Monday, February 29, 2016

Tabla maestro Shankar Ghosh dies at 80 Tabla maestro Shankar Ghosh dies at 80

Legendary tabla player Shankar Ghosh died at the age of 80 due to pneumonia, cardiac problems and old age complications.
  • Recipient of the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award was the creator of the all-drum orchestra Music of the Drums – later called the Calcutta Drum Orchestra.
  • He was also conferred with ITC Sangeet Research Academy award andUstad Hafiz Ali Khan award.
Apart from India, he was also collaborated with international artists like Greg Ellis, Pete Lockett and John Bergamo.

Italian film director Ettore Scola died Italian film director Ettore Scola died

Oscar nominated Italian director Ettore Scola, has died at the age of 84. His movie “A Special Day” was a 1977 Oscar- nominated movie.
  • He also wrote and directed “We All Loved Each Other So Much” a 1974 comedy-drama about the post-war lives of three partisans fighting for the liberation of Italy.
  • He directed 41 films over nearly 40 years
He was a former member of the Italian Communist Party and in 1989 he becameminister of culture.

Chairman of MTAR, Ravindra Reddy passed away Chairman of MTAR, Ravindra Reddy passed away

Ravindra Reddy, founder Chairman of MTAR, which supplies indigenously developed systems for India’s space and nuclear programmes at the age of 77.
  • Under the mentorship of Mr. Reddy, MTAR manufactured rocket engines that powered Mangalyaan).
  • The private company fabricated engines for the PSLV and GSLV launchers, which have put numerous satellites into space.
About Ravindra Reddy:
A member of the National Academy of Engineers, he also served on the Board of Antrix Corporation Ltd. He was also the Chairman of Rs. 1,500 crore Samuha Aerospace Park that is being set up in Hyderabad.
Awards & recognitions:
  • In 2004, Defence Technology Absorption Award
  • In 2003, INS Industrial Excellence award

ICC appoints Channel 2 Group as audio rights partner

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed the Channel 2 Group as its global audio rights partner. Channel 2 acquired exclusive rights for all the ICC events from 2016 to 2023 through this Right.
  • Channel 2 Group will provide live audio commentary at the ICC World Twenty20, ICC Champions Trophy and ICC Cricket World Cup under this right.
  • ICC General Manager – Commercial, Campbell Jamieson
  • Chairman of Channel 2 – Ajay Sethi

Indian Mi-25 helicopters set to join Afghan Air Force

Three Mi-25 gunship helicopters manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)were supplied by India are officially join the Afghan Air Force. These helicopters are designed to take on fortified enemy positions and counter heavy ground fire.
  • Recently Mohammad Hanif Atmar the National Security Advisor of Afghanvisit New Delhi for the deal.
  • Such deals are strong signal of cooperation with Afghanistan in its fight against Taliban.
  • India is preserving Afghanistan’s unity and territorial integrity and ensuring security.
Key Points
  • President of Afghanistan: Ashraf Ghani
  • Capital – Kabul
  • Currency -Afghan afghan

Paranjoy Thakurta appointed EPW Editor

Sameeksha Trust has designated the senior journalist and political commentatorParanjoy Guha Thakurta as the Editor of Economic and Political Weekly (EPW). He will succeed Rammanohar Reddy.
  • The decision regarding his appointment was taken during the meeting between the trustees of Sameeksha consisting of Chairman Deepak Nayyar, managing trustee D.N. Ghosh, Andre Beteille, Romila Thapar, Jean Dreze and Rajeev Bhargava.
The trustees appreciated the work done by Rammanohar Reddy as editor for 11 years.

Greenpeace India accredited Ravi Chellam as its Executive Director Greenpeace India accredited Ravi Chellam as its Executive Director

Noted environmentalist Ravi Chellam has been designated as the executive director of NGO Greenpeace India. He will succeed Samit Aich.
  • He will be responsible to anchor the NGO which has been facing challenges from a number of government agencies apart from renewing the organization’s focus on campaigns for a clean and safe future.
Earlier, Govt has suspended its licence for six months from receiving foreign funds after alleging that it has “prejudicially” affected the country’s interests.
About Ravi Chellam:
  • Chellam is a wildlife biologist and conservation scientist by training.
  • He also worked with the Wildlife Institute of IndiaUnited Nations Development ProgrammeAshoka Trust for Research in Ecology,EnvironmentWildlife Conservation Society (India Program) and Madras Crocodile Bank Trust.

