Wednesday, 04 May 2016 04:53


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04 - MAY - 2016



The Judo Federation of India (JFI) announced that India has been allotted the Commonwealth Judo Championships 2018.

The Commonwealth Judo Championships was allotted to India, by the Commonwealth Judo Congress held on 23 April 2016 at Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

This will be the first time that Commonwealth Judo Championships will be held in India. The Championships will be held in Jaipur. However, the dates are yet to be finalized.

Besides, India will also play host to the 10th Asian Cadet Judo Championships & 17th Asian Juniors Judo Championships from 6 September to 12 September 2016 at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Kadvanthaa, Kerala.

About Commonwealth Judo Championships

The Commonwealth Judo Championships are an international judo competition, open to countries of the Commonwealth of Nations.

It is the official event of the Commonwealth Judo Associations and is organised every 2 years for Cadets, Junior, Seniors, Masters and visually impaired Judo Players.

The Commonwealth Judo Championships 2016 will be held in South Africa.

Judo in India

A widely played sport in India, the first written record about Judo in India was found in Kodokan. Kodokan is about demonstrations and coaching of Judo by Shinzo Tagaki arranged at Shantiniketan in 1929 by Rabindranath Tagore.

To govern the sport, the Judo Federation of India was formed in 1965.


Riyad Mahrez became the first African footballer to win the Professional Footballers Association’s (PFA) Player of the Year award for the 2015–16 season. The footballer received the award at the Professional Footballers’ Association awards ceremony organised in London.

With the award, Mahrez also became the second non-European, after Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, to grab the award.

On the other hand, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli was namedYoung Player of the Year.

Who is Riyad Mahrez?

Riyad Mahrez is a professional footballer who plays for English club Leicester City and the Algerian national team as a winger.

He began his career as a youth player for French club AAS Sarcelles.

He turned professional in 2009.

He made his international debut for Algeria in 2014 and represented them at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

About PFA Player of the Year

The Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year is an annual award given to the player who is adjudged to have been the best of the year in English football.

The award has been presented since the 1973–74 season and the winner is chosen by a vote amongst the members of the players' trade union, the Professional Footballers' Association.

The first winner of the award was Leeds United defender Norman Hunter.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was the PFA Player of the Year for the 2014-2015 season.


The Cabinet of Saudi Arabia kingdom approved the Vision 2030, a broad-based economic reform plan. The Vision charts out the roadmap for diversifying the Saudi economy in next 14 years and to ensure that Saudi Arabia can live without oil by 2020.

Vision 2030 envisages forming public investment fund, boosting affordable housing and giving expats long-term residence among others.

Three pillars of Vision 2030

•    Saudi Arabia’s status as the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds

•    Determination to become a global investment powerhouse

•    Transforming unique strategic location into a global hub connecting three continents, Asia, Europe and Africa

Main elements of Vision 2030

•    It is built around three themes: A vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation.

•    It envisions building a Public Investment Fund to become a major player in the global market.

•    Shares worth less than 5 percent of Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia and valued at 2.5 trillion dollars, will be sold

•    Some of the proceeds from Aramco will go towards Sovereign Wealth Fund worth 2 trillion dollars.

•    The fund will surpass Norway’s 865 billion dollar fund as the world’s biggest and will potentially make Riyadh one of the single most important global investor.

•    The fund will also include current Saudi fiscal assets of around 600 billion dollars as well as returns from real estate and industrial areas estimated to be worth 1 trillion dollars.

•    A new visa system called “green card” system will be created to allow expatriate Muslims and Arabs to work long-term in Saudi Arabia and giving them more rights to invest in the country.

•    Steps will be taken to diversify the economy, including investment in mineral mining and expanding military production.

•    To increase participation of women in the workforce and to provide affordable housing

Why less reliance on Oil?

Since 70 percent of Saudi’s national income is composed of revenue from Oil. But with the fall in prices of oil from 100 dollars per barrel in 2014 to 40 dollars a barrel at present has increased the economic worries of Saudi Kingdom.

As a result, the budget has been projected to see a shortfall of 87 billion dollars in 2016 leading to increasing of prices of retail fuel by 80 percent in December 2015 and cutting down of subsidies on electricity, water and other services.

In 2015, due to fall in oil prices even the fiscal reserves dropped to a four-year low from 732 billion dollars to 611.9 billion dollars.


K Ashok Kumar, a research scholar from IIT Kharagpur (KGP), won the prestigious International Plant Nutrition Scholar Award.

Kumar, a research scholar at the department of agricultural and food engineering at the Bengal-based IIT, was recently awarded by the US-based International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI). The award carries a cash prize of 2000 US dollar and a recognition certificate.

