Current Affairs: 3 May 2017

Important Days

Ganga Swachhta Sankalp Divas: 2 May 2017

  • National Mission on Clean Ganga (NMCG) observed Ganga Swachhta Sankalp Divas on May 02,2017 at 12 locations, namely- Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Bhagalpur, Sahibganj, Kolkata, Raj Ghat (Hardoi), Bithoor, Srinagar ( Uttarakhand), Vidhur Kuti (Bijnor) and Devprayag. 
  • The event was also organized at more than 30 other locations through Ganga Vichaar Manch, local NGOs and volunteer support.
  • The objective of the Ganga Swachhta Sankalp Divas is to spread awareness and evoke active involvement of the masses through Ganga Swachhta Sankalp (Pledge) reiterating their commitment to Swachh Ganga through a series of events like Swachhta sandesh rally, Shram daan, plantation, Swachhta sankalp etc. to develop a sense of pride and ownership among citizens to engender support for Namami Gange programme.

World Press Freedom Day: 3 May 2017

  • Theme: Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies
  • Every year, 3 May is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
  • The international day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991. 
  • This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.

National Events

U.P. deploys ambulances for cows

  • Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya flagged off an ambulance service that would cater to cows.
  • Under the ‘Gauvansh Chikitsa Mobile Vans’ service, the ambulance would rescue ill or injured cows and transport them to ‘gau shalas’ or take them for treatment to the veterinary doctor. 
  • A “gau seva toll-free number” was also released so that common people can come to the help of such cows. 
  • A veterinarian will be present in the ambulance along with an assistant.
  • In its initial phase, the service will be first available in Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Mathura and Allahabad. 
  • The ambulance service is being run in collaboration with the MNREGA Mazdoor Kalyan Sanghathan, an organisation that says it works for labourers and others employed in the informal sector.

Prakash Javadekar launches Vidya Veerta Abhiyan

  • Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar launched the Vidya Veerta Abhiyan
  • Students for soldiers- a nationwide Vidya – Veerta Abhiyan will encourage Universities to display portraits of Param Veer Chakra-decorated soldiers.
  • The aim is to promote nationalism among youth, saying instilling of patriotism in the younger 
  • generation was “much needed” in the country.
  • The Minister unveiled the portraits of Param Veer Chakra decorated-soldiers at a function in New Delhi. Vice Chancellors from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, Jamia Milia Islamia, Jammu and IIT Delhi, among others, received the portraits from the Minister to put it in their educational institutions.

‘Second-tallest’ flag post comes up in Kolhapur, Maharashtra

  • 300-foot flag post country’s second-tallest, was inaugurated at Kolhapur in western Maharashtra 
  • State revenue minister and district guardian minister Chandrakant Patil inaugurated the flag post installed in Police Garden, located opposite the office of Kolhapur Superintendent of Police, by hoisting the tricolour on the occasion of Maharashtra Day. 
  • Kolhapur Street Beautification Project (KSBP), a trust, has installed this flag post which is the second-tallest in the country
  • The 360-foot flag post inaugurated on March 6 at Attari on Indo-Pak border is said to be the tallest in the country.

Madhya Pradesh Becomes First State To Shift To Jan-Dec Financial Cycle

  • Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday became the first state in India to announce shifting of its financial year format to January-December from the present April-March cycle.
  • A decision to this effect was taken during the state cabinet meeting held in Bhopal.
  • The state cabinet in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today (Tuesday) decided to shift the fiscal year to January to December. So, now the budget session of the next financial year would be held in December-January.
  • Changing the financial year format to January-December would mean shifting the tax assessment year, changes in infrastructure, especially at the company level.

'UP Diwas' to be celebrated on January 24

  • The Yogi Adityanath government decided to celebrate 'UP Diwas' on January 24, the day the erstwhile United Provinceswas rechristened as Uttar Pradesh.
  • The United Provinces unit was renamed as Uttar Pradesh on on January 24, 1950.
  • A committee of ministers and officials would be formed to plan for the UP Diwas and supervise preparations for celebrating the day with fervour across the state on January 24, next year

Shri BandaruDattatreya Launches One IP- Two Dispensaries" and Aadhaar Based Online Claim Submission" Schemes

  • Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment, Shri BandaruDattatreya launched two schemes “One IP- Two Dispensaries” and “Aadhaar based Online Claim Submission” on the occasion of International Labour Day
  • Under One IP- Two Dispensaries schemeESIC has given an option to an Insured Person (IP) to choose two dispensaries, one for self and another for family through an employer. This will benefit all IPs, especially migrant workers who are working in other than home State, while their families are living in their native States.
  • By introducing the concept of ‘One IP- Two Dispensaries’, IP as well as their family members would now be able to get treatment from either of the dispensaries and in case of emergency from any ESI Institution.
  • Under Aadhaar based Online Claim Submission scheme all EPF Members who have activated their UAN and seeded their KYC (Aadhaar) with EPFO will be able to apply for PF final settlement (form19), Pension withdrawal benefit (Form10-C) and PF part withdrawal (Form31) from the their UAN Interface directly. 
  • The three forms collectively form more than 80% of EPFO’s claim workload.Members can complete the whole process online and they neither need to interact with the employer nor with the EPFO field office to submit online claim.
  • They are not required to give any supporting document while preferring online PF part withdrawal case. Member’s applying online will be taken as his self-declaration for preferring the advance claim.

