Tuesday, 26 May 2015

19th March 2015

>>The Lok Sabha on 18 March 2015 passed the Warehousing Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

The Bill seeks to amend the Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962.

Key facts

  • Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill states that the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) has been awarded a Mini-Ratna Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) status by the Department of Public Enterprises.
  • The bill put to end the Central Government’s responsibility of being a financial guarantor to the CWC in order to follow the criteria to be a Mini-Ratna enterprise status.
  • The one of criteria of status states that enterprise should not have financial support and it must be independent of any budgetary support or guarantee by the government.
  • The proposed amendment in the bill omits certain sections relating to the government’s responsibility of being a guarantor to the CWC.
  • It should be noted that, the Central and state warehousing corporations are established under the Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962 for the purpose of warehousing agricultural produce and other commodities.

>>Election Commission has announced that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and ballot papers will carry photographs of candidates from 1 May 2015.

  • This move of EC seeks to avoid voters being misled by several namesakes in the election fray. In this regard EC has issued an order to all political parties and State Chief Electoral Officers for implementation.
  • EC also has modified the relevant provisions of law under the Conduct of Election Rules giving effect to the photo ballot papers and EVMs.
  • Henceforth, the photo of candidate will appear between the name and election symbol on the ballot sheet and EVM.  While for designing the new photo ballot papers, the EC has specified election candidates to supply stamp size recent photograph with specification of 2.5 cm width and 2 cm height.

>>Nobel Laureate Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been confirmed as President Elect of the Royal Society. 
  • His appointment was confirmed by the society’s council met on 19 March 2015 and will assume the charge on 1 December 2015.
  •  He will succeed eminent geneticist Sir Paul Nurse who had taken on the role in 2010 and will step down after the customary 5-year term.

About Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
  • Famously known as Venki. He was born in Chidambaram in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu.
  • He holds B.Sc. degree in physics from Baroda University and Ph.D. from Ohio University, United States.
  • In 2003, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
  • Ramakrishnan was knighted for services to Molecular Biology in 2012.
  • Awards-In 2009, Ramakrishnan was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the precise structure of ribosomes i.e. the molecular machines that manufacture proteins inside all living cells. He shared this Prize with Tom Steitz and Ada Yonath.

Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine(2007) and Padma Vibhushan (2010).

About Royal Society
  •  It is a self-governing fellowship society of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, medicine and engineering.
  • Established: 1660.
  • Purpose: To support excellence in science, and to encourage its use for the benefit of humanity. The position President of the Royal Society is most important in British science and existed since 1660. The President of society is a key advocate for science in the UK and the world.

>> National Green Tribunal today announced a fine of Rs 5,000 on individuals spotted littering or throwing waste on the platforms and tracks.

  • A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, passed a slew of directions to Railways and other authorities for maintaining cleanliness on railway tracks.
  • The Tribunal directed the Railways and the municipal corporations to place dustbins after identifying exact locations for collection of garbage in 46 slum clusters here adjoining railway tracks

>>Union Ministry of Railways has constituted ‘Kaya kulp’ Council,an innovation council for Indian Railways. 
  • The council was constituted by Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu in order to fulfill the promise made in the Railway Budget Speech.
  • Noted industrialist Ratan Tata will head a new innovative council of Indian Railways, called 'Kaya Kalp', formed to turn around the ailing state-run rail network.

  • Apart from Tata Group's Chairman Emeritus, the Kaya Kalp council will also have two railway union leaders Shiv Gopal Mishra and M Raghuvaiah.

Key facts
  • Purpose of the Council-To recommend innovative methods and processes for the improvement, betterment and transformation of the Indian Railways.
  • The council will act as a standing body and will interact with all stakeholders and other interested parties.
  • Members-The Council initially will have following members
  • Shiv Gopal Mishra,General Secretary of All Indian Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF).
  • Raghavaiah,General Secretary of  National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR).

>>Developing country India will host the 7th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in 2016 .
  • This announced by Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan(recently held in 2015).
  • India will be hosted in second time of Disaster Risk Reduction in 2016 and India had hosted the first time AMCDRR in 2007.
  • During 23 June to 26 June 2014, The 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was held in Thailand.
  • In 2015, it was the final regional inter-governmental meeting in Asia before the completion of the Hyogo Framework for Action and the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
  •  Earlier held in Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) – First AMCDRR held in China in 2005

          Second AMCDRR held in India in 2007

          Third AMCDRR held in Malaysia in 2008

           Fourth AMCDRR held in Republic of Korea in 2010

         Fifth Asia Ministerial conference held in Indonesia in 2012

>>The Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, YS Chowdary has launched Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) AcE Fund on March 19, 2015.
  • The BIRAC AcE Fund has been launched under the Make India Programme  with theme "Accelerating Innovations: India the Next Biotech Global Hub." This fund initiated  accelerate the growth of entrepreneurs in the Biotechnology sector in India.
  • It should be noted that the fund will be operated by BIRAC, which is a Public Sector Undertaking under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • The fund was launched on the third foundation day of BIRAC in New Delhi on March 19, 2015. 

About Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council:

  • Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council was established on March 20, 2012 as a Section 25, Not for Profit Company.
  • It is mandated to foster and promote innovation research in biotech industries specially start-ups and Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council has more than 100 young entrepreneurs, nearly 250 companies and start-ups and 15 incubators supported as an important part of the Innovation ecosystem of the country.

>>Sohail Aman was appointed as Chief of Pakistan Air Force (PAF). His appointment was approved by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and was promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal.
  • He will succeed Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt who retires from the service. Prior to this appointment, Sohail Aman was serving as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (operations) at Air Headquarters in Islamabad

>>International Conference on  Counter Terrorism begins in Jaipur
  • Inaugurated by:Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
  • This conference is a global platform for imminent scholars,strategic thinkers, field experts and policy makers engaged in counter terrorism activities from various governametn agencies,think tanks , academic and research institutions from all over the world.

>>A MoU was signed between the Inland Waterways Authority of India(IWAI) and the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India(DFCCIL) at Delhi today for creation of logistic hubs with rail connectivity at Varanasi and places on National Waterways.
  • The MoU was signed in the presence of Minister of Shipping and Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari and Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu.

>>First National   Photography & videography Workshop began at New Delhi.
  • It was organized and Inaugurated by Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting,Col(Retd) Rajyavardhan Rathore.     

>>IMF chief Christine Lagarde’s China visit begins today.

 During this visit she will meet top Chinese leadership and senior officials.

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