President of India confers Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for 2016
The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Fellowships and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for the year 2016 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 17 January 2018.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that art connects people with culture and the artists should use this power of art in the interest of the society and country. Further, the President appreciated the Sangeet Natak Akademi for honouring artists who are in the field of tribal music, dance, theatre and traditional folk arts. He said that these folk arts have kept the traditions of the country alive.
India successfully test-fires indigenously developed ICBM Agni-5
India on 18 January 2018 successfully test-fired the indigenously developed long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, Agni-5, off the coast of Odisha.
The state-of-the-art missile, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has a strike range of over 5,000 kilometres and can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne. According to defence sources, the missile covered 4,900 kilometres in 20 minutes in today's launch.
Unlike other missiles of Agni series, the latest one ‘Agni-5’ is the most advanced, as it is incorporated with new technologies in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine. In size, the missile is about 17 metres long, 2 metres wide and has a launch weight of around 50 tonnes.
The missile can hit most northern parts of China and other parts of Asia, Europe and Africa. Once this missile is inducted into Services, India will join the super exclusive club of countries with Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles alongside the US, Russia, China, France and the UK.
UK appoints Minister for loneliness!
The Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Theresa May on 17 January 2018 announced the appointment of Sports minister Tracey Crouch as the country’s first ‘Minister for loneliness’.
The move has been made to tackle the isolation felt by more than one in ten people in the UK. In her additional role, Tracey Crouch would be required to develop a strategy to address loneliness in the nation.
Speaking on the development, May said that for far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life. “I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones — people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with,” she added.
Virat Kohli named ICC cricketer of the year
Indian Captain Virat Kohli was named the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year at the ICC annual awards, which were announced in Dubai on 18 January 2018.
The award is courtesy the 29-year-old’s splendid form during the qualification period, which was from September 2016 till the end of 2017, when he knocked up a total of 2203 runs including 8 centuries in tests, 1818 runs with 7 centuries in ODIs and 299 runs in T20 Internationals.
This is the second time that Kohli has won the award, his first being in 2012. It is also the second time in succession that an Indian has won the overall cricketer of the year award. Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had claimed the honour in 2016.
China to fight pollution with world's largest air purifier!
China has constructed an experimental air purifying tower called the Xian smog tower, which is touted to be the ‘world’s biggest air purifier’ with a height of over 100 meters, to combat smog and air pollution.
The tower has managed to bring down the pollution levels in Xian from ‘critical’ to ‘moderate’ stage. The system works through greenhouses covering about half the size of a soccer field around the base of the tower.
According to the research head Cao Junji, the tower has resulted in more than 10 million cubic meters of clean air since the day it was launched.