Deposits in Jan Dhan accounts cross Rs 30,000 Crore

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is National Mission for Financial Inclusion to ensure access to financial services, Like Banking Savings & Deposit Accounts, Remittance, Credit, Insurance, and Pension in an affordable manner. The program PMJDY have crossed the Rs 30,000 Crore mark
  • Accounts had deposits of Rs 30,638.29 crore (about USD 4.5 billion).
  • Nearly 38 crore bank accounts were opened under the PMJDY.
  • The accounts open starts with zero balance.
Key Financial Minister of India – Arun Jaitley

Union Government announced extension of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme in 61 more districts

Union Government has decided to extend the Scheme Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao to 61 more districts in 2016 to improve the declining girl child sex ratio.
Objectives of initiatives
  • Prevention of gender biased sex selective elimination.
  • Ensuring survival and protection of the girl child.
  • Ensuring education and participation of the Girl child.
The Scheme was launched in 100 districts with poor sex ratio across the country in January 2015.
Key points:
  • Head of Ministry of women and child Development – Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Google Launches First Public Wi-Fi Service in India

The first free Public Wi-Fi service has been launched by Indian Railways’ telecom wing RailTel in partnership with Google at Mumbai’s central railway stationMinister of Railways Mr. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated the Wi–Fi service.
  • Mumbai central railway station has become the first railway station to have free high-speed Wi-Fi Internet facility in India.
  • The project to provide free Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations across the country was announced last September during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Google headquarters in Mountain View.

MSDE and DoT sign MoU for skill development in telecom sector

On the sidelines of PM’s vision to make India the skill capital of the world, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) inked MoU with Department of Telecommunication (DoT) for the implementation of National Action Plan for Skill Development in Telecom Sector.
  • The objective behind MoU is to fulfill skilled manpower requirement oftelecom sector and to provide quality opportunities for employment.
Highlights of MoU:
  • Utilization of old telephone exchanges which are no longer in use for skill development initiatives along with their upgradation.
  • To develop “National Institute for Policy Research Innovation and Training (NTIPRT)” for training and skill development.
Apart from above Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY) Rupay ATM Cum Debit card from Bank of India was also issued, which would be issued to the students with 1 Lac Rupee PA Insurance Cover.
  • Skill Vans” were also launched, which would travel to different parts of the country and provide skill development trainings to the youth.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

PM releases unique illustrated version of Shri-Durga-Saptashati PM releases unique illustrated version of Shri-Durga-Saptashati

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, released a unique, illustrated version of Shri-Durga-Saptashati an illustrated book of the glory of the Goddess.
  • The book has been compiled by Dr. Sandeep Joshi, a research scholar from Rajasthan.

Roger Federer Wins 300th Grand Slam Singles Match Roger Federer Wins 300th Grand Slam Singles Match

World Number 3, Roger Federer (34) clinched his 300th win in grand slams after defeating his Bulgarian challenger Grigor Dimitrov by 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.
  • Only Martina Navratilova (306) stands in front of him.
About Roger Federer:
1981 born regarded as the greatest tennis player all the time as in 1998, he whirled as a professional and from 2002 he has been continuously ranked inside the top 10. Here are some of his records:
  • Holding the world No. 1 position for 302 weeks.
  • Winning 17 Grand Slam singles titles.
  • Reaching each Grand Slam final at least five times.
  • Reaching the Wimbledon final ten times.

TranServ launches India’s first social mobile wallet Udio

Digital payment company, TranServ has launched India’s 1st Social Mobile Wallet,“Udio”, which enables squaring of dues, sharing dinner bills or a cab ride a hassle free task
  • Udio Wallet integrates a social, community-driven aspect with anytime, anywhere accessibility to digital P2P transactions via its secure and seamless payment structure.
  • Every Udio wallet comes with a VISA Pre-Paid Card linked that is powered byRatnakar Bank allowing Udio users to leverage the wallet’s payments facility with over 1 lakh merchants across the country.
TranServ aims to boost mobile wallet usage for mobile users in its aim to make India acashless economy.

