Pawan Munjal was on 1 June 2015 appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) & CEO of Hero MotoCorp Ltd (HMCL). He succeeded his father Brijmohan Lall Munjal, who resigned on 1 June 2015. However, Brijmohan Lall will continue to be the guide and mentor of the company in the form of Chairman Emeritus. Brijmohan Lall had been the Chairman of Hero MotoCorp since its inception in 1984.
Hero MotoCorp Ltd is the world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers in India. In 2001, the company achieved the coveted position of being the World No.1 two-wheeler company in terms of unit volume sales in a calendar year.
Hero MotoCorp continues to command well over 50 percent share in the domestic motorcycle market in India. The company sold record 6.63 million units two-wheelers in the financial year April 2014- March 2015, its highest-ever annual sales.
New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum and Coach Mike Hesson were honoured with Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM). Their names were listed in the honours list that was released on 1 June 2015 to mark the annual Queen Elizabeth II Birthday public holiday.
They were awarded for their part in leading New Zealand to the final of 2015 Cricket World Cup for the first time. Both have been the captain and head coach, respectively, of New Zealand since 2012. Moreover, the head of the New Zealand World Cup organizing committee, Therese Walsh was made a Dame Companion of the NZOM.
The New Zealand Order of Merit award was instituted in 1996 by Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand. The honour is conferred to recognise outstanding service of people that they did to the Crown and people of New Zealand in a civil or military capacity.
Those appointed to the highest two levels are entitled to use the titles Sir or Dame. Prior to the creation of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1996, the Order of the British Empire was the most common honour awarded to New Zealand military personnel.
Harriette Thompson, a 92 year 65 days old cancer survivor, on 31 May 2015 became the oldest woman to finish a marathon. She achieved this fete at San Diego’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon of 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometers) by completing the race in 7 hours, 24 minutes, 36 seconds. This was her 16th Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and by far, the hardest.
With this, Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina got her name inscribed into the record books. The previous record holder was Gladys Burrill. She made the record at the age of 92 years and 19 days at the 2010 Honolulu Marathon.
According to Runner’s World, Thompson has been running the San Diego marathon for 16 years and has raised more than 100000 dollar for cancer research in that time.
The trial run of Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala direct bus service began on 1 June 2015. The bus started its journey from Kolkata with senior officials of West Bengal Transport Department (WBTD). The officials of WBTD took the ride to finalise the modalities of the route.
During the travel, the bus will cross over to Bangladesh and enter Tripura through the Akhaura check post and reach Agartala International Bus Terminus of Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC) on 2 June 2015. During its journey, the bus will cross two international checkpoints- Petrapole between West Bengal and Bangladesh and second is Akhuara on Tripura-Bangladesh border. With the launch of the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala direct bus service, the time taken to reach Agartala from Kolkata will be reduced to 17 hours. Earlier, the distance was covered in three days.
The service will be regularized once an agreement will be inked between the two nations during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh on 6 and 7 June 2015. Besides, India and Bangladesh will also announce Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati service during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh. Prior to this, the two Indian states were directly connected with Bangladesh through two different bus services, that is, Dhaka-Kolkata Direct Bus Service that started in 1999 and Dhaka-Agartala Direct Bus Service that started in 2001.
Hollywood actress Betsy Palmer passed away on 31 May 2015 following a brief illness. She was 88. Palmer is survived by her daughter Melissa Merendino.
Betsy was famously known for playing the character of Jason Voorhees’ mother in Friday the 13th movie in 1980. Betsy began her career in classic TV shows of the 1950s such as Playhouse 90 and Studio One. Later, she went on to appear in numerous TV shows including As the World Turns, The Love Boat, Knot’s Landing, Murder, She Wrote, Newhart, Columbo and CHiPs. Some of her famous movies were Mr. Roberts, The Long Gray Line, Queen Bee and The Tin Star.
Her lengthy television and film career spanned for more than five decades when she did a total of 60 films and TV shows.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Virus was in news in the first week of June 2015 as for the first time two patients infected by MERS virus died in South Korea. So far, there have been 25 confirmed cases of MERS since a man tested positive following a trip to Saudi Arabia and became the country’s first MERS patient in May 2015.
MERS was discovered in 2012 and has mostly been centred in Saudi Arabia. It belongs to the family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold and SARS, and can cause fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure. The virus is thought to be primarily acquired through contact with camels, but it can also spread from human fluids and droplets.
There have been 1167 cases of the virus worldwide and 479 of the patients have died, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 1 June 2015 allowed cross holding in long-term infrastructure bonds. With this, now banks would be able to cross hold these bonds among themselves for financing infrastructure and affordable housing loans, which earlier was not permitted. The move was taken amidst the concerns that such prohibition on cross-holding was inhibiting the liquidity and tradability of these bonds, as banks are the major participants in the debt market.
However, to preserve the primary objective of allowing regulatory exemptions on CRR and SLR requirements as well as priority sector lending and to prevent double counting of regulatory exemptions allowed, such investments will be subject to following conditions:
All other terms and conditions as mentioned in circulars dated 15 July 2014 and 27 November 2014 will remain unchanged.
