India becomes 3rd largest aviation market in domestic traffic
- India has become the third largest aviation market in terms of domestic passenger traffic, beating Japan, an industry report has said.
- India's domestic air passenger traffic stood at 100 million in 2016 and was behind only the US (719 million) and China (436 million), Sydney-based aviation think-tank Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said in its latest report.
- India acquired the third spot globally by unseating Japan, which flew 97 million domestic passengers in 2016,
- Domestic air traffic has shown a consistent growth of 20 -25 per cent throughout 2015 and 2016, peaking in January this year at 25.13 percent.
Skill development centre named after Nitin Gadkari inaugurated
- Shri Nitin GadkariAgricultural and Skill Development Centre was inaugurated at the hands of Assam governor Banwarilal Purohit
- The ceremony took place at Thadipawni, 100 kms from Nagpur city where the development centre is being established.
- Built by the Krushi Vikas Pratishthan, the centre will be utilized for agricultural research and training for farmers in the region.
- The skill development centre is spread across 2.5 acres land, situated on the border of Amravti, Wardha and Nagpur district. Residential arrangement for 102 farmers, skill development session for 170 farmers can also be arranged here. Many well equipped offices and conference rooms are also made available here for discussion and debate purposes. The skill development centre is hoped to be a great workshop point for farmers.
Indian Railways introduces Buy Now, Pay Later service for Ticket bookings
- The Indian Railways introduced 'Buy Now, Pay Later' service for passengers to book tickets online first and make payment for the reservations within a window of 15 days.
- The facility, which allows passengers to travel after five days of booking the ticket, is available for confirmed, waitlisted, and Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC) berths.
- The new Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) feature is being enabled in partnership with the Mumbai-based ePaylater company.
Delhi Police Launches Bicycle Patrols For Better Policing
- The Delhi Police launched a bicycle patrol scheme to increase police presence in congested areas of the city.
- The bicycle patrol, for which 65 high-end bicycles have been acquired, was flagged off by Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir from the Yamuna Sports Complex in east Delhi.
- One of the main areas of focus of these bicycle patrols will be parks where people, including senior citizens and women, go for walks.
- The bicycle patrols will also be introduced near schools and campus so that officers can have a friendly interaction with student community,"
- The bicycle patrols will move around in pairs and each patrol will cover a distance of two to five kilometres, police said.
- The patrolling officers will have standard police communication equipment and will function like mobile police posts of the local police station.
- The scheme will be extended to other areas of Delhi in due course.
Union Ministry to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’
- The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is all set to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018, which is expected to improve India’s position in ocean research field
- The program on polymetallic nodules was initiated at CSIR-NIO with the collection of the first nodule sample from Arabian Sea on board the first research vessel Gaveshani on January 26,1981. India was the first country in the world to have been given the pioneer area for exploration of deep-sea mineral, namely, polymetallic nodules in the Central Indian Ocean Basin in 1987.
- Based on the resource evaluation, India has now retained an area of 75,000 sq km with an estimated resource of about 100 million tons of strategic metals such copper, nickel, cobalt besides manganese and iron.
- A FGM (First Generation Mine-site) with an area of 18,000 sq km has been identified. Latest technologies for extraction of metals from the minerals have also been developed.
India and Spain sign seven MoUs: Cybersecurity and renewable energy prime areas of cooperation
- India and Spain on Wednesday signed seven agreements, including on cooperation in cyber security and renewable energy, following talks in Madrid between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy
- A second MoU was signed on cooperation in renewable energy.
- Three other MoUs were signed on cooperation in organ transplantation, technical cooperation in civil aviation, and between the Foreign Service Institute of India and the Diplomatic Academy of Spain.
- Two agreements were also signed on transfer of sentenced persons and waiving of visas for diplomatic passport holders.
Awards & Achievements
Kapil Sharma to receive the Dadasaheb Phalke award this year
- Kapil has been chosen for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award this year along with the other celebrities, as per the reports of DNA. Earlier, also Kapil for his extraordinary comedy skills warded with this award in 2014.
- Along with Kapil, Priyanka Chopra, Vivek Oberoi, Gulshan Grover will also be awarded with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award under various categories.
