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Current Affairs: 28th January 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Jan 29th, 2015

1- India challenges WTO panel’s ruling in US poultry case to DSB

India has challenged a World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel’s ruling that challenges country’s ban on United States (US) poultry product imports.In this regard, India has appealed to the Dispute Settlement Board (DSB) of the WTO.

Background

  • In 2007, India had banned imports of various agriculture
    India challenges WTO panel’s ruling in US poultry case to DSB

    India & DSB

    products including poultry meat and eggs from the US. They were banned as a precautionary measure to prevent outbreaks of Avian Influenza.

  • In March 2012, US had dragged India to the WTO for banning these products.
  • WTO ruling: WTO panel’s ruling in October 2014 in this regard had said that India’s measures are arbitrarily and unjustifiably discrimination on international trade and constitutes a disguised restriction on it.
  • US Stance:US also had contended that India’s Avian Influenza measures amounted to an import prohibition was not based on the relevant international standard or on a scientific risk assessment.
  • India’s Stance:While, India has claimed that the panel ruling is committed with several legal errors in its interpretation and application of numerous articles of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) agreement.

Why US is focusing on India’s poultry business?

  • US is one of the world’s largest exporters of chicken meat. It is looking India as one of its potential markets poultry exports.
  • While, in past few years India’s broiler meat consumption has increased and has touched to 3.72 million tonnes in 2014 from 3.45 million tonnes in 2013.

2- Maharashtra government issues Letter of Intent to buy B R Ambedkar’s London house

Maharashtra government has issued Letter of Intent (LoI) to buy

10, King Henry Road, NW3 of London , Maharashtra government issues Letter of Intent to buy B R Ambedkar’s London house

10, King Henry Road

Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar’s London house to the Indian High Commission in United Kingdom(UK).

This is the house where architect of the Indian Constitution Ambedkar had lived in 1920 during his stint with the London School of Economics.

State government is buying this 2050 square feet three-storey house on 10, King Henry Road, NW3 of London and has finalised at a sum of 35 crore rupees.

This house is of cultural and national importance and pride of millions of people of India as Dr. Ambedkar had stayed in it when he was completing higher studies at the London School of Economics in 1920-21.

State government after buying the house will convert it into a memorial-cum-museum and open it to public from 14 April, 2015 i.e. on the 124 birth anniversary of the architect of the Indian constitution.

3- Sri Lanka’s new government reinstates impeached chief justice Shirani Bhandaranayake

Sri Lanka’s new government led by President Maithiripala Sirisena

Chief Justice Shirani Bhandaranayake ,  President MaithiripalaSirisena has reinstated former Chief Justice Shirani Bhandaranayake to her former position

Chief Justice Shirani Bhandaranayake

has reinstated former Chief Justice Shirani Bhandaranayake to her former position.

She was impeached by the previous government of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

With this move, country’s new government is attempting to deliver on election promises assuring independence of the judiciary.

  • Shirani Bhandaranayake was 43rd and first woman Chief Justice of Sri Lanka appointed in May 2011.
  • In 2013, she was unceremoniously removed from this post after she was impeached in late 2012.

Earlier in January 2015, Sri Lanka’s new government had reinstated the rank of former army Chief General Sarath Fonseka, who was stripped of all ranks and sentenced to jail by Rajapaksa.

General Sarath Fonseka was Sri Lanka’s only four-star general who had led the Army to defeat the Tamil Tigers in 2009. In 2010, he had fallen out with Rajapaksa and challenged him in the election of 2010. Thereafter Fonseka was arrested, court martialled and jailed for corruption.

4- Kalyan Singh sworn in as Himachal Pradesh Governor

Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh has sworn in as the 26th Governor of Himachal Pradesh.

He was administered oath of office by Himachal Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmed Mir at oath taking ceremony held at Raj Bhawan in Shimla.

He was given an additional charge of Himachal Pradesh after then governor Urmila Singh, completed the full five year term on January 24.

About Kalyan Singh

  • Kalyan Singh was born on 5 January 1932 in Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh.
  • He was elected as member of Uttar Pradesh legislative Assembly for six times consecutively from 1967.
  • He has served two terms as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. First term from 24 Jun 1991 to 6 Dec 1992. Second term from 21 Sep 1997 to 12 Nov 1999.
  • In 1977, he was Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He was also Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2014.
  • He is 20th Governor of Rajasthan and was appointed on 26 August 2014.

