Home Current Affairs CURRENT AFFAIRS; MONTHLY BULLETIN ; APRIL 2015 - PART - 1
CURRENT AFFAIRS; MONTHLY BULLETIN ; APRIL 2015 - PART - 1
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 03:35

PART - 1

 

ABBREVIATIONS

 

GIFT: Gujarat International Finance Tec-City.

NFC: Near Field Communication.

 

 

BOOKS

 

PRIME MINISTER RELEASED A BOOK TITLED PRE-MODERN KUTCHI NAVIGATION TECHNIQUES AND VOYAGES

Pre-Modern Kutchi Navigation Techniques and Voyages: Ashok B. Rajeshirke (Editor)

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on 6 April 2015 released a book titled Pre-Modern Kutchi Navigation Techniques and Voyages transcribed and edited by Ashok B. Rajeshirke in New Delhi.

The book is an outcome of the collaborative effort by the National Museum, New Delhi and the Darshak Itihas Nidhi, a Foundation for Research and Studies in History.

The book is a depiction and transcription of Malam Ni Pothis, a collection of Gujarati manuscripts which describe the pre-modern navigation technology of Gujarat between the 17th and the 19th century. The book also describes expeditions undertaken by the Malams (navigators) of Kutch.

 

BOOK TITLED SULEIMAN CHARITRA WRITTEN BY KALYANA MALLA TRANSLATED FROM SANSKRIT TO ENGLISH

Suleiman Charitra: Kalyana Malla

The book Suleiman Charitra written by Kalyana Malla was in news because on 9 April 2015 the translated version of it Sueiman Charitra of Kalyan Malla was released. The book has been translated from Sanskrit to English by diplomat-writer A.N.D. Haskar.

The translated version was released by Prof. Akhtarul Wasey, the National Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in New Delhi.

The original book Suleiman Charitra was written by Kalyan Malla who was an esteemed poet at the court of Lodhi prince Lad Khan in eastern Uttar Pradesh at the beginning of 16th Century.

The book is a collection of stories drawn from Islamic and Biblical narratives.

Malla is known to have also composed Ananga Ranga which along with Suleiman Charitra were dedicated to his princely patron.

 

IMPORTANT DAY

 

WORLD HEALTH DAY 2015 OBSERVED GLOBALLY WITH THE THEME FROM FARM TO PLATE, MAKE FOOD SAFE

7 April: World Health Day

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

The theme was selected by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to bring focus on growing global burden of food borne diseases and underscore the need for coordinated cross-border action across the entire food supply chain i.e. from farm to plate.

To mark the day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) conducted various programmes across the world in close cooperation with government agencies and civil society to spread awareness on food safety issues related to the entire spectrum of food supply chain.

The day is celebrated every year since it was first celebrated in 1950 to mark the anniversary of the WHO formation in 1948.

The theme of the WHD 2014 was Small bite, big threat which focused on vector borne diseases.

Unsafe foods and its consequences

Unsafe food contains harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances and causes more than 200 diseases - ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.  Examples of unsafe food include undercooked foods of animal origin, fruits and vegetables contaminated with feces and shellfish containing marine biotoxins.

According to WHO’s Food borne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) data related to 2010:
a) There were an estimated 582 million cases of 22 different food borne enteric (intestine related) diseases and 351000 associated deaths

b) The African region recorded the highest disease burden for enteric food borne diseases, followed by South-East Asia.

c) Over 40 percent people suffering from enteric diseases caused by contaminated food were children aged under 5 years.

Unsafe food also poses major economic risks, especially in a globalized world. Germany’s 2011 E.coli outbreak reportedly caused 1.3 billion US dollars in losses for farmers and industries and 236 million US dollars in emergency aid payments to 22 European Union Member States.

Steps taken by the WHO to make food safe

1962: WHO joined the Codex Alimentarius Commission which developed and enforces Codex Alimentarius, a collection of international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice covering all the main foods.

2004: WHO-FAO International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) was established in partnership with the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) to ensure effective and rapid communication during food safety emergencies.

2004: It released five keys to safer foods viz., keep clean, separate raw and cooked food, cook thoroughly, keep food at safe temperature and use safe water and raw material to prevent food borne diseases.

2007: It set up the Food borne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) to advise on matters of global food borne diseases.

 

WORLD HEMOPHILIA DAY 2015 OBSERVED GLOBALLY WITH THEME BUILDING A FAMILY OF SUPPORT

17 April: World Haemophilia Day

World Haemophilia Day was observed globally on 17 April 2015 with theme Building a family of support. The day provides an opportunity to talk to your extended family and friends, colleagues, and caregivers to raise awareness and increase support for those living with an inherited bleeding disorder.

Hemophilia day was established in 1989 with the support of the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH). The date of 17 April was chosen to honor Frank Schnabel the founder of WFH, whose birthday falls on the same date.

Haemophilia
It is the oldest known genetic bleeding disorder and is caused by a deficiency in the genes and impairs the body’s ability to control blood clotting, which is used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken. It is a disease that transmits at birth from an affected father to daughter, who then becomes a carrier of the hemophilia cells who is at higher risk of passing the defective gene on to her children.

Types of hemophilia

There are two types of hemophilia and each type is linked to a low level of a certain clotting factor. 
• Hemophilia A: It is the more common type and is linked to low levels of clotting factor VIII (8). The disease is present in about 1 in 5000 to 10000 male births.

• Hemophilia B: It is rarer and is associated with low levels of clotting factor IX (9). The disease occurs in around 1 in about 20000–34000 male births.

Hemophilia is diagnosed by taking a blood sample and testing the levels of clotting factor VIII & IX. The disease is not curable, but with proper knowledge and treatment it can be handled.

Causes of Acquired Bleeding Disorders

• Deficiency of Vitamin K

• Malfunction of Liver

• Inability of Bone marrow in producing enough platelets

• Excessive Blood transfusion

• Intake of a specific drugs (sulfa antibiotics or quinine may decrease number of platelets)

• Platelet count may diminish due to the presence of medical conditions like leukemia, HIV, kidney failure, liver disorder, multiple myeloma and others

 

WORLD HERITAGE DAY 2015 OBSERVED GLOBALLY

18 April: World Heritage Day

World Heritage Day was observed across the world on 18 April 2015. The day is observed with an aim to create awareness among the people to conserve and protect the valuable assets and cultural heritage across the world.

The day marks the necessity of protecting the historical monuments and sites located in every part of the world by making collective efforts at international level.

About the World Heritage Day

The first world Heritage Day was celebrated on 18 April 1982 by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in Tunisia and was approved in 1983 by UNESCO.

The 2015 World Heritage Day also marked 50th anniversary of ICOMOS.

ICOMOS was created at the Second Congress of Architects and Specialists of Historic Buildings, held in Venice in 1964, which adopted 13 resolutions, the first being the International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites, better known as the Venice Charter, and the second, put forward by UNESCO.

 

NINTH CIVIL SERVICES DAY OBSERVED ACROSS INDIA ON 21 APRIL

Civil Services Day: 21 April

Ninth Civil Services Day was observed across India on 21 April 2015. The day is observed by all Civil Services to re-dedicate and re-commit themselves to the cause of the people.

To mark the Day, a two-day programme was organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances began from 20 April 2015.

A series of Panel Discussions was organised at the Vigyan Bhawan. The Ninth Civil Services Day focuses on Minimum Government, Maximum Governance with specific sectoral emphasis on Social Sector, Housing, Employment & Skill Development and Agriculture.

On this occasion, all officers of Central and State Governments are honoured for excellence in public administration. The Prime Minister will confer the Awards to winners of outstanding initiatives in Public Administration for the years 2012–13 and 2013-14.

The award will be present in three categories. Under this scheme of awards instituted in 2006, all the officers individually or as group or as organization are eligible.

During the event, a book on Best Practices – Tomorrow is Here was also released by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

INTERNATIONAL MOTHER EARTH DAY OBSERVED WITH THEME IT’S OUR TURN TO LEAD

22 April: International Mother Earth Day

International Mother Earth Day was observed globally on 22 April 2015 with the theme It’s our turn to lead.

The theme highlights the need for change and seeks to inform the communities and leadership that action needs to be taken on climate by promoting a goal of environmental awareness through developing sustainable initiatives and galvanizing every human to pledge Acts of Green.

This is the 45th anniversary of the Earth’s Day, the year when the world leaders will pass a binding climate change treaty in Paris in December 2015. The treaty will be adopted to make sure the future of Earth, our planet and the survival of life on it.

Background
International Mother Earth Day also known as Earth Day is being celebrated across the world since 1970. The first Earth Day was celebrated on 21 March 1970, the day of vernal equinox that year. The concept of observing Earth Day is the brainchild of John McConnell, who proposed the idea of a global holiday called Earth Day at a UNESCO conference on Environment in 1969.

He chose the vernal equinox—the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn in the southern hemisphere—because it is a day of renewal. Vernal equinox is a day on which the night and day are of the same length, everywhere on Earth.

Further the UN Secretary-General U Thant on 26 February 1971 signed a proclamation that stated that the United Nations would celebrate Earth Day annually on the Vernal Equinox as the international Earth Day.

A month later, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson founded a separate Earth Day as an environmental teach-in first held on 22 April 1970.


UN OBSERVED WORLD BOOK AND COPYRIGHT DAY ACROSS THE WORLD

23 April: World Book and Copyright Day

United Nations (UN) observed World Book and Copyright Day across the world on 23 April 2015. The day is an opportunity to recognise the power of books to change our lives for the better and to support books and those who produce them.

For the year 2015, UNESCO designated Incheon, South Korea as the World Book Capital 2015 in recognition of its programme to promote reading among people and underprivileged sections of the population.

Various programs were held by UNESCO to promote reading habits among people. The programs also focused on discussing various issues pertaining to the world of authors, publishers, distributors as well as promoting their works and causes.

World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995. The day is also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days and is organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

In 1995, UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on 23 April, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, as well as that of the birth or death of several other prominent authors.

 

NATIONAL PANCHAYATI RAJ DAY OBSERVED ON 24 APRIL 2015

24 April: National Panchayati Raj Day

National Panchayati Raj Day was observed across India on 24 April 2015. The day is observed to mark the passing of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993.

The Amendment institutionalized Panchayati Raj through the Village, Intermediate and District levels Panchayats. This registers a defining moment in the history of decentralization of political power to the grassroots level.

On the day, the best performing Gram Panchayats and Gram Sabhas were honoured with Panchayat Sashaktikaran Award 2015 and Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Award 2015.

Besides, the Prime Minster Naredra Modi also addressed a national conference to highlight the steps taken by the government for real devolution of administrative and financial powers.

 

WORLD MALARIA DAY OBSERVED WITH THEME INVEST IN THE FUTURE. DEFEAT MALARIA

25 April: World Malaria Day

World Malaria Day (WMD) was observed on 25 April 2015. The theme for the 2013-2015 campaign is Invest in the Future. Defeat Malaria.

The day is observed to recognise the global efforts to control malaria. It is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria control and elimination

World Malaria Day was instituted by World Health Organization (WHO) Member States during the 2007 World Health Assembly.

On the occasion of the 2015 World Malaria Day (WMD), WHO called on the global health community to urgently address significant gaps in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria.

In its report, WHO said that malaria cases and deaths have significantly declined since 2000, but more than a million lives are still lost to this preventable disease each year. It says, that at least three quarters of malaria deaths occur in children under 5.

WMD is one of eight official global public health campaigns currently marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Hepatitis Day and World AIDS Day.


WORLD DANCE DAY OBSERVED GLOBALLY

29 April: World Dance Day

World Dance Day or International Dance Day was observed globally on 29 April 2015. It is observed with an aim to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance.

As part of celebrations, the President of the CID annually sends the official message for Dance Day which circulates in every country around the world.

International Dance Day was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council (CID) at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, France. CID is the official organization for all forms of dance in all countries of the world.

Further, the date for observing Dance Day on 29 April is not linked to a particular person or a particular form of dance, although it's also the day when the French dancer and creator of modern ballet Jean-Georges Noverre was born.

World Dance Day in India

On 2015 World Dance Day, dancers from different styles of dance including traditional, contemporaries and others participated in a grand show in New Delhi.

To mark the day, a show titled No Boundaries was organised by Sadhya, a unit of performing arts in association with Big Dance Centre and Friends of Art through.

 

INDIA DAIRY

1 April 2015
• Union Government issued Guidelines for administration and operationalisation of Nirbhaya Fund
• Union Government launched FAME-India scheme to boost electric, hybrid vehicle sales
• Andhra Pradesh Cabinet approved Amaravathi as capital of the State
• Odisha Government launched Aahar Scheme to provide subsidised food to urban poor
• Mayilsamy Annadurai appointed as Director of ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC)
• Minor planet named after former Chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand
• Sunita Tomar, the face of India's anti-tobacco campaign, died
• Renowned Hindi poet Kailash Vajpeyi died
• Snapdeal acquired RupeePower to launch financial service
• Vijay L Kelkar resigned from Tata Chemicals Board
• RBI approved the amalgamation of ING Vysya Bank with Kotak Mahindra Bank

2 April 2015
• Union Minister of Commerce & Industry unveiled Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020
• AIIMS study found Ashwagandha powder, Sidh Makardhwaj are effective in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

3 April 2015
• Gujarat leads in implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) during 2014-15
• Union Government extended National Food Security Act deadline by 6 months
• President promulgated Land Acquisition (Amendment) Ordinance 2015
• Kochi arachnologists discovered rare spiders in Western Ghats
• Bharti AXA General Insurance launched Smart Traveller

4 April 2015
• The first-ever photograph of vulnerable Chestnut-breasted Partridge clicked
• 21 weightlifters test positive, provisionally suspended by IWF
• Keshari Nath Tripathi sworn-in as 16th Governor of Mizoram
• India’s ace mountaineer Malli Mastan Babu died

5 April 2015
• Piplantri village of Rajasthan, a village that plants 111 trees for every girl born
• Delhi International Airport Limited won Golden Peacock National Quality Award 2015
• Google signed strategic partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers to target Digital India projects

6 April 2015
• Divorced Muslim women entitled for maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC: SC
• SC asked Union Government to re-visit Juvenile Justice Act, 2000
• Grey Hypocolius sighted at the Narara Marine National Park in Gujarat
• The first-ever photograph of vulnerable Chestnut-breasted Partridge clicked
• Scientists discovered an endangered species of plant named Oldenlandia dineshi from Western Ghats
• Narendra Modi launched National Air Quality index to monitor pollution level in 10 cities
• AIIMS study found Ashwagandha powder, Sidh Makardhwaj are effective in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Steel Companies partnered with Union Ministry of Steel to set up Steel Research & Technology Mission
• Rajeev Shukla appointed as Chairman of IPL Governing Council

7 April 2015
• 20th Law Commission submitted Report on Eliminating Discrimination Against Leprosy-affected Persons
• TRAI recommended establishment of Integrated Emergency Communication & Response System
• Union Cabinet approved amendments to Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013
• Union Cabinet gave nod for release of additional installment of DA and DR
• CCEA approved two FIIs proposals in pharmaceutical companies Aurobindo and Glenmark
• CCEA gave nod for strengthening and widening of 455-km of National Highways
• State Environment and Forest Ministers’ Conference adopted Resolution on Protecting Environment
• Union Government to re-classify industries in a three-coloured scheme based on pollution potential
• National Green Tribunal ruled 10-year old diesel vehicles cannot ply on Delhi roads
• Gujarat won Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy
• PCI President Rajesh Tomar suspended for mismanagement in Para-Athletics games
• Supreme Court lifted 1990 ban on performance of play Jesus Christ Superstar
• Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry constituted Ajay Shankar committee to simplify clearances

8 April 2015
• Union Ministry of Home Affairs revised norms for State Disaster Relief Fund
• PM announced relief measures for distressed farmer
• SEBI raised the limit for currency derivatives trades to 15 million US dollar
• RBI notified hike in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap in Insurance Sector to 49 percent
• Prime Minister launched MUDRA Bank under PM Jan Dhan Yojana to fund small entrepreneurs
• Jnanapith awardee Tamil writer Jayakanthan died
• Gopaldas Neeraj, Uday Pratap Singh conferred with Sahitya Shiromani Samman of Uttar Pradesh
• Noted singer EM Hanifa died
• Sumit Mazumder elected as President of Confederation of Indian Industry for the year 2015-16
• Dr. Nasim Zaidi appointed as Chief Election Commissioner of India

9 April 2015

• Union Ministry of Home Affairs suspended Greenpeace India Society (GIS) registration for 180 days
• EPFO suspended 1000 rupees minimum monthly pension scheme
• Thane named as National Earth Hour Capital 2015 by WWF
• Visit Kerala 2015 campaign launched to promote Kerala tourism
• Union Government rejected Odisha government proposal to grant mining license to Posco
• Indian football team climbed to 147 position in FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings
• Bharat Hari Singhania became the president of JK Organization
• India successfully test-fired Dhanush ballistic missile
• Former Air Chief Marshal of IAF Hrushikesh Moolgavkar died
• Book titled Suleiman Charitra written by Kalyana Malla translated from Sanskrit to English

10 April 2015

• Union Home Ministry notified Governors (Allowances and Privileges) Amendment Rules, 2015
• Supreme Court ordered free treatment for acid attack victims
• NGT banned construction activities causing air pollution in Delhi-Nation Capital Region (NCR)
• Arun Kumar Jha appointed as CEO of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)

11 April 2015
• Spiders belonging to Thomisidae family named after Telangana state
• India’s first IFSC became operational at GIFT City, Gandhinagar in Gujarat
• Brijbushan Sharan Singh re-elected as President of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI)
• Yuki Bhambri won ITF Uzbekistan F1 Futures Singles Title
• Apurvi Chandela won Bronze in 10-m Air Rifle Women event at ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup in Changwon
• 1971 War Hero Lt General Hanut Singh Died
• President inaugurated Songs and Dances of Northeast event in New Delhi

12 April 2015
• Jitu Rai won Bronze in 10-m Air Pistol Men event at ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup in Changwon

13 April 2015
• Union Government notified National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014
• WEF released a report titled Urban Development Recommendations for India under FUDS initiative
• BHEL commissioned 600 MW thermal unit at Dhabra in Chhattisgarh
• Baba Ramdev to be accorded the status of Cabinet Minister by Haryana Government

14 April 2015
• Union Government decided to relax the quality norms for procurement of wheat in Haryana
• Union Ministry of Home Affairs renamed Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme as e-Tourist Visa
• Haryana Government notified forests in Aravalli range are not a forest
• Fourth Lighthouse Museum of India to be opened at Kannur, Kerala
• Union Government planned to push for Green Bonds to meets its target of renewable energy
• TRAI received over three lakh e-mails in support of Net Neutrality
• Union Government constituted Task Force on Interlinking of Rivers
• Arun Jaitley inaugurated Vividh Bharati Service of Delhi on FM Mode

15 April 2015
• Justice AR Dave recused from Constitutional Bench hearing petitions challenging NJAC Act, 2014
• 45-day long annual fishing ban on Eastern Coast of India started
• Sachin Tendulkar elected as member of Laureus Sports Academy
• Dr. Mohan Kumar appointed as Ambassador of India to France
• Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai sworn in as first lady judge of Sikkim HC
• Assamese film director, actor Bidyut Chakraborty died

16 April 2015
• SC declared fundamental right to speech cannot be misused to abuse nationally revered figures
• Delhi Government launched the third phase of Mass Deworming Programme for school children
• Vikram Patel named among the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World List 2015
• India successfully test-fired Agni III ballistic missile from Wheelar Island

17 April 2015
• Supreme Court appointed Vivek Priyadarshi to lead the probe on IPL scandal
• SC: Can’t issue guidelines to CBFC on how to assess a movie before allowing its release
• Indian economy to grow at 7.5 per cent in 2015: Moody's
• Maharashtra Government constituted taskforce on farm development, poverty alleviation
• AP Government inked MoU with IISL Company to replace streetlights in 13 municipalities
• Union Government decided to transfer training and apprentice divisions to Skill Development Ministry
• PM Narendra Modi concluded his three-nation visit to France, Germany and Canada

