1. Bombay Flying Club Becomes Country’s First DGCA-approved Drone Training School

The Bombay Flying Club has become the first DGCA-approved drone training school of the country.

The DGCA approved the club’s application “for conducting remote pilot training for remotely piloted aircraft systems”.

The ministry has started the registration process from June 8 for non-compliant drones which were not registered with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and have not been granted drone acknowledgment numbers (DANs).

On June 5, the ministry had issued draft rules for manufacturing and use of drones in the country wherein it has proposed that an authorised drone manufacturer or importer can sell its devices only to an individual or entity approved by the DGCA.

2. Govt notifies changes in FDI norms on civil aviation; permits NRIs to own 100% stake of Air India

The government has notified changes in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms on civil aviation. It will permit non-resident Indian nationals to own 100 percent stake of Air India.

Last month, the government for the third time extended the deadline to bid for Air India. The deadline was extended by two months till August 31st.

The divestment process for the national carrier was initiated on January 27th.

3. India’s first solar ferry Aditya, Wins Gustave Trouve Award

Aditya, India’s first solar-powered ferry that commenced operations in 2017 in Kerala’s Vembanad backwaters, has won the prestigious Gustave Trouve Award for Excellence in Electric Boats and Boating.

The ferry was adjudged the world’s best electric boat in the category of ferries designed for paid passenger service.

The Aditya, from Navalt Boats, is a sun-powered commuter ferry.

Every day it makes 22 trips with 75 people on board, that’s 580,000 people a year.

The awards, handed out for the first time, is the world’s only such honour given to individuals and companies building and innovating in state-of-the-art electric boats.

4. Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur Tops Niti Aayog’s Aspirational Districts Ranking for Feb-June

In accordance with the delta rankings for aspirational districts by government think-tank Niti (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh has topped the list of aspirational districts in Overall Delta Ranking for the February-June 2020 period.

Bijapur has been followed by Ri-Bhoi (Meghalaya) and Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh) at 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.

The delta rankings for aspirational districts considers an incremental progress in five developmental areas viz.

Health and Nutrition, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development and Basic Infrastructure .

5. Indian-origin author Avni Doshi’s debut novel among 2020 Booker Prize longlist

A debut novel ‘Burnt Sugar’ authored by Avni Doshi has been published in the United Kingdom (UK) and it was one among the 13 authors longlisted for the prestigious 2020 Booker Prize.

A version of the same novel has been published in India under the title Girl in White Cotton.

The Book narrates the story about a woman, Tara who abandoned her loveless marriage to join ashram and ended as a beggar.

She passes her years as a homeless artist with her daughter Antara. The daughter tends to care for her mother who least cared for her in her childhood.

Avni Doshi is on the 2020 Booker Prize longlist for her debut novel ‘Burnt Sugar’. The Book, ‘Burnt Sugar’ was also shortlisted for the Tata First Book Prize in 2019.

6. ADB approves 3 million US Dollar to India to fight against COVID-19

Asian Development Bank has approved USD 3 million (equivalent to Rs 22 crore) grant to India from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund to support India’s battle against COVID-19.

The grant is financed by the Japanese government.

It will be used to seek thermal scanners, enhancement of disease surveillance and early detection, contact tracing, and treatment.

7. Earth Sciences Ministry announces National Awards for excellence in Earth System Science

Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) National Awards for excellence in Earth System Science have been announced.

This year the Life Time Excellence Award is being awarded to Professor Ashok Sahni for his significant contribution in the field of Geology, Vertebrate Paleontology and Biostratigraphy.

The National Award for Ocean Science and technology is being awarded to Dr. V. V. S. S. Sarma, Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Vishakapatnam and Dr. M. Ravichandran, Director, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Goa.

The National Award for Atmospheric Science and technology will be presented to Dr. S. Suresh Babu.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is mandated to provide the nation with the best possible services for weather, climate, ocean, coastal and natural hazards, for the Public Safety and socio-economic benefits.

The Ministry also deals with exploration and sustainable harnessing of ocean resources – living and non-living.

The Ministry also plays a nodal role for Antarctic, Arctic, Himalayas and Southern Ocean research.

8. Pawan Hans launches first UDAN-RCS heli service in Uttarakhand

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS, Civil Aviation flagged off the first helicopter service by Pawan Hans in Uttarakhand under the UDAN-RCS scheme on 29 July.

So far, 274 UDAN routes have been operationalized to connect 45 airports and 3 heliports since the launch of the first UDAN flight in April 2017.

The opening of these new routes and heli service are expected to bring people of the Uttarkhand closer and support tourism in the region.

The new heli service will enable connectivity between Dehradun, New Tehri, Srinagar and Gauchar.

It will enhance the aerial connectivity between hilly regions in Uttarakhand.

It will reduce the average travel time to 20-25 minutes. 

The move will assist the Chaar Dhaam Yatra pilgrims.

9. Veteran Bollywood Actor Kumkum Passed Away at 86 in Mumbai

Veteran Bollywood Actor Kumkum due to age related ailments passed away at the age of 86 in her residence in Bandra, Mumbai, Maharashtra. She was born as Zaibunnissa on 22nd April 1934 in Sheikhpura district, Bihar.

She was casted for an uncredited role in ‘Aar Paar’ and featured in small roles in films like ‘Pyaasa’.

She was popularly known for the songs featuring her like ‘Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re’ from Kohinoor (1960) and “Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar” from Aar Paar(1954).

10. Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal’s three-year ban reduced to 18 months

Pakistani cricketer, Umar Akmal’s ban has been halved to 18 months and will run from February 2020 to August 2021. The cricketer stated that he will appeal for more reprieve.

The 30-year-old’s sentence was reduced by independent adjudicator Faqir Mohammad Khokhar on “compassionate” grounds.

The batsman was initially slapped with a three-year ban after the PCB charged him for two breaches of Article 2.4.4 of its Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents on March 17.

The incidents were related to failing to report corrupt approaches.

However, the cricketer is not satisfied with the reprieve and will fight for a complete lifting of the suspension.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling on his appeal.

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