29 May 2016

29 May: International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

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The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was observed on 29 May 2016 to honour the work of UN peacekeepers. 
Significance of Day 
Honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace. Pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage. 
2016 theme: “Honouring Our Heroes”. 
On this day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presided over a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the nearly 3,500 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag. The UN Postal Administration (UNPA) also issued a set of six new stamps for the occasion.

Vice Admiral AR Karve takes charge of Southern Naval Command

· Vice-Admiral AR Karve on Sunday took charge as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command (SNC) from Vice Admiral GirishLuthra.

·   An impressive ceremonial parade was held at the Naval base on the occasion which was followed by the traditional 'Pulling Out' ceremony in which the outgoing Commander-in-Chief, Luthra was ceremonially pulled out in a jeep by Flag Officers and Commanding Officers of ships and naval establishments of Kochi, amidst emotional 'Jai'- 'Jai' by the men of SNC.

· Earlier in the day, Vice Admiral Karve laid wreath at the War Memorial, prior to assuming command, as a tribute to the thousands of martyrs who had fought for the country, Navy said in a statement.

Indian-American scientist wins Springer Theses Award

· An Indian-American scientist Arnab De has received the prestigious Springer Theses Award in recognition for his outstanding research in which he developed transgenic mice to study a critical tumour-suppressor called A20.

· ArnabDe’s thesis was nominated by New York’s Columbia University. Before this, Mr. De, who has also developed peptide-based prodrugs as therapeutics for diabetes, had received the Young Investigator Award at the American Peptide Symposium.

·The thesis prize is awarded by Springer, a leading global publisher of renowned scientific journals and books, to recognise outstanding PhD research.

ISRO to launch record 22 satellites in a mission

·The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be launching a record number of 22 satellites in a single mission in June.

·Of the 22 satellites, three are Indian and the rest are all commercial ones, said ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar on Saturday.

· Earlier in 2008, the space agency had sent 10 satellites into orbit in a single mission.

28 May 2016

Indian Air Force successfully test fires Brahmos missile at Pokaran

The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully test-fired a land-attack version of the supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos at the Pokaran field firing range in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
 Test: During the flight trial, the missile met its mission goals and destroyed a designated target. Two squadrons of IAF already have been equipped with the land-attack version of the missile version (One squadron has about 70 to 80 missiles). IAF is deploying this version of the missile in the border areas to take out the enemy’s communication towers, runways, and radar in case of a conflict.
 About Brahmos missile 
BrahMos supersonic cruise missile has been designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture of India and Russia.
 It has derived its name from the names of two rivers, India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River. 
It operates on fire and forget principal and is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against sea and land targets.
Features: It is capable of carrying a warhead of 300 kilogram and has top supersonic speed of Mach 3 (that is, three times the speed of sound). It can strike a target at maximum range of 290-km. It is two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant. BrahMos missile already has been inducted into the Indian Army and Navy

ARUSH - Name of Indian coast guard ship which is commissioned 

On 26th May 2016, Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) ARUSH was commissioned. It was commissioned by Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard) Additional Director General SPS Basra at Kochi.
ARUSH can run with speed of 33 knots with an endurance of 1500 nautical miles at economical speed of 13 knots.
It has advanced weapons, communication and navigation system.
Do You know :
  • ARUSH means first ray of sun.
  • ARUSH is an indigenous Fast Patrol Vessel beneficial for missions like surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue etc.

Name of first Union Territory to sign 24x7 Power for All document - Lakshadweep

On 27th May 2016, Lakshadweep inked 24x7 Power for All document thus it became first UT ( Union Territory ) to do so. 

It has been signed with an aim to provide access to electricity through 24x7 Power supply by 2019 to every household.
It will be increasing its solar capacity from 2.15 MW to 8.45 MW.

Important to mention here that 22 states of India has already signed the "24*7 Power for All" document.

Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh wins 2016 India Biodiversity Award

Pakke Tiger Reserve in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh has won the ‘India Biodiversity Award 2016’. The tiger reserve was selected in the conservation of threatened species category for its Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme. Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme The Programme is a joint collaboration of Ghora-Aabhe Society, Nature Conservation Foundation and the State Forest Department. Under it, urban citizens contribute money to protect hornbill nests around Pakke Tiger Reserve. The programme has been a major step towards conservation of four hornbill species that are found in the adjoining areas of the reserve. Besides, Hong Niitii, Lower Subansiri has been awarded under category IV Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) award

About India Biodiversity Award: 
The awards recognise the contribution of a range of stakeholders towards the conservation of biodiversity. It is given in four categories viz. Conservation of Threatened Species, Sustainable use of biological resources, Successful models for access and benefit sharing and Biodiversity Management Committees. It is joint initiative of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and United Nations Development programme (UNDP). The winner in each category will receive a cash prize of 1 lakh rupees while the runners up receive 50,000 rupees.

Indian author Aditi Krishnakumar wins 2016 Scholastic Asian Book Award

Indian author Aditi Krishnakumar has won the prestigious 2016 Scholastic Asian Book Award. She has won the award for her 32,000-word manuscript titled Codex: The Lost Treasure Of The Indus. The manuscript will be now published by Scholastic Asia. Presently Aditi Krishnakumar is working with Agent Lila Raman to decipher the mysterious script of the Indus Valley civilization. He first published book ‘A Whole Summer Long’ in 2012 was also shortlisted for the Scholastic Asian Book Award 2014.

 About Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA)
The SABA was founded in 1969 and is the joint initiative of the Scholastic Asia and National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS). It is a biennial award that seeks to promote reading and literature and champions literary works of Asians. It carries cash prize of 10,000 Singaporean dollars.

V Narayanasamy to be new Puducherry Chief Minister

· V Narayanansamy has been named the Congress's pick to be the new Chief Minister of Puducherry.
·  A heated contest had broken out within the party's local unit over who will occupy the Chief Minister's seat and this has delayed the government formation in the Union Territory.
· Narayanasamy had served as the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office in the second UPA government, after serving as MoS Parliamentary Affairs in the first UPA government.
· He did not contest the May 16 Assembly election, and will now have to seek election to the legislature in a bypoll.

USAID and ministry of power launch portal to promote net zero energy buildings

·  The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the union ministry of Power today launched India's first integrated web portal designed to promote and mainstream Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) in India.

·  A first of its kind, the portal provides complete information about Net Zero Energy Buildings - those that generate as much energy as they use - as well as how to achieve near-zero energy status through the use of efficient lighting and equipment, integration of renewable energy technologies, and best practice design strategies.

· In addition, the portal hosts the NZEB Alliance, an industry-wide body setup to drive the Indian markets toward highly energy-efficient buildings.

27 May 2016

Image result for Islamic Development BankSaudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has decided to open its first branch in India at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. In this regard, IDB and its private sector arm, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), already have met with top officials of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), EXIM Bank and India’s other nationalized banks. 

Islamic Development Bank to open its first branch in India at Ahmedabad

This announcement comes as part of MoU signed between IDB and India’s EXIM Bank during Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit to United Arab Emirates (UAE) in April 2016. As part of the MoU a US 100 million dollars line-of-credit (LoC) was to be given to IDB’s member countries to facilitate exports. Besides, IDB also has decided to provide Gujarat state 30 medical vans as part of its social sector initiatives.

Punjab and Haryana HC stays quota for Jats, five other communities in Haryana

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the reservation for Jats and five other communities provided by the Haryana government. The reservation for these communities was provided under a newly carved Backward Classes (C) category as per provisions of Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act, 2016. The court gave its ruling on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the above Act which was passed unanimously by the Haryana Assembly in March 2016. The five other communities which were provided reservation under the Act were Jat Sikhs, Bishnois, Muslim Jats, Rors and Tyagis. They were entitled to 10 per cent reservation in government services and also admission to educational institutions. Earlier the Supreme Court also had ruled that Jats could not be treated as backward, the state assembly had no right to pass the law. However, the Supreme Court, in the case of Ram Singh and others versus the Union of India, held that Jats were not backward socially, educationally and politically.

Indian-American students sweep top three spots in 2016 National Geographic Bee Contest

Indian-American students have swept the prestigious 2016 National Geographic Bee championship, securing the first three positions. It was 28th annual edition of National Geographic Bee Competition which was held in at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington. This is the fifth consecutive year of National Geographic Bee championship in which an Indian-American has won the prestigious national tournament. 

Indian American Winners are:
 First Place: Rishi Nair. He received a 50000 US dollars college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. He is a sixth grader from Florida. 
Second Place: Saketh Jonnalagadda. He received a 25000 US dollars college scholarship. He is Eighth-grader from Massachusetts. 
Third place: Kapil Nathan. He received a10000 US dollars college scholarship. He is a sixth-grader from Alabama.

Union Railways Ministry launches - Rail Humsafar Saptaah

On 26th May 2016, Rail Humsafar Saptaah has been launched by The Union Ministry of Railways has launched a week-long initiative to highlight significant achievements made by Indian Railways in all spheres. The Rail Humsafar Saptaah, which is started from 26th May 2016, will conclude on 1st June 2016. 
Rail Humsafar Saptaah aims to focus on a particular theme and each day have been named as -
227th May - Satkar Diwas
28th May - Sewa Diwas                 
29th May - Satarkata Diwas
30th May - Saamanjasya Diwas
31st May - Sanyojan Diwas
1st June - Sanchaar Diwas6th May - Swachchta Diwas                                        

Mamata sworn in as WB CM 2nd consecutive time

· Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee (61) today took oath as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the second consecutive term.

· Winning 211 seats out of the total 294, TMC became the first single party to win the seats without alliance in West Bengal's history.

·In 2011, Banerjee had become the first ever female CM of the state.

Sunil Mittal gets highest Harvard B-School award

Image result for Sunil Mittal gets highest Harvard B-School award· Sunil Bharti Mittal, the founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, has received the Alumni Achievement Award of Harvard Business School from Dean Nitin Nohria.

·The award, presented annually since 1968, is the highest honour given to any alumnus of the institute. Notably, Mittal had also been felicitated with a Padma Bhushan, the country's third highest civilian honour, in 2007.