Saturday, February 14, 2015

Arvind Kejriwal sworn-in as Chief Minister of Delhi

Arvind Kejriwal on 14 February 2015 was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Delhi.
The oath of office and secrecy was administered by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung at Ramlila Ground, Delhi.
Other than Arvind Kejriwal, six other party members Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Jain, Jitendra Tomar, Gopal Rai, Sandeep Kumar and Asim Ahmed Khan were administered oath as Cabinet Ministers.
President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 13 February 2015 appointed Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.
With the appointment, President of India revoked the order of President’s rule with effect from 14 February 2015. The orders of Presidents rule in National Capital Territory of Delhi were issued earlier on 16 February 2014, under Article 239AB of the Constitution.
Also, he had appointed six AAP leaders as ministers on the advice of the Chief Minister.
Portfolio of Delhi Cabinet:
•    Arvind Kejriwal – Home, Power and Finance portfolio 
•    Manish Sisodia - Education, PWD and Urban Development portfolios
•    Satyendar Jain - Health and Industry portfolios 
•    Gopal Rai - Transport and Labour portfolios
•    Sandeep Kumar - Women and Child Welfare Department and SC and ST Welfare
•    Jitender Singh Tomar - Law Department
•    Asim Ahmed Khan - Food and Civil Supplies and Minority Affairs portfolio
He became 7th Chief Minister of Delhi as a person and 10th Chief Minister as tenure wise.
List of Chief Ministers of Delhi
S.No.
Chief Ministers Name
Took Office
Tenure
1.
Chaudhary Brahm Prakash
1952
One
2.
G N Singh
1955
One
3.
Madan Lal Khurana 
1993
One
4.
Sahib Singh Verma
1996
One
5.
Sushma Swaraj  
1998
One
6.
Sheila Dikshit
1998
Three
7.
Arvind Kejriwal
2013
Two

Indian-American Gurpreet Singh presented with National Science Foundation CAREER award

Indian-origin scientist Gurpreet Singh was on 27 January 2015 presented with the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award. The award includes the prize money of 500000 US dollars.
He was honoured for his research on Scalable liquid exfoliation processing of ultrathin two-dimensional metal dichalcogenides nanosheets for energy storage devices.
The award will further help him to develop ultrathin metal sheets that can help produce better rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors and catalysts for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production.
He will study the large-scale production of ultrathin sheets, that is a few atoms thick and several micrometres wide of Transition Metal Dichalcogenides (TMDs). At present no methods are available to produce thin TMDs in large quantities cost-effectively. His research will aim to make that possible.
The prestigious award will also help him to organize educational activities for high school students and teachers.
Currently, Gurpreet Singh is assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Kansas State University. Some of his other research had focused on using graphene oxide to improve sodium and lithium ion flexible batteries and creating carbon nanotubes for rechargeable batteries.

About National Science Foundation CAREER award
National Science Foundation CAREER award is given by US National Science Foundation as part of  Faculty Early Career Development Programme.
It is awarded to persons for supporting early career faculty who effectively integrate research and education within the context of their institution’s mission.

Krishna Chaudhary took charge as DG of ITBP

Senior IPS officer Krishna Chaudhary on 11 February 2015 took charge as the Director General (DG) of the border guarding force Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
He succeeded Subhas Goswami.  He is a 1979-batch Bihar cadre IPS officer.
Earlier, he was serving as the Director General (DG) of the Railway Protection Force under the Union Railway Ministry.
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had issued orders for appointment of the officer in January 2015.
He will retire in June 2017. This is one of the rare occasions in paramilitary forces' history that a DG can be expected to hold the top post for over two years time as usually these posts are held by senior officials for a maximum of about 1.5 years as their superannuation comes by.
The officer is a recipient of service medals given by the President to meritorious and distinguished policemen.

Brigade of Guards and Sikh Regiment jointly awarded Best Marching Contingents on Republic Day 2015

The Brigade of The Guards and the Sikh Regiment on 11 February 2015 were collectively awarded the Best Marching Contingents Trophy for Republic Day Parade 2015. The award was presented by Chairman Chief of Staff Committee, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha during an award ceremony held at Ministry of Defence, New Delhi.
Apart from this, cash awards were also presented to the contingents of the Brigade of the Guards and Sikh Regiment in a separate ceremony.
The trophy was jointly received by Captain Aditya Tanwar, Brigade of The Guards Contingent Commander along with Brigadier DV Singh, Centre Commandant, the Guards Regimental Centre and Lt Vikram Grewal, Sikh Regiment Contingent Commander along with Brig KBK Kesab, Centre Commandant, the Sikh Regimental Centre.

