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Current Affairs: 19th March 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Mar 20th, 2015

1-EVMs to carry photos of candidates from May 1, 2015: EC

khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge, ias, ips, civil, services, CSAT,pre, ies, general studies, GS, mains, competitive, entrance, bank, PO, IBPS  EVMs to carry photos of candidates from May 1, 2015: EC,Election Commission,ElectionsElection Commission has announced that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and ballot papers will carry photographs of candidates from 1 May 2015.

This move of EC seeks to avoid voters being misled by several namesakes in the election fray. In this regard EC has issued an order to all political parties and State Chief Electoral Officers for implementation.

EC also has modified the relevant provisions of law under the Conduct of Election Rules giving effect to the photo ballot papers and EVMs.

Henceforth, the photo of candidate will appear between the name and election symbol on the ballot sheet and EVM.  While for designing the new photo ballot papers, the EC has specified election candidates to supply stamp size recent photograph with specification of 2.5 cm width and 2 cm height.

2- Sohail Aman appointed as new Pakistan Air Force chief

Sohail Aman appointed as new Pakistan Air Force chief,Pakistan,Pakistan Air Force

Sohail Aman

Sohail Aman on 18 March 2015 was appointed as Chief of Pakistan Air Force (PAF). His appointment was approved by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and was promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal.

He will succeed Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt who retires from the service. Prior to this appointment, Sohail Aman was serving as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (operations) at Air Headquarters in Islamabad.

Sohail Aman had started his career in 1980 after he was commissioned in the GD (P) Branch of PAF. His more than three 3 decade long career in PAF encompasses a wide range of operational, training, command assignments and has flown various types of fighter and training aircraft on PAF Inventory.

He has been decorated with Hilal-i-Imtiaz, Sitara-i-Imtiaz and Tamgha-i-Imtiaz awards for the recognition of his meritorious and exceptionally dedicated services.

3- Indigenously Developed Astra successfully test-fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft

Indigenously Developed Astra successfully test-fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft,DRDO,Missile Technology

Sukhoi

India’s indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile Astra was successfully tested on 18 March 2015 from a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft.  The test was undertaken at the Integrated Test Range located at Chandipur in Odisha.

About Test

  • During the test, missile successfully hit a simulated target and also proved its manoeuvring capability against a simulated target and also validated its various subsystems.
  • Missile’s all subsystems like propulsion, navigation, guidance and separation from the aircraft were also successfully tested.

About Astra missile

  • Indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Single stage solid fuelled and has payload capacity of 15 kg conventional explosives.
  • It is air-to-air missile BVR all-weather missile and can be launched from different altitudes.
  • Capable of engaging and destroying highly maneuverable supersonic aerial targets and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speed of 1.2 Mach to 1.4 Mach.
  • It can engage targets in head-on up to 80 km and tail-chase up to 20 km modes.
  • The missile can reach up to 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km and 44 km when launched from an altitude of 8 km and 21 km when fired from sea level.
  • The missile can be integrated with fighter aircraft including Sukhoi-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Jaguar and the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

4- Lok Sabha passes Warehousing Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2015

The Lok Sabha on 18 March 2015 passed the Warehousing Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The Bill seeks to amend the Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962.

Key facts

  • Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill states that the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) has been awarded a Mini-Ratna Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) status by the Department of Public Enterprises.
  • The bill put to end the Central Government’s responsibility of being a financial guarantor to the CWC in order to follow the criteria to be a Mini-Ratna enterprise status.
  • The one of criteria of status states that enterprise should not have financial support and it must be independent of any budgetary support or guarantee by the government.
  • The proposed amendment in the bill omits certain sections relating to the government’s responsibility of being a guarantor to the CWC.

It should be noted that, the Central and state warehousing corporations are established under the Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962 for the purpose of warehousing agricultural produce and other commodities.

5- NGT announces Rs 5,000 fine for littering on railway property

NGT announces Rs 5,000 fine for littering on railway property,National Green Tribunal,Pollution,Railways

NGT

National Green Tribunal (NGT) has announced a fine of Rs 5,000 on individuals spotted littering or throwing waste on the railway platforms and tracks. It was announced by a NGT bench, headed by Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.

