India’s first ever mobile food testing laboratory launched in Goa
- Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday has launched country’s first-ever mobile food testing laboratory. Parrikar has started the vehicle, which is the Rs 41 lakh, in presence of Goa Food and Drugs Administration minister Vishwajit Rane.
- “It is entirely funded by the Centre, which will also bear the maintenance cost for five years,” he said. The laboratory, he said, will help in on the spot testing of food items and curb adulteration.
- “Besides this, it will also educate people about nutrition and importance of safe food,” the chief minister added. Parrikar said awareness about food items is crucial as “most of the time we don’t know what is mixed in the food that we eat.”
- Director of Food and Drugs Administration Jyoti Sardessai said that the vehicle is equipped with milk analyser, hot air oven, hot plate, mixer grinder, digital weighing scale, digital multi parameter hand-held meter, power generator, air conditioner and refrigerator.
West Bengal announces life insurance of Rs.5 lakh each for pilgrims
- The Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal has announced one of the attractive pilgrims to get the coming up of the Gangasagar fair in an apparent attempt to reach out to Hindu voters and counter the BJP’s charges of alleged minority appeasement.
- Bengal panchayat affairs and rural development minister Subrata Mukherjee, that was present at the meeting, confirmed the decision. “Never before has any state government announced such a huge compensation for a fair attended by so many lakhs of people. The first thing our government did after coming to power in 2011 was discard the tourism tax that the erstwhile Left Front government used to charge. And now, we have announced such a huge insurance cover (for Hindu pilgrims),” he told HT.
- There has been the many of the deaths because of the stampedes, sinking boats, fire and the cold – are reported from Gangasagar every year. The death of six pilgrims during this year’s edition of the fair resulted in a verbal battle between the Union and state governments.
- Terming the state government’s decision as a desperate attempt to cover up its “Muslim appeasement policy”, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “This is obviously the fallout of the six deaths that occurred at the Gangasagar fair in January. But, more than that, the chief minister is starting to feel that her appeasement policy is sending out a negative signal to the masses.”
Union Government accords high priority to homoeopathy development
- The Centre has started the high priority to the development of homoeopathy that is with the traditional systems of medicine, Union minister Shripad Yesso Naik said today.
- Homoeopathy has said that it has one of medicine and gained unfathomable popularity throughout the country after Independence, the Union Minister of State (Independent charge) for AYUSH, said.
- Naik has gone in the city for the inauguration of the statue of Dr Samuel Christian Frederic Hahnemann, the founder of homoeopathy, at the National Institute of Homoeopathy (NIH) here on its foundation day.
- He said the institute should excel in education, which will provide outstanding patient care and carry out need-based research as homoeopathy was gaining importance and acceptance all over the world.
Sri Lanka formally hands over Hambantota port to China
- Sri Lanka on Saturday has said that the southern sea port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease.
- “Two Chinese firms, namely Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) and Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS) managed by the China Merchants Port Holdings Company (CMPort) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will own the port and the investment zone around it,” officials said.
- “With this agreement we have started to pay back the loans. Hambantota will be converted to a major port in the Indian Ocean,” Wickremesinghe said while addressing the handing over ceremony held in parliament.
- “There will be an economic zone and industrialisation in the area which will lead to economic development and promote tourism,” the prime minister said.
World’s biggest floating solar plant goes online in China
- China-based firm Three Gorges New Energy, a subsidiary of Three Gorges Corporation, has started the one of the 150MW floating PV project to the grid in eastern China, and in that there has been the remain capacity will be joint in the next year in May 2018.
- The CNY1 billion (US$151 million) project, located in Panji District, Huainan City, joins a host of other world-beating solar projects being developed in Anhui Province. PV Tech has given the report that in the summer, Chinese inverter specialist Sun grow was also set to build its own 150MW floating plant in this region.
- The Three Gorges project, on which construction started in July, uses the water surface from a coal mining subsidence area. It also involves the employment of many locals in both O&M and construction services.
- A Three Gorges release said the project requires tax payments of CNY25 million per year to the local government to help it transform the wealth-making ability of the area from underground in mines to over ground with solar – naming this transformation “black to green”.
Iraq and Iran sign Kirkuk oil swap deal
- Iraq has given the approval for the change of the 60,000 barrels per day of crude produced from the northern Iraqi Kirkuk oilfield for Iranian oil, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi has said.
- The agreement signed by the two countries provides for Iran to deliver to Iraq’s southern ports, on the Gulf, “oil of the same characteristics and in the same quantities” as those it would receive from Kirkuk, Luaibi said in a statement on Dec. 9.
- “At a time when the oil ministry welcomes all international oil companies to invest and work in Iraq, it also affirms that oil is a sovereign resource, and therefore all contracts … should be signed with the federal government and the oil ministry,” it said in a statement.
- “Anything contrary to that means these entities are liable for all the consequences, legal and financial responsibilities, and damages resulting from that.”
BANKING AND FINANCE
RBI launches campaign against fraudsters promising money
- There has been the fight with the coming arena and that has the prize money from the RBI, the central bank has itself launched an SMS campaign and a ‘missed-call’ helpline to warn people against such frauds. In this the, fraudsters make calls or send SMSes and emails to gullible people promising lotteries and prize money from the Reserve Bank at times from the RBI Governor himself to trap them into sharing their banking account details or paying some ‘fees or charges’ to get the money.
- One such fraudulent SMS asks the recipient to deposit Rs. 9,500 as “fund release order fee charges” with a bank account — which the fraudster presents as that of the RBI itself — and provide bank account, Aadhaar and address details for getting an amount of over Rs. 2 crore (denominated in the US dollar and other foreign currencies) as a portion of “funds recovered from the erstwhile British rulers”.
- “Don’t pay fees or charges to get large sums in return. RBI/RBI Governor/Government never sends such email/SMS/call,” the central bank says in one such SMS, while asking them to give a missed call to a phone number (8691960000).
- Another SMS as part of the campaign tells the public that if they “receive offer of lottery winnings or cheap funds from RBI or some government body”, they must complain immediately on the Sachet website.
New India Assurance to execute Health cover for 1 crore families in Maharashtra, Rajasthan
- New India Assurance Company Limited has announced that it has been going to execute health insurance that is for the one crore poor families across Maharashtra. India’s largest non-life insurer has been going to get the crore poor families across Rajasthan.
- Under the project called the Bhamasha Swasthya Bima Yojana (BSBY), about four crore people covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) will get health insurance benefits, a press release from the company said.
- This health insurance scheme gives cover for cashless treatment of 1401 diseases – of Rs. 3, 00,000 for 663 critical and Rs. 30,000 each for 738 general illnesses. The scheme is operated through large number of empaneled hospitals both public and private.
- G Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director, New India Assurance, said: “This (BSBY) is one of the unique universal health insurance schemes in the country and the scheme is operated through large number of empaneled hospitals both public and private.”
Science and Technology
ISRO developing compact launcher for small satellites
- A low-cost small satellite launcher has been added in the list of the Indian Space Research Organisation.
- In the starting phase of the design and develop an ambitious small launch vehicle began about three months ago, said K. Sivan, Director of ISRO’s rocket development node, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Its design will enable a handful of engineers to assemble it within a week. And the launcher should be able to put satellites of up to 500-600 kg in orbits close to the Earth.
- VSSC has designed the vehicle using the rocket technology that it already has and is awaiting ISRO’s approval. “We are looking at having a demonstration launch in a year, in the 2018-19 time frame,” Dr. Sivan told The Hindu.
- “Globally, the small satellites market is booming as they are used for various applications. Some of ISRO’s satellites are also going to reduce in mass. As such, worldwide, operators and private players are developing small launchers to capture the market at a much lower cost,” he explained.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
India’s One and Only ISO 9000 certified home is in Chennai
- There has been change in all the things when one get ISO-certified household, as the Suranas will tell you. Actually, it’s only the Suranas who can tell you because they are, in all likelihood, the only household in the country with an ISO 9000 certification.
- “My father is one of those firm believers in a place for everything and everything in its place. We grew up like that,” says Vinod. “My mother had a tight schedule because she is a lawyer. She timed her household chores to AIR programmes; for instance, ironing for the first half hour of a programme, breakfast prep by the end of it. So this whole ISO process has been quite easy for our family,” he says.
- “I need to handwrite 9,000 cards a year and I cannot get it done on time, if I don’t have a routine,” says Rashmi. “No NC for me so far,” says Rashmi proudly, referring to ‘non-conformity’ to process and quality. “An inspection every six months can be nerve-wracking. Everyone is interviewed… the staff, the management, even the children are interviewed separately to check for quality control,” she says.
- “After all, there’s an exclusion clause in the ISO fine print which companies can exercise,” smiles Vinod.