Daily Current Affairs: 9th February 2020: The Hindu+PIB
The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.
As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.
Table of Contents
Context: The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind has greeted fellow-citizens on the eve of birthday of Guru Ravidas.
WHO IS GURU RAVI DAS? Ravidas was an Indian mystic poet-saint of the Bhakti movement during the 15th to 16th century CE. He is venerated as a guru (teacher) in the region of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The devotional songs of Ravidas have had a lasting impact upon the Bhakti Movement. He was a poet-saint, social reformer and a spiritual figure. LIFE AND LITERARY WORKS OF GURU RAVIDAS According to some scholars, he was born in 1371 CE. According to the tradition and medieval era texts, Ravidas was one of the disciples of the bhakti saint-poet Ramananda and a contemporary of the bhakti saint-poet Kabir. Ravidas’ devotional songs were included in the Sikh scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib. The Panch Vani text of the Dadupanthi tradition within Hinduism also includes numerous poems of Ravidas. Ravidas taught removal of social divisions of caste and gender, and promoted unity in the pursuit of personal spiritual freedoms. The Adi Granth of Sikhs, and Panchvani of the Hindu warrior-ascetic group Dadupanthis are the two oldest attested sources of the literary works of Ravidas. The compilation of poetry in Adi Granth responds to, among other things, issues of dealing with conflict and tyranny, war and resolution, and willingness to dedicate one’s life to the right cause. Ravidas’s poetry covers topics such as the definition of a just state where there are no second or third class unequal citizens, the need for dispassion, and who is a real Yogi.
The songs of Ravidas discuss Nirguna-Saguna themes, as well as ideas that are at the foundation of Nath Yoga philosophy of Hinduism. He frequently mentions the term Sahaj, a mystical state where there is a union of the truths of the many and the one. A political party was founded in India in 2012 by the followers of Ravidas, with the word Begumpura (Be-gam-pura, or “land without sorrow”), a term coined in a poem by Ravidas. The term means the city where there is no suffering or fear, and all are equal. There is a small chhatri (umbrella) in front of Meera’s temple in Chittorgarh district of Rajasthan which bears Ravidas’ engraved foot print.
Context: The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, paid homage to Dr Zakir Hussain, former President of India, on his birth anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
ABOUT DR. ZAKIR HUSSAIN Hailing from Hyderabad, Dr. Zakir Husain Khan (8 February 1897 – 3 May 1969) was an Indian economist and politician who served as the third President of India, from 13 May 1967 until his death on 3 May 1969. He previously served as Governor of Bihar from 1957 to 1962 and as Vice President of India from 1962 to 1967. He was also the co-founder of Jamia Milia Islamia, serving as its Vice-chancellor from 1928. Under Husain, Jamia became closely associated with the Indian freedom movement. In 1956–58 he served on the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He was awarded theBharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour,in 1963. During his presidential tenure, Husain led four state visits to Hungary, Yugoslavia, USSR and Nepal. With the main objective of providing facility for higher education in Ilayangudi, a college was started in his honour in 1970. The Engineering College of Aligarh Muslim University is named after him.
Context: Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) recently operationalized the first ever helicopter services from Dehradun’s Sahastradhara helipad to Gauchar, and Chinyalisaur under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN) of Government of India.
This isUttarakhand’s First Heli Service under theUDAN Scheme. BACKGROUND MoCA awarded the Sahastradhara-Gauchar-Chinyalisaur route to Heritage Aviation under the UDAN 2 bidding process. For the Heli services, Viability Gap Funding (VGF) is provided under UDAN to keep the fares affordable for the common people. The helicopter services from the Sahastradhara helipad to Gauchar and Chinyalisaur had been the long pending demand of the people residing in the hilly areas. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS ASSOCIATED? The services on this route will boost the tourism sector in the Uttrakhand region and will also assist the Chaar Dhaam Yatra pilgrims as Gauchar is en route to Badrinath and Chinyalisaur is en route to Gangotri in the Uttarkashi district. Heli services under UDAN are currently being operationalised between Chandigarh to Shimla, Shimla to Dharamshala & Shimla to Kullu. ABOUT RCS-UDAN UDAN-RCS, UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) is a regional airport development and “Regional Connectivity Scheme” (RCS) of Government of India. OBJECTIVE: “Letting the common citizen of the country fly” and making air travel affordable and widespread, to boost inclusive national economic development, job growth and air transport infrastructure development of all regions and states of India. The scheme has two major components:
- The first component is to develop new airports and enhance the existing regional airports to increase the number of operational airports for scheduled civilian flights from 70 (in May 2016, total 98 operational including army airports) to at least 150 airports (by December 2018) with regular scheduled flights.