Ashok is pursuing his PhD on 'Comparative Assessment of Direct and Residual Effects of Organic and Inorganic Nutrient Management on Rice-Chickpea Production System in Lateritic Soil.'

The objective of this research is to study the soil nutrient dynamics under organic and inorganic nutrient management to improve the crop yield and quality of rice-chickpea cropping system in lateritic soil.

The research will help application of organic fertilizers such as vermicompost in right amount and at the right time to the rice crop. It will increase the yield of the rice-chickpea cropping system by 10% as compared to the use of conventional synthetic fertilizers.

Further, the organic fertilizer application will improve the nutritional and cooking quality of rice grain and chemical and biological properties of the acid lateritic soil.

International Plant Nutrition Scholar Award

The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Board of Directors offers two awards of interest to graduate students and scientists working in plant nutrition and management of crop nutrients and they are International Plant Nutrition Scholar Awards and IPNI Science Award.

The International Plant Nutrition Scholar Awards are open to applicants who are graduate students and attending a degree-granting institution located in any country with an IPNI program. Priority is given to the relevance of the proposed research in support of IPNI's mission.

Students in the disciplines of soil and plant sciences including agronomy, horticulture, ecology, soil fertility, soil chemistry, crop physiology, and other areas related to plant nutrition are encouraged to apply for the award.


The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) sanctioned a loan of 1000 crore rupees to Haryana State Warehousing Corporation (HSWC).

The loan is sanctioned for purchase of wheat during the ongoing rabi marketing season.

Haryana is one of the major contributors to the country's central pool of foodgrains. During the 2015-16 kharif season, NABARD had disbursed an amount of 500 crore rupees to the corporation for paddy procurement.

How  the loan will help HSWC?

The loan will help the HSWC for payment of wheat purchased from farmers in various mandis/outlets in Haryana, in line with the government's resolve to pay the farmers' dues at the earliest.

The objective of food grain procurement by the government agencies is to ensure that farmers get remunerative price for their produce and do not have to resort to distress sale and build buffer stocks.

The Haryana Government has authorised five agencies, namely Food and Supplies Department, HAFED, Haryana Agro Industries Corporation, Food Corporation of India and HSWC to procure wheat at minimum support price during the 2016-17 marketing season.

The Haryana Food and Supplies Department expects around 75 lakh metric tonnes of wheat in the current season.


Badminton ace Nandu Natekar became the first non-Cricketer to be inducted into the Legends Club founded by the late Cricket Club of India (CCI) president Raj Singh Dungarpur.

Natekar was inducted into the club along with 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, who became the sixth cricketer to be inducted in the club.

The two, Nandu and Kapil were inducted into the Club’s legend group after consultation with the Cricket Club of India (CCI) president, Kekoo Nicholson.

With this inclusion, the birthdays of Nandu Natekar (12 May) and Kapil Dev (6 January) will also be celebrated along with birthdays of Vijay Merchant, Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar.

Besides, CCI president Kekoo Nicholson said that the main gate of the club will be named after late Rajsingh Dungarpur.

Legends Club

• It was founded in 2003 by late Raj Singh Dungarpur, the former CCI president.

• It honours the cricketers and sports person by celebrating their birthdays and talking on certain topic of the game.

• Madhav Apte, a former Test opening batsman, is the president of the Legends Club.

• It was formed along the lines of England's Master's Club started by famous cricket commentator John Arlott in memory of Jack Hobbs.

Cricket Club of India (CCI)

• The Cricket Club of India (CCI) is a private club incorporated on 8 November, 1933.

• It was established with an objective to promote cricket and other sports in the country.

• The idea of setting up this institution was given by Grant Govan, a British businessman from Delhi who sought to establish this on reclaimed land of 90000 sq yards abutting the Arabian Sea, granted by Lord Brabourne, the then Governor of Bombay.

• The stadium constructed on that land is named as Brabourne Stadium and was officially inaugurated on 7 December 1937 by hosting a cricket match between Lord Tennyson’s XI and CCI.


  • As large parts of Uttarakhand’s forests were engulfed by fire, three teams of the National Disaster Response Force were deployed for Kumaon and Garhwal regions and 6,000 forest staff struggled to contain the flames.
  • The emergency in many districts is visible from several distant areas, as forests continue to burn, 10 days after the first fires were seen. Many areas are covered by smoke from burning forests.
  • In response to the growing crisis, especially in Pauri, Nainital, Tehri and Dehradun districts, thegovernment has deployed NDRF teams. Two IAF helicopters would join the operations in Kumaon and Garhwal on Sunday, he said.
  • Mi-17 chopper of the IAF has been stationed near Bhimtal and it will spray water from the Bhimtal lake.
  • Some 922 instances of fire have fanned across 2,000 hectares so far. Widespread fire could also be attributed to the presence of pine trees in 18 per cent of the forests.
  • Since the British period there has been a monoculture of pine trees in many forests of Uttarakhand. Their leaves can catch fire easily.


