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Current Affairs for 11 February 2016
February 11, 2016
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RAILWAYS LAUNCH SERVICE TO BOOK BEDROLLS ONLINE


1.People boarding trains from the New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin railway stations can now book disposable linen online.

2.Railway Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu launched the service on Wednesday, along with another pilot IT project that will provide ‘hand-held terminals’ for Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs) in the Northern Railway to make booking of vacant seats more transparent.

3.As part of a pilot project of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), passengers will be able to book bedrolls online or get them over the counter at select outlets. People will be required to pay Rs. 140 for two bed sheets and a pillow and Rs. 110 for a blanket, a Northern Railway spokesperson said. Both can also be purchased together for Rs. 250.

4.The facility is open for passengers with confirmed e-tickets at the time of ticketing. Also, online booking of bedroll kit will be offered to passengers with confirmed tickets up to four hours prior to the scheduled departure of the train.


 

FOUR INDIAN AMERICANS SELECTED TO US NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING

1.Four Indian American engineers are among 80 new members selected to the prestigious US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for their valuable contributions to the society.

2.Anil K. Jain, Dr Arati Prabhakar, Ganesh Thakur and Dr K.R. Sridhar were formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, NAE President C.D. (Dan) Mote Jr announced in a statement.

3.Jain, a distinguished professor in the department of computer science and engineering at the Michigan State University in East Lansing, was elected for his contributions to the engineering and practice of biometrics.

4.A B.Tech graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, his research interests include pattern recognition, computer vision and biometric recognition.

5.Jain has also been a consultant to the Indian government’s Aadhaar programme that provides a 12-digit unique ID number to the residents of India based on their fingerprint and iris data.

6.Prabhakar, director of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Virginia, was chosen for national leadership to advance semiconductor and information technologies.

7.Beginning her career as a Congressional Fellow, Dr Prabhakar has served on the National Academies’ Science Technology and Economic Policy Board. In addition, she chaired the Efficiency and Renewables Advisory Committee for the US Department of Energy.


 

GANGA: NGT APPOINTS PANEL TO LOOK INTO GROSSLY POLLUTING UNITS

1.The National Green Tribunal has set up a committee to look into the grossly polluting industries located along the banks of Ganga and inform it about the quantum of sewage discharged by them in the river.

2.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar constituted the panel comprising member secretary of Central Pollution Control Board, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board, CEO of UP Jal Nigam, Director of Environment Ministry and a professor from IIT-Roorkee.


 

GOVT PLANS TO SET UP 2,000 WATERPORTS; 30 ON GANGA BETWEEN VARANASI-HALDIA: NITIN GADKARI

1.Government plans to set up 2,000 waterports as well as “Ro-Ro” services at 5 select places to transport goods and vehicles, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday. Besides, there is a plan to develop 1,300 islands and 280 light houses as major attractions for tourists.

2.He also informed that government is constructing waterways on a 1,620 kilometer stretch on the Ganga between Varanasi and Haldia and 30 water ports would be constructed there.


INDIA NEAR BOTTOM OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY INDEX

1.India was ranked 37 out of 38 countries, with only Venezuela scoring lower, in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-International Intellectual Property Index.

2.The report, released on Wednesday, comes at a time when the government is close to finalising a National Intellectual Property policy to improve the IP regime, increase IP awareness and strengthen enforcement of rules.

3.The U.S. was ranked first, followed by the UK, Germany, France and Sweden. India’s peers in the BRICS grouping were all ranked ahead with Russia ranked 20th, China (22nd), South Africa (26th) and Brazil (29th). The 38 economies benchmarked in the 2016 Index accounts for nearly 85 per cent of the global GDP.

4.The Index — produced by the Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) — is based on 30 criteria critical to innovation including patent, copyright and trademark protections, enforcement, and engagement in international treaties, the Chamber said. India remains at the bottom of the Index for the fourth year in a row, the GIPC report said.


 

GOLDEN DOUBLE FOR ANKITA

1.It was a golden double for Ankita Raina as India dominated the tennis events, winning all the three finals played here on Wednesday.

2.India enjoyed the gold rush riding the fine form of its Fed Cup and Davis Cup members who were present in good numbers. The host is also assured of a clean sweep of the five golds with Indian players booking both the slots in the remaining two finals to be played on the concluding day on Thursday.

3.Ankita Raina won the women’s singles gold defeating Prerna Bhambri before pairing up with Divij Sharan to win the mixed doubles and be the most successful player of the day. The third gold went to the men’s pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Vijay Sundar Prashanth; the duo outclassed Divij Sharan and Sanam Singh en route to the title.