GK Edu Wrap – 7th April 2015

National:

1. Dena Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India to provide insurance cover to all Aadhaar-linked savings account holders of the bank in the age group of 18 to 50 years. The insurance cover will be provided under the Prime Minister’s Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJBY) scheme.

2. Piplantri Village of southern Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district was in news in second week of March 2015. This village not only embraces daughters but also created a tradition of planting 111 trees every time on the birth of a girl child. The village came into news, at the time when documentary India’s Daughters created national debate. The documentary portrayed violence against women like rape and abuse in India. The tradition was started by village’s former sarpanch Shyam Sundar Paliwal in 2006. He started the initiative in the memory of his daughter Kiran, who died a few years ago.

3. The Supreme Court (SC) of India asked the Union Government to re-examine the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and make it more stringent at least in cases pertaining to heinous crimes like rape and murder.

4. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to deepen partnership between Indian companies and the bank in those countries where the bank has operations.

5. Scientists from four research institutions in Kerala discovered a rare species of plant named Oldenlandia dineshi from Palakkad region of Western Ghats. The plant species named Oldenlandia dineshi is a shrub with long linear tapering leaves and dark blue flower. The flowering period is from July to September and fruiting from September to October. The species has been named in honour of TK Dinesh Kumar, former Professor of Botany, University College, Thiruvananthapuram.

6. Major Indian Steel Companies signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Union Ministry of Steel for setting up of Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) in New Delhi. The primary objective of SRTMI is to promote collaborative Research and Development (R&D) programmes between the ministry and steel industries in priority areas of national importance in the steel sector.

7. The Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) slapped Rs. 570 crore excise duty fine against confectionery giant Cadbury India Limited. The fine was slapped for allegedly evading excise duty by fraudulently taking exemption for one of its unopened production units in Himachal Pradesh.

8. First indigenously-built Scorpene Submarine was undocked at the Mazagaon Dockyard Limited (MDL) in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The undocked submarine was named Kalvari and is expected to be commissioned into Indian Navy by September 2016. The submarine is part of the Indian Navy’s ambitious submarine programme- Project 75. This programme is undertaken in collaboration France to build fleet of six such submarines. Remaining 5 Submarines will delivered by the MDL to the Indian Navy by 2020 and will form core of the navy’s submarine arm for the next two decades.

9. A three party MoU was signed between Union Ministry of Textiles, Maharashtra government and National Textile Corporation for transfer of land for construction of the memorial for Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial at Indu Mills, Mumbai. The MoU was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union textile minister Santosh Gangwar in New Delhi.

10. The Supreme Court (SC) of India said that divorced Muslim women are entitled to seek maintenance from their ex-husbands. They are entitled for maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) which provides the same relief to wives, children and parents.

11. The Chestnut-breasted Partridge (Arborophila mandellii) was photographed by a Bengaluru-based wildlife photographer Gururaj Moorching in the first week of April 2015. The bird was spotted in West Kamang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The click was the first-ever photograph of the bird endemic to the Eastern Himalayas whose scientific name was given by an Italian naturalist and is classified as hill patridge.

International:

1. The President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain promulgated the General Elections 2013 Inquiry Commission Ordinance 2015 to inquire into the organization and conduct of the 2013 elections. The ordinance was promulgated on the demand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which alleged that the ruling party Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz (PML-N) was involved in rigging by printing fake ballot papers to win the elections.

Appointment:

1. Ms. Manimekalai Murugesan, presently Ambassador of India to Romania has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Albania, with residence in Bucharest.

Sports:

1.  Rajeev Shukla was re-appointed as the chairman of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) Governing Council by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). His appointment came just a day before the opening ceremony of the IPL-8 in Kolkata. Former Union Minister and Congress leader Shukla was the IPL chairman till 2013 when he resigned from the post in the aftermath of the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

2. Indian chess Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika won the bronze medal in the World Women’s chess championships along with Swedish Grandmaster Pia Cramling. In the semifinal match played at Sochi in Russia, Harika lost to Ukraine’s Mariya Muzychuk and settled to Bronze medal with US $ 20,000.

Mergers & Acquisition:

1. Online search giant Google entered into a strategic partnership with consulting firm Price water house Coopers (PwC) to target Digital India Projects and large enterprise deals. With the Indian partnership, Google wants to push itself into large e-governance projects and improve the sales for its cloud services in India. Google is already working with the government on several projects, including MyGov, the citizen engagement platform of the government of India, to launch a nationwide contest to build a mobile app.

Microsoft in the end of March 2015 announced a similar partnership with KPMG to include a global collaboration to deliver new suites of innovative solutions and services in data and analytics, cloud compliance and transformation and business solutions.

Both Google and Microsoft have been aggressively trying to be a part of the 1.13-lakh crore rupees Digital India initiative that seeks to transform the country into a connected economy, attract investment in electronics manufacturing, and create millions of jobs and support trade.

Awards & Recognition:

1. Pratap Singh, a 15-year-old Indian-origin schoolboy in the United Kingdom was awarded with the 500 pounds Institute of Physics (IOP) Prize. The prize also includes a trip to a national physics-related activity. He was awarded for conducting an experiment that verified an effect of Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

2. Syrian-Lebanese Arab poet Adonis has been chosen for 2015 Kumaran Asan World Prize for poetry. Adonis was born as Ali Ahmad Said Esber in Western Syria in 1930. Since 1985, he had settled in Paris, France.  His famous work includes- If Only the Sea Could Sleep, Pages of Day and Night, Songs of Mihyar the Damascene, Not A Star, A Voice, A King is Miyhar, The Adoring Rock, Take me to God.

Economics:

1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept the repo rate unchanged at 7.5%. Raghuram Rajan also kept the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 4%.

Important Days:

1. World Health Day (WHD) 2015 was observed globally on 7th April 2015. The theme for the year is “From farm to plate, make food safe”.

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