Punjab Directorate wins NCC National Games

Punjab Directorate on 27 October 2016 won the 2016 National Cadet Corp (NCC) National Games. Subhash Bhamre, Minister of State for Defence, presented trophies to the winners at the closing ceremony at Delhi Cantonment.

The NCC Games aim to provide the talented sportsmen among the cadet exposure of a major sporting event while preparing them with the requisite matching temperament towards furthering their sporting careers.

Key highlights of the closing ceremony

 The closing ceremony began with hundreds of young blossoming cadets performing a display of a choreographed dance with the theme Vibrant India.

 The Sarang Helicopter aerobatic team performed a well synchronized show.

 There was a smart march past by the participating sportsmen formed in 17 Directorate contingents, led by cadets mounted on their stallions carrying the National, Services and the NCC Flag symbolising Unity and Discipline.

 The ceremony attended by the NCC cadets from 17 directorates all over India, presented a moving picture of aspirational India on their journey to becoming worthy empowered citizens with sound values, inculcated by a common powerful binding force.

Sunil Bharti Mittal appointed as Chairman of GSMA

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, was on 27 October 2016 appointed as Chairman of GSMA. As GSMA Chairman, Mittal will oversee the strategic direction of the organisation.

Mittal will succeed Jon Fredrik Baksaas, who will step down from the GSMA board at the end of 2016. 

On the other hand, the company re-elected Mari-Noëlle Jego-Laveissiere, Executive Vice President, Innovation, Orange Group as Deputy Chairman. It also elected the new members of the 26-member Board of the company.

About Sunil Bharti Mittal
• Mittal took over as Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) early this year. 
• He also serves on the boards and councils of several reputed international bodies and think-tanks like the World Economic Forum (WEF), Telecom Board of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Broadband Commission, Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council. 
• He is also a Trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and on the Board of Qatar Foundation Endowment.

About the GSMA
• The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.
• The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences.
• The GSMA Board has 26 members, including 25 operator representatives from the world’s largest operator groups as well as smaller, independent operators with global representation.

Union Cabinet gives approval for sale of over dozen PSUs

Union Cabinet on 27 October 2016 gave its in-principle approval to NITI Aayog’s proposal for strategic sale of over a dozen public sector undertakings (PSUs).

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the names of PSUs that are up for strategic stake sale would be made public once they are going to be put up for the auction. This list does not include PSUs for closure. 

The recommendations of the NITI Aayog on disinvestment and strategic sale came up for consideration and the Cabinet in principle approved the recommendations with regard to some of the units.

Highlights of the Decision 

• Each case would be considered separately after it has been examined by the Department of Disinvestment and the Ministries concerned.

• The strategic sale will involve a management control transfer as the shareholding of the government would come down to below 50 per cent.

Union Cabinet approves Cadre Review of Indian Posts

The Union Cabinet on 27 October 2016 approved the first Cadre Review of IP&TAFS.

The key features of the Cadre Review of IP&TAFS:

 Reduction of the total strength of the cadre from 420 to 376.
 Creation of one Apex level post of Controller General of Communication Accounts (CGCA).
 Creation of one additional HAG+ level post taking the grade strength to 2.
 Creation of two additional HAG level posts taking the grade strength from 6 to 8.
 Creation of 18 additional SAG level posts taking the grade strength from 37 to 55.
 Reduction in JAG level posts from 111 to 90.
 Reduction in STS level posts from 198 to 86.
 Creation of 21 JTS level posts taking the grade strength from 67 to 88.
 Creation of 46 Posts to be operated as Reserves.

About Indian Posts & Telecommunications Accounts and Finance Service

 The Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service is a Group A Central Civil Services of the Union of India.

 The Service was started in the year 1972 for prudent and professional management of the finances of the Department of Posts and Department of Telecommunications, which were the sole provider of the communications needs of the country at that time.

 Gradually, over time the service has crystallized into a professional cadre of over 225 officers.

 In 2013, 9 officers were recruited through Civil Services Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission.

 In Department of Telecommunications, the IP&TAFS performs the functions of assessment and collection of license fee/ spectrum usage charges, spectrum auction, USO scheme monitoring and subsidy management, exchequer control, budgeting, accounting, pension disbursement, internal audit and finance advice.

 In the Department of Posts, the IP&TAFS is entrusted with the functions of finance advice, budgeting, tariff and costing, accounting and internal audit.

AIR's entry on dwindling tiger habitats wins ABU award

All India Radio’s (AIR’s) entry Diary of a Tiger (एक बाघ की डायरी) in October 2016 won the first prize in the Community Service Announcement category of the prestigious Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) awards for the year 2016.

Dairy of a Tiger was declared the winner at an award ceremony held in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of ongoing 53rd ABU General Assembly and Associated Meetings. The award includes a trophy, certificate and cash prize of 2000 US Dollars.

Abhinay Srivastava received his award by Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) in association with RRI (Radio Republic Indonesia) & MMIT (Ministry of Communication and Informatics), Indonesia.

About Diary of a Tiger (एक बाघ की डायरी)

  • The programme was produced by Abhinay Srivastava, Programme Executive, AIR Allahabad.
  • The selected programme is an 89 second spot in Hindi on the dwindling forests and gradually decreasing habitat of tigers.
  • It reflects through the notes inscribed by the successive generations of tigers in a diary format on their gradual decreasing numbers due to apathetic behaviour of human beings.

ABU Prizes 2016 (Radio) included six categories

  1. Drama
  2. Documentary
  3. News Reporting
  4. Community Service Announcement (CSA)
  5. Interactive Programmes
  6. Innovative Programmes

AIR had submitted its entries in four categories namely, Drama, Documentary, CSA and innovative categories.