  • Applying the brakes on diesel-run cabs in Delhi, the Supreme Court ordered that only taxis running on compressed natural gas will be allowed from May 1.
  • A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur said two extensions had been given to taxi operators to shift from diesel to CNG in the larger effort to curb air pollution.
  • The Supreme Court on December 16, 2015 banned fresh registration of high-end cars with over 2000 CC engine capacity, continued with its October 2015 order to impose Environmental Compensation Cess (ECC) on commercial vehicles entering Delhi and ordered diesel taxis operating in NCR to shift to CNG.
  • The omnibus order was based on a 1984 PIL filed by environmental activist and lawyer M.C. Mehta ringing the alarm bells on the untrammelled air pollution in Delhi.
  • The court had originally given taxis time till March 1, 2016 to effect the change-over. When this did not work, the apex court stretched the deadline to March 31. Finally, a last opportunity was given till April 30.
  • As cab operators protested that the order would be a roadblock and violate their right to earn a livelihood, the Supreme Court remained firm, saying they have no choice but to comply in the larger public interest and convert to CNG.
  • 60,000 taxis are registered in Delhi and of them 21,000 run on diesel.About 40 lakh vehicles ply on Delhi’s roads daily, including 10 to 12 lakh floating vehicles.
  • A significant majority of these are goods carriers and cabs registered in Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Faridabad and other parts NCR.


  • Union Labour Minister has criticised trade unions for being politically motivated and said they are unable to accept the speed at which economic reforms are being undertaken by the Centre.
  • The Minister said that the government was striving to raise minimum wages as well as the minimum monthly pension for EPF members.
  • Union Labour and Employment Minister slammed trade unions for be- ing politically motivated and said they are unable to make peace with the speed at which economic reforms were being undertaken by the government.
  • At present, 8.33 per cent of a worker’s salary up to Rs 15,000 a month, is remitted to the Employees’ Pension Scheme of 1995.
  • The UPA had offered a minimum pension of Rs.1,000 under the scheme in its last year in office, but hadn’t provided funds for subsequent years. The government fixed that in September 2014.
  • The Minister said the Labour Ministry is working on a formula to increase the minimum wages of all workers keeping in mind the consumer price index, variation of dearness allowance and guidelines given by the Supreme Court.
  • The government has proposed Industrial Relations Bill tightening the norms to form trade unions.
  • It has proposed that no outsiders be allowed to become officer bearer of a trade union in the organised sector and only two outsiders can be allowed in the unorganised sector.


  • The Simhastha Kumbh Mela under way in Ujjainwill see not just the ritually sanctioned days of baths in River Shipra, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to attend the unveiling of the “Simhastha Declaration” on May 14.
  • BJP president Amit Shah, along with members of all 47 Scheduled Castes in Madhya Pradesh, will take a dip in the Shipra on May 11, the day of the ‘ shahi snan’ . The event has been termed “social harmony bath”
  • The Simhastha declaration will be a prescription on how “a duty-centred system, which had been the origin of Indian philosophy of life, has become the most relevant today.
  • It will be the essence of a long exercise of seminars on religion, spirituality and its relationship with science, climate change and deep ecology to finally expound on how this can be leveraged for social and environmental challenges.
  • Kumbh Melas in ancient India were not just about baths and holy days, but also the tradition of shastrarth or debate and discussions by socially influential people and dharma gurus on what is going on in society and how to deal with it.
  • Religious and social leaders of all faiths and areas, including Judaism, practitioners of the Barelvi sect in Islam, Methodists, and members of the Russian Orthodox Church, had been part of this year-long exercise.
  • Some of it was happening in Indore [near Ujjain] at the height of the debate on intolerance that was sweeping the rest of the country.


  • Supreme Court Judge J. Chelameswar called for infrastructure and dedicated judicial forums to ensure effective implementation of new laws.
  • Justice Chelameswar said that as a citizen, he felt the legislators’ enthusiasm for making new enactments was missing when it came to creating the infrastructure needed for their implementation.
  • New forums for adjudication should be set up, he said.
  • Justice Chelameswar highlighted three issues: crimes listed as predicate offences in the schedule of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the quantum of punishment and the use of new technology in investigations.
  • He said offences like “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” had been included in the schedule, which otherwise did not have a major impact on the economy, given that the law’s aim was to recover the unaccounted wealth.
  • Justice Chelameswar said economic offences like money-laundering could cause damage to too many lives and called for a rethink on increasing the quantum of punishment.


