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Current Affairs: 5th February 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Feb 6th, 2015

1- LC Goyal takes charge as the Union Home Secretary

khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge,LC Goyal,Union Home Secretary,Anil Goswami,Union Minister Matang Sinh,Saradha chit fund scam,Prime Minister Narendra Modi

LC Goyal- Union Home Secretary

LC Goyal has taken charge as the Union Home Secretary. He replaced Anil Goswami who had resigned following a controversy over the arrest of former Union Minister Matang Sinh in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam.

Goyal was appointed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for two year term.

About LC Goyal

  • He is a 1979-batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre.
  • At the time of his appointment, he was serving as Union Rural Development Secretary.
  • Earlier, Goyal had served in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as Joint Secretary (Internal Security).

2- Ajay Shukla takes charge as new Member (Traffic) in Railway Board

ias, ips, civil, services, CSAT,pre, ies, general studies, GS, mains, competitive, entrance, bank, PO, IBPS,Ajay Shukla,Member,Railway Board,D P Pande,Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)

Ajay Shukla

Ajay Shukla has taken additional charge as the Member (Traffic) in the Railway Board. He will replace D P Pande who had retired from this post on 31 January 2015.

Currently, Ajay Shukla is an Additional Member (Commercial) Railway Board.

About Ajay Shukla

  • Ajay Shukla is senior officer of 1979 batch of Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS).
  • He has rich and varied experience of working on several important posts in Indian Railway like Chief Passenger Traffic Manager and Chief Safety Officer in Northern Railway, and Divisional Railway Manager in Dhanbad among others.
  • For his outstanding service he has won various prestigious Awards which includes DRM’s Award, General Manager Award, Railway Minister’s Award, and Railway Board’s Silver Medal for Rajbhasha.

3- Infosys appoints Roopa Kudva as independent member of board

khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge, ias, ips, civil,Infosys,Roopa Kudva,board,managing director (MD,chief executive officer (CEO) of Crisil

Roopa Kudva

India’s second largest software services firm, Infosys has appointed Roopa Kudva as an independent member on its board of directors. At present, she is managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Crisil, a subsidiary of global rating agency- Standard & Poor’s.

About Roopa Kudva

  • Kudva had joined Crisil in 1992 and was appointed its MD and CEO in 2007.
  • She also had worked with Standard & Poor’s in Paris as its Director at Financial Institutions Ratings covering the Middle-East, Eastern Europe, and Mediterranean countries.
  • Kudva holds a postgraduate diploma in management (PGDM) from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A).
  • She is also a member of several policy-level committees relating to Indian government’s financial system, including committees of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

4- Micromax overtakes Samsung in India’s smartphone market: Canalys Report

khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge, ias, ips, civil, services, CSAT,pre, ies, general studies, GS, mains, competitive, entrance, bank, PO, IBPS,Micromax,Samsung,India’s,smartphone market,Canalys Report,Korean tech giant,Karbonn,China,United StatesAccording to market research firm Canalys report, India’s Micromax Mobile has overtaken Korean tech giant Samsung as the largest seller of smartphones in India for the first time.

As per Canalys report, Micromax accounted for 22% of India’s smartphone market share in the October-December 2014 quarter (Q4, 2014). While, Samsung’s market share has fallen down to 20%. Micromax’s smartphone market share in India is 4.7% and Samsung’s 4.4 in Q4, 2014.

Micromax was able to overtake Samsung because of its cheap smartphone segment that catered India’s local smartphone market preference. Micromax and Samsung were followed by two other Indian budget smartphone brands, Karbonn and Lava.

It should be noted that, India is the world’s third-largest smartphone market after China and United States.

About Micromax

  • Micromax is consumer Electronics Company with the business of manufacturing of Mobile phones, Smartphones, Tablet Computers and LED Televisions. It is headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, India
  • It was started in 2000 as an IT software company and worked on embedded platforms. Later it started manufacturing low cost mobile and featured smartphones.
  • Micromax is the tenth largest handset seller in the world as of Q3 2014.