Dr. Ambedkar National Merit Awards conferred by Thaawar Chand Gehlot

The Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, Thaawar Chand Gehlot on 11 February 2015 distributed the Dr. Ambedkar National Merit Awards. The awards were given away to 84 Students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes category. 
The awards were given to Meritorious Students of Secondary and Sr. Secondary School 2014 conducted by State/Central Education Boards/Councils under Dr. Ambedkar National Merit Awards.
Ambedkar National Merit Award 
These Ambedkar National Merit awards are presented by Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, an autonomous organization under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in 1992. The awards are given to recognize and encourage three meritorious students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes who scores highest marks in the Secondary and Sr. Secondary examinations conducted by all the State Education Boards and Councils. In case none of the first three eligible students are girls, the girl students scoring the highest marks are given special award. The award carries a citation and cash award.

List of Jnanpith Award Winners (1965–2014)


Jnanpith Award is being given for the best creative literary writing by any Indian citizen in any of the languages included in the VIII Schedule of the Indian Constitution. The Award is the brain-child of late Smt. Rama Jain, the first President of and the moving spirit behind the Bharatiya Jnanpith since its inception. It has become the most prestigious literary award of the country. This awards inlude sum of Rs. 5 lakhs including citation.

Year : Name – Works (Language)
1965 :
 G. Sankara Kurup – Odakkuzhal [Flute] (Malayalam)
1966 : Tarashankar Bandopadhyaya – Ganadevta (Bengali)
1967 : Kuppali Venkatappagowda Puttappa (Kuvempu) – Sri Ramayana Darshanam (Kannada)
1967 : Umashankar Joshi – Nishitha (Gujarati)
1968 : Sumitranandan Pant – Chidambara (Hindi)
1969 : Firaq Gorakhpuri – Gul-e-Naghma (Urdu)
1970 : Viswanatha Satyanarayana – Ramayana Kalpavrikshamu [A resourceful tree:Ramayana] (Telugu)
1971 : Bishnu Dey Smriti – Satta Bhavishyat (Bengali)
1972 : Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' – Urvashi (Hindi)
1973 : Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre – Nakutanti [Naku Thanthi (Four Strings)] (Kannada)
1973 : Gopinath Mohanty – Paraja (Oriya)
1974 : Vishnu Sakharam Khandekar – Yayati (Marathi)
1975 : P. V. Akilan – Chitttrappavai (Tamil)
1976 : Ashapurna Devi – Pratham Pratisruti (Bengali)
1977 : K. Shivaram Karanth – Mookajjiya Kanasugalu [Mookajjis dreams] (Kannada)
1978 : Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan 'Ajneya' – Kitni Navon Men Kitni Bar [How many times in many boats?] (Hindi)
1979 : Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya – Mrityunjay [Immortal] (Assamese)
1980 : S. K. Pottekkatt – Oru Desathinte Katha [Story of a land] (Malayalam)
1981 : Amrita Pritam – Kagaj te Canvas (Punjabi)
1982 : Mahadevi Varma – Yama (Hindi)
1983 : Maasti Venkatesh Ayengar – Chikkaveera Rajendra [Life and struggle of Kodava King Chikkaveera Rajendra] (Kannada)
1984 : Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai – Kayar [Coir] (Malayalam)
1985 : Pannalal Patel – Maanavi Ni Bhavaai (Gujarati)
1986 : Sachidananda Rout Roy (Oriya)
1987 : Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar (Kusumagraj) – Natsamrat (Marathi)
1988 : Dr.C. Narayana Reddy – Vishwambhara (Telugu)
1989 : Qurratulain Hyder – Akhire Shab Ke Humsafar (Urdu)
1990 : V. K. Gokak (Vinayaka Krishna Gokak) – Bharatha Sindhu Rashmi (Kannada)
1991 : Subhas Mukhopadhyay – Padati (Bengali)
1992 : Naresh Mehta (Hindi)
1993 : Sitakant Mahapatra – "for outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Indian literature, 1973-92" (Oriya)
1994 : U. R. Ananthamurthy – for his contributions to (Kannada) literature (Kannada)
1995 : M. T. Vasudevan Nair – Randamoozham [Second Chance] (Malayalam)
1996 : Mahasweta Devi – Hajar Churashir Ma (Bengali)
1997 : Ali Sardar Jafri (Urdu)
1998 : Girish Karnad – "for his contributions to (Kannada) literature and for contributions to (Kannada) theater (yayati)" (Kannada)
1999 : Nirmal Verma (Hindi)
1999 : Gurdial Singh (Punjabi)
2000 : Indira Goswami (Assamese)
2001 : Rajendra Keshavlal Shah (Gujarati)
2002 : D. Jayakanthan (Tamil)
2003 : Vinda Karandikar – Ashtadarshana (poetry) (Marathi)
2004 : Rahman Rahi – Subhuk Soda, Kalami Rahi and Siyah Rode Jaren Manz (Kashmiri)
2005 : Kunwar Narayan (Hindi)
2006 : Ravindra Kelekar (Konkani)
2006 : Satya Vrat Shastri (Sanskrit)
2007 : O. N. V. Kurup (Malayalam)
2008 : Akhlaq Mohammed Khan 'Shahryar' (Urdu)
2009 : Amar Kant (Hindi)
2009 : Shrilal Shukla (Hindi)
2010 : Chandrashekhara Kambara – for his contributions to Kannada literature (Kannada)
 