Indian railways to track wagon, coaches using RFID

  • The Indian Railways will use radio-frequency identification tags (RFID) for tracking of wagons, coaches and locomotives to ensure effective and transparent functioning. 
  • Leveraging information technology in a big way, the public transporter has issued instructions for equipping all wagons with RFID tags to begin with.
  • There are about 2.25 lakh wagons, 50,000 coaches and 9,000 locomotives in the railways. Railways have sanctioned Rs 57 crore for the first phase of rollout of the system. 
  • The tag designed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) is estimated to cost Rs 1000 per tag.Using RFID devices, it will be easier for the railways to know the exact position of wagons, locomotives and coaches.
  • Currently, such data is maintained manually, which leaves scope for errors.While the RFID tag will be fitted in the rolling stock, trackside readers will be installed at stations and key points along the tracks to read the tag from a distance of about two meters and transmit the wagon identity over a network to a central computer.
  • In this way, each moving wagon can be identified and its movement tracked.With the introduction of RFID, the issue of shortage of wagons, locomotives and coaches is expected to be addressed in a more transparent and expeditious manner.

International Events

Dubai becomes first city in world with own Microsoft font
  • Dubai has become the first city in the world to get its own front
  • The type face, simply called “Dubai Font”, comes in both Arabic and Latin script and will be available in 23 languages.
  • It was created in partnership with Microsoft and is now available to Microsoft Office 365 users around the world.

Awards & Appointments

Sanjay Pratihar chosen for INSA medal for Young Scientist

  • Sanjay Pratihar, a scientist at Tezpur University, has been chosen for the the prestigious Indian National Science Academy (INSA) medal for the Young Scientist Award for the year 2017.
  • Pratihar of the Department of Chemical Sciences has been awarded for his excellent contribution to multi-metal complexes, theoretical understanding, selective sensing of Hq2+ions and important applications in agriculture
  • The award, consisting of a bronze medal and cash award of Rs. 25,000 will be given to him during INSA’s anniversary meeting scheduled in December.
  • Instituted in 1974 by the Indian National Science Academy, the INSA medal for young scientists are awarded annually to honour talented young Indian scientists in recognition of their outstanding contributions in any branch of science or technology coming within the purview of the Academy.
  • The research carried out in India by the nominees are taken into consideration for the award.
  • Pratihar had earlier received ‘DST-INSPIRE Faculty’ award in July 2012 and had done his PhD in Organometallic Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

Padma Venkataraman bestowed with Avvaiyar award

  • Tamil Nadu government honoured social worker Padma Venkataraman with the state’s “Avvaiyar Award” for 2017. 
  • Padma, daughter of former President of India, the late R Venkataraman, was honoured for her efforts in the areas of women’s welfare and rehabilitation of leprosy-affected persons for the past 30 years
  • The “Avvaiyar Award” was constituted by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2012 to honour women actively working in the areas of social reform, women’s development, culture, media, inter-faith harmony, and administration, among others.
  • Venkataraman, Chairperson of Women’s Indian Association (WIA), called the award a “great honour.”

Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu bags award for advancing US-India partnership at state level

  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has been selected for the Transformative Chief Minister Award in recognition for his role in advancing the US-India partnership at the state level.
  • The award by the US-India Business Council would be presented to Naidu during the USIBC West Coast Summit in the Silicon Valley on May 8
  • The summit will convene 150 industry leaders from sectors such as information technology, banking, food processing, healthcare, clean energy, digital payments, manufacturing and Government of India officials to explore the impacts of manufacturing in India, digitisation, India's move towards a cashless society and the future of the US-India trade relations
  • The summit will also honour Sundararajan with the Transformative Leadership Award for excellence in public service and for her commitment to advancing US-India cooperation and Digital India.
  • Last year's recipient for the award was Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog.

Rajive Kaul gets diplomatic service award from South Korea

  • Chairman of Nicco group and past president of CII Rajive Kaul was conferred with the Order of Diplomatic Service Merit Sungnye Medal of the Republic of Korea for his services rendered as honorary consul general of South Korea in Kolkata.
  • The award was conferred by the acting President and Prime Minister of South Korea Hwang Kyo-ahn at a programme in New Delhi recently.
  • Kaul was appointed as honorary consul general in November 1998

Anthony Lianzuala Takes Over as New Controller General of Accounts

  • Anthony Lianzuala took over as the New Controller General of Accounts (CGA) in national capital on Monday. Earlier, the Government of India had appointed Anthony Lianzuala, a 1982-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) Officer, as the new Controller General of Accounts (CGA), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance with effect from May 1, 2017. He will be the First person from the North-Eastern Region to hold this position.
  • Lianzuala was the first Director of training institute in the field of Public Financial Management and Accounting in the North-East named INGAF-NER, based in Aizawl, Mizoram. He is highly credited for his IT initiatives in the North-Eastern Region. 
  • He was instrumental in computerising the functions of the State Treasuries of Mizoram. 
  • He has also served in Mizoram as Secretary in various departments including Agricultural Marketing, Border Trade and Relief & Rehabilitation. 
  • He was also selected as Managing Director of North-Eastern Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC), a Public-Sector Undertaking, based in Guwahati.

Science & Innovation

Department of Telecom launches portal for info on mobile tower radiation

  • The Telecom Department launched a portal that will allow people to track radiation emitted from mobile towers within a locality and check their compliance with the stipulated norms.
  • Launching the 'Tarang Sanchar' web portal will help in clearing "myths and misconceptions" about mobile towers and emissions from them.
  • The portal will empower consumers to know, at the click of the mouse, about the towers working in a particular area and whether they are compliant to the Electromagnetic field (EMF) emission norms defined by the government.
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