RBI in its circular dated 15 July 2014 allowed banks to issue long term bonds for their financing of infrastructure and affordable housing loans. However, banks were not permitted to cross-hold such bonds among themselves. Moreover, in order to provide liquidity to retail investors in such bonds, RBI in its circular dated 27 November 2014 also allowed banks to extend loans to individuals against such long-term bonds issued by them.
Intel Corporation on 1 June 2015 announced that it will acquire Altera Corporation for 16.7 billion US dollars. Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, will pay 54 dollar a share in cash to Altera to complete the acquisition process. Altera is an American based company and it manufactures Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs).
The Altera purchase will add to Intel’s non-GAAP earnings per share and free cash flow in the first year after it closes the deal, which is expected within six to nine months. Altera chips are used in a variety of markets, ranging from communications to consumer electronics. While they’re sold in relatively small volumes, programmable logic usually requires the latest in production technology because it’s some of the largest chips in the industry.
The acquisition will couple Intel’s leading-edge products and manufacturing process with Altera’s leading field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology. The combination is expected to enable new classes of products that meet customer needs in the data center and Internet of Things (IoT) market segments.
President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 28 May 2015 gave his assent to the Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill, 2013 that related to the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh. Earlier, the bill was unanimously passed by both the houses of the Parliament in May 2015.
It is the 100th amendment to the Indian Constitution and amends its first schedule. The Constitution (100th Amendment) Act, 2015, as it is called now, is intended to operationalise the May 1974 LBA that pertains to exchange of certain enclaves of land between both the countries.
The exchange will see Bangladesh take over 111 enclaves (17160 acres) from India’s possession and India, in turn, receive 51 enclaves (7110 acres) from Bangladesh.
In Assam, India will get 470 acres of land from Bangladesh, while 268 acres will go to Bangladesh. Enclaves are tiny landlocked territories that each country has within the borders of the other nation. The enclaves in Assam, West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya come under the bill’s ambit.
K Sivan was on 1 June 2015 appointed as the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), an organisation that works under Indian Space Research Organisation in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He took the charge on the day of his appointment and succeded M Chandradathan, who superannuated in May 2015. Before this appointment, he was the Distinguished Scientist and Director at Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Thiruvananthapuram.
Sivan joined ISRO in 1982 for Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Project and has made rich contributions towards end to end mission planning, mission design, mission integration and analysis which have become the foundation for ISRO launch vehicles like Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), GSLV Mk-III, as well as Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator(RLV-TD).
He is the chief architect of 6D trajectory simulation software SITARA which is the backbone of the real time and non real time trajectory simulations of all ISRO launch vehicles. He developed and implemented an innovative way of launching wind biasing strategy which has made possible rocket launch on any day of the year under any weather and wind conditions.
He joined GSLV Project in April 2011 as Project Director. Under his leadership, GSLV with indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage, achieved historical success on 5 January 2014. During his career at ISRO, he held many responsible positions like Project Director, RLV-TD, Deputy Director, VSSC, Project Director, GSLV and Director, LPSC.
He has numerous publications to his credit and is a Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, Aeronautical Society of India and Systems Society of India. For his contributions to the Indian space sector, he has received many awards, which include Dr Biren Roy space science award for the year 2011, ISRO merit award for the year 2007 and Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Research award for the year 1999.
S Somanath was on 1 June 2015 appointed as the Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) with immediate effect. LPSC works under the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and is located at Trivandrum, Kerala.
He succeeded K Sivan, who took over as the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). Before the present appointment, he was an Associate Director (Projects), VSSC as well as Project Director of GSLV Mk-III. He joined VSSC in 1985. He is an expert in a host of disciplines including designing of launch vehicle and has specialised in launch vehicle systems. He became associated with PSLV Project during its early development phase and was a team leader for the first and second developmental flights of PSLV.
As a convenor, Somanath authored the Project report of GSLV Mk-III (also known as LVM3) during 2000-2002 and joined GSLV Mk-III Project in 2003. Later, he became the Project Director of GSLV Mk-III in 2010. He is the recipient of many awards and honours, including the Gold Medal from IISc, Bangalore for the Masters Programme and Space Gold Medal from Astronautical Society of India. He has also received the Performance Excellence award from ISRO in the year 2009 and Team excellence award for GSLV Mk-III realisation.
Hemant Sonawala, the chairman of Hinditron Group, died on 30 May 2015. He was 78. Sonawala was one of the founders of India’s Information Technology (IT) industry. He started Hinditron in 1966 and its computer division in 1971, which at present is engaged in several fields like Information Technology, Instrumentation, and Telecommunication products, Video, Broadband and Software Services.
He was also the founder of Digital Equipment India (DEI), which was the first technology IPO in India. DEI later in 1988 became a part of HP India. He was associated with the Computer Society of India, the IEEE, Nasscom, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Union Ministry of Textiles on 31 May 2015 announced to hold 30th India Carpet Expo in Varanasi in October 2015. It would be held from 11 October to 14 October 2015 at Sampurnanand Sanskrit University Ground.
The Expo will be organized by Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) set up by Union Ministry of Textiles. This would be the 11th edition of the Expo. The prime motive in holding the Expo in the major carpet producing belt Varanasi is to provide unique pick and choose business opportunity to all overseas carpet buyers.
The Expo is one of the largest Handmade Carpet Fairs in Asia, which provides a unique platform under one roof, for buyers to source the best handmade carpets, rugs and floor coverings. It has become a popular destination worldwide for handmade carpets. India’s unique capability in adapting to any type of design, colour, quality & size as per the specifications of carpet buyers has made it a household name in the international market.
P Kunhikrishnan was on 1 June 2015 appointed as the Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR with immediate effect. He succeeded MYS Prasad, who superannuated in May 2015.
Before the present appointment, he was the Deputy Director at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). He has made significant contributions in the area of System level Quality Assurance of Avionics, Electrical Integration and Checkout Systems for various Launch Vehicles of ISRO in the career spanning over three decades. He was also the Project Director of PSLV Project in June 2010 and has successfully accomplished 13 PSLV Missions as Mission Director. These PSLV Missions include PSLV-C19 that carried RISAT-1, the heaviest Indian remote sensing satellite launched by PSLV to Sun Synchronous Orbit so far; PSLV-C25 that launched India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft and the four PSLV missions that launched first four satellites of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
He is the recipient of Astronautical society of India (ASI) award for the year 2011 and ISRO Individual Merit Award for the year 2010. SDSC SHAR works under the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and is located on an island off Sullurupeta, a small town in Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh.
India and Sweden on 1 June 2015 signed 6 agreements to boost ties and restart the bilateral strategic dialogue. The agreements were inked in presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, who is on a state visit to Sweden.
Mukherjee is the first ever Indian head of state to visit Sweden and will be in the country from 31 May to 2 June 2015. At present, he is on a five-day long visit to Sweden and Belarus between 31 May and 4 June 2015.
Apart from this, Sweden also expressed their support for India’s claim to permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). MTCR established in 1987 is an informal and voluntary association of 34 countries favouring non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction and seek to coordinate national export licensing efforts aimed at preventing their proliferation.
Rear Admiral Philipose G Pynumootil was on 1 June 2015 appointed as the Assistant Chief of Naval staff (Air). Prior to this appointment, Pynumootil served as the Principal Director of Aircraft Acquisition.
Being a Flag officer, he has commanded the 1241 RE corvette, INS Nashak, the missile corvette INS Kirpan and the Guided Missile Frigate INS Brahmaputra. He has flown extensively during Operation Pawan, Sri Lanka, and Operation Restore Hope, Somalia. Pynumootil was commissioned in the Indian Navy on 1 January 1986. He is an alumnus of the Lawrence School, Lovedale and of the National Defence Academy. He is a post graduate in Defence Studies and holds an M Phil degree in Strategic Studies.
Pynumootil was awarded the Nao Sena Medal for his tenure in command of INS Brahmaputra.
The Government of Mauritius on 1 June 2015 designated Ameenah Gurib-Fakim as new President of the Indian Ocean island nation. Ameenah, an internationally-renowned scientist and biologist, will be the first woman to hold the ceremonial position of President of Mauritius. Now, her appointment is subject to approval by the Parliament, which is supposed to be done by 4 June 2015.
After final approval from the Parliament, Ameenah will be the first female president of the nation, which gained independence from Britain in 1968 and replaced Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state in 1992.
Her name was designated after former President Kailash Purryag stepped down from his post on 29 May 2015. He served the country as its President since July 2012 and was appointed to the post by previous Labour party government of former Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam.
Meena Hemchandra was on 1 June 2015 appointed as the Executive Director (ED) of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with immediate effect. As an ED, She will look after Department of Banking Supervision, Department of Co-operative Banking Supervision and Department of Non-Banking Supervision.
She succeeded Chandan Sinha, who will now look after Department of Information Technology, Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, Foreign Exchange Department and Financial Markets Regulation Department (including Market Intelligence). Prior to this appointment, Hemchandra was in charge of Department of Supervision at RBI itself. She has also been the Principal of the Reserve Bank’s College of Agricultural Banking, Pune.
Hemchandra is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI), and holds a post graduate degree in Economics.
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be conferred with Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War Award by Bangladesh government. He will be bestowed this award for his outstanding support for the Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971 when he was member of Lok Sabha. Bangladesh Government will hand over this award to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his upcoming visit to the country from June 6, 2015. Besides, Bangladesh Government headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will also honour the families of the members of Indian armed forces who had sacrificed their lives for the cause of Bangladesh’s independence. In this regard, a letter alongside a certificate to be signed by the Bangladesh PM will be sent to the martyrs’ family members.
War Award Instituted in 2008 by ruling Awami League government. Bestowed upon individuals and organizations who had extended the most crucial support for Bangladesh’s independence struggle. Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the first to be honoured with award. President Pranab Mukherjee also has received this award in 2013.
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