Pavel Filip designated as the Prime Minister of Moldova Moldovan parliament appointed Pavel Filip as Prime Minister

Parliament of Moldova has accredited Pavel Filip as the 3rd Prime Minister of European nation in less than a year.
  • Moldova is a small and poorest of Europe.
  • It was in a political turmoil after the fraudulent disappearance of 1 billion US dollars from the banking system and then government was brought down in a no-confidence vote in October 2015.
The appointment follows the rise and fall of two prime ministers in 2015, namely Chiril Gaburici (June 2015) and Valeriu Strelet (October 2015).
  • Pavel Filip, a member of the main pro-European coalition and a former IT and communications minister in the last government.
Keys Moldova:
Capital – Chisinau
Currency – Moldovan leu

Big B & Quantico Star chosen as the brand ambassadors for Incredible India Bachchan & Chopra – brand ambassadors for Incredible India campaign

Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra have been appointed as the new brand ambassadors of the Incredible India campaign. They will succeed Aamir Khan.
  • Big B is also the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism.
  • Aamir Khan promoted the country as a tourist destination for 10 years, under Govt’s campaign.
About Incredible India:
It is the name of an international marketing campaign by the Government of India to promote tourism in India in 2002 to an audience of global appeal.
  • Its title was officially branded and promoted by Amitabh Kant, then Joint Secretary under the Union Ministry of Tourism, in 2002.

FreeCharge teamed up with MasterCard & Yes Bank to launch Virtual Card

In collaboration with Yes Bank and MasterCard, the wallet company FreeCharge launched a “FreeCharge Go”, a virtual card that allows users to pay for goods and services at online shops and offline retailers.
  • This new virtual card would enable users to use money in their digital walletson any merchant site that accepts cards.
  • Currently, FreeCharge Go can be used to transact at certain offline stores such as McDonald’s and Shoppers Stop.
In 2015, FreeCharge was acquired by e-commerce giant Snapdeal while in In Dec 2015, its rival Paytm launched prepaid cards in partnership with ICICI Bank.

IN-RNO joint naval exercise “Naseem Al-Bahr” kicked off

The 10th edition of the bilateral Indian Navy-Royal Omani Navy biennial exercise began on 22 Jan 2016 – 27 Jan 2016 in the Arabian Sea.
  • Initiated in 1993, the joint naval exercise aims to increase interoperabilityamong the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operation.
As part of India’s strategy to develop relation with the countries in the region, an Indian Navy ship had last year visited Oman in a goodwill visit.
Keys Oman:
  • Capital – Muscat
  • Currency – Omani rial
  • Sultan – Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said

Indian Bureau of Mines & NRSC inked MoU for monitoring mining activity

In a bid to monitor mining activity through satellite technology, Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) inked MoU with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of the Department of Space.
  • As a part of MoU IBM would initiate remote sensing cell under the technical guidance of the NRSC at its offices in Nagpur and Hyderabad.
  • The cell will utilise Bhuvan-based services for monitoring mining activities for development of mobile app for field data collection.
The pilot project will be launched in Odisha and Hospet sector of Karnataka to demonstrate the feasibility of using high resolution satellite imagery in monitoring the changes over a period of time in select group of mines.

France returns head of Hindu statue taken 130 years ago

The head of a Hindu deity’s statue is reattached to its body after 130 years. It was taken from the Phnom Da temple in southern Takeo territory by French researchersin 1882-1883.
  • The head was reattached after a ceremony at the National Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • The stone statue is of Harihara, an idol that combines aspects of Vishnu and Shiva.
The statue represents the two most important gods in the Hindu pantheon who representthe creation of the universe and its destruction.

“Nai Manzil” Scheme Launched in Jammu and Kashmir

Nai Manzil Scheme is an integrated Education and Livelihood Initiative for the Minority Communities.
Key highlights
  • It was announced by the Union Budget 2015-16.
  • Girls from minority communities will be imparted three month skill development training in seven identified sectors relevant to the region under the scheme.
  • These include training in saffron processing, food processing, embroidery, computers IT, Tourism/hospitality, electronics and plumbing.
  • The scheme enables them to seek better employment in the organized sector and equipping them with better lives.
  • The scheme covers the entire country.

India’s first LGBT radio taxi service announced

India’s first radio taxi service for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) was flagged off in Mumbai on Wednesday.
  • Taxi was launched by a mainstream travel company.
  • The Humsafar Trust has signed up to drive radio cabs.
  • This is an empowerment initiative.
  • The five members of the gay and transgender community will apply for a learner’s license, and complete their training in getting the All India Driver’s License under the pilot programme.

4th India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference held in New Delhi

4th India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference (IAHC) was held in New Delhi22 African nations participate in the conference out of which nine were represented by their Ministers.
  • Conference aimed at greater collaboration between India and African continent towards Development Transmitting Partnership in Hydrocarbons field.
  • Deal permits India to enhance its energy security.
  • And encouraging Africa’s Hydrocarbons sector growth on several fronts like environmental sustainability, human resource development and employment generation.
Keys South Africa:
President of South Africa – Jacob Zuma
Capital of South Africa- Cape Town 
Currency of South Africa- South African rand (ZAR)

Andhra Pradesh Govt reestablished Commission for OBC

The state government of Andhra Pradesh has reestablished the Andhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes by exercising the rights vested in the section 3 ofAndhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.
  • It has been re-initiated after the time gap of 4 years, as the previous commission term was expired on 24 September 2011.
  • The reconstituted two member commission will be chaired by Justice K.L.Manjunath, (Retd.) while the second member will be Member Secretary of APCBC.
  • The tenure of the chairman of A.P. Commission for Backward Classes is of 3 years from the date of assumption of office in terms.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Yasutaro Koide, world’s oldest man, dies at 112 Yasutaro Koide, world’s oldest man, dies at 112

Yasutaro Koide, the world’s oldest man, a Japanese, died at the age of 112.
His secret to a long life: Say no to smoking, drinking or overdoing it
About Koide(pronounced “Ko-ee-deh”):
  • Born on March 13, 1903, died two months short of his 113th birthday
  • Worked as a tailor when he was younger
  • Recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest man last August(2015)
Japan’s oldest man now:Masamitsu Yoshida, a 111-year-old
Oldest is an American woman: 116-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones of Brooklyn, New York.

Renowned Kannada filmmaker and lyricist Geethapriya passes away

Noted Sandalwood film-maker and lyricist Geethapriya (84) passed away.
About Geethapriya:
  • Directed-about 40 Kannada movies, written- more than 250 songs
  • Nickname Geethapriya (meaning Song lover)
  • First film as a director-ManninaMaga (meaning Son of the Soil)- won a national award for best Kannada film in 1968
  • KaadinaRahasya, Kannada’s first Tarzan movie
  • Major films YaavaJanmadaMaithri (1972), BeluvaladaMadilalli (1975), Besuge (1976), Hombisilu (1978), Putani Agent 123 (1979), PreethisiNodu (1981) and MounaGeethe (1985)
  • Last movie in 2003:ShravanaSambhrama
  • Awards:Karnataka Rajyotsava award and PuttannaKanagalaward for lifetime achievement

Stuart Broad become No. 1 test bowler Stuart Broad become No. 1 test bowler

Stuart Broad has become the first England bowler since Steve Harminson in 2004 to top the ICC player ranking for the test bowlers.
  • He has jumped to the peak of the ICC Test rankings for bowlers after his devastating spell of 6 for 17 set up England’s seven-wicket win against South Africa in the Johannesburg Test.
About Stuart Broad:1986 born Stuart Christopher John Broad is a cricket player who plays Test and ODI cricket for England.
  • At the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 tournament, Broad entered cricketing history by conceding a record-setting six sixes in a single over to Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh.
  • Broad was awarded the Man of the Match in the fifth Test of the 2009 Ashes series.

