PIONEER CURENT AFFAIRS
- Brazilian scientists identify another type of Zika-transmitting mosquito.
razilian scientists have identified Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito infected by the Zika virus as another type of Zika-transmitting mosquito. It was identified by researchers from the public Brazilian laboratory Fundacion Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) in three out of 80 groups of mosquitoes analysed up until now. Up until now, transmission of the Zika virus was only known through the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same vector that spreads Dengue and Chikungunya. The Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito is known as the domestic mosquito in Brazil. In Recife, where the majority of Zika cases of Brazil were registered, the population of this mosquito is estimated to be 20 times larger than that of the Aedes aegypti.
About Zika virus
Zika virus is vector borne disease transmitted primarily by mosquitoes. The virus is capable of causing serious birth defects i.e. neurological disorders and foetal deformation known as Microcephaly in which infants are born with abnormally smaller heads. Besides a possible link between the virus and Guillain-Barré syndrome (a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system) is also suspected.
- India’s first Green Rail Corridor launched in Tamil Nadu.
The India’s first Green Rail Corridor was inaugurated on the 114-km long Rameswaram-Manamadurai stretch in Tamil Nadu. It was inaugurated by Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu through video-conferencing from Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- The Green Rail Corridor ensures zero toilet discharge on rail tracks as part of its commitment to clean environment under the ‘Swachh Rail-Swachh Bharat’ initiative.
- Trains in the section have been equipped with bio-toilets to ensure zero discharge of human waste on the rail tracks.
Besides, Union Railways Minister also inaugurated high speed upgraded Wi-Fi facility, set up in association with Google, at Chennai Central Railway Station and Tiruchirappalli Railway Station. He also launched a traditional medicine centre under Ayush at Perambur Railway Hospital.
- Violinist A Kanyakumari, first female violinist to get Sangita Kalanidhi Award.
Renowned violinist Avasarala Kanyakumari from south India was selected for the prestigious 2016 Sangita Kalanidhi Award. With this, she becomes first female violinist chosen in the history of this prestigious award. She will be bestowed with the award on January 1, 2017. She will also preside over the 90th annual conference of the Music Academy scheduled from December 15, 2016 to January 1, 2017. So far eight male violinists have been bestowed with this award. They are M. Chandrasekaran (2005), M. S. Gopalakrishnan (1997), Papa KS Venkataramiah (1962), TK Jayarama Iyer (1960), T. Chowdiah (1957), Marungapuri Gopalakrishna Iyer (1955), Karur Chinnaswamy Iyer (1950) and Kumbakonam Rajamanickam Pillai (1948).
About Avasarala Kanyakumari
- She is a violinist from South India and specializes in Carnatic music.
- She is native of Vijayanagaram in Andhra Pradesh and has an experience of over 50 years as an accompanist, soloist and teacher.
- She has created seven ragas under the title Saptadri , seven names of Lord Venkateswara of Tirupati, Mahalakshmi, Tirumurti and Bharat.
- Awards and Honours: Padma Shri (2015), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2003).
- China unveils world’s largest amphibious aircraft.
China has completed the production of the world’s largest amphibious aircraft dubbed as the AG600. It was unveiled by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) in the southern port city of Zhuhai.
Key Features of AG600
- AG600, the massive seaplane is far larger than any other plane built for marine take-off and landing.
- The aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes and is around the size of a commercial plane Boeing 737.
- It has a maximum range of 4,500 km and is intended for fighting forest fires and performing marine rescues.
- It will be used for fighting forest fires and performing marine rescues. Besides, it will wean off China’s dependence on foreign aviation firms for amphibious aircrafts.
- It could potentially be used to display China’s ability to conduct a variety of operations in the disputed South China Sea.
- Indian shooters Manavaditya Rathore and Anant Naruka win Bronze medal in Junior World Cup.
Indian shooter Manavaditya Rathore has won the trap bronze medal in the Champion of Champions match at the Junior World Cup in Porpetto, Italy. Manavaditya won the bronze medal in trap event. He son of Athens Olympics silver medallist and Minister of State (MoS) of Information and Broadcasting Col Rajyavardhan Rathore/ Besides, Anant Naruka won a bronze medal in the Champion of Champions in skeet event of the Junior World Cup. In the Champion of Champions event, the medallists of the three Junior World Cups of the year had competed against eachIndian shooter Manavaditya Rathore has won the trap bronze medal in the Champion of Champions match at the Junior World Cup in Porpetto, Italy. Manavaditya won the bronze medal in trap event. He son of Athens Olympics silver medallist and Minister of State (MoS) of Information and Broadcasting Col Rajyavardhan Rathore/ Besides, Anant Naruka won a bronze medal in the Champion of Champions in skeet event of the Junior World Cup. In the Champion of Champions event, the medallists of the three Junior World Cups of the year had competed against each other.
