1. Now Tripura is the most literate state in India
i. India's northeastern state of Tripura achieved the first position in literacy with 94.65 percent, beating Kerala (93.91 percent), Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar announced in Agartala on Sunday.
ii. "Tripura jumped to first position among the states of the country in literacy from the 12th position in the 2001 census and the fourth position in the 2011 census," Sarkar said at a function on the occasion of International Literacy Day.
iii. The Tripura success story is attributed to the involvement of local government bodies, including gram panchayats, NGOs and local clubs under the close supervision of the State Literacy Mission Authority (SLMA) headed by the chief minister.
Note: i. While Mizoram and Tripura are among the toppers in literacy in India, another northeastern state, Arunachal Pradesh (66.95 percent), is placed second-lowest in literacy in the country, just above Bihar, which recorded the least literacy of 63.82 percent.
ii. According to the 2011 census, literacy level is 93.91 percent in Kerala and 91.58 percent in Mizoram, among the most literate states in the country.
iii. The national literacy rate, according to the 2011 census, is 74.04 percent.
2. Chhattisgarh selected for National Literacy Award
i. Chhattisgarh has been selected for this year's prestigious National Literacy Award for the first time since its formation in November 2000.
iii. In 2001, the literacy rate of Chhattisgarh was 64.66 per cent, which has been increased to 70.28 per cent in 2011. The women literacy rate was more than that of men during this period.
iv. Chief Minister Raman Singh and School Education Minister Brijmohan Agrawal have congratulated the officers, employees, motivators and instructors involved in the Literate India Programme for this achievement.
3. Nagaland first to use VVPAT device for voting
i. Nagaland on Wednesday became the first state to use the high-tech voter recording system 'Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail' (VVPAT) with Electronic Voting Machines for the by-elections to Noksen Assembly constituency.
ii. VVPAT is a device attached with EVMs which leave a verifiable paper trail of votes cast in an election.
iii. It allows the voter to check whether his vote has been recorded with the candidate he had wished to vote for in the EVM.
4. PM releases commemorative stamp on Lala Jagat Narain
i. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday released a commemorative stamp in memory of freedom fighter and veteran journalist Lala Jagat Narain.
ii. The Rs five denomination stamp was released on his 32 death anniversary in the presence of Union ministers, chief ministers, members of his family and the Hind Samachar Group which he founded.
iii. The veteran journalist was shot dead near Ludhiana on this day in 1981 when terrorism in Punjab was at its peak.
iv. Even in jail, he contributed to the freedom struggle by working as a secretary to Lala Lajpat Rai.
v. He was again jailed for three years for participating in the Quit India Movement and spent a total of nine years behind the bars during the freedom struggle.
5. FDI up 6 pc to USD 10.87 bn in Jan-Jun 2013
i. Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India increased by 6 percent year-on-year to USD 10.87 billion during the first six months of this year.
ii. According to data from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the country had received USD 10.27 billion of FDI in January-June, 2012.
iii. Sectors that received large FDI inflows include hotels and tourism, pharmaceuticals, services, chemicals and construction.
iv. Most of the inflows came from Singapore, Mauritius, the Netherlands and the US.
v. India needs about USD 1 trillion to fund infrastructure such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth.
vi. An increase in FDI will help support the rupee, which depreciated to a record low of 68.85 against the US dollar on 28th August. It will also help in bridging the ballooning current account deficit.
6. EPFO may approve 8.5% interest rate for 2013-14
i. Retirement fund body EPFO is likely to announce an interest rate of 8.5 percent on provident fund deposits for 2013-14 to its over five crore subscribers, the same as provided for last fiscal.
ii. According to sources, the preliminary estimates indicate that the payment of 8.5 percent rate of interest will leave no deficit for the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and could rather leave some surplus for the body.
iii. EPFO paid 8.5 percent interest rate to its subscribers in 2012-13, which was higher than 8.25 provided in the 2011-12 fiscal.
