1. India and Switzerland have signed two pacts for technical cooperation in the field of Railways after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard in New Delhi. The aim of pacts is to cooperate in the areas of traction rolling stock, EMU and Train sets, traction propulsion equipments, freight and passenger cars, etc. To boost bilateral ties, Swiss president, Doris Leuthard is on a 3-day visit to India. The visit is significant as Switzerland is the chair of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) where India has been seeking membership. The main theme of the presidential visit is the Treaty of Friendship signed between Switzerland and India in 1948, in which the two countries gave assurances of "perpetual peace" and "unalterable friendship".
2. India and Myanmar will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the conservation of earthquake-damaged pagodas at Bagan during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Myanmar on September 6-7, 2017. Began is a renowned tourist attraction of Myanmar and India's role in rebuilding damaged pagodas at Began will be an opportunity to showcase India's expertise in the restoration and conservation of monuments not only to the people of Myanmar but also tourists from other countries. This pact will further strengthen India's enduring ties with Myanmar, in culture and religion.
3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the annual conference – Rajaswa Gyan Sangam (RGS-2017) in New Delhi on September 1, 2017. The conference is jointly organised by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). The objective of the Conference is to enable a two-way communication between the policy-makers and the senior officers in the field offices with a view to increase revenue collection and facilitate effective implementation of law and policies in key result areas. Apart from the joint sessions, separate technical sessions of each Board will be held during the two-day Conference. Issues arising in implementation of policies and strategies to achieve targets in core functional areas will also be discussed. Crucial issues like Tax Evasion, GST, Customs Reforms and Modernisation will also come up for discussion. For the first time, senior officers of the Finance Department of the States and Union Territories will attend the event.
4. Noted economist Rajiv Kumar has take over charge as the new vice-chairman of government think tank Niti Aayog. He replaced Indian-American economist Arvind Panagariya who left the think tank to return to academia. Kumar was a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in economics from Oxford and a PhD from Lucknow University. He also served as Secretary General of industry association, FICCI. He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) between 2006 and 2008. He also served as the Chief Economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and held senior positions in the Asian Development Bank, the Indian Ministry of Industries, and the Ministry of Finance.
5. Rajiv Kumar, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre, has been appointed as the new Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS). He succeeded Anjuly Chib Duggal, who superannuated. At present, Kumar is Special Secretary and Establishment Officer in the Ministry of Personnel. The DFS looks after the functioning of banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and the national pension system. Rajiv Kumar has spearheaded several reforms in Indian bureaucracy including an online system for recording of the bureaucrats annual performance appraisal reports.
6. The 3-day International Hindu Conference has started in Kathmandu, Nepal with the theme of 'Emerging spiritualism: Renaissance of Hinduism' on August 31, 2017. The aim of the conference is to make Kathmandu the global capital of Hinduism. Approx 500 Hindu scholars, religious leaders, Hindu activists and officials from different countries including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the US and the UK are are taking part in the conference. The conference will discuss papers on various contemporary issues including, scientific basis of Hinduism, climate change and global warming.
7. Goa chief minister Manohar Parrrikar has launched an online Public Grievance Redressal System at the state secretariat on September 1, 2017. It is a single window online portal for citizens to register grievances towards any state government department. The system's performance in terms of glitches would be monitored and addressed gradually. In the future, a call centre facility would be added to the system. Under the online Public Grievance Redressal System, citizens will be notified about the status of their complaint through SMS and email based on a unique grievance id. There is a provision for automatically escalating unaddressed grievances to higher authorities periodically. Written complaint registration will be continued and uploaded online by the public grievances department.
8. The Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS) is located at Ponda taluka in northeastern Goa and covers an area of 8 km2. It is a popular destination for both tourists and schoolchildren. It is home to sambar deer, Indian bison, Malabar giant squirrel, Indian peafowl and many species of snakes. Bondla zoo is known for its successful breeding of gaur. The zoo provides an excellent environment to breed and do research on animals.
9. Nirmala Sitharaman, the former minister of state for the commerce and industry ministry, has become the new Defence Minister of India on September 3, 2017 after latest Union cabinet reshuffle. She succeeded Arun Jaitley. With this, she has become the India's first woman Defence Minister after Indira Gandhi. Currently, she is Member of Parliament (MP) in Rajya Sabha representing the state of Karnataka. Now, Suresh Prabhu has become the new Union Minister of Commerce and Industry.
10. The 9th edition of BRICS summit-2017 has started at Xiamen in the Fujian Province of east China on September 3, 2017 with theme "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future". For this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a two nation tour of China and Myanmar. On the first leg of his visit, Mr. Modi will attend the 2017 BRICS Summit. In the 3-day summit, at least four documents, BRICS Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Development, BRICS Action Agenda on the Innovation Cooperation, BRICS Customs Cooperation and an MoU between BRICS Business Council and New Development Bank are expected to be signed. On the second leg of the visit, Prime Minister Modi will pay a State visit to Myanmar from September 5th to 7th. This will be Prime Minister Modi's first bilateral State visit to Myanmar. During the visit, Prime Minister will hold discussions with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on matters of mutual interest and also call on President U Htin Kyaw. Apart from his engagements in the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw, Mr Modi will visit Yangon and Bagan.
11. The Karnataka government has recently decided to provide free education for girls across the state from Class 1 up to graduation in all public and aided private schools and colleges, excluding professional institutions. The scheme will be able to avail free education without paying a penny from the next academic year. According to officials, the government would reimburse all fees except examination fees of girl students of Class 1 to graduation level, irrespective of their family's annual income. The students will have to pay the fees first and the same would be reimbursed by the government. The entire tuition fee will be reimbursed, according to the minister. The purpose of the scheme is to help underprivileged and lower middle-class sections of the state. Currently, the girls are given free education in government schools and colleges up to undergraduate level in the state. Karnataka is not the only state in India to start this grand scheme. Telangana and Punjab have also launched similar schemes. Telangana has announced free education for girls from kindergarten to post-graduation, and Punjab has extended the scheme until PhD.