Life time ban imposed on IPL player Ajit Chandila by BCCI Life time ban imposed on IPL player Ajit Chandila by BCCI

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) imposed a life time ban on Haryana off-spinner bowler Ajit Chandila due to his involvement in the IPL spot-fixing scandal 2013.
  • Ajit Chandila was found guilty of misconduct and corruption under the Articles 2.1.1, Article 2.1.2, Article 2.1.3, Article 2.1.4, Article 2.2.2, Article 2.2.3, and Article 2.4.1 of the BCCI Anti-Corruption Code.
  • BCCI also decided to hand a five-year suspension on Mumbai batsman Hiken Shah for making a corrupt approach to a fellow player.
The decision in this regard was taken at the Disciplinary Committee of the BCCI which was held in Mumbai. The committee was headed by BCCI President Shashank Manohar.

Delhi Crowned Premier Badminton League Champion

Delhi Acers were crowned the champions of the inaugural edition of the Premier Badminton League after they defeated the Mumbai Rockets 4-3 in the final at the DDA Badminton Stadium in Delhi.
  • Mumbai was leading by a point after the fourth game but Delhi’s victory in the trump-called matchup saw them clinch the title.
  • The 4-3 triumph for Delhi was worth 3 croreMumbai settled for Rs. 2 croreout of the total prize fund of approximately Rs. 6.5 crore.
Premier Badminton League Champion: Premier Badminton League is a franchise league, managed and commercially owned by the Badminton Association of India.
  • Inaugural season – 2013

UK’s Ronnie O’Sullivan bagged 2016 Dafabet Masters

Ronnie O’Sullivan won his 6th £200,000 Snooker Masters title after defeating Barry Hawkins by 10-1 in the final of professional non-ranking snooker tournament, 2016 Dafabet Masters at the Alexandra Palace in London.
  • It was the 42nd staging of the tournament.
  • O’Sullivan, had previously won the event in 1995, 2005, 2007, 2009 and2014, equaling the record set by Stephen Hendry.

Delhi government launches DVAT BILL app to boost tax collection

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Siodia launched ‘DVAT BILL‘ App to boost Delhi Government’s tax collection and bring in transparency and through this App, people can become a “VAT Inspectors”.
Software developed by: Delhi Government’s Trade and Taxes department
  • For bill or cash memo/retail invoice of not less than Rs 100
  • To be eligible for the reward scheme, the taxable value of the goods purchased should not be less than Rs 100
  • Bill should have the registration number ad cash award would be transferred to the bank account of the customer directly.
  • Customer can upload the picture of bill/cash memo in the mobile or the send the snapshot of the bill on the application. A unique ID would be generated for each bill.
Key points :
  • VAT Commissioner: S SYadav
  • Manish Sisodiya: Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi(AamAdmi Party)

Mindtree appoints Ravanan as CEO, Natarajan as executive chairman

Mindtree(IT firm)appointed RostowRavanan as its CEO and Managing Director and current chief KrishnakumarNatarajanmoved on to the role of Executive Chairman with co-founder Subroto Bagchi stepping down from the position.
About Ravanan:
  • Served as the Head for Europe, Service Lines and Key Accounts andChief Financial Officer of Mindtree.
Recent flashback:Mindtree’s larger rival Wipro had also announced a senior-level rejig appointing AbidaliNeemuchwala in place of T K Kurien.
*Points to remember: Mindtree
  • CEO:KrishnakumarNatarajan
  • HQ: Bengaluru
  • Founders:SubrotoBagchi, Ashok Soota

PM Modi becomes 2nd most followed Indian on Twitter PM Modi is 2nd most followed Indian on Twitter

Prime Minister NarendraModi has become second most followed Indian on social media site Twitter and pipped bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan.
Modi had over 17,382,784 followers while Khan was being followed by 17,362,505Twitter members as on January 17. He now trails only superstar Amitabh Bachchan- close to 18.9 million followers.
It is surprising to note that the number of followers of Modi’s account @narendramodihas consistently increased by about a million every two months.
  • Active on Twitter since 2009, the most followed Indian politician
  • He is second most followed politician in the world US President Barack Obama (@barackobama)
*Used twitter for campaigns like
#MakeInIndia, #SwachBharat, #MannKiBaat and #SefieWithDaughter

Govt inducted new category of award for “Most Film Friendly State/UT”

To promote the Indian film industry and India’s “Soft Power”, Govt has instituted a new award category under the National Film Awards titled “The Most Film Friendly State/UT”.
  • This award will be conferred for the first time at the 63rd National Film Awardsto be held on 3rd May 2016 by President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee.
  • The announcement in this regard has been made by Sunil Arora (Secretary I&B) during the inaugural function for the Public screening of Indian Panorama-2015 films at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi.
  • The 12-day fest will showcase 47 popular movies, which were selected in the Indian Panorama section at the 46th International Film Festival of India(IFFI) 2015.