18 April 2015

• Maharashtra Government decided to discontinue Guard of Honour to ministers

19 April 2015

• Kerala government launched Subodham project to end liquor abuse
• Three Indian race walkers Khushbir, Manish, Sandeep qualified for 2016 Rio Olympics
• Sitaram Yechury elected as General Secretary of CPI (M)

20 April 2015
• Indian Navy’s new missile destroyer ship named Visakhapatnam launched
• Former Bengal U-19 Cricket captain Ankit Keshri died
• Neeraj Kumar appointed as Chief Adviser of Anti-Corruption & Security Unit of BCCI

21 April 2015
• Indian Railways launched E-Samiksha to monitor rail projects online
• Union Finance Ministry retained interest rate for GPF at 8.7 percent for 2015-16
• Cyclonic storm struck the north-eastern border districts of Bihar
• Work on Saraswati Revival Project launched in Haryana
• Tamil Nadu Government cancelled allotment of land for Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd
• Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand declared as India's 48th Tiger Reserve
• New species of Geckos discovered at the World Heritage Site of Hampi in Karnataka
• IT Department awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration
• President released Postage Stamp commemorating 200 years of Old Seminary in Kottayam
• Shah Rukh Khan honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Award 2015
• Ninth Civil Services Day observed across India on 21 April
• Former Chief Minister of Odisha Janaki Ballabh Patnaik died

22 April 2015
• Union Government rolled out online LTV applications system for Pakistani nationals
• Union Cabinet approved the introduction of The Commercial Courts Bill 2015 in Parliament
• Union Cabinet approved agreement between India and Jordan on maritime transport
• Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting received ISO 9001:2008 certification
• Cabinet approved amendments to the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Bill 2014
• Railways launched mobile app utsonmobile for paperless unreserved tickets
• Union Sports Ministry suspended recognition of Paralympic Committee of India

23 April 2015
• Union Home Ministry puts Ford Foundation under watch list
• Nitish Kumar constituted panel on salary revision for fixed pay teachers

24 April 2015

• Rajya Sabha passed the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s Healthcare Portal
• Union Government allowed EPFO to invest 5 percent of its corpus in stock market
• Andhra Pradesh Government constituted SIT to probe Chittoor firing
• National Panchayati Raj Day observed on 24 April 2015

25 April 2015
• Anil Kapoor conferred with Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award 2015
• Prime Minister conferred 50th Jnanpith Award on Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade

26 April 2015
• NGT issued notices to five-star hotels, malls to explain failure to harvest rainwater
• India won Gold and a Bronze at 2015 Asian Indoor Rowing Championship
• India launched Operation Maitri in quake-hit Nepal
• President Conferred Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards

27 April 2015
• Union Government reconstituted Nehru Memorial Museum Library Society
• INS Tarangini departed for Lokayan-2015
• Union Ministry for Power flagged off three Mobile Science Labs to revolutionise rural education
• Rajya Sabha passed Payments and Settlement Systems (Amendment) Bill, 2014
• Union Government cancelled licenses of nearly 9000 NGOs
• AP Government appointed Chadalavada Krishnamurthy as Chairman of TTD
• India crowned champions for the first time at 22nd President's Cup Boxing Tournament
• Margarita, with a Straw won Best Feature Film Award at Washington Film festival

28 April 2015

• Rajya Sabha passed Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, 2014
• NGT banned burning of waste in open in Delhi NCR
• Delhi government approved farmer compensation scheme named after Gajender Singh
• ISRO successfully tested indigenous cryogenic engine CE-20 with four-tonne capacity

29 April 2015

• Union Cabinet approved Smart Cities Mission with an outlay of 48000 crore rupees
• Union Cabinet approved Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) of 500 cities
• Tourist Visa scheme extended to 31 more countries
• Union Cabinet approved Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013
• Union Government approved continuation of 1000 rupees Monthly Pension Scheme under EPS
• RBI imposed a fine of 1.5 crore rupees each on three Public Sector Banks for violating KYC norms
• CCEA gave approval for engaging Maharashtra Cotton Growers Federation to undertake MSP operations
• NRSC, DoLR signed MoU for development of Web Geo Portal Shrishti and Mobile App Drishti
• Marathi actress Bimba Modak passed away
• Mukesh Khanna appointed as Chairperson of Children's Film Society of India
• Logo of the International Day of Yoga launched
• Gopinath Pillai resigned as Chairman of Gateway Distriparks Limited
• Union Cabinet approved Smart Cities Mission with an outlay of 48000 crore rupees
• World’s largest solar photovoltaic plant of 750 MW to be built in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh
• India home to 48 of the 250 known species of bumblebees: Indian Bumblebees
• Union Cabinet approved the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015

30 April 2015
• Low quality plastic items banned in Ahmedabad
• Prannoy Roy honoured with the RedInk Lifetime Achievement Award 2015
• Maulana Wahiduddin Khan conferred with Sayyidina Imam Al Hassan Ibn Ali Peace Award
• Nadia in West Bengal became the first open defecation-free (ODF) district of India
• Low quality plastic items banned in Ahmedabad
• First meeting of Sub-Group of CMs on Swachh Bharat Mission held in New Delhi
• Former Gujarat assembly speaker Barjorji Pardiwala passed away
• A Book titled China – Confucius in the Shadows written by Poonam Surie released
• Union finance Ministry exempted MAT for foreign investors
• Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill, 2015



WORLD DAIRY

1 April 2015
• Brendon McCullum conferred with Sir Richard Hadlee Medal for 2014-15
• Mustafa Kamal resigned from the post of President of International Cricket Council

2 April 2015
• Al-shabab attacked Garissa University College in Kenya
• Iran and P5+1 gave nod for nuclear agreement Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
• Pedro Cateriano Bellido appointed as 7th Prime Minister of Peru
• Indian-origin nurse Subadhra Devi Rai named for 2015 International Achievement Award

3 April 2015
• California Court ruled Yoga taught in San Diego County schools does not violate religious freedom
• Pakistan President promulgated the General Elections 2013 Inquiry Commission Ordinance 2015

4 April 2015
• Pratap Singh, an Indian-origin schoolboy, won Institute of Physics Prize for his Cosmic-ray project
• FM Global released Global Resilience Index 2015 Report

5 April 2015
• Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams won the 2015 Miami Open Tennis Singles titles
• Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis won 2015 Miami Open Women's Doubles title

6 April 2015
• Sri Lanka and Pakistan signed Six Agreements
• Dronavalli Harika won bronze in World Women's chess championship

7 April 2015
• Liu Xiang, former Olympic 110m hurdles champion, retired
• World Health Day 2015 observed globally with the theme From farm to plate, make food safe

8 April 2015
• Scientists detected rapid accumulation of anesthetic gases in atmosphere causing global warming
• India elected to four United Nations agencies
• Social Progress Index 2015 released by Social Progress Imperative
• India and USA signed Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on transportation
• University of Cape Town voted for removal of the statue of British colonialist, Cecil Rhodes

9 April 2015

• Seoul won WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge to become the Global Earth Hour Capital 2015
• Parliament of Ukraine passed a law banning organisations that propagate Communism and Nazism
• State legislature of Oklahoma passed a bill that allow use of nitrogen gas for executions

10 April 2015

• India and France signed 20 MoUs and Agreements to give new impetus to bilateral co-operation
• India to chair Ninth Meeting of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Council
• Former Australia Cricket Captain Richie Benaud died

11 April 2015
• Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman hanged by Bangladesh for 1971 war crimes            

12 April 2015
• New Zealand won Sultan Azlan Shah Cup men’s hockey tournament by defeating Australia
• Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain won Chinese Grand Prix of Formula 1
• Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis won WTA Family Circle Cup
• NASA named Asteroid 316201 after Malala Yousafzai, the winner of 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

13 April 2015
• Nobel laureate German Novelist Gunter Grass died
• World Bank released South Asia Economic Focus report
• Coloured Capsicums can control diabetes, obesity: Study
• Russia lifted ban on delivery of S-300 Missile System to Iran
• China quashed bid of Taiwan to become full member of AIIB
• World Bank released Migration and Development Brief
• Normandy Four Group agreed to form working group to implement ceasefire deal on Ukraine conflict
• Fifth Normandy Group Foreign Ministers meet held in Berlin
• Over Hundred people killed during Songkran festival in Thailand
• Mahatma Gandhi statue in Johannesburg defaced
• Ernst & Young released a report titled Global IPO Trends 2015

14 April 2015
• Stanford Researchers created a Smartphone Battery that charges in only one minute
• Allan Donald resigned as South Africa Bowling Coach
• IMF released World Economic Outlook April 2015 Update
• India-Germany released Joint Statement to strengthen Strategic Partnership
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Germany
• Ri Su Yong, the Foreign Minister of North Korea, visited India

15 April 2015
• Researchers developed smart phone-based Digital Diffraction Diagnosis System to diagnose cancer
• Laureus World Sports Awards for the year 2015 conferred
• India, Canada issued Joint Statement titled New Vigour, New Steps
• India and Canada signed nuclear agreement on supply of Uranium
• India, Belarus agreed to enhance bilateral ties
• Narendra Modi gifted Miniature Painting titled Guru Nanak Dev to Stephen Harper
• Former Nepalese Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa died

16 April 2015
• TERI, FNI, INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE signed MOU to further Climate & Development Agenda
• Time Magazine released list of 100 most influential people in the world
• Pakistan Supreme Court stayed executions by Military Courts
• Tennessee House voted to make Bible as official state book
• Pakistan and Russia agreed to hold first-ever joint military exercise
• Stanislav Gross, Former Czech Republic Prime Minister, died
• PM of India, Canada paid tributes to victims of 1985 Kanishka incident at Humber Bay Park
• Satya Nadella honoured with the White House Champions of Change
• Jamal Benomar, United Nations peace envoy to Yemen, resigned
• Ancient Indian sculpture Parrot Lady presented to PM Narendra Modi by Canadian PM

17 April 2015

• Shah Rukh Khan, Zayn Malik honoured at the 5th Asian Awards
• World Hemophilia Day 2015 observed globally with theme Building a family of support

18 April 2015

• India and South Korea held high level defence talks in Seoul
• World Heritage Day 2015 observed globally

19 April 2015

• Archana, Anezka won cadet girls’ doubles title at the French Junior and Cadet Open
• Centre Party won the Parliamentary Elections of Finland
• UN released a report titled Global E-Waste Monitor 2014
• 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice held in Doha
• Chhurim Sherpa, first woman to climb the Everest summit twice in a week

20 April 2015
• Novak Djokovic won Monte Carlo Masters title of Tennis
• Eminent Historian Christopher Alan Bayly died

21 April 2015
• Japan's Nikkei 225 closed above 20000 for the first time in 15 years
• China, Pakistan signed an agreement on Economic Corridor plan worth 46 billion US dollars
• Cricket South Africa launched Africa T20 Cup
• Japanese Maglev train set the world speed record of 603 kmph
• Pakistan conferred highest civilian award Nishan-e-Pakistan on Chinese president Xi Jinping

22 April 2015
• NRL & BPC signed MoU to export petroleum products to Bangladesh
• Calbuco volcano of Chile erupted after 42 years
• Bangladesh won 3-match ODI series against Pakistan, 3-0
• International Mother Earth Day observed with theme It’s Our Turn to Lead
• IOC President Thomas Bach named ambassador of HeForShe by UN Women

23 April 2015
• Russia, Argentina signed agreements on economic & energy co-operation
• Indian-American Vivek Murthy took oath as 19th US Surgeon General
• UN observed World Book and Copyright Day across the world
• Indo-French Naval exercise VARUNA commenced at Goa
• World Happiness Report 2015 released
• Bharatiya Mahila Bank won the Asian Banker Achievement Award 2015

24 April 2015
• Turrialba Volcano erupted in Costa Rica
• Gopinath Pillai awarded with the Outstanding Service Award for his services in Singapore
• Margarita, with a Straw won Best Feature Film Award at Washington Film festival

25 April 2015

• Earthquake of magnitude 7.9 on the Richter scale struck Nepal
• Wladimir Klitschko defeated Bryant Jennings to defend heavyweight title of Boxing
• World Malaria Day observed with theme Invest in the Future. Defeat Malaria
• Dharahara Tower of Nepal collapsed after earthquake of magnitude 7.9 struck Nepal
• Yashwant Sinha honoured with Officier de la Légion d’Honneur by French Government

26 April 2015
• Lin Dan of China won men`s title of Badminton Asia Championships 2015
• Magnus Carlsen of Norway won Shamkir Chess Tournament
• Sangeeta Bhatia, Indian-origin scientist at MIT, won the 2015 Heinz Award

27 April 2015
• Nursultan A Nazarbayev re-elected as President of Kazakhstan
• Japan and the US revised defence deal after 18 years to deal with growing global security concern
• Omar Hassan al-Bashir won the Presidential election of Sudan
• Singer Jack Ely famous for song Louie Louie passed away
• Raja Rajeswari became the first India-born woman to be sworn in as Judge of New York City
• Baloch nationalist leader Talal Akbar Bugti passed away
• Loretta Lynch sworn in as first black female Attorney General of United States
• Rubella eradicated from North and South America region

28 April 2015
• Sri Lankan Parliament adopted the 19th Amendment to the Constitution
• Venezuela announced to cut working hours to tackle energy crisis
• Earthquake of magnitude 5.5 on the Richter scale jolted Pakistan
• China won the World Team Chess Championship in Tsaghkadzor
• Railways won 5th Senior Men’s National Hockey championship
• Novelist Siddhartha Gigoo won 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia region
• India, Afghanistan released Joint Statement
• China’s NDRC released new action plan One Belt, One Road initiative
• WHO released a report on Economic cost of the health impact of air pollution in European Region
• India, Afghanistan released Joint Statement

29 April 2015
• Japan proposed new JWG on Nuclear deal
• Georgia won Women’s World Team Chess Championship held at Chengdu
• Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud appointed Mohammed bin Nayef as Crown Prince
• World Dance Day observed globally
• Indian Coast Guard (ICG) held Theera Veta defence exercise in Arabian Sea
• Ananda Kumar, Pramod Patil won Whitley Awards for wildlife conservation
• Four Indians to be conferred with 2015 Spring Imperial Decorations of Japan
• Microsoft named its next Web Browser as Edge

30 April 2015
• India, Japan signed Action Agenda for Investment and Trade Promotion
• Argentine parliament passed a law to compensate victims of Jewish centre attack
• Bone relics of Lord Buddha reached Sri Lanka for public viewing
• Argentine Parliament passed a law to compensate victims of Jewish centre attack
• Pakistan court sentenced 10 men to 25 years in jail for attacking Malala Yousafzai
• NASA ended operations of MESSENGER Mission to Mercury

 

APPOINTMENTS; ELECTED; ETC.


PEDRO CATERIANO BELLIDO APPOINTED AS 7TH PRIME MINISTER OF PERU

Pedro Cateriano Bellido was appointed as the seventh Prime Minister of Peru on 2 April 2015. He was appointed by the President Ollanta Humala in a ceremony held at the Government Palace in Lima, Peru.

He replaced Ana Jara, who was sacked on 30 March 2015 after losing the vote of confidence in Congress. She was sacked by Peruvian Congress amid allegations of spying and corruption.

At the time of this appointment, 56-year-old lawyer Bellido was serving as Defence Minister of Peru. He was serving as Peru’s Defence Minister since July 2012.

A lawyer by profession with specialisation in Constitutional Law, he served as an agent of the Peruvian State to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Chavin de Huantar case in 2012.

From 2001 to 2002, he served as deputy Justice Minister and from 1990 to 1992 he was a member of the Parliament of Peru


KESHARI NATH TRIPATHI SWORN-IN AS 16TH GOVERNOR OF MIZORAM

Keshari Nath Tripathi on 4 April 2015 was sworn-in as the 16th Governor of Mizoram. He will discharge the functions of the Governor of Mizoram in addition to his own duties as Governor of West Bengal and Bihar.

Justice Michael Zothankhuma of the Gauhati High Court administered the oath of office to Tripathi at Raj Bhavan in Aizawal.

He replaced Aziz Qureshi, who was sacked by Union Government on 28 March 2015. Congress-ruled Mizoram has seen seven governors in eight months.

According to article 153, there shall be a Governor for each State but the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act 1956 facilitated the appointment of same person as governor for two or more states.


MAYILSAMY ANNADURAI APPOINTED AS DIRECTOR OF ISRO SATELLITE CENTRE (ISAC)

Mayilsamy Annadurai on 1 April 2015 was appointed as Director of ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bengaluru.

He took over as Director, ISAC from Dr SK Shivakumar who superannuated on 31 March 2015.

As the Director of ISAC he will oversee development of satellite technology and implementation of satellite systems for scientific, technological and application missions.

Before the present appointment he had been the Programme Director of Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) and Small Satellite Systems (SSS) at the ISAC since 2011.

About Mayilsamy Annadurai

• Annadurai began his career at ISAC in 1982 as the team leader to design and develop Software Satellite Simulator.

• He was the Project Director of Chandrayaan-1, India’s first lunar probe, in 2009.

• He was also instrumental in completion of India’s first inter-planetary mission Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in record time.

• He was conferred with Team Excellence Award from ISRO for his Contribution to Indian Space Programme in 2007 and Rajyotsava Award for Science from Government of Karnataka in 2008.

 

DR. NASIM ZAIDI APPOINTED AS CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER OF INDIA

President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on 9 April 2015 appointed Dr. Nasim Zaidi as the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). He will assume the charge of office of the CEC with effect from 19 April 2015.

Zaidi is the 20th CEC of India and will succeed Harishankar Brahma who will demit his office on 18 April 2015.

He will have tenure up to July 2017 when he attains the age of 65, the upper age limit under the Constitution for holding the post.

Zaidi is the senior-most Election Commissioner after Harishankar Brahma and he was appointed as CEC following the convention in which the senior-most EC is appointed as the CEC.

Dr. Nasim Zaidi carries a rich experience of working in regulatory framework both at national & international levels.

He has been associated with the conduct of fair and free Elections of 15 states assemblies and Lok Sabha 2014.

He assumed charge as Election Commissioner of India on 7 August 2012. Before this he served as a long-time civil servant of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) 1976 batch.

He was instrumental in formulating Financial Restructuring and Turnaround Plan of Air India (AI) and also setting up the Dharmadhikari Committee to ensure merger process of AI.

Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC)

Article 324 (2) under Part XV of the Constitution of India provides for appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (EC) by the President.

The CEC and the two EC draw salaries and allowances at par with those of the Judges of the Supreme Court of India as provided for by the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1992.

The tenure of CEC or an EC is six years from the date on which he assumes his office or 65 years of age whichever is earlier.

 

SUMIT MAZUMDER ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF CONFEDERATION OF INDIAN INDUSTRY FOR THE YEAR 2015-16

Sumit Mazumder on 7 April 2015 was elected as the President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the year 2015-16. He succeeded Ajay Shriram.

He is the Chairman and Managing Director of the TIL Limited, India’s largest manufacturer of material handling equipment.

Mazumder is also the Executive Chairman of TIPL (Tractors India Pvt. Ltd.) which is a distributor for Caterpillar, USA, in India, Nepal and Bhutan for earthmoving, construction, mining equipment and power systems.

Besides, Dr. Naushad Forbes was elected as the President-designate of the CII for the year 2015-16. He is the Director of Forbes Marshall, India's leading Steam Engineering and Control Instrumentation firm.

Shobana Kamineni was elected as the Vice-President of the CII for the year 2015-16. She is Executive Vice-Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited (AHEL).

 

ARUN KUMAR JHA APPOINTED AS CEO OF KHADI AND VILLAGE INDUSTRIES COMMISSION (KVIC)

Arun Kumar Jha was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

The decision in this regard was taken on 10 April 2015 by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) of the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

As the CEO of KVIC, he will oversee the day-to-day functioning of the commission and report about its activities to the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).

