Here are today’s important headlines with key details for UPSC, SSC, IBPS and other competitive examinations
1.World Habitat Day observed on October 3, 2016
The 2016 World Habitat Day (WHD) was observed across the world on October 3, 2016.The WHD campaign aims to raise awareness about the need for affordable housing for all in urban areas, including towns and cities.
- World Habitat Day is observed every year on the first Monday of October throughout the world.
- It was officially designated by the United Nations and first celebrated in 1986.
- The purpose of the day is to reflect on the state of our cities and towns and the basic human right to adequate shelter. It also aims to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the habitat of future generations.
2. Indian-origin Kiara Nirghin wins Google Science Fair prize 2016
Indian-origin South African girl Kiara Nirghin won the Google Science Fair prize, on October 1, 2016. She was awarded a 50000 US dollars scholarship for using an orange peel to develop a cheaper super-absorbent material that helps the soil retain water. Kiara Nirghin is a Grade 11 student at St Martin’s private school. She did a project titled No More Thirsty Crops, which was aimed at tackling the severe drought plaguing South Africa. Her solution to the problem of drought uses orange and avocado fruit peel, which are normally discarded.
Highlights of the Nirghin’s Project
- The fruit peel serves a perfect alternative to super-absorbent polymers (SAPs), which absorb and carry about 300 times their weight in liquid relative to their own mass.
- These SAPs are not biodegradable, are costly and full of acrylic acid, sodium hydroxide, and other chemicals.
- It was after 45 days of experimentation that Nirghin was successful in creating a low-cost super-absorbent polymer, made out of waste products from the juice manufacturing industry.
- This polymer can retain large amounts of water, keep the soil moist and improve crop growth without regular water supplements.
3. New species of Pika discovered in the Sikkim Himalayas
Researchers at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru have recently identified a new species of Pika named Ochotona sikimaria high up in the Sikkim Himalayas.
The Findings were published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution as a paper titled Genetics, morphology, and ecology reveals a cryptic Pika lineage in the Sikkim Himalaya on September 15, 2016.
The team of researchers including Uma Ramakrishnan and her collaborators probed the genetic origins of the little mammal Pika to discover an entirely new lineage, with a unique evolutionary past.
Highlights of the Study
Researchers used genetic tools in order to understand the origin and evolution of the Pika species commonly found in the Sikkim Himalayas and worked with Pika droppings to obtain DNA samples.
- Gaining a deeper understanding of the evolutionary history of this species, the researchers chose to compare the Sikkim Pika to its close relatives in China.
- This analysis confirmed the fact that the new species is indeed distinct and not merely a subspecies of the Maupin Pika, as was previously believed.
- Multiple lines of evidence, including genetics, ecology, and morphometrics, were used clarify the origins of the Sikkim Pika and to establish that it is indeed a distinct species.
4. S Sivakumar appointed as full-time member of 21st Law Commission of India
S Sivakumar, a professor at the Indian Law Institute (ILI), was appointed as a full-time member of the 21st Law Commission of India.
- Earlier, Rajkot-based lawyer Abhay Bhardwaj, who had represented the accused in the 2002 Gulbarg Society Massacre case, had been selected as a part-time member of the 21st Law Commission of India.
- In March 2016, former Supreme Court Judge Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan was appointed as the new Chairman of Law Commission of India. Former Gujarat High Court Judge Justice Ravi R Tripathi was also appointed as a member of the Commission.
- In June 2016, Bimal Patel, Director, Gujarat National Law University was appointed as a part-time member of the 21st Law Commission of India.
5. Tamil Nadu tops list of endemic flowering plants
Botanical Survey of India (BSI) in the last week of September 2016 announced that almost one of every four species of flowering plants found in India is endemic to the country. Of these, Tamil Nadu garners the highest number of species with 410. Tamil Nadu is followed by Kerala with 357 and Maharashtra with 278.
About Botanical Survey of India
- The Botanical Survey of India is an institution set up by the Government of India in 1890 to survey the plant resources of the Indian empire.
- The Botanical Survey was formally instituted on February 13, 1890, under the direction of Sir George King, who had been superintendent of Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta since 1871.
6. Daniel Ricciardo wins 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix
- Daniel Ricciardo won the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix held at the Sepang International Circuit in Selangor, Malaysia, on October 2, 2016.
- Max Verstappen finished second while Nico Rosberg came in third.
8. International Day of Non-Violence observed across the world
International Day of Non-Violence was observed across the world on October 2, 2016, the date that marks the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. This day is referred to in India as Gandhi Jayanti.
- The UN General Assembly through its resolution dated June 15, 2007 established the International Day of Non-Violence to disseminate the message of non-violence through education and public awareness.
- The resolution reaffirms the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence and the desire to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence.
- The creation of the day has much significance for India, as it was the frontrunner in the adoption of the resolution that was co-sponsored by 140 member-countries in the United Nations.
- The first International Day of Non-Violence was observed on October 2, 2007.
Here is a list of last few articles on Current Affairs and the Monthly Bullet on Current Affairs for SSC
Monthly Bullet Pdf for September 2016