GA- 10 Jan 2018
Jan 09: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
- The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated every year on Jan 09 to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.
- The theme of htis year PBD is “Ancient Route, New Journey: Diaspora in the Dynamic ASEAN INDIA Partnership”.
- This year’s PBD celebrated ASEAN-Indian partnership.
- 2018 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas marks 25 years of ASEAN-Indian Partnership which is based on centuries-old cultural, religious and human links, forged on an ancient route of commerce.
- The day celebrated every year since 2003.
- It was chosen to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India in 1915.
National anthem not mandatory in cinema halls: SC
- The Supreme Court modified its Nov 30, 2016 interim order and made it optional for cinema halls to play the 52-second national anthem before every show.
- A three-judge bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, clarified that it is not mandatory to play the anthem before screenings in cinemas.
- It left the choice of whether to play the anthem or not to the discretion of individual cinema hall owners.
- The apex court has accepted Union Government’s affidavit that said 12-member inter-ministerial committee has been set up to suggest changes in Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
- Discretion on the national anthem issue lies with the centre, the court said, adding that if cinema halls play the national anthem, the audience must stand up.
- The differently-abled though are exempt from complying with the order.
First PIO-Parliamentary Conference held in New Delhi
- The first-ever Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Parliamentary Conference was held in the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra (PBK) in New Delhi.
- The conference, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was way of reaching out to Indian community overseas by Central government.
- It was organised by Ministry of External Affairs to forge stronger ties with PIO.
3rd Meeting of Council of Trade Development and Promotion held in New Delhi
- The third meeting of Council of Trade Development and Promotion (CTDP) was held in New Delhi.
- It was chaired by Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu and was attended by CM of Goa, Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat, ministers from 11 states, senior state govt officials and industry bodies.
- It aimed at enhancing the Centre’s cooperation with the states and union territories in making the latter active partners in boosting India’s exports.
- The Union Commerce and Industry Minister is Chairperson of CTDP.
- Ministers’ in-charge of Trade and Commerce in State Governments/UTs are its members.
CCEA approves continuation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval to continuation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) till term of 14th Finance Commission i.e. Mar 31, 2020.
- The continuation will entail annual allocation of Rs.3,950 crore and total outlay of Rs. 11,850 crores over next 3 years.
- The MPLAD Scheme is Central Sector Scheme launched in 1993-94.
- It enables Members of Parliament (both elected and nominated) to recommend works for creation of durable community assets based on locally felt needs to be taken up in their constituencies in area of national priorities like drinking water, education, public health, sanitation, roads etc.
Gujarat tops logistics performance index chart
- Gujarat has topped in the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index, a perception-based index of mobility of goods and efficiency of logistics chain, closely followed by Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.
- Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index developed by the commerce and industry ministry along with Deloitte.
- It was released by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu after the third meeting of the Council for Trade Development and Promotion in New Delhi.
- The state has been ranked the highest based on indicators such as infrastructure, services, safety of cargo, timeliness, track and trace.
- The Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index, a composite indicator to assess international trade logistics across states and Union territories, is based on a stakeholders’ survey conducted by Deloitte for the ministry of commerce and industry.
SC stays HC verdict against 85% pictorial warning on tobacco
- The Supreme Court has stayed Karnataka High Court order reducing size of pictorial warnings on packages of tobacco products to 40% of the package space from earlier 85%.
- The apex court took decision saying that health of citizen has primacy and emphasised on importance of public health and harmful effects of tobacco products.
Skeletal muscle tissue grown from stem cells
- The team of Scientists from Duke University in North Carolina, US for first time have developed working human skeletal muscle from stem cells in the laboratory.
- These are called “induced pluripotent stem cells” or iPSCs.
- Like naturally-occurring stem cells found in embryos, they can become any other type of human cell.
- In this case, the iPSCs were coaxed into becoming skeletal muscle cells, which grew into “functioning human skeletal muscle”, the team reported in the science journal Nature Communications.
- It will allow scientists to grow “an endless amount” of functioning muscle in the lab on which to test drugs and gene treatments for degenerative muscle diseases.