March, 2017

Turkish athletes lose Olympic medals

Turkish female distance runners Elvan Abeylegesse and Gamze Bulut are set to be stripped of silver medals from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games after being handed bans. The sanctions will also mean the reallocation of medals awarded a decade ago at the 2007 Osaka athletics world championships. Bulut was handed a four-year ban for a violation of the athletes’ biological passport rules.

Messi banned from next four matches

Argentina forward Lionel Messi has been banned from their next 4 competitive internationals starting with the World Cup’s qualifier in Bolivia for swearing at a match official. Five- times world player of the year will play in only one of Argentina’s remaining five World Cup qualifiers. FIFA said Messi had directed insulting words at an assistant referee during the 1-0 win over Chile.

Anupam Kher to receive Kala Ratan Award

Anupam Kher will be honoured with the Kala Ratan Award by Vice President Hamid Ansari. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution in the field of cinema and arts. The actor who has worked mainly in Hindi films has also appeared in acclaimed international films like Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice.

10 percent import duty on wheat

Since Dec 8, there was “zero percent import duty’ on wheat and big corporate houses imported huge amount of wheat from Australia, Ukraine and other countries. Ahead of wheat harvesting season and expected bumper crop, the central govt has imposed a 10% import duty on wheat after a gap of nearly four months. Farmers said reinstatement of a 10% import duty, against their expectations of 25%.

‘Namami Brahmaputra’ festival

‘Namami Brahmaputra`, the biggest ever river festival in India, will be held in Assam on March 31. The festival will take place across 21 districts of Assam from March 31 to April 4. President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the festival on the banks of the river, which is considered country’s only male river.

SpaceX launches first recycled rocket

SpaceX has launched its first recycled rocket, the biggest leap yet in its bid to drive down costs and speed up flights. The Falcon 9 blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center hoisting a broadcasting satellite into the early evening clear sky on the historic rocket reflight. It was the first time SpaceX founder tried to fly a booster that soared before on an orbital mission.

NASA-ISRO to work on NISAR

ISRO & NASA are jointly working on the development of Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Satellite named as NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar. The data obtained from this satellite will be useful for a variety of application, which include natural resources mapping and monitoring etc. The data obtained is not meant for building climate resilience.

Indian Neutrino Observatory

The Government intends to set up the India-based Neutrino Observatory in West Bodi Hills, Theni District of Tamil Nadu. The project is awaiting a clearance from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. The project is held up because of the long overdue Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board clearance. Presently the TNPCB has formed a committee of experts to advise it for further course of action.

Sitaram Swain wins award

Odisha-based Sitaram Swain was awarded the sixth Glenfiddichs Emerging Artist of the Year 2017. The award is a part of Glenfiddich’s 16-year-old Artists in Residence programme, where winners from different countries get to spend three months at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland. In addition to this he was awarded ` 10 lakh will also be awarded a solo show in New Delhi.

FSSAI comes under CAG scanner

In a first, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) is doing a comprehensive performance audit of the FSSAI. The audit comes against the backdrop of the food regulator’s controversial decision to ban manufacturing and sales of Maggi noodles. CAG’s audit is looking at issues such as how FSSAI fixes standards, finalizes regulations etc.