5- Mary McGowan Davis appointed as new head UNHRC Gaza probe

Mary McGowan Davis,UNHRC Gaza,US judge Mary McGowan Davis,United Nations Human Rights Council’s,William Schabas,Palestine

Mary McGowan Davis

Former US judge Mary McGowan Davis was appointed as the new head of United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC’s) Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict. She will replace William Schabas who had resigned after Israel accused him of a conflict of interest for the consultancy work he done for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in October, 2012.

Earlier, McGowan Davis had served as a justice on New York’s Supreme Court, and chaired the UN follow-up committee to probe into the 2008-2009 war between Israel and Hamas.

Background

Earlier in August 2014, UNHRC had appointed three members Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict. This commission was tasked to probe possible war crimes and human rights violations during a month long conflict in Gaza in July 2014.

In this month long conflict more than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, 67 Israeli soldiers and 6 civilians in Israel were killed. It was headed by William Schabas and included Amal Alamuddin and Doudou Diene as members.

6- India ranked second last in GIPC’s International Intellectual Property Index

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) has released its third annual international intellectual property (IP) index list.

In this list India is placed at 29th rank among the 30 countries. While, US has been placed at the top in the list and Thailand at last position.

Key facts

  • In this edition of IP Index, India has scored a low 7.23 out of maximum 30 points. While, US topped with score of 28.53 among the 30 countries surveyed, making it the global leader in protecting IP.
  • It should be noted that in 2012 and 2014 GIPC Index, India was ranked last in the list, due to deterioration of IP climate in country.
  • But in 2015 GIPC Index, India has moved up by 1 position to 29th rank because of steps taken by the Union Government to address the concerns of international community related to the IP rights.

About GIPC’s Intellectual property (IP) index

It was started in 2012 and the first edition compared national IP environment in 11 economies. Now, this index is represented by 30 countries around the world which represents 80 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).

It is based upon 30 measurable criteria which includes patent, copyright and trademark protections, enforcement, and engagement in international treaties.

7- Two beneficial algal species discovered off the west coast of India

algal species,west coast,India,Ulva paschima Bast,Cladophora goensis,Dr. Felix Bast,Endemic,Bloom forming,Medicinal valuesRecently, two beneficial algal species Ulva paschima Bast and Cladophora goensis Bast were discovered off the west coast of India.

They were discovered by Dr. Felix Bast and two research students working with him. These findings were published in the journals PLOS One and Indian Journal of Marine Sciences.

Key Characteristics of discovered algal species

  • Carbon capture properties-These species have excellent carbon capture properties i.e. ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. So it can be used as bio-fuels and help reduce global warming.
  • Endemic-Both of them are endemic species to the western coast of India. So, their cultivation is not going to cause any environmental harm and reduces the risk of bio invasion in this region.
  • Bloom forming-Both species being bloom forming they have spontaneous growth. So there is no need for any expensive cultivation systems such as photobioreactors or extensive use of fertilizers/pesticides. They can grow sporadically at shorelines and can sequester CO.
  • Medicinal values-Both species have similar characteristic like other algal species which have Kahalalide-F , used in in clinical trials against prostate and breast cancers. So they can be used in Pharmaceutical products.

It should be noted that, this discovery was the first molecular study on Indian algae, and first algal species discovered in past 40 years.

8- Gujarat Handloom Corporation inks MoU with eBay

Gujarat Handloom Corporation,MoU,eBay,Gujarat State Handloom and Handicraft Development Corporation (GSHHDC),Flipkart,Snapdeal  Gujarat State Handloom and Handicraft Development Corporation (GSHHDC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global e-commerce giant eBay. The main objective of this MoU is to expand sales base of handloom and handicraft products of Gujarat to online market from current retail shop sales.

In order to increase the online market share, GSHHDC is also planning to launch its own e-commerce portal under Garvi-Gurjari brand to reach out to a bigger customer base and boost sales in overseas markets. GSHHDC is also planning to tie-up with domestic e-commerce majors as Flipkart and Snapdeal.

As of now, GSHHDC’s sales are from offline market through their 23 showrooms and exhibitions across India. As expansion plan, GSHHDC’s within next three years is aiming to open 300 stores

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