5, October 2016

1.Sagar Port Project — ROAD-CUM-RAIL BRIDGE

Source: PIB

  • The Central Government has given in principle approval to a grant of Rs. 515 crores to make the development of the proposed Sagar Port project in West Bengal financially viable.
  • This is part of the continuous efforts by the Ministry of Shipping during the last two years for the development of this port.
  • A Special Purpose Vehicle, Bhor Sagar Port Limited (BSPL) has been incorporated for the implementation of the project, with Kolkata Port Trust holding 74% equity and the Government of West Bengal holding 26% equity.

Road-cum-rail bridge: WHERE IT IS?

  • A road-cum-rail bridge is proposed over the river Muriganga to connect the Sagar island to the mainland Sagar island is an island in the Ganges delta, lying on the continental shelf of Bay of Bengal about 100 km south of Kolkata, WEST BENGAL.
  • National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) has prepared the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for this road-cum-rail bridge.
  • The connectivity of this road-cum-rail bridge to the National Highways network and the railway network has also been taken up in right earnest.
  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has agreed, in- principle, to take up widening of NH-117 to a four-lane road from Kakdwip to Joka and up to the rail-cum-road bridge to the Sagar Island.

2.Mission Raftaar

Source: PIB

  • The Mission Raftaar project of the Indian Railways has now picked up and started yielding results.
  • Under this project measures are being taken to raise average speed of both passenger carrying trains and freight carrying trains. The Mission is being spearheaded by a cross disciplinary mobility Directorate in the Railway Board. The average speed is reckoned as one of the key indicators of all the railway productivity and efficiency in operations and utilization of assets.
  • Ghaziabad – Allahabad – Mughalsarai Route is Taken Up on Priority Basis Trains on this Section Now Runs With Improved Average Speed.

3.Indian Bridge Management System (Ministry of Road Transport & Highways)



IBMS is being developed to create an inventory of all bridges in the country and rate their structural condition so that timely repair and rehabilitation work can be carried out based on the criticality of the structure.

How it operates?

  • During inventory creation each bridge is assigned a unique identification number or National Identity Number based on the state, RTO zone and whether it is situated on an National Highway, State Highway or is a district road.
  • Then the precise location of the bridge in terms of latitude-longitude is collected through GPS and based on this, the bridge is assigned a Bridge Location Number.
  • Thereafter, engineering characteristics like the design, materials, type of bridge, its age, loading, traffic lane, length, width of carriage way etc are collected and are used to assign a Bridge Classification Number to the structure.
  • These are then used to do a structural rating of the structure on a scale of 0 to 9, and each bridge is assigned a Structural Rating Number.
  • The rating is done for each component of the structure like integral and non integral deck, superstructure, substructure, bank and channel, structural evaluation, deck geometry, vertical clearance, waterway efficiency etc.
  • In addition to the structural rating, the bridges are also being assigned Socio-Economic Bridge Rating Number which will decide the importance of the structure in relation to its contribution to daily socio-economic activity of the area in its vicinity.


  1. Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) – Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions – (Certificates of Appreciation to the Ministries/ Departments for their performance in CPGRAMS)

Source: PIB

The CPGRAMS is an online web enabled application to facilitate speedy redress of public grievances as it allows for online lodging and status tracking of grievances by the citizens.

The system is flexible enough to be extended to multiple levels as per the requirement of concerned Ministry/Department/ Govt. Organization for speedy forwarding and redress of grievance.

  • The aim of the Government is to have minimum Government and maximum Governance with citizen centric approach.
  • Award Scheme is expected to bring a sense of competitiveness in Ministries/ Departments to address public grievances.

4.International Buddhist Conclave-2016 opens its sessions in Sarnath Uttar Pradesh (Ministry of Tourism)


Swadesh Darshan Scheme –  Ministry of Tourism

‘Spiritual Circuit’ identified under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, the thrust is on development of particular thematic circuit consisting of various religious/spiritual destination in a State and Union Territory.

Thirteen thematic circuits have been identified, for development namely:

North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.

Buddhist circuit:

 the Tourism Secretary  this is the first time when the International Buddhist Conclave is being organized in the premises of Sarnath.

India is prepared for developing a trans border Buddhist Circuit across ASEAN & SAARC countries to enhance movement of Buddhist pilgrims in the region from remaining parts of the world.

‘India- The Land of Buddha’ with an objective to showcase India as Buddhist destination  and “Creating Buddhayana Sangha” for the worldwide community of Buddhist including the Sangha in supporting India’s vision to develop Buddhist Circuits and awaken the world of Buddha’s India.

About World Tourism Organization (UNWTO):

  • The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
  • UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
  • UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts.
  • Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development worldwide.
  • UNWTO’s membership includes 157 countries, 6 Associate Members and 500 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.

‘PRASAD’ scheme the focus is on development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations- Ministry of Tourism.

5.PM remembers Shyamji Krishna Varma on his birth anniversary


  • Pandit Shyamji Krishna Verma was one of those staunch nationalists and patriots who lived in England and mentored the cause of India’s freedom from the British rule.
  • Shyamji Krishna Verma was a great disciple of Swami Dayanand Saraswati and became the first President of Bombay Arya Samaj.
  • He started the publication of a monthly ‘Indian Sociologist’ which became a vehicle of revolutionary ideas. In February 1905, he established the Indian Home Rule Society to raise his voice against British domination in India.
  • Shyamji Krishan was also an admirer of Lokmanya Tilak and supported him during the Age of Consent bill controversy of 1890. However, he rejected the petitioning, praying, protesting, cooperating and collaborating policy of the Congress Party.
  • Krishna Varma believed in Spencer’s dictum: “Resistance to aggression is not simply justified, but imperative”.


6.Nobel Prize in Physics

Source: The Hindu

British trio of physicists David Thouless, F Duncan M Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz have won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has selected them for their individual researches on theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.


Topology is a branch of math that studies what properties are preserved when objects are stretched, twisted, or deformed.

7.SBI branch in Myanmar

Source: The Hindu

  • State Bank of India (SBI) has announced the opening up its foreign branch in Yangon, the capital city of
  • With this, SBI became the first domestic bank of India to open a branch in Myanmar.
  • The Yangon branch is the 54th foreign branch of the SBI.
  • This branch extends the global presence of India’s largest lender in 37 countries through 198 offices.

8.LIGO India Project:

Source: The Hindu

Maharashtra State Cabinet has decided to hand over 40.68 hectare government land to the Atomic Energy Department to build the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory Project (LIGO India Project) at Dudhala village in Hingoli district.


  • The scientific goals of the project are in the area of astronomy and fundamental physics.
  • Gravitational waves are predicted as an essential element of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.
  • The strongest sources of gravitational waves are among the enigmatic objects in our universe: black holes, neutron stars, supernovae, even the Big Bang.
  • Extracting the information carried by the waves to address questions in both physics and astronomy depends on our ability to identify where the individual sources are on the sky. This requires a network of detectors spread widely over the Earth.
  • LIGO operates two sites in the United States and collaborates with a similar detector in Italy (Virgo). Together they can triangulate sources over part of the sky.
  • LIGO-India will enable scientists to locate sources over the entire sky.
  • The ellipses on the sky maps below show how much more accurately sources can be found with LIGO-India. The dramatic improvement with LIGO-India is the key scientific motivation for this project.

The proposed LIGO-India project aims to move one Advanced LIGO detector from Hanford to India. LIGO-India project is envisaged as an international collaboration between the LIGO Laboratory and three lead institutions in the IndIGO consortium: Institute of Plasma Research (IPR) Gandhinagar, Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune and Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore.


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