1- Sri Lankan President appoints K Sripavan as Chief Justice
Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed Kanagasabapathy J Sripavan as Chief Justice.
K Sripavan an ethnic-Tamil took oath as the 44th Chief Justice and replaces Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, who had resigned a day after she was reinstated.
He is second Tamil to hold be Chief Justice. The last Tamil chief justice was Herbert Thambiah, who left the position in 1991.
2- Father of Birth Control Pill Carl Djerassi passes away
Father of Birth Control Pill Carl Djerassi
Renowned chemist Carl Djerassi has passed away in San Francisco, United States (US). He was 91. He was famously known as the father of the birth control pills for his contribution to the development of oral contraceptive birth pills.
About Carl Djerassi
- He was born on 29 October 1923.
- In 1951, he had led a research team in Mexico City that developed a synthetic molecule norethindrone– a key component of the first birth control pill.
- Later, he had submitted many research papers on birth control pills. It includes a public policy article about the global implications of U.S. contraceptive research in 1969 and another article about the feasibility of a birth control pill for men in 1970.
- It should be noted that the first birth-control pill approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) was Enovid, developed Frank Colton at G.D. Searle & Co and not by him.
- He was also professor emeritus of chemistry at Stanford University and had written many poems, short stories and plays with an emphasis on mixing science and literature. Some of the poems reflected his life as a chemist.
- Awards:For his work on the contraceptive pills he was awarded US’s prestigious award National Medal of Science (1973), National Medal of Technology (1991). He was also inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 1978 for his research.
3- Leander Paes & Martina Hingis clinch 2015 Australian Open mixed doubles title
Leander Paes & Martina Hingis
Leander Paes and his Swiss teammate Martina Hingis have won 2015 Australian Open mixed doubles title. In the final they defeated Canadian-French team of Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic, in straight sets, 6-4 and 6-3.
This is their first Grand Slam of the season. With this win Leander Paes clinched his 15th Grand Slam title.
4- 29th Surajkund International Crafts Mela begins in Haryana
29th Surajkund International Crafts Mela has begun in Faridabad district of Haryana. It was inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar along with Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh. The theme state this year is Chhattisgarh. Lebanon is the Partner Nation of this year’s Mela and it will be open till 15 February 2015.
29th Surajkund International Crafts Mela
- In this Mela, Haryana will present its tribal heritage and culture especially from forests of Bastar which is still well-preserved.
- While, the artistes from Chhattisgarh will showcase various folk dances namely Panthi, Rawat Nacha Pandwani, Chaitra, Kaksar, Saila and Soowa.
- Lebanon as partner nation of the Mela will unveil its ancient heritage of creating crafts in style.
The 18 countries are participating in this year’s Mela. They are Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Thailand, Uganda and Syria.
Suraj Kund Mela
- It was started in 1987 and is held every year since then from February 1-15 and .
- Traditional craftsman (artists, painters, weavers and sculptors) from all parts of the country participate in this annual celebration named as the “Surajkund Crafts Mela” or “Surajkund designer’s Village”.
5- India’s 1st solar fenced elephant sanctuary to come up near Bengaluru
India’s 1st solar fenced elephant sanctuary will come up near Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was announced by an international animal rights and conservation group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
In this regard, PETA and the Bannerghatta Biological Park, Karnataka have joined hands.
Key facts about solar fenced elephant sanctuary
- Its main objective is to allow elephants in this park to move around freely within the secure area to curb man- animal conflicts in this area.
- It will cover 49.5 hectare area within the Biological Park which is an extension of the Bannerghatta National Park.
- Designed by the PETA consultant and elephant expert Carol Buckley and basically includes solar electric fence and a state-of-the-art emergency corral made of steel pipes.
- Local caregivers will be also trained on the principles of protected contact. It will allow safe interaction between human beings and elephants by keeping them separated by a barrier.
- It will also replace age-old routine of physical punishment techniques to manage the elephants, by positive reinforcement techniques.
6- Germany’s ex-President Richard von Weizsaecker passes away
Richard von Weizsaecker
Germany’s former President Richard von Weizsaecker has passed away on 31 January 2015. He was 94. He was in office as President for 10 years, from 1984 to 1994. His tenure also spanned the period of German reunification (Reunion of East and West Germany).
Richard von Weizsaecker
- He was a soldier in the German army in World War II. Later, he was a member of the Christian Democratic Union.
- In 1980’s, he had served as the governing mayor of West Berlin.
- He was elected as President for first time in 1984. In 1989, he was elected unopposed to a second term. During his second term he oversaw the initial years of a reunited Germany as President (largely a ceremonial presidency).
- As a President he had won widespread praise worldwide for his efforts to persuade Germans to confront their Nazi past.
- In 1986, he had addressed a joint session of the UK parliament thus becoming the first German to do so.
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