Friday, 19 June 2015






















Thursday, 4 June 2015

2nd June 2015

>>Hemant Sonawala, one of the founders of the country's IT industry and chairman of Hinditron Group, passed away on May 30 at the age of 78. 
  • Sonawala was one of the founders of the domestic IT industry, having started Hinditron way back in 1966 and its computer division in 1971. 
  • He was also the founder of Digital Equipment India, which later became a part of HP India in 1988. 
  • Digital Equipment India was the first technology IPO in India. 

>>The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed Meena Hemchandra as the executive director who would be in charge of department of banking supervision. She will also be in charge of department of non-banking supervision and department of co-operative banking supervision.
  • RBI's executive director Chandan Sinha, who was incharge of these departments will now be in charge of department of information technology, department of payment and settlement system, foreign exchange department and  .. 

  • RBI has 11 executive director in charge of various departments. 

>>Bangladesh is set to honour former premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee for his outstanding support for the country’s independence from Pakistan in 1971 when he was a Lok sabha member.

  • A Foreign Ministry spokesman familiar with the process said Bangladesh will hand over Vajpayee’s “Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War Award” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his upcoming visit to the country from June 6.

  • Vajpayee, who is unwell, could not visit Bangladesh to receive the honour.

  • “From the very beginning of the Liberation War (in 1971), he (Vajpayee) took a firm stand in favour of Bangladesh’s independence… as the then president of Bharatiya Jana Sangh and Lok Sabha member he mobilised campaign at home and in international arena for the rights of Bangladesh’s people.

  •  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also approved a proposal to honour the families of the members of Indian armed forces for sacrificing their lives for the cause of Bangladesh’s independence.

  • Most of the subsequent recipients were also from India which extended the most crucial support for Bangladesh’s independence with incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee being one of them. Bangladesh decided to honour the 1971 “foreign friends” soon after the ruling Awami League was elected to power in 2008.

>>India and Sweden on Monday inked six agreements, including in the field of polar research and for boosting trade, during the visit of President Pranab Mukherjee to the key Arctic Council member, in the first-ever visit by an Indian head of state.
  • Mukherjee is on a five-day visit to Sweden and Belarus.
  • The president, who began his visit May 31, will be in Sweden till to June 2, and in Belarus June 2-4.
  • Among the agreements inked is a MoU on Cooperation in Sustainable Urban Development, which includes dialogue and interaction on global sustainable urban development issues, exchange of knowledge, institutional cooperation including capacity building, research and development and commercial relations regarding sustainable urban development.
  • Both sides also inked a MoU for cooperation in the field of micro, small and medium enterprises. This aims at promoting partnership projects, institution to institution and enterprise to enterprise cooperation relating to MSMEs, encourage exchange of information and experiences in policy setting and research on the development of MSMEs, feasibility studies to identify thrust areas and opportunities for development of MSMEs and facilitating exchange of business mission.
  • Both also inked an agreement on Visa Exemption for diplomatic passports.
  • A letter of intent was also signed between India`s Earth System Science Organisation (ESSO) and the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (SPRS) on collaboration in polar and ocean research.
  • Both inked a memorandum of intent between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Swedish Research Council for Health Working Life and Welfare (FORTE) for recording the intention of both institutions to cooperate in the field of ageing research and health.
  • Another MoI was signed between India`s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and the Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA). This agreement, complimentary to the ongoing cooperation between India and Sweden covering the area of health, is for increasing bilateral cooperation in the fields of pharmacovigilance, electronic submissions in related matter, clinical trials, drugs, medical devices and diagnostic kits, cosmetic and hygiene products and for exchange of information and experiences regarding good manufacturing practice.

>>The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has claimed two lives in South Korea and infected 25 people in two weeks, according to media reports.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) puts the total number of global MERS cases at 1,161 with at least 436 related deaths. WHO, however, has not recommended travel or trade restrictions on South Korea.
  • MERS is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that triggered the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Though the health agency assures that there has been no human-to-human spread of the virus in South Korea.

  • According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, South Korea has reported the third-highest number of MERS cases after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  • It can be transmitted from infected person to others after close contact via a respiratory route. It spread’s in droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • The symptoms of MERS are fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.