- The second component is to add several hundred financially-viable, capped-airfare, new regional flight routes to connect more than 100 underserved and unserved airports in smaller towns with each other as well as with well served airports in bigger cities by using “Viability Gap Funding” (VGF) where needed.
- Union government share of “Viability Gap Funding” is from the cess applied to flights to popular routes to main cities and respective state governments have also offered additional benefits to the flight operators to make UDAN-RCS viable.
UDAN-RCS Round-I concluded in April 2017. UDAN-RCS is both enabler and beneficiary of other key Government of India schemes, such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Dedicated Freight Corridors, Industrial corridor, BharatNet, Digital India and Make in India, National e-Governance Plan, Startup India and Standup India.
Recently, 4th round of UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) was launched to enhance the connectivity to regional areas of the country. This phase is to focus on Hilly states, North East Region, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and Islands. In phase 1, around 43 airports were constructed under the scheme. It includes water aerodromes and heliports as well. In phase 2, around 30 airports were constructed and in phase 3, 33 airports were constructed.
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Context: The Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying since 2015-16 has been implementing Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) on Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries with a total central outlay of Rs.3000 crore for development of fisheries.
The CSS is being implemented in all the States and Union Territories to supplement their efforts by providing financial assistance for development of fisheries sector in the country.
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has eight fisheries research institutes and thirty three research centres which are located at different strategic location. The Institutes and research centres of ICAR are located in the States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Assam and have been extending their services to different stakeholders of the country.
Under the CSS, financial assistance is also provided to ICAR Institutes for various fisheries related activities like technology upgradation, fish disease surveillance and control programme, propagation of fisreries technologies and fish culture activities.
WHAT IS BLUE REVOLUTION?
Blue Revolution, the Neel Kranti Mission has the vision to achieve economic prosperity of the country and the fishers and fish farmers as well as contribute towards food and nutritional security through full potential utilization of water resources for fisheries development in a sustainable manner, keeping in view the bio-security and environmental concerns.
Key Objectives of the Revolution
Fully tap the total fish potential of the country both in the inland and the marine sector and triple the production by 2020.
Transform the fisheries sector as a modern industry with special focus on new technologies and processes.
Double the income of the fishers and fish farmers with special focus on increasing productivity and better marketing post-harvest infrastructure including e-commerce and other technologies and global best innovations.
Ensure inclusive participation of the fishers and fish farmers in the income enhancement.
Triple the export earnings by 2020 with focus on benefits flow to the fishers and fish farmers including through institutional mechanisms in the cooperative, producer companies and other structures.
Enhance food and nutritional security of the country.
The restructured Plan Scheme on Blue Revolution – Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries has been approved at a total central outlay of Rs 3000 crore for implementation during a period of 5 years (2015-16 to 2019-20).
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries has restructured the scheme by merging all the ongoing schemes under an umbrella of Blue Revolution. The Blue Revolution scheme has the following components:
National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its activities
Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture
Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post-Harvest Operations
Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector
Institutional Arrangement for Fisheries Sector
Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and other need-based Interventions
National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen
Central Financial Assistance
Broad patterns of Central funding for new projects under four components viz
(a) National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its activities,
(b) Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture,
(c) Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post- Harvest Operations and
(d) National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen are as below:
- 50% of the project/unit cost for general States, leaving the rest to State agencies/organisations, corporations, federations, boards, Fishers cooperatives, private entrepreneurs, individual beneficiaries.
- 80% of the project/unit cost for North-Eastern/Hilly States leaving the rest to State agencies/Organizations, Cooperatives, individual beneficiaries etc.
- 100% for projects directly implemented by the Government of India through its institutes/organisations and Union Territories.
In case of projects under the remaining three components scheme, there shall be implementation with 100% central funding. These three components include:
(i) Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector,
(ii) Institutional Arrangement for the Fisheries Sector and
(iii) Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and other need-based interventions.
Apart from above, individual beneficiaries, entrepreneurs and cooperatives/collectives of the Union Territories shall also be provided Central financial assistance at par and equal to such beneficiaries in General States.