- According to, the reports a new category has been created by makers especially for Priyanka Chopra. The Baywatch star will be given the award under the newly introduced 'Internationally Acclaimed Actress' category at a ceremony
Dr Sushil awarded Double Helical National Health Award 2017
- With an aim to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of doctors and allied professionals hailing from all over the country, Double Helical, India’s leading health magazine, has awarded Dr Sushil Kumar Sharma, renowned cardiologist and social worker of the state, with the Double Helical National Health Award in the category of Excellence in delivery of Cardiology Services across the state.
- Dr Sushil Kumar Sharma renowned cardiologist has been awarded with the Double Helical National Health Award in the category of Excellence in delivery of Cardiology Services across the state.
- He is credited with the establishment of Intervention Programme in GMC, Jammu, and performed more than 10,000 simple and complex procedures.
Index & Ranking
Nine Indian Cities in JLL's latest 'Global 300' rankings
- Nine Indian cities figure on the latest edition of 'Global 300' cities - the annual JLL ranking exercise, which represents 300 major cities. These cities are the focus of commercial activity and interest, 40% of the world's economy, and three-quarters of global real estate investment.
- While Delhi and Mumbai rank in the 'Global Top 30', other cities such as Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata sit within the 'Global Top 100' - with Hyderabad sitting just outside
- Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and Surat are the other cities to have found a place in the list.
Science & Technology
'Super-Earth' Found 21 Light Years Away May Host Alien Life
- Scientists have discovered a potentially habitable Earth-like planet, located just 21 light years away, that may host liquid water on its surface.
- Researchers used the radial velocity technique, which involves measuring the changes in the position and velocity when the star and a planet rotating around their common centre of gravity.
- Depending on the relative masses of the two objects gravity will determine the magnitude of the change in velocity of the star, which can be measured using its observed spectrum.
- Scientists from Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) in Canary Islands found that the planet, with a mass between two and three times the Earth, resides at the edge of the habitable zone of its host star GJ625 (Gliese 625).
- This is the sixth super-Earth closest to our solar system in the habitability zone of its star, while the red dwarf is among the 100 stars closest to the Sun
- This planet is particularly interesting because of its proximity. It is only 21 light years away, and is one of the least massive known "Super-Earths".
- Red dwarfs are the most common stars in the universe and they can host planets. However, only a few hundred of them are known. The majority have been discovered orbiting much more distant stars, using the transit method, in which the planet causes a minor "eclipse" when it passes in front of the star.
US successfully 'intercepts and destroys' target in missile test
- The Pentagon successfully shot down an intercontinental ballistic missile using its own upgraded long-range interceptor missile in what was widely seen as a test of US ability to counter a North Korean missile launch.
- The Missile Defense Agency launched a ground-based interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to intercept a US-launched mock ICBM target over the Pacific Ocean, according to a US defense official.
- The test ICBM, which flew thousands of miles per hour, was destroyed "thousands of miles off the coast" of the US mainland, with the intercept taking place northeast of Hawaii,
- The interceptor "destroyed the target in a direct collision," according to a statement from the Missile Defense Agency.
IIT Kharagpur researchers develop new technology to manufacture biofuel
- Researchers at IIT Kharagpur have developed a new technology which will change the way biofuel is manufactured by making the process cheaper, quicker and pollution-free.
- The ‘soil-to-soil’ manufacturing technology developed at the P.K. Sinha Centre for bio-energy at IIT-Kgp is in the process of being patented
- 2gm bioethanol can be produced from various naturally available lignocellulosic components. But to do so it needs to be treated chemically. Because of chemical treatment, the process contributes to polluting the environment.
- Lignocellulose refers to plant dry matter (biomass). “We have replaced this chemical treatment with enzymes which degrade the lignin specifically there by making the manufacturing process pollution freLignin is a complex organic polymer deposited in the cell walls of many plants, making them woody. Explaining how the technology would work, she said, “Unlike the chemical treatment here the waste product is pollution-free and hence utilising the residual biomass to organic fertilizer is possible.
- The National Policy On Biofuels had set the target at 20% blending of biofuel with petrol by 2017. With the government expecting biofuel business in India to touch Rs50,000 crore by 2022 this new green technology with lesser manufacturing cost and time can become a game changer.
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