  • However, MERS has a much higher death rate than SARS and there is no cure or vaccine at present.

Precautionary measures in place
  • Schools have been reportedly shut down for a week as a precautionary measure across the country while automobile giant Hyundai has urged its employees to avoid travelling to the Middle East.
  • Tourists, particularly from China, have cancelled their travel plans to South Korea. China also reported its first MERS case last week.
  • MERS was first identified in human beings in 2012. As per WHO data, the death rate from MERS has been 38 per cent. Compared to this, the death rate from SARS was 9-12 per cent, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

>> The government of Mauritius today designated Ameenah Gurib-Fakim as the Indian Ocean Island nation's new president, making her the first woman to hold the ceremonial position.
  • The appointment of Gurib-Fakim, an internationally-renowned scientist and biologist, is subject to parliament approval, due to take place on Thursday.
  • The opposition has said it will support her appointment, making the vote a mere formality.
  • Gurib-Fakim, 56, will be the first female President of the Island, which gained independence from Britain in 1968 and which replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state in 1992.

  • Former President Kailash Purryag, who had been put in place by the previous government, stepped down as the island's figurehead on Friday.
  • Mauritius is one of the richest, and least corrupt, countries in Africa, a middle-income country of some 1.3 million people with a per capita GDP of just over $9,000 (7,200 euros).
  • Once dependent on sugar exports, the island has built up a strong outsourcing and financial services sector, and an important tourism industry.

>> Rear Admiral Philipose G Pynumootil was appointed as the Assistant Chief of Naval staff (Air). Earlier to this appointment, Pynumootil served as the Principal Director of Aircraft Acquisition.

  • Being a Flag officer, he has commanded the Guided Missile Frigate INS Brahmaputra, INS Nashak, the missile corvette INS Kirpan and the 1241 RE corvette. He has flown broadly during Operation Restore Hope, Somalia and Operation Pawan, Sri Lanka.

Monday, 1 June 2015


1st June 2015

>>Kolkata’s Mohun Bagan Football Club (FC) has won the I-League title by defeating Bengaluru Football Club.

  • Mohun Bagan won the title after a 1-1 draw score against Bengaluru FC in their final game of the 2014-15 season played at the Kanteerva Stadium, Bengaluru.

  •  It should be noted that it is the fourth national title for Mohun Bagan FC after having won the last in 2002 when the I-League tournament was named the National Football League (NFL).

>>Archer Deepika Kumari stuns world number 8, Chang Hye Jin, on Sunday to win bronze medal in Women's Recurve event at Antalya Archery World Cup.

  • Deepika beat the South Korea in straight sets 6-2 (26-25, 29-26, 26-28, 28-27) to stamp her authority.
  • Earlier, the 20-year-old archer put up a brave fight in the semi-finals but was denied a place in the final by Olympic gold medallist Ki Bo Bae of Korea.
  • In the Antalya 2015 recurve women's event Misun Choi (KOR) and Bo Bae Ki (KOR) won gold and silver respectively

>>Dilawar Singh of Haryana   won 'Pedal for Kashmir' cycling competition held along the banks of picturesque Dal Lake here today.
  • Singh took the title while local hero Muhammad Khan came runner up, followed by another local cyclist Mohammad Adil Teli.
>>An advanced version of the indigenously developed Pinaka Mark-II rocket was successfully test-fired today from Army's Chandan firing range near Pokhran using a multi-barrel launcher.
  • "Pinaka Mark-II trials were successfully tested in Pokhran field firing range near Indo-Pak border. Target was successfully hit in Keru area which was situated 55 km from the firing point,".
  • Jointly developed by the DRDO and  the Indian Army, this multi-barrel rocket launcher has high operational mobility, flexibility and accuracy as the major characteristics.
  • According to the sources "the ongoing developmental trials at Pokhran range in western Rajasthan by Army and scientists of DRDO was to test the advance stage of development of Pinaka Mark-II weapon system with upgraded version of software".
  • Pinaka-I has already been inducted into the Army and was also put into field testing for assessing its capability during the Kargil war.
  • "Pinaka Mark-II rocket with a range of more than 60-km .
  • Pinaka Mark-II  can fire a salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds with 1.2 tonne of high explosives. Can neutralise a target area of 3.9 square km and supplement existing artillery system at a range beyond 30 km.