Before this appointment, he had been working as the Director General of National Institute of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) functioning under the Union Ministry of MSME.

Jha is a 1985-batch Indian Economics Service (IES) officer.

About KVIC

• It is a statutory body established by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956.

• It functions under the aegis of Union Ministry of MSME.

• It’s primary objective is to create self-reliance amongst the poor and build strong rural community spirit by producing saleable articles and providing employment.


JUSTICE MEENAKSHI MADAN RAI SWORN IN AS FIRST LADY JUDGE OF SIKKIM HC

Meenakshi Madan Rai on 15 April 2015 was sworn in as the first lady judge of the Sikkim High Court. Her oath of the office was administered by the Governor Srinivas Patil at Ashirwad Hall at Raj Bhavan in Gangtok.

Rai is also the third High Court judge who hails from the small border state.

This appointment of Rai as the judge of the Sikkim High Court has helped the state to get its full strength of three judges after a gap of about one year.

 

DR. MOHAN KUMAR APPOINTED AS AMBASSADOR OF INDIA TO FRANCE

Dr. Mohan Kumar on 15 April 2015 was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to France. He is a 1981-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer.

Prior to this assignment, he was serving as Ambassador of India to Bahrain and he will succeed Arun Kumar who was appointed Ambassador to the United States.

In his over 30 years IFS career, he had served at various posts and had handled variety of interesting and challenging assignments.

He had served as Deputy High Commissioner at the Indian Diplomatic Mission in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2001. He also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Paris for 3 years.

 

IOC PRESIDENT THOMAS BACH NAMED AMBASSADOR OF HEFORSHE BY UN WOMEN

Thomas Bach, the president of International Olympic Committee (IOC), was on 22 April 2015 named as ambassador of HeForShe campaign by UN Women.

HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for gender equality established by United Nations (UN) Women.

The campaign was launched by the UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson in September 2014. HeForShe encourages men and boys to join in on the fight for women's rights and gender equality all over the glove. Their goal is to enlist one billion men and boys to become advocates for women's rights worldwide.

Hundres of thousands of men have voiced their commitment to gender equality, since the campaign's launch, and gave their full support for the program.

In November 2014, Farhan Akhtar was named as UN Women's Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia towards the empowerment of women and girls. He serves as an advocate for HeForShe initiative in advocating for gender equality and women's empowerment.

 

LORETTA LYNCH SWORN IN AS FIRST BLACK FEMALE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF UNITED STATES

Loretta Lynch on 27 April 2015 was sworn-in as the United States' 83rd Attorney General, the first African-American woman to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement official.

She succeeded former attorney general Eric Holder, who left the position on 24 April 2015 after serving as Attorney General for six years. Her name was confirmed five months after President Obama nominated her to succeed Eric Holder.

55-year-old, Lynch appointment as the Attorney General was confirmed by the Senate on 23 April 2015. Earlier, she served as the US Attorney for the eastern district of New York, which encompasses much of New York City.

Lynch is also the second female after Janet Wood Reno to serve as Attorney General of the US.

She is known for her work on high-profile anti-terror cases and has a history of successfully prosecuting terrorists who plotted to bomb the New York subway and the Federal Reserve Bank.

A Harvard graduate, Lynch is a daughter of a librarian mother and her father is a Baptist minister in North Carolina.

 

RAJA RAJESWARI BECAME THE FIRST INDIA-BORN WOMAN TO BE SWORN IN AS JUDGE OF NEW YORK CITY

India-born Raja Rajeswari was on 27 April 2015 sworn-in as the criminal court judge of the New York City. With this, she became the first India-born woman judge of New York City.

She was sworn-in as a criminal court judge by Mayor Bill de Blasio at a ceremony in New York. She took the oath of office along with 27 other judges appointed to the Family Court, Criminal Court, and Civil Court, which are a part of the New York State Unified Court System.

The mayor appointed judges to 10-year terms in the New York City Criminal Court and the Family Court within the city.

Rajeswari has served in the district attorney's office for the past 16 years and has been the deputy chief of the Special Victims Unit for more than four years.

Rajeswari had immigrated to the US from India as a teenager and has previously worked with the Richmond County District Attorney's Office for her entire career in several bureaus including Criminal Court, Narcotics, Supreme Court, and the Sex Crimes Special Victims Bureau, where she last served as Deputy Chief.

 

MUKESH KHANNA APPOINTED AS CHAIRPERSON OF CHILDREN'S FILM SOCIETY OF INDIA

Actor and producer Mukesh Khanna on 29 April 2015 was appointed as the Chairperson of the Children's Film Society of India (CFSI). He was appointed by Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as successor of Amole Gupte.

Actor-director Amole Gupte, who took the post in 2012, had resigned from the office in June 2014.

Mukesh Khanna is known for his iconic role as Shaktimaan, a 1990s superhero series. He is also remembered for his portrayal as Bhishma Pitamah in Mahabharat. He was last seen in daily soap Pyaar Ka Dard Hai Meetha Meetha Pyaara Pyaara.

Children's Film Society of India

Children's Film Society India (CFSI) was founded by, India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1955 as an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

CFSI is the prime producer of children's content in South Asia, committed to supporting high quality children's content that is not only entertaining but encourages children to reflect on the world around them.

It produces features, shorts, animations in many diverse languages and their present catalogue has close to 250 films in 10 different languages.


PERSON IN NEWS

 

MINOR PLANET NAMED AFTER FORMER CHESS GRANDMASTER VISHWANATHAN ANAND

Michael Rudenko, a committee member of the Minor Planet Center on 1 April 2015 officially named a minor planet as 4538 Vishyanand, to honour India’s first chess grandmaster, Vishwanathan Anand.

The main-belt minor planet was discovered between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter by Kenzo Suzuki in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, on 10 October 1988. Since its discovery, the planet remained unnamed.

With this, Anand joined former world chess champions Alexander Alekhine and Anatoly Karpov who have had a similar honour bestowed on them. Other sports personalities on whom such honours have been bestowed include Donald Bradman, Jesse Owens, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Process of naming celestial objects

The discoverer retains the privilege of suggesting a name for 10 years, while a committee chosen from the working group of the International Astronomical Union has the final authority to finally assign a name to a numbered minor planet.

Michael Rudenko who was invited to do the honours, proposed the name Vishyanand, following the rules. The rules require names to be 16 characters or fewer, and preferably without spaces, along with a brief citation explaining the reason for the name.

What is a minor planet?

A minor planet is an astronomical object in direct orbit around the Sun that is neither a planet nor originally classified as a comet. Minor planets can be dwarf planets, asteroids, trojans, centaurs, Kuiper belt objects, and other trans-Neptunian objects.

The term minor planet has been used since the 19th century to describe astronomical objects.

The first minor planet discovered was Ceres in 1801. The orbits of 670000 minor planets were archived at the Minor Planet Center by 2015.

 

NASA NAMED ASTEROID 316201 AFTER MALALA YOUSAFZAI, THE WINNER OF 2014 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on 12 April 2015 named Asteroid 316201 after Malala Yousafzai, the winner of 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

The asteroid is situated in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid orbits the sun every five-and-a-half years.

In October 2012, Malala was shot as she boarded a school bus in the Swat Valley, Pakistan. She had risen to prominence after appearing in a BBC documentary about life under the Pakistani Taliban who controlled the area, and were stifling women's rights and education.

After emergency medical treatment in the UK, she became a worldwide sensation, speaking in front of the UN and elsewhere about the right to education. She along with Kailash Satyarthi was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her efforts.

 

BABA RAMDEV TO BE ACCORDED THE STATUS OF CABINET MINISTER BY HARYANA GOVERNMENT

The Yoga guru Baba Ramdev was in news as State Government of Haryana on 13 April 2015 decided to accord status equivalent to a Cabinet Minister on him.

The decision to grant status of Cabinet Minister to Ramdev was taken at a meeting of Ministers presided over by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Ramdev will be honoured by the state government in Panchkula on 21 April 2015.

Besides, the state government also decided to develop herbal forest in the state under the supervision of Baba Ramdev. In these herbal forests, thousands of species of ayurvedic herbs would be grown.

Also, Yoga would be made a compulsory subject in Haryana’s schools for which yogshalas will be constructed in all the towns and about 6500 villages of the State under the guidance of Baba Ramdev.

Earlier on 15 January 2015, the state government appointed Ramdev as the State’s brand ambassador to promote Yoga and Ayurveda in Haryana.

 

VIKRAM PATEL NAMED AMONG THE TIME 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD LIST 2015

A well-being warrior, as described by the TIME magazine, Professor Vikram Patel on 16 April 2015 appeared in 2015 Time 100 Most Influential People in the World List.

He is a Goa-based psychiatrist and one of the three persons along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CEO and MD of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar to appear in the list.

Achievements of Vikram Patel

• He is a Professor of International Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

• He is a co-founder of Sangath, a mental health research NGO based in Goa. Its research focus is on evolving mechanisms to bring better mental health care to low-resource communities, where around 90 per cent of people affected by mental illness go untreated because of scarcity of psychiatrists.

• He was the founding Joint Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health, a partnership between the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Kings Health Partners.

 

VANKADARATH SARITHA JOINED AS FIRST WOMAN BUS DRIVER OF THE DTC

Vankadarath Saritha was in news as on 17 April 2015 she became the first woman bus driver of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).

She is a 30-year-old driver from Nalgonda in Telangana. She has been posted in day-time duty at the Sarojini Nagar depot and will start working officially from 20 April 2015.

Saritha started her career as an autorickshaw driver and has worked as a bus driver earlier in Hyderabad too. Before getting selected for the DTC, she was working as a taxi driver in Delhi.

The recruitment of Saritha into DTC will lessen the gap of gender inequality.


CHHURIM SHERPA, FIRST WOMAN TO CLIMB THE EVEREST SUMMIT TWICE IN A WEEK

Chhurim Sherpa, first woman to climb the 8850 metre (29035 feet) Mount Everest summit twice in a week was in news on 19 April 2015. Sherpa was in news as during her third ascent to Mount Everest she will take a cricket bat and two jerseys of deceased Australian cricketer Phil Hughes.

The belongings of Hughes are being carried to the summit as a mark of tribute to the player. He died in November 2014 after he was hit on the back of his head by a ball while batting during a domestic match in Sydney.

Chhurim under this expedition will carry the items to the top and back to Kathmandu, where they will be kept at the Australian embassy.

Chhurim Sherpa is a Nepali mountaineer, who became the first woman to climb Mount Everest twice in the same season, a feat which was verified by the Guinness Book of World Records in March 2013. She accomplished this feat in 2012, by climbing Everest on 12 May 2012 and 19 May 2012.


INDIAN-AMERICAN VIVEK MURTHY TOOK OATH AS 19TH US SURGEON GENERAL

Indian- American Vivek Murthy on 23 April 2015 took oath as the 19th US Surgeon General. The oath was administered by Vice President Joe Biden at a ceremony in the US. He took the oath on the Gita.

Vivek Muthy became the youngest-ever in-charge of the country's public health. As the US Surgeon General, Murthy carries the rank of Vice Admiral.

He succeeded Boris D. Lushniak who had served as Surgeon General from 2013 to December 2014.

In addition to practicing internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, he in 2009 started a non-profit organisation, Doctors for America, composed of thousands doctors supporting President Barack Obama's healthcare initiatives.

The Surgeon General of the United States is the operational head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) and thus the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the federal government of the United States.

The U.S. Surgeon General is nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by a majority vote of the Senate. The Surgeon General serves a four-year term of office.


AWARDS

 

INDIAN-ORIGIN NURSE SUBADHRA DEVI RAI NAMED FOR 2015 INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Dr Subadhra Devi Rai, an Indian-origin Singaporean nurse, was named for the 2015 International Achievement Award by the Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF) of the International Council of Nurses.

She was named for the award for her work in the healthcare sector of women and refugees and will receive the award on 21 June 2015 at a conference in Seoul.

With this 51-year-old Rai became the first Singaporean to get the prestigious biennial prize since its introduction in 1999.

At present, she is a senior lecturer at the School of Health Sciences (Nursing) at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore.

Rai began her career in Singapore where she worked in the intensive care unit following her general nursing training. She began to focus on health issues concerning women and refugees in 1997 during her time in Canada's Edmonton Centre for Survivors of Torture and Trauma.


MARIYAM ASIF SIDDIQUI, MUSLIM GIRL WON BHAGWAD GITA CONTEST

Mariyam Asif Siddiqui, a 12-year-old Muslim girl in March 2015 won the first position at the Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Champion League. She won the prize for explaining the teachings of the Bhagwad Gita.

Siddiqui who studies in Class 6 of Cosmopolitan High School at Mira Road near Mumbai won the contest from among 4500 students of 195 schools.

Mariyam said she learned from Bhagwad Gita that humanity is the biggest religion in this world.

Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Champion League

Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Champion League was an inter-school competition. It was organised by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in March 2015.

The English version of the holy book was given to students for a month for preparation purpose for explaining the teachings of the holy book. The competition included recitation of the Gita in English along with a written test.


PRESIDENT PRESENTED NATIONAL GEOSCIENCE AWARDS 2013

President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 06 April 2015 presented National Geoscience Awards (NGA)-2013 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

The annual awards are presented to honour individuals and team of scientists for their outstanding contributions in the field of fundamental or applied Geosciences, Mining and Allied areas.

For the year 2013, Dr. Indra Bir Singh, a professor of Lucknow University, was conferred with the highest honour National Geoscience Award for Excellence for his outstanding contributions in the field of sedimentary technologies.

Along with him, 22 other geoscientists were being given the awards in ten disciplines including Mining Technology, Basic Geosciences, Geo-Information System, etc.

The list of the Awardees of NGA–2013

RECIPIENT OF AWARD

DISCIPLINE

1

Prof. Indra Bir Singh

AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE

2

Israil Khan

Mineral Discovery & Exploration

3

Dr. Prabodha Ranjan Sahoo

Mineral Discovery & Exploration

4

D. Boopathi

Mineral Discovery & Exploration

5

Dr. Shubhabrata Mukhopadhyay

Mineral Discovery & Exploration

6

Dinesh Kumar Rai

Mineral Discovery & Exploration

7

Jyoti Sankar Roy

Coal, Lignite and Coal Bed Methane Discovery & Exploration

8

Subrata Kumar Sardar

Coal, Lignite and Coal Bed Methane Discovery & Exploration

9

Anima Gogoi

Coal, Lignite and Coal Bed Methane Discovery & Exploration

10

Resmi R.C.

Coal, Lignite and Coal Bed Methane Discovery & Exploration

11

Mohan Das Roy

Coal, Lignite and Coal Bed Methane Discovery & Exploration

12

Dr. D. Gnanasundar

Groundwater Exploration

13

Dr. M. Senthilkumar

Groundwater Exploration

14

N. Ramesh Kumar

Groundwater Exploration

15

Dr. Krishna Kant Kumar Singh

Mining Technology

16

Dr.  Debasis Deb

Mining Technology

17

Dr. Ashok Kumar Sahu

Mineral Beneficiation

18

Dr. Akshaya Kumar Sarangi

Sustainable Mineral Development

19

Dr. Santanu Bose

Basic Geosciences

20

Dr. Rajesh Agnihotri

Geo-Environmental Studies

21

Dr. Abhay Kumar Singh

Geo-Environmental Studies

22

Dr. Parthasarathi Chakraborty

Ocean Development

23

Prof. Shakil Ahmad Romshoo

Geo-Information System

About NGA Scheme

• NGA awards are the prestigious awards in the field of Geosciences in the country.

• Earlier known as National Mineral Awards, which were instituted in 1966 by the Union Ministry of Mines expanded and rechristened as NGA in 2009.

• Any citizen of India who is a professionally qualified geo-scientist or engineer or technologist or academician with significant contribution in any field of earth sciences is eligible.

• Nominations are invited annually for NGA under three categories viz., NGA, National Geoscience Award for Excellence and Young Researcher Award which carry 200000, 500000 and 50000 award money respectively.

• The selection of the awardees is a three tier process and the final round of selection is done by the Award Making Authority chaired by the Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Mines.

 

DELHI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LIMITED WON GOLDEN PEACOCK NATIONAL QUALITY AWARD 2015

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) on 5 April 2015 won the prestigious Golden Peacock National Quality Award for the year 2015.

The award will be presented to DIAL by the UAE Minister for Culture, Youth and Development Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan at a ceremony to be held in Dubai on 20 April 2015.

DIAL is a joint venture consortium of GMR Group, Airports Authority of India, Fraport and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).

About Golden Peacock National Award

The Golden Peacock National Awards were founded in 1991 by the Institute of Directors, India. The award is regarded as a benchmark of corporate excellence.

The National Quality Award Scheme was instituted to encourage total quality improvements in both manufacturing and service organizations in India.


PRATAP SINGH, AN INDIAN-ORIGIN SCHOOLBOY, WON INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS PRIZE FOR HIS COSMIC-RAY PROJECT

Pratap Singh, a 15-year-old Indian-origin schoolboy in the United Kingdom, on 12 March 2015 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.

He received the award at the Bing Bang Fair held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham. The Big Bang Fair, which was held from 11 to 14 March 2015, saw competition between more than 200 students aged 11 to 18 years. The participants demonstrated their projects to thousands of visitors.

What is Cosmic-ray Project?

Singh, who is a student at The Perse School, Cambridge, used two Geiger-Muller tubes to detect cosmic-ray muons, which should not reach the Earth in detectable numbers unless time dilation occurs.

In his demonstration, he created a mathematical model for their arrival rate with and without time dilation and using a Raspberry Pi and some statistical analysis, showed that they follow the model predicted by special relativity theory of Einstein in 1905. His experiment was compact enough to fit inside a shoebox.

About Institute of Physics

The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. It is a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50000, working together to advance physics education, research and application.


GOPALDAS NEERAJ, UDAY PRATAP SINGH CONFERRED WITH SAHITYA SHIROMANI SAMMAN OF UTTAR PRADESH

Uttar Pradesh Government on 8 April 2015 conferred Sahitya Shiromani Samman on noted Hindi poet Gopaldas Neeraj and veteran Hindi litterateur Uday Pratap Singh.

Along with the award, the duo was given a cash prize of 21 lakh rupees.

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav conferred the award on Neeraj and Singh. Yadav also announced that Neeraj will be givenRashtra Ratn-Sitara-e Hind award for his lifelong service to Hindi literature.

Beside this, Yadav also unveiled the poetry book of Gopal Das Neeraj named Geetsri in Lucknow.

About Gopaldas Neeraj

He is among the best-known poets and authors in Hindi literature and he wrote under the pen name Neeraj.

Some of his poems were even used in Hindi movies. Some of them are

• E Bhai Jara dekh ke Chalo, Sung by Manna Dey in Mera Naam Joker

• Dhiire se jaanaa khatiyan me in Chhupa Rustom

• Dil aaj shaayar hai in Gambler

• Phoolon ke rang se, dil kee kalam se in Prem Pujari

• Rangeela re, Rangeela re, mere man me yoon ranga hai tera mann in Prem Pujari

Born in Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, he was awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2007


CHEMICAL SCIENTISTS SUSANTA LAHIRI AND KATTESH V KATTI RECEIVED HEVESY MEDAL AWARD 2015

Professors Susanta Lahiri and Kattesh V. Katti received Hevesy Medal Award 2015 for their outstanding contributions in the fields of radio and nuclear chemistry.

The awards were presented to them on 12 April 2015 at the Tenth International Conference on Methods and Applications of Radio-analytical Chemistry held in USA.

Susanta Lahiri is a Professor at Chemical Sciences Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics in Kolkata. He won the award for his contributions to heavy ion induced radioisotope production, converter targets, green chemistry and tracer packet technique. He is also credited with co-creating Ununseptium chemical element (atomic number 117) in collaboration with other national and international scientists.

