal Power Plant (CTPP)
The Chhabra Thermal Power Plant (CTPP) is located at Chowki Motipura village in Baran district of Rajasthan. The planned capacity of power plant is 2650MW at the end of 12th Five year plan. It is in news because National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Ltd has recently signed a non-binding MoU with Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd and Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd for takeover of Chhabra Thermal Power Plant (CTPP)’s four units of 250 MW each and two units of 660 MW units each. With this, after transfer of CTPP to NTPC, the state government will receive equity as per latest valuation and the losses being incurred from Chhabra will stop after transfer of the plant and debt liabilities of the state government shall also be reduced.
Atlantic Council (AC)
The Atlantic Council (AC) is a US-based think-tank to promote constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic Community in meeting think tank. The headquarters of Atlantic Council (AC) is located at Washington DC, United States. It is in news because Manish Tewari, the Congress leader and former Union Minister, has been appointed as the senior fellow of US-based think tank Atlantic Council.
The Madhya Pradesh government has recently launched “Digital Dakiya or Digital Postman” scheme in Indore district to encourage cashless transactions. It is first of its kind scheme in India in which Digital Postman will visit different places of state to teach and encourage people about cashless transactions and its benefits. The state government will also provide identity cards to the volunteers deployed in this programme.
Mawlynnong village, which is termed as Asia’s cleanest village, is located at the East Khasi Hills district of the Meghalaya. It is famous for its cleanliness and natural attraction. Mawlynnong was awarded the prestigious tag of ‘Cleanest Village in Asia’ in 2003 by Discover India Magazine. Approx 500 tourists across India and abroad visit the village daily. To maintain its reputation as clean village, all 550 villagers carry cleanliness drive on every Saturday. Through cleanliness, the villagers have created opportunities to earn money as the village has become tourists’ prime destination in North East.
International Vaccine Institute
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is an international non-profit i.e. devoted to developing and introducing new and improved vaccine to protect the people, especially children, against deadly infectious diseases. The headquarters of IVI is located in Seoul, South Korea. It is in news because the Union Cabinet has recently given its approval to the proposal for India’s taking full membership of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) Governing Council. This decision involves payment of annual contribution of US $5,00,000 to the IVI.
Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has officially launched at 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) to create new vaccines for emerging infectious diseases. The CEPI has been formed with initial funding of $460 million from the governments of Germany, Japan and Norway, as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. Initially, the CEPI group is targeting the 3 infectious diseases viz. Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-coronavirus, Lassa fever, and Nipah virus. All three have the potential to cause large outbreaks and the goal is to have two potential vaccines for each of these viruses ready before an epidemic hits. The group may also provide support for research on strains of the Ebola, Marburg and Zika viruses.
Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is a self-regulatory voluntary organization of the advertising industry in India. It is a non-Government body and it’s headquarters is located at Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is in news because Ministry of AYUSH and ASCI has recently signed MoU to co-regulate misleading advertisements in the AYUSH sector.
India Innovation Index
The India Innovation Index (III) will be developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF), NITI Aayog, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Cornell University to measure innovation performance of Indian states. Each partnering organisation will nominate a working group member to work on the index. The first ranking is expected to be released at the India Economic Summit (IEC) in New Delhi on October 4-6, 2017. The index will be based on key pillars of innovation and sub-indices that together will assist in tailoring policies that promote inclusive growth. The pillars include the strength of institutions, capacity of human capital and research, supporting infrastructure and the level of business sophistication, among others.
The 2nd edition of the Pakke-Paga Festival-2017 has been held at Seijosa in East Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh from January 17, 2017 and was inaugurated by the Union minister of state for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju. The purpose of the 3-day festival is to popularise the role played by the community in conserving the endangered species. The festival allowed visitors to adopt a hornbill nest with a minimum annual contribution of Rs 5,000. The 16 wildlife conservation NGOs supported the event, which was organised by the state department of environment and forests and residents of Seijosa. Paga means hornbill in Nyishi language.
Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY)
Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its post-facto approval for launching of 2017 Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY). It is a part of Government’s commitment for financial inclusion and social security. The scheme will be implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) during the current financial year to provide social security during old age and protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions. The scheme will provide an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% per annum for ten years, with an option to opt for pension on a monthly / quarterly / half-yearly and annual basis.
National Girl Child Day
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has celebrated the National Girl Child Day at a special function in New Delhi with the theme “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP)” on January 24, 2017. The event culminated by regional performances in Hindi, Punjabi, Rajasthani and Malayalam languages by professional troupes of Song and Drama Division. The day is celebrated every year on January 24 in India to raise the awareness among people about all the inequalities faced by the girl child in the society.
Nagarhole National Park
The Nagarhole National Park is a national park located in Kodagu district and Mysore district in Karnataka. It is also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park. The park has rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls and has a healthy predator-prey ratio, with many tigers, Indian bison and elephants.
Japan has successfully launched its first-ever military communications satellite “Kirameki -2” from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center with the help of H-2A carrier rocket to boost the broadband capacity of its Self Defence Forces (SDF). The purpose of the satellite is to improve communications infrastructure via providing a direct high-speed connection between the ground, naval and air forces of Japan. The satellite will cover the area of the Indian Ocean and is set to be used by the Japanese UN peacekeepers in South Sudan and against Somalian sea pirates. The Kirameki-2 is an X-band communications satellite with a 15-year lifespan built by DSN Corporation for the Japanese Ministry of Defense.
Longyangxia Dam Solar Park
The world’s largest solar park has been built at the Longyangxia Dam in the western province of Qinghai in China. The Longyangxia Dam Solar Park occupies 27 sq km and built at a cost of about 6bn yuan. The solar park can produce about 850 MW of power in Qinghai province.
Alexander Kadakin, who recently passed away in New Delhi on 26th January 2017, was a Russian diplomat and the Russian Ambassador to India from 2009 until his death in 2017.He was the longest-serving Russian Ambassador to India and to any nation in the Indian subcontinent.
Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC)
The nationwide “Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC)” has been launched by the Indian Government on 30th January 2017, which is also marked as Anti-Leprosy Day. The day is observed every year on January 30 in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi who attained martyrdom on this day in 1948, to remember his selfless efforts and care for the people affected with Leprosy. The thrust of this campaign is to promote community participation in diagnosis and treatment of leprosy in its early stages, from centralised top-down delivery-driven approach to decentralised community-based demand-driven approach. Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae and it usually affects the skin and peripheral nerves. The World Leprosy Day (WLD) is observed on the last Sunday of January that focuses on the target of zero cases of leprosy-related disabilities in children.
Operation Clean Money
The Income Tax Department (ITD) has recently launched “Operation Clean Money” to track deposits post demonetisation. The initial phase of the operation involves e-verification of large cash deposits made during 9th November to 30th December 2016. In the first phase of verification, approx 18 lakh accounts have been identified where tax-paying profile does not match with the income of account holders. ITD has enabled online verification of these transactions to reduce compliance cost for the taxpayers while optimising its resources. The information in respect of these cases is being made available in the e-filing window of the PAN holder (after log in) at the portal https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. The PAN holder can view the information using the link Cash Transactions 2016 under Compliance section of the portal. The taxpayer will be able to submit online explanation without any need to visit Income Tax office.