2011 : Pratibha RayYajnaseni (Oriya)
2012 : Ravuri Bharadhwaja - For his notable contribution to Telugu literature (Telugu)
2013 :   Kedarnath Singh - For his notable contribution to Hindi literature. ‘Abhi bilkul abhi’ and ‘Yahan se dekho’ are among his prominent works (Hindi)
2014  : Bhalchandra Vanaji Nemade (Marathi)
‘Abhi bilkul abhi’ and ‘Yahan se dekho’ are among his prominent works - See more at: http://www.onlinegk.com/current-affairs/current-affairs-june-2014#sthash.QTmHJyfr.dpuf

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Current Affairs at a Glance 2014

❖ Latvia adopted the Euro currency on January 1, 2014 and became the 18th member of the Eurozone.

❖ Corey Anderson of New Zealand scored the fastest century in One Day International cricket history on January 1, 2014. He scored a hundred in just 36 deliveries against the West Indies. He beat the previous record of 100 off 37 balls set by Shahid Afridi of Pakistan in 1996.

❖ Sheikh Hasina was sworn in on January 12, 2014 for the third time as Bangladesh's Prime Minister. Her party is Awami League.

❖ India's first monorail service was started in Mumbai on February 2, 2014.

❖ Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and eminent scientist CNR Rao were conferred the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of India on February 4, 2014. The award was announced on November 16, 2013.

❖ Harish Rawat was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand on February 1, 2014.

❖ 'Chronicles of a Corpse Bearer' is a book written by Cyrus Mistry, which won the DSC Prize for
South Asian Literature at the Jaipur Literary Festival 2014. This award in 2013 was won by Jeet Thayil for his novel 'Narcopolis'.

❖ Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland beat Spain's Rafael Nadal to win the 2014 Australian Open men's singles tennis title. Li Na of China won the women's singles title by defeating Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

❖ The prestigious Padma Awards for 2014 were announced which includes Padma Vibhushan for two individuals, Padma Bhushan for 24 and Padma Shri for 101 people. Out of 127 awardees 27 are women. Padma Vibhushan awardees are Raghunath Mashelkar (Science & Engineering) and yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar.

❖ Shinzo Abe became the first Japanese Prime Minister to be the chief guest at India's 65th Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2014.

❖ Janet Yellen is the first woman ever to head the United States central bank Federal Reserve.

❖ Sub-Inspector K. Prasad Babu was conferred the Ashok Chakra posthumously on the 65th Republic Day by the President Pranab Mukherjee. K. Prasad Babu was from Andhra Pradesh. He was given this award for an anti-Maoist operation near Andhra Pradesh- Chhattisgarh border. Ashok Chakra is India's highest peacetime gallantry award.

❖ Matteo Renzi became the youngest Italian Prime Minister in February 2014. He is 39 years old.

❖ Sushil Koirala assumed office as the Prime Minister of Nepal on February 11, 2014. He is also the President of the Nepali Congress Party.

❖ N.Ramachandran was elected the new President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in February 2014. He is also the World Squash Federation President.

❖ Satya Nadella, an Indian American, was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft on
February 4, 2014. He succeeded Steve Ballmer.

❖ Former Supreme Court judge Ashok Kumar Mathur has been appointed the Chairman of the
7th Pay Commission.

❖ Eminent Gandhian and environmentalist Chandi Prasad Bhatt was selected for the 2013 Gandhi Peace Prize. He is one of the pioneers of the Chipko movement. He was awarded the Ramon
Magsaysay Award in 1982.

❖ Famous Hindi writer Vishwanath Tripathi has been selected for the prestigious Vyas Samman for the year 2013 for his memoir 'Vyomkesh Darvesh'. Vyas Samman is a literary award given by
the K.K. Birla Foundation.

❖ Odia became the sixth language to get classical language status after Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu,
Kannada and Malayalam.

❖ The Expert Committee to Revise and Strengthen the Monetary Policy Framework, headed by RBI Deputy Governor Urjit Patel suggested the central bank to adopt the new consumer price index for anchoring the monetary policy.

❖ Facebook announced its acquisition of WhatsApp Inc. for $19 billion. WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and John Koum. It is an instant messaging app for smartphones.

❖ The Winter Olympics were held in Sochi, Russia in February 2014. Russia topped the medals table with13 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze. It won a total of 33 medals. India did not win any medal. Next Winter Olympics will be held in Pyeongchang in South Korea in 2018.

❖ Michelle Bachelet was sworn in as the President of Chile on March 11, 2014. She already served as the President once from 2006 to 2010.