In this regard NGT has passed a slew of directions to the Railways and other authorities for maintaining cleanliness on railway tracks.

The Tribunal directed the Railways and the Delhi Municipal Corporations to place dustbins after identifying exact locations for collection of garbage.

NGT also directed the Railways instead of directly releasing the garbage into sewer system they should collect, transport and treat the waste at the treatment plants. The tribunal also directed the concerned authorities to install mobile toilets near slum clusters in order to control pollution caused by plastic products and human defecation around railway tracks.

NGT gave the directions on a petition filed by lawyers Saloni Singh and Arush Pathania. The petitioners were seeking a blanket ban on use and sale of plastic products on railway platforms across the country besides a ban on open defecation by people around tracks.

6- Nobel laureate Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan to head Royal Society

Nobel laureate Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan to head Royal Society,Chemistry,Nobel Prize,Science,United Kingdom

Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

Nobel Laureate Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been confirmed as President Elect of the Royal Society. His appointment was confirmed by the society’s council met on 19 March 2015 and will assume the charge on 1 December 2015.

He will succeed eminent geneticist Sir Paul Nurse who had taken on the role in 2010 and will step down after the customary 5-year term.

About Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

  • Famously known as Venki. He was born in Chidambaram in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu.
  • He holds B.Sc. degree in physics from Baroda University and Ph.D. from Ohio University, United States.
  • In 2003, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
  • Ramakrishnan was knighted for services to Molecular Biology in 2012.
  • Awards-In 2009, Ramakrishnan was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the precise structure of ribosomes i.e. the molecular machines that manufacture proteins inside all living cells. He shared this Prize with Tom Steitz and Ada Yonath.
  • Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine(2007) and Padma Vibhushan (2010).

About Royal Society

  • It is a self-governing fellowship society of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, medicine and engineering.
  • Purpose:To support excellence in science, and to encourage its use for the benefit of humanity.

The position President of the Royal Society is most important in British science and existed since 1660. The President of society is a key advocate for science in the UK and the world.

7- Union Ministry of Railways constitutes Kaya Kulp council

Union Ministry of Railways constitutes Kaya Kulp council,Indian Railways,Ministry Of Railways

Union Minister of Railways

Union Ministry of Railways has constituted Kaya kulp’ Council,an innovation council for Indian Railways. The council was constituted by Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu in order to fulfill the promise made in the Railway Budget Speech.

The council also seeks to re-engineer business and introduce a spirit of innovation in Indian Railways. Eminent industrialist and former chairman of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata will head the KayaKalp council.

Key facts

  • Purpose of the Council-To recommend innovative methods and processes for the improvement, betterment and transformation of the Indian Railways.
  • The council will act as a standing body and will interact with all stakeholders and other interested parties.
  • Members-The Council initially will have following members
  • Shiv Gopal Mishra,General Secretary of All Indian Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF).
  • Raghavaiah,General Secretary of  National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR).
  • While the other members of the Council will be announced in due course.

8- Union Government launches BIRAC AcE Fund to accelerate growth of entrepreneurs in Biotechnology

Union Government on 19 March 2015 launched Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) AcE Fund to accelerate growth of entrepreneurs in Biotechnology.

It was announced by Minister of State (MoS) for Science and Technology (S&T) and Earth Sciences Y.S. Chowdary on the occasion of the third foundation day of BIRAC in New Delhi. The BIRAC AcE Fund aims to address the pressing needs of accelerating the growth of entrepreneurs, in the field of Biotechnology.

This equity fund will be operated by BIRAC a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the aegis Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of Union Ministry of Science and Technology.

Apart from launching the fund, MoS for S&T and Earth Sciences also inaugurated a Two day Panel discussions focused at making biotechnology as one of the drivers of the ‘Make in India’ Programme.

About Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)

  • BIRAC operates as a PSU under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Union Ministry of Science & Technology.
  • Established: 2012.
  • Purpose: It is mandated to foster and promote innovation research in biotech industries specially start-ups and SMEs.

The theme for this year’s foundation day of BIRAC was “Accelerating Innovations: India the Next Biotech Global Hub”

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