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1.India is likely to say it has “no interest” in sending troops to Syria to fight in any of the anti-IS coalitions, but could indicate it is open for a bigger role in the Syrian regional reconciliation in West Asia.
2.The issue is expected to be discussed when Syrian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Walid al Moualem meets both National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during a three-day visit to New Delhi that begins on Monday.
3.the U.S.-led coalition of more than 60 countries that are conducting strikes on IS locations and supporting anti-Assad rebel groups, the Russian forces sent in to support President Assad’s Syrian military forces against IS and other groups, and the newly announced Saudi Arabia-led coalition of 34 Muslim nations, which claims it will attack IS as well.
RECORD BLOOD UNITS COLLECTED AT CAMP BY YOUTH BODY
1.Improving its own record, a youth organisation in the city on Saturday collected over 3,000 units of blood in a single camp.
2.While nearly 5,000 volunteers turned up, the blood banks managed to collect 3,062 units of blood, requesting the others to donate during summer days when the banks face acute shortages.
3.The blood donation camp was organised by the Cuttack Nagar Yuvak Sangha in association with the Metaphor Trans Corporation Pvt. Ltd. at the Windsor Place here in Markat Nagar.
4.Around the same time last year, the organisation had collected 1,239 units of blood, informed Sangha member Ranjita Biswal.
TAX ON SEED FUNDING TO BE SCRAPPED
1.The government has decided to scrap a tax on seed funding provided to start-ups by Indian angel investors in the upcoming Union Budget, to help domestic financiers bankroll new entrepreneurial ventures under its Start Up India campaign.
2.The tax provision in question treats infusion of funds by domestic angel investors as income in the hands of the start-up, making India the only country in the world to penalise local angel investors in such a manner. Senior government officials working on the Start Up India action plan to be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the tax is one of the key reasons that 90 per cent of Indian start-ups are financed by foreign venture capital and angel funds.
3.He added that this tax applies only to domestic investors and thus acts as a disincentive to local funding for start-ups that the government wants to incentivise instead.
HISAR INSTITUTE BECOMES SECOND CENTRE TO CLONE BUFFALO
1.Scientists at Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes (CIRB) here claimed to have successfully produced a cloned buffalo offspring ‘Cirb Gaurav’
2.CIRB Director Dr Inderjeet Singh said on Sunday that the scientists achieved the success on December 11 last year.
3.“This cloned buffalo calf is distinct from the earlier clones produced in India. As this is produced from cells of ventral side of tail of superior bull buffalo, this part is least exposed to sunlight and may have less mutation rate, and can be good choice for isolation of donor cells to produce healthy clones,” he said.
4.Dr. Singh said the newborn cloned calf, weighed 40.4 kg at the time of birth through normal delivery, was maintaining good health and showing normal activities.
ISRO CONCEIVES TWO ‘SPACE PARKS’
1.Two space industry enclaves or “parks” that have been conceived — one for launchers at Sriharikota and a smaller one at an existing Bengaluru spacecraft campus — signal increased privatisation of the nation’s space programme over the next five years.
2.For now, the facilities will be “captive” to drive the future missions of the Indian Space Research Organisation.
3.First, ISRO wants to groom and engage domestic industry in the launch vehicles area from integrating sub-systems up to assembling, and even launching the PSLV.
4.This well-established rocket has put Indian and foreign satellites of up to 1,600 kg into space.
5.Eventually the future consortium will be fully responsible for building and launching the light-lift PSLV rocket.
6.Currently industries such as Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Godrej & Boyce, Larsen & Toubro, MTAR and Walchandnagar Industries produce 80 per cent of the launch vehicle parts and sub-units.
7.These production works are scattered across their respective locations. The launch industry initiative must be close to ISRO’s launch complex, the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, at the 145-sq km Sriharikota range, on the lines of the launch complex of Europe’s Arianespace in French Guiana.
GPS-BASED TRACKING SYSTEM FOR KERALA HOUSEBOATS
1.Kerala Tourism will soon roll out a Global Positioning System-based fleet safety management system for houseboats in the State.
2.Houseboats will be tracked on a Geographic Information System (GIS) map. There will be SOS/panic buttons for timely emergency response, and the route taken by a houseboat will be geofenced to prevent route violations.
3.Keltron-iTAC, a vehicle-tracking and fleet-management solution by Keltron, a State government undertaking, will be used to track houseboats and ensure safety of tourists and crew. Sanction has been granted for the project and Rs.1.60 crore has been allocated for implementing the tracking system in 12 months.
