1. Harita – Priya project of Andhra Pradesh bags WSIS 2016 Prize
a) The World Summit Information (WSIS) Prize 2016 in e-agriculture category was conferred on Harita Priya project of Andhra Pradesh.
b) Harita-Priya stands for Harmonized Information of Agriculture, Revenue and Irrigation for a Transformation Agenda – Precision Technology for Agriculture.
c) It uses wireless sensor networks to collect climate related data from farms and notifies farmers with personalised information through SMS. The data helps to create advisories and alerts on irrigation schedules, pests and plant diseases.
d) The project was developed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).
2. Railways institutes directorate to ramp up non-tariff revenue
a) The Ministry of Railway has set up a new cross functional directorate within the Railway Board to enhance revenue from non tariff sources by 10-20%.
b) Advertisements at stations, commercial exploitation of vacant land and space rights over station buildings, including station redevelopment, advertisements on coaches and locos, sponsorship of uniforms for railway personnel, hoardings on land alongside tracks, commercial farming along tracks, monetisation of soft assets, including revenue from advertisements on websites and parking of vehicles on railway land will be carried out by the Non-Fare box Revenue (NFR) directorate to raise revenue.
c) NFR will also sponsor railway personnel uniforms, monetisation of soft assets and parking vehicles on railway land.
3. CAIPEEX : a technique to understand rain formation in clouds developed
a) Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX) is a newly developed technique used by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) to understand rain formation in the clouds and the impact of randomised cloud seeding.
b) Airborne observations made during randomized cloud seeding and its impact will be recorded. This experiment needs a combination of radar, other ground-based instruments and airborne platforms along with high resolution numerical modeling.
c) Certain operations will be conducted before and after the seeding such as detailed measurements of aerosols, cloud droplets, raindrops and ice particles, registering the growth of clouds.
d) The data obtained from these observations will help to formulate a scheme for ice nucleation which will eventually help in forecasting.
4. Reliance Power to set up a 750MW gas project in Bangladesh
a) Reliance Power’s gas-based power project in Bangladesh has been approved by the Bangladesh government.
b) Under the first phase, a 750MW LNG-based power plant will be set up in Meghnaghat along with the Floating Storage & Regasification Unit (FSRU). It will supply Re-gasified LNG for the power project and additional RLNG to PetroBangla.
c) The project will provide clean power to Bangladesh and help the country achieve its energy security target.
d) With a potential investment of $1.3 billion, it is the largest FDI in Bangladesh.
5. Centre launches portal for Contract Labour Management System
a) Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal has launched a portal of Coal India called Contract Labour Management System.
b) This portal has been launched to oversee compliance of labour payment and other benefits to contract workers under the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act. 1970. It will manage database of all contract workers in CIL & all its subsidiaries.
c) Workers will be provided with a Worker’s Identification Number (WIN) to view their personal details and payment status. The portal also allows workers to submit their grievances.
d) This portal will validate minimum wages paid, generate wage slips and employment card etc. of contract workers as required under the Act.
e) The portal will be maintained by Central Mine Planning & Development Institute (CMPDI), a subsidiary of CIL.
6. Asia’s first Rice Technology Park to come up in Gangavati
a) Asia’s first-ever Rice Technology Park will soon be established at Gangavati, while the Maize Technology Park will come up at Ranebennur in Karnataka.
b) These parks will be established under public private partnership (PPP) and will help paddy and maize cultivators to add value to their yield and enhance quality of their grains.
c) These parts will also carry out research in the various grain products such as rice flour, rice rava, rice bran oil, noodles, rice-based alcohol, animal and poultry feed and paddy husk used for power generation and brick-making.
7. Gravitational waves discovery soon to receive Breakthrough Prize
a) The LIGO team will soon receive the Breakthrough Prize for its groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves.
b) The $3 million award will be shared between two groups of laureates:three founders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), who will each equally share $1 million (Rs. 6.65 crore); and 1012 contributors to the experiment, who will each equally share $2 million (Rs. 13.31 crore).
c) Yuri Milner founded the Breakthrough Prize to recognise pioneering work in three categories namely life Sciences, Fundamental Physics & Mathematics.
8. Kamban Vizha festival begins
a) Kamban Vizha festival has started today to commemorate the legendary Tamil poet from Chola period. This festival is organised by Kamban Kazhagam.
b) Poet Kamban composed the Kamba Ramayanam, which is the Tamil representation of the Ramayana. It was first recited at Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam.
c)Kamban, who was from Tanjavur, was hailed as ‘Kavi Chakravarthi’ (emperor of poets). He was patron poet of Vallal Sadaiyappar Mudaliar, a wealthy 12th-century velir (chief) who had his residence at both Puduvai (Puducherry) and Thiruvenainallur in India.
9. Turkish PM Davutoglu to step down
a) Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish Prime minister has recently announced his abdication as a ruling party chief premier.
b) The resignation will help Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to strengthen his position in the party as well as in the government.
c) Davutoglu was the country’s PM since Erdogan was elected as the President of Turkey in 2014.
10. Nasscom & Facebook join hands to build a ‘Product Design Initiative’.
a) National Association of Software & Services Companies (Nasscom) has recently joined hands with social networking site Facebook to build a ‘Product Design Initiative’ in India.
b) The core objective is to offer programmes to build awareness on product design, provide training on design tools, design lab, awards, design sprints and mentorship.
c) Under this flagship programme of Nasscom product council, over 5,000 product designers will be trained in a span of 2 years.
d) This initiative will provide its support to around 500 product start ups on product design.
11. Kumar Rajesh Chandra becomes Chief of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
a) Kumar Rajesh Chandra has been appointed as the new Chief of Bureau of Civil Aviation Society (BCAS).
b) The post was vacant since the previous Chief IPS officer G S Malhi resigned in November 2012.
c) Prior to his appointment, he was serving as Additional Director General (Modernization), Bihar Police.
12. Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba appointed as Chief of Naval Staff
a) Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba has given the charge of the office of Chief of Naval Staff. He will assume charge from May 31st, 2016 and is the 23rd Chief of Indian Navy.
b) Presently working as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, Lanba will succeed present chief Robin K. Dhowan.
c) Lanba is a recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service. Previously, he had commanded the minesweeper INS Kakinada, frigate INS Himgiri and Executive Officer of INS Viraat, the aircraft carrier.