London-born Rio Ferdinand on 30 May 2015 announced his retirement from football. Ferdinand last played for Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in March 2015. Ferdinand had an illustrious career of 18 years as a professional footballer.
Amit Jain was on 31 May 2015 appointed as the President of US-based taxi hailing app Uber’s India operations. In this role, Amit will be running all business strategy, operations, and growth in a market of global strategic importance for Uber.
Prior to this appointment, Jain was president of Rent.com, a property portal in the US. Jain is a B. Tech from IIT, Delhi.
Uber cab service was launched in India in 2013 and today it has largest market in India outside the United States. It is providing millions of consumers with a safe, reliable and convenient mode of transport. In India, Uber is helping create tens of thousands of new jobs, empowering drivers with higher earnings potential and flexible working hours.
Former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman on 1 June 2015 were inducted into the BCCI’s newly-constituted cricket advisory committee. The President of the BCCI, Jagmohan Dalmiya nominated the trio as esteemed members of the Cricket Advisory Committee of the BCCI, with immediate effect. Their inclusion in the panel was announced by BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur through a tweet.
This Cricket Advisory Committee will advise the BCCI on various progressive steps needed to enable Indian Cricket to be better prepared for the challenges of the future. It will also guide the Indian team to enhance their performance ob overseas engagements, as well as direction to improve their talent.
Every year, on 31 May, the WHO and its partners in close collaboration with the governmental and non governmental agencies organize events, workshops, seminars, etc to raise awareness about the ill effects of tobacco processing, trade and usage among the masses and the policy makers.
On 15 May 1987, the WHO passed a resolution, calling for 7 April 1988, to be the first WNTD. This date was chosen because it was the 40th anniversary of the WHO. However, On 17 May 1989, the WHO passed another resolution calling for 31 May to be annually known as WNTD. Thus, this event has been observed each year since 1989.
The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. If the similar conditions persist, the epidemic is estimated to kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030. Also, more than 80 percent of these preventable deaths will be among people living in low-and middle-income countries.
From many angles, the illicit trade of tobacco products is a major global concern especially in high-income countries, including health, legal and economic, governance and corruption. The illicit tobacco market may account for as much as one in every 10 cigarettes consumed globally, according to studies, including information supplied by the global customs community. The European Commission estimates that illicit trade in cigarettes costs the EU and their Member States over 10 billion euros annually in lost tax and customs revenue.
In response to the threat posed by illicit tobacco trade, the international community negotiated and adopted in November 2012 the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, the first protocol to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). India ratified the convention in February 2004 and has become the seventh country to do so.
China on 30 May 2015 unveiled the world’s first facial recognition ATM which will not allow users to withdraw cash unless their face matches their IDs. The ATM machine was created by Tsinghua University and Hangzhou-based technology company Tzekwan.
Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa was sworn-in as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh on 1 June 2015. He became the 19th Governor of the state. His oath of the office and secrecy was administered by the Chief Justice of Guahati High Court (Acting), Justice K Sreedhar Rao in the Darbar Hall of Raj Bhawan.
His appointment was necessitated after Lt General (Retired) Nirbhay Sharma was transferred to Mizoram in second week of May 2015. President Pranab Mukherjee on 12 May 2015 appointed Rajkhowa as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
Rajkhowa was the former Chief Secretary of Assam and is a retired Indian Administrative Service officer from 1968 batch.
The book titled The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy by Daniel A. Bell was in news in May 2015. The book seeks to understand the ideals and the reality of Chinese political system. In his book, Bell discusses the advantages and pitfalls of political meritocracy of China; he distinguishes between different ways of combining meritocracy and democracy, and argues that China has evolved a model of democratic meritocracy that is morally desirable and politically stable.
The book opens with a critique of one person, one vote as a way of choosing top leaders, which as per the author is a Chinese-style political meritocracy that can help to remedy the key flaws of electoral democracy.
Bell summarizes and evaluates the China model as having the meritocracy at the top, experimentation in the middle, and democracy at the bottom.
Daniel A. Bell is Chair Professor of the Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsinghua University in Beijing and is a director of the Berggruen Institute of Philosophy and Culture.
His other books include Spirit of Cities, China’s New Confucianism, Beyond Liberal Democracy, and East Meets West (all Princeton). He is also the editor of the Princeