Current Affairs, News & Facts of 01 Apr 2016

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  • Partial liquor ban comes to force in Bihar


    Partial liquor ban comes to force in BiharA partial liquor ban has been brought into effect in Bihar from today following the state government issuing a notification in this regard.

    A notification has been issued for implementing prohibition in rural areas besides banning country-made liquor across the state.

    It should be noted that `Bihar had tried its hand at prohibition in 1977-78 during the regime of Karpoori Thakur, but failed to implement it effectively.

    Other dry states : Alcohol prohibition in India is in force in the states of Gujarat, Nagaland and parts of Manipur; as well as in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. Kerala has been implementing prohibition in a phased manner since 2014.

    The ban means that from now onwards any person indulging in manufacturing trade, transportation, sale and consumption of country-made and spiced liquor across the state will be punished for violating the stringent provisions of the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, 2016.

    Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, 2016

    Complete prohibition will be implemented in rural areas besides a complete ban on country-made spiced liquor across the state.

    Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) will be sold in limited areas of the state i.e. Municipal corporations and councils through the outlets of Bihar State Beverages Corporation Ltd (BSBCL). 

  • Renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid passes away


    Renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid passes awayRenowned Iraqi-British architect- Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, whose designs include the London Olympic aquatic centre, has died following a heart attackin a Miami hospital, where she was being treated for bronchitis. She was, 65.

    Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid

    Hadid was born on 31 October 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She studied mathematics at the American University in Lebanon, before pursuing architecture at the Architectural Association in London in 1972.  In 1980, she established her own London-based practice, the Zaha Hadid Architects. 

    Awards and honours :

    1. She became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2004)
    2. She was the first woman to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) gold medal.
    3. She received the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011.

  • India, US sign MoU for setting up LIGO observatory in India


    India, US sign MoU for setting up LIGO observatory in IndiaIndia has signed a memorandum of Understanding with the United States on setting up Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in India.

    The MoU was signed by Secretary, Directorate of Atomic Energy and Director, National Science Foundation in the presence of Mr Modi on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. 

    Establishment of LIGO observatory in India will bring opportunities for Scientist, Researchers and engineers of the country to dig deeper into the realm of gravitation wave and unveil some of greatest mysteries of the universe.

    This will be world’s third Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory, similar to the two detectors in the US. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are among the states shortlisted for the experiment. 

    If everything goes well than by 2022, India will be one of the countries, including the US, Italy and Japan, to play a major role in understanding Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. 

    Read more about  LIGO observatory in India

  • 85 per cent pictorial warning on tobacco products 


    85 per cent pictorial warning on tobacco products Tobacco products will henceforth carry larger pictorial warnings, covering 85 per cent of the packaging space as Health Ministry's notification of September 24, 2015, for implementation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014, come into force from today . The notification  prescribe larger pictorial warnings on tobacco products. 

    Earlier, Union Health Ministry had made a commitment to Rajasthan High Court on 28th March this year  that all tobacco products manufactured from 1st April onwards will carry larger pictorial health warnings. 

  • Gujarat Assembly clears amendment in Land acquisition act


     Gujarat Assembly clears amendment in Land acquisition actGujarat Assembly has unanimously passed the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Gujarat Amendment) Bill 2016.

    Key provisions of the bill

    1. The bill empowers the authorities to exempt projects related to Defense and social sectors, such as building air base, defense manufacturing units, schools, roads, canals, affordable houses, etc. from social impact assessment or consent clauses.

    2. It also allows the State or its undertakings to acquire land up to one kilometre on both sides of designated railway lines or highways in industrial corridor projects.

    3.  As per the original central Act, 80 per cent of land owners must give their nod for the acquisition of land but as per the new bill, it will not be necessary for the government to acquire consent of 80 per cent affected parties if the state is acquiring land for social and defence sector.

  • Centre selects six states for AYUSH project


    Centre selects six states for AYUSH projectThe Ministry of AYUSH has selected six states, including Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat for a pilot project to offer treatment for non-communicable diseases under the Indian medicine systems.

    Key facts

    1. Under the project facilities would be set up in every district of selected states to take up screening for identifying people suffering from non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer etc and provide treatment under AYUSH (Aurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy).

    2. The proposed facility would have all Indian traditional medicinal systems for providing an integrated treatment in which Yoga will be common along with any one of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha or Homeopathy suitable for curing the disease.

    3. Besides, these facilities would also take up treatment of select chronic diseases. For diseases not covered by them, the patients would be referred to Primary Health Centres (PHCs).

    Scope of AYUSH : There is good demand from people abroad for traditional medicine system, as about 30-35 per cent of the spas offering these facilities are normally occupied by foreigners. The govt has signed MoU with 20 countries for promoting AYUSH while 25 Chairs are functioning worldwide taking various activities related to ancient Hindu traditional medicinal systems.

  • SC approves government's guidelines to protect Good Samaritans


    SC approves government's guidelines to protect Good SamaritansThe Supreme Court has approved the guidelines issued by the Centre for the protection of Good Samaritans, who help road accident victims, from being unnecessarily harassed by police or any other authority.

    A bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra has asked the Union Government to give wide publicity to these guidelines so that people who help others in the time of distress are not victimised by any authority.

    The bench also took on record the guidelines placed by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways which were based on the recommendations of the three-member committee headed by former judge K S Radhakrishnan.

    Background : The court had in 2014 appointed the three-member committee to monitor steps taken by the Centre and state governments to ensure road safety. The committee had given 12 major recommendations including setting up of State Road Safety Councils, evolving a protocol for identification of black spots, their removal and monitoring to see the effectiveness of the action taken. The committee had also suggested strengthening of enforcement relating to drunken driving, red light jumping, over-speeding and helmet or seat belt laws.

  • Researchers reveal first 3D map of Zika virus structure


    Researchers reveal first 3D map of Zika virus structureTeam of researchers from Purdue University in the US have determined a near-atomic level structure of the Zika virus. It is considered as one of the major breakthrough in the battle against the mosquito-borne Zika virus as it provides a framework for answering both basic questions about virus biology as well as providing a useful tool to developing antivirals and future vaccine studies. The paper detailing the findings was published in the journal Science.

    Applications:  The structure of the virus provides a map that shows potential regions of the virus that could be targeted by a therapeutic treatment. The structure can help scientists to create an effective vaccine or to improve the ability to diagnose and distinguish Zika infection from that of other related viruses.

    The Zika virus, which is basically a mosquito-borne disease, has recently been associated with a birth defect called microcephaly that causes brain damage and an abnormally small head in babies born to mothers infected during pregnancy. 

  • Vietnam's parliament elects first female speaker


    Vietnam's parliament elects first female speakerNational Assembly (NA) of Vietnam has elected Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan as the country’s first female house speaker. She has been elected and sworn in as the NA Chairperson with 472 (95.5%) yes votes in her favour out of 481 valid ballots, at the ongoing 11th session of the 13th NA. 

    She was also elected as the Chairperson of the National Election Council with 467 "yes" votes out of 477 valid ballots.Prior to getting elected as speaker, Ngan was serving as Vice Chairperson of the NA from July 2011.

    Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan :

    Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan was born on 12 April 1954 at commune of Chau Hoa in Giong Trom District, Ben Tre Province of Vietnam. She earned a master of financial and credit management, a bachelor of politics. She joined the Communist Party of Vietnam on 9 December 1981.

  • Kachhabali becomes 1st liquor-free village in Rajasthan


    Kachhabali becomes 1st liquor-free village in RajasthanKachhabali village in Bhim tehsil of Rajsamand district, Rajasthan has become the first in the state to become liquor-free village. A referendum was conducted  by the excise department of the state, in which 67.11% of the villagers voted to close down its lone liquor shop to stop alcohol sale in village.

    This is the first time the provision of the Rajasthan Excise Act, 1975, that provides for the closure of a country liquor shop, was invoked.  Under this provision, 51% of all registered voters - not just those present and voting - should opt to close down the shop.

    Prior to conducting the poll, at least 20% of the voters of the Gram Panchayat or municipal Ward must seek a referendum on the issue in a letter to the district collector.


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