>>The controversial land ordinance was on Sunday re-promulgated for the third time with President Pranab Mukherjee giving his assent notwithstanding opposition protests over the measure.

  • The Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, had decided to re-promulgate the ordinance, insisting it was necessary for maintaining continuity and providing a framework to compensate people whose land is acquired.
  • The ordinance will now have to be laid before both Houses of Parliament and shall cease to operate at the expiration of six weeks from the date of reassembly if it is not converted into law.
  • The ordinance has been promulgated for the third time and it is the 13th executive order of the NDA government since it came to power in May last year.
  • The move came despite vehement protests by Congress whose vice president Rahul Gandhi termed the measure as reflecting the “amazing hurry” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “grab” land from the farmers.
  • Senior leader Jairam Ramesh, who was the Rural Development Minister during UPA rule, said the Modi government had insulted Parliament by re-promulgation as a Joint Parliamentary Committee was already looking into the land bill.
  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also castigated the government for its action, saying it wanted to “snatch” the rights of farmers.
>> As a part of Punjab government’s efforts to give further fillip to the “all round development of the State”, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday said the year 2015-16 will be observed as the “year of development“.
  • During this phase, focus of the State government will be to provide ultra modern civic amenities to the people in urban and rural areas, he said.
  •  “In urban areas  focus will be on providing the facility of water supply, Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPs), streetlights, roads and parks whereas in rural areas provision of roads, potable drinking water, disposal of waste water and toilets will be our thrust areas,” .
  • State government has initiated a major campaign to impart training to the youth for skill development.
  •  “Due to encouraging results of skill development campaign in the State Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed him as chairman of Sub Group of NITI Aayog on skill training for chalking out road map for skill development in the country,” .
  • “Skill development is the need of the hour to eradicate the menace of unemployment and give boost to the progress of the country,” Mr. Badal said.
  • State government is also to make Punjab a completely drug-free state, build drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres and massive steps have been taken to check drug peddling in the State.

>> Ace Indian shooter Gurpreet Singh has secured India a fifth quota place in shooting for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
  • He achieved this feat by finishing fourth in the Men’s 10 metre Air Pistol final at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Shooting World Cup held in Munich, Germany.
  • In the final qualification round Gurpreet scored 154. He became second Indian to have secured a 2016 Rio berth at the ongoing World Cup.
  • Previously, Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai and Apurvi Chandela have secured an Olympic quota place for 2016 Rio Olympics.

>> Chinese researchers have successfully developed the first automated teller machine (ATM) with facial recognition technology to reduce the risk of theft.

  • The developers include Tsinghua University and Tzekwan Technology, a Hangzhou firm in eastern China's Zhejiang province that provides security protection for financial transactions, South China Morning Post quoted Chinese official media as saying.
  • Tzekwan chairman Gu Zikun, an anti-counterfeit technology expert, believes the technology will curb ATM-related crimes.
  • Gu said the product had passed the authorities certification and would soon be available on the market.
  • The news come a week after the state launched its "Made in China" campaign, which aims to transition the mainland from a manufacturing hub for low-end goods to high-quality products within the next 10 years.
  • Cash machines using fingerprint authentication have sprung up in countries like Chile and Colombia.
  • These biometrics ATMs are not being used by some countries, such as the United States, because of privacy concerns and its high cost.
  • The new ATM's are expected to connect with the country's banks and public security networks, which guarantees that only cardholders withdraw money, even if someone else knows the password.
>> Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa was sworn-in as the 19th Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Acting Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court Justice K Sreedhar Rao administered the oath of office as per provisions of Article 159 of Constitution.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee had appointed him as Governor on May 12, 2015 after then Governor Lt General (Retired) Nirbhay Sharma was transferred to Mizoram.

>> Gatimaan Express is the first semi high-speed train service that will be launched between Delhi and Agra.
  • The train will run at a maximum speed of 160 kmph and is expected to cover the 200-km distance between both destinations in about 105 minutes.