SBT launches online platform for KSEB bill payments

SBT (State Bank of Travancore) has tied up with the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to provide customers of the state utility online facility for remittance of electricity charges.
Features of the platform:
  • Immediate credit of remittance through the SBT internet banking platform free of any additional charges
  • Enable consumers to pay their monthly bills without going to the KSEB offices. They will get confirmation of the remittance from the bank as well as KSEB.
  • The facility will be helpful for NRIs abroad who need not entertain worries of disconnection due to default of bill payment.
Key points
  • Managing Director, SBT:Jeevandas Narayan
  • Chairman, KSEB: M Shivasankar

BSE launches algo trading test facility

Bombay Stock Exchange has launched a new service for algorithm trading test environment in partnership with Symphony Fintech Solutions Pvt Ltd.
  • The service will enable all market participants to test their trading algorithms in equityequity derivatives and currency derivatives segments free of cost.
  • The members will be able to test their trading strategies with live market data feed during market hours and historical market data.
Algorithm trading uses mathematical models and software codes to make transaction decisions on exchanges and execute them at high speed.
Keys BSE:
  • Founded – 1875
  • Location – Mumbai
  • Key people – Ashishkumar Chauhan (MD & CEO)
  • Indices – BSE SENSEX, BSE Small Cap, BSE Mid-Cap & BSE 500

India, Israel to intensify counter terrorism coordination

India and Israel agreed to intensify coordination to deal with the menaceof terrorismand discussed a wide-range of bilateral and regional issues.
  • Exchange of information (between the two countries) will continue in the future.
  • India attaches the highest importance to the full development of bilateral ties with Israel.
  • Two countries are intensifying their contacts and cooperation in fields such asscience and technology, cyber, defence and agriculture.
President Rivlin pushed for a boost in bilateral economic ties and announced the two partners should quickly finalise the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
*Points to remember: Israel
  • Capital: Jerusalem
  • Currency: Israeli new shekel
  • Prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu
  • President: ReuvenRivlin

France declares economic emergency

French President Francois Hollande has declared “a state of economic emergency” by announcing that it’s time to redefine France’s economic and social model.
  • The measures included a loosening of some worker-friendly measures to encourage companies to hire, and new training for half a million workers.
Key reforms:
  • Creation of 500,000 vocational training schemesadditional subsidies for small companies and a programme to boost apprenticeships.
  • With immediate effect, companies with fewer than 250 workers will receive a€2,000 payout for hiring youths and unemployed people on low salaries for contracts lasting more than six months.
  • Temporary tax breaks, announced in 2014, will become permanent.
Keys France:
  • Capital – Paris
  • Currencies – Euro, CFP franc
  • PM – Manuel Valls

Jayalalithaa launches ‘Amma Call Centre’ for grievance redressal

Tamil Nadu Chief J Jayalalithaa launched a round-the-clock call centre for ensuring fast response to grievances.
Aim: Ensuring quick response to people’s grievances wherein they can dial toll-free number ‘1100’ at any point of time in the day.
  • Details of the callers and the issues reported would be registered on computer and referred to the relevant department for action through e-mail, SMS and telephone.
  • Equipped with latest technology like Computer Telephony Integration and Voice Logger System.
*Jayalalithaa is fondly addressed as ‘Amma’ (mother) by her supporters.
Current initiatives:‘Amma Canteens’ which provide subsidisedfood, and ‘Amma Mineral Water’.

