1. Plastic degrading bacteria Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 isolated
i. Japanese researchers have successfully isolated a bacterium species Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 capable of breaking down plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polyester.
ii. Their results were published in the journal Science. Key facts Ideonella sakaiensis relies on PET film as a primary source of carbon for growth.
iii. It is capable of completely degrading a thin film of PET in a short span of six weeks at 30°C. The bacterium species uses two enzymes in sequence to break down the highly biodegradable-resistant polymer PET.
iv. First enzyme helps the bacterium to adhere to the PET and produce an intermediate substance through process of hydrolysis. The second enzyme then works with water and acts on this intermediate substance.
v. It produces the 2 monomers ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid that are used for making PET through polymerisation. The bacteria could potentially be used in industrial recycling processes with having any adverse impact on the environment. It can replace or augment the current mechanical recycling plastic process.
2. Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Abul Gheit named as Secretary General of Arab League
i. Veteran Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Abul Gheit (73) has been selected as Secretary General of the Arab League. The 22-member league voted unanimously in favour of Aboul Gheit who was only contender for the post at its ministerial meeting held in Cairo, Egypt.
ii. He will succeed Nabil El-Araby, Egyptian diplomat whose term ends in July 2016 after he had rejected second five-year term. Abul Gheit is a former ambassador of Egypt to the United Nations. He had served as Egypt’s foreign minister from 2004 to 2011 during the final seven years of Hosni Mubarak’s rule.
3. Project Mausam aims to explore Multi-Faceted Indian Ocean World
i. Project Mausam aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean world for collating archaeological and historical research and not to counter China’s Silk Route strategy. It was announced by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
4. Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan appointed as Chairman of 21st Law Commission of India
i. The Union Government has appointed former Supreme Court (SC) judge Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan (66) as Chairman of the 21st Law Commission of India (LCI). Currently he is Chairman of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal. He was judge of the SC from May 2009 to July 2014.
ii. He also had served as Chief Justice of Orissa high court from July 2008 to May 2009. Apart from him, Union Government has appointed former judge of the Gujarat high court Justice Ravi R Tripathi as member of 21st LCI.
5. Rajya Sabha passes Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015
i. The Rajya Sabha has passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015 to protect the interests of consumers and curb the malpractices in the real estate sector. The bill seeks to create a uniform regulatory mechanism across the country and enhance the growth of construction sector. It also ensures to bring transparency and accountability in the real estate sector to access capital and financial markets essential for its long term growth.
6. Union Cabinet gives not to BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters
i. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratification of the Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been designated as the Central Authority under Article 15 of the Convention.
7. Union Cabinet gives nod to MoU between India and UAE on Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber-Crime
i. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the MoU between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber-Crime. It was singed between both countries in February 2016 to cooperate in combating cybercrime in the wake of the serious security threat posed by it to safety of people.
8. India, Bangladesh sign $2 billion Line of Credit
i. India has signed the second line of credit (LOC) agreement extending 2 billion dollars in development financing to Bangladesh for undertaking various development projects. This credit line will be provided through Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank), India’s external lending arm.
ii. It is Exim Bank’s biggest ever LOC facility given to another country. The development financing will be used in the infrastructural projects like power sector, road transportation, railways, shipping, information and communication technology (ICT) and social sector projects like health and technical education.
9. Rest of India wins 2015-16 Irani Cup Cricket Title
i. Rest of India has won the Irani Cup Cricket Title 2015-16 by defeating Mumabi in the final match of the cup by four wickets. In the final match played at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, Rest of India overhauled the record victory target of 480 by making 482 for 6 on the fifth and final day.
ii. This successful chase was also the best-ever run-chase in the Irani Cup history. It has bettered Rest of India’s previous 424, chasing target set by Delhi at the Ferozshah Kotla in 1982-83.