❖ The third edition of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) was held in The Hague, Netherlands in March 2014. The NSS aims to prevent nuclear terrorism by reducing the amount of dangerous
nuclear material in the world.

❖ Renowned Hindi author Govind Mishra was selected for the Saraswati Samman for the year 2013 for his book "Dhool Paudho Par". He is the second Hindi author to receive the honor after the late Harivansh Rai Bachchan in 1991.

❖ ESPN cricinfo presented the Cricketer of the Generation award to Sachin Tendulkar.

❖ The International Women of Courage Award 2014 was presented by the US first lady Michelle Obama to Laxmi, a Delhi acid attack survivor.

❖ Mortal remains of about 282 Indian soldiers of 1857 mutiny were exhumed from a well at Ajnala
in Amritsar district of Punjab in March 2014.

❖ The Reserve Bank of India had extended the deadline for Indian banks to meet capital requirements under the Basel III norms by a year to March 31, 2019.

❖ Mizoram defeated Railways to win the 68th Santosh Trophy Football championship in Siliguri in
March 2014. It is the maiden Santosh Trophy title for Mizoram.

❖ Viswanathan Anand won the World Candidates chess tournament title at Khanty Mansisyk, Russia.

❖ Khushwant Singh, a renowned author, passed away on March 20, 2014. He authored books such as 'Train to Pakistan', 'With Malice towards One and All', 'The Sunset Club', 'Truth, Love and a Little Malice', etc.

❖ Eminent film lyricist Gulzar was chosen for the coveted Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2013. This award is the highest film award in India.

❖ The people of Crimea voted to become part of Russia in a referendum in March 2014. The leaders of Group of Eight (G8) countries suspended Russia from the group on the issue of annexation of Crimea by Russia. Crimea was separated from Ukraine.

❖ The third Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit was held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar in March 2014. India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand are the seven members of this group. Sumith Nakandala of Sri Lanka is the Secretary General. The Secretariat of BIMSTEC is established in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

❖ Assam is the first State in India to observe Child Protection Day to secure the future of children
on March 4, 2014.

❖ The armies of Nepal and India held a joint military exercise named Surya Kiran VI in Nepal.

❖ Admiral Robin K. Dhowan assumed office as the Chief of Naval Staff on April 17, 2014. He succeeded Admiral D.K. Joshi.

❖ R. Gandhi has been appointed as a Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India. RBI has four deputy governors.

❖ The 2014 Goldman Environmental Prize was awarded to Ramesh Agrawal of Chhattisgarh.

❖ Koyal Rana won the Miss India 2014 crown.

❖ India - born poet Vijay Seshadri won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category for his collection of poems "3 Sections".

❖ Ex-coal secretary P.C. Parakh released his book titled "Crusader or Conspirator? Coalgate and Other Truths".

❖ Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian novelist, died on April 17, 2014. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. His major books include One Hundred Years of Solitude, Autumn of the Patriarch, Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Love in the Time of Cholera.

❖ Renowned cinematographer V.- K. Murthy passed away. He won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2008. He shot India's first cinemascope movie 'Kagaz ke Phool'.

❖ RBI gave approvals to IDFC Ltd and Bandhan Financial Services Private Limited to start new banks. IDFC is an infrastructure finance company based in Mumbai and Bandhan is a micro lender based in Kolkata.

❖ Sun Pharmaceuticals will buy Ranbaxy Laboratories.

❖ Sri Lanka won the World Twenty 20 title for the first time defeating India by six wickets in Mirpur, Bangladesh in April 2014.

❖ Australian women cricket team won the Women's World Twenty 20 Cup 2014 by defeating England in the final in Mirpur, Bangladesh. This is the third successive Women's World Twenty20 title for Australia.


❖ Narendra Damodardas Modi was sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014.
The swearing in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan was attended by the heads/ representatives of eight SAARC nations. Along with Modi 44 Ministers also took oath.

❖ The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) became the first party in 30 years to win a majority on its
own in the Lok Sabha. In the 16th Lok Sabha elections it won 282 seats. Indian National Congress won 44 seats.

❖ Anandiben Patel became the first woman Chief Minister of Gujarat in May 2014. Sikkim Democratic Front leader Pawan Chamling was sworn in as the CM of Sikkim for a record fifth consecutive term. Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik was sworn in as the CM of Odisha for the fourth consecutive term. Congress leader Nabam Tuki became the CM of Arunachal Pradesh for the second consecutive time.

❖ Jitan Ram Manjhi succeeded Nitish Kumar as the new CM of Bihar. TR Zeliang succeeded Neiphiu Rio as the CM of Nagaland.

❖ 13 - year-old Malavath Purna became the youngest female climber to scale the Mount Everest on May 25, 2014.

❖ Dalia Grybauskaite was re-elected as the President of Lithuania in May 2014. She is the first female President of Lithuania.

❖ Salvador Sanchez Ceren took office as the President of El Salvador on June 1, 2014. Luis Guillermo Solis became the President of Costa Rica on May 8, 2014. Juan Carlos Varela assumed office as the President of Panama on July 1, 2014.