Kattesh V. Katti is a professor at the Cedntre for Radiological Research, University of Missouri in Columbia, the US. His research interests in the domain of Nano Science and Technology include exploring chemical, biophysical, magnetic and photo physical properties, which are unique to specific nanoparticulates, toward the design and development of sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

The Hevesy Medal Award 2014 was presented to Heino Nitsche of University of California in recognition of his international contributions to heavy element chemistry and actinide environmental chemistry.

About Hevesy Medal Award

• The award is the premier international award of excellence honouring outstanding achievements in radio and nuclear chemistry.

• It is named after chemical scientist George de Hevesy (1885-1966), who received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1943 for his work on the use of isotopes as tracers in the study of chemical processes.

• The award was established in 1968 by the Editor-in-Chief and the (then) publishers of the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry (JRNC).

• It comprises an engraved bronze medal (in a presentation case) and an ornamental scroll, which are presented at a major international radiochemical conference occurring in the year of the award. The Hevesy Medal Award has no monetary value.

• The Hevesy Medal was awarded to nineteen eminent scientists between 1968 and 1986. After an interval of 14 years, the Award was reactivated in 2000.

• The International Committee on Activation Analysis of the Modern Trends in Activation Analysis Conferences (ICAA-MTAA) is currently responsible for administration of the award.

 

SATYA NADELLA HONOURED WITH THE WHITE HOUSE CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE

Microsoft’s Indian-origin CEO Satya Nadella was honoured with the White House Champions of Change on 16 April 2015. He is one of the 12 local Champions of Change who were honoured for their exemplary leadership.

Champions of Change honour is given to those who support working families and help make change in their companies or communities.

Satya Nadella is the first Indian-origin Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft. He was named as one of the Champions of Change for his employee-friendly initiative. For instance, recently Microsoft announced that from 2016 onwards all the suppliers that do business with Microsoft in the US will have to provide at least 15 days of paid leave each year to their employees who handle Microsoft work.

Other Champions of Change

Melissa Broome: She is Acting Executive Director of the Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF). JOTF develops and advocates for policies and programs to increase the skills, job opportunities, and incomes of low-skill, low-income workers and job seekers.

David Deary: He is a physician assistant in Providence, Rhode Island. David has been an advocate for and a beneficiary of the Rhode Island Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) law.

Netsy Firestein: She is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UC Berkeley and a consultant on work and family, child care, women and labor issues.

Analilia Mejia: She serves as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Working Families Alliance, a statewide nonpartisan organization that seeks to promote and defend the interest of New Jersey’s working families.

Randy George: He founded The Red Hen Baking Company in Duxbury, VT that is best known around Vermont for its line of certified organic, hearth baked breads which are baked and delivered daily throughout the state since 1999.

Fatima Hasan: She is the Owner and Director of Places and Spaces for Growth Learning Center, an early childcare center that prepares children for Kindergarten, providing high quality care at affordable prices

Rose Marcario: She is President and CEO of Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company based in Ventura, Calif. Patagonia’s mission is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. The company contributes 1 percent of net sales annually to grassroots environmental organizations around the world – totaling more than 61 million US dollar to date.

Andrea Paluso: She is co-founder and Executive Director of Family Forward Oregon and Family Forward Action, the organization that has led the paid sick days campaigns throughout Oregon.

Renee Stromme: She is the Executive Director of the North Dakota Women’s Network (NDWN), a statewide women’s advocacy organization. Prior to founding the NDWN in 2006, Renee worked for a domestic violence shelter, a domestic violence legal clinic, and the ND Council on Abused Women’s Services.

ReShonda Young: She is the owner of Popcorn Heaven, a gourmet popcorn store headquartered in Waterloo. She has been an active voice on Working Family issues, advocating for pay equity, healthcare reform, an increase in the minimum wage, and many other issues that will benefit working families.

Coraminita Mahr: She is Vice President of 1199-United Healthcare Workers East/ SEIU, the largest local union. Coraminita has served as the Chair of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, an organization which promoted human rights covenants within local, state, federal and global institutions.


SHAH RUKH KHAN, ZAYN MALIK HONOURED AT THE 5TH ASIAN AWARDS

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan and teen idol Zyan Malik on 17 April 2015 were honoured at the 5th Asian Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Khan was awarded with the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Cinema award. The 49-year-old actor received the award by Indian-origin British filmmaker Gurinder Chadha.

Previous winners in the cinema category included Irrfan Khan (2014), Anupam Kher (2013) and Yash Chopra (2011).

On the other hand, 22-year-old Malik was awarded with the Outstanding Contribution to Music. He is an English singer and songwriter, and a previous member of the boy band One Direction.

List of Awardees

Category

Winners

Founders Award

Dr. Amar Bose, Founder of Bose Corporation

Entrepreneur of the Year

Jack Ma, Founder & CEO of Alibaba

Outstanding Achievement in Cinema

Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood actor

Chivas Regal Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Gopi Gopalakrishnan, President, World Health Partners

Outstanding Achievement in Sport

Kumar Sangakkara, Cricketer of Sri Lanka

Business Leader of the Year

The Hinduja Brothers

Outstanding Achievement in Television

Sanjeev Bhaskar, Comedian, actor and broadcaster

Outstanding Achievement in Art & Design

John Rocha, Designer

Outstanding Achievement in Science & Technology

Sir Tejinder Singh Virdee, Experimental particle physicist

Outstanding Achievement in Music

Zayn Malik, English singer and songwriter

About Asian Awards

It was launched in 2010 by Paul Sagoo, entrepreneur and Founder of the Lemon Group to recognise and reward exemplary achievement from within the Asian community across 14 categories that include business, philanthropy, entertainment, culture and sport.

In 2010 and 2011, the awards were only open to those born in or with direct family origin from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, or Bangladesh, however, in 2013, the Awards were opened to all people of both South and Eastern Asian origin.

 

NEW YORK TIMES WON PRESTIGIOUS PULITZER PRIZES FOR WEST AFRICA EBOLA COVERAGE

The New York Times on 20 April 2015 won two prestigious Pulitzer prizes for coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The coverage is described by the Pulitzer board as courageous and vivid journalism that engaged the public and held authorities accountable.

For its Ebola coverage, The New York Times staff won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and freelancer Daniel Berehulak won Pulitzer Prize for the feature photography.

The Pulitzer Prize honours the extraordinary work in US journalism, literature, drama and other areas and brings welcome attention and recognition to newspapers and websites.

Other winners

• The Pulitzer for Public Service went to Charleston, South Carolina's Post and Courier for its series on domestic violence.

• The St. Louis Post-Dispatch won the Pulitzer Prize for photographic coverage of the Ferguson, Missouri, riots.

• The Seattle Times staff won prize for coverage of a deadly landslide.

• The Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig won the prize for coverage of security lapses at the Secret Service.

• The Wall Street Journal won a prize in investigative reporting for Medicare Unmasked, the first reporting Pulitzer for the newspaper since 2007, when it was purchased by News Corp.

• New York Times reporter Eric Lipton won the prize for investigative reporting on how lobbyists can sway congressional leaders and state attorneys general.

• The Pulitzer for explanatory reporting went to Zachary Mider of Bloomberg News for showing how US corporations dodge taxes. It is the first Pulitzer for the New York-based news agency.

• Ned Parker and a Reuter’s team of reporters were finalists in international reporting for their work on the disintegration of Iraq and rise of ISIS.

• The local reporting prize went to Rob Kuznia, Rebecca Kimitch and Frank Suraci of the Daily Breeze of Torrance, California for their look at corruption in a small, cash-strapped school district.

• The feature writing prize went to Diana Marcum of the Los Angeles Times for drought coverage.

• The commentary prize went to Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle. Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times won for criticism and the editorial writing prize went to Kathleen Kingsbury of the Boston Globe.

• The editorial cartooning prize went to Adam Zyglis of the Buffalo News.

• The fiction award went to Anthony Doerr for All the Light We Cannot See and the drama prize went to Stephen Adly Guirgis for Between Riverside and Crazy.

• The history prize went to Elizabeth A. Fenn for Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People, published by Hill and Wang.

• David I. Kertzer won the prize for biography for The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe published by Random House.

• Gregory Pardio won the prize for poetry for Digest; Elizabeth Kolbert won in general nonfiction for The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History and the music prize went to Julia Wolfe for Anthracite Fields.

 

IT DEPARTMENT AWARDED THE PRIME MINISTER’S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

The Income Tax (IT) Department on 21 April 2015 was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for easy tax compliance through quality service. The award was presented at a function at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on occasion of Civil Services Day.

The Prime Minister Award for excellence in public administration to the Income Tax Department demonstrates the commitment of the Department towards achieving Minimum Government and Maximum Governance in tax administration.

The award was conferred to the Income Tax Department for successful implementation of end to end solution of core services including integrated e-governance initiatives viz:

• Tax Information Network (TIN)

• E-filing portal

• Centralized Processing Cell (CPC-TDS) for processing of TDS statements

• Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) for processing of Income Tax Returns

The projects have been conceptualized based on principles of USAGE- Uniform interpretation of tax laws, Simplification of forms, Easy Accessibility of services, Good tax governance and Empowerment of taxpayer with information.

 

PAKISTAN CONFERRED HIGHEST CIVILIAN AWARD NISHAN-E-PAKISTAN ON CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING

Pakistan on 21 April 2015 conferred its top civilian award Nishan-e-Pakistan on Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The award was conferred for his outstanding contribution in promotion of relationship between the two countries.

The award was presented by the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain at the President House during the award giving ceremony.

The award ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, federal ministers, members of National Assembly and Senate, services chiefs and Chinese delegation.

Earlier, in 2013 the award was presented to Li Keqiang, Premier of the People's Republic of China.

The Nishan-e-Pakistan is the highest of civil awards and decorations given by the Government of Pakistan for the highest degree of service to the country and nation of Pakistan.

The award was established in 1957.


SHAH RUKH KHAN HONOURED WITH DADASAHEB PHALKE FILM FOUNDATION AWARD 2015

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was on 21 April 2015 honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Award 2015 for his performance in the movie Happy New Year. The award ceremony was held in Mumbai.

Other Awardees

• Actor Rajkummar Rao won the prestigious award for his performance in the critically acclaimed film Citylights, which was released in 2014.

• Actress Huma Qureshi bagged an award for her memorable performance in the movie Dedh Ishiqya.

• Bollywood actors Shreyas Talpade, Tiger Shroff, actress Jaya Prada, singer Udit Narayan and Pankaj Udhas were also felicitated with the award.

• Several television celebrities were also conferred with the award including actors Rubina Dilaik, comedian Bharti Singh and actor Ravi Dubey.

 

SANGEETA BHATIA, INDIAN-ORIGIN SCIENTIST AT MIT, WON THE 2015 HEINZ AWARD

Sangeeta Bhatia, an Indian-origin scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), on 26 April 2015 won the prestigious 2015 Heinz Award in the Technology, the Economy, and Employment category. This was the 20th Heinz Award which is given annually since 1993.

Bhatia who developed artificial human microlivers for drug testing was awarded for her work in tissue engineering and disease detection. Microliver is a miniature model organ that makes it possible to test drug reactions efficiently and predictively, and could eventually lead to an artificial human liver.

Her team pioneered the fabrication of artificial human microlivers, which are being used by many biopharmaceutical companies to test the toxicity of drug candidates.

At present, she is using microlivers in the lab to model malaria infection and test drugs that can eradicate malaria parasites completely. She aims to develop implantable liver tissue as a complement or substitute for whole-organ transplant.

Other winners of the 20th Heinz Award

Category

Awardee

Arts and Humanities category

Roz Chast (Illustrator and prolific cartoonist)

Environment category

Dr. Frederica Perera

Human Condition

organization Team Rubicon)

William McNulty and Jacob Wood (Founders of the nonprofit

Public Policy

Dr. Aaron Wolf (Professor at Oregon State University)

About Heinz Awards

The Heinz Awards are annually given by the Heinz Family Foundation and are individual achievement honors. It recognises outstanding individuals for their innovative contributions in five areas: Arts and Humanities; Environment; Human Condition; Public Policy; and Technology, the Economy and Employment.

The award was established in 1993 by Teresa Heinz, the chairwoman of the Heinz Family Foundation, in honor of her late husband, Senator H. John Heinz III. The award includes a cash prize of 250000 US dollars and a medallion with Shared Ideals Realized inscribed on the one side and an image of globe positioned between two hands inscribe on the reverse side.

 

BHARATIYA MAHILA BANK WON THE ASIAN BANKER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 2015

Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) Ltd on 23 April 2015 won the Asian Banker Achievement Award 2015. It was awarded for Technology Implementation in the category of Best Outsourcing Project (New Bank).

The award was received by Usha Ananthasubramanian, the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of BMB at a function held in Hong Kong during the Asian Banker Summit 2015.

Awards in other category and winners

• The Best ATM and Kiosks Project: Cathay United Bank & NCR System, Taiwan

• The Best Branch Automation Project: Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), Avaya Hong Kong and GRG Banking Solutions

• The Best Cloud Based Project: Philippine Business Bank and IBM

• The Best Core Banking Implementation Project for Mid-Sized Bank:ING Vysya and FIS

• The Best Core Banking Implementation Project for Emerging Bank:Kanbawza (KBZ) Bank and Oracle Financial Services Software Limited

• The Best Corporate Payment Project: Axis Bank and Arteria Technologies

• The Best CRM Project: IndusInd Bank and Talisma Corporationt

• The Best Data & Analytics Project: KB Kookmin Bank and IBM Korea

• The Best Financial Supply Chain Project: China Merchants Bank

• The Best HR System Project: Axis Bank, Cognizant Technology Services, Mobitrail and Tejora Technologies

• The Best Lending Platform Implementation Project: Cathay United Bank and IBM Taiwan

• The Best Mobile Banking Project: China Merchants Bank

• The Best Multi-Channel Project: Bank of China (Hong Kong) and Avaya Hong Kong

The Best Outsourcing Project (Existing Bank): Bank of Queensland and Hewlett-Packard

The Best outsourcing project (New Bank): Bharatiya Mahila Bank and FIS

• The Best Retail Payment Project: Hong Leong Bank and Silverlake Mobility EcoSystem

• The Best Smart Branch Project: ANZ and GTSO New Zealand

• The Best Social Media Engagement Project: DBS and NCS

The Best Treasury Management System Project: Bank of Communications, Misys and KMerit Technology (Suzhou)

• The Outstanding Technology Implementation Project: DBS and Infosys

• The Technology Leadership Achievement Award for the Year: Amit Sethi, Chief Information Officer, Axis Bank

• The Asian Banker Vendor Satisfaction Survey Gold Award: Infosys

 

PRESIDENT CONFERRED GALLANTRY AND DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS

The President and Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces Pranab Mukherjee on 26 April 2015 conferred Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards at a solemn ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

He conferred two Kirti Chakras, including one posthumously and eleven Shaurya Chakras to Armed Forces Personnel for displaying conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty. Five Shaurya Chakras were given posthumously.

The President also conferred fourteen Param Vishisht Seva Medals, three Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva Medals and twenty six Ati Vishisht Seva Medals to senior officers of the Armed Forces for distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Kirti Chakra

• Naib Subedar Kosh Bahadur Gurung 1 Gorkha Rifles, 15 Rashtriya Rifles

• Subedar Ajay Vardhan 14 Garhwal Rifles (Posthumous)

Shaurya Chakra

• Mushtaq Ahmad, Constable, Home Deptt, Govt. of J&K (posthumous)

• Major Manohar Singh Bhati, SM Parachute Regiment, 31 Rashtriya Rifles

• Major Vishal Singh Ragahv, 18, Rashtriya Rifles

• Lieutenant Commander Kapish Singh Muwal (Posthumous)

• Sepoy Vikram, Rajput Regiment, 44 Rashtriya Rifles (Posthumous)

• Manjeet Singh, Inspector/GD, Indo Tibetan Border Police, Consulate General of India, Herat, Afghanistan

• Naik Swarup Kumar Ghorai, 20TH Battalion the Mahar Regiment

• Major Ashutosh Kumar Pandey, Rajput Regiment, 44 Rashtriya Rifles

• Major Bibhanshu Dhondiyal 5/5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force)

• Paratrooper Balvinder Singh 1 Parachute Regiment (Special Force) (Posthumous)

• Lieutenant Colonel Sankalp Kumar 24 Punjab Regiment (Posthumous)


ANIL KAPOOR CONFERRED WITH PANDIT DINANATH MANGESHKAR AWARD 2015

Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor was on 25 April 2015 conferred with the prestigious Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award 2015. He was presented the award by noted historian and writer Babasaheb Purandare.

Apart from Anil Kapoor, Marathi actor Dilip Prabhavalkar was also bestowed with the prestigious Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award 2015.

About Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award

Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar award was instituted in 1999 in the memory of Dinanath Mangeshkar, father of Lata Mangeshkar. Since then it is awarded annually to persons for their outstanding contributions to music and movies.

The award carries monetary award of 101001 rupees, a memento and a citation. The award ceremony is held annually on 24 April. In 2014, the award was given to Bollywood legend Rishi Kapoor and eminent musician Zakir Hussain.


YASHWANT SINHA HONOURED WITH OFFICIER DE LA LÉGION D’HONNEUR BY FRENCH GOVERNMENT

Former Union Finance Minister and veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha was on 25 April 2015 conferred with the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur(Officer of the Legion of Honour) in recognition of his valuable contribution to thought on international issues.

This highest French civilian distinction was presented by the French Ambassador François Richier on behalf of the President of the French Republic

As a Minister of External Affairs and Chairman of the Indo-French Parliamentary Friendship Group since its very inception (2009-2014), Yashwant Sinha contributed to the deepening of the Indo-French strategic partnership launched during the visit of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Paris in 1998.

Created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Legion of Honour is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients. The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour.

 

PRIME MINISTER CONFERRED 50TH JNANPITH AWARD ON MARATHI LITTERATEUR BHALCHANDRA NEMADE

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 April 2015 conferred the 50th Jnanpith Award on eminent Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade in Parliament House Complex, New Delhi.

Nemade received the country’s highest literary award for his outstanding contribution towards Indian literature.

His novel, Kosala (Cocoon), written in 1963 was considered as a path breaking in Marathi literature. His other novels include Bidhar, Hool, Jarilaand Jhool. He composed various poems which are compiled up in his collections named Melody and Dekhani.

He is the leader of the post-1960s Little Magazine movement and was given Sahitya Akademi Award (1990) for his critical work Teeka Svayanwar.

About Jnanpith Award

Jnanpith Award is one of the prestigious literary awards in India. The name of award is taken from Sanskrit words Jnana and Pitha which means knowledge-seat. It was instituted in 1961 and is presented by Bharatiya Jnanpith, a trust founded by the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain family.

The award is given to any Indian citizen who writes in any 22 official languages of India mentioned in VIII Schedule of Constitution of India. Prior to 1982, the award was only given for a single work by a writer. But since 1982, the award is given for lifetime contribution to Indian literature. The award includes cash prize of 11 lakh rupees, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati.

 

MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW WON BEST FEATURE FILM AWARD AT WASHINGTON FILM FESTIVAL

Margarita, with a Straw directed by Shonali Bose of India in the fourth week of April 2015 won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Washington DC International Film festival.

Kalki Koechlin-starrer film is a disability drama. In the film, Kalki has played the role of a cerebral palsy patient named Laila. The film also stars Revathi and Sayani Gupta in prominent roles.

The film, through layers of discovery and revelation has explored and challenged Indian culture and society in so many ways. The director Bose through the film has tried to weave a story in form of a specific culture along with simply human story.

The film, before its release on 17 April 2015 made its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Later, it was screened at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia, BFI London Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Besides this, the Audience Award for Best Documentary went to the film Tap World directed by Dean Hargrove of the US.

