PIONEER CURRENT AFFAIRS
- Kerala Tourism wins Gold at PATA Awards.
Kerala Tourism on 21 July 2016 won two Gold Gongs at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Awards.
Kerala Tourism bagged the award in recognition of its trend setting marketing initiatives, which have given a boost to the state’s profile as a must-visit destination.
The awards were in the categories of Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media and E-Newsletter, which were grabbed by the successful Visit Kerala television commercial campaign and the popular Kerala Tourism E-Newsletter, respectively.
The awards will be presented at the PATA Gold Awards Luncheon and Presentation on 9 September 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
In 2015, Kerala Tourism was also awarded PATA Gold in the Heritage and Culture category for Muziris Heritage Project.
About Pacific Asia Travel Association
- The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a membership association.
- It works to promote the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region.
- In 2011, PATA celebrate its 60th anniversary with a series of activities and events focused around the theme Building Tourism.
- Facebook’s Aquila Internet drone completes first test flight.
Facebook Inc on 22 July 2016 announced the successful completion of test flight of a solar-powered drone named Aquila.
The social media giant believes that Aquila will help to extend Internet connectivity to every corner of the planet.
The company ultimately hopes to have a fleet of Aquilas that can fly for at least three months at a time at 60000 feet and communicate with each other to deliver internet access.
Key highlights of Aquila
- Aquila is a lightweight, high-altitude aircraft.
- It flew at a few thousand feet for 96 minutes in Yuma, Arizona.
- It has a wingspan wider than a Boeing 737.
- The body of the plane is made of a carbon fiber composite.
- It weighs less than 1000 pounds.
- The aircraft will use new laser-beam technology to deliver fast Internet to people in a 60-mile radius.
- It will transmit a signal that can be received by the antennas of small towers and dishes on the ground.
- The antennas will convert the signal into Wi-Fi or 4G networks.
- Lok Sabha passes Bill to establish new NIT in Andhra Pradesh.
The Lok Sabha on 21 July 2016 passed the National Institute of Technology, Science, Education and Research (Amendment) (NITSER) Bill, 2016.
The bill seeks to establish a new National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Andhra Pradesh as an institute of national importance under the NITSER Act, 2007 with an effect from August 2015.
Highlights of the Bill
- The Bill is in keeping with the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, which provides for a NIT for the state after its bifurcation as the existing NIT went to Telangana.
- It amends the NITSER Act 2007 so as to establish an additional NIT in Andhra Pradesh.
- 40 crore rupees have been allocated for the establishment of the new NIT in the current financial year.
- An outlay of 226 crore rupees has been made for the institute over the next three years.
- Ganesh Singh appointed Head of Joint Parliamentary Committee for Land Acquisition Bill.
BJP Lok Sabha member Ganesh Singh on 22 July 2016 was appointed the new Chairperson of the Joint Committee of Parliament examining the Land Acquisition Bill.
Singh replaced S S Ahluwalia, who became Minister of the State for Parliamentary Affairs in reshuffle of the council of ministers on 5 July 2016.
After the appointment, Singh will have to move a resolution in the Lok Sabha seeking the seventh extension of the term of the panel.
Who is Ganesh Singh?
- Ganesh Singh is a member of the 16th Lok Sabha of India.
- He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) political party.
- He represents the Satna constituency of Madhya Pradesh.
About The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015
- The Bill amends the principal Act passed in 2013.
- The Bill enables the government to exempt five categories of projects from the requirements of: (i) social impact assessment, (ii) restrictions on acquisition of multi-cropped land, and (iii) consent for private projects and public private partnerships (PPPs) projects.
- The five categories of projects are defence, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors, and infrastructure.
- The Act deemed the head of a government department guilty for an offence by the department. The Bill removes this, and adds the requirement of prior sanction to prosecute a government employee.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveils foundation stone for revival of fertilizer unit at Gorakhpur.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 July 2016 unveiled the foundation stone for the revival of gas based Gorakhpur Fertilizer Plant at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The plant is implemented by Hindustan Urvarak Rasayan Limited, which is a joint venture between the Coal India Limited (CIL) and the NTPC Limited.
The revival of the plant entails an investment of 6000 crore rupees in the equity pattern of 50 per cent each between both the Central Public Sector Enterprises.
How the revival of Gorakhpur Fertilizer Plant will help the farmers?
- The revival of the plant will help the farming community getting urea timely.
- It will usher in a new era of rural progress and prosperity in the country especially in the eastern parts of the country.
- The revitalization of these plants will help generate 1.27 million tonne per annum of urea along with other associated chemicals from each plant, bridging the demand supply gap of urea.
- The other positive output will be employment generation opportunities locally.
- The gas will be made available through the proposed Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline to be constructed by GAIL.
- Earlier on 16 May 2016, CIL and NTPC Limited have formally inked the Joint Venture agreement for the revival of the fertilizer plant.
- Virat Kohli becomes first Indian captain to score double century outside India.
India test team captain Virat Kohli on 22 July 2016 became the first Indian captain to score a double century outside India.
Kohli scored 200 runs against West Indies on day two of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium in North Sound.
With his double century, Kohli entered the list of visiting captains with highest scores in West Indies. The list includes name like Sir Leonard Hutton, Steve Waugh, Andrew Strauss and Ricky Ponting.
- Virat Kohli is the fifth Indian captain to score a double century in a Test match after Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi (2013 vs England), Sunil Gavaskar (205 vs West Indies), Sachin Tendulkar (217 vs New Zealand) and MS Dhoni (224 vs Australia).
- It is the highest score by an Indian skipper away from home. Mohammad Azharuddin had scored 192 against New Zealand in Auckland in 1990.
- It is his highest score in first-class cricket and highest in Test cricket.
- It is his highest score in the first innings as captain in West Indies. Earlier, Ricky Ponting has scored 158 in Kingston in 2008.
- It is the third double hundred by a visiting captain in West Indies, after 205 by Len Hutton in Kingston in 1954 and 201 by Bob Simpson in Bridgetown in 1965.
- It is the first double century for India outside the sub-continent since Wasim Jaffer’s 212 in St. John’s in 2006.