IIT Kharagpur launches innovation centre IIT Kharagpur launches innovation centre

IIT-Kharagpur has launched an innovation centre
Target: To promote the culture of innovation among its undergraduate students right from their first year.
M N Faruqui Innovations Centre was launched by ArjunMalhotra(Co-founder of HCL Technologies) comprising a Design Facility and Tinkering Laboratory.
  1. Design Facility supports a meeting, brainstorming and conferencing centre with Computing and Information Technology
  2. Tinkering Labhas collaborative conferencing tools, 3D printers, a mechanical workshop with fabrication machinery, electronics workbenches, PCB fabrication set-ups, and prototyping tools for embedded systems.
Points to remember: IIT Kharagpur
Recently, it was declared the top educational hub in India as per the Times Higher Education, Asia Rankings.
  • 2013: 3 by India Today, 2 by Outlook India
  • 2011: 4 by Dataquest
  • 2015: 3 in Careers 360 (Magazine) Top Universities
  • Location:Kharagpur, West Bengal
  • Chairman:Srikumar Banerjee

Provide access to answer sheets at Rs 2 per page: CIC

The Central Information Commission has ruled the Universities and examining bodies for not to charge more than Rs 2 per page for providing copies of evaluated answer scripts to students.
  • Derivatives are issued to the University Grants Commission and Association of Indian Universities, to circulate, publicise and insist on implementation of this order in all academic and examining bodies.
The decision in regard has been taken when a student Abne Ingty was asked to pay Rs 750 per paper to have his own answer-sheets. That high fee for a copy of answer book was breaching the sections 3, 6 and 7 of the RTI Act.

National Conference on “Sustainable Agriculture, Farmer’s Welfare”

The two-day National Conference on “Sustainable Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare”was chaired in Sikkim. The conference will be attended by state government representatives, scientists, academicians, bankers, experts and practitioners.
  • PM Narendra Modi was the chief guest at the plenary session of the conference.
  • “Organic Farming Festival” was also organized to give more impetus to Organic Farming.
The two day National Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare deliberated upon the challenges and identify initiatives to transform agriculture based on sustainable and efficient use of resources like soil and water, remunerative prices on farm producerisk coverage and reduction of potential negative impact of climate change.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Punjabi singer Manpreet Akhtar dies Punjabi singer Manpreet Akhtar dies

Noted Punjabi folk singer Manpreet Akhtar passed away due to brain hemorrhage at a local hospital in Patiala. She was 55.
About  Manpreet Akhtar :
  • Manpreet was the sister of famous Punjabi singer Dilshad Akhtar.
  • Manpreet was known for her classical style of singing and she sang songs in Punjabi and Hindi movies.
  • Some of her famous Punjabi songs were “Beriye Ni”, “Nikdi sui” and “Bas Ek Gera Gidhe Vich”. She also sang “Tujhe Yaad Na Meri Aye” in Bollywood movie “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”.

Former Sikkim Governor Ventrapragada Rama Rao passes away Former Sikkim Governor Ventrapragada Rama Rao passes away

Former Sikkim Governor and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ventrapragada Rama Rao died at a private hospital at the age of  81.
About Ventrapragada Rama Rao:
  • Rama Rao was born in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh in 1935.
  • Rao was a lawyer and practised at the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
  • He was elected as MLC on four occasions in the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh State Legislature. While he served for three full terms in 1966, 1972 and 1978, the Legislative Council was abolished during his fourth term after his election from Graduates Constituency in 1984. During his last term, he served as party floor leader in the Council. He was also imprisoned during Emergency.
  • Rao, who joined the Jan Sangh in 1956, was BJP national vice-president. He was twice State unit chief in united Andhra Pradesh from 1992-96. He also was a member of the BJP national executive and more recently a member of the core committee of the Telangana BJP.
  • He served as Sikkim Governor from October 25, 2002 to October 25, 2007.
Key points:
  • Sikkim Capital: Gangtok
  • Sikkim CM: Pawan Chamling
  • Sikkim Governor: Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil

Popov claims 14th Delhi International Open chess title Popov claims 14th Delhi International Open chess title

Russia’s Ivan Popov has bagged the title 14th Parsvnath Delhi International Chess Festival with prize money of Rs. three lakh. The event was held in New Delhi.
  • Hungarian Attila Czebe stood as runner up (2 lakh) and Ukraine’s Valeriy Neverov (Rs. 1 lakh) placed at third position.
M.R. Lalith Babu justified his presence in the event as the highest-rated Indian and defeated Ukraine’s Yuri Solodovnichenko in 68 moves to be at the fourth spot with 7.5 points.