Armed Forces Veterans Day

The Armed Force are celebrating the Veterans Day on 14 Jan to honour the veterans of the Army, Navy and Air Force.  To mark the occasion, veteran rallies will be held country wide at Armed Forces stations.  The main celebration in Delhi will take place at the Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt.  Raksha Mantri and Raksha Rajya Mantri will grace the occasion amongst many other eminent officials associated with the Veterans affairs.

This special day started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service and was originally called Armistice Day.

It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.

However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to ‘Veterans Day’ in order to account for all veterans in all wars.

For the first time the Indian Armed Forces celebrated the Veteran’s Day on 14th January 2015, the day on which the first Field Marshall General KM Cariappa retired from service.

Please follow and like us:

VP Naidu inaugurates 25th edition of Partnership Summit 2019 in Mumbai

Governor of Maharashtra C. Vidyasagar Rao and Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. New India Rising to Global Occasions is the theme of the inaugural session of the Summit.

What is it?

The Partnership Summit provides for a global platform to dialogue, debate, deliberate and engage Indian and global leaders on economic policy and growth trends in India.

It is expected to build new partnerships and explore investment opportunities through high-level exchanges and B2B meetings.

It will showcase India in the present landscape of an emerging “New India”, the “New Global Economic Address”.

CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India’s development process.

Founded in 1895, India’s premier business association has around 9000 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs.

CII works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government, and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes.

Please follow and like us:

India Ranks 79th, Japan Tops List Of Most Powerful Passports: Report

According to the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access to each country’s travel document affords, India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year.

Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most travel-friendly passport due to the document’s access to 190 countries, CNN reported today.

The Henley Passport Index (HPI) is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens. It started in 2006 as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI) and was modified and renamed in January 2018.

The HPI consists of a ranking of passports according to how many other territories can be reached ‘visa-free’ (defined below). All distinct destination countries and territories in the IATA database are considered.

Rankings of various countries:

  • India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year.
  • Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most travel-friendly passport due to the document’s access to 190 countries.
  • Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nepal ranked further low at 104, 102 and 94 respectively.
  • South Korea edged up the ranking from October’s index to join Singapore, offering access to 189 jurisdictions.
  • China jumped almost 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year.

European countries also performed favorably, with European Union member states along with Norway and the US filling in the places behind the top three nations although the UK continues to drop down the rankings, along with the US.

Please follow and like us:

Sitarist Manju Mehta gets Tansen Samman

Noted sitar player Manju Mehta has been conferred the Tansen Samman for 2018 by the Madhya Pradesh government for her contribution to the field of music.

Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar presented the award to Mehta, 74, at the inaugural ceremony of the Tansen Music Festival

About Tansen:

He was a prominent figure of Hindustani classical music.

He began his career and spent most of his adult life in the court and patronage of the Hindu king of Rewa, Raja Ramchandra Singh (1555–1592), where Tansen’s musical abilities and studies gained widespread fame.

This reputation brought him to the attention of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, who sent messengers to Raja Ramchandra Singh, requesting Tansen to join the musicians at the Mughal court.

Akbar considered him as a Navaratnas (nine jewels), and gave him the title Mian, an honorific, meaning learned man.

Tansen has remembered for his epic Dhrupad compositions, creating several new ragas, as well as for writing two classic books on music Sri Ganesh Stotra and Sangita Sara.

Please follow and like us:

Himachal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu top UN’s India SDG index

Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have emerged as the front-runners in the race to achieve key sustainable development goals (SDG) like the removal of poverty and inequality, while Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the laggards in a ranking of states released by federal policy think tank NITI Aayog and the UN.

According to the SDG India Index, the nation as a whole has a score of 58, showing the country has reached a little beyond the halfway mark in meeting the sustainable development goals adopted by India and 192 other nations in 2015. The index covers 13 of the 17 sustainable development goals, including healthcare, gender equality, clean energy, infrastructure, education, peace and building strong, accountable institutions.

Four goals, including climate action and sustainable use of marine resources, were left out because of lack of data at the state level.

Kerala’s overall top rank (69) is attributed to its strong performance in providing good health, reducing hunger, achieving gender equality and providing quality education. The rank shows the distance each state has to cover to reach 100—the point at which it fully meets the sustainable development goal.

