GK Edu Wrap – Weekly – 1st April 2015 to 4th April 2015

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National:

1. The Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, 2015 was passed by the Gujarat Assembly. The bill is a re-worked version of the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill (GUJCOC), 2003, which was earlier rejected twice by the President. It was rejected in 2004 and 2008 by the then Presidents APJ Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil respectively.

2. The term MPGO (Multi-Parametric Geophysical Observatory) was in news as the Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated Port Blair Magnetic Observatory (PBMO) at Shoal Bay No. 8 in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The observatory is a part of the network of 14 MPGOs which has been set up by the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) under Union Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. The purpose of the observatories is to monitor seismic and co-seismic signals by using multi techniques.

3.  Union Ministry of Finance allocated 1500 crore rupees to Andhra Pradesh for the construction of necessary infrastructure in the new capital. Out of the 1500 crore rupees sanctioned 1000 crore rupees are meant for essential amenities and 500 crore rupees for administrative buildings.

4. World Justice Project (WJP) released the Open Government Index 2015. Out of the 102 countries assessed in the 2015 Index, Sweden topped the list in terms of openness in the government. It is followed by New Zealand and Norway at second and third place respectively. Cambodia, Iran, Myanmar, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe are positioned last in the Index.

India has been placed at the 37th position in the 2015 Index. India scored 0.54 with 27th rank, 0.50 with 66th rank, 0.58 with 43rd rank and 0.65 with 39th rank among the surveyed countries in terms of publicised laws and government data, right to information, complaint mechanisms and civic participation respectively.

5. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) proposed three policy initiatives to enhance security of women in the country under the Nirbhaya Fund. The initiatives are: Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF), Investigative Units on Crime Against Women (IUCAW) and an initiative to prevent and monitor obscene online content.

6. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for the Approach and Key Components of e-Kranti: National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) 2.0. “e-Kranti” is an important pillar of the Digital India programme and the programme has been envisaged by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).

7. Virbhadra Singh, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh launched part one of e-Vidhan Mobile app. The app could be accessed by all the members 45 minutes before the question hours on android and tablets having information about the day business. With this launch, Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha became the first state assembly in the country to launch e-Vidhan Mobile app. This e-Vidhan system will help the state to save about 8 crore rupees per annum that is spent on the paper.

8. Former Union Minister and veteran Congress Party leader Paty Ripple Kyndiah died on 26 March 2015 due to cardiac arrest. He was 87. He had served as the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) in 2004 under the UPA-I government led by Manmohan Singh. He retired from active politics in 2009 prior to the Lok Sabha polls.

9. The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) under the Union Ministry of Agriculture approved the creation of Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS). The purpose of the scheme is to provide interest free advances towards working capital to the government agencies which are involved in procurement and distribution of perishable agri-horticultural commodities. The hassle-free flow of funds will enable the agencies to regulate volatile prices of commodities in an effective manner.

10. Andhra Pradesh Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu approved that Amaravati will be the new capital city of the state. The capital will come up at Tullur in Vijayawada-Guntur region of the state.

11. Odisha Government launched a cheap meal scheme Aahar for providing subsidised food to urban poor. The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the occasion of State’s Foundation Day, that is, Utkala Diwas. In the first phase, the scheme was launched in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Rourkela.

12. Renowned Hindi poet Kailash Vajpeyi died on 1st April 2015 due to cardiac arrest in a private hospital of Saket in New Delhi. He was 79.

13. India launched a massive air and sea operation called Operation Raahat to evacuate over 4000 Indian nationals from Yemen. The operation will involve total of five ships and four aircrafts.

14. Rajasthan Government opened women milk bank Jeevan Dhara in Jaipur. It was inaugurated by Health Minister Rajendra Rathore. The move is aimed at curbing the high infant mortality rate of Rajasthan. The state Government launched the bank in collaboration with Norwegian government and JK Lon Hospital. The bank would store milk from donating lactating mothers that can be used for feeding infants who are deprived of it.

15. Vice President of India Hamid Ansari released a book titled Aatank Ke Saaye Men written by Garima Sanjay. She is a professional author & documentary filmmaker by profession.

16. Punjab Government has launched ‘Padho Punjab- Khedo Punjab Mission’ i.e. Learn Punjab- Play Punjab Mission. It is a special mission launched to provide school students a separate period in the curriculum for playing along with studies. The purpose of the mission is to encourage more youngsters towards sports to produce quality players for the country. This will also inculcate the sportsmanship spirit and competitiveness amongst them.