4.iTAC integrates advanced technologies in GPS, Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM), General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), and microprocessor subsystems.
IT YOUTHS BRING FREE WI-FI TO THREE VILLAGES IN M.P.
1.Inspired by the Centre’s flagship ‘Digital India’ initiative, four IT professionals from Madhya Pradesh have enabled 3 villages in the State’s Rajgarh district to have access to ‘free wi-fi’
2.“Taking a cue from Digital India theme, have turned Bavadikeda Jagir, Shivnathpura and Devria villages into free wi-fi hamlets to provide the fruits of IT revolution to the villagers.
3.Initiative of Shakeel Anjum, Tushar, Bhanu, and Abhishek in taking power of e-governance to remote villages is highly laudable
4.The free wi-fi service was formally launched in these villages by District Collector Tarun Kumar Pithode on January 1.
TELANGANA BECOMES FIRST STATE TO MAKE GENDER EDUCATION COMPULSORY
1.Telangana has become the first State to introduce compulsory gender education at the graduate level; without repeating gender stereotypes in its bilingual textbook titled, ‘Towards a World of Equals.’
2.Structured in simple language and form to suit under-graduates, the book discusses different strands of women’s movements across the world, introducing students to political movements of Afro-American, Caribbean, African, Dalit and minority women.
3.And coupled with the book is a collection of visual teaching tools which include documentary films.
4.The book is being taught over 14 weeks in a semester at the rate of two classes per week.
5.Credits earned in the end semester examination add up to students’ GPAs.
6.A nine-member, all-women, panel which drafted the syllabus and developed its content has already held four training workshops for groups of 15 to 40 teachers and is expected to take up yet another session this week.
7.What makes the textbook interesting is the gamut of reactions and classroom discussions which it attempts to generate. For instance, in its first chapter on Socialisation, the book hints at initiating a discussion in the classroom on “Are boys taught household work while growing up? Discuss your experiences at home.”
WAWRINKA COMPLETES A CHENNAI THREE-PEAT
1.Stan Wawrinka completed the first three-peat in tournament history when he bested Borna Coric in the final of Chennai 6-3, 7-5. For the world No. 4, it’s his fourth Chennai title and 11th career ATP title. The Swiss now has a 12-match winning streak in Chennai.
2.For the 19-year-old Coric, he was the first teenage finalist since Marin Cilic in 2008 at New Haven.
TRIPURA TO SUPPLY 100 MW OF POWER TO BANGLADESH
1.The Tripura government is putting all possible efforts to complete the power transmission line to Bangladesh to supply power.
2.The engineers and workers of the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited are working round the clock to set up the 47 km transmission line from Western Tripura to southern Comilla in Bangladesh.
3.India will ensure supply of additional 100 MW electricity to Bangladesh from December 16, when the country will celebrate Bijoy Dibosh or Victory Day.
4.Eighteen km of this line and 67 of the 143 transmission towers fall in the Indian Territory.
ANIL-AMBANI LED RELIANCE GROUP TO INVEST RS 5,000 CR TO SET UP NAVAL UNIT IN ANDHRA PRADESH
1.Reliance Group has proposed to set up a naval shipbuilding facility in Rambilli, near Visakapatanam. The group will be investing Rs 5,000 crore in phases in the proposed state-of-the-art facility.
2.Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani, who announced this during the CII Investor Partnership Summit, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh government in this regard. “Reliance Defence, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure, will implement this project. This represents the single-largest investment by any company at one location anywhere in Andhra Pradesh,” Ambani said.
3.The Indian Navy is estimated to spend nearly Rs 20,000 crore per year on acquisitions and fleet modernisation of submarines and aircraft carriers over the next 15 years under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, and the proposed unit is set to be benefited from it.
4.The unit will generate thousands of skilled jobs. It would also lead to creation of a multi-tier array of defence ancillaries with further investments of Rs 5,000-10,000 crore and thousands of skilled jobs, Ambani said.
TRINA GULLIVER TAKES 10TH BDO WORLD TITLE WITH VICTORY OVER DETA HEDMAN
1.Trina Gulliver claimed a record-extending 10th BDO World Championship title with a 3-2 victory over Deta Hedman in the women’s final at Frimley Green.
2.Gulliver, who won the last of her previous nine titles in 2011, powered home 3-0 in the deciding set after twice coming from behind to square the match.
3.Her title-clinching double 18 in the final leg condemned English compatriot Hedman to a third defeat in a Lakeside final.