Majuli declared largest river island in world by Guinness World Records 
The Guinness World Records has officially designation Assam’s Majuli as the largest river island in the world. It is situated in the Brahmaputra River. The river island covering an area of around 880 sq km has toppled previous record held by Brazil’s Marajo island in the Amazon river. 

About Majuli island 
  • The fluvial riverine island is formed by the Brahmaputra river system. 
  • It is surrounded by Subanisri River in the North, main Brahmaputra River on the South and kherkatia Suli, split channel of Brahmaputra River in northeast. 
  • The island has total 144 villages with a population of over 160,000 and a density of 300 individuals per square km. Majuli island is mostly inhabited by Mishing tribal people. 
  • Apart from them, there are inhabitants from the Deori and Sonowal Kacharis tribes. On the island languages spoken are Mising, Assamese, and Deori
India ranks 35th in World Bank’s 2016 Logistics Performance Index
India has been placed at the 35th rank in the World Bank’s 2016 Logistics Performance Index (LPI) among 160 countries. The index was recently released by World Bank in its report titled ‘Connecting to Complete 2016’. India has leapfrogged by 19 spots to 35th rank compared with 54th rank in 2014 LPI. 

What is Logistics Performance Index (LPI)? 
  • LPI is released by World Bank as part of its report every two years based on a worldwide survey of stakeholders. 
  • It is based on the ground providing feedback on the logistics friendliness of the countries in which they operate and those with which they trade. 
  • The index measures countries across six components— Customs, infrastructure, international shipments, logistics quality and competence, tracking and tracing, and timeliness. 
  • It is an interactive benchmarking tool that helps countries to identify challenges and opportunities in trade logistics and also to improve their performance. 
India’s ranking in 2016 LPI: It stood at 38, 36, 39, 32, 33 and 42 in the components of Customs, infrastructure, international shipments, logistics quality and competence, tracking and tracing, and timeliness respectively.

First BRICS film festival begins in New Delhi
The first BRICS film festival has begun at the Sirifort Auditorium Complex in New Delhi. The film festival is the run up to the BRICS summit which is to be held in Goa in October 2016. It was inaugurated by Minister of State (MoS) for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore and Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V.K. Singh. 

Key Facts 
  • The film festival has been started with an objective to build bridges and bring harmony amongst the BRICS countries viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. 
  • The 5 day festival (September 2 to 6, 2016) will act as a platform for people of film industry of member countries to explore areas of cooperation in the domain of cinema, culture and cuisine. 
  • It will also celebrate the excellence of cinema by rewarding film makers, actors, producers and directors. 
  • The festival will ensure more people to people contact, especially youth among member countries.
Union Government notifies National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme
  • The Union Government has notified National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) for providing apprenticeship training to over 50 lakh youngsters in order to create more jobs. The Scheme has an outlay of 10,000 crore rupees with a target of 50 Lakh apprentices to be trained by 2019-20. It is first of its kind scheme notified to offer financial incentives to employers. 
  • Key Feature of Scheme 
  • NAPS will be implemented by Director General of Training (DGT) under the aegis of Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). 
  • Under it, Central Government for the first time will provide financial incentives to the employers to engage apprentices. Central Government will also directly share 25% of the total stipend (maximum of 1,500 rupees per month per apprentice) payable to an apprentice with employers. 
  • In addition, it will support basic training which is considered an essential component of apprenticeship training. 
  • The Central Government will bear the 50% of the total expenditure incurred on providing basic training to an apprentice. 
  • All transactions including registration by employers, apprentices, registration of contract and payment to employers will be made in online mode.

NASA Scientist for first time sequences DNA in Space
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the first time has successfully sequenced DNA in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The genome sequencing was undertaken for the first time in microgravity as part of the Biomolecule Sequencer experiment performed by NASA astronaut Kate Rubins. 

Key Facts 
  • The experiments were undertaken by using commercially available DNA sequencing device called MinION on samples of mouse, virus and bacteria DNA. 
  • The tests were set up for selected organisms whose DNA has already been completely sequenced in an attempt to make spaceflight conditions, primarily microgravity, the only variables that could account for differences in results. 
  • The technology demonstration experiments validated that the device is durable enough to withstand vibration during launch and can operate reliably in a microgravity environment.
Solung festival begins in Arunachal Pradesh
The annual socio-religious Solung festival of Adi tribe has started in Arunachal Pradesh. Solung is 5-day long agro-based festival is celebrated every year by the Adi tribe in the first week of September. 