❖ Peter Mutharika assumed office as the President of Malawi on May 31, 2014.

❖ Major General Kristin Lund of Norway is the first-ever woman to serve as the head of a UN peacekeeping operation.

❖ Nripendra Mishra was appointed as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is
the former Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

❖ Former United States Secretary of the State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched her book 'Hard Choices'.

❖ 'RuPay', India's own card payment network, was launched by the President Pranab Mukherjee. It was developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). The RuPay card is accepted at all ATMs.

❖ Justice B. S. Chauhan was appointed the Chairman of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

❖ Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) has been included in the second schedule to the RBI Act, 1934.
Now BMB becomes eligible for loans from RBI on bank rate.

❖ RBI made it mandatory for banks to install talking ATMs with Braille keypads from July 2014
onwards. It is for the benefit of persons with disabilities.

❖ P.J. Nayak Committee appointed by the RBI recommended the reduction of government stake in public sector banks to less than 50 percent.

❖ Japan won the Thomas Cup men's badminton title for the first time. Japan defeated Malaysia in the final in New Delhi in May 2014. China won the Uber Cup women's badminton title for the
13th time by defeating Japan in the final in New Delhi. India won a bronze medal for the first time in Uber Cup.

❖ Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) won the Indian Premier League- 7 title by defeating Kings XI Punjab at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on June 1, 2014. It is KKR's second IPL trophy.

❖ Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K. Chandrasekar Rao was sworn in as the first Chief Minister of Telangana, the 29th State of India, on June 2, 2014. Telugu Desham Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu took over as the first Chief Minister of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh on June 8, 2014.

❖ The Supreme Court appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee to probe the 2013 IPL spot fixing allegations.

❖ Manuel Santos won the Presidential elections of Colombia for the second time in June 2014.

❖ Reuven Rivlin succeeded Shimon Peres as the new President of Israel in June 2014.

❖ Former army chief Abdel Fattah el Sisi was sworn in as the President of Egypt in June 2014.

❖ Mukul Rohatgi was appointed the Attorney General of India in June 2014. Ranjit Kumar is the new Solicitor General.

❖ N. Srinivasan is the first Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

❖ Petro Poroshenko was sworn in as the President of Ukraine.

❖ Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won a third term in office in June 2014.

❖ Sumitra Mahajan became the Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha in June 2014. She represents Indore Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh.

❖ Former Intelligence Bureau chief Ajit Doval was appointed the National Security Adviser (NSA). He is the first police officer to be decorated with Kirti Chakra, a gallantry award given during peacetime.

❖ Kedarnath Singh was chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith award for 2013. He is the 10th Hindi writer to receive the honor and is the 49th recipient of Jnanpith award.

❖ The 2013 Moortidevi award was given to Malayalam writer C. Radhakrishnan. He is a scientist
turned writer.

❖ France announced to honor Shah Rukh Khan with Officer of the Legion of Honour for his contribution to cinema.

❖ Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland is the first recipient of the Tang Prize
for sustainable development. She is the former Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

❖ India-born plant scientist Sanjay Rajaram was chosen for the World Food Prize for 2014. He is a renowned wheat scientist.

❖ Irish author Eimear McBride won the 2014 Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction for her debut
novel 'A Girl is a Half-formed Thing'. This prize was earlier known as Orange Prize.

❖ The autobiography of Hindi actor Dilip Kumar 'The Substance and The Shadow' was launched.

❖ The supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was test-fired. It is an Indo-Russian missile with a range of 290 km.

❖ Okavango Delta in Botswana became the 1000th site to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List.

❖ Rani-ki-Vav, an 11th century stepwell in the Patan area of Gujarat and the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Himachal Pradesh were accorded the UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

❖ The government has accepted the report of Arvind Mayaram Committee on rationalizing definitions of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs).

❖ Salman Rushdie, the India born UK author was named the winner of 2014 Pen Pinter Prize.

❖ Saina Nehwal won the Australian Open Super Series badminton title defeating Spain's Carolina Marin.

❖ Magnus Carlsen of Norway won the World Rapid Chess Championship and also the World Blitz
Chess Championship, both in Dubai in June 2014.

❖ Australia retained the men's Hockey World Cup title by outplaying Netherlands in the final in
The Hague, Netherlands in June 2014. Netherlands defeated Australia to win the women's title.

❖ Rafael Nadal of Spain clinched the 2014 French Open tennis men's singles title beating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the final. It is Nadal's 9th French open title. Maria Sharapova of Russia won
her second French Open women's singles title by defeating Simona Halep of Romania.

❖ Two Indian Americans Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe became the co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest held in USA.


● Two Indian Americans Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe became the co-champions of the
Scripps National Spelling Bee contest held in USA.

● The Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC) headed by Parthasarathi Shome suggested
abolition of the post of Revenue Secretary and merger of CBDT and CBEC.

