72nd edition of Golden Globe Awards was organized at Beverly Hills, California.
Union Government has appointed Pournima Gupte as member (actuary) of Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA). With her appointment, IRDA got an actuary after a gap of three years. Since 2011, this post was lying vacant after R Kannan retired from IRDA. It should be noted that for the first time a woman has been appointed on the board of IRDA. Earlier, Pournima Gupte had worked with Life Insurance Corporation and has worked as actuary at Reliance Life Insurance and IDBI Federal.
IRDA is an apex statutory body that regulates and develops the insurance industry in India. It was constituted as per provisions of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999. Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana.
It is 10 members body consisting of: Chairman, 5 full-time members, 4 part-time members. All members are appointed by Union Government. Current chairman of IRDA is T.S. Vijayan. On 31st December 2014, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) was renamed as ‘Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’.
Eminent Economist Arvind Panagariya has taken charge as first Vice-Chairman of the newly-created National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog on 13 January 2015. After taking charges, he was briefed about newly created NITI Aayog by its CEO Sindhushree Khuallar and other senior officials.
He is an Indian-American economist and Professor of Economics at Columbia University. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from prestigious Princeton University. He was an ex-Chief Economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He has also worked for the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in various capacities.
He has written around 10 books and the latest was India: The Emerging Giant published in 2008.
On 5 January 2015, Union government had announced the appointment of Vice- Chairman, 2 full time members, 4 ex-officio members (Union ministers) and 3 special invitees of Aayog. They were appointed after government on 1 January 2015 had announced that NITI Aayog has replaced the 65-year old Planning Commission. It should be noted that Prime Minister is Ex-Officio Chairman of NITI Aayog. Prime Minister Naredra Modi also had appointed Economist Bibek Debroy and former DRDO chief V K Saraswat as full-time members of Aayog. While, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Suresh Prabhu and Radha Mohan Singh were appointed as the Ex-Officio members of Aayog. Other Union Ministers like Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Zubin Irani and Thawar Chand Gehlot are Special Invitees in Aayog.
Sun Temple at Konark, Odhisa has been the coveted with Adarsh Monument tag by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Along with Sun Temple, three other monuments of eastern India were given Adarsh Monument tag. They are:
At present, 25 out of 3,680 protected monuments in India have been selected under the Adarsh Smarak Yojana. It includes monuments like Taj Mahal, Khajuraho, Qutab Minar and Red Fort which have highest number of tourists visiting them. By awarding this monument Adarsh Monument tag, Central government gives them special attention in order to boost international tourism. Under Adarsh Smarak Yojana, ASI provides amenities of international standards like washrooms, drinking water, signs, cafeteria, audiovisual centres, Wi-Fi connectivity, interpretation centres and encroachment-free areas around these monuments.
It is a 13th century temple of Odisha, built by Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. It is also known as Black Pagoda. It’s a World Heritage Site. It is considered as architectural marvel for which Odisha, best known worldwide.
Idukki district of Kerala has become first district in India to have high speed Rural Broadband Network i.e. National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) Internet connectivity. Union Minister of Information Technology and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad commissioned this Hi-speed rural broadband network under the governments flagship Digital India programme. In Idukki, 8 block offices and 52 village panchayats out of 53 will benefit from this project.
NOFN is the largest rural connectivity project of its kind in the world. It aims to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. It seeks to link each of the 2.5 lakh village panchayats in the country spread over 6600 blocks and 631 districts through broadband optical fibre network in order to provide a minimum bandwidth of 100 Mbps. On its completion, NOFN is expected to facilitate Broadband connectivity to over 600 million rural citizens of the country. NOFN, is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), Department of Telecom, Ministry of Communications & IT. It will offer people with friendly services like e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, public internet access etc. It will also enable delivery of various government services such as local planning, management, monitoring and payments of Government schemes at panchayat level. Thus it will help to provide non-discriminatory telecom infrastructure, in order to bridge the gap of digital divide in rural internet access.
India and Bangladesh inaugurated third border haat in Srinagar-Purba on the Tripura-Bangladesh border. It was inaugurated by Union Commerce and Industries Minister Nirmala along with her Bangladeshi counterpart Tofail ahmed in the presence of Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar. This is the first border haat opened in state Tripura which shares 856-km border with Bangladesh.
Haats in India Language means Rural Market. The aim of this border haat is to enhance border trade between the two countries. It will also cater to the needs of the people living within a five km radius in this border area. It will facilitate bilateral trade of 16 locally produced goods between both nations. It includes agricultural and horticultural crops, spices, poultry, dairy products, cottage industry items, furniture and handicrafts and hand-looms. It will also boost people to people contacts between the two countries.
Border haats along the border of two countries are established under a MOU for Border Trade and Border Haats. It was signed by the two countries in October 2010. As per the rules and guidelines of this MOU, traders in communities of both India and Bangladesh can trade their local produce without any duty. This bilateral trade will take place once a week in this haat and each trader is allowed to do business of US $ 100 per day.
Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha was appointed Chief Justice of Bangladesh by President Mohammad Abdul Hamid. With this appointment, he has become the first Hindu to hold highest judicial post in the Muslim-majority country. He will succeed incumbent Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain as he is retiring on 16 January 2015 and will have a term of around three years.
