Eminent scientist Dr. Selvin Christopher has been appointed as the Director General (DG) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) along with the rank of a secretary. As a DG of DRDO, he will also severe as Secretary at Department of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D) for a period of 2 years from the date of taking over the charge.
Prior to this appointment, S Christopher was Director of DRDO’s Centre for Air-Borne Systems (CABS), Bengaluru. Presently, he is also Programme Director of Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system. He was first pioneer first Indian scientist who had directed the manufacturing of India’s first indigenous AEW&C system.
Awards: Padma Bhushan, DRDO Outstanding Scientist award (2012). Apart from this, renowned scientist GS Reddy has been appointed as the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister with tenure of two year. Presently, Mr. Reddy is Director of Research Centre Imarat (RCI) and Programme Director of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) in the DRDO.
Nobel peace prize winning organisation OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) has achieved major milestone of destroying 90 per cent of the global chemical weapons stockpile. OPCW has mentioned that around 65,000 metric tonnes of declared chemical weapons, mostly from US and Russian arsenals of cold war era have been destroyed in a safe manner. It also includes total of 1,300 metric tonnes of chemical weapons removed from Syria in 2014. The remaining stockpile is underway in phase of destruction and is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2020 and 2023. The weapons stockpiles included caches containing chemicals needed to make deadly nerve agents like Sarin.
OPCW is an intergovernmental organisation, headquatered in Hague, Netherlands. The organisation promotes, administers and verifies the adherence to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC). This convention outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors. 190 member-states have signed and ratified this convention including India. Six states- Angola, Egypt, Israel, Myanmar, North Korea and South Sudan are still outside the CWC. It was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.
VA Prasanth was on 28 May 2015 appointed as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Indian Bank with immediate effect. Before this appointment, he was serving as the General Manager of the Indian Bank. Prasanth succeeded K Srinivasa Raghavan.
Indian Bank, established in 1907, is an Indian state-owned financial services company, headquartered in Chennai, India. It has 20000 employees, 2412 branches in India and is one of the big public sector banks of India. It has overseas branches in Colombo and Jaffna in Sri Lanka, and in Singapore. Since 1969, the bank is owned by Government of India.
The Reserve Bank of India on 28 May 2015 released the Draft Guidelines on Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) under Basel III Framework on Liquidity Standards for banks. The Reserve Bank proposed to make NSFR applicable to all banks in India from 1 January 2018. The objective of NSFR is to ensure that banks maintain a stable funding profile in relation to their assets and off-balance sheet activities.
A sustainable funding structure can reduce the probability of erosion of a bank’s liquidity position due to disruptions in its regular sources of funding that would increase the risk of its failure and potentially lead to broader systemic stress. The NSFR limits overreliance on short-term wholesale funding, encourages better assessment of funding risk across all on-off balance sheet items and promotes funding stability.
Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) is defined as the amount of available stable funding relative to the amount of required stable funding. It measures the amount of longer-term, stable sources of funding employed by an institution relative to the liquidity profiles of the assets funded and the potential for contingent calls on funding liquidity arising from off-balance sheet commitments and obligations.
In particular, the NSFR standard is structured to ensure that investment banking inventories, off-balance sheet exposures, securitisation pipelines.
In the backdrop of the global financial crisis that started in 2007, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) proposed certain reforms to strengthen global capital and liquidity regulations with the objective of promoting a more resilient banking sector. In this regard, the Basel III: International framework for liquidity risk measurement, standards and monitoring was issued in December 2010 which presented the details of global regulatory standards on liquidity. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued the final rules on the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) in October 2014.
Two minimum standards- Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) for funding liquidity were prescribed by the Basel Committee for achieving two separate but complementary objectives. The RBI has already started phasing in implementation of the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) from January 2015.
It was in news because Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports added names of five women for TOP Scheme who were suspended for anti-doping rule violations between mid-2011 and mid-2013. These five women were named among the 39 athletes who were added to the list.
All these women, namely Priyanka Panwar, Ashwini Akkunji, Jauna Murmu, Sini Jose and Mandeep Kaur are 400m runners.
The TOP Scheme was formulated with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. The focused disciplines of the scheme were Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Wrestling and Shooting.