 

NOVELIST SIDDHARTHA GIGOO WON 2015 COMMONWEALTH SHORT STORY PRIZE FOR ASIA REGION

Srinagar-born novelist Siddhartha Gigoo on 28 April 2015 won the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia region for his work Umbrella Man, a tale of surreal meditation on mental health and the environment.

Gigoo was awarded with the prize money of 2500 pounds. With this victory, Gigoo will compete with the other four regional winners for the 5000 pounds grand prize which will be announced in London on 8 September 2015.

Other region winners are:

African Region: Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for Light

• Canada and Europe Region: Jonathan Tel (UK) for The Human Phonograph

• Caribbean Region: Kevin Jared Hosein (Trinidad) for The King of Settlement

• Pacific Region: Mary Rokonadravu (Fiji) for Famished Eels

About The Umbrella Man

The Umbrella Man presents a surreal meditation on mental health and the environment through its ghostly voice, abstract and philosophical themes and telescopic structure.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize

• The Commonwealth Short Story Prize Shortlist is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2,000-5,000 words).

• The Commonwealth Short Story Prize brings stories from new and emerging voices, often from countries with little or no publishing infrastructure to the attention of an international audience.

• Each year, five winning writers from five different Commonwealth regions are selected who share a total prize money of 15000 pounds. Regional winners receive 2500 pounds while the overall winner receives 5000 pounds.


ANANDA KUMAR, PRAMOD PATIL WON WHITLEY AWARDS FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

Two Indians namely Dr Ananda Kumar and Dr Pramod Patil on 29 April 2015 won the prestigious Whitley Awards (also known as Green Oscar) for their contribution to wildlife conservation.

The awards were presented at a ceremony in Royal Geographical Society, London. The winners of the award received a Whitley prize worth 35000 pound.

Kumar was honoured for his work of using innovative communication systems to enable human-elephant co-existence in Southern India. Patil, on the other hand, was honoured for his work to protect the iconic great Indian bustard in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan.

They are among the seven conservationists who were awarded the Whitley Awards for their efforts to protect wildlife in developing countries.Other winners of the 2015 Whitley Award are

• Panut Hadisiswoyo: Honoured for his efforts to protect Sumatran orangutans in Indonesia's Leuser Ecosystem

Rosamira Guillen: Honoured for cotton-top tamarin conservation in northern Colombia

• Arnaud Desbiez: Honoured for giant armadillo protection in the Brazilian Cerrado

Inaoyom Imong: Honoured for protecting Cross River gorillas in Nigeria's Mbe Mountains;

• Jayson Ibanez: Honoured for helping protect the Philippine eagle on Mindanao Island

Work of Dr. Ananda Kumar

To minimise negative human-elephant interactions and increase people’s tolerance towards elephants, Kumar developed an Elephant Information Network (EIN). This network acts as an early warning mechanism to alert people when elephants are nearby.

Under the network, a trained conflict response team tracks movement of elephants and conveys the information to people via text messages, calls and mobile-operated red light indicators which are placed in strategic locations.

The success of the warning system helped Ananda to encourage his project to the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve.

Work of Dr. Pramod Patil

Patil, a doctor by profession, in 2003 made a decision to leave medicine as a profession and devote his life to conservation of the great Indian bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), the population of which is declining at a high speed due to poaching, loss of grassland habitat and lack of community involvement.

Patil and his team at the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) started working with State Forest Department in the Thar Desert helped people to change their opinions and develop positive relationships between authorities and local people, and enable better management of the land on which both community livelihoods and bustards depend.

His work is collecting crucial information about the species, and engaging people with anti-poaching activities.

Whitley Awards

The Whitley Awards is an annual award given by the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN). The award recognises and celebrates effective national and regional conservation leaders across the globe. The awards are amongst the most high profile of conservation prizes - they have been called the Green Oscars.

Edward Whitley founded the Whitley awards in 1994 in memory of William Brake.

 

MAULANA WAHIDUDDIN KHAN CONFERRED WITH SAYYIDINA IMAM AL HASSAN IBN ALI PEACE AWARD

Noted Islamic scholar and activist Maulana Wahiduddin Khan was on 30 April 2015 conferred with the Sayyidina Imam Al Hassan Ibn Ali Peace Award in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is known for his knowledge and efforts in keeping peace, that make him one of the most respected scholars. The 90-year-old Maulana has also authored several books and articles on Islam.

Maulana Wahiduddin is an Islamic spiritual scholar who has adopted peace as the mission of his life and is known for his Gandhian views as he considers non-violence as the only method to achieve success.

He has authored over 200 books on Islam, prophetic wisdom, spirituality and peaceful co-existence in a multi-ethnic society. His most recent book is The Prophet of Peace: The Teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

He has received many awards including Demiurgus Peace International Award; the Padma Bhushan in January 2000, India's third highest civilian honour; the National Citizen’s Award presented by Mother Teresa and the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award in 2009.


DEFENCE

 

INDIA SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRED DHANUSH BALLISTIC MISSILE

Surface-to-Surface nuclear-capable Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test-fired on 9 April 2015 from a naval ship off the Odisha coast.

The missile is a naval variant of India’s indigenously-developed Prithvimissile.

The missile was fired from an Offshore Patrolling Vessel (OPV) of Indian Navy by the Strategic Force Command (SFC).

SFC is a part of India's Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) which is responsible for the management and administration of the country's tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile.

About Dhanush Missile

• Dhanush missile is capable of carrying conventional as well as nuclear payload of 500 to 1000 kilogram and can hit both land and sea-based targets within 350 km range.

• The single-stage, liquid-propelled missile is one of the five missiles developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

• It was developed for the Indian Navy and can be used as an anti-ship weapon and can also destroy land targets depending on the range.


INDIA SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRED AGNI III BALLISTIC MISSILE FROM WHEELAR ISLAND

The Surface-to-Surface Agni III ballistic missile was successfully test-fired on 16 April 2015 from the Wheelar Isalnd off the Odisha coast in the Bay of Bengal.

Although the missile has a strike range of more than 3000 km, in the present test-fire, it was tested for a lesser range.

The test-fire was conducted from a mobile launcher by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) with the logistic support from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

SFC is a part of India's Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) which is responsible for the management and administration of the country's tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile.

About Agni III missile

• The Surface-to-Surface nuclear capable intermediate-range ballistic missile can hit targets in the range of 3000 km.

• The two-stage solid-propelled missile has a length of 17 metres, 2 metres diameter and its launch weight is around 50 tonnes.

• It can carry a warhead of 1.5 tonne, which is protected by carbon all composite heat shield.

• It is equipped with the hybrid navigation, guidance and control systems along with advanced on-board computer.

• It was developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

• It was inducted into the armed forces in June 2011.


INDIAN NAVY’S NEW MISSILE DESTROYER SHIP NAMED VISAKHAPATNAM LAUNCHED

The First ship of Project-15B, a Guided Missile Destroyer Visakhapatnamwas launched on 20 April 2015 at Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai. It is the largest missile destroyer commissioned in India till now.

In keeping with the nautical traditions, the ship was launched by Minu Dhowan, wife of the Chief of the Naval Staff.

Highlights of Visakhapatnam

This warship is entirely made of Indian steel. It is 163-metre-long vessel and weighs approximately 3000 tons.

It is propelled by four gas turbines and is capable to achieve maximum speed of over 30 knots at a displacement of approximately 7300 tons.

It is fitted with modern weapons including advance Action Information System (AIS), Integrated Platform Management system (IPMS), sophisticated Power Distribution System (PDS) and a Combat Management System.

It is also equipped with the Israeli Multi-Function Surveillance Threat Alert Radar (MF-STAR). MF-STAR will provide it with targeting information to 32 Barak 8 long-range surface-to-air missiles on board the warship.

It will also be carrying 8 BrahMos missiles.

It has four 30 mm rapid-fire guns which will provide the ship with close-in-defence capability and also has an MR gun that will enable ship to provide effective naval gunfire support.

Background
The four ships of Project 15B have been designed indigenously by the Directorate of Naval Design, Delhi and bear testimony to the acclaimed legacy of Naval designers.

The P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and manoeuvrability. Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect. These ships will be equipped to carry and operate two multiple role helicopters.


INDO-FRENCH NAVAL EXERCISE VARUNA COMMENCED AT GOA

The fourteenth edition of Indo-French Naval Exercise named VARUNA-15 commenced on 23 April 2015 off the coast of Goa. The 10-day long joint naval exercise will end on 2 May 2015.

It is aimed at further deriving mutual benefit from the experiences of the two navies and strengthening the bilateral ties between India and France.

The French Navy is represented by Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers Chevalier Paul and Jean de Vienne, replenishment tanker Meuse and a maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2. The Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle is carrying its complement of fighter aircraft Rafale M, Strike Aircraft Super Etendard, E2C Hawkeye AWACS and helicopters Dauphin and Alouette 3.

The Indian Navy is represented by Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat, destroyer INS Mumbai, stealth frigate INS Tarkash, guided missile frigate INS Gomati, replenishment tanker INS Deepak, submarine INS Shankul and a few Fast Attack Craft. Aviation assets of the Indian Navy participating in VARUNA-15 include carrier-borne fighter aircraft Sea Harriers, maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8 I and Dornier along with integral helicopters Seaking 42B and Chetak.

Background
The Indian Navy and the French Navy have been conducting naval exercises since 1983 and following the establishment of a strategic partnership in 1998, these exercises were christened as VARUNA in 2001. Till date, thirteen such exercises have been conducted and the last exercise VARUNA 12 was conducted in the Mediterranean Sea from 19-22 July 2012 off Toulon in France.

 

COMMITTEES | COMMISSIONS

 

UNION MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY CONSTITUTED AJAY SHANKAR COMMITTEE TO SIMPLIFY CLEARANCES

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 8 April 2015 formed an expert committee under the chairmanship of Ajay Shankar to suggest simplified compliance for establishing new industries. He is a former Secretary to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

The Expert Committee has been constituted for examining the possibility of replacing multiple prior permissions with pre-existing regulatory mechanism and to prepare draft legislation for this purpose.
The committee is directed to submit its report within 30 days.

Terms of Reference of the committee

• Study the requirement of various prior permissions with an exhaustive inventory of such permissions

• Examine the possibility of replacing these prior permissions with a pre-existing (proposed) regulatory mechanism

• Identify safeguards to be put in place while replacing the system of prior permission and integrating these safeguards in the proposed regulatory mechanism

• Recommend a framework of the proposed regulatory mechanism

• Draft the proposed legislation

Composition of the Committee

Apart from the chairman the committee includes ten members from other ministries, industry, British High Commission and the World Bank.

1.

Ajay Shankar, Former Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion

Chairman

2.

Manoj Kohli, Vice-president, Airtel

Member

3.

Jaijit Bhattacharya, M/s KPMG

Member

4.

Siddhartha Sibal, M/s Accenture

Member

5.

Chandrajeet Banerjee, Secretary General, Confederation of Indian Industries

Member

6.

Manoj Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests

Member

7.

Alok Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment

Member

8.

Dhruba Purkayastha, IFC, the World Bank Group

Member

9.

Aurodeep Nandi, Senior Economic Advisor, British High Commission

Member

10.

Abraham Zachariah, Central Projects Organization, ITC, Bangalore

Member

11.

Shailendra Singh, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion

Member/ Secretary

Background
Earlier, the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his 2015-16 Budget Speech had proposed appointment of the committee to improve ease of doing business by providing expeditious regulatory clearances.

World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index released in October 2014 placed India at the 142nd position among the 189 countries surveyed.


UNION GOVERNMENT CONSTITUTED TASK FORCE ON INTERLINKING OF RIVERS

Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation on 14 April 2015 constituted a Task Force on Interlinking of Rivers (ILR). It will look into the issues relating to Interlinking of Rivers in the country.

The task force will be chaired by ex-UPSC member and advisor to the Gujarat Chief Minister BN Navalawala and constitutes of experts and senior officials.

Function of the Task Force

• It will take up all issues for expediting the work on interlinking of rivers in the Country.

• Apart from examining the existing links that are laid out as per the National Perspective Plan under both Himalayan and Peninsular components, the task force would also consider alternative plans in place of infeasible links in the present plan.

• It would facilitate interlinking of intra-state and intra-basin Rivers also along with that of inter-state and inter-basin links.

• It would recommend the time schedules for completion of feasibility studies and DPR’s of all the links, implementation schedule of all the links and also suggest on various means of funding mechanisms for the Interlinking of Rivers.

• It would also provide guidance on norms of appraisal of individual projects in respect of economic viability, socio-economic, environmental impacts and preparation of resettlement plans.

• It would also device suitable mechanisms for bringing about speedy consensus amongst the states and will also propose suitable organizational structure for implementing the Interlinking of Rivers.

• It would also try to forge a consensus amongst the states in order to take forward the speedy implementation of the Interlinking of Rivers Program.

Other members of the Task Force are

• Sriram Vedire, Adviser in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation,

• Prodipto Ghosh, Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests,

• AD Mohile, Former Chairman, Central Water Commission (CWC)

• M Gopalakrishnan, Former Member, Central Water Commission

• Virag Gupta, Advocate

Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, Chairman, Central water Commission, Director General, National Water Development Agency and Joint Secretary (Finance), in the Ministry of Water Resources will be the other members of the Task Force.

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

NARENDRA MODI LAUNCHED NATIONAL AIR QUALITY INDEX TO MONITOR POLLUTION LEVEL IN 10 CITIES

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 6 April 2015 launched a National Air Quality Index (NAQI) to tackle the menace of air pollution. This National Air Quality Index will provide information on the quality of air in 10 major cities in the country on a real-time basis.

The ten cities where the quality of air can be monitored are Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Faridabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

Later the index will be extended to 22 State capitals and 44 other cities with a population exceeding one million.

The index was launched before the inauguration of the Conference of State Environment and Forest Ministers in New Delhi. The conference is being attended by state environment and forest ministers.

The national conference aims at consulting states on making changes in existing laws that govern environment and forest clearances.

 

NATIONAL GREEN TRIBUNAL RULED 10-YEAR OLD DIESEL VEHICLES CANNOT PLY ON DELHI ROADS

National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 7 April 2015 banned all the diesel vehicles, heavy or light, over 10 years old from plying on Delhi roads.

It asked the governments and concerned agencies to ensure within 20 hours that all entry points have units to check pollution levels, weight and age of vehicle.

The ruling was given by a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.

In the order passed, the bench noted that a number of countries in the world are in the process or have prohibited diesel vehicles or are in the process of doing away with them by imposing very heavy taxes.  Some of these countries include Denmark, Brazil, China and Sri Lanka.

Further it called for implementing certain stringent measures to ensure that residents of the area do not travel closer to ill-health with each breath they take.

Besides, the bench also passed strict orders against any illegal construction activity that emanated dust in the air and also banned all hawkers and squatters from metalled roads in Lajpat Nagar and Chandni Chowk.

Earlier in November 2014, the tribunal had banned all the petrol vehicles over 15-year old from plying on Delhi roads. The decision was passed while hearing a petition of Vardhaman Kaushik who had contended that the level of particulates in Delhi is raising manifold and the reasons for which should be identified and curbed.

Delhi has the dubious status of being the world’s most polluted city according to World Health Organisation (WHO).

 

SEOUL WON WWF’S EARTH HOUR CITY CHALLENGE TO BECOME THE GLOBAL EARTH HOUR CAPITAL 2015

Seoul city, the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea, on 9 April 2015 was awarded the title of Global Earth hour Capital 2015 after it won the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) of World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The challenge saw the participation of 163 cities from 16 countries.

The award ceremony was held in Seoul, South Korea.

The city of Balikpapan, Indonesia was recognized as the Most Loveable City for 2015 and Thane city was named as the National Earth Hour Capital 2015 of India.

Seoul was chosen as the winner by EHCC jury of international experts for its comprehensive approach to tackle climate change and its determination to ramp up use of renewable energy. Seoul’s approach to radically reduce emissions includes
• Allocation of a realistic budget for increasing the use of solar power by residents

• Reduction of transport emissions through greener fuels

• Building more bus lanes and car sharing programs

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 million tons Seoul has started an ambitious initiative under which by 2020 it will achieve 20 percent electricity self-reliance.


Seoul was shortlisted as the Global Earth Hour Capital 2015 from the 16 National Earth Hour Capitals. These include

• Belo Horizonte, Brazil

• Cordoba, Spain

• Evanston, USA

• Gothenburg, Sweden

• Hatyai, Thailand

• Jakarta, Indonesia

• Lahti, Finland

• Monteria, Colombia

• Paris, France

• Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

• Puebla, Mexico

• City of Singapore, Singapore

• Thane, India

• Tshwane, South Africa

• Vancouver, Canada

Earlier, Seoul had special mention in Earth Hour City Challenge 2014 and Cape Town in South Africa won the title of Global Earth Hour Capital 2014 at a ceremony held at Vancouver, Canada.

How the participant cities were evaluated?

The participant of the WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge was evaluated by their level of ambition and innovation for low carbon development in relation to local circumstances.


THANE NAMED AS NATIONAL EARTH HOUR CAPITAL 2015 BY WWF

Thane in Mumbai, Maharashtra was named as the National Earth Hour Capital 2015 on 9 April 2015. It was named so after it emerged as winner among the three finalists from India viz., Thane, Rajkot and Pune, in the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) 2015 conducted by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

For its city mobility plan and solar and waste-to-energy initiatives, Pune received a special mention from the jury. Rajkot was felicitated for the city’s performance in the field of renewable energy.

Actions of Thane city administration that helped Thane to be named as the National Earth Hour Capital 2015 includes

• Mandatory use of solar water-heating systems for municipal buildings

• Solutions such as wind-solar hybrid systems

• Use of solar energy for lighting and air-conditioning

• Cities plan for solar rooftop net metering-based power generation and regular energy audits

• Energy Service Company (ESCO) project like

a) Energy-efficient street lighting

b) Commissioning of a bio-methanation plant to treat municipal solid waste and generate electricity

c) Three cyclic switching units for optimal use of streetlights

The 2015 Earth Hour Challenge saw the participation of thirteen Indian cities.

In 2014, Coimbatore was selected as the National Earth Hour Capital.


TERI, FNI, INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE SIGNED MOU TO FURTHER CLIMATE & DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) on 16 April 2015 signed an agreement with two global research institutes, namely Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) and INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group. The agreement was signed for exchange of knowledge and cooperation on issues related to climate change.

As part of MoU, the three institutes will work together to promote research and development, including policy analysis in the areas of green growth, climate change, sustainable energy, natural resource management, capacity building and knowledge exchange.

The nine areas of mutual interest identified by these three organisations were:

• Co-benefits of Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

• Green Growth and Resource Efficiency

• Environment and Development

• Low Carbon Strategies

• Institutions and Governance

• International Cooperation

• South-South Knowledge Exchange

• Capacity Building

• National, Regional and Global Policy Advocacy

Why the partnership is significant?

The partnership assumes significance because it will help to further global partnerships for Post-2015 Climate and Development Agenda as it will require innovation, new partnerships, knowledge-sharing and implementation.

About TERI

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is an independent institution, committed to every aspect of energy, environment and sustainable development at. TERI has more than 40 years of excellence in research and innovation.

About FNI

The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) is an independent Norwegian institution is engaged in research on international environmental, energy, and resource management politics.

About INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group

INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group is a not-for-profit organization with its headquarters in the United Kingdom. It has offices in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean and Europe.

 

NEW SPECIES OF GECKOS DISCOVERED AT THE WORLD HERITAGE SITE OF HAMPI IN KARNATAKA

A new species of Gecko, a type of lizard usually found in warm climates was spotted by researchers from the Osmania University in Hyderabad. It was spotted at the ruins of the World Heritage Site of Hampi in Karnataka.

The gecko was named as Cnemaspis adii after a young herpetology researcher from Hyderabad, Aditya Srinivasulu.

The discovery of the gecko and its name were published in journal Zootaxa in the current edition by researchers Chelmala Srinivasulu, G. Chethan Kumar and Bhargavi Srinivasulu from the zoology wing of the University.