Tamil Nadu topped the states in poverty reduction, while Kerala topped in providing quality education, closely followed by Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu also topped in facilitating good health and well-being. Gender equality, however, is an area all states and the nation as a whole need to improve upon. The toppers in gender equality, Sikkim and Union territories Andaman and Nicobar islands and Chandigarh have crossed the halfway mark in reaching the goals.

Jharkhand, Odisha and Nagaland are also among the states that have a lot more ground to cover in the overall rankings.

Please follow and like us:

Mamata Banerjee gets Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award

Mamata Banerjee has been chosen as the best chief minister of the country by the Skoch Group. She has been awarded the prestigious Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award.

The chief minister of Bangla was given the award on the basis of the State’s performance as measured on five parameters – governance, culture, finance, urban development and rural development.

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind about the administrative skills of Mamata Banerjee. Her pet project, the Kanyashree Scheme, has been awarded as the world’s best by the United Nations. In 100 Days’ Work, in terms of the number of man-days created and the amount spent in paying people for their work, Bangla has snatched the number one position.

In building rural road network and houses, and in giving scholarships to minority-community students and loans to minorities too, Bengal is ahead. In the agriculture sector, the Mamata Banerjee-headed Trinamool Congress government has won five consecutive Krishi Karman awards. For rural electrification, the IPPAI Award too has been bagged by Bangla.

Thus, under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee, Bangla has proved its mettle in the fields of education, health, agriculture, industry, transport and culture. Naturally, as the administrator, the crown has been laid on the head of Mamata Banerjee.

Please follow and like us:

FAO Council approves India’s proposal to observe 2023 as International Year of Millets

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council of the United Nations approved India’s proposal to observe the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets. The approval came during the 160th session of the FAO, which was held during December 3-7, 2018 in Rome.

The information was given by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh on December 7, 2018.

Why India pressed for the need to observe International Year of Millets?

  • The Move came after the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare noted that the millet cultivation in India has declined due to change in dietary habits and unavailability of millets.
  • As a result of this, level of nutrients like proteins, Vitamin-A, iron, and iodine have fallen in women and children.
  • Such observance will enhance global awareness to bring back nutri-cereals to the plate for food and nutrition security, thus, increasing their production for resilience to challenges posed by climate change.
  • This international endorsement comes in the backdrop of India’s observance of 2018 as the National Year of Millets for promoting cultivation and consumption of these nutri-cereals.

Millets and their prices:

  • Millets consist of Jowar, Bajra, Ragi and minor millets, together termed as nutri-cereals.
  • The Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Jowar has been increased to Rs 2450 per quintal from Rs 1725, Bajra to Rs 1950 from Rs 1425, and Ragi to Rs 2897 from Rs 1900 per quintal from 2018-19.
  • Through the Department of Food and Public Distribution, the State Governments procure jowar, bajra, maize and ragi from farmers at MSP.
  • India’s membership to Executive Board of World Food Program (WFP)
  • FAO Council also approved India’s membership to the Executive Board of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) for 2020 and 2021.

About World Food Programme:

  • Established in 1961 after 1960 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Conference, the World Food Programme is the food assistance branch of the United Nations.
  • It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
  • It provides food assistance to an average of 80 million people in 75 countries each year.
  • It is headquartered in Rome.
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its Executive Committee.

Millets and their benefits:

  • Millets are highly nutritious and useful in various lifestyle diseases, enhance resilience and risk management in face of climate change especially for small and marginal farmers.
  • Millet is a common term that categorizes small-seeded grasses termed as ‘Nutri-Cereals’ or ‘Dryland-Cereals’. These nutrient-cereals are sorghum, pearl millet, ragi, small millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, barnyard millet, Kodo millet, and other millets.
  • Millet is an important staple cereal crop for millions of dryland farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. They offer nutrition, income, and livelihood for farmers even in difficult times.
  • They can be used in various forms such as food, feed, fodder, biofuels, and brewing.
  • They are nutritionally superior to wheat and rice as they have higher levels of protein with a more balanced amino acid profile, crude fiber & minerals such as Iron, Zinc, and Phosphorous.
  • They can offer nutritional security and act as a shield against nutritional deficiency, especially among children and women.
  • Some major deficiencies such as anaemia (iron deficiency), B-complex vitamin deficiency, pellagra (niacin deficiency) can be dealt with easily with intake of less expensive but nutritionally rich millets.
  • Millets can also help tackle health challenges such as obesity, diabetes and lifestyle problems as they are gluten-free, have a low glycemic index and are high in dietary fiber and antioxidants.
  • Moreover, in times of climate change, they will be the last crop standing and will be a good risk management strategy for resource-poor marginal farmers.
Please follow and like us:

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy conferred Skoch Award for National Significance

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India has been conferred the Skoch Award for National Significance at an event held recently in New Delhi. The award was received by Secretary, Ministry of New Renewable Energy Shri Anand Kumar.

