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Current Affairs for 26 March 2016
March 26, 2016
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FORTUNE NAMES KEJRIWAL AMONG TOP 50 LEADERS

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been ranked 42nd on Fortune magazine’s third annual ‘World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’ list.

He is the only Indian to feature in it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not included in the list.

Fortune’s list, which was released on March 24, features men and women from across the globe from the fields of business, government, philanthropy and the arts who are “transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same”.

Arvind Kejriwal was selected for his efforts towards curbing air pollution in Delhi and his government’s ‘odd-even’ road-space rationing scheme.

Giving a short profile of Mr. Kerjiwal, Fortunemagazine wrote, “When Mr. Kejriwal unveiled a blueprint to tackle the smog in New Delhi — called the world’s most polluted city by the World Health Organization — many were sceptical. A key component: an “odd-even” pilot project in which vehicles were allowed on the roads only on alternate days.

The uplifting result of the pilot this January: Roads were less clogged, hourly particulate air pollution concentrations dropped by 13%, and citizens could breathe deep.”

The AAP government will roll out the odd-even scheme for the second time from April 15.


 

ODISHA TOPS WITH 17% SHARE IN MANUFACTURING INVESTMENTS 

Odisha has maximum share of over 17 per cent in the total live investments worth about Rs 33 lakh crore attracted by manufacturing sector across the country, according to a study.

Gujarat has ranked second (nearly 12 per cent) followed by Karnataka (11 per cent), Jharkhand (nine per cent) and Chhattisgarh (seven per cent), said the study titled “Impact analysis of delay in investment implementation in manufacturing” by Assocham.

However, in Odisha about 39 per cent manufacturing projects remained under implementation as of September 2015.

Delayed projects facing cost escalation have maximum share of 31 per cent in Odisha followed by Karnataka, Rajasthan and Jharkhand (9 per cent each), the study said.

Manufacturing sector in the country attracted live investments worth about Rs 33 lakh crore, about one-fifth of total live investments worth over Rs 164 lakh crore drawn by various sectors across India as of September 2015, it said.


TELUGU BLOGGER WINS LAADLI MEDIA & ADVERTISING AWARD

In 2005, when Aruna Gali, co-founder of Vikasa Dhatri, launched her web-portal, she never expected it to reach out to a large audience.

Eleven years down the line, the medium has not only led her to connect with diverse crowds, but also earned her the highly-coveted Laadli Media and Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity 2014-2015.

Her Telugu blog ‘ Vivakshaku Mugimpu Palakaali ’ has been selected as the best blog under the web category for bringing to the fore core issues faced by women in the agriculture sector. “It was indeed a pleasant surprise for me as I was one among 75 participants who took part from the southern and western regions. The process involved a fair amount of research, interaction with rural women, disseminating information through videos and improving access to loans, seeds and fertilizers,” says Ms. Aruna, adding that her husband and founder of the web portal, Gali Uday Kumar, supports her in every endeavour.


FIVE-DAY GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON DEVELOPMENT TO BE HELD IN BIHAR

The first five-day International Conference on Development and Growth will be held here starting Saturday, where noted scholars, economists and academicians from across the world are expected to take part. Preparations for the conference have been made by a committee chaired by renowned economist Lord Meghnad Desai.

According to sources, three international conferences are scheduled to take place in three phases coinciding with the silver jubilee of the Patna-based Asian Development and Research Institute (ADRI), which was established in 1991. The first phase on ‘Development and Growth: Experience and Theories’ will be held from March 26 till March 30.

The second phase will be conducted on ‘Social Statistics in India’ from June 24 till June 27, while the last phase on ‘Bihar and Jharkhand: Shared History to Shared Vision’ will take place next year from March 24 till March 27.

Renowned academician professor James Manor had delivered the inaugural lecture for the conference on November 30 last year.


ENGINEERS DEVELOP WATER FILTER TO REMOVE ARSENIC

Engineers from Jadavpur University (JU) with technical help from the University of California have developed an inexpensive water filter which removes arsenic besides other impurities.

A team of civil engineers from JU and the University of California has successfully installed the water filter plant which produces 10,000 litres of water per day at a school near Baruipur in South 24 Parganas district, an affected area.

Used successfully in countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia already, ECAR was developed by NRI scientist Ashok Gadgil in his Berkeley lab on energy and water research. The technology uses electricity to quickly dissolve iron in water which leads to the formation of a type of rust that readily binds to arsenic in the water. As the rust aggregates forming larger particles, it is separated from the water through filtration.

 

The cost, researchers said, is very low as none of the components need to be imported. The cost of licensing the technology is also little because the project is a joint collaboration between the department of science and technology of the Indian government and the US government for transfer of technology for public health benefit, Prof. Roy said.


 

JAPANESE FIRM CONVERTS PHOTOS INTO 3D FIGURINES

Missing your grandma or grandpa? Well now you can be sure they are watching over you thanks to a Japanese company that can turn old photos into 3D figurines.

Roice Entertainment is offering the full-body figures up to 30-cm tall in the spitting image of lost loved ones using 3D printing technology.

As an optional add-on, a tiny battery-sized container made of brass in which ashes can be kept is available and can be inserted in the figure, the Osaka-based company said. Its website shows a figurine of a silver-haired man in a Japanese yukata robe sitting on the floor, next to a photo of him alive in a similar pose.

The idea came after a mother who had lost her teenage daughter asked the company if they could turn old photos into a 3D likeness, company president Koichi Furusho said.

A 20-cm plaster figure costs 100,000 yen (Rs. 60,000).


 

WE WILL SEAL BANGLA BORDER, SAYS BJP

Law soon to deal with agencies employing infiltrators: Jaitley

The BJP’s Vision Document for the Assam polls has promised that if voted to power, the party would accomplish the complete sealing of the India-Bangladesh border.

Releasing the document in Guwahati on Friday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of destroying and changing the demography of the State by allowing infiltration. The document lays emphasis on sorting out the issue of clause 6 of the Assam Accord (1985) that deals with the question of citizenship.

While this was in keeping with the larger BJP agenda of keeping illegal immigrants out, the document also had a lengthy chapter on a “historical perspective” on the State and its tradition of assimilation.

Throughout the chapter, Assam’s roots in south-east Asian cultures is traced, and the subsequent assimilation of the kingdom of Kamrup into the “Indian cultural empire”. References to Kamrup in the epic Mahabharata are mentioned, as also the assimilation of Lord Shiva into the Aryan pantheon along with the Goddess Kamakhya who, the document said had “Austric origins.”