12. The world's highest sandcastle 54.72 feet (16.68 metres) tall has recently built in the German city of Duisburg. It was constructed in over 3 weeks and is supposed to stand until at least September 24, 2017. The representative of Guinness World Records (GWR) has certified the record. It takes the title from a 14.84-meter (48.69-foot) sandcastle built early this year in India. The new sandcastle is decorated with sand models of tourist attractions such as Athens' Acropolis, Barcelona's Sagrada Familia and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
13. Ahmedabad, the commercial capital of Gujarat, has been formally accorded the status of India's first World Heritage City (WHC) by UNESCO. Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO, has handed over the certificate declaring Ahmedabad as a 'World Heritage City' to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in Gandhinagar on September 1, 2017. The 606-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad was founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati River, presents a rich architectural heritage. It has 28 Archaeological Survey of India's centrally protected monuments. The city was also the center for India's non-violent freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi. In July 2017, the UN agency had inscribed Ahmedabad as India's first World Heritage City (WHC) at the 41st session of UNESCO's world heritage committee at Krakow in Poland.
14. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the former India captain, has become the first wicketkeeper in world cricket to effect 100 stumpings in One Day Internationals (ODI). He surpassed former Sri Lankan wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara, who had 99 stumpings in 404 matches. Dhoni achieved the feat in his 301st ODI in Colombo on September 3, 2017 when he whipped off the bails to remove Sri Lankan batsman Akila Dananjaya off leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal's bowling. Till date, Dhoni has also taken 281 catches apart from scoring 9,657 runs so far. He played 90 Tests and 77 T20 Internationals as well. In 90 Tests, Dhoni has taken 256 catches and effected 38 stumpings. In T20 Internationals, Dhoni has taken 43 catches and affected 23 stumpings. Recently, Dhoni has become the 6th Indian player to play 300 matches in the 50-over format. With this, he joined the elite club comprising of Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh.
15. Star India acquired digital as well as media rights for Indian Premier League for a term of five years 2018-2023 with a whooping bid of Rs. 16,347.50 crore on September 4, 2017. The staggering deal has turned out to be a financial windfall for the BCCI despite the administrative crisis it is facing at the moment. The testimony to IPL's growth as the premier sporting property of the country is reflected by the fact that the previous 10-year bid for TV rights only was bought by Sony at Rs. 8200 crore in 2008. Now, the BCCI stands to earn nearly double that amount in half the duration of five years, with earnings of Rs 3270 crore from IPL media rights per year. The BCCI will now earn Rs 55 crore approximately from an IPL match compared to Rs 43 crore, ironically, for each international match that India play. The media rights include broadcast (TV) and digital (mobile and internet) for various segments namely India, Middle East, Africa, Europe and America.
16. The biennial Joint Indo-Lanka Maritime Fleet Exercise – SLINEX 2017 is scheduled to be conducted from September 7-to-14. The focus of SLINEX 2017 will be on fleet work, seamanship, communication, replenishment at sea as well as helicopter operations. Approx, a complement of 368 Sri Lanka Navy personnel comprising 43 naval officers and 60 mid-shipmen are taking part in the exercise. Sri Lanka Navy's offshore patrol vessels, SLNS Sayura and Sagara will arrive at Port of Visakhapatnam soon to participate in the joint maritime naval exercise with the Indian Navy. The joint naval operations enable both Navies to rehearse and improve own capabilities and enhance operational effectiveness required to maintain maritime security in the region.
17. The Union Environment Ministry has launched an environment awareness initiative on September 5 on the occasion of Teachers' Day. Under the initiative, an online environmental quiz competition named "Prakriti Khoj" will be conducted at the national level. The objective of the quiz is to generate interest among school children about the science related to environment. This will help in sensitizing the children on the issues related to environment and development. The initiative is to motivate children towards environment conservation-oriented lifestyles. It will also trigger their sensitivity towards nature appreciation and conservation, leading to positive environmental actions at different levels.
18. Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy and Mumbai-born scientist Veena Sahajwalla have been conferred the PLuS Alliance Prize – a prestigious honour that recognises Research Innovation, Education Innovation, Global Leadership and Global Innovation. The Prize of $ 50,000 was awarded in two categories; Education Innovation and Research Innovation. Both winners were recognised for the development and implementation of innovative solutions to significant global issues. Murthy was presented the PLuS Alliance Prize for Global Leadership while Professor Sahajwalla was awarded the PLuS Alliance Prize for Research Innovation for her project 'The new science of green manufacturing'. The awards were presented to Murthy, Sahajwalla and the other winners by Professor Sir Malcolm Grant, Chairman of NHS England and Chair of the PLuS Alliance Advisory Board, at a ceremony at the T-H-E World Academic Summit in London on September 3, 2017. The PLuS Alliance is an international collaboration between Arizona State University, King's College London, and UNSW Sydney.
19. The Shirui National Park (SNP) is located in the state of Manipur. It has dense tropical forests all over and temperate forest in the hilltops. The park is famous for shirui lily (Lilium maclineae) that grows naturally. The main peak of Shirui abounds with flowers during the monsoon and it is a veritable paradise. It is home to tragopan, the tiger, leopard, etc.
20. NITI Aayog has recently launched the National Nutrition Strategy in New Delhi with an aimed at Kuposhan Mukt Bharat. It was launched by Leader of the Green Revolution, Dr M S Swaminathan and Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Dr Rajiv Kumar on September 5, 2017. The Nutrition Strategy intends to bring nutrition to the centre-stage of the National Development Agenda. It lays the roadmap for targeted action to address India's nutritional needs. The Nutrition Strategy framework envisages a Kuposhan Mukt Bharat – linked to Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat. It enables states to make strategic choices, through decentralized planning and local innovation, with accountability for nutrition outcomes.
21. Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra has become the first Indian woman ambassador for Tourism Australia to encourage Indians to visit the country. She was presented the Friend of Australia (FOA) recognition by Australian Consul General Tony Huber for her contribution to promote Australia recently. Prior to Chopra, famous chef Sanjeev Kapoor and cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle have been great advocates for Australia, encouraging Indians to visit Australia.
22. Gauri Lankesh, the noted journalist and activists, was shot dead at her Rajarajeshwari Nagar's residence in Bengaluru, Karnataka on September 5, 2017. She was the editor of popular Kannada tabloid Lankesh Patrike founded by her father and well-known writer P Lankesh. Lankesh was also part of a panel formed by State government to help surrender Naxals to reform. She was known to be a notable social and political commentator and acclaimed for her lifelong support for free speech and strong journalistic ethics, her works were popular in all quarters, her critics alike. The state government has formed a three team comprising of senior police officer to investigate the crime. AIR correspondent reports that killing of senior journalist known for her out spoken views, is being compared with the murder of rationalist, liberal thinkers, M M Kulburgi, Pansare and Dabholkar in recent years. Several associations of writers and journalists are holding protest in the state demanding immediate arrest of the perpetrators of crime.
23. The 2-day event 'North East Calling' will be organized by the Union government under its Destination North East series at India Gate lawns in New Delhi on September 9, 2017. The purpose of the event is to promote the art, culture, handicrafts, business and tourism of North East India. The event will showcase all activities and products of North-East and the entry for the general public is free. The event will include music festival for bands of North-East, Cultural night for dances of North-East and Handloom Demo Show presenting the clothes of North-East.
24. The researchers at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune have developed an artificial leaf that absorbs sunlight to generate hydrogen fuel from water, an advance that may provide clean energy for powering eco-friendly cars in the future. The device consists of semiconductors stacked in a manner to simulate the natural leaf system. When visible light strikes the semiconductors, electrons move in one direction, producing electric current. The current almost instantaneously splits water into hydrogen – which researchers believe is one of the cleanest forms of fuel as its main byproduct is water.
25. The Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park (PBMNP) is located in the state of Mizoram and covers an area of 50 square kilometers. It is the natural home of a wonderful range of birdlife including the rare Blyth's tragopan, falcon, sunbirds, dark-rumped swift, and Mrs. Hume's pheasant, which is the Mizoram state bird, and also rare animals like the mountain goat, slow loris, tiger, leopard, leopard cat, serow, goral, Asiatic black bear, stump-tailed macaque and capped langur.
26. The Union Government has recently told Supreme Court that an expert committee has been constituted under the Chairmanship of former apex court judge Justice BN Srikrishna to identify key data protection issues in India and recommend methods to address them. The government told the apex court that after the committee's report is submitted, there is a possibility that the law shall be passed regulating data protection. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, state that the committee will study various issues and make specific suggestions for consideration of the government on the principles to be considered for data protection. The apex court has fixed the matter for further hearing on November 20, 2017.
27. NITI Aayog has constituted an Expert Task Force to provide a major thrust to job creation by enhancing India's exports. It will be headed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar. The panel will give recommendations on sector-specific policy interventions in key employment sectors and measures to enhance trade in services with high employment potential. It will also propose a comprehensive plan of action to generate employment and alleviate under-employment in both goods and services sectors and low wages by boosting India's exports in key labour-intensive industries. Members of the Task force include CEO, NITI Aayog, Secretaries of Departments of Commerce, Industrial Policy and Promotion, Economic Affairs and Textiles. Leading economists and industry experts are also members of the Task Force, which will submit its report by November 2017.
28. The Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) has started at Russky Island, which is part of Russia's city of Vladivostok, on September 6-7, 2017. The delegates from at least 24 countries including the US, Japan, China, Australia, Canada, Britain and Germany are attending the gathering. From India, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is attending the forum. The EEF is considered as the biggest international communication platform for cooperation between businesses leaders and senior government representatives from Russia, the Pacific Region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
29. The 13th edition of the joint military training exercise "Yudh Abhyas – 2017" will be conducted at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, USA from September 14 to 27. The exercise is one of the largest joint running military training and defence corporation endeavors between India and USA. The exercise Yudh Abhyas will provide an opportunity to the armed forces of both countries to train in an integrated manner at Battalion level with joint planning at Brigade level. It is also an ideal platform to learn from each-other's experiences of planning and execution of operations. Both armies will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well-developed operations for neutralization of threats of varied nature.
30. The book "How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century" has been authored by former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, which is launched by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on September 6, 2017. The book records the crucial meeting of the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) on the eve of India-Pakistan Defence Secretary-level talks in May 2006.
31. India's first Hyperloop project will come up in Andhra Pradesh, which will connect the city centres of Vijayawada and Amaravati. It will supposedly cover the distance of over 35 km only in five minutes. The Andhra Pradesh – Economic Development Board (AP-EDB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) for developing the project. The Hyperloop Technology is a brainchild idea of Tesla founder Elon Musk, who dubs it as the 5th mode of transportation. It is a system of magnetically levitating capsules (pods) that are sent at high speeds through low-pressure tubes.
32. The International Literacy Day (ILD) is observed every year on September 8 to emphasize the importance of literacy to individuals, society and communities. The 2017 theme is 'Literacy in a Digital World'. The special 2-day event will be organized at UNESCO's Headquarters in Paris today, with an overall aim to look at what kind of literacy skills people need to navigate increasingly in the digitally-mediated societies. The 2017 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes awards ceremony will also take place to recognize and reward excellent literacy practices from around the world in connection with 2017 theme.
33. The Across Barriers-International Business Women's Summit (ABIBWS) will be organized by the South Asian Women Development Forum (SAWDF) at Kathmandu in Nepal from September 11. The basic objective of 2-day summit is to bring together women entrepreneurs from the SAARC, ASEAN, China and some other countries. The summit will be a regional hub for connecting women SMEs (small and medium enterprises) with public and private sector for exploring opportunities to identify joint business ventures. The summit will also offer a unique opportunity for business meetings with the members of the visiting international business delegates and Nepalese women entrepreneurs. According to organisers around 75 delegates from 18 countries including India will participate in the summit.
34. Harendra Singh, the hockey coach and Dronacharya Awardee, has been appointed as High Performance Specialist Coach for Indian Senior Women Hockey Team (ISWHT). The decision was recently taken jointly by SAI and Hockey India on the basis of his recent and past performance. Under his coaching, the junior men team won the Junior Men World Cup in 2016 at Lucknow. He was also the Chief Coach of the Senior Men Hockey team from 2008 to 2009 and National coach from 2009 to 2010. He is a Level III certified Coach. Harendra Singh will take over the new responsibility shortly. It has also been decided that the present Chief Coach of India senior women Hockey Team, Mr. Waltherus Norbertus Maria Marijne will take over as Chief Coach of Indian Senior Men Hockey Team on his return from the on-going Europe tour. Marijne has accepted the offer of Chief Coach of the senior Indian Men Hockey Team.
35. Viveck Goenka, the CMD of Express Group, has been elected as the new Chairman of Press Trust of India (PTI). He succeeded Riyad Mathew, who is Senior Assistant Editor and a member of the Manorama management. N. Ravi, the former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, has been unanimously elected as new Vice Chairman of PTI.
36. The traditional Bonderam festival has started in Divar Island of Goa on September 9, 2017 . The word "Bonderam" originated from the involvement of flags. It is stated that during the Portuguese rule in Goa there were frequent disputes between two sections of the Divar village over property issues. These often led to violence and fights in the village. To find a solution to this problem, the Portuguese introduced a system of demarcation of boundaries with flags. The festival is a memoir to the protest by the local villagers against the Portuguese while trying to resolve the property ownership disputes. This festival starts with a flag which is accompanied by the brass band. Bonderam is a very popular monsoon festival in Goa and it draws huge crowds from all parts of Goa and world over.
37. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India's (UIDAI) has been appointed as interim chairman of the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN). He succeeded Navin Kumar, who completed his term on August 29. GSTN is a not-for-profit entity owned by the Centre, states and non-government financial institutions, and is responsible for building and running the Information Technology (IT) backbone for new GST tax regime. Pandey has been given additional charge of the post of Chairman of GSTN with immediate effect and until further orders.
38. Recently, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is in news because it will constitute a committee to advise the method and process for undertaking large scale community reform program within the Islamic Shariah. A resolution was passed in this connection in the one-day meeting of the Board's executive body held in Bhopal on September 11, 2017. The committee will also look into the Supreme Court's verdict on the triple Talaq. The Board reiterated that Talaq-e-biddat or triple Talaq in one-sitting, is sinful but valid. It claimed that it has taken steps to discourage this practice through community reform programmes for a long time. The AIMPLB is a non-government organisation that focuses primarily to defend the Sharia laws from any law or legislation that they consider infringes on it. Syed Mohammad Rabe Hasani is the president of the AIMPLB.
39. R M Hidayathulla, who is from Androth in Lakshadweep, in his research work stated that biodiversity-rich uninhabited 'Parali I island' of Lakshadweep has been eroded to an extent of 100% due to coastal erosion. The study stated that the complete erosion and inundation of Parali I was pointing to the gravity of issues associated with coastal erosion within the atoll. Apart from Parali I, net erosion was higher in Parali II (80%), followed by Thinnakara (14.38%), Parali III (11.42%) and Bangaram (9.968%). Hidayathulla was awarded a doctoral degree in July 2017 by Calicut University in Kerala for his work entitled "Studies on coastal erosion in selected uninhabited islands of Lakshadweep archipelago Archipelago with Special Reference to Biodiversity Conservation." He conducted studies on the biodiversity of five uninhabited islands — Bangaram, Thinnakara, Parali I, II and III, of which Parali I has been inundated.
40. The World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is observed every year on September 10 to raise awareness about suicide prevention. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) survey, across the world nearly 800,000 commit suicide each year which is one person every 40 seconds. Thus, the day aims to open up the conversations and help those in the darkness. The 2017 theme "Take a minute, change a life" highlights the importance of speaking up, taking the time, and listening.
41. Prakash Padukone, the renowned Indian Badminton legend, will be conferred with the first Lifetime Achievement Award instituted by the Badminton Association of India (BAI) for his rich contribution to the sport. The award carries cash prize of Rs 10 lakh with a citation, which will be presented to Padukone at New Delhi very soon. Padukone had won the 1980 All England, besides bagging a bronze at the 1983 World Championship in Copenhagen. He also won a gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. He was bestowed with the Arjuna award in 1972 and the Padma Shri in 1982.
42. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched a nationwide online platform 'FoSCoRIS' to bring in transparency in food safety inspection and sampling. The web-based 'FoSCoRIS' system will help verify compliance of food safety and hygiene standards by food businesses as per the government norms.The new system will bring together all key stakeholders food businesses, food safety officers , designated officers, state food safety commissioners on a nation-wide IT platform and data related to inspection, sampling and test result data will be shared seamlessly by all the officials. The system will ease out the process of sample collection, make it transparent and traceable and controls the quality of compliances.
43. Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has launched the "Wood is Good" campaign at conference on "Sustainable Landscapes & Forest Ecosystems: Theory to Practice" in New Delhi on September 12, 2017. Wood is a climate-friendly material, as it is a renewable resource, having zero carbon footprints. The conference has organized to deliberate and come out with out-of-the-box ideas and solutions on increasing the forest cover much beyond the stipulated 33 per cent. The union ministery advocated the balancing of environmental and developmental concerns and also urged the gathering of scientists and foresters to devise a solution to the problem of weeds.
44. The joint bilateral air force exercise "Shaheen VI" has started between air forces of China and Pakistan in China on September 7, and will run until September 27, 2017. The "Shaheen" joint training was launched by the Chinese and Pakistani air forces in March 2011 and has since gone through five major iterations.
45. London has retained its position as the world's top financial centre in the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI). The index is compiled and published by Z/Yen Group, which ranked 92 financial centres globally on factors such as infrastructure and access to high-quality staff. New York has acquired 2nd position followed by Hongkong, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, etc. Meanwhile, Mumbai is the only India that has been listed in the index and acquired 60th rank. The GFCI is a ranking of the competitiveness of financial centres based on over 29,000 financial centre assessments from an online questionnaire together with over 100 indices from organisations such as the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
46. Halimah binti Yacob, the former Speaker of Parliament, has been declared the President-elect of Singapore, after her nomination papers were found to be in order. She will be Singapore's first female President and the first Malay head of state in 47 years. On September 13, Yacob was certified by the Presidential Elections Commission as the only eligible candidate, and since she has no opponent, there will be no election. Halimah will be sworn in as country's 8th President at the Istana on September 14, 2017. The 2017 Presidential Election was reserved for candidates from the Malay community. Under amendments to the Constitution that came into effect in June 2017, applicants had to show that they helmed a company with at least 500 million Singapore dollar in shareholders' equity. Halimah meets the criteria set out for those in the public sector, having held office for at least three years as Speaker.
47. Peter Thomson, the outgoing president of the General Assembly, has been appointed as the first special envoy for the oceans by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Thomson played a leading role at the first-ever UN conference on oceans in June 2017. The 193 UN member states issued an urgent call for action to reverse the decline in the health and productivity of the world's oceans.
48. India has started 'Operation Insaniyat' to provided assistance to Bangladesh in response to the humanitarian crisis being faced on account of the large influx of Rohingya refugees into that country from Myanmar. Under it, relief material consisting of items including rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, biscuits and mosquito nets will be provided to the affected people. The relief material will be delivered in multiple consignments, and the first tranche will be brought to Chittagong by an Indian Air Force plane on September 14, 2017. The Union External Affairs Ministry has stated that India has always responded readily and swiftly to any crisis in Bangladesh, in view of close ties of friendship between the people of India and Bangladesh. In this hour of need, India stands ready to provide any assistance required by Government of Bangladesh.
49. The Indo-Sri Lanka Hindi conference was organized at Kelaniya University near Colombo with theme 'Hindi E-learning : Identity and possibilities' on eve of Hindi Divas celebrations on September 13, 2017. High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu was the chief guest on the occasion. The Kelaniya University is distinct as it has a full-fledged Hindi department which offers courses ranging from degree to doctorate and research. Hindi is quite popular among Sri Lankan youths and many of them are enrolled for special Hindi classes offered by Indian Cultural centre in Colombo.
50. The Union Finance Ministry has constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi to monitor and resolve the IT challenges faced in the implementation of GST. The GoM will be assisted by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN). Apart from this, the government has also constituted a committee on exports convened by revenue secretary Dr Hasmukh Adhia to look into issues of export sector and to recommend suitable strategy for helping the export sector in the post-GST scenario to the GST Council.
51. Thomas Bach, the President of International Olympic Committee (IOC), has officially announced that Paris will host 2024 and Los Angeles will host 2028 Summer Olympics. Both cities wanted to host the 2024 event, before Los Angeles agreed to wait an extra four years after the IOC made guarantees on funding. Los Angeles will also receive up to $2 billion from the IOC, which is up to $300 million more than it would have gotten for 2024.
52. The National Hindi Day (NHD) is celebrated every year on September 14 across India to mark the language that roots back to Ancient India, in which the scriptures of the Land of Saints and Yogis, Mythological Epics and Glory of various Kingdoms and Dynasties were written. On this day, in 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India had adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of the Republic of India. On 2017 NHD, the President of India Ram Nath Kovind presented Rajbhasha awards for the Year 2016-17 at a function in Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi. The Rajbhasha awards were instituted by the Department of Official Language to recognize the excellent contribution of Ministries, Departments and Nationalized Banks in the field of Hindi.
53. President Ram Nath Kovind has launched a nationwide campaign 'Swacchata Hi Sewa' from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh on September 15, 2017. He will administer nation-wide Swachhta Hi Seva pledge initiating parallel action in all the two lakh 50 thousand plus Gram Panchayats and cities in India. Eminent personalities, community organizations and private sector organizations will undertakes shramdaan activities. The fortnight long campaign will conclude on 2nd of October, Gandhi Jayanti. The purpose of the campaign is to mobilize people and reinforce the public movement for sanitation to contribute to Mahatma Gandhi's dream of a Clean India.
54. India has been ranked 103rd out of 130 nations at the 2017 Global Human Capital Index (GHCI). The list compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) takes into account 'the knowledge and skills people possess that enable them to create value in the global economic system" to measure the 'human capital' rank of a country. The list is topped by Norway, Finland, Switzerland and United States. The report measures 130 countries against four key areas of human capital development; Capacity (determined by past investment in formal education), Deployment (accumulation of skills through work), Development (continued upskilling and reskilling of existing workers) and Know-how (specialised skills-use at work).
55. The International Day of Democracy is observed every year on September 15 to provide an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. The 2017 theme "Democracy and Conflict prevention" focuses on the critical need to strengthen democratic institutions to promote peace and stability.
56. The first-ever National Ayurveda Youth Festival (NAYF) has started in Jaipur, Rajasthan on September 14, 2017. Approx 3000 youth Ayurveda students and doctors from across the country are participating in the 3-day fest, which is organized by the joint auspices of the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA) Jaipur and National Ayurveda and Youth Association (NAYA), an affiliate of Vigyan Bharati. In it, Jaipur's National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA) has entered the Guinness Book for 'Most people receiving Nasya Panch Kararma simultaneously'. It was a unique record and its purpose was to attract youth towards Ayurveda.
57. India's first lithium-ion battery facility will be set up by Japanese automobile giant Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) at Hansalpur in Gujarat. The new plant will make lithium-ion batteries for hybrid car models to be sold in domestic and international markets. The facility will be set up jointly by Suzuki, Toshiba Corporation and Denso with a proposed investment of $180 million. Suzuki made this announcement during the 12th India-Japan Annual Summit at Mahatma Mandir in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.
58. India's first Centre for Animal Law has been established at the NALSAR University of Law in Hyderabad. Maneka Gandhi, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, has inaugurated the centre on September 15. 2017. The Humane Society International (HSI) India will work with NALSAR to steer and coordinate the activities of the centre. The centre will create curriculum on animal welfare laws, including developing topics for research. It will also conduct workshops on animal laws and animal welfare issues with judicial magistrates, animal welfare advocates, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders in the government.
59. Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has been honoured with Global Diversity Award at Britain's House of Commons on September 15 for his outstanding contribution to Global Diversity. The Global Diversity Award is given to people of immense stature in terms of diversity in the world.
60. The book 'Unstoppable: My Life So Far' has been authored by tennis star Maria Sharapova. The book talks about Sharapova's rise from nowhere to tennis stardom and the unending fight to stay on top. The book tells how a seventeen-year-old Maria Sharapova became an overnight sensation by defeating the two-time defending champion Serena Williams to win the prestigious Wimbledon.
61. The International Day for the preservation of the Ozone Layer is observed every year on September 16 to mark the commemoration of the date of signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987 on substances that deplete the Ozone layer. It is mainly intended to spread awareness of the depletion of the Ozone Layer and search for solutions to preserve it. The 2017 theme 'Caring for all life under the sun'. The Ozone layer is a fragile shield of gas which protects the Earth from the harmful ultraviolet radiation of the sun and thus helping preserve life on the planet. Substances like Chlorofluorocarbons, halons, Carbontetrachloride are responsible for ozone layer depletion.
62. The 13th edition of joint military training exercise "Yudh Abhyas-2017" has started between Indian and US armies at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington, USA on September 16, 2017. During the two week long exercise soldiers from both countries will hone their tactical skills in counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations under a joint brigade headquarter. Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in UN peace keeping operations. Experts from both sides will hold detailed discussions to share their experience and expertise on varied operational topics.
63. The joint military exercise "Iron Union 5" will start between United States and United Arab Emirates (UAE) exercise in Abu Dhabi on September 23, 2017 to consolidate their bilateral relations and exchange training and military expertise. The purpose of the exercise is to upgrade and boost the readiness of the UAE's armed forces and to allow both armies to promote their international co-operation in joint military operations.
64. Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar has been appointed as brand ambassador of the Swachh Bharat Mission for Uttarakhand. Earlier, Akshay Kumar was also appointed as the brand ambassador for cleanliness drive by the Uttar Pradesh Government and his film 'Toilet: Ek Prem Katha' was interest-free in the state. The film focuses on importance of building toilets and ending open defecation in the country.
65. Amit Masurkar's acclaimed political satire "Newton" has been selected as India's official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars 2018. Rajkummar Rao played a role of Newton Kumar, a presiding officer who is determined to hold a free and fair election in a Chhattisgarh village despite the threat of Naxalite violence and all-round cynicism. The movie, produced by Drishyam Films and distributed by Eros Entertainment, also stars Pankaj Tripathi, Anjali Patil and Raghubir Yadav, and was released on September 22, 2017.
66. India's first electric bus service has launched by Himachal Pradesh Government for Rohtang Pass, a tourist destination near Manali. The electric bus, which is built by Goldstone Infratech, has been certified by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), after extensive testing at the parts and vehicle level. With this initiative, Himachal has become the first in the world to ply electric buses at an altitude of 13 thousand feet. These buses will ply on 51km eco fragile stretch between Manali and Rohtang. Each electric bus has a capacity to carry 30 passengers and can cover 200 km with the fully charged batteries. The fare is yet to be fixed but it would be marginally higher than diesel buses.
67. India's first indigenously built Scorpene submarine " INS Kalvari" has been delivered to the Indian Navy at the Mazagon Dock Ltd shipyard and will soon be commissioned. Kalvari is named after the dreaded Tiger Shark, a deadly deep sea predator of the Indian Ocean. It can carry 18 torpedoes and travel 1,020km underwater. The 66-metre submarine can dive up to a depth of 300 metres to elude enemy detection. It has superior stealth and the ability to launch crippling attacks on the enemy with precision-guided weapons. The attack can be carried out with torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles underwater or from the surface. This Scorpene submarine is designed to operate in all theatres of war, including the tropics. Kalvari is capable of handling various missions such as anti-surface warfare (attacking surface ships), anti-submarine warfare (destroying submarines), intelligence gathering, mine-laying and area surveillance.
68. Qatar Airways has become the world's first Airline to launch double beds in its brand new business class suite "Qsuite" from London to Doha in Qatar. Such suites will allow passengers to recline two middle seats into a fully flat bed and features partition panels to create a private bedroom with two entertainment screens inside. This new initiative marks a world-first for the industry and looks to set a precedent for rival carriers. Qatar Airways has launched the feature on a daily Boeing 777 service from London Heathrow.
69. Jake LaMotta (95), the legendary American boxer, has passed away in Aventura, Florida. He was given the nickname "The Raging Bull" for his aggressive style in the ring, and was portrayed by Robert De Niro in the film Raging Bull, which examined his tumultuous life outside of the ring. The film, directed by Martin Scorsese, is considered one of the greatest sports movies of all time and one of the best films ever made.
70. Dharmendra Pradhan, the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, has launched a nation-wide 'Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat' at Mota Ishanpur village in Gandhinagar district of Gujarat on September 23, 2017. The new scheme is a backup to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to distribute LPG connections among the rural areas where conventional fuel is used for domestic purposes. The purpose of the LPG Panchayat is to spread awareness among the LPG users about how to properly use the clean fuel and its many benefits. Under the scheme, one lakh LPG Panchayats will be activated across the country during the next one and a half years. The idea of this platform is to trigger a discussion through sharing of personal experiences on the benefits of use of clean fuel compared to traditional fuels like cowdung, charcoal or wood. India has over 21 crore LPG connections, with 51% reach in the rural areas and nearly 100% penetration across the urban centres.
71. The 9-day Bathukamma festival is a colourful and vibrant festival of Telangana that has started on September 20, 2017. This fest is celebrated by women with flowers that grow exclusively in each region. This festival is a symbol of Telangana's cultural identity. On this occasion, the Telangana government has began free distribution of over one crore sarees for women below the poverty line.
72. M C Mary Kom, the five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist, has become the first Indian to be picked as the International Boxing Association's (AIBA) representative for the IOC Athletes' Forum scheduled in November 2017. She has been invited to attend the 8th International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes' Forum in Lausanne from November 11th to 13th. Regarding to this, AIBA has sent an invitation letter to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI). However, the event overlaps with the Asian Championship in Vietnam, which is scheduled from November 2 to 12. If Mary Kom is selected for the tournament after trials later this month, her participation at the IOC event would become uncertain.
73. The joint military training exercise "Panda-Kangaroo 2017" was held between Chinese and Australian ground forces in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, from September 10 to 20. The exercise is an important platform for enhancing the mutual understanding and trust and deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. This is the first joint training held in China by Chinese and Australian armies. The two ground forces have conducted such joint training in 2015 and 2016 in Australia.
74. Prof C.N.R. Rao, the renowned scientist and Bharat Ratna awardee, has become the first Asian to be chosen for the prestigious 2017 Von Hippel Award for his immense contribution in materials research. The award is the US-based Materials Research Society's (MRS) highest honour. The award, which includes a cash prize, trophy and a diploma, will be presented in Boston on November 29, 2017. It recognises those qualities most prized by materials scientists and engineers – brilliance and originality of intellect, combined with vision that transcends the boundaries of conventional scientific disciplines.
75. The 2-day Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise "Pralay Sahayam" was held in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad in Telangana on September 22, 2017. The exercise was for all agencies involved in search, rescue and relief operations during natural disasters, to interact and evolve a seamless and optimized disaster management strategy. The purpose of the exercise is to create public awareness about man-made and natural climate change and urban disasters including floodings.
76. Rajiv Mehrishi, a 1978 batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, has taken charge as the new Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on September 25, 2017 and will have tenure of about three years. He administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He succeeded Shashi Kant Sharma. The CAG is appointed for a term of six years or till the incumbent attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. As a constitutional functionary, the CAG is primarily entrusted with the responsibility of auditing the accounts of the Union government and of the state governments. Prior to this post, Mehrishi was Home Secretary of Government of India (GoI). He had held several posts in both his state cadre Rajasthan and in the Centre. He also served as Economic Affairs Secretary and Chief Secretary of Rajasthan.
77. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana 'Saubhagya' to supply electricity to poor households to mark the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya on September 25, 2017. The scheme will cover all rural families after electrification of all villages by December 2017. The Union government stated that states will be required to complete the household electrification by March 31, 2019. The scheme will be funded by a 60% grant from the government, with the states contributing 10% and the remaining amount will be covered by loans. For special category states, the government will grant 85% of the outlay, with the states contributing just 5%.
78. The Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) is a wildlife sanctuary and estuary situated in Andhra Pradesh. It covers an area of 235.7 square kilometers. It is the second largest stretch of mangrove forests in India with 24 mangrove tree species and more than 120 bird species. It is home to the critically endangered white-backed vulture and the long billed vulture.
79. The two-week long joint military exercise "DRUZBA 2017" has started between Special Forces of Pakistan and Russia Armies started in Minralney Vody, Russia on September 25, 2017. The focus of the joint exercise is to counter-terrorism operations, hostage and rescue, cordon and search operation. The joint exercise will enhance and further strengthen military ties between the two countries and share Pakistan Army's experience in war against terrorism. The first-ever joint military exercise was held in October 2016 and Russia also started selling weapons to Islamabad.
80. The book "The Shershah of Kargil: Captain Vikram Batra" has been authored by Deepak Surana, which is launched in Banguluru on September 10, 2017. It is the biography of Kargil war hero Late Captain Vikram Batra, who was posthumously awarded Param veer Chakra (PVC) – the highest gallantry award of India. It is an inspiring story of the young captain, which takes you through the various dimensions of Captain Batra's life.
81. Prime minister Narendra Modi has recently constituted Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (PMEAC) under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy. The 5-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC) will address the issues of macroeconomic importance. The council will also analyse and advise the Prime Minister on any issue, economic or otherwise, referred by him. Besides Debroy, the council includes NITI Aayog's principal adviser Ratan Watal as its member and economists Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal as part-time members.
82. Rajnath Singh, the Union Home Minister, has launched a web portal called 'PENCIL' for effective implementation of National Child Labour Project (NCLP) in New Delhi on September 26, 2017. The acronym PENCIL stands for Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour, which is developed by the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE). It is an electronic platform for no child labour. The PENCIL portal has five components — Child Tracking System, Complaint Corner, State Government, National Child Labour Project and Convergence. The online portal will connects the Centre to the state government, district and to all project societies and would provide a mechanism for implementation.
83. Thaawarchand Gehlot, the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, has launched the beta version of an accessible and comprehensive mobile App "Divyang Sarathi" in New Delhi for easy information dissemination to Divyangjans. The unique features of the App are its audio notes embedded in it which converts the written information into an audio file. The purpose of the mobile app is to provide all relevant information pertaining to the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, including its various Acts, rules, regulations and guidelines, schemes and information about the various outreach institutions, employment opportunities in an accessible format.
84. Manoj Sinha, the Union Minister of Communication, will launch the first-ever India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2017, which is scheduled to be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from 27th September till 29thSeptember 2017. It is being organised by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) with support of the ministries like the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Skill Development and Entrepreneurship amongst others and will see participation from senior government representatives from the centres as well as various states.
85. The World Tourism Day (WTD) is observed every year on September 27 to raise awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The 2017 theme "Sustainable tourism – a tool for development" is dedicated to explore the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). On the occasion of World Tourism Day, President Ram Nath Kovind will give away the National Tourism Awards and will Launch Incredible India 2.0 Campaign in New Delhi.
86. The World Maritime Day (WMD) is observed every year on September 29 to acknowledge the maritime industry and to highlight the importance of shipping safety, maritime security, and the marine environment. The 2017 theme 'Connecting Ships, Ports and People' was chosen to provide an opportunity to focus on the many diverse actors involved in the shipping and logistics areas. The aim of theme is to focus on helping International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach.
87. The World Rabies Day (WRD) is an international awareness campaign, which is observed every year on September 28 to raise awareness about rabies prevention and to highlight progress in defeating this horrifying disease. The day also marks the anniversary of Louis Pasteur's death, the French chemist and microbiologist, who developed the first rabies vaccine. The 2017 theme is 'Rabies: Zero by 30'.
88. India has been ranked the 40th out of 137 countries at the 2017 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which is compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF). According to the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2017-2018, India's performance improved in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) indicators, particularly Internet bandwidth per user, mobile phone and broadband subscriptions, and Internet access in schools. The list is topped by Switzerland, followed by United States, Singapore, Netherlands and Germany. The GCI is prepared on the basis of country-level data covering 12 categories or pillars of competitiveness viz. Institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, etc.
89. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will increase its annual lending to India to a maximum of $4 billion between 2018 and 2022 to help fasten inclusive economic transformation towards upper middle income status. The ADB's programme in India will focus on three main pillars of activity during the 5-year period: boost economic competitiveness to create more and well-paid jobs, improve access to infrastructure and services, and address climate change and improving climate resilience. The new lending programme, which includes private sector operations, is much higher than the average $2.65 billion a year in loans extended during 2012 and 2016.
90. The Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) is located in Dhamtari District, Chhattisgarh and covers an area of 556 square kilometers. It is a famous tourist attraction which is frequented by wildlife enthusiasts throughout the year. It is named after Sitanadi River which originates from this sanctuary and joins Mahanadi River near Deokhut. Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its lush green flora and rich and unique and diverse fauna and has great potential to emerge as one of the finest wildlife destinations in Central India.
91. The 3rd India International Science Festival (IISF-2017) will be held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu from October 13-16. The festival is being organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).Top scientists from the government are expected to participate in the four-day festival at IIT-Chennai.The event will be jointly inaugurated by science and technology ministers of Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Portugal.
92. Padma Shri awardee Tom Alter (67), who was veteran actor and theatre personality, has passed away in Mumbai on September 29, 2017. The Indian actor of American descent, Tom Alter made his big screen debut in 1976 with a small role in Dharmendra-starrer Charas and later went on to work in films like Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Gandhi, Kranti, Bose: The Forgotten Hero and Veer Zara. But it was his sitcom Zabaan Sambhalke (1993-1997) that made him a household name. Born in Mussoorie in 1950, Alter was a third-generation American in India who studied at Woodstock School in the Himalayas and then briefly at Yale University in the USA, before returning to India in the early 70s.
93. NITI Aayog will host the 8th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2017) in partnership with the USA, which is scheduled to be held in Hyderabad from November 28 to 30. The 2017 theme "Women First, Prosperity for All" will celebrate entrepreneurship in all its strength, diversity and entirety. The four primary focus areas of GES 2017 are Health Care and Life Sciences, Digital Economy and Financial Technology, Energy and Infrastructure, and Media and Entertainment. The 2017 summit will empower Indian entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas, build partnerships, secure funding, and create innovative products and services that will transform societies for a better future. It will not only bring global best practices to India, but will also create an irreplaceable place for India in the global entrepreneurial ecosystem.
94. The 14th India-EU Summit will be held in New Delhi from October 5-7, 2017. During the summit, both sides are expected to discuss a host of key issues including ways to remove hurdles for the long-pending free trade agreement. The president of the European Council (EC) Donald Franciszek Tusk, and the president of the European Commission (EC) Jean-Claude Juncker, will attend the summit. The European Union (EU) is India's largest regional trading partner with bilateral trade in goods at USD 88 billion in 2016. The EU is also the largest destination for Indian exports and a key source of investment and technologies.
95. IDBI Bank has launched 'Project Nishchay' in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to accelerate its turnaround program and improve financial performance. The project will be led by senior management at IDBI Bank along with BCG. As part of the initiative, IDBI bank will focus on four key areas – revenue enhancement, cost control & reduction, asset productivity and overall program management in consultation with BCG.
96. The Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary (DWS) is located in Baragarh district, Odisha and covers an area of 346.91 square kilometers. This sanctuary is not only famous for the sylvan beauty with magnificent waterfalls but is also very rich in wildlife. The dry deciduous forests with varied flora and fauna attract the tourists of Odisha and neighbouring states. It is home to Indian leopard, Indian elephant, sambar, chital, gaur, etc.
97. Royana Singh, an assistant professor at the Institute of Medical Science (Anatomy Department), has been appointed as the first woman chief proctor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU). She succeeded O P Singh, who recently resigned from the post after taking moral responsibility for the lathi charge on students who were protesting against the victim-blaming of a colleague who was molested on the campus.
98. Gujarat will be the second state after Goa to use the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system for the Assembly elections. Here, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be equipped with VVPAT. State Chief Electoral Officer and Principal Secretary Mr. B. B. Sawain announced this at a press conference in Gandhinagar on Septmebr 28, 2017. Approx 70,182 VVPAT machines will be used in the state for the Assembly elections. During the poll, the voters will experience the transparency and would enjoy a new right. According to the latest electoral list, it has as many as 4.33 crore registered voters in the state.