The award has been conferred considering its purpose and critical role played in installing about 73 GW renewable energy capacity in the country.

With 21 percent of total installed capacity, within the year renewable energy grossed one billion units of electricity in the country.

India’s ranking:

  • India ranks fourth in the world in wind energy capacity, and
  • India ranks fifth in solar & total energy capacity installed in the world.
  • India had played a critical role in setting up of the international solar alliance.

Skoch Group

  • It is a think tank dealing with socio-economic issues with a focus on inclusive growth since 1997.
  • It has instituted India’s highest independent civilian honors in the field of governance, finance, technology, economics, and the social sector.

Skoch Award 2018

Who can nominate?

  • Central government
  • State government
  • Local body
  • Municipality
  • City/District administration
  • State Owned Enterprises/Undertakings

SKOCH Award celebrates the excellence of governance delivery by domain departments. This includes having sufficient familiarity, capacity, and knowledge about the functionality of their systems, processes, and outcomes.

Please follow and like us:

26th General Conference on Weights & Measures in a historic decision unanimously redefine World’s standard definition of kilogram, Second&Metre

The 26th meeting of the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) was held during November 13-16 2018 at Palais des Congrés, Versailles, France. CGPM is the highest international body of the world for accurate and precise measurements. The 26th CGPM meeting was very special and historic as the members have voted for the redefinition of 130 years old “Le grand K – the SI unit of kg” in terms of the fundamental Planck’s constant(h). The new definitions will come into force on 20 May 2019.

Currently, it is defined by the weight of a platinum-based ingot called “Le Grand K” which is locked away in a safe in Paris.

Le Grand K has been at the forefront of the international system of measuring weights since 1889. Several close replicas were made and distributed around the globe. But the master kilogram and its copies were seen to change – ever so slightly – as they deteriorated.

In a world where accurate measurement is now critical in many areas, such as in drug development, nanotechnology, and precision engineering – those responsible for maintaining the international system had no option but to move beyond Le Grand K to a more robust definition.

How wrong is Le Grand K?

The fluctuation is about 50 parts in a billion, less than the weight of a single eyelash. But although it is tiny, the change can have important consequences.

Electromagnets generate a force. Scrap-yards use them on cranes to lift and move large metal objects, such as old cars. The pull of the electromagnet, the force it exerts, is directly related to the amount of electrical current going through its coils. There is, therefore, a direct relationship between electricity and weight.

So, in principle, scientists can define a kilogram, or any other weight, in terms of the amount of electricity needed to counteract the weight (gravitational force acting on a mass).

There is a quantity that relates weight to electrical current, called Planck’s constant – named after the German physicist Max Planck and denoted by the symbol h.

But h is an incredibly small number and to measure it, the research scientist Dr. Bryan Kibble built a super-accurate set of scales. The Kibble balance, as it has become known, has an electromagnet that pulls down on one side of the scales and a weight – say, a kilogram – on the other. The electrical current going through the electromagnet is increased until the two sides are perfectly balanced.

By measuring the current running through the electromagnet to incredible precision, the researchers are able to calculate h to an accuracy of 0.000001%. This breakthrough has paved the way for Le Grand K to be deposed by “die kleine h”.

Please follow and like us:

Centre for Science and Environment wins Indira Gandhi peace prize

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has won this year’s Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development, an award conferred by Indira Gandhi Trust each year on the late Prime Minister’s birth anniversary.

The international jury for the awards was headed by former President Pranab Mukherjee.

The CSE was established in 1980 under the leadership of the late Anil Agarwal and is presently headed by Sunita Narain.

It has over the years worked on various burning issues from air and water pollution, food safety, wastewater management, climate change and so on.

Please follow and like us: