29, October 2016

1.Mission Madhumeh – AYUSH

Source: PIB

First Ever National Day of Ayurveda

The First ever National Ayurveda Day is being celebrated throughout the country on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti.

“Prevention and Control of Diabetes through Ayurveda” was held in the capital New Delhi.

2.GSTN signs MoU with DGFT for sharing of foreign exchange realisation data – Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Source: PIB

The Goods and Services Network(GSTN) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) for sharing of foreign exchange realisation and Import Export code data, a move that is expected to strengthen processing of export transactions of taxpayers under GST, increase transparency and reduce human interface.


  • An electronic bank realisation certificate (eBRC) captures transaction level details of foreign exchange realised in India.
  • The eBRC project implemented by DGFT created an integrated platform for receipt, processing and subsequent use of all Bank Realization related information by exporters, banks, central and state government departments.
  • The e-BRC project enabled banks to upload foreign exchange realisation information related to exports on to the DGFT server under a secured protocol.
  • eBRC data has proved to be a significant step in reducing the transaction cost of exporters. A Bank Realisation Certificate (BRC) is required for discharge of export obligation and claiming of incentives under Foreign Trade Policy.
  • Its is also used by state government departments for refund of VAT. In addition, it is an important economic indicator as it quantifies transaction level export earnings.

In addition, Ministry of Finance, Enforcement Directorate and Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority have signed MoU with DGFT for receiving e-BRC data.


3.Himachal Pradesh declared India’s Second Open Defecation Free State – Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation

Source: PIB

The State of Himachal Pradesh was declared Open Defecation Free (ODF), making it the second State in the country (after Sikkim) to achieve the feat.

With this, Himachal Pradesh has successfully achieved a total rural sanitation coverage of 100% in the State, with all 12 out of 12 districts in the State being both, declared as well as verified, as ODF.

4.World’s largest marine protected area declared in Antarctica

Delegates from 24 countries and the European Union have agreed that the Ross Sea in Antarctica will become the world’s largest marine protected area (MPA).

Some 1.57m sq km (600,000 sq miles) of the Southern Ocean will gain protection from commercial fishing for 35 years.

Environmentalists have welcomed the move to protect what’s said to be the Earth’s most pristine marine ecosystem.

They hope it will be the first of many such zones in international water.

5.India, Russia agree to double the range of BrahMos Missile

Source: The Hindu

With MTCR membership, the missile can be modified to reach 600 km

India and Russia have agreed to double the range of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile that the two produce together from 290 km to over 600 km.

Agreed to improve the BrahMos missile, which will be land, air and sea launched.

Enhanced capability:

Extending the range will significantly enhance the stand-off capability and the operational radius in striking targets.

Combined with its speed and accuracy it a major force multiplier.


BrahMos, which is one of its kind, has already been deployed by the Army and the Navy in anti-ship and precision strike roles respectively. The air version is at present undergoing testing.


When the two countries teamed up to develop the missile in 1998, which is based on the Russian Yakhont anti-ship missile, its range was limited to 290 km as Russia was a member of MTCR but India was not. While it was a joint development, most of the critical systems on board the missile, including the seeker, come from Russia.

BrahMos Missile

  • BrahMos is one of its kind supersonic cruise missile. Named from the names of two rivers, India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River.
  • It operates on fire and forget principal and is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against sea and land targets.
  • It is capable of carrying a warhead of 300 kilogram and has top supersonic speed of Mach 3 (that is, three times the speed of sound).
  • It is two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant.

Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

  • MTCR was established by G-7 countries in 1987. –  Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the United States.
  • It is only an informal political understanding and not an official treaty with legally binding obligations.
  • The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), complete rocket systems and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload for at least 300 kms, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
  • India became the 35th country to join the regime.

6.Arrest of staffer violates Vienna Convention, says Pakistan

Source: The Hindu

Pakistan has accused India of violating the international convention for protection of diplomats after New Delhi briefly detained a staffer of the Pakistan High Commission.

Indian security agencies recently arrested a Pakistani High Commission staffer on allegations of espionage. The charges are that he was found to be in possession of defence-related documents. Soon after the arrest, however, he was released, declared persona non grata, and informed that he must leave India within 48 hours.

What is the Vienna Convention?

It’s a treaty that came into force in 1964, which lays out the rules and regulations for diplomatic relations between countries as well as the various privileges that diplomats and diplomatic missions enjoy. One of these privileges is legal immunity for diplomats so that they don’t have to face prosecution as per their host country’s laws.

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