The scheme would be implemented through the following agencies:
Central Government, Central Government Institutes/Agencies, NFDB, ICAR Institutes etc.
State Governments and Union Territories
State Government Agencies, Organisations, Corporations, Federations, Boards, Panchayats and Local Urban Bodies
Fishers Cooperatives/Registered Fishers Bodies
Individual beneficiaries/fishers, Entrepreneurs, Scheduled Castes(SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) Groups, Women and their Co-operatives, SHG’s and Fish Farmers and miscellaneous Fishermen Bodies.
Context: Two Assessment Frameworks, viz. Ease of LivingIndex (EoLI) and Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2019 have been launched by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs in order to assess quality of life of citizens in 100 Smart Cities and 14 other Million Plus Cities.
Municipal Performance Index 2019: With the help of this Index, the Ministry will assess the performance of municipalities based on 5 enablers namely Service, Finance, Planning, Technology and Governance.These 5 enablers have been further divided into 20 sectors which will be evaluated across 100 indicators. This will help Municipalities in better planning and management, filling the gaps in city administration, and improving the liveability of cities for its citizens. Ease of Living Index 2019: The Ease of Living Index is aimed at providing a holistic view of Indian cities – beginning from the services provided by local bodies, the effectiveness of the administration, the outcomes generated through these services in terms of the liveability within cities and, finally, the citizen perception of these outcomes. The key objectives of the Ease of Living Index are four-folds, viz.
- To generate information to guide evidence-based policy making;
- To catalyse action to achieve broader developmental outcomes including the Sustainable Development Goals;
- Assess and compare the outcomes achieved from various urban policies and schemes;
- To obtain the perception of citizens about their view of the services provided by the city administration.
EoLI 2019 will facilitate the assessment of ease of living of citizens across three pillars :
- Quality of Life;
- Economic Ability;
These three pillars are further divided into 14 categories across50 indicators. It is for the first time that a Citizen Perception Survey is being conducted on behalf of the Ministry, as part of the Ease of Living Index Assessment. The Survey carries 30% of the marks of the Ease of Living Index.
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Context: Union Human Resource Development Minister met with PISA coordinator in the first ever meeting to discuss the preparations of INDIA for PISA 2021. Officer from World Bank and senior officials of MHRD were also present during the meeting.
ABOUT PISA 2021 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international assessment that measures 15-year-old students’ reading, mathematics, and science literacy every three years. It was first conducted in 2000, the major domain of study rotates between reading, mathematics, and science in each cycle. PISA also includes measures of general or cross-curricular competencies, such as collaborative problem solving. PISA is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries, and is conducted in the United States by NCES. In 2012 PISA test, schools of Shanghai in China topped reading, mathematics and science test, followed closely by Singapore. In 2015, Singapore, Japan and Estonia were ranked as top three countries, in that order. PISA 2018: PISA 2018 assessed students’ science, reading, and mathematics literacy in about 80 countries and education systems. Reading was the focal subject of the 2018 data collection, as it was in 2009. PISA 2018 also included the optional assessment of financial literacy which the United States administered. The results of PISA 2018 were presented on 3 December 2019, which included data for around 600,000 participating students in 79 countries and economies, with China’s economic area of Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang emerging as the top performer in all categories. India’s participation in PISA:
- India had taken part in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2009 and bagged the 72nd rank among 74 participating countries.
- Then UPA government had boycotted PISA, blaming “out of context” questions for India’s dismal performance.
- Later, the HRD Ministry, under the NDA-II government, revisited this decision in 2016 and the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) had set up a committee to review the matter and submitted its report in December 2016.
- The report recommended for participation in test in 2018. However, India missed the application deadline for the 2018 cycle.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an inter-governmental economic organisation with 36 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. Most OECD members arehigh-income economieswith avery high Human Development Index (HDI)and are regarded asdevelopedcountries.
As of 2017, the OECD member countries collectively comprised 62.2% of global nominal GDP (US$49.6 trillion) and 42.8% of global GDP (Int$54.2 trillion) at purchasing power parity. The OECD is an official United Nations observer.
The OECD’s headquarters are at the Château de la Muette in Paris, France. The OECD is funded by contributions from member countries at varying rates and had a total budget of €374 million in 2017.
Context: Indian Railways is committed to make its Railway Stations and trains accessible for Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) as part of “Sugamya Bharat Mission” or Accessible India Campaign of Government of India.