● The 40th G7 Summit was held in Brussels, Belgium in June 2014. This Summit was held without Russia.

● Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari visited China to celebrate the 60th anniversary of signing of the Panchsheel in June 2014.

● Indian-origin V.K. Rajah was appointed the Attorney-General of Singapore.

● General Dalbir Singh Suhag succeeded General Bikram Singh as the 26th Chief of Indian Army on July 31, 2014. Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha took over as the Chairman of the
Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) on July 30, 2014.

● Shashi Kant Sharma, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) became a Member
of the United Nations Board of Auditors for a term of six years.

● The President appointed new Governors for six States in July 2014. They are: Kaptan Singh
Solanki - Haryana, Balramji Das Tandon- Chhaatisgarh, Keshari Nath Tripath- West Bengal, Ram
Naik- Uttar Pradesh, Padmanabha Acharya - Nagaland and Om Prakash Kohli - Gujarat.

● S.S. Mundra is the fourth Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He will have tenure of 3 years.

● Former External Affairs Minister and a senior Congress Party leader K.Natwar Singh released his
autobiography 'One Life is Not Enough'.

● Out of 187 countries, India is ranked 135th in the 2014 UNDP Human Development Index. Norway is the topper

● Germany won the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It beat Argentina in the final played at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on July 13, 2014. It is Germany's 4th World Cup Football title.

● Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated Roger Federer of Switzerland in Wimbledon men's singles tennis final. In the Wimbledon women's singles final Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic beat Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.

● The 6th BRICS Summit was held in July 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil. The leaders signed a document to create the $100 billion New Development Bank. Its headquarters will be in Shanghai, China and the first President will be from India for a six year term. It is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first Summit.

● Sadananda Gowda presented the Railway Budget on July 8, 2014. Union Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey 2013-14 in Parliament on July 9, 2014 and presented his maiden Budget on July 10, 2014.

● Harry Potter fame actress Emma Watson was appointed Goodwill Ambassador by UN Women. Tennis player Sania Mirza is the brand ambassador for Telangana State.

● Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the new President of Turkey and Ahmet Davutoglu is the new Prime Minister of Turkey.

● General Prayuth Chan-ocha took over as the Prime Minister of Thailand in August 2014.

● In August 2014 four more States got new Governors. Rajasthan - Kalyan Singh, Maharashtra - Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, Karnataka- Vajubhai Vala and Goa- Mridula
Sinha.

● Congress leader K.V. Thomas is the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament.

● Former Chief Justice of India Justice P. Sathasivam was appointed the Governor of Kerala in September 2014.

● Daman Singh, the daughter of the former Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, has written a book "Strictly Personal: Manmohan and Gursharan".

● Narendra Modi launched Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) on August 28, 2014. The aim of the scheme is the financial inclusion of all Indians.

● Manjul Bhargava, a mathematician of Indian origin won the Field Medal. He was conferred
the award at the International Congress of Mathematicians held
in Seoul, South Korea in August.

● Former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan was appointed the Chairman of the Expenditure Management Commission.

● Jaipur Pink Panthers beat U Mumba to emerge champion of the inaugural STAR ProKabaddi League in Mumbai on August 31.

● The 2014 Summer Youth Olympics were held from August 16 to 28, 2014 in Nanjing, China.
China topped the medals tally with 65 medals, including 38 Gold. India got two medals. Weightlifter Ragala Venkata Rahul bagged a silver medal and Atul Verma won a bronze in Archery.

● Shah Rukh Khan was appointed the ambassador of 'Turn Back Crime' campaign of Interpol. Amitabh Bachchan is Maharashtra's horticulture ambassador.

● India and Australia signed a civil nuclear agreement on September 5, 2014. The deal was signed during the visit of the Australian
Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

● The 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games was held from July 23 to August 3, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. England topped the medal chart with 174 medals. India bagged 64 medals
and finished fifth.

● Marin Cilic of Croatia defeated Kei Nishikori of Japan to win the 2014 US Open men's singles tennis title. Serena Williams of USA won women's singles title beating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the final. The mixed doubles title was won by India's Sania Mirza and Brazil's Bruno Soares.

● The 17th Asian Games were held in Incheon, South Korea from September 19 to October 4, 2014. China topped the medals tally with 342 medals. India won 57 medals and took the 8th position.

● Chennai Super Kings won the Champions League T20 title, defeating Kolkata Knight Riders
in the final in Bangalore on October 4, 2014.

● Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on the birth anniversary of Mahatma
Gandhi on October 2, 2014. The Mission aims to make India clean by October 2, 2019, Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary.

● Ancient Nalanda University was inaugurated after 800 years on September 19, 2014 by External
Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Bihar. The Chancellor is Amartya Sen and the Vice Chancellor is Gopa Sabharwal.

● The Union Government launched Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana for urban and rural poor on September 25, 2014.