17. India’s largest trapdoor spider has been found in Dang district of Gujarat. The 3 cm long spider was documented by researchers from MS University’s (MSU) Department of Zoology. The spider which belongs to the genus (class) ‘Idiops’ was also reported for the first time in Gujarat. Trapdoor spider is known to grow to the size of 1.5 cm.

18. Sunita Tomar, the face of India’s anti-tobacco campaign, died on 1 April 2015 at her native village in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh. She was 28. In 2014, she shot a 30-second video titled Sunita highlighting the devastating effect of smokeless tobacco. In the video she shared her experience, which later was used by the government for its anti-tobacco drive to warn people against consumption of smokeless gutkha and pan masalas.

19. Union Government launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) – India Scheme. The scheme was launched with an aim to boost sales of eco-friendly vehicles in the country. It is a part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility.

20. Union Government issued Guidelines for utilization of the Nirbhaya Fund with a corpus of 3000 crore rupees. The fund has been approved by the Union Finance Ministry. The Nirbhaya Fund was set up by Union Government under which various departments can seek money from the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) for schemes to improve safety and security of women in the country.

International:

1. Prime Minister of Peru Ana Jara was sacked after she lost the vote of confidence in Congress. Congress voted 72 to 42 to censure Jara, with two abstentions. The Peruvian Prime Minister was forced to step down over alleged domestic spying. This is the first time in half a century that the Congress of Peru deposed a Prime Minister. It was the first such vote since 1963, and only the third in the past century.

2. Myanmar Government and 16 ethnic rebel groups signed a draft nationwide cease-fire agreement. The draft is aimed at ending more than 65 years of civil unrest and armed conflict in the country. The agreement witnessed by Myanmar’s President U Thein Sein was signed between the Union Peace-making Working Committee and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team at the Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon.

3. China and Sri Lanka signed five agreements to deepen development partnership between the two countries. The agreements were signed in Beijing during the maiden visit of Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena to China after assuming the office in January 2015.

4. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Baghdad for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other top officials. He is also due to meet President Fuad Masum, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi.

5. Book titled “God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican” authored by Gerald Posner was released on 3 February 2015.

6. Japan organised the world’s first Otaku Expo from 28 March 2015 to 29 March 2015 at Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba Prefecture. The Expo was organized as a part of a special comic book fair held every five years, which attracts about half a million visitors. The term “Otaku” is commonly used in the country to refer to people obsessed with Japan’s unique take on comics and animation.

7. Former military ruler General Muhammadu Buhari won the Presidential election in Nigeria. He defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan by more than two million votes. With this historic win, Buhari became the first opposition candidate in history of Nigeria to win a presidential election.

8. Recently released Country Threat Index (CTI) by US-based intelligence think tank- Intel Center has placed Pakistan eighth in the list of the most dangerous countries in the world as of March 2015. Iraq is on the top, followed by Syria, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine & Egypt.

9. The global community pledged financial support of USD 3.8 billion to crisis hit Syria at the third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria held in Kuwait city. The financial aid will help the United Nations (UN) organisations and partners to meet urgent needs of victims of Syria’s civil war and neighbouring countries. The UN-led conference was attended by representatives of 78 nations and 38 humanitarian organisations.

10. Misao Okawa, the World’s oldest person died in Japan at the age of 117 and 27 days. She was awarded the Guinness World Records title of oldest living person as well as the oldest living woman on 27 February 2013, a few days before her 115th birthday.

Appointment:

1. Wipro’s chief business operations officer and former TCS veteran Satishchandra Doreswamy has resigned from the company, weeks after India’s third largest software exporter unveiled a new organizational structure and appointed Abid Ali Neemuchwala as its chief operating officer (COO).

2. Sony appoints Sunil Nayyar to head consumer electronics in US. He is the first Indian executive to move to such role in the Japanese major directly from India.

3. Ronen Sen and Farida Khambata will be Non-Executive Independent Directors of Tata Sons Limited.

4. Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba took over charge as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Naval Command. He took the charge from Vice Admiral SPS Cheema at a ceremonial parade held at the Naval base in Kochi.