The species was discovered in 2012 while the team was surveying the location for bats in Hampi. It was found on the walls of the temple in ruins of Hampi.

About the Gecko

Gecko, the lizard belongs to the family of day geckos characterised by round pupils unlike regular geckos which have vertical pupils.

The dorsal scales on the body of the Cnemaspis Adii are small, homogenous, granular and lightly keeled. It has scales ranging between 22 and 26 on its belly.

Significance of the discovery

Discovery of the gecko in Hampi is significant because other species of day geckos are generally found in the Western Ghats and Southern Ghats in peninsular India. This is the first time that the day gecko was found in the central regions of the peninsular India between Eastern and Western Ghats.

This discovery also hints that Hampi and surrounding areas are potentially rich in biodiversity and much research is required in the region to identify new species of smaller vertebrate and invertebrates.

 

RAJAJI NATIONAL PARK IN UTTARAKHAND DECLARED AS INDIA'S 48TH TIGER RESERVE

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on 21 April 2015 accorded final approval to Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand as India's 48th Tiger Reserve. With this notification, Uttarakhand got its second tiger reserve after the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

The notification was announced by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat while releasing logo of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve.

The Rajaji National Park that came into existence in 1983 is spread across three districts of Uttarakhand namely Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal in an area over 820 square km.

The park is a home to 315 bird species, 40 species of reptiles and fish and 400 Asian elephants.

The park was named after the last Governor-General of independent India, C Rajagopalachari, popularly known as Rajaji. C. Rajagopalachari was one of the first recipients of India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna in 1954.

Uttarakhand is a state that has the second highest tiger population in the country after Karnataka. Tigers are present in the state in the Chilla and Dhaulkhand ranges of the Rajaji National Park. The park encompasses the Shivaliks near the foothills of the Himalayas.

Besides this, the Union government also decided to form three new tiger reserves namely Ratapani in Madhya Pradesh, Sunabeda in Odisha and Guru Ghasidas in Chhattisgarh. These parks have received an in-principle approval by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for creation of reserves.

The decision was made soon after the tiger census in January 2015 showed an overall rise in numbers of the big cat.

Apart from this, NTCA also gave final approval to a proposal to declare Kudremukh National Park in Karnataka as tiger reserves.

State governments have been asked to send conservation proposals to provide more protected spaces for the endangered species in different areas like Suhelwa in Uttar Pradesh, Mhadei in Goa, Srivilliputtur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary/ Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary/ Varushanadu Valley in Tamil Nadu, Dibang in Arunachal Pradesh and Cauvery-MM Hills in Karnataka.

 

REPORT | SURVEY

 

FM GLOBAL RELEASED GLOBAL RESILIENCE INDEX 2015 REPORT

FM Global in the first week of April released Global Resilience Index 2015.

The Index offers powerful insights to help business executives target their investments towards more reliable returns and to protect their customers from unforeseen disruption.

Out of the 130 countries and regions assessed Norway topped the list in terms of business resilience.

The top ten countries in the Index are

Norway (1)

Switzerland (2)

Netherlands (3)

Ireland (4)

Luxembourg (5)

Germany (6)

Qatar (7)

Canada (8)

Finland (9)

the United States region (10)

The bottom five countries in the Index are

Dominican Republic (126)

Nicaragua (127)

Mauritania (128)

Kyrgyz Republic (129)

Venezuela (130)

The Index used nine core drivers that are categorized into three factors namely Economic Productivity, Risk Quality, and Supply Chain to assess business resilience of the countries or regions surveyed.

India’s position in the Index

• India has been placed at the 119th position in the 2015 Index compared to 112th rank it secured in the 2014 Index.

• India is ranked at the 115th position in the Economic Productivity category that takes into account GDP per capita, political risk and oil intensity. This rank is same as in the Index 2014.

• In the Risk Quality factor, India is placed at the 109th position from 113th rank in 2014 which took into account exposure to natural hazard, Quality of natural hazard risk management and Quality of fire risk management.

•  In the Supply Chain category, which takes into account control of corruption, Infrastructure and local supplier quality, India has improved its rank from 100th position in the year 2014 to 89th position.
• According to the report, despite India’s huge economic potential it is placed at the 119th position because one third of its population is still living below the poverty line-–one of the highest incidences outside sub-Saharan Africa.


ERNST & YOUNG RELEASED A REPORT TITLED GLOBAL IPO TRENDS 2015

Ernst & Young (EY) on 13 April 2015 released a report titled Global IPO Trends 2015. The report focuses on the global trends in Initial Public Offerings (IPO) in the Quarter 1 (Q1) of 2015.

As per the report, Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) became the world leader in Initial Public Offerings (IPO) for the first time, outshining rivals, New York and Hong Kong during the 2015 Q1. In 2015 Q1, SSE raised 5.4 billion US dollars.

Main Highlights of the Report

•Top six Exchanges by fund raised during 2015 Q1 were Shanghai Stock Exchange (5.4 billion US dollar), Madrid Stock Exchange (5.3 billion US dollar), New York Stock Exchange (3.5 billion US dollar), London Stock Exchange (3.4 billion US dollar), Bursa Malaysia Stock Exchange (3 billion US dollar) and Swiss Stock Exchange (2.5 billion US dollar)

•Top six countries by deal volume in 2015 Q1 were China (98 deals), US (28 deals), Japan (24 deals), UK (12 deals), France (11 deals) and Australia (9 deals).

•Capital raised stood at 38.2 billion US dollars, down 19 percent from 2014 Q1 and 47 percent from 2014 Q4.

•Deal numbers in the 2015 Q1 reached 252 IPOs, a decrease of 4 percent on 2014 Q1 and 31 percent lower on 2014 Q4.

•The 2015 Q1 noticed a slower pace of IPOs in the US, which was outperformed by both Asia-Pacific and EMEIA in terms of deal numbers and capital raised

•Rapid-growth markets represented 56 percent of the total global IPO volume in 2015 Q1.

•Financial investors dominated in 2015 Q1 with 17 percent of the global IPOs accounted by Private Equities and Venture Capitalists.

•In 2015 Q1, the IPO was ruled by three sectors with industries coming at first with 45 deals (10.5 billion US dollars) followed by Health care with 38 deals (2 billion US dollars) and Technology with 35 deals (2.8 billion US dollars)

•Ninety four percent of the IPOs were priced within or above expectations

•In terms of global funds raised, European exchanges were ranked first with 43 percent deals followed by Asia-Pacific exchanges with 41 percent deals and US exchanges with 15 percent deals

•Cross-border listings were 10 percent of global IPOs in 2015 Q1, similar to 2014 Q1 level.


WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT 2015 RELEASED

The World Happiness Report 2015 was released on 23 April 2015. The report was published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) an initiative under the United Nations.

The report was topped by Switzerland followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The World Happiness Report examined 158 countries and is aimed at influencing government policy.

Togo, Burundi, Benin and Rwanda, with civil-war wracked Syria, were least happy.

The study based its rankings on data from the Gallup World Poll and takes into account variables such as real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, corruption levels and social freedoms.

The SDSN is comprised of people from academia, government and the private sector and was first launched in 2012.

The World Happiness Report 2015 reveals trends in the data judging just how happy countries really are. On a scale running from 0 to 10, people in over 150 countries, surveyed by Gallup over the period 2012-15, reveal an average score of 5.1 (out of 10).

The 2015 report is the first to consider the findings by gender and age. Women’s evaluations of their wellbeing tended to be slightly stronger than those of men – on average 0.09 higher on a 10-point scale – although there were some variations by region.

Six key variables explain three-quarters of the variation in annual national average scores over time and among countries: real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity.

The World Happiness Report 2015 shows that at both the individual and national levels, all measures of well-being, including emotions and life evaluations, are strongly influenced by the quality of the surrounding social norms and institutions.

The report also demonstrates that a key national challenge is to ensure that policies are designed and delivered in ways that enrich the social fabric, and teach the power of empathy to current and future generations.

 

SCIENCE | SPACE

 

INDIAN SURGEONS REMOVED WORLD'S LARGEST KIDNEY WEIGHING 2.75 KGS

The world's largest kidney weighing 2.75 kgs was removed by Indian surgeons on 20 April 2015 in the 3 hour surgery. The operation was done by the Surgeons of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRM), Delhi.

Dr. Manu Gupta along with the team operated the patient and took the decision to remove both the kidneys of the patient as the person was suffering from Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD).

The procedure was quite challenging as a normal kidneys weigh 130 grams approximately whereas this kidney weighed 2.75 kgs which is 20 times more and was stuck to the surrounding intestines.

In 2014 the patient was diagnosed to have ADPKD and was undergoing dialysis and had been planned for a kidney transplant.

The patient who made the record of having largest kidney approached the hospital in Delhi in March 2014 with chronic renal failure and severe pain in abdomen, blood in urine and high grade fever and because of this severe infection his condition was deteriorating.

Earlier, a kidney with dimensions 33.72 X 14.14 X 15.05 cms and weighing 2.15 kgs was the world's largest kidney which was removed in Dhule, Maharashtra in 2011.

 

INDIAN SURGEONS REMOVED WORLD'S LARGEST KIDNEY WEIGHING 2.75 KGS

The world's largest kidney weighing 2.75 kgs was removed by Indian surgeons on 20 April 2015 in the 3 hour surgery. The operation was done by the Surgeons of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRM), Delhi.

Dr. Manu Gupta along with the team operated the patient and took the decision to remove both the kidneys of the patient as the person was suffering from Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD).

The procedure was quite challenging as a normal kidneys weigh 130 grams approximately whereas this kidney weighed 2.75 kgs which is 20 times more and was stuck to the surrounding intestines.

In 2014 the patient was diagnosed to have ADPKD and was undergoing dialysis and had been planned for a kidney transplant.

The patient who made the record of having largest kidney approached the hospital in Delhi in March 2014 with chronic renal failure and severe pain in abdomen, blood in urine and high grade fever and because of this severe infection his condition was deteriorating.

Earlier, a kidney with dimensions 33.72 X 14.14 X 15.05 cms and weighing 2.15 kgs was the world's largest kidney which was removed in Dhule, Maharashtra in 2011.

 

SUMMIT | CONFERENCE

 

INDIA TO CHAIR NINTH MEETING OF INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY (IRENA) COUNCIL

India was designated on 10 April 2015 to chair the ninth meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) council to be held for two days starting from 10 June 2015.

The scheduled meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates.

India will chair the meeting of the 21 member council, which will guide the agency’s future programmes and activities and helps set the agenda for the meeting of the annual Assembly to be held in January 2016.

The eighth meeting of the Council took place in November 2014 in Abu Dhabi.

About IRENA

• IRENA was established on 26 January 2009 as an intergovernmental organization to supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future.

• It serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.

• It has 140 members including India, which is a founder-member of the organization.

• IRENA has two main governing structures-IRENA Assembly and IRENA Council.

• The IRENA Assembly takes decisions at the macro level and gives overall policy direction to IRENA.

• The IRENA Council is the main Governing Body of the Agency, which is responsible for implementing decisions of the Assembly.

• The Director-General of IRENA is Adnan Z. Amin, a national of Kenya.

 

13TH UN CONGRESS ON CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE HELD IN DOHA

The 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice was held from 12 April 2015 to 19 April 2015 at Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar. The Summit concluded with the adoption of Doha Declaration.

The Doha Declaration aims at integrating crime prevention and criminal justice into the wider United Nations (UN) agenda to address social and economic challenges and to promote the rule of law at the national and international levels, and public participation.

During the conference, delegates pledged action to promote justice for all, underline link between rule of law, sustainable development and by adopting a statement to that effect participants committed themselves to integrating crime prevention and criminal justice into the wider UN agenda.

The Doha Congress in 2015 coincided with the 60th anniversary of the Crime Congress. The summit was attended by a large group of policymakers, academicians working in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice to contribute to the drafting of the United Nations agenda and standards on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

The UN conference on crime control is held at every five-year intervals. The first Congress was held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1955 while the 12th Congress was held in Salvador, Brazil in 2010.

 

PLACES IN NEWS

 

MAHATMA GANDHI STATUE IN JOHANNESBURG DEFACED

Johannesburg, South Africa: Statue of Mahatma Gandhi defaced

Johannesburg in South Africa was in news as on 13 April 2015 a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was defaced by a group of people calling him a racist. The group had placards that read: Racist Gandhi must fall.

The statue in Johannesburg is believed to be the only one in the world showing Gandhi as a young lawyer in his court robes.

The statue is on a public transport hub square which was renamed Gandhi Square because the offices in which he practiced law during his stay in the city are on the periphery of the square.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

ARUN JAITLEY INAUGURATED VIVIDH BHARATI SERVICE OF DELHI ON FM MODE

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley on 14 April 2015 inaugurated the Vividh Bharati Service of Delhi on FM Mode in a function held at premises of New Broadcasting House of All India Radio (AIR). The service will be available on 100.1 Megahertz frequency.

With this launch, the services of Vividh Bharati of AIR will be available to listeners in and around Delhi. The service will also be available on mobile phones.

Apart from this, Jaitley also announced that the DD Kisan channel will be launched in May 2015.

Vividh Bharati

The Vividh Bharati is a service of All India Radio. It was conceptualized to combat Radio Ceylon in 1957. Bharati radio channel was launched on 2 October 1957. The service provides entertainment for nearly 15 to 17 hours a day.

Some of the old popular programmes of Vividh Bharati are Sangeet Sarita, Bhule Bisre Geet, Hawa Mahal, Jaimala, Inse Miliye, Chhaya Geet and others.

It is known to have the largest collection of film and non-film songs in the country.

 

JAPANESE MAGLEV TRAIN SET THE WORLD SPEED RECORD OF 603 KMPH

Japanese bullet train Maglev on 21 April 2015 created a new world speed record of 603 kilometer per hour (kmph) in a test run near Mount Fuji. The seven-car maglev (short for magnetic levitation) train broke its previous record of 580 kilometer per hour created in 2003.

Central Japan Railway (JRC) said that the train hit a top speed of 603 kilometer per hour (375 miles per hour) in a test run and managed nearly 11 seconds at over 600 kilometer per hour.

About Maglev

• Maglev, the name derived from magnetic levitation, is a transport method that uses magnetic levitation to move vehicles without touching the ground

• It hovers 10 centimeters above the tracks and is propelled by electrically charged magnets. The use of a magnetic charge helps the train to lift and move it above a guide way

• The technology used in the train provides a smooth, quiet ride in almost twice as a traditional high-speed rail

Central Japan Railway has planned to bring the train into service in 2027 by plying it on the 286 kilometer route between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya. It is expected that the maglev trains will link Tokyo and Osaka by slashing the journey time to its half by 2045.

Japan is well-established as the world leader in high-speed trains. It developed the first bullet train in 1964.

 

LOGO OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA LAUNCHED

The logo of International Day of Yoga was launched on 29 April 2015 in New Delhi by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union Minister of State (MoS) for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik.

The logo was selected by a committee of yoga experts constituted by Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) and was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Facts about International Day of Yoga logo

• It reflects peace and harmony for the humanity.

• The folding of both hands in the logo reflects the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness.

• It also reflects a perfect harmony between mind and body, man and nature and the holistic approach to health and well-being.

• The green leaves symbolise the nature and blue the fire element. While the brown leaves symbolise the earth element.

• The sun in the logo symbolises the source of energy and inspiration.

Background
The idea to observe 21 June as the International Day of Yoga was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2014 during his speech at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

In December 2014, UNGA unanimously adopted an India-led resolution to observe 21 June as the International Day of Yoga. The resolution was passed within a record time of 75 days. It was also first resolution in which 177 countries had become co-sponsors and was a world record.

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS MCQ’S

 

Ques. : 1 The Centre had accepted the MS Sahoo panel report in 2014. The Committee reviewed the
1) participatory notes scheme
2) Kisan Vikas Patra scheme
3) National Savings Certificate scheme
4) depository receipts scheme
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) depository receipts scheme

Ques. : 2 The 14th Finance Commission had recommended the Centre to transfer ________from the divisible tax pool to states for a period of five years, starting from the current financial year (FY16).
1) 32 per cent
2) 42 per cent
3) 45 per cent
4) 49 per cent
5) 51 per cent
Answer:- 2) 42 per cent

Ques. : 3 The 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament is being held in Malaysia from Apr 5 to 12. It is associated with the game of
1) Cricket
2) Hockey
3) Football
4) Tennis
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Hockey

Ques. : 4 The Centre has released what amount to the states for 2015-16 as the first instalment of devolution as recommended by the 14th Finance Commission (FFC)?
1) Rs 23,342 cr
2) Rs 28,024 cr
3) Rs 37,420 cr
4) Rs 42,370 cr
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Rs 37,420 cr

Ques. : 5 According to the data provided by the RBI to the finance ministry, which of the following banks tops the list with highest NPAs among PSU banks as on Dec 2014?
1) Punjab National Bank
2) Punjab & Sind Bank
3) Central Bank of India
4) United Bank of India
5) State Bank of India
Answer:- 3) Central Bank of India

Ques. : 6 Ringgit is the currency of which of the following countries?
1) Indonesia
2) Malaysia
3) Thailand
4) Myanmar
5) Mauritius
Answer:- 2) Malaysia

Ques. : 7 India might soon be competing with the likes of Dubai, Singapore and Malaysia with its own International Finance Service Centre (IFSC) coming up in a year’s time in the state of
1) Maharashtra
2) Karnataka
3) Tamil Nadu
4) Gujarat
5) Andhra Pradesh
Answer:- 4) Gujarat

Ques. : 8 What is the Budget allocation to provide interest subsidy for exports for fiscal year 2015-16?
1) Rs 1,250 cr
2) Rs 1,475 cr
3) Rs 1,625 cr
4) Rs 1,750 cr
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Rs 1,625 cr

Ques. : 9 The govt unveiled the much-delayed Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) recently. This FTP is released for the period
1) 2015-2020
2) 2016-2020
3) 2015-2029
4) 2016-2021
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) 2015-2020

Ques. : 10 The govt is contemplating tariff rationalisation to raise India's share in the global trade to 3.5 per cent by 2020. What is India’s share in the global trade at present?
1) 1 per cent
2) 1.5 per cent
3) 2 per cent
4) 2.5 per cent
5) 3 per cent
Answer:- 3) 2 per cent

Ques. : 11 Areva, the world's largest nuclear company, will set up nuclear power plants in Jaitapur in Maharashtra. Areva is a ________firm.
1) US
2) Japanese
3) Chinese
4) French
5) German
Answer:- 4) French

Ques. : 12 Who among the following has taken over as the new Director of the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Satellite Centre (ISAC) situated in Bengaluru?
1) Shailesh Nayak
2) SK Shivakumar
3) M Annadurai
4) AS Kiran Kumar
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) M Annadurai

Ques. : 13 Which of the following banks is all set to become the first in the country and among the few in the world to deploy voice-recognition technology for biometric authentication?
1) Axis Bank
2) HDFC Bank
3) Yes Bank
4) ICICI Bank
5) SBI
Answer:- 4) ICICI Bank

Ques. : 14 ___________has been appointed Chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council recently.
1) Ranjib Biswal
2) Ajay Shirke
3) Ravi Shastri
4) Sourav Ganguly
5) Rajeev Shukla
Answer:- 5) Rajeev Shukla

Ques. : 15 The RBI signed a USD 400-mn currency swap agreement with the central bank of which of the following SAARC countries recently?
1) Afghanistan
2) Sri Lanka
3) Bhutan
4) Bangladesh
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Sri Lanka

Ques. : 16 The OFS is a mechanism which enables promoters to dilute their holdings in listed companies in a transparent manner. The term OFS stands for
1) Offer For Subscription
2) Open For Sale
3) Offer For Sale
4) Open For Subscription
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Offer For Sale

Ques. : 17 Traditionally, the US nominates the World Bank chief and ___________nominates the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief.
1) Japan
2) South Korea
3) Russia
4) the European Union
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) the European Union