For this purpose, a committee named Top Scheme Elite Athletes Identification Committee was constituted for laying down elaborate norms for selection of the right candidates, review of performance and operation of the scheme. The chairman of the committee is Anurag Thakur, a member of Lok Sabha from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh and other members were Rahul Dravid, Pullela Gopichand, Abhinav Bindra and MC Mary Kom. Under the TOP scheme the selected athletes will be provided financial assistance for their customized training at Institutes having world class facilities and other necessary support.
Zoomcar co-founder David Back on 28 May 2015 resigned from his post. He will continue to hold his stake and board position in US-based Zoomcar Inc, the parent of Zoomcar India. Back used to head the company’s marketing and business development division.
An Indian-origin teacher Gurnimrat Nimmy Sidhu on 27 May 2015 named for University of Oxford Inspirational Teacher Award. The award was given to her for helping one of her students get into the world-famous varsity. She had received her trophy in Oxford alongside 11 others, also nominated by their students for their role in getting them admission into one of the world’s most prestigious universities.
She is among 12 teachers to win the University of Oxford Inspirational Teacher Award. Currently, she is working as the head of science at Oaks Park High School in north-east London. The award was set up to encourage more state-funded schools to connect with the university. The scheme was set up by the university to counter criticism of elitism with largely wealthy and privately educated students being able to gain admission.
The Reserve Bank of India on 28 May 2015 proposed to introduce Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) for Mass Transit System (PPI-MTS). These PPI-MTS will be semi-closed instruments that will be used facilitate the migration to electronic payments in line with the country’s vision of moving to a less-cash society.
Further, it can also be used within the mass transit systems and will have a minimum validity of six months from date of issue. Such PPIs will be reloadable instruments subjected to an outstanding limit of 2000 rupees at any point of time.
The RBI proposed to introduce PPIs after it received requests from various segments, including providers of mass transit services and road transport services, indicating the need for PPIs catering to the requirements of this segment to enhance commuter convenience.
Mahindra World City Developers Ltd (MWCDL), a subsidiary of Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd (MLDL) of the Mahindra Group and Sumitomo Corporation of Japan have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture to set up an industrial park in North Chennai (the NH5 corridor). The decision was announced on 28 May 2015 by the two companies in Mumbai.
The industrial park is targeted at Japanese companies which would be interested to set up base in India under the Union Government’s Make in India initiative. Already over 500 Japanese companies are operating from industrial zones in Tamil Nadu. Besides Japanese companies, the joint venture partners are also targeting companies from China, Taiwan, Korea, the U.S. and Germany.
Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja of Wodeyar dynasty on 28 May 2015 was crowned as the 27th Maharaja of erstwhile kingdom of Mysuru. The 22-year-old adopted heir to the Wodeyar dynasty was coronated at a grand ceremony that took place in the hallowed precincts of Durbar Hall at the Amba Vilas Palace in Mysuru, also known as the city of palaces.
The grand ceremony was attended by around 1000 special invitees and pontiffs from the region including former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and state ministers KJ George, RV Deshpande, DK Shivakumar, Srinivasa Prasad and Roshan Baig and Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao.
The last coronation took place 41 years ago when Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar was crowned at the age of 21. Srikantadatta Wodeyar, the only son of Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, the last ruling Maharaja of Mysuru, and his second wife Maharani Tripura Sundari Ammani Avaru, succeeded his father as the head of his dynasty in September 1974. He died of cardiac arrest in Bengaluru on 10 December 2013.
The Wodeyar dynasty ruled the Kingdom of Mysuru from 1399 to 1947, the last king being Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, who ruled from 1940 until Indian independence in 1947 when he acceded his kingdom to the dominion of India, but continued as the Maharaja until India became a Republic in 1950.
Sevilla Football Club (FC) on 27 May 2015 won Europa League title. In the final clash at National Stadium Warsaw, Poland, Sevilla defeated Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk football club, 3-2. It was second consecutive Europa Cup win for Sevilla.
With this, Sevilla, the Spain’s oldest club solely devoted to football practice, became the first side to win the Europa League four times. Last time, it captured the trophy in 2006, 2007 and 2014.
For the first time, this Europa League winner will straight go to the subsequent Champions League.