Key Facts 
  • The Solung festival reflects the socio-religious features of the Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. Adi or ‘Bangni-Boker lhoba ’people are the major collective tribes living in the himalayan hills of ‘Nyingchi’ prefecture in Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • To mark the celebrations, people perform various rituals and make offerings to gods and goddesses during the celebration and pray for a bumper harvest. 
  • During the celebration, Mithun (Great Indian Bison) which is considered as holy animal and occupies an important religious significance among the Adis is sacrificed. 
  • People present gifts of meat and Apong (rice beer) to neighbours and relatives on the occasion thus cementing family and social relationships. 
  • The festival also reflects care and protection of animals which are vital components of their family and social life of Adi tribe
Indian Railways launches insurance scheme for passengers travelling on e- ticket
Indian Railways has launched an insurance scheme for passengers travelling on e- ticket. The insurance cover will be upto 10 lakh rupees. 
The insurance scheme was launched by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi. For this scheme, Indian Railways has roped in Shriram General Insurance Company, ICICI Lombard and Royal Sundaram General Insurance for providing the insurance cover. 

Key provisions of insurance scheme 
  • Person booking a train ticket through the IRCTC website will be eligible for the travel insurance and it is optional. To avail the facility, train passengers have to pay 92 paisa premium. 
  • The insurance cover will not be applicable for children upto 5 years of age and foreign citizens. The facility will be available only for confirmed and RAC ticket passengers. 
  • The scheme offers travellers or nominees a compensation of 10 lakh Rupees in the event of death or total disability, 7.5 lakh Rupees for partial disability. 
  • Besides it will pay upto 2 lakh Rupees for hospitalisation expenses and 10,000 rupees for transportation of mortal remains from the place of a train accident.
Gujarat signs MoU to build small airports
The Gujarat government has inked a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airport Authority of India (AAI). Under these MoUs, 11 small airports and airstrips will be developed under the Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) to boost regional air connectivity in the State.
With this, Gujarat became the third State after Jharkhand and Maharashtra to have signed such an agreement under the Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS). 

Under the MoU 
  • Gujarat and the Central Government will jointly undertake development and upgrading of infrastructure in 11 unserved or underserved airports and airstrips. 
  • These 11 unserved or underserved airports and airstrips are in Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Surat, Bhuj, Mehsana, Porbandar, Amreli, Mandavi, Kandla, Keshod and Deesa. 
  • The Central Government will provide the financial resources under viability gap funding of the RCS.
India’s first international conference on cooking gas begins in Odisha
India’s first international conference on cooking gas has started in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The 2-day conference was inaugurated by Jharkhand Governor Droupadi Murmu. 
It was also attended by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. 

Key Facts 
  • The conference has been organised by state-owned petroleum companies. It will deliberate on the need for an LPG-enabled household and use of traditional cooking fuels. 
  • It will focus on the need for an LPG enabled household, problems arising due to absence of cooking gas, the usage of traditional bio mass cooking fuels and their impact on both health and environment. 
  • The delegates from developing countries, such as Brazil, Ghana, Nigeria, Nepal and Sri Lanka are participating in this event.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed penalties on 10 cement companies and their umbrella association – Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) for cartelisation. The CCI has levied penalties on 10 cement companies viz. ACC, ACL, Binani, Century, India Cements, JK Cements, Lafarge, Ramco, UltraTech and Jaiprakash Associates. 

What is the case? 
  • The Builders Association of India (BAI) had filed complaint against the cement companies and the CMA alleging in fixing collectively prices of cement. 
  • It was alleged that these cement companies and the CMA shared details relating to prices, capacity utilisation, production and dispatch and thereby restricted output and supplies. 
  • Their collective was contravention of certain provisions of the Competition Act, 2002. 
  • It was also detrimental to the interests of consumers and the economy as cement is a critical basic input in construction and infrastructure industry.

Union Government constitutes AK Sinha Committee to study silt in river Ganga in Bihar
The Union Government has constituted four member expert committee to study silt in river Ganga in Bihar. The team will be headed by member of Ganga Flood Control commission A .K. Sinha. The committee will submit its report within 10 days. 
Other members of committee: 
Chief Engineer of Central Water Commission SK Sahu, Prof. of IIT AK Gosain and National Disaster Management Authority member Dr. Rajnish Ranjan

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