Ques. : 18 The first of the Indian Navy's six Scorpene-class stealth submarines was undocked in Mumbai on 6 Apr. The Indian Navy has named the submarine as
1) Kalvari 2) Khanderi
3) Karanj 4) Kursura
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Kalvari

Ques. : 19 The 108th birth anniversary of Babu Jagjivan Ram was observed on 5 Apr. His birth anniversary day is observed as
1) Janata Divas
2) Samata Diwas
3) Ekta Divas
4) Utthan Diwas
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Samata Diwas

Ques. : 20 Misao Okawa, recognised by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living person died recently. She belonged to
1) Norway
2) Japan
3) Sweden
4) Denmark
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Japan

Ques. : 21 Which of the following were the first submarines inducted into the Indian Navy?
1) Kalvari-class
2) Khanderi-class
3) Karanj-class
4) Kursura-class
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Kalvari-class

Ques. : 22 The minimum interest rate at which a bank can lend is called
1) repo rate
2) reverse repo rate
3) bank rate
4) base rate
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) base rate

Ques. : 23 The Union Cabinet has approved the Real Estate Development and Regulation Bill. Which of the following is correct regarding the Bill?
1) It will make way for setting up of a regulator for the sector.
2) Its applicability has been extended to commercial Real Estate also.
3) It does not allow promoters to change plans and structural designs without the consent of 2/3rd of consumers of a project.
4) All the above
5) Only 1) and 3)
Answer:- 4) All the above

Ques. : 24 The CCEA has approved the four-laning of the Sultanpur-Varanasi section of National Highway-56 in Uttar Pradesh. The NH-56 connects
1) Lucknow and Varanasi
2) Lucknow and Gorakhpur
3) Lucknow and Agra
4) Lucknow and Kanpur
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Lucknow and Varanasi

Ques. : 25 Ashgabat is the capital city of which of the following countries?
1) Uzbekistan
2) Kazakhstan
3) Turkmenistan
4) Ukraine
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Turkmenistan

Ques. : 26 IAS officer Saurabh Vijay was on 7 Apr appointed as Adviser to Executive Director (ED) of World Bank in Washington. Presently, how many EDs are there in the World Bank?
1) 25
2) 18
3) 15
4) 12
5) 10
Answer:- 1) 25

Ques. : 27 The eighth edition of the Indian Premier League started on 8 Apr. Which of the following teams is NOT participating in this edition of IPL?
1) Royal Challengers Bangalore
2) Chennai Super Kings
3) Sunrisers Hyderabad
4) Pune Warriors India
5) Rajasthan Royals
Answer:- 4) Pune Warriors India

Ques. : 28 The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced its first bi-monthly monetary policy review of the current financial year on 7 Apr. What are the repo rate and the cash reserve ratio (CRR) after the current policy review?
1) 7.5% and 4%
2) 7.25% and 4%
3) 7.5% and 3.75%
4) 7.25% and 3.75%
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) 7.5% and 4%

Ques. : 29 The winner of the men’s singles title of the Miami Masters 2015 is
1) Andy Murray
2) Novak Djokovic
3) David Ferrer
4) Rafael Nadal
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Novak Djokovic

Ques. : 30 The winner of the women’s singles title of the Miami Masters 2015 is
1) Serena Williams
2) Carla Suarez Navarro
3) Maria Sharapova
4) Caroline Wozniacki
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Serena Williams

Ques. : 31 Which of the following pairs is the winner of the men’s doubles title of the 2015 Australian Open tennis tournament?
1) Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini
2) Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut
3) Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan
4) Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini

Ques. : 32 To help PSBs raise capital from the equity market the govt plans to reduce its stakes in state-owned banks to 52 per cent by
1) 2016
2) 2017
3) 2018
4) 2019
5) 2020
Answer:- 4) 2019

Ques. : 33 The RBI has constituted a high-powered panel for the urban cooperative banking (USB) sector. Which of the following is NOT correct in this regard?
1) The eight-member committee is chaired by the RBI Deputy Governor SS Mundra.
2) It has been set up on the recommendation made by the Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) on UCBs last year.
3) It will re-examine and recommend appropriate set of businesses, size, conversion and licensing terms for USBs.
4) It will examine whether the time is opportune to give license to new UCBs.
5) It will submit its report within three months from the date of its first meeting.
Answer:- 1) The eight-member committee is chaired by the RBI Deputy Governor SS Mundra.

Ques. : 34 The FINA has approved National Games as qualifying event for World Championships to be held in Kazan, Russia from Jul 24 this year. FINA is the international governing body of
1) swimming
2) archery
3) snooker
4) football
5) basketball
Answer:- 1) swimming

Ques. : 35 Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova defeated which of the following pairs to win the women’s doubles title of the 2015 Australian Open tennis tournament?
1) Chan Yung-Jan and Zheng Jie
2) Martina Hingis and Flavia Pennetta
3) Julia Görges and Anna-Lena Grönefeld
4) Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Chan Yung-Jan and Zheng Jie

Ques. : 36 The Housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry has launched a scheme called DAY to impart skills to rural and urban poor. The term DAY stands for
1) Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana
2) Deendayal Anna Yojana
3) Deendayal Aawas Yojana
4) Deendayal Aahar Yojana
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana

Ques. : 37 The freelance journalist Kenji Goto, who was beheaded by the Islamic State militants recently, was a ___________citizen.
1) Jordanian
2) US
3) French
4) Japanese
5) South Korean
Answer:- 4) Japanese

Ques. : 38 The 54-nation African Union has its headquarters in
1) Algiers, Algeria
2) Cairo, Egypt
3) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
4) Bangui, Central African Republic
5) Yaounde, Cameroon
Answer:- 3) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ques. : 39 India, China exchangd notes on modalities for opening second route for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. This route will pass through
1) Lipulekh Pass
2) Nathu La Pass
3) Ralam Pass
4) Untadhura Pass
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Nathu La Pass

Ques. : 40 Which of the following was NOT a highlight of the 29th edition of the Surajkund International Crafts Mela kick started on 1 Feb?
1) Chhattisgarh was the theme state of the fair.
2) Lebanon was the partner country of the fair.
3) Artisans from 20 countries participated in the event, the highest so far. 4) The opening ceremony was presided over by Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh.
5) None of these
Answer:- 5) None of these

Ques. : 41 India has decided to fast-track purchase of Rafale jets from France to meet IAF’s critical operational necessity. Now, the number of jets to be purchased in flyaway condition will be
1) 18
2) 36
3) 54
4) 72
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) 36

Ques. : 42 Richie Benaud, the celebrated ‘voice of cricket’, died at the age of 84 recently. He was the former captain of
1) New Zealand
2) West Indies
3) Australia
4) South Africa
5) England
Answer:- 3) Australia

Ques. : 43 Paris, the capital and most populous city of France, is situated on the bank of
1) Seine River
2) Danube River
3) Swan River
4) Rhine River
5) Elbe River
Answer:- 1) Seine River

Ques. : 44 The UN body UNESCO is headquartered in
1) Paris
2) Milan
3) Toronto
4) New York
5) Geneva
Answer:- 1) Paris

Ques. : 45 As announced by the French President Francois Hollande during PM Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the country, France will invest _________in India.
1) 1 billion euros
2) 2 billion euros
3) 4 billion euros
4) 8 billion euros
5) 12 billion euros
Answer:- 2) 2 billion euros

Ques. : 46 ____ agreements were signed between India and France and three announcements were made during PM Narendra Modi’s first visit to the country on 10 Apr.
1) 11
2) 15
3) 13
4) 16
5) 17
Answer:- 5) 17

Ques. : 47 Megha-Tropiques is a satellite mission to study the water cycle in the tropical atmosphere in the context of climate change jointly launched by India's ISRO and CNES of
1) Germany
2) Australia
3) France
4) Canada
5) US
Answer:- 3) France

Ques. : 48 France will help in the development of three smart cities in India. These three smart cities will include
1) Pune and Jaipur
2) Pondicherry and Nagpur
3) Lucknow and Nasik
4) Allahabad and Ajmer
5) Visakhapatnam and Kochi
Answer:- 2) Pondicherry and Nagpur

Ques. : 49 The International Day of Human Space Flight is observed on
1) 7 Apr
2) 12 Apr
3) 22 Apr
4) 23 Apr
5) 25 Apr
Answer:- 2) 12 Apr

Ques. : 50 The United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in which of the following cities in the end of 2015?
1) Tokyo
2) Kyoto
3) Manila
4) Doha
5) Paris
Answer:- 5) Paris

Ques. : 51 The govt has received a total upfront payment of over ___________from telecom players against the spectrum sold during the recent auction?
1) Rs 29,200 cr
2) Rs 11,300 cr
3) Rs 28,800 cr
4) Rs 32,300 cr
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Rs 32,300 cr

Ques. : 52 The book “A Shot at History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold” is the autobiography of who among the following Indian players?
1) Deepika Kumari
2) Mary Kom
3) Laishram Sarita Devi
4) Abhinav Bindra
5) Saina Nehwal
Answer:- 4) Abhinav Bindra

Ques. : 53 Which of the following US states on 9 Apr passed a bill that would allow nitrogen gas as an execution method?
1) Oklahoma
2) Kentucky
3) Georgia
4) California
5) Arizona
Answer:- 1) Oklahoma

Ques. : 54 Which of the following banks is set to become the first Indian bank whose mobile banking application (app) will be available in Apple Watch to be launched soon in India?
1) HDFC Bank
2) ICICI Bank
3) AXIS Bank
4) SBI
5) Bank of India
Answer:- 1) HDFC Bank

Ques. : 55 Hannover Fair in Germany, where India is a partner country this year, is said to be one of the world’s largest __________fairs.
1) educational
2) cultural
3) industrial
4) defence
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) industrial

Ques. : 56 Which of the following countries has put off the third phase of its Nitaqat scheme meant to increase the percentage of local employees in the industries and businesses?
1) Iran
2) Saudi Arabia
3) UAE
4) Jordan
5) Kuwait
Answer:- 2) Saudi Arabia

Ques. : 57 Who among the following has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)?
1) Rajalakshmi Devaraj
2) Arun Kumar Jha
3) Amardeep Singh Cheema
4) N Ramachandran
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Arun Kumar Jha

Ques. : 58 India has been designated to chair the ninth meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Council. The meeting is scheduled to be held in Jun in
1) New Delhi
2) Doha
3) Abu Dhabi
4) London
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Abu Dhabi

Ques. : 59 South Korea’s capital city Seoul was declared the Global Earth Hour Capital 2015 in this year’s competition. Which of the following cities was named India’s Earth Hour Capital?
1) Coimbatore
2) Pune
3) Rajkot
4) Thane
5) New Delhi
Answer:- 4) Thane

Ques. : 60 The National Safe Motherhood Day is observed on which of the following dates?
1) 31 Mar
2) 2 Apr
3) 7 Apr
4) 11 Apr
5) 12 Apr
Answer:- 4) 11 Apr

Ques. : 61 Which of the following teams won the Azlan Shah Cup hockey title on 12 Apr?
1) Canada
2) Australia
3) Malaysia
4) New Zealand
5) South Korea
Answer:- 4) New Zealand

Ques. : 62 As per the news recently published in newspapers, Islamic State group is destroying ancient ruins of Nimrud city which is located in
1) Syria
2) Iraq
3) Libya
4) Kenya
5) Jordan
Answer:- 2) Iraq

Ques. : 63 India finished at which of the following positions in the 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh (Malaysia) on Apr 12?
1) Second
2) Third
3) Fourth
4) Fifth
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Third

Ques. : 64 Jitu Rai is associated with which of the following games. He won a bronze in the World Cup of the game in Changwon (Korea) recently?
1) Archery
2) Shooting
3) Boxing
4) Wrestling
5) Weightlifting
Answer:- 2) Shooting

Ques. : 65 India signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with which of the following countries recently which would enable India to make use of world’s latest technology for projects like developments of waterways and multi-modal hub?
1) Germany
2) US
3) Japan
4) China
5) France
Answer:- 2) US

Ques. : 66 Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq, is situated on the bank of
1) Tigris River
2) Spree River
3) Nile River
4) Rhine River
5) Denube River
Answer:- 1) Tigris River

Ques. : 67 The Vice President of India Hamid Ansari released the English translation of the book “Suleiman Charitra” recently. This book was originally written in Sanskrit by who among the following?
1) AND Haksar
2) Kalyana Malla
3) Sri Lal Sukla
4) Ravuri Bharadhwaja
5) Bhalchandra Nemade
Answer:- 2) Kalyana Malla

Ques. : 68 Hrushikesh Moolgaonkar, who passed away recently, was the former
1) Air Chief Marshal
2) Chief of Army Staff
3) Chief of Naval Staff
4) first Director General of BSF
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Air Chief Marshal

Ques. : 69 Sania Mirza created history by becoming the first female tennis player from India to achieve the world number one rank in doubles recently. She achieved the feat after winning WTA Family Circle Cup with her partner
1) Martina Hingis
2) Cara Black
3) Roberta Vinci
4) Sara Errani
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Martina Hingis

Ques. : 70 The govt has notified a new 18-point set of rules for state governors. Now, the governors will have to stay in their respective states for at least _____ days in a year.
1) 292
2) 300
3) 250
4) 320
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) 292

Ques. : 71 What is the current fiscal’s disinvestment target (through PSU stake sale) set by the govt? The govt has shortlisted about 12 PSUs for the purpose.
1) Rs 28,500 cr
2) Rs 41,000 cr
3) Rs 38,000 cr
4) Rs 34,000 cr
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Rs 41,000 cr

Ques. : 72 According to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which of the following banks leads in mobile banking transactions as of Jan 2015?
1) Canara Bank
2) HDFC Bank
3) Axis Bank
4) State Bank of India
5) ICICI Bank
Answer:- 2) HDFC Bank

Ques. : 73 Which of the following banks in India acquired the diamond/jewellery financing business of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) recently?
1) Yes Bank
2) Kotak Mahindra Bank
3) ICICI Bank
4) IndusInd Bank
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) IndusInd Bank

Ques. : 74 The Nobel laureate Gunter Grass, who died recently, was known as the voice of memory of
1) France
2) Canada
3) Germany
4) Italy
5) Spain
Answer:- 3) Germany

Ques. : 75 According to the World Bank, which of the following countries has topped the global remittances in 2014 receiving USD 70 bn?
1) Nigeria
2) Mexico
3) China
4) Philippines
5) India
Answer:- 5) India

Ques. : 76 As predicted in the semi-annual report of the World Bank, what could be the GDP growth rate of India in FY 2015-16?
1) 7 per cent
2) 7.5 per cent
3) 8 per cent
4) 8.5 per cent
5) 9 per cent
Answer:- 2) 7.5 per cent

Ques. : 77 Ri Su Yong, who visited New Delhi recently, is the present foreign minister of which of the following countries?
1) North Korea
2) South Korea
3) Vietnam
4) Cambodia
5) Cuba
Answer:- 1) North Korea

Ques. : 78 India to be world’s third largest economy by 2030 is projected by the US Department of Agriculture. As per the current macroeconomic projections for 2015, India stands at ______spot in the world.
1) fourth
2) fifth
3) sixth
4) seventh
5) eighth
Answer:- 5) eighth

Ques. : 79 Uttar Pradesh govt on 8 Apr 2015 conferred Sahitya Shiromani Samman on
1) Uday Pratap Singh
2) Vibhuti Narain Rai
3) Gopaldas Neeraj
4) All the above
5) Only 1) and 3)
Answer:- 5) Only 1) and 3)

Ques. : 80 The Chinese Grand Prix formula one was won by who among the following on 12 Apr?
1) Torro Rosso
2) Kimi Raikkonen
3) Sebastian Vettel
4) Nico Rosberg
5) Lewis Hamilton
Answer:- 5) Lewis Hamilton

Ques. : 81 The senior IAS officer Ramesh Abhishek was on 14 Apr given a three-month extension as the chairman of the
1) TRAI
2) SEBI
3) FMC
4) IRDAI
5) PFRDA
Answer:- 3) FMC

Ques. : 82 Who among the following is the present chairman of the telecom regulator TRAI? The race for the next TRAI chief is on as the incumbent chairman retires in May.
1) UK Sinha
2) Rahul Khullar
3) Nripendra Misra
4) Shashi Kant Sharma
5) Pulok Chatterji
Answer:- 2) Rahul Khullar

Ques. : 83 India and Canada have inked 13 agreements during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada recently. Who is the present PM of Canada?
1) Peter MacKay
2) Stephen Harper
3) Elizabeth May
4) Thomas Mulcair
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Stephen Harper

Ques. : 84 Julie Bishop, who visited New Delhi recently, is the present foreign minister of which of the following countries?
1) England
2) Canada
3) Australia
4) Spain
5) Italy
Answer:- 3) Australia

Ques. : 85 The central govt is moving towards sealing a land boundary agreement (LBA) with which of the following neighbouring countries at present?
1) Myanmar
2) Nepal
3) Bhutan
4) China
5) Bangladesh
Answer:- 5) Bangladesh

Ques. : 86 As per news published in financial newspapers, the Finnish network gear maker Nokia is in process to acquire Alcatel-Lucent. Alcatel-Lucent is based in
1) France
2) US
3) Germany
4) Sweden
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) France

Ques. : 87 The 30 first responder bike ambulances were launched in which of the following cities on 14 Apr as a part of much-awaited two-wheeler ambulances?
1) Chennai
2) Bengaluru
3) Mumbai
4) Bhopal
5) Ahmedabad
Answer:- 2) Bengaluru

Ques. : 88 India has inked a deal with which of the following countries recently through which Cameco Corporation will supply 3,000 metric tonnes of uranium over five years to India for $254 mn?
1) France
2) Germany
3) Canada
4) Japan
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Canada

Ques. : 89 Saina Nehwal on 28 Mar became the first woman badminton player from the country to be ranked number one in the world. She is the second Indian player to achieve this feat, after legendary
1) Prakash Padukone
2) Vijay Amritraj
3) Syed Modi
4) U Vimal Kumar
5) Pullela Gopichand
Answer:- 1) Prakash Padukone

Ques. : 90 Name the batsman who hit the first century of the eighth edition of IPL recently.
1) Dwayne Smith
2) Dwayne Bravo
3) Michael Hussey
4) Brendon McCullum
5) Chris Gayle
Answer:- 4) Brendon McCullum

Ques. : 91 India signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with which of the following countries on 16 Feb?
1) Bangladesh
2) Myanmar
3) Vietnam
4) Sri Lanka
5) Singapore
Answer:- 4) Sri Lanka

Ques. : 92 What is the theme of the 23rd New Delhi World Book Fair which started on 14 Feb?
1) Suryodaya: Emerging Voices from Andaman and Nicobar
2) Suryodaya: Emerging Voices from Northeast India
3) Suryodaya: Emerging Voices from SAARC Region
4) Suryodaya: Emerging Voices from Afro-Asian Region
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Suryodaya: Emerging Voices from Northeast India

Ques. : 93 India formally handed over the historic ‘Dakota’ aircraft to which of the following countries recently?
1) Sri Lanka
2) Bangladesh
3) Fiji
4) Mauritius
5) Seychelles
Answer:- 2) Bangladesh

Ques. : 94 Kesava Reddy died on 13 Feb. He was a well-known
1) novelist
2) film director
3) flutist
4) classical singer
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) novelist

Ques. : 95 The govt has set up a three-member SIT to probe 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases. The SIT will be headed by
1) Kumar Gyanesh
2) Rakesh Kapoor
3) Pramod Asthana
4) Anil Goswami
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Pramod Asthana

Ques. : 96 Which of the following Indian drugmakers has been awarded Rs 1170-cr contract by Global Fund to supply HIV drugs?
1) Paras Pharmaceuticals
2) Ranbaxy Laboratories
3) Dr Reddy's Laboratories
4) Cipla
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Cipla