ABOUT ACCESSIBLE INDIA CAMPAIGN Accessible India Campaign or Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan is a program which is set to be launched to serve the differently-able community of the country. The program comes with an index to measure the design of disabled-friendly buildings and human resource policies. The flagship program has been launched by the Prime Minister on 3 December 2015, the International Day of people with Disabilities. The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has conceptualised the “Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan)” as a nation-wide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility that will enable persons with disabilities to gain access for equal opportunity and live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life in an inclusive society. The initiative is also in line with the Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which India is a signatory since 2007. The scheme also comes under Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 under section 44, 45, 46 for equal Opportunities and protection of rights which provides non-discrimination in Transport to Persons with Disabilities. COMPONENTS OF THE CAMPAIGN Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) has the following three important components:
- Built Environment Accessibility
- Transportation System Accessibility
- Information and Communication Eco-System Accessibility
STRATEGY: A multi-pronged strategy will be adopted for the campaign with key components as:
- Leadership endorsements of the campaign,
- Mass awareness,
- Capacity building through workshops,
- Interventions (legal frame-work, technology solutions, resource generation, etc.
- Leverage corporate sector efforts in a Public-Private Partnership.
WHAT IS THE NEED AND MILESTONES PROPOSED BY THE CAMPAIGN? According to the 2011 Census of India, 2.21% of the population or approximately 26.8 million Indians suffer from a disability. The major milestones includes:
- Atleast 50% of all the government buildings of National Capital and all the State capitals will be made fully accessible for persons with disabilities by July 2018.
- Conducting audit of 50% of government buildings and converting them into fully accessible buildings in10 most important cities / towns of all the States (July 2019).
All the international airports in the country and railway stations of A1, A & B categories will be made fully accessible by July 2016 and conducting accessibility audit of all the domestic airports and converting them into fully accessible airports(March 2018).
Ensuring that A1,A & B categories of railway stations in the country are converted into fully accessible railway stations (July 2016).
Ensuring that 50% of railway stations in the country are converted into fully accessible railway stations (March 2018).
Ensuring that 25% of Government owned public transport carriers in the country are converted into fully accessible carriers (March 2018).
Conducting accessibility audit of 50% of all government (both Central and State Governments) websites and converting them into fully accessible websites (March 2017).
Ensuring that at least 50% of all public documents issued by the Central Government and the State Governments meet accessibility standards (b).
Developing and adoption of national standards on captioning and sign-language interpretation in consultation with National media authorities. (July 2016)
Ensuring that 25% of all public television programmes aired by government channels meet these standards.(March 2018)
Context: According to the new papers the most comprehensive gene map ever of the genes whose departures from normal behaviour — mutations — trigger a cascade of genetic misbehaviours that eventually lead to cancer.
WHAT IS THIS NEW STUDY?
In a major international collaboration called the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG), researchers has published a series of papers after analysing 2,658 whole-cancer genomes and their matching normal tissues across 38 tumour types. After their studies, they have arrived to a conclusion that “On average, cancer genomes contained 4-5 driver mutations when combining coding and non-coding genomic elements; however, in around 5% of cases no drivers were identified, suggesting that cancer driver discovery is not yet complete.” HOW IS THIS STUDY IMPORTANT? This is certainly the largest genome study ever conducted of primary cancer. There is a need of separate study of various kinds of cancers because cancers of different parts of the body often behave very differently from one another; so much so that it is often said that cancer is not one disease but many. As per the previous studies, focus was only on the 1% of the genome that codes for proteins. The Pan-Cancer Project explored, in considerably greater detail, the remaining 99% of the genome, including key regions that control switching genes on and off. The researchers identified 16 types of structural variation signatures in the genes ultimately leading to cancer. The study holds a significance as it allows doctors and researchers from all over the world to look things up, consult and find information about the cancer of a given patient. WHAT IS THE STATUS OF CANCER BURDEN IN INDIA? According to the recent WHO report, approximately, 1 in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime, and 1 in 15 Indians will die of cancer. Cancer is the second most-frequent cause of death worldwide, killing more than 8 million people every year; incidence of cancer is expected to increase by more than 50% over the coming decades. According to a recent analysis, published in The Lancet Global Health, that looked about 9.7 million deaths that happened in India in 2017, the Northeastern states, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Haryana, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh account for 44% of the cancer burden in India. TREATMENT OF CANCER IN INDIA
- The Government is implementing National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS), with a focus on strengthening infrastructure, human resource development, health promotion & awareness generation, early diagnosis, management and referral to an appropriate level institution for treatment. In order to tackle the challenge of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD), including cancer, a total of 616 NCD Clinics at District level and 3,827 NCD Clinics at Community Health Centre level have been set up under NPCDCS.
