An Indian-American scientist and biology professor Murty Kambhampati is chosen for prestigious US Presidential award. He is among 15 scientists who have been chosen for US Presidential award for excellence in the field of science, mathematics and engineering mentoring (PAESMEM). All of them will receive the award at a White House ceremony later in year 2015. Apart from Kambhampati, Sri Lankan-origin Tilak Ratnanather is also among the 15 scientist from Indian subcontinent chosen for award.
Currently Murty is a professor of biology at Southern University at New Orleans. He is a PhD holder from both Jackson State University in Environmental Science and Andhra University in Ecology. He is an active research mentor for high school and undergraduate students in research and has successfully boosted graduation rates. Previously as a mentor, he has won several awards including the National Role Model Faculty Award from Minority Access, in 2008. At present research interests include shape analysis of brain structures in schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, depression, and deafness along with mathematical and computational problems in cochlear and cardiac physiology.
Awarded to individuals and organisations in recognition to their role in mentoring the academic and personal development of students. Colleagues, students and administrators in their home institutions or the professional affiliations nominate these candidates for the award. The recipients receive awards of USD 10,000 from the National Science Foundation.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 28 March 2015 successfully launched fourth navigation satellite Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)-1D. It was launched by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-27 into the orbit from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The satellite is similar to, and follows the IRNSS 1A, 1B and 1C which were launched in April 2013, July 2014 and October 2014respectively. IRNSS-1D will be launched into a sub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (sub GTO). It weighs 1,425 kg and carries a navigation payload and CDMA ranging payload in addition with a laser retro-reflector.
IRNSS is a navigation system that will cover India, and also extend 1,500 kms from its boundaries. It will provide accurate position information to users in India. Basically it will provide two kinds of services, Standard Positioning Services, which is available to all users, and an encrypted service that is provided only to authorized users. The complete IRNSS system will include three satellites in geostationary orbit and four satellites in geosynchronous orbit at an altitude of 36,000 km above the Earth. The deployment of all the satellites was expected to be completed by 2015 at a cost of Rs. 1,420 cr. IRNSS is similar to other satellite navigation service providers like USA’s GPS (Global Positioning System), Russia’s Glonass, Europe’s Galileo, Japan’s Quasi Zenith and China’s Beidou.
Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on 28 March 2015 created history by becoming first Indian woman to be ranked number one in the world in Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings in Women’s Singles category. She achieved this rare feat after Spain’s Carolina Marin’s lost her semi-final match to Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in the Indian Open Super Series. Saina has overtaken China’s Li Xuerui to become the highest ranked player in the world. Saina Nehwal is the second Indian badminton player to achieve this feat, after legendary shuttler Prakash Padukone. He had achieved the top rank in 1980 in Men’s Single Category.
Saina is first Indian to win Olympics medal in Badminton and had won Bronze medal at the London Olympics 2012. Till date, she has won a staggering 14 international titles. She is the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships and was also the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament and Indonesia Open in 2009. She also has won the China Open Super Series Premier-2014.
Former Chief Minister (CM) of Mizoram Brigadier (Retd) Thenphunga Sailo passed away on 27 March 2015 in Aizawl, Mizoram. Apart from being CM, he was also one of the prominent voices against the human rights violation by the armed forces’ in 1970s in the insurgency-hit Mizo hills.
Rajasthan government on 27 March 2015 passed Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in state assembly. With this Rajasthan has become first Indian state to fix a minimum educational qualification for contesting elections to the Panchayati Raj Institutions. The Bill amends the Rajasthan Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 to add provisions related minimum educational qualification for Panchayati elections.
Contestant for Zila Parishad or Panchayat Samiti elections should have the minimum qualification of secondary education i.e. Class 10 from the state board or any approved institution or board. Contestant for the Sarpanch elections must have passed Class VIII from any school in case of general category. In case of the scheduled area of Panchayat, the contestant should have passed Class 5 from a school to become a Sarpanch. The provision of mandatory functional toilet in the house of a contestant also added in the parent act by amending section 19.
Previously in December 2014, state government had promulgated Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2014 specifying educational qualification for contestants of Panchayati Raj elections. This ordinance was promulgated just before the panchayat elections were announced in the state.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been selected for the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2014. It was announced by the jury for the Prize which had met under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ISRO was chosen for the prestigious award for its contribution in Development through space technology and satellite-based services. Making space technology a catalyst of development. Bringing societal transformation and provided the service to the common man and nation. In this process it has become one of the six largest space agencies of the world.
Instituted in 1995 by Union Government as a part of the 125th birth anniversary celebration of Mahatma Gandhi. Awarded annually to individuals and institutions for their contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods. The prize carries an award of Rs. 1.00 crore, a plaque and a citation.
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