● The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit was held in Wales, UK on September 4-5, 2014.

● Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan on September 29, 2014.

● John Key was re-elected the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

● O.Pannerselvam became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu succeeding Jayalalithaa.

● Justice H.L. Dattu became the 42nd Chief Justice of India on September 28, 2014.

● Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award 2014 was presented to A. Sivathanu Pillai, an eminent missile scientist.

● October 31 was celebrated as National Unity Day. It is the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first Home Minister.

● Devendra Fadnavis became the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Manohar Lal Khattar was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Haryana in October 2014. Both are from BJP. Laxmikant Parsekar of BJP is the new Goa Chief Minister.

● India was reelected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the period of 2015 to 2017.

● Dilma Rousseff was re-elected for her second four-year term as the President of Brazil.

● Australian author Richard Flanagan won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for his novel "The Narrow Road to the Deep North".

● Pakistani girls' rights activist Malala Yousafzai shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with India's Kailash Satyarthi. She also won the World's Children's Prize given by Sweden and America's Liberty Medal.

● Former Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg became the 13th Secretary General of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on October 1, 2014.

● Arvind Subramanian is the new Chief Economic Adviser and Rajiv Mehrishi is the new Finance Secretary of India.

● Indian Prime Minister attended the 9th G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia in November 2014.

● The 18th SAARC Summit was held in November 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

● Anil Kumar Sinha is the new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Rajinder
Khanna is the new Chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Prakash Mishra is the
new Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

● The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2014 is given to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

● Rolene Strauss of South Africa was crowned Miss World 2014 in London on December 14, 2014.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hari Shankar Brahma appointed as the New Chief Election Commissioner

Hari Shankar Bramha was appointed as the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) by President Pranab Mukherjee on 15 January 2016.

Brahma, the senior-most Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India succeeds V.S. Sampath.

Sampath demitted the office on 15 January 2015 after attaining the age of 65, the upper age limit under the Constitution for holding the post.
Brahma (64) will assume the charge of the office of Chief Election Commissioner with effect from 16 January 2015. He will have a small tenure of three months till 19 April 2015, when he turns 65, the upper age limit for the post.

About Harishankar Brahma
• He is a 1975 IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre 
• He hails from Assam and has served as the former Union power secretary 
• He was appointed as an Election Commissioner on 25 August 2010
After J.M. Lyngdoh, Brahma is the second officer from northeast to be appointed to this post.
About Election Commission 
Election Commission of India is a permanent Constitutional Body. It was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25 January 1950.

Originally the commission had only a Chief Election Commissioner, but now it is a three-member body, including the CEC and two election commissioners.

For the first time two additional Commissioners were appointed on 16 October 1989 but they had a very short tenure till 1 January 1990. Later, on 1 October 1993 two additional Election Commissioners were appointed. The concept of multi-member Commission has been in operation since then, with decision making power by majority vote.

Union Government launched two schemes to support Scheduled Castes

Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on 16 January 2015 launched two schemes to support the Scheduled Castes (SC). These schemes are Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes and Green Business scheme.
The scheme was launched by Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes
The Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes scheme was launched with an initial capital of 200 crore rupees. Under the scheme, financial assistance of 15 Crore rupees for a period of 6 years will be provided to 30 SC entrepreneurs in a year.

IFCI Limited will be the Sponsor, Settler and Asset Management Company or Nodal Agency to operate the scheme. It will contribute 50 crore rupees which would comprise 5 crore rupees as sponsor and 45 crore rupees as investor. 

The objectives of the Venture Capital Fund scheme are:
• To promote entrepreneurship amongst the Scheduled castes who are oriented towards innovation and growth technologies. 
• To provide concessional finance to the Scheduled Caste (SC) entrepreneurs, who will create wealth and value for society and at the same time will promote profitable businesses. 
• To develop SC entrepreneurs economically. 
• To enhance direct and indirect employment generation for SC population in India.

Green Business Scheme
Under this Scheme, loan for unit cost up to 1 lakh rupees at concessional rate of interest will be provided to Scheduled Castes for activities such as e-rickshaw, Solar Pump and Solar energy powered implements, poly house etc. 

Green Business Scheme for providing financial assistance has been launched keeping in focus climate change.

Noted RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal conferred with Giraffe Hero award 2015

Renowned Indian RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal was on 15 January 2015 conferred with the Giraffe Hero award 2015 by a US-based NGO The Giraffe Heroes Project. The award will be presented to him on 22 January 2015.
Agrawal was awarded for his bravery in utilising the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 for public good despite innumerable challenges. Agrawal also holds the Guinness record of filing highest number of published letters to the editors.

His RTI applications has delivered some important orders in India like declaration of assets by Supreme Court judges, bringing political parties under the RTI act among others.

About the Giraffe Hero award
The Giraffe Heroes Project is a non-profit group which honours the risk-takers, people who are largely unknown, people who have the courage to take risks for the common people in the US and around the world. 