- Population level initiative for prevention, control and screening for common NCDs (diabetes, hypertension and common cancers viz. oral, breast and cervical cancer) has also been rolled out under the National Health Mission (NHM) in over 215 districts. Under NHM support is provided to States/UTs to provide free essential medicines and diagnostic services for primary and secondary health care needs.
- Screening of common NCDs including three common cancers i.e. oral, breast and cervical is also an integral part of service delivery under Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres.
- Strengthening of Tertiary Care for Cancer Scheme, in order to enhance the facilities for tertiary care of cancer, is setting up of 19 State Cancer Institutes and 20 Tertiary Care Cancer Centres.
- Further, Oncology is also one of the focus areas in case of new AIIMS and many upgraded institutions under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). Setting up of National Cancer Institute at Jhajjar,Haryana and strengthening of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, are also steps in the same direction.
- In Government hospitals, cancer treatment is either free or highly subsidized. Treatment of cancers is also available under Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).
- Besides this, Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) Deendayal outlets have been opened at 195 Institutions/Hospitals with an objective to make available Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases drugs and implants at discounted prices to the patients.
- Under the umbrella scheme of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi, financial assistance is provided to families living below threshold poverty line for their treatment, including treatment of cancer, in Government hospitals.
Context: The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) handed over Sharang, the first 130mm M-46 artillery gun upgraded to 155mm to the Indian Army. What is SHARANG?
Sharang is the 130mm artillery gun ‘up-gunned’ to 155mm, 45 calibre up-gunning based on the Army’s tender.
The gun’s range has now gone from 27 km to over 36 km with the upgrade. It also has more explosive capability and hence and more damage potential. In all, OFB will upgrade 300 130mm guns to 155mm and the contract will be completed in 4 years. This step will reduce the logistic trail of the Army as it does away with the need to carry 130mm shells and support equipment as the mainstay of the Army’s long range artillery is 155mm guns. BACKGROUND In October 2018, Ministry of Defence and the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board signed agreements to upgrade the artillery guns. The Sharang upgrade kit costs less than 7- lakh rupees per gun. ABOUT ORDINANCE FACTORY BOARD (OFB) It is an industrial organisation, functioning under the Department of Defence Production of Ministry of Defence, Government of India. It is engaged in research, development, production, testing, marketing and logistics of a comprehensive product range in the areas of air, land and sea systems. OFB is the world’s largest government-operated production organisation, and the oldest organisation run by the Government of India. TheOrdnance Factory Boardwas set up in1775 atFort William, Kolkata. The Board governs around41 factories of Indiaat 24 different location. There are10 such factories in Maharashtra,9 in UP, 6 in MP, 6 in TN, 4 in West Bengal, 2 in Uttaranchal, 1 in Telangana, Chandigarh, Bihar andOdisha. It is often called the “Fourth Arm of Defence”, and the “Force Behind the Armed Forces” of India. OFB is the 37th largest defence equipment manufacturer in the world, 2nd largest in Asia, and the largest in India. According to a report by SIPRI, India is the largest producer in the category of ’emerging producers’ in 2017, with four companies ranked in the Top 100. The two largest Indian arms producers, Indian Ordnance Factories and Hindustan Aeronautics are the highest ranking (37th and 38th respectively) companies in 2017 among countries in the emerging producers’ category. Headquarters: It has its headquarters as follows:
- OFB’s office at Esplanade, Kolkata
- Armoured Vehicles Headquarters, Chennai (AVHQ)
- Ordnance Equipment Factories Headquarters, Kanpur (OEFHQ)
- Ordnance Factory Board, New Delhi Office (OFBNDO)
- Ordnance Factory Cell, Mumbai (OFBMUM)
- Ordnance Factories Recruitment Centre, Nagpur (OFRC)
- Ordnance Factory Board, Kolkata (OFBHQ)
Every year,18 March is celebrated as theOrdnance Factory Dayin India.
EXTRA BITE: Recently, a book ‘A Child of Destiny’, penned by Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao has been released by President of India.
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