1- Arun Singh named as new Indian Ambassador to US
Senior IFS officer, Arun Singh has been named as new Indian Ambassador to US. Prior to this announcement he was serving as India’s Ambassador of France. Arun Singh will replace S Jaishankar, who was appointed as Foreign Secretary.
About Arun Singh
- Singh is a 1979-batch IFS officer. His first assignment abroad was at the Indian Embassy Moscow from 1981-1982.
- He has served at the Indian Missions in Addis Ababa and in Tokyo. He also has served as joint secretary in-charge to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan division in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
- Singh also has served at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations Office, New York (1993-1997) as Counsellor and had handled multilateral social and economic negotiations.
- Earlier, Singh had served as ambassador to Israel (2005-2008) and later was served as deputy chief of mission in Washington (2008-2013.).
- Singh was appointed as ambassador to France in 2013.
2- China kicks off Silk Road infrastructure project worth $79.8bn in Gansu province
China has launched a massive Silk Road infrastructure project worth $79.8 billion in the northwest province of Gansu as part of its ambitious Silk Road plan.
These project will facilitate trade and people exchanges between China and central Asian Countries.
- It will be six-year Silk Road development project. On its completion it is going to add more than 60,000 kilometres of road network including 4,070 km expressways. Thus improving the connectivity of the existing transportation network.
- This project will also build 12 civilian airports in the next six years. Thus, expanding the air service reach to 82 per cent of the province’s population.
- Gansu province does not share its borders with any central Asian countries but it will be an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt.
About Silk Road projects
The Silk Road projects are part of China’s ambitious Silk Route plan, which involves maze of roads and ports connecting Asia, Europe and Africa.
These projects aims to revive China’s trade links especially its declining exports besides globally enhancing its sphere of influence.
3- Lok Sabha passes Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2015
The Lok Sabha on 2 March 2015 passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2015 by voice vote. This bill will replace an ordinance promulgated in this regard and amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Key provisions of the Bill
- It merges Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders.
- In cases related to citizenship by registration and naturalization, this amendment bill relaxes the requirement of 12 months. In this case, 30 days break will be provided if the central government is satisfied in special circumstances with a written record.
On additional grounds, person may register for overseas citizenship card (OCC) such as
- Minor children whose parent or parents are Indian citizens.
- Spouse of an Indian citizen or OCI/ PIO cardholder subjected to certain conditions.
- Person who is a citizen of another country, meets one of several conditions of Citizenship Act, 1955 then his great grandchild may register.
It also gives powers to Central government, to terminate OCC obtained by the spouse of an Indian citizen or OCI/PIO cardholder in case
- The court dissolves the marriage or
- Even after the first marriage has not been dissolved, the spouse enters into another marriage.
4- World’s first electric satellites successfully lifted off by SpaceX rocket
World’s first electric satellites were successfully lifted off by a Space Exploration (SpaceX) Technologies rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, United States.
The rocket was carrying two all-electric commercial satellites built by Boeing. The satellites are owned by the French satellite provider Eutelsat and Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS).
Eutelsat’s satellite is part of its 35-member commercial network. It will provide services like mobile, internet, video and other communications services to expand its reach into the Americas. While, ABS new satellite will serve its customers in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Features of electric satellites
- These satellites are fitted with lightweight, all-electric engines rather than conventional chemical propulsion systems.
- These electric engines allow satellites to produce electric propulsion in order to reach and remain fixed in particular orbit.
- Electric propulsion from these satellites consumes less fuel compared with satellite having chemical propulsion. Thus making satellites lighter in weight and further reducing cost of launch.
5- Jagmohan Dalmiya elected as President of BCCI
Jagmohan Dalmiya was unanimously elected as President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He was elected as President at the BCCI Annual General Meeting held at Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Dalmiya will succeed N. Srinivasan who was barred from contesting BCCI Presidential election by Supreme Court over the corruption and IPL spot fixing scandal.
It is second term of Jagmohan Dalmiya as President of BCCI, earlier he had served from 2001–2004. He was also International Cricket Council (ICC) chief for three years from 1997 to 2000.
In the meeting,
- Khanna was elected as Vice- President of Central Zone and T.C. Mathews elected as Vice- President of West Zone.
- Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Chief Anuarag Thakur was elected as BCCI Secretary.
- Amitabha Chowdhury was elected as Joint Secretary and Anirud Chaudhry was elected as Treasurer.
About Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)
- BCCI is the national governing body for cricket in India. It was established as BCCI in 1928 by replacing Calcutta Cricket Club.
- It is a private club consortium, registered as a society under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975.
- It is member of ICC and has authority to select players, umpires and officials to participate in international cricket events and exercises total control over them.
6- Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba wins Mo Ibrahim prize for African leadership 2014
Hifikepunye Pohamba, outgoing Namibian President has won the world’s most valuable individual award- Mo Ibrahim prize for African leadership for year 2014.
About Hifikepunye Pohamba
- Pohamba was born in 1935 in Namibia and was a former rebel who fought for his country’s independence.
- He has served as Namibian President two terms. For first time he was elected in 2004 and again in 2009.
- Now, he is due to be succeeded by elected President Hage Geingob.
About Mo Ibrahim prize for African leadership
- This prize is given each year to an elected leader who has governed well, raised living standards and then left office.
- It is named after Mo Ibrahim, a British-Sudanese mobile communications entrepreneur and philanthropist who had made billions of fortune from investing in Africa.
- Mo Ibrahim had launched this prize in 2007 to encourage African leaders to leave power peacefully.
- It is the world’s most valuable individual award and carries monetary award of 5 million dollar and also $ 200,000 a year for life.
- The inaugural prize was awarded to Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique.
7- Olacabs acquires TaxiForSure
Online cab aggregator Olacabs has acquired TaxiForSure for $200 million cash and equity deal.
After the acquisition both entities are going to operate as a separate entity. But as per acquisition deal the leadership and all 1700 employees of TaxiForSure will continue with the company. While, Arvind Singal has been appointed as CEO of TaxiForSure and its founders Aparmeya Radhakrishna and G. Raghunandan for certain period will contribute as advisory role.
At present Olacabs as cab aggregator is market leader in the personnel taxi hiring segment with 1 lakh registered vehicles platforms. While, TaxiForSure has 15000 registered vehicles in same platform and is present in 47 cities across India.
- Olacabs was founded in 2010 by two IIT Bombay graduates, Bhavish Aggarwal (CEO) and Ankit Bhati.
- Its headquarter is located in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
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