1. PM Narendra Modi launches Setu Bharatam Project
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Setu Bharatam Project to make all national highways free of railway crossings by 2019. This project will be implemented by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
ii. 208 places have been identified for construction of rail over-bridges (ROB) or underpasses under the project.
iii. Around 1,500 bridges that are over 50 to 60 years old or of the British era will be overhauled and will be rebuilt. More than 50 thousand crore rupees will be spent on the project.
2. Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma passes away
i. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma passed away after suffering a heart attack in New Delhi. He was 68.
ii. Sangma was a 9 time member of Lok Sabha and the Speaker in the 11th Lok Sabha from 1996 to 1998. He had played significant role in the development of the North East.
iii. For first time he was elected to Lok Sabha in 1977 from Tura (Lok Sabha constituency) and remained a member of the Lok Sabha until 14th Lok Sabha except for the 9th Lok Sabha.
iv. He was one of the founding members of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). In January 2013, he had formed the National People’s Party.
3. Jitu Rai wins Gold medal in 50m pistol event at ISSF World Cup
i. Ace Indian shooter Jitu Rai has won Gold medal in the 50m Pistol Men final event at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup held in Bangkok, Thialand.
ii. He won the medal by scoring 191.3 points in the final round and beating two of the strongest members of the Chinese Olympic team, Pang Wei and Wang Zhiwei.
iii. Chinese shooter Pang won the Silver medal with 186.5 points, while his teammate Wang Zhiwei won the Bronze medal with 165.8 points.
iv. This win is considered as a stage of success for Jitu Rai, who is the winner of the 2014 Asian Games. He is currently ranked 5th in the world in the 50m Pistol Men’s event.
4. Indian-American Sunil Sabharwal took charge as Alternate Executive Director at IMF
i. Sunil Sabharwal, an independent Indian-American investor took charge as Alternate Executive Director at International Monetary Fund (IMF).
ii. He took the charge after his appointed was confirmed by the US Senate. Earlier he was re-nominated to this key post at IMF by US President Barack Obama.
iii. With this he becomes first Indian-American to occupy a key administration post at the IMF. The post of Alternate Executive Director us one of the most powerful position in the IMF considering the 16.81 per cent voting share (highest) of US in the total IMF voting share.
5. World’s most expensive train station opened in New York at 9/11 site
i. The world’s most expensive train station opened at the 9/11 site in New York, United States. It has been named World Trade Center Transportation Hub. It is built next to the site of the Twin Towers in New York which were destroyed in the terror attacks in 2001.
ii. The station was constructed at whooping cost of 3.85 billion dollars making it most expensive station in the world.
iii. It has been designed by the Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava who has called it a gift of love to the city.
iv. The station building is called Oculus and made up of steel ribs and glass laid out in elliptical shape, reaching for the sky like wings of a bird.
v. It is expected eventually to serve more than 2 lakhs commuters daily. Initially it was budgeted at 2 billion dollars and lagged 7 years behind schedule.
6. UNSC imposes tough sanctions against North Korea over nuclear test
i. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted the toughest sanctions ever imposed on North Korea in response to its fourth nuclear test and rocket launch.
ii. In this regard, the 15-member council passed a resolution drafted by the United States and backed by China.
iii. All countries must inspect cargo in all airports and sea ports destined for and coming from North Korea.
iv. Ban or severe restrictions on exports of iron and iron ore, coal, gold, titanium and rare earth minerals from North Korea and prohibits the supply.
v. Tightens an arms embargo by banning sales of small arms and bars vessels suspected of carrying illegal goods for North Korea from ports.
vi. Countries working in North Korea’s financial and banking sector are obliged to freeze assets of companies and other entities linked to its missile and nuclear programmes.
7. Delhi launches country’s first HPV vaccine as public health programme in schools
i. Delhi has become the first state (UT) in the country to launch the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as a public health programme for school children.
ii. The vaccination programme will be completed in the current academic year 2015-16 over two phases. In the first year, girls studying in Class VI in government schools will be targeted and in the next year girls between the age of 9 and 13 will be targeted.
iii. In the first phase of the vaccination programme, 1 to 1.5 lakh school girls will be targeted and later this initiative will be expanded to the private schools.
8. Theatre guru Ratan Thiyam selected for 11th META Lifetime Achievement Award
i. Veteran playwright and director Ratan Thiyam has been selected for prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 at the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META).
ii. He will be conferred with this award in recognition for his work for creating a new language in theatre and enriching the art form in various roles as director, writer, composer, designer and choreographer. Currently, Ratan Thiyam is Chairman of National School of Drama.
9. India-World Bank ink Credit Agreement for MPHEQIP
i. Union Government, Madhya Pradesh government and the World Bank have signed $300 million credit agreement for Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Quality Improvement Project (MPHEQIP).
ii. The credit will be provided by the International Development Association (IDA), World Bank’s concessionary lending arm with a maturity of 25 years, including a five-year grace period.
iii. MPHEQIP’s objective is to improve student outcomes especially of disadvantaged groups in selected Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). It also seeks to increase the effectiveness of the Higher Education System in Madhya Pradesh. The project comprises of three components viz. grants support to higher education institutions, improve system management and state level Initiatives.
iv. The main impetus MPHEQIP will be on helping government colleges and universities to use institutional grants effectively in improving the quality of higher education. It also seeks at providing equitable access to education for all and ensuring better capacity utilisation as well as including activities in education for making students more employable.
10. Mumbai U-23 team wins CK Nayudu Trophy 2015-16
i. The Mumbai under-23 cricket team has won the Col CK Nayudu Trophy for the season 2015-16. With this victory, they will be awarded with a cash prize of 20 lakh rupees.
ii. In the final match played at Holkar Stadium, Indore they defeated Madhya Pradesh under-23 cricket team.
iii. Mumbai won this title after Madhya Pradesh scored 422 all out in second innings falling short of 155 runs to target of 577 runs set by Mumbai in the first inning.
iv. This was Mumbai s second big title of the season after they had won the Ranji Trophy for the 41st time earlier. Col CK Nayudu Trophy is named after country’s first Test captain Col. Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu.
11. Flipkart launched its own digital wallet Flipkart Money
i. Flipkart launched its own digital wallet Flipkart Money that can be used for Flipkart only transactions.
ii. It aims to have a more organized method of payment and cutting significant costs related to handling cash on product returns.
iii. Flipkart Money was launched on the company's Android app, where users can hold a balance of 10000 rupees at a time.
iv. Cash can be withdrawn from the wallet to the cards or the bank account.
12. Manoj Kumar to be honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke award
i. Veteran actor Manoj Kumar, best known for his patriotic films Purab Aur Paschim, Upkar and Kranti, will be conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke award for his contribution to the film industry.
ii. The actor became the 47th recipient of the award, the highest recognition in Indian cinema, which consists of a golden lotus, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakhs and a shawl.
iii. Kumar was born as Harikrishna Giri Goswami in Abbottabad, which was then a part of pre-independent India.
iv. He initially started as a romantic hero following his debut in 1960 with Kaanch Ki Gudia but later shifted focus to acting and directing films with patriotic themes so much so that fans started calling him ‘Bharat Kumar’.
v. Kumar won National Award for Upkaar and was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1992.