Earlier, the following people from India were honoured with the Giraffe Hero award including Baba Amte, Mabelle Arole, Jaya Arunachalam, C P Bhatt, Sunitha Krishnan, Usha Narayane, Bunker Roy, Vijay Saluja and G Venkatasamy.

Baba Ramdev appointed as state brand ambassador of Haryana Government

Baba Ramdev was appointed as state brand ambassador of Haryana Government. Minister of Sports and Health of Haryana, Anil Vij announced the decision on 15 January 2015.
The appointment was a part of government of Haryana’s ambitious plans to promote yoga and ayurveda in Haryana state.
Haryana government‘s plan to promote Yoga and Ayurveda
• Krishna Ayurvedic college of Haryana will be developed into an Ayurvedic University whereas a yogic centre of international standards will be built in Panchkula.
• An herbal forest will be developed over thousands of acres of land in Haryana state where plants of 25 thousand species of ayurvedic herbs will be grown under the supervision of Ramdev.
• Yoga will be made a compulsory subject in schools of Haryana. Vyayamshalas and yogshalas will be constructed in all the towns and about 6500 villages of Haryana for this purpose under the guidance of Ramdev. 
• Zero period in all schools of Haryana will be yoga period and the PT teachers will have to undergo a training in yoga under the guidance of Ramdev.
• An ayush wing was being established in all the hospitals of Haryana where 550 doctors will have to do a refresher course under the supervision of Ramdev. And also Anaganvadi teachers will be imparted training in yoga.

21st Screen Awards announced

21st Screen Awards were announced on 15 January 2015 at Mumbai. Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra won the Best Actor Award for Male and Female category respectively.

Shahid won the Best Actor (male) award for Haider and Priyanka won Best Actor (female) award for Mary Kom. Best Film award was given to film Queen, while its Director Vikas Bahl won the Best Director award. 

Hema Malini was honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other awards declared on the occasion includes
• Best Actor (male) in the popular choice category - Shah Rukh Khan for Happy New Year
• Best Actor (female) in the popular choice category - Deepika Padukone for Happy New Year
• Hero of the Year (male) - Shahid Kapoor 
• Hero of the Year (female) - Alia Bhatt
• Best Supporting Actor (female) – Tabu for Haider and Seema Pahwa for Ankhon Dekhi
• Best Actor Supporting Role (Male) – Inamul Haq for Filmistaan
• Best Actor in a Negative Role award (male) - Tahir Raj Bhasin for role of villain in Mardanni 
• Best Actor in a Negative Role award (female) - Huma Qureshi for Dedh Ishqiya
• Best Jodi award – Shahid with Tabu for Haider
• Best Actor in Comic Role (male/female) – Sharib Hashmi for Filmistaan
• Entertainer of the Year – Sajid Nadiadwala
• Ramnath Goenka Award – Manjunath
• Best Ensemble Cast – Ankhon Dekhi
• Best Child Actor – Parth Bhalerao for Bhoothnath
• Best Playback Singer (male) – Arijit Singh for song Muskurane Ki Wajah of Citylights
• Best Playback Singer (female) – Jyoti and Sultana Nooran for song Pattakha Guddi of film Highway
• Best Music – Mithoon and Ankit Tiwari for Ek Villain
• Best Lyrics – Kausar Munir for song Suno Na Sangemarmar of Youngistan
• Most Promising Debut Director – Nitin Kakkar for Filmistaan
• Best Promising Newcomer (male) – Tiger Shroff for Heropanti
• Best Promising Newcomer (female) – Patralekhaa for Citylights
• Best Animation – Char Sahibzade
• Best Dialogue – Rajkumar Hirani, Abhijat Joshi for PK
• Best Screenplay – Sandeep A Varma for Manjunath
• Best Story – Rajat Kapoor for Ankhon Dekhi
• Best Editing – Sanjib Datta for Mardaani
• Best Production Design – Haider
• Best Cinematography – Bobby Singh for Queen
• Best Action – Heropanti
• Best Film Marketing – 2 States
• Best Choreography – Ahmed Khan for Kick’s song Jumme Ki Raat
• Best Costume – Manoshi Nath and Rishi Sharma for PK
The awards were also announced for Marathi films and the winnersinclude 
• Best Actor (male) - Dilip Prabhavkar for Vitti Dandu and Nandu Madhav for Tapal
• Best Actor (female) - Usha Naik for Ek Hazarachi Note
• Best Marathi Film -Vitti Dandu produced by Leena Devre, Ajay Devgn and Kajol
• Best Director - Laxman Utekar for Tapal
• Best child actor – Nishant Bhavasar for Vitti Dandu

In 2014, Deepika Padukone for Ram-Leela and Farhan Akhtar for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag won the Best Actress and Best Actor awards at the 20th Screen Awards.

Best Director Award was won by Shoojit Sircar for Madras Cafe while the Best Film Award was won by Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.