29 August 2015



India, U.S. set to ink pact on terror database   –   (International Relation)

  • India could soon get access to a U.S. database of 11,000 terror suspects if the countries sign a pact to exchange information on terrorists, during the Homeland Security dialogue in December.
  • The information would be shared through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s legal attache at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi.


Aerial seeding begins for green Amaravati  –   (Enivornment)

  • Aerial seeding is a technique of sowing seeds using helicopters and aeroplanes to scatter them. Aerial reforestation has been usually done to repopulate forest land after some type of disaster since the 1930s.


India rebuffs Afghanistan on strategic meet  –   (Environment)

Stung by Afghanistan’s security and strategic shift towards Pakistan in the past year, India has rebuffed another invitation from Kabul to revive the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) signed in 2011 to hold a meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council (SPC).
India was the first country Afghanistan chose to sign a strategic partnership agreement with, despite the U.S. and Pakistan keen on doing so. Since then, however, India has significantly withdrawn from its strategic promises to Afghanistan for a number of reasons.



More children in school, but very few enter college   –   (Social issues)

  • Over 400 million people, or over a third of the population in 2011, had never attended any school or educational institution, new numbers from the census show.
  • According to the new data, while enrolment in school is now over 80 per cent for school-age children, higher education enrolment remains low.
  • Enrolment in educational institutions rose between 2001 and 2011 at every level, most of all in the primary and secondary school-going age of 7 to14 years. Between the age of 7 and 14, over 80 per cent of children are attending school, the numbers show.


Researchers one step closer to cracking Alzheimer’s puzzle  –   (Science and Technology)

  • Research groups at TIFR, Mumbai, IISc, Bangalore and the University of Toronto working together, may have gotten the closest yet to figuring out how the toxic form of the Alzheimer’s molecule looks. This brings with it implications of development of better drugs to treat patients.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia that is characterised by loss of short-term memory, deterioration in behaviour and intellectual performance, besides slowness of thought. It may occur in middle age or in old age, and while a lot of research is on for drug treatments, none has been successful.


Secure haven for a terrorist  –   (Security)

  • In an ideal world where the rule of law mattered and geopolitics did not dominate the conduct of international relations, Pakistan would have cooperated in the capture and extradition of Dawood Ibrahim and the criminal and mass murderer would have faced justice in the country of his origin. Instead, in this real world Pakistan persists with its long-pursued policy of “plausible deniability”, refusing to acknowledge the presence of the underworld “kingpin”, let alone responding to accusations that he has been sheltered by the agencies of the state.


Another confident launch   –   (Scinece and Technology)

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation’s second consecutive successful launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), with an indigenous cryogenic upper stage (CUS), proves that its earlier success in January 2014 — which came after a failed launch in 2010 — was no fluke. Also, this is the first time a GSLV rocket with an indigenous CUS has crossed the two-tonne payload mark: the GSAT-6 that it lifted weighed all of 2,117 kg.


A legal merry-go-round  –   (International Relation)

  • Stripped of its legal accoutrements, this case is about two innocent Indian fishermen who lost their lives and two Italian naval officers who, justifiably or unjustifiably, killed them.
  • The issue of allowing the judicial process in India to continue in the Italian marines case becomes all the more crucial since Italy has participated in the legal process here. That it has now sought to use a UN-mandated court to stall the process altogether is unfortunate


Sign accords but talk peace  –   (Security)

  • With the tenor changing from negotiation to dialogue, there is renewed hope that all the stakeholders in the Naga peace process will be involved in finding a solution.
  • Resistance from the Khole-Kitovi and Khaplang factions to the August 3 agreement has to be heard and addressed within the framework of dialogue.


U.S. asks Pak. to curb nuke arsenal  –   (International Relation)

  • The U.S. has asked Pakistan and all other nuclear-armed countries to exercise restraint in expanding their nuclear capabilities after two American think-tanks said Pakistan could have the third largest stockpile of atomic weapons in about a decade.


External debt up 6.6% in 2014-15  –   (Economics)

  • India’s external debt increased by 6.6 per cent to $475.8 billion in 2014-15, compared to $446.3 billion at the end of the previous year, according to a report by the Department of Economic Affairs.
  • The Department’s annual ‘India’s External Debt: A status report’ for 2014-15 shows that the country’s external debt has grown faster than its GDP, with the external debt-GDP ratio rising to 23.8 per cent at end-March 2015 from 23.6 per cent at end-March 2014.


Centre will not bail out ailing discoms: Goyal  –   (Economics)

  • Union Minister for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal on Friday, categorically ruled out the possibility of Government of India bailing out stressed discoms.
  • He said that a five-fold jump was being planned in renewable energy so as to have a capacity of 1.75 lakh MW in seven years from 37,000 now.
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