7. Advantage Airtel, Vodafone as TRAI cuts spectrum base price by 60 %
i. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Monday announced a huge bonanza for mobile operators with a 50-60 per cent reduction in the reserve price for various spectrum bands.
ii. The regulator has also proposed to introduce a flat spectrum usage charge of 3 per cent of the annual revenue instead of the existing staggered payment system where operators with more spectrum have to pay a higher revenue share.
iii. The TRAI has brought down the reserve price for the 1800 Mhz spectrum band to Rs 1,496 crore per Mhz pan-India. In November, spectrum in this band was sold at Rs 3,900 crore for each 1.25 Mhz pan India. I
iv. In March, the reserve price for four circles, including Delhi and Mumbai, was brought down by 30 per cent but it found no takers. Therefore, TRAI has decided to bring down the price further. Delhi, for example, was priced at Rs 485 crore for each 1.25 Mhz slot and now the TRAI has proposed to sell this at Rs 175 crore for 1Mhz slot.
v. Now the regulator has proposed to fix the base price at Rs 288 crore for 1MHz spectrum in Delhi and Rs 262 crore in Mumbai. This will benefit incumbent players such as Airtel and Vodafone, who currently own this spectrum.
vi. However, TRAI has not proposed any future roadmap for CDMA players, including Sistema Shyam and Reliance Communications. The TRAI has not specified any fresh base price for the CDMA spectrum.
vii. The TRAI proposals will now be considered by the Department of Telecom before it is finalised by the Empowered Group of Ministers.
8. Centre to launch Rajiv Awas Yojana soon
i. Government will soon launch Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) to make the country Slum Free.
ii. Addressing a Press conference in New Delhi today, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Dr. Girija Vyas said that the implementation phase of the Scheme will be run on a mission mode during 2013-2022.
iii. She said the Government has approved 32,230 crore rupees for the implementation of the scheme during 12th Five Year Plan.
iv. This programme will cover all towns, cities and urban agglomerations in the country during its implementation phase.
9. Agartala to get Country’s first broad gauge by 2016
i. North-East Frontier Railway will bring Agartala in the country's broad gauge rail network by 2016.
ii. "Agartala is scheduled to get broad gauge facility by March 2016," NFR Chief Engineer (Construction) Harpal Singh said.
iii. "If the required fund is available, NFR will be able to extend the broad gauge rail connectivity to Agartala within the stipulated time," he said.
iv. Works for conversion in BG a small meter gauge track from Lumding to Silchar in Assam was in full swing and likely to be completed by March 2015, Singh said.
10. Ritu Rani to lead Indian women's hockey team in Asia Cup
i. Veteran midfielder Ritu Rani will lead an 18-member Indian women's hockey team in the eighth Asia Cup to be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from September 21 to 27.
ii. Ritu has 157 India appearances to her credit. The 18-member squad will have another mid-fielder Chanchan Devi Thokchom (88 caps) as the vice-captain.
iii. The team's training camp is has been underway in Patiala since August 8 as final preparations for the tournament. The team will depart for Malaysia on September 16.
iv. India are placed in Pool A with China, hosts Malaysia and Hong Kong China while Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei are placed in Pool B.
v. India will open their campaign against Hong Kong China on September 21 followed by China on September 22 and hosts Malaysia on September 24.
vi. The Women's Asia Cup is the continental qualification tournament for the FIH Women's World Cup 2014 to be played in The Hague, The Netherlands from 31 May-14 June 2014.
11. Italian documentary 'Holy GRA' wins Venice Golden Lion
i. Italian director Gianfranco Rosi's documentary "Holy GRA", which looks into everyday life off a Rome ring road, won the Golden Lion for best movie at the Venice film festival on Saturday.
ii. The director said he had spent years preparing and researching for the film and thanked "the characters for allowing me into their lives." "Holy GRA" was one of an unprecedented two documentaries in the running for the Lion, and Rosi said it had been a "huge act of courage" to let them compete.
iii. The film glimpses into the lives of a former aristocrat in a kitsch palace, an ambulance man who rushes to save car crash victims on the ring road and an elderly bushy-bearded father who shares a tiny apartment with his daughter.
iv. The best actor prize went to Greece's Themis Panou for his role as father to a family which harbours a deep secret in Alexandros Avranas's "Miss Violence".
v. Avranas was awarded the Silver Lion award for best director for the film, which shocked audiences with a chilling tale of incest and child suicide.