AWARDS & HONOURS
1. Srishti Kaur wins Miss Teen Universe pageant
Srishti Kaur, a resident of Noida, was crowned Miss Teen Universe 2017 after beating 25 contestants from around the world at the annual beauty pageant. The event was held at Managua, the capital of Central American country Nicaragua. She also won an award for the best national costume, which featured a peacock – the Indian national bird.
2. Poet Sankha Ghosh conferred Jnanpith Award
Eminent Bengali poet and literary critic Sankha Ghosh was conferred the 52nd Jnanpith Award by President Pranab Mukherjee. The 85-year-old poet was awarded with Sahitya Akademi in the year 1977 for his work “Baabarer praarthanaa” and in 1999, for translating Kannada play “Taledanda” into Bengali as “Raktakalyan”. Ghosh was also honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2011. Some of his famous works are “Adim Lata- Gulmomay”, “Murkho Baro”, “Samajik Noy”, to name a few.
3. India ranked 136 out of 180 countries in press freedom
In its annual World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders has ranked India at 136 of 180 countries. The country’s ranking has slipped by three spots from last year’s 133rd ranking. India was ranked just three places above Pakistan and was one notch below violence-torn Palestine. India’s neighbours Bhutan and Nepal were placed at 84th and 100th rank, respectively.
Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark took the first four positions in the rankings.
4. Govt launches UDAN scheme for low cost regional flights
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched UDAN, a scheme to help people to fly cheap to small towns. PM Modi flagged off three flights – on the Shimla-Delhi sector, the Kadapa-Hyderabad and the Nanded-Hyderabad sectors. Announcing the launch in a series of tweets, the Prime Minister’s Office said the airfare for a one-hour journey of 500 km has been capped at Rs. 2,500, which will be an all-inclusive charge.
Under the scheme, five companies will operate flight services on 128 routes that will connect 70 airports across the country. The operators will include SpiceJet, Air Odisha, Air India subsidiary Airline Allied Services, Air Deccan, and Turbo Megha.
5. India successfully test-fires Agni-III Ballistic Missile
India successfully test-fired its intermediate-range ballistic missile Agni-III from Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast. This was a user test, undertaken by the Strategic Forces Command — an especially raised missile-handling unit of the Indian Army. It carried out the test with logistics support from the DRDO.
- The missile has a strike range of 3,000 km to 5,000 km and is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes.
- The missile is powered by a two-stage solid propellant engine. The missile is 17 metres long, with two-metre diameter, and weighs around 2,200 kg.
- The missile was inducted into the armed forces in June 2011.
6. IOC to build new oil terminal at Motihari to supply fuel to Nepal
The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) plans to build a new oil terminal at Motihari in Bihar to supply fuel to neighbour Nepal through the planned pipeline up to Amlekganj in Nepal. In August 2015, the Indian and Nepalese governments signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a product pipeline, and subsequently IOC and Nepal Oil Corporation entered into a MoU for laying down of the pipeline by the Indian company.
India recently extended the fuel supply agreement with Nepal to five years. The nation receives around 2 lakh kilo litres of fuel from IndianOil every month.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
7. ‘Iceball’ Planet discovered through Microlensing
NASA has discovered a planet the same size as Earth, and the same distance from its star as our planet is from the sun. Due to its small size, the host star does not produce enough heat to support life on the planet. This has prompted scientists to label the world – nominally called OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb – the ‘iceball’ planet.
An international team of researchers found the planet using a technique known as ‘microlensing,’ which uses background stars as flashlights that mark out planets as dark dots when they cross the field of light.
8. World’s oldest fungus discovered in South Africa
Scientists have discovered what may be the world’s oldest fungus in South African rocks dating back 2.4 billion years. The fossils suggest that fungus may have evolved from under the deep sea rather than land. Drilled from rocks that were once beneath the seafloor, the fossils resemble living fungi and could push back the date for the oldest fungi by one to two billion years. The fossils closely resemble those found in similar conditions on land. They are made up of jumbles of tangled threads some hundredths of a millimetre thick.
9. Veteran actor Vinod Khanna passes away at 70
Veteran Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna passed away at the age of 70 due to advanced bladder carcinoma. The actor was sitting Bharatiya Janata Party member of the Lok Sabha from the Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab. Vinod Khanna had starred in more than 100 films in a career spanning over five decades. He was was last seen in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Dilwale” in 2015.
10. Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme passes away at 73
Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director of The Silence of the Lambs, has died in New York at the age of 73. His publicist confirmed he died from complications from oesophageal cancer. Born in 1944, Demme’s other features included Philadelphia, Something Wild and the Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense.
Demme’s own Oscar was for best director for The Silence of the Lambs in 1992. The second film to feature serial killer Hannibal Lecter, it is one of only three films to win the so-called “big five” Oscars. As well as best director, the 1991 film was named best picture, won a screenplay prize and saw both of its lead actors honoured.
11. Vinu Chakravarthy passes away aged 74
Well-known Tamil actor and writer Vinu Chakravarthy, who had starred in over 1,000 films, has passes away at the age of 74. Chakravarthy had acted in 1002 films, mostly in Tamil. Born in 1945, he began his career as a script writer and worked under Kannada director Puttana Kanagal.
In 1977, he was spotted by producer Tirupur Mani, who gave him his first acting break in Kannada film Parasangada Gendetimma. He had acted in over 900 Tamil films. Some of his best movies include Gopurangal Saivathillaia, Manithan, Guru Sishyan, Mappillai..etc.