5. The Uttar Pradesh government today appointed Amit Mishra as Agriculture Production Commissioner. Mishra, Chairman of UPSRTC and State Vigilance Commission, has been appointed in place of V. N. Garg, who retired on 31st March 2015.

6. Justice Sunil Kumar Sinha was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court (HC). He was appointed by the President Pranab Mukherjee in accordance with the Article 217 (1) of the Constitution of India.

7. Gulshan Rai took charge as India’s first cyber security chief under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as Special Secretary for cyber security. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2015 had created this new post in PMO and had appointed Rai as its head.

8. Vijay L. Kelkar, the Chairman of the 13th Finance Commission, resigned from the Tata Chemicals Board. He was appointed on the Board of Tata Group firm on 30 May 2012.

9. N. Venkatram replace Udayan Sen as the new CEO of Deloitte.

Mergers & Acquisition:

1. Snapdeal acquires majority stake in RupeePower. Through RupeePower.com, Snapdeal now plans to offer loans to consumers, and has targeted disbursements of $1 billion (about Rs 6,200 crore) over the next 24 months.

2. World’s largest e-commerce firm Alibaba signed digital distribution deal with Germany’s music rights group BMG in a bid to become a digital media empire.

3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sanctioned the scheme of amalgamation of ING Vysya Bank Ltd. with Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. The Scheme will come into force with effect from 1 April 2015. With this sanction, all branches of ING Vysya Bank will function as branches of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Awards & Recognition:

1. Dr. Subadhra Devi Rai, a nurse and a senior lecturer at the School of Health Sciences (Nursing) at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore, will receive an international achievement award for her work in the healthcare sector of women and refugees, becoming the first Singaporean to get the prestigious biennial prize.

Economics:

1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a monetary penalty of five lakh Rupees on 16 Central Co-operative Banks (CCBs). The penalty was imposed for non-adherence of the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering guidelines.

2. Insurance Australia Group Ltd (IAG) announced that it will raise its stake in SBI General Insurance (SBIGI) from 26% to 49%.

Sports:

1. Kyle Mills of New Zealand retired from all forms of International Cricket. The 36-year-old Mills was a member of New Zealand’s 15-man World Cup Squad but didn’t play in any of its nine matches.

2. Mustafa Kamal resigned as ICC president, as he was denied the honour of handing over the World Cup winners’ trophy.

3. Hockey India conferred Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award on legendary Balbir Singh Senior. As an award, he received a trophy and a cash prize of 30 lakh rupees.

4. Hockey India conferred the inaugural Hockey India Annual Awards:

List of Awards
• The Dhruv Batra Award for Player of the Year (Men and Women) awarded to Birendra Lakra and Vandana Katariya.
• Jaman Lal Sharma Award for Invaluable Contribution (for coaches and support staff) awarded to Harendra Singh.
• Hockey India President Award for Outstanding Achievement conferred to One Thousand Hockey Legs for its exceptional contribution towards the sport.

Six awards named after players who represented India in the past included:
• The Jugraj Singh Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Men – Under 21) awarded to Harmanpreet Singh.
• Asunta Lakra Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Women – Under 21) to Namita Toppo
• Baljit Singh Award for Goalkeeper of the Year awarded to PR Sreejesh
• Pargat Singh Award for Defender of the Year to Deepika
• Ajit Pal Singh Award for Midfielder of the Year given to Manpreet Singh and
• Dhanraj Pillay Award for Forward of the Year awarded to Akashdeep Singh

Science & Technology:

1. Motorola opens India’s first Moto Care store at Jayanagar Road in Bangalore.

2. The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) 1-D satellite was launched successfully by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The satellite will provide navigation, tracking and mapping services.

3. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) the corporate entity of Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) launched novel green project that can generate 120 MW power. It is first of its kind green project launched in Indian Steel Industry that can generate pollution free captive power using 100 per cent Blast Furnace Gas and Coke Oven Gas.

4. Amazon and IBM  announced their plans to enter the IoT (Internet of Things) marketpace. IBM is setting up a separate IoT unit with an investment of USD 3 billion in the next four years. Amazon introduced Dash Button on its devices which help the devices connect with the internet.

IoT - loT refers to a network of devices which are embedded with electronic sensors and data transmitting technologies and connected over the internet. By using the Internet the data collected by sensors in a device can be transmitted to other networked devices and systems. The technology goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications. The technology helps in developing smart devices which work using information provided on a real time basis.

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