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Indian Polity

Higher Education Funding Authority (HEFA): HEFA was set up in September 2016 to provide financial assistance to institutes of higher education in addition to given by Union Ministry of Human Resource Development. It is set up as a not-for-profit organisation and leverage funds from market and supplement them with donations and Corporate Social Responsibility funds. It is registered under the Companies Act, 2013 and has obtained license from RBI to act as a NBFC or Non-Banking Financial Companies. It was in news as it has recently approved projects of 6 higher education institutions to improve research infrastructure.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI): FSSAI is a nodal statutory agency responsible for protecting and promoting public health in India through regulation and supervision of food safety. FSSAI has its origin under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and is placed under the Union Ministry of Health and Family welfare. It was in news recently as it has set guidelines for process to recall food products from markets if found unsafe.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI): TRAI is a statutory body formed in 1997 under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997. It is responsible for regulation of telecom sector in India. Recently, TRAI was in news as it has given recommendations upholding net neutrality in India. The recommendation include prohibition of discrimination among websites on the basis of content, protection of rights of citizen to free internet, exemptions to content delivery networks besides setting up of a multi-stakeholder body to deploy ‘reasonable’ traffic management practices from time to time. Few days back US Federal Communication Commission has announced repealing of 2015 laws that aim at upholding principles of net neutrality.
15th Finance Commission: The Government has constituted the 15th Finance Commission with former Bureaucrat NK Singh as its chairperson. The other members on the board are Shaktikant Das, Anoop Singh, Dr Ramesh Chand and Dr Ashok Lahiri. The Commission has been given additional task of examining the implications of GST and impact of GST on state’s finances as well as a mechanism to compensate any loss to the states over next 5 years.
Prabhari Officers: The government has appointed Prabhari Officers for transforming 115 backward districts for rapid transformation by 2022 in line with PM Modi’s vision to create a ‘New India’ over the next five years. The Prabhari Officers were nominated from senior official rank of Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary. Prabhari Officers will assist District administration in sharing GoI’s vision of 2022 by ensuring convergence of efforts of central and state government.
 

International Affairs

Incheon Strategy: Incheon strategy provides Asian and Pacific Region and the world with first set of regionally agreed disability-inclusive development goals. It is buit on UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Biwako Millenium Framework for Action and Biwako Plus Five towards and Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and Pacific. It was in news as recently China has hosted the Inter-Governmental Meeting of Asia and Pacific Decade for Persons with Disabilities where a future policy action was discussed which was to be based on Incheon Strategy.
IMMSAREX 2017 or International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise: IMMSAREX was held in Bangladesh for the year 2017. The exercise is taking place under the aegis of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). IONS is a regional forum of Indian Ocean Littoral states launched by Indian Navy in 2008 to increase maritime cooperation among navies of littoral states of Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.
 

Economic Affairs

SAUBHAGYA Scheme or Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana: SAUBHAGYA Scheme was launched recently by the Union Ministry of Power to achieve universal household electricfication in all parts of the country by providing last mile electricity connectivity to all rural and urban households. The scheme intends to provide free electricity to all households identified under the Socio Economic Caste Census 2011.

Environment and Ecology

Clean Sea-2017: Clean Sea is India’s Regional Level Marine Oil Pollution Response Exercise. This year Clean Sea exercise was conducted off the coast of Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The drill was performed in accordance to National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP). The exercise included both – aerial and surface missions. The aerial missions were carried out Dornier/Chetak aircrafts whereas surface missions were carried out by ICG Pollution Control Vessels. The Indian Coast Guard is responsible for marine environment protection in maritime zones of India. ICG is the coordinating authority for response to oil spills in Indian Waters. ICG has set up pollution response centres at Mumbai, Chennai and Port Blair.

Science Affairs

Cause of Biodiversity: A recent study published revealed that the surge in oxygen levels between 445-485 million years ago led to three-fold increase in biodiversity of the world. This explosion in biodiversity is referred to as ‘Great Ordovician Bio Diversification Event. This even brought about rise of various marine life, tremendous change across species families and types, as well as changes to Earth, starting at bottom of ocean floors.
Aditya L1 Mission: ISRO is all set to launch its first solar mission called Aditya L1 in 2019. The mission will put Aditya L1 satellite into halo orbit around Lagrangian point L1. The mission will study dynamic nature of sun’s outer most layers, the corona and the chromosphere and collect data about Coronal Mass Ejections. The mission will also study solar storms and will focus on collection of information for space weather prediction.
Lagrangian Points: Lagrangian Point or Lagrange point is a position in space where combined gravitational forces of two large bodies – Earth and Sun or Earth and Moon equal centrifugal force felt by a much smaller third body. It is named after Joseph-Louis Lagrage, 18th century mathematician. Between earth and sun there are 5 Lagrangian points namely – L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5.
 

Person in News

Shaktikanta Das: Former Secretary to the Department of Economic Affairs, Mr. Shaktikanta Das has been appointed as a member of 15th Finance Commission as well as India’s Sherpa to G-20 summits. As a Sherpa, Mr. Das will represent India’s leader personally to thrash out details of the summit oriented towards developmental track of the G-20 Summit. The former Sherpa to G-20 was Arvind Panagriya, former Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog.

Awards

International Film Festival of India (IFFI): The 48th International Film Festival of India was held in Panaji (Goa). IFFI is biggest state-backed film festival and conducted jointly by Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Directorate of Film Festivals and Government of Goa. It was founded in 1952 and since then is held annual in Goa.
International Geeta Mahotsava: The International Geeta Mahotsava was launched recently in Kurukshetra by the President Ram Nath Kovind. The objective is to spread message of Gita to the world. Bhagvad Gita is a 700 verse Hindu scripture in Sanskrit that is part of the Hindu Epic – Mahabharat. Gita presents synthesis of the concept of Dharma, theistic bhakti, yogic ideals of moksha through jnana, bhakti, karma and Raja Yoga and Samkhya Philosophy.
 

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Khandagale Dhammapal
Khandagale Dhammapal Rank-1020 Year-2017 (IAS)
Dear Sir thank you for your warm wishes. I always had conviction in my abilities and the constant support and guidance from teachers and mentors like you helped me a lot in this strenuous journey , I would also like to thank you from the bottom of the heart for taking pains of providing questions on my DAF for personality test and sending me interview preparation book from Delhi to remote location of Latur in Maharastra. Once again thank you for helping me realize my dream.
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