Drama Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Iran Vibration
Documentary Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), Hong Kong An Age of Our Own:

War Times – 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the End of WWII

News Reporting Radio and Television of the People’s Republic of China (RTPRC) | China National Radio (CNR), China 36 Days
Community Service Announcement (CSA) All India Radio (AIR), India Diary of a tiger
Interactive Programme Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)


Iranian Online
Innovative Programme Radio and Television of the People’s Republic of China (RTPRC) | China National Radio (CNR), China Chinese Voice – Chinese New Year
Special Jury Prize Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication, (BNNRC) | Radio Chillmari, Bangladesh The Destroyed Dream


India, New Zealand sign three pacts

India and New Zealand on 26 October 2016 signed three agreements in the areas of double taxation avoidance, food security and sports.

The agreements were inked in New Delhi in presence of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. John Key was on a three-day (25 October to 27 October 2016) visit to India.

List of agreements inked were

• Arrangement regarding Food Safety Cooperation: It was inked between the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and the Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand.

• MoU for cooperation in the field of Youth Affairs and Sports: It was inked between Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Sport New Zealand of the Government of New Zealand.

• Third Protocol to the Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income: It was inked between the Union Government and the Government of New Zealand.

Apart from this, the two nations also agreed to establish a Bilateral Ministerial Dialogue between two Foreign Ministries. They also agreed for establishment of Annual Foreign Ministry Consultations at Senior Officials Level and cooperation and Dialogue on Cyber Issues.

Besides, the two nations also held delegation level talks. Subjects discussed during the delegation level talks were

• Ways to further boost trade and investments between the two countries.

• The two sides agreed to continue to work closely towards an early conclusion of a balanced and mutually beneficial Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

• The two sides discussed and also agreed to strengthen the security and intelligence cooperation against terrorism and radicalization.

Legendary Kashmiri singer Raj Begum dies

Celebrated Kashmiri singer Raj Begum passed away on 26 October 2016 in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. She was 89.

Begum was one of the most recognized female singers in the Kashmir Valley. She had rendered thousands of songs from Radio Kashmir in Srinagar and in live concerts at other places in India and abroad.

About Raj Begum

 Raj Begum was born on 27 March 1927.

 She started singing at locality weddings before she joined Radio Kashmir in 1954. There she became one of the main melodies that the station would broadcast.

 She retired from the Radio Kashmir in 1986.

 There is no official record of how many songs she sang. However, her most famous song was “vyasiye gulan aavuy bahar, az saal antam baliyar (Dear friend, the flowers have started blooming and I hope that my beloved will come this year)”.

 She was also referred to as the Nightingale of Kashmir.

 She was awarded Padma Shri in 2002.

 She was bestowed with State award by Jammu and Kashmir government in 2009.

 She was honoured with the Sangeet Akademi award in 2013.

Haryana to observe 2017 as Garib Kalyan Varsh

Haryana Government has decided to observe 2017 as the “Garib Kalyan Varsh”. The announcement was made by Chief Minister Manohar Lal on 26 October 2016.

During the observation period of Garib Kalyan Varsh, the government would lay emphasis on welfare of poor people and generating employment opportunities for the youth.

Khattar, who completed two years in office, also said that the outgoing year (2016) was dedicated to Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya, which coincided with the Golden Jubilee of the state. Haryana was carved out of Punjab on 1 November 1966 on a linguistic basis. 

Besides, Khattar also said that the state government would make some announcements on 31 October and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would also launch a host of schemes on 1 November at Gurugram.

China's space lab launches micro-satellite, Banxing-2

Tiangong-2, the experimental space lab of China, on 23 October 2016 successfully launched a micro-satellite, Banxing-2 (the word means Companion Satellite). The micro-satellite is roughly the size of a desktop printer.

At present, Tiangong-2 is orbiting the Earth with two astronauts on board.

About Banxing-2

  • Weighing 47 kilograms, the micro satellite has a series of visible light cameras, including a 25 megapixel camera and wide-angle imagers.
  • Its mission is to take photographs of Tiangong-2 and the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft, which docked with the lab on 19 October 2016.
  • The satellite, which the media has nicknamed “Selfie Stick”, also has an infrared camera that is temperature – sensitive.
  • With three solar panels, the satellite can also generate enough power to adjust its orbit to shoot pictures of the lab and spacecraft.
  • The Shenzhou-11 spacecraft carried two astronauts into space on the 17 October 2016. It docked with Tiangong-2 two days later.

• In 2008, its predecessor, Banxing-1, did the same work for Shenzhou 7.

Portugal's Renato wins European Golden Boy Award

Portugal’s Renato Sanches on 24 October 2016 was awarded the 2016 European Golden Boy award.

Sanches will be handed a trophy at a Monte Carlo ceremony. He defeated Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Bayern’s Kingsley Coman and AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to bag the prize.

Sanches was selected following a vote by journalists from 30 newspapers across Europe to name the best player in 2016 under the age of 21.

About Renato Sanches

 Renato Sanches is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for German club Bayern Munich and the Portugal national team.

 He began his career at Benfica, a Portuguese sports club.

 Later, he agreed a move to Bayern Munich for an initial 35 million euro, the highest fee for a Portuguese player leaving the domestic league.

 He made his full international debut in March 2016.

 He was chosen for UEFA Euro 2016 at the age of 18, making him the youngest Portuguese to play in an international tournament. He scored one goal throughout the competition and won the Young Player of the Tournament.

About Golden Boy Award

 The Golden Boy is an award that is given by sports journalists to a young football player playing in Europe perceived to have been the most impressive during a calendar year.

 All nominees must be under the age of 21 and play in a European nation’s top tier.

 The prize was established by Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport in 2003.

 In 2015, the award was won by France’s Anthony Martial.