The Daily Brief – 24th July, 2016

  • The Central government has made it compulsory for NGOs to be registered with the NITI Aayog portal, so as to receive grants. This facilitates greater governmental scrutiny over the funding of NGOs. They will be required to provide details of all their trustees, including the PAN and Aadhar number.
  • The government will soon assess the implementation of the Model Village Scheme, launched by Prime Minister Modi in 2014. The scheme is called Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY). Under this scheme, MPs are responsible for developing the socio-economic and physical infrastructure of one Adarsh Gram, or model village, by 2016, two more by 2019, and one in each of the following five years. The analysis of the implementation of the programme will begin in August, and the report is to be submitted in October.
  • The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has constituted a committee to prepare guidelines for desiltation of the Ganga River. The four member committee will be headed by Madhav Chitale. The tenure of the committee would be for a period of three months.
  • The Union Ministry of Science and Technology has launched ‘Solar Power Tree’, an innovative way to generate electricity by harnessing maximum solar energy in a limited space. The Solar Power Tree has been developed by the CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI). It can harnesses solar energy for producing electricity with an innovative vertical arrangement of solar cells.
  • Legendary modern Indian artist Syed Haider Raza has passed away. He was best known for popularising Indian concepts of art and iconography globally, and is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Shri, fellowship of the Lalit Kala Akademi, and Commandeur de la Legion d’Honneur, the highest French honour, for his artistic contributions.
  • BJP Lok Sabha member Ganesh Singh was appointed as Chairman of the Joint Committee of Parliament (JCP) to examine provisions of the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill, 2015.
  • Kerala Tourism has won two Gold Gongs at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Awards. The awards were in the categories of Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media and E-Newsletter, which were grabbed by the successful Visit Kerala television commercial campaign and the popular Kerala Tourism E-Newsletter, respectively. PATA is an organisation that works to promote the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is looking forward to performing an experiment for demonstrating air-breathing propulsion technology. An Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), the ISRO’s heaviest sounding rocket, will lift off from Sriharikota. The objective of the experiment is to ignite the engine through air from the atmosphere. If the experiment is successful, it will be a stepping stone for the ISRO to achieve low-cost access to space.
  • India and the U.S. will jointly train troops from African countries in the United Nations Peace Keeping (UNPK) operations. The three-week programme will be undertaken from July 25 to August 12 in New Delhi. It will be jointly undertaken by India’s Centre for United Nations Peace Keeping (CUNPK) and the Global Peace Operations Initiative of the US.
  • The Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute of Plant Sciences, Kozhikode, has partnered with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) for field trials to establish the oil-degrading properties of three new strains of bacteria.
  • The fourth edition of the Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival has commenced in Guwahati, Assam. The festival pays homage to the rich culture of northeast India and is dedicated to the film fraternity of the region.
  • Statistics have shown that forty-five per cent of all discussion posts on the MyGov platform — a social network built around governance issues — were about Smart Cities. The platform, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2014, functions under the aegis of the Union Communications and Information Technology Ministry.
  • A four member committee is likely to suggest that the Medical Council of India (MCI) be replaced by an altogether new regulatory body for the medical profession in India. The committee is headed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya.
  • A group of ornithologists have come up with the first definitive checklist of Indian birds. With that figure, India accounts for 12 per cent of the total number of bird species in the world.
  • Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra broke the junior World record by winning the gold in the IAAF World under-20 athletics championship at Poland. His win marks India’s first World record and the country’s first-ever gold in any World athletics championship.
  • Nokia is set to make a smartphone comeback with two new Android 7.0 Nougat devices.
  • Hillary Clinton has declared Tim Kaine, a Senator from Virginia, to be her running mate for Vice President in the upcoming US Presidential elections.

Today’s Quiz

  1. What organisation must NGOs now compulsorily register with, so as to receive grants?

2. The government is set to assess the implementation of the Model Village Scheme launched in 2014. What does the Scheme seek to do?

3. Who heads the four member committee that will recommend guidelines for the desiltation of the River Ganga?

4. The Ministry of Science and Technology recently launched a new innovatove technology to harness solar energy in a limited space. What is it called?

5. Name the legendary artist and winner of all three Padma awards, who passed away recently.

6. Which two countries have entered into an agreement to train troops from African countries for the UN peace keeping operations?

7. Where has the Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival recently commenced?

8. Who is the vice chairman of the NITI Aayog?

9. Who has recently set India's first world record, and won India's first gold in a World athletics championship, by winning the IAAF championship?

10. What is MyGov?

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