  • Almost 90 years after it was first performed in Paris, the copyright runs out on Sunday on one of the most popular and unique pieces of classical music, Maurice Ravel’s ‘Bolero’.
  • Written in 1928 and performed on November 22 of that year at Paris’ Opera Garnier, the symphonic work, which grows steadily louder as it progresses, was originally a ballet piece ordered by Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein.
  • Immediately hailed by critics, it quickly became a worldwide success, even if the uniform melody and hypnotic, repetitive rhythm left some baffled.
  • Mr. Petitgirard described it as “an experimental piece, a precision mechanism and a demonstration of genius.”
  • But a contemporary of Ravel’s, the French composer Florent Schmitt, slammed the Bolero as “only error” in the composer’s career.
  • Almost 90 years later, the work has been performed by some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world, under the baton of many of the top conductors, including Arturo Toscanini, Seiji Ozawa, Claudio Abbado and Pierre Boulez.
  • It has been used in numerous ad campaigns, by British ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean in their gold medal-winning performance at the Sarajevo Olympics in 1984.
  • By some estimates Bolero has generated around 50 million euros ($57 million) in royalties since 1960, part of more than 400 million for all of Ravel’s works.
  • Ravel died unmarried and childless in 1937.


  • Reformist and moderate Iranian politicians allied with President Hassan Rouhani won second round parliamentary elections, preliminary results said, capping a remarkable comeback after years of isolation.
  • Of the 68 seats being contested, 36 went to the pro-Rouhani List of Hope coalition and 17 to conservatives with just four constituencies yet to be declared, according to official results.
  • That would give reformists at least 131 seats in the new 290-member Parliament, 15 shy of a majority but more than their rivals’ 124 MPs.
  • Remaining seats went to independents who could hold the balance of power. The second round was needed because no candidate won the minimum 25 per cent required in the first round.
  • The outcome represents a significant realignment of competing factions in the Islamic republic, with conservative MPs losing their dominance and being outnumbered for the first time since 2004.
  • The result is also an implicit public vote of confidence for Mr. Rouhani, who won a landslide election victory in 2013 and went on to clinch a historic deal with world powers over Tehran’s nuclear programme that lifted sanctions.
  • Tallies also showed 17 women were elected — eight more than at present and the highest female representation since the country’s revolution in 1979.


  • The Telecom Commission has favoured auctioning all available spectrum at the reserve price suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). A sale at such price could fetch the government about Rs.5.36 lakh crore.
  • The Telecom Commission was also of the view that companies winning spectrum in higher frequency bands, above 1GHz (1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz), should make 50 per cent upfront payment instead of 33 per cent.
  • For spectrum purchased in the below 1GHz band (700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz), companies would require to pay 25 per cent as upfront payment and the rest over 10 years after two years of moratorium.
  • The auction of airwaves, which is to be held in July this year, will include 700 MHz spectrum for the first time in the country at a pan-India reserve price of about Rs.11,500 crore per MHz.
  • The 700 MHz spectrum is considered to be the most suitable for offering high speed broadband services.
  • However, the operators had asked the sale to be held back till the device ecosystem is put in place.
  • The cost of delivering mobile services in 700 MHz band is also approximately 70 per cent cheaper than 2100 MHz band (used for 3G services).
  • For 1,800 MHz spectrum, widely used for offering voice services, the telecom regulator had recommended the reserve price of Rs.2,873 crore.
  • For spectrum in 900 MHz band, 800 MHz band, 2100 MHz band and 2300 MHz band, the reserve price was kept at Rs.3,341 crore, Rs.5,819 crore, Rs.3,746 crore and Rs.817 crore, respectively.
  • The regulator has recommended that the reserve price for 2500 MHz spectrum, which is also on the offer for the first time, to be kept equal to that of 2300 MHz spectrum.


  • The Centre’s ambitious National LED programme — Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) — will be implemented across the country by 2019, Minister for Power and Coal said.
  • Since the UJALA scheme was launched a year ago on May 1, a total of 9 crore LED bulbs were sold in the country, which means people will get the benefit of Rs 5,500 crore in their electricity bills. It will be implemented across the country by 2019.
  • Nearly 77 crore incandescent bulbs will be replaced till 2019 in the country which will ensure an annual benefit of Rs.40,000 crore to the people in their electricity bills and this will lead the country to fulfil its need of energy security.


  • India’s foreign exchange reserves increased marginally to $361.60 billion as on April 22 against $360.25 billion on April 15, the Reserve Bank of India said.
  • Foreign Exchange Reserves in India averaged 193419.62 USD Million from 1998 until 2016.


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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 May 2016 03:31