India’s only individual Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra on 28 May 2015 won a berth for 2016 Rio Olympic in men’s air rifle event. With this, he became the fourth Indian shooter to win a quota place for the Rio Olympics and this will be his fifth consecutive appearance in the Olympics.
Other three shooters who have secured a quota for Rio Olympics are Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai and Apurvi Chandela.
Bindra succeeded in getting the Olympic berth after he was placed at the sixth place in the Men’s 10 metre Air Rifle final at the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Munich. The former World and Olympic champion shot a score of 122.4 and aggregated a total of 627.5 in the final to qualify for Rio Olympics. The event was participated by 136 shooters from 58 countries in the shooting World Cup in Munich.
Each country can win a maximum of 30 quota places from a total of 15 shooting disciplines (including shotgun events), two each from each discipline.
A new rule proposed by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allowing H-4 visa holders to work in the country came into force on 26 May 2015. However, the extension of work authorization to H-4 visa holders would only apply if their spouses (H-1B visa holders) had applied for green-card, an authorization for permanent residence in the country.
This rule will encourage H-1B skilled workers to not to abandon their adjustment application with the department because their H-4 spouse is unable to work and also benefit the economy as in most of the cases they are eligible for doing highly skilled jobs. The decision is expected to benefit over 179600 H-4 visa holders with particular salience to visa holders of Indian citizenship and employed in the IT sector.
India is receiving the largest proportion of H-1B visas from the U.S. every year having received 99705 H-1B visas of a total of 153223 issued globally, slightly over 65 per cent. While the H-1B is a non-immigrant visa which allows the employers in the USA to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, the H-4 visa issued to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders.
Approximately 20000 metric tonnes of gold is estimated to be lying with Indian households, temples and trusts. If mobilized effectively, this could create a domestic supply of gold, while reducing dependence on imports. The Gold Now platform is intended to complement the Gold Monetization Scheme (GMS) as proposed by the Union Finance Ministry in the draft outline released on 19 May 2015.
Under the scheme banks were allowed to mobilize unutilized gold from customers and buy and sell them on domestic exchanges.
A forward contract is a contract between two parties to buy or sell an asset or commodity at a specified future time at a price agreed upon on the day of the contract. This is in contrast to a spot contract wherein, buying or selling takes place on the spot date, which is normally two business days after the day of the contract.
Seven FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) officials were arrested on 27 May 2015 by Switzerland authorities in Zurich, Switzerland. The arrested officials include Jeffrey Webb, FIFA vice-president and all the officials are awaiting extradition to USA.
They were arrested for allegedly accepting 150 million US dollars in bribes from USA based sports marketing agencies over a 24-year period starting from 1991. The arrests were made by the Swiss authorities in cooperation with the US officials.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) indicted 14 people including nine FIFA officials and five sports media and promotion executives in the Sports Marketing Bribery Scheme in which the officials accepted bribes and kickbacks in return for awarding lucrative media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments including FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Yogathon: to be organised in 100 cities of US to promote awareness about Yoga
Yogathon is an event that will be celebrated in more than 100 US cities on 21 June 2015, the first International Yoga Day. It is a type of campaign to spread the awareness about Yoga. The event is being organised by about 50 major spiritual and Yoga organisations like Art of Living, Overseas Volunteer for a Better India (OVBI) and others.
The United Nations (UN) on 11 December 2014 declared 21 June as the World Yoga Day following a proposal of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He made a proposal and urged the world community to celebrate Indian Yoga at the international level during his visit to the United Nations in September 2014.
Microsoft on 27 May 2015 announced to open the India’s first Digital Experience Centre in Vadodara, Gujarat. Microsoft will open the centre in collaboration with the Vadodara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). The centre aims to bring to life these experiences for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs and educational institutions and help them leverage contemporary cloud technology to drive business growth as well as enhance skills and promote learning.
In addition to SMEs, Microsoft and VCCI will also help educational institutions to adopt technology that will prepare future generations for the mobile-first, cloud-first world. As a part of this initiative, Microsoft’s latest innovative cloud-computing based offering Edu-Cloud will help education institutions enhance digital learning and teaching by providing them with access to digital content and free access to Office 365 on Windows-powered tablets.
The centre will help businesses, institutions, partners and individuals gain a first-hand experience of modern technologies on devices running Microsoft software, including Windows apps and Office 365.
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