Latest Current Affairs
Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) launched by Union Government
The Central Government today announced the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY). This is a new programme meant to provide for the welfare of areas and people affected by mining related operations, using the funds generated by District Mineral Foundations (DMFs).
Minister of Mines and Steel Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said, PMKKKY is a revolutionary and unprecedented scheme of its kind, which will transform the lives of people living in areas which are affected directly or indirectly by mining.
The objective of PMKKKY scheme will be
(a) to implement various developmental and welfare projects/programs in mining affected areas that complement the existing ongoing schemes/projects of State and Central Government;
(b) to minimize/mitigate the adverse impacts, during and after mining, on the environment, health and socio-economics of people in mining districts; and
(c) to ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods for the affected people in mining areas. Care has been taken to include all aspects of living, to ensure substantial improvement in the quality of life. High priority areas like drinking water supply, health care, sanitation, education, skill development, women and child care, welfare of aged and disabled people, skill development and environment conservation will get at least 60 % share of the funds. For creating a supportive and conducive living environment, balance funds will be spent on making roads, bridges, railways, waterways projects, irrigation and alternative energy sources. This way, government is facilitating mainstreaming of the people from lower strata of society, tribals and forest-dwellers who have no wherewithal and are affected the most from mining activities.
The Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, mandated the setting up of District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) in all districts in the country affected by mining related operations. The Central Government today notified the rates of contribution payable by miners to the DMFs. In case of all mining leases executed before 12th January, 2015 (the date of coming into force of the Amendment Act) miners will have to contribute an amount equal to 30% of the royalty payable by them to the DMFs. Where mining leases are granted after 12.01.2015, the rate of contribution would be 10% of the royalty payable. Using the funds generated by this contribution, the DMFs are expected to implement the PMKKKY.
The Central Government has issued a directive to the State Governments, under Section 20A of the MMDR Act, 1957, laying down the guidelines for implementation of PMKKKY and directing the States to incorporate the same in the rules framed by them for the DMFs.
The DMFs have also been directed to maintain the utmost transparency in their functioning and provide periodic reports on the various projects and schemes taken up by them.
Hangzhou City of China chosen to host 2022 Asian Games
Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang Province in east China, was chosen by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to host the 2022 Asian Games.
The OCA made the decision at its 34th Congress in Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan. Hangzhou was the only candidate city for the 2022 Asian Games. Its successful bid means the regional games will be staged in China for the third time following Beijing in 1990 and southern Guangzhou in 2010.
About Asian Games
Asian Games also known as Asiad is a pancontinental multi-sport event (44 sports events) among athletes from all over Asia.
It is held every four years and regulated and organized by the OCA since 1982.
It was first held in 1951 in New Delhi, India under the aegis of Asian Games Federation (AGF).
46 member countries affiliated to the OCA are eligible to take part in the Games.
It is often described as the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.
Incheon, South Korean city had hosted last Asian Games in 2014, while Indonesia’s Jakarta is going to host in 2018 Asian Games.
The 8th edition Global Innovation Index (GII) 2015
The 8th edition Global Innovation Index (GII) 2015 was released on 17 September 2015 jointly by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).The Global Innovation Index (GII) aims to capture the multi-dimensional facets of innovation and provide the tools that can assist in tailoring policies to promote long-term output growth, improved productivity, and job growth. The GII helps to create an environment in which innovation factors are continually evaluated. It provides a key tool and a rich database of detailed metrics for 141 economies this year, which represent 95.1% of the world’s population and 98.6% of global GDP.
Highlights of the GII 2015
• Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States of America are the world’s five most innovative nations.
• The United Kingdom (UK) with second place on the list is up from the 10th position in 2011.
• In terms of innovation quality, US and the UK stay ahead of the pack, largely as a result of their world-class universities, closely followed by Japan, Germany and Switzerland.
• Top-scoring middle-income economies on innovation quality are China, Brazil and India with China increasingly outpacing the others.
• A number of low-income economies are innovation achievers with Sub-Saharan Africa standing out- Rwanda at 94th place, Mozambique at 95th and Malawi at 98th. In addition, Kenya, Mali, Burkina Faso and Uganda are generally outperforming other economies at their level of development.
• India’s ranking has slipped further to 81 in the list, compared to 76 in 2014.
• A number of eastern European countries like Bulgaria (39th), or Montenegro (41st) display dynamism and an upward trend.
• In North America, The United States of America (5th) remains the top innovation performer, while Canada (16th) remains in the GII top 25 after slipping from the top 10 in 2012.
• Latin America and the Caribbean is a region with improving but largely untapped innovation potential. Brazil (70th), Argentina (72nd), and Mexico (57th) stand out as economies performing above the region’s GII average.
• In Western Asia, economies have started to diversify and spur innovation in new sectors. This has allowed for Saudi Arabia (43rd), United Arab Emirates (UAE) (47th) and Qatar (50th) to achieve top GII positions within the region.
• With half of its economies in the top 40, South East Asia and Oceania maintained its innovation dynamism with Singapore (7th) and Hong Kong (China) (11th) remain at the top of the regional rankings.
2. United Kingdom
5. United States of America
Singapore remained the only Asian territory in the top 10 of a major ranking of innovation worldwide, with Hong Kong just missing out in eleventh place.
South Korea was the next highest ranking Asian country in the Global Innovation Index 2015, an annual survey by Cornell University, Insead business school and the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Singapore took seventh place, while Japan also placed well, at 19.
Central and Southern Asia region in GII 2015
India remained at the top of the regional ranking of Central and Southern Asia, followed by Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka, which has significantly improved its position.
Most countries in the region remain outside the top 100 of the GII. However, the economies at the top of the regional rankings can serve as models of good innovation policies with stronger institutions that will help stimulate higher levels of innovation-driven regional development in the coming years.
How GII 2015 was calculated?
The GII 2015 was calculated as the average of two sub-indices. The Innovation Input Sub-Index gauges elements of the national economy which embody innovative activities was grouped in five pillars:
(2) Human capital and research
(4) Market sophistication
(5) Business sophistication
The Innovation Output Sub-Index captures actual evidence of innovation results was divided in two pillars:
(6) Knowledge and technology outputs
(7) Creative outputs.
About the Global Innovation Index
The Global Innovation Index 2015 (GII), in its 8th edition this year, is co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, an agency of the United Nations).
The core of the GII Report consists of a ranking of world economies’ innovation capabilities and results. Over the last eight years, the GII has established itself as a leading reference on innovation. Understanding in more detail the human aspects behind innovation is essential for the design of policies that help promote economic development and richer innovation-prone environments locally. Recognizing the key role of innovation as a driver of economic growth and prosperity, and the need for a broad horizontal vision of innovation applicable to developed and emerging economies, the GII includes indicators that go beyond the traditional measures of innovation such as the level of research and development.
• The Global Innovation Index is published annually since 2007, it is now a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world.
• The Global Innovation Index (GII) creates an environment in which innovation factors are under continual evaluation with 141 country profiles including data, ranks and strengths and weaknesses on 81 indicators.
• GII follows a transparent computation methodology including 90 percent confidence interval for each index ranking and an analysis of factors affecting year-on-year changes in rankings.
A volcano named Mount Aso erupted in Japan, spewing ash and lava and cancelling dozens of flights in the region. This volcano, one of the world’s largest, last blew its top 22 years ago. There has been increased seismic activity in the region since August, although it wasn’t clear when or even if it would erupt.
Officials warned people not to approach the summit or get near Mount Aso, and according to the Japan Times visitors had been banned from going within 1 kilometer of the crater. The last time Mount Aso erupted, three people were killed and 11 more were injured. As of publication time, no injuries have been reported as a result of the recent eruption.
The ash reached an elevation of one kilometer (3,280 feet) and could cause continuing air delays, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. Officials don’t expect the eruption to worsen, however
A volcano is an opening on the surface of a planet or moon that allows material warmer than its surroundings to escape from its interior. When this material escapes, it causes an eruption. An eruption can be explosive, sending material high into the sky. Or it can be calmer, with gentle flows of material.
These volcanic areas usually form mountains built from the many layers of rock, ash or other material that collect around them. Volcanoes can be active, dormant, or extinct. Active volcanoes are volcanoes that have had recent eruptions or are expected to have eruptions in the near future. Dormant volcanoes no longer produce eruptions, but might again sometime in the future. Extinct volcanoes will likely never erupt again.
2015 U S Open Results
U S Open 2015: Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in final
World number one Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in four dramatic sets to win his second US Open and 10th Grand Slam title. Djokovic’s win was his third Grand Slam triumph of 2015.Djokovic took another step towards joining the very best in history with a 10th major title, moving him within one of Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver in the all-time list.
Most Grand Slam titles
17: Roger Federer
14: Pete Sampras, Rafael Nadal
12: Roy Emerson
11: Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg
10: Bill Tilden, Novak Djokovic
Flavia Pennetta won 2015 US Open Women’s Singles title
Flavia Pennetta on 12 September 2015 won the US Open Women’s Singles title. She defeated fellow Italian Roberta Vinci 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in the summit clash held in New York.
It was her maiden Gran Slam title and after the victory she announced that she will retire from the professional tennis after the 2015 season.
With this victory, Pennetta became the second Italian woman to win one of the tennis majors
Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis won 2015 US Open Women’s Doubles title
India’s Sania Mirza bagged her second consecutive Grand Slam title of the season, and fifth overall, as she won the US Open women’s doubles with Swiss partner Martina Hingis
The top-seeded Indo-Swiss team outplayed the fourth seed team of Casey Dellacqua and Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3, 6-3 in the final, which never rose to great heights
Leander Paes, Martina Hingis won US Open Mixed Doubles Title 2015
Veteran Indian tennis star Leander Paes scripted history by notching up the US Open mixed doubles title with Swiss partner Martina Hingis to become the format’s most successful male player in the Open era.
The 42-year-old Paes has now won nine Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, surpassing compatriot and former partner Mahesh Bhupathi’s record of eight titles. He is now behind only the legendary Martina Navratilova, who won 10 mixed doubles trophies. Of those 10, two came with Paes when they won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2003
With this win, the Paes-Hingis pair, who also won the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles early this season, has become the first mixed doubles team since 1969 to win three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in the same year.