Article 153: It says that there shall be Governor for each state. But 7th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956 facilitated the appointment of the same person as a governor for two or more states.

5- Veteran Malayalam actor Mala Aravindan passes away

Veteran Malayalam actor Mala Aravindan has passed away in

actor Mala Aravindan, Veteran Malayalam actor Mala Aravindan passes away

Mala Aravindan | Actor

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. He was 76.

He was best known for his work as a comedian, character artist in Malayalam films and was also noted theatre personality. He was also the president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA).

About Mala Aravindan

  • He was born in 1941 at Vadavucode in Ernakulam, Kerala.
  • Career:He had started his career as a tabla artist with the vibrant travelling professional theatre groups.
  • He began his acting career in the plays of National Theatres, Kottayam, and later associated with theatre groups such as Natakasala and Suryasoma.
  • His made debut as actor in 1968 by acting in film Sindhooram, directed by Balakrishnan. Since then he has acted in over 400 films.
  • Awards:He has won the Kerala SangeethaNatakaAkademi’s award for the best actor for his role in Sooryasoma’s play Nidhi.

6- Ancient star with five Earth size planets discovered by astronomers

Astronomers have discovered a star that is 11.2 billion years old and has at least five Earth-size planets.

It was discovered by team of astronomer’s after analyzing data from NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft for over four years.

Key findings

  • This star is named as Kepler-444. It is 25 percent smaller
    Kepler-444, Ancient star with five Earth size planets discovered by astronomers, NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft ,Kepler-444

    Kepler- 444

    than our Sun and is 117 light years from Earth.

  • It belongs to the first generation of stars and considered as part of one of the oldest systems in the galaxy.
  • This star has five known planets which have sizes that fall between Mercury and Venus.
  • These 5 planets are so close to their star that they complete their orbits in fewer than 10 days.
  • This discovery is going to help astronomers learn more about the history of our solar system- Milky Way.

7- Gujarat Technological University launches e-Rakshacentre to fight cybercrime

Gujarat Technological University (GTU) has launched e-Raksha Research Centre to curb rising menace of cybercrimes.

This research Centre will provide solution for issues related to cyber security by encouraging research and enhance capability in this field.

Key facts e-Raksha Research Centre

  • This centre is established by GTU in collaboration with Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF).
  • Its goal is to establish a peaceful and harmonious cyber space through research in this area.
  • Various activities like research on latest techniques of cybercrime and capacity building on this issue to the faculties, students and government officers will be undertaken by this centre.
  • It will also support Union government’s Make in India campaign by manufacturing routers, switches, firewalls, UTMs (Unified Threat Management) and other network appliances.
  • This centre will also train students in areas of cyber security and enhance their capability to provide solution for issues related to it.
  • It will support government in protecting critical infrastructure and mission critical services including research on malwares such as botnet by setting up malware analysis test bed.

Gujarat Technological University (GTU): It is headed by the state government and came into existence on the 16th of May, 2007.

8- Maharashtra to observe Industries Day on September 17

Maharashtra government has announced that, September 17 (on Vishwakarma Jayanti) will be observed as Industries Day in each district.

Significance of Day

  • It will be observed as part of State government’s effort to provide balanced growth to existing small, medium and large scale enterprises.
  • It will also render assistance to state government for setting up new industries to boost the state’s financial health.
  • On this day, all districts in state will exhibit their growth potential and opportunities received for their development in the year.
  • It will provide state government single platform to ensure that its policies benefit people at the grass-root level with regards to industrial growth as well as provide employment opportunities.
  • In each district of state, a committee will be set up under district collectors for holding the Industries Day celebrations.
  • On this day, awards to industries at the district level will be given for their exemplary performance.

9- Australian cricketer Sean Abbott wins Bradman young cricketer of the year award

Australian cricketer Sean Abbott has won Bradman young

Sean Abbott , tragic death of Phillip Hughes,

Sean Abbott

cricketer of the year award 2015.

While, Steve Smith was awarded the Allan Border Medal and being named both Test and one day player of the year.

Sean Abbott is the bowler, who was unwittingly at the centre of the tragic death of Phillip Hughes. In November 2014, he had delivered bouncer to Hughes that hit him in head during a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG against South Australia.

Bradman young cricketer of the year award: It was instituted in 1990. It is bestowed annually by Cricket Australia to best player under the age of 24. The recipient is presented with a bat personally signed by Sir Donald Bradman (He had signed 100 bats in 1989 for this award)

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