- Bappi Lahiri conferred Mahanayak Samman of West Bengal.
Bappi Lahiri, the renowned music director and singer, was conferred with West Bengal’s Mahanayak Samman awards on 24 July 2016 by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Nazrul Mancha. Bappi Lahiri was awarded for his outstanding performances over the years.
Other awards conferred on the occasion includes
- Best director: Goutam Ghose and Kaushik Ganguly
- Best actor (male) awards: Paran Bandyopadhyay and Jishu Sengupta
- Best actor (female) award: Sohini Sarkar
- Bishesh Sangeet Samman: Dwijen Mukhyopadhyay, Ajoy Chakraborty and Sandhya Mukherjee.
- Maha Sangeet Samman: Shantanu Moitra, Mohammad Aziz, Kumar Bose and Shibaji Chattopadhyay.
- Special Sangeet Samman: Sriradha Bandyopadhyay, Dileep Kumar Bose, Fakir Alamgir, and Nachiketa
- Best Bengali films: Bela sheshe and Shankhachil
Goutam Ghose, a critically-acclaimed filmmaker, is known for helming National Award winning films like Sankhachil and Abar Aranye.
Mahanayak Samman awards
The Mahanayak Samman awards were instituted in 2012 in the memory of Bengali matinee idol Uttam Kumar who is revered in this part of India as “Mahanayak (Great hero)”. It is the highest film award given by the West Bengal government for outstanding performance of the artists of Bengali cine-world.
The state government felicitates actors, technicians and music directors at this annual event on the occasion of the death anniversary of Uttam Kumar on July 24.
- Feliciano Lopez wins 2016 Swiss Open Gstaad.
Top-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain on 24 July 2016 defeated Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-4, 7-5 to win the 2016 Swiss Open Gstaad.
It is Lopez’s first title on clay and his fifth overall.
Who is Feliciano Lopez?
- Feliciano Lopez is a professional tennis player on the ATP Tour.
- He achieved his career-high singles ranking of world no. 12 in March 2015.
- He has appeared in more consecutive majors than anyone, dating back to the 2002 French Open.
- In 2005, he was the first male Spanish tennis player to reach the quarterfinals of Wimbledon since 1972. He repeated the feat in 2008 and 2011.
- He was the winner of the 2004 Vienna Open, the 2010 Johannesburg Open and the Eatsbourne open in 2013 and 2014.
About Swiss Open
- The Swiss Open is a tennis tournament held in Gstaad, Switzerland.
- It is held since 1915.
- The tournament is played on outdoor clay courts.
- The 2016 Swiss Open Gstaad was the 49th edition of the Swiss Open, and a part of the ATP World Tour 250 Series of the 2016 ATP World Tour.
- Austria’s Dominic Thiem was the winner of the 2015 Swiss Open Gstaad.
- Madhav Chitale committee constituted to prepare Guidelines for Desiltation of River Ganga.
Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on 22 July 2016 constituted a committee to prepare guidelines for desiltation of river Ganga.
Madhav Chitale, an Expert Member of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) has been appointed as Chairman of the committee. The tenure of the committee would be for a period of three months.
Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Committee are
- It will provide guidelines for desiltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda (Uttarakhand) to Farakka (West Bengal).
- It will establish difference between desilting and sand mining in the river.
- It will establish need for desilting for ecology and e-flow of the river Ganga.
The other members of the four-member committee are
- Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
- Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change
- Dr. Mukesh Sinha, Director, Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune
The committee was constituted in the backdrop of Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti’s call to form a committee which will look after desiltation of river Ganga. She announced the plan of constituting the committee while chairing the 6th meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority in New Delhi on 4 July 2016.
- Modern Indian artist Syed Haider Raza dies.
Renowned Indian artist Syed Haider Raza passed away on 23 July 2016 in New Delhi. He was 94.
Raza was world famous for his abstract paintings. His works had very rich use of colour, stocked with icons from Indian cosmology as well as its philosophy.
About S H Raza
- Raza is considered as one of Indian modern art’s greatest painters.
- His works are mainly abstracts in oil or acrylic.
- He mostly lived and worked in France from 1950, but maintained strong ties with India.
- In 1959, he married the French artist Janine Mongillat, who died in 2002 of cancer, after which he decided to return to India.
- He was a founder-member of the Progressive Artists’ Group that wished to break with the revivalist nationalism established by the Bengal school of art.
- He became one of India’s priciest modern artist on 10 June 2010 when a seminal work, Saurashtra, was sold for 16.42 crore rupees at a Christie’s auction.
- He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1981. In the same year, he was awarded the Fellowship of the Lalit Kala Akademi.
- He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2007, and Padma Vibhushan in 2013.
- On 14 July 2015, he was conferred with the highest French civilian honour, the Commandeur de la Legion d’honneur (Legion of Honour).