Legal career: He started his legal career in 1974 as an advocate of the district court, Sylhet after completing LLB. He was an advocate of the high court in 1978 and later in the appellate division in 1990. In 1999, he was appointed as judge of the High Court and later in 2009 as judge of the Appellate Division. It should be noted that Bangladesh has unitary Supreme Court structure and comprises two divisions – the Appellate Division and the High Court division.
Key judgements: His landmark judgements include on assassination of Bangladesh’s first President Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the 5th and 13th amendments to the country’s Constitution.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for year 2014. He has earned this title of world’s best football player for a third time. Earlier he was conferred with award in 2008 and 2013. He has retained this highest individual honour in football after scoring 61 goals for Real Madrid and Portugal in 2014. He also had played important role, by making record tally of 17 goals in a Champions League season that helped his club to win an unprecedented 10th European Cup title. While in women’s section, Germany’s midfielder Nadine Kessler has been awarded FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year title. FIFA Ballon d’Or Award It is an annual football association award given by FIFA to the male player who has performed the best in the previous calendar year. This award was instituted in 2010 after France Football’s Ballon d’Or and the men’s FIFA World Player of the Year award were merged. It is awarded to the male player, based upon highest votes secured by him from national team coaches and captains, as well as journalists from around the world. Inaugural 2010 FIFA Ballon d’Or was awarded to Lionel Messi. Later he won this award for consecutive two years i.e. 2011 and 2012.
Well-known Hindi scholar and writer Dr Kamal Kishore Goyanka has been selected for the prestigious Vyas Samman for the year 2014. He has been chosen for this award for his research work ‘Premchand Kee Kahaniyo Kaa Kaalkramanusar Adhyayan’.
This award is instituted by the K.K. Birla Foundation. It was started in 1991. It is awarded annually in recognition of the hindi literary work published in past 10 years. The award carries monetary award of 2.5 lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque.
Haryana government has unveiled new sports policy named Haryana Physical Activities and Sports Policy-2015. It was announced Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at function organized at Rohtak.
New sports policy, substantially increases the award money given to winners of international and national sports events.
State government also has increased the award money for various other sports competitions including World University Games, Youth Olympic Games, National School Games, All India University Tournaments, World Marathon for Mentally Challenged, among other events.
Cash award will only be given to those sportspersons who has represented the state of Haryana in any sports. The sportspersons or their parents should be residents of Haryana. As per the policy, players will be given awards for the performance of preceding financial year only and not for past performance or achievements.
Alur Seelin Kiran Kumar has been appointed chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). His name was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will replace former ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan who had retired on 31 December 2014. He will have tenure of 3 years from the date he take charge. Previously, Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, was given additional charge of ISRO till the appointment of a new head following the retirement of K Radhakrishnan.
Education: He has an honours degree in Physics from National College, Bangalore University and an M Tech in Physical Engineering from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.
ISRO career: In 1975, he started his ISRO career with the Space Application Centre. He had played a key role in developing image sensors for Bhaskara- India’s first remote sensing satellite launched in 1979. He also had played important role in developing key components of India’s Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan missions. Before this appointment, he was director of Space Application Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad.
Awards: In 2014, he was awarded Padma Shri.
Railway Ministry has flagged off India’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) powered train between Rewari and Rohtak in Haryana. It was flagged off by Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu at Rewari junction of the Northern Railway zone.
It is powered by Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU). It is based on dual fuel system- diesel and CNG. This train is integrated with 1,400 HP engine to run on dual fuel through fumigation technology. It is capable of running at a speed of 100 km per hour. Train comprised of two power cars and six car coaches, manufactured by Integral Coach Factory at Chennai with the CNG conversion kit supplied by Cummins. Its successful implementation, marks a major landmark in adoption of green fuel by Indian Railways. Implications: It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions of Railways and also the consumption of diesel. Thus, contributing in environment conservation. It will help to reduce the operating cost of locomotives by over 50% compared to conventional trains powered by diesel and electricity.
A British magazine has named RBI Governor and well-known economist Raghuram Rajan as the Governor of the Year in the Central Banking Awards for 2015. It was announced by British magazine Central Banking. Governor Raghuram Rajan was chosen for this award by magazine for his disciplined and focused approach in leading the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) during his first year as Governor. It also mentioned that, RBI Governor deserved the award for his deep understanding of the root causes of India’s economic problems.
He is 23 Governor of RBI and had taken charge in September 2013. Earlier, he was chief economic adviser (CEA) to India’s Ministry of Finance in 2013. He was chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2003 to 2007. He is also a celebrity economist known across the globe for predicting the 2008 global meltdown. He has authored many books on economics and is professor of finance at the graduate business school at the University of Chicago.
Awards: Fischer Black Prize- In 2003, he was awarded this award by the American Finance Association for contributions to the theory and practice of finance. Deutsche Bank Prize for Financial Economics- In 2013, he was awarded this award for his ground-breaking research work which influenced financial and macro-economic policies around the world. Best Central Bank Governor award- In 2014, he was awarded this award by Euromoney magazine.
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