Ques. : 97 The winner of the prestigious Mahindra Samridhi India Agri Award 2015 is
1) IFFCO
2) Mahyco Monsanto Biotech
3) The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)
4) Allahabad Agricultural Institute
5) Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU)

Answer:- 5) Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU)

Ques. : 98 Who among the following has been appointed as the new MD and CEO of the Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX)?
1) Chitra Ramkrishna
2) Natarajan Chandrasekaran
3) V Balasubramaniam
4) S Ramadorai
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) V Balasubramaniam

Ques. : 99 Indian Navy on 9 Feb conducted a mega drill named Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief (HADR) to test its readiness for handling tsunamis. The venue of the drill was
1) Odisha
2) Andhra Pradesh
3) Lakshadweep
4) Andaman and Nicobar
5) Goa
Answer:- 3) Lakshadweep

Ques. : 100 The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS) project was launched in which of the following states recently?
1) Uttarakhand
2) Punjab
3) Haryana
4) Himachal Pradesh
5) Maharashtra
Answer:- 4) Himachal Pradesh

Ques. : 101 Maharashtra’s former deputy CM and home minister RR Patil, popularly known as Aaba, died on 17 Feb. He was associated with which of the following parties?
1) NCP
2) INC
3) BJP
4) Shiv Sena
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) NCP

Ques. : 102 The Indian Railways is today the largest rail network in Asia. What is its position in the world as a network operated under a single management?
1) First
2) Second
3) Third
4) Fourth
5) Fifth
Answer:- 2) Second

Ques. : 103 The People's Bank of China is the central bank of China. Who among the following is the present Governor of the bank?
1) Xiao Gang
2) Zhou Xiaochuan
3) Guo Shuqing
4) Shang Fulin
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Zhou Xiaochuan

Ques. : 104 Rajinder Puri passed away recently. He was a fierce critic of emergency and an a veteran
1) cartoonist
2) classical singer
3) poet
4) environmentalist
5) bureaucrat
Answer:- 1) cartoonist

Ques. : 105 The Centre has asked all the schools and higher educational institutions to celebrate ‘Matrubhasha Divas’ on
1) 21 Jun
2) 21 Mar
3) 21 Sep
4) 21 Apr
5) 21 Feb
Answer:- 5) 21 Feb

Ques. : 106 Who among the following was conferred Uttar Pradesh's highest civilian award Yash Bharti by the state govt recently?
1) Rajdeep Sardesai
2) Barkha Dutt
3) Arnab Goswami
4) Vinod Mehta
5) Shekhar Gupta
Answer:- 4) Vinod Mehta

Ques. : 107 Anirban Lahiri secured his breakthrough European Tour title winning the Malaysian Open on 15 Feb. He is an ace
1) cyclist
2) golfer
3) tennis player
4) badminton player
5) cueist
Answer:- 2) golfer

Ques. : 108 Which of the following has become the first company to reach a market value of $700 billion recently?
1) Exxon Mobil
2) Microsoft
3) Oracle
4) Alibaba
5) Apple
Answer:- 5) Apple

Ques. : 109 Facebook is going to offer free Internet access to subscribers through the new Internet.org app. Which of the following will become the first country in Asia to get the new app?
1) China
2) Indonesia
3) Nepal
4) India
5) Singapore
Answer:- 4) India

Ques. : 110 The central govt approved doubling the National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC)’s authorised capital recently. What is its new authorised capital?
1) Rs 750 cr
2) Rs 1,500 cr
3) Rs 3,000 cr
4) Rs 6,000 cr
5) Rs 9,000 cr
Answer:- 3) Rs 3,000 cr

Ques. : 111 To bridge the gaps of social divide and promote tribal culture, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs held a National Tribal Festival in New Delhi named
1) Vanaj
2) Vanbandhu
3) Tribal Trendz
4) Van Mahotsav
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Vanaj

Ques. : 112 President Francois Hollande’s govt won a confidence vote on economic reform law recently. He is the present president of
1) Spain
2) Greece
3) Turkey
4) France
5) Italy
Answer:- 4) France

Ques. : 113 The CCEA on 19 Feb approved the continuation of the incentive scheme for raw sugar production. It has fixed uniform rate of ________per MT for 2014-15 sugar season.
1) Rs 3,000
2) Rs 3,500
3) Rs 4,000
4) Rs 4,500
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Rs 4,000

Ques. : 114 Which of the following chief minister of Indian states visited Bangladesh on a three-day visit recently? The Teesta water agreement and Land Border Treaty were the focus points of the visit.
1) Pawan Kumar Chamling
2) Tarun Gogoi
3) Naveen Patnaik
4) Mamata Banerjee
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Mamata Banerjee

Ques. : 115 PM Narendra Modi visited which of the following northeastern states recently to inaugurate a festival to mark the 29th Statehood Day and also flagged off the Naharlagun - New Delhi Air-conditioned Train?
1) Manipur
2) Nagaland
3) Tripura
4) Meghalaya
5) Arunachal Pradesh
Answer:- 5) Arunachal Pradesh

Ques. : 116 Which of the following former Indian captains is all set to become the 77th member of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame?
1) Mohammad Azharuddin
2) Anil Kumble
3) Sourav Ganguly
4) Kapil Dev
5) Rahul Dravid
Answer:-2) Anil Kumble

Ques. : 117 Khajuraho Dance Festival 2015 begun in which of the following states on 20 Feb?
1) Maharashtra
2) Madhya Pradesh
3) Rajasthan
4) Karnataka
5) Tamil Nadu
Answer:- 2) Madhya Pradesh

Ques. : 118 The famous temples of Khajuraho were built between 250 and 1050 AD during the reign of
1) Chandela Dynasty
2) Vakataka dynasty
3) Gupta Dynasty
4) Nanda Dynasty
5) Brihadratha Dynasty
Answer:- 1) Chandela Dynasty

Ques. : 119 Bamako is the capital and largest city of which of the following countries? The country has signed a UN ceasefire to end conflict with northern rebels recently.
1) Niger
2) Mauritania
3) Mali
4) Ghana
5) Algeria
Answer:- 3) Mali

Ques. : 120 Which of the following Indian airports has won the annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award in the 25-40 million passengers per annum category from the Airport Council International (ACI)?
1) Indira Gandhi International Airport
2) Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
3) Kempegowda International Airport
4) Chennai International Airport
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Indira Gandhi International Airport

Ques. : 121 Who among the following is the new chief minister of Bihar?
1) Nitish Kumar
2) Jitan Ram Manjhi
3) Sushil Kumar
4) Mangal Pandey
5) Misa Bharti
Answer:- 1) Nitish Kumar

Ques. : 122 Which of the following teams has won the third edition of the Hockey India League (HIL)?
1) Dabang Mumbai
2) Ranchi Rays
3) Kalinga Lancers
4) Delhi Wave Riders
5) Punjab Warriors
Answer:- 2) Ranchi Rays

Ques. : 123 Veteran communist leader Govind Pansare, who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds in a recent attack, died on 20 Feb. He was an
1) anti-toll tax campaigner
2) anti-superstition campaigner
3) anti-child marriage campaigner
4) anti-child labour campaigner
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) anti-toll tax campaigner

Ques. : 124 The United States recently signed an agreement with which of the following countries to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group?
1) Iran
2) Iraq
3) Turkey
4) Saudi Arabia
5) Jordan
Answer:- 3) Turkey

Ques. : 125 The government is set to launch a new scheme 'Krishi Dak Service' which is aimed at distribution of __________to farmers at their doorstep through post-offices.
1) fertiliser subsidies
2) farm equipments
3) Kisan Credit Cards
4) improved seed varieties
5) None of these
Answer:-4) improved seed varieties

Ques. : 126 Name the Indian batsman who scored 137 runs , the highest individual score against South Africa in the ICC Cricket World Cup till now. India defeated SA in the match by 130 runs.
1) Virat Kohli
2) Ajinkya Rahane
3) Rohit Sharma
4) Shikhar Dhawan
5) Suresh Raina
Answer:- 4) Shikhar Dhawan

Ques. : 127 Which of the following films has won the best animated feature film Oscar at the 87th Academy Awards?
1) The Book of Life
2) The Nut Job
3) Big Hero 6
4) Rio 2
5) The Lego Movie
Answer:- 3) Big Hero 6

Ques. : 128 The first round of coal block e-auction ended recently. Which of the following pairs of successful bidders and the coal blocks alloted to them is NOT matched correctly?
1) Jindal Power: Gare Palma IV/2&3
2) Jaiprakash Power: Amelia North
3) Hindalco: Damodar
4) CESC: Saisatolli
5) GMR Chhattisgarh Energy: Talabira-I
Answer:- 3) Hindalco: Damodar

Ques. : 129 Trial against the former President Mohamed Nasheed started on terror charges recently in which of the following countries?
1) Malaysia
2) Maldives
3) Indonesia
4) Bangladesh
5) Egypt
Answer:- 2) Maldives

Ques. : 130 The combined military training exercise called ‘Surya Kiran VIII’ begun recently. This is a joint exercise between India and
1) Russia
2) US
3) Japan
4) Vietnam
5) Nepal
Answer:- 5) Nepal

Ques. : 131 Which of the following films has won the best foreign language film Oscar at the 87th Academy Awards?
1) Wild Tales
2) Timbuktu
3) Tangerines
4) Leviathan
5) Ida
Answer:- 5) Ida

Ques. : 132 Honda Motor has named who among the following as its new President and CEO who will take over in late Jun?
1) Takahiro Hachigo
2) Takanobu Ito
3) Soichiro Honda
4) Takeo Fukui
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Takahiro Hachigo

Ques. : 133 The govnt has launched a new portal to redress consular grievances of Indian citizens living abroad. Name the portal.
1) Helping Hand
2) Sahayata
3) Madad
4) Suvidha
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Madad

Ques. : 134 Name the Indian-American who has won 2015 J Calvin Giddings Award in the field of chemistry in the US.
1) Jamshed Bharucha
2) Rakesh Khurana
3) Geeta Menon
4) Purnendu Dasgupta
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Purnendu Dasgupta

Ques. : 135 Which of the following countries has adopted a witness protection law, recently, ahead of an investigation into suspected human rights abuses in a 26-year civil war in the country?
1) Bangladesh
2) Thailand
3) Myanmar
4) Sri Lanka
5) Egypt
Answer:- 4) Sri Lanka

Ques. : 136 Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has won Oscar for best direction at the 87th Academy Awards for which of the following films?
1) The Imitation Game
2) Birdman
3) The Grand Budapest Hotel
4) Foxcatcher
5) Boyhood
Answer:- 2) Birdman

Ques. : 137 The parliament of which of the following countries recently passed legislation banning commercial surrogacy?
1) Thailand
2) Philippines
3) Finland
4) Myanmar
5) China
Answer:- 1) Thailand

Ques. : 138 Kotak Mahindra Bank obtains CCI nod for Kotak-ING Vysya Bank merger was the news in financial newspapers recently. Here the term CCI stands for
1) Central Commission of India
2) Clearance Commission of India
3) Certification Commission of India
4) Competition Commission of India
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Competition Commission of India

Ques. : 139 Who among the following was recently appointed as the new Sri Lankan Army Chief by President Maithripala Sirisena?
1) Daya Ratnayake
2) Sarath Fonseka
3) Chrishantha de Silva
4) Jagath Jayasuriya
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Chrishantha de Silva

Ques. : 140 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India recently signed a $50 million loan agreement to boost power generation capacity in
1) Arunachal Pradesh
2) Sikkim
3) Manipur
4) Tripura
5) Assam
Answer:- 5) Assam

Ques. : 141 The RBI has overhauled the priority sector lending targets and now banks have to lend what per cent of their credit to the micro enterprises, entities whose investment in plant and machinery does not exceed Rs 25 lakh?
1) 8 per cent
2) 7.5 per cent
3) 10 per cent
4) 12 per cent
5) 9 per cent
Answer:- 2) 7.5 per cent

Ques. : 142 The RBI has broadened the priority sector adding three more categories into the fold. Which of the following is NOT one of the three new categories added?
1) Medium enterprises
2) Social infrastructure
3) Renewable energy
4) Sugar industry
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Sugar industry

Ques. : 143 The UNESCO recognised historic Dharahara Tower (also called Bhimsen Tower), built in 1832, collapsed in the severe earthquake on 25 Apr in which of the following cities of Nepal?
1) Kathmandu
2) Bhojpur
3) Chitwan
4) Gorkha
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Kathmandu

Ques. : 144 Ashraf Ghani, who visited India starting 27 Apr, is the present president of
1) Bangladesh
2) Pakistan
3) Afghanistan
4) Malaysia
5) Maldives
Answer:- 3) Afghanistan

Ques. : 145 Who among the following has been conferred the 2015 edition of the Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award?
1) Rishi Kapoor
2) Anil Kapoor
3) Madhuri Dixit
4) Jackie Shroff
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Anil Kapoor

Ques. : 146 Name the present President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who visited India recently.
1) Sepp Blatter
2) Juan Antonio Samaranch
3) Sergey Bubka
4) Thomas Bach
5) Jacques Rogge
Answer:- 4) Thomas Bach

Ques. : 147 What is India’s ranking in the recently released World Happiness Report 2015 among the 158 studied nations?
1) 81st
2) 109th
3) 84th
4) 117th
5) 112nd
Answer:- 4) 117th

Ques. : 148 Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 Apr presented the 50th Jnanpith Award to Bhalchandra Nemade who is a
1) Marathi author
2) Guajarati author
3) Tamil author
4) Kannada author
5) Malayalam author
Answer:- 1) Marathi author

Ques. : 149 Which of the following states was awarded as the Best e-Panchayat state recently on the occasion of the National Panchayati Raj Diwas (25 Apr)?
1) Gujarat
2) Bihar
3) Tamil Nadu
4) Kerala
5) Assam
Answer:- 5) Assam

Ques. : 140 India and which of the following countries on 23 Apr began their 10-day naval exercise named 'Varuna'?
1) France
2) Germany
3) South Korea
4) Japan
5) Sri Lanka
Answer:- 1) France

Ques. : 141 Who won the women's singles title at the Badminton Asia Championships in China on 26 Apr?
1) Li Xuerui
2) Ratchanok Intanon
3) Zhao Yunlei
4) Wang Shixian
5) Wang Yihan
Answer:- 2) Ratchanok Intanon

Ques. : 142 India’s rescue operation in quake-hit Nepal has been named as
1) Operation Rahat 2) Operation Maitri
3) Operation Madad
4) Operation Sath-Sath
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Operation Maitri

Ques. : 143 Kosala (cocoon) is a novel authored by who among the following? He was awarded a prestigious literary prize recently.
1) Bhalchandra Nemade
2) Kedarnath Singh
3) Vinda Karandikar
4) Salman Rushdie
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Bhalchandra Nemade

Ques. : 144 Which of the following public sector banks has tied up with UAE Exchange to offer an instant cash transfer facility to NRI customers? The bank has a network of more than 5,000 branches abroad.
1) State Bank of India
2) Bank of Baroda
3) Punjab National Bank
4) Indian Bank
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Bank of Baroda

Ques. : 145 An Indian 155 millimetre, 45-calibre artillery gun successfully cleared Indian Army's tests recently. This gun has been named
1) Arjun
2) Dhanush
3) Tarkas
4) Prahar
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Dhanush

Ques. : 146 Who among the following won the Shamkir Chess tournament on 26 Apr?
1) Rauf Mamedov
2) Magnus Carlsen
3) Vishwanathan Anand
4) Fabiano Caruana
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Magnus Carlsen

Ques. : 147 ____________ on 23 Apr 2015 won the Asian Banker Achievement Award 2015. It was awarded for Technology Implementation in the category of Best Outsourcing Project (New Bank).
1) ICICI Bank
2) Axis Bank
3) Bank of India
4) Bharatiya Mahila Bank
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) Bharatiya Mahila Bank

Ques. : 148 The Indian Army on 26 Apr conducted a major exercise, 'Akraman-II', in which of the following states recently?
1) Arunachal Pradesh
2) Jammu and Kashmir
3) Rajasthan
4) Gujarat
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) Rajasthan

Ques. : 149 The French Govt has honoured who among the following with the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (Officer of the Legion of Honour), the highest French civilian distinction?
1) Manmohan Singh
2) Yashwant Sinha
3) Salman Khurshid
4) Jaswant Singh
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) Yashwant Sinha

Ques. : 150 Which of the following sports bodies of India has been suspended by the govt of India with immediate effect? Earlier the international body of the game had suspended the same sports body.
1) Paralympic Committee of India (PCI)
2) All India Tennis Association (AITA)
3) Badminton Association of India (BAI)
4) Archery Association of India (AAI)
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Paralympic Committee of India (PCI)

Ques. : 151 The Railway Minister, while presenting the Railway Budget for 2015-16 mentioned the names of two MPs who have donated Rs 1 cr and Rs 1.5 cr respectively from their MPLAD funds for passenger amenities. These two MPs are
1) Gopal Shetty, PC Mohan
2) Piyush Goyal, PC Mohan
3) Jayant Sinha, Manoj Sinha
4) Chirag Paswan, Kalraj Mishra
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) Gopal Shetty, PC Mohan

Ques. : 152 The Chief Justice of Orissa High Court, Justice Amitava Roy assumed charge as Supreme Court judge recently taking the strength of judges in the top court to 29. What is the sanctioned strength of the Supreme Court?
1) 29
2) 30
3) 31
4) 32
5) 35
Answer:- 3) 31

Ques. : 153 The first budget of the Independent India was presented on 26 Nov 1947 by
1) John Mathai
2) RK Shanmukham Chetty
3) Sukumar Sen
4) Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar
5) TT Krishnamachari
Answer:- 2) RK Shanmukham Chetty

Ques. : 154 The Economic Survey is presented every year just before the General Budget in the Parliament and is prepared by the finance minister’s chief economic adviser. The present CEA to the Finance Minister is
1) Kaushik Basu
2) Bibek Debroy
3) Jagdish Bhagwati
4) Arvind Subramanian
5) Arvind Panagariya
Answer:- 4) Arvind Subramanian

Ques. : 155 The Railway Budget for 2015-16 has mention about ‘Operation 5 minutes.’ Through this initiative, passengers travelling in ____________category can purchase a ticket in 5 minutes.
1) unreserved
2) reserved
3) ladies compartment
4) senior citizen
5) None of these
Answer:- 1) unreserved

Ques. : 156 The Railway Budget for 2015-16 introduces two all India 24/7 helpline numbers. While ‘138’ is for railway-related queries, toll free No.182 will be for
1) amenities-related issues
2) security-related issues
3) food-related issues
4) delay-related issues
5) None of these
Answer:- 2) security-related issues

Ques. : 157 India ranks lower than most BRICS nations in capacity for innovation, according to the Economic Survey 2014-15. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15, India’s ranking in capacity for innovation is
1) 66
2) 35
3) 40
4) 44
5) 48
Answer:- 5) 48

Ques. :15 8 As per the Economic Survey for 2014-15, the stock of stalled projects across the country stands at about _________of GDP.
1) 3 per cent
2) 4 per cent
3) 7 per cent
4) 9 per cent
5) 11 per cent
Answer:- 3) 7 per cent

Ques. :15 9 The Economic Survey for 2014-15 has mention about the JAM Number Trinity to help offer support to poor households. This JAM trinity does not include
1) Jan Dhan Yojana
2) Mobile numbers
3) Aadhaar
4) MGNREGA
5) None of these
Answer:- 4) MGNREGA

Ques. : 150 According to the Economic Survey for 2014-15, using the new estimate for 2014-15 as the base, GDP growth at constant market prices is expected to accelerate to between __________in 2015-16.
1) 6.1 and 6.5 per cent
2) 7.1 and 7.5 per cent
3) 8.1 and 8.5 per cent
4) 8.5 and 9.1 per cent
5) None of these
Answer:- 3) 8.1 and 8.5 per cent

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 17 July 2015 02:37
 

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