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National – Across the India:
1. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) conducted the trial run of the country’s first ever Metro train equipped to run in the driverless mode.
The train was ceremonially flagged off by Union Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The driverless trains will run on the over 58 km-long Majlish Park-Shiv Vihar (Line 7) and the over 38 km-long Janakpuri (West)- Botanical Garden (Line 8) corridors of the Phase-III.
2. Odisha Government has decided to launch Green Passage scheme for orphan students to ensure that they get free of cost higher education in the state.
A proposal of the higher education department in this regard, was approved by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
As per the scheme Orphan students pursuing higher education (from Plus-II level) to post-graduation level, will no longer have to bear the education expenses.
Awards & Recognition:
1. Indian American professor Dr. Rakesh K. Jain will be presented 2015 National Medal of Science of the United States.
He will be presented with this top award for his individual achievement and leadership in advancing the field of science and technology.
The award is presented by the US President to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioural and social sciences, chemistry, engineering, biology, mathematics and physics.
2. Syamantak Payra, Indian American teenager from Texas, has won the $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award.
Payra won this prestigious award along with Kathy Lu.
He won the award for his work in making a low-cost electronically-aided knee brace device which allows people with weakened legs to be able to walk better.
He had tested his design on two people that were left partially disabled after suffering from polio.
His device has allowed them to walk more naturally, and improved their mobility.
Economics & Banking GK:
1. The Income Tax (IT) department has launched electronic grievance redressal system ‘e-nivaran’ to fast track taxpayer grievances and ensure early resolution of their complaints.
A separate and dedicated window for grievance redressal has been launched in the Income Tax Business Application (ITBA).
The e-nivaran system also called as unified grievance management system seeks to integrate all online and physical complaints gathered by the department.
2. The Union Government has constituted a five member committee to comprehensively review and give recommendations on the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) roadmap for the future.
The committee will be headed by Former Revenue Secretary and Rajya Sabha MP, NK Singh.
Its members are “Former Finance and Revenue Secretary Sumit Bose, Chief Economic Adviser (CEC) Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Deputy Governor of RBI Urijit Patel and Director of National Institute Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) Rathin Roy”.
Science & Technology:
1. The Union Government has launched three IT and ITES initiatives for best practices in road transport sector namely INFRACON, ePACE and up-Scaled INAM PRO.
They were launched by the Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari as part of the Digital India Programme.
These innovative IT initiatives were developed in house by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) with an aim to make the road building procedure faster, more transparent and more efficient.
INFRACON: It is National Portal for Infrastructure Consultancy Firms and Key Personnel.
ePACE (Projects Appraisal & Continuing Enhancements): It is an online integrated Management Information System (MIS) portal.
INAM PRO: It is a web-based application for Infrastructure and Material Providers launched in March 2015.
2. Indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile was successfully test-fired from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha.
It was carried out by Strategic Force Command (SFC) from a mobile launcher at launch complex-3 from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha.
Prithvi-II is a tactical short-range ballistic missile (SRBM), withstrike range of 350 km is developed by indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
3. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has successfully launched a super pressure balloon to conduct near-space scientific investigations. It was launched from South Island Wanaka Airport, New Zealand in the fifth attempt.
Earlier four attempts to get the massive balloon airborne were thwarted by bad weather.
The balloon is 532,000 cubic metres and aims to remain airborne for more than 100 days.
It is expected to circumnavigate the globe in the mid-latitudes of southern hemisphere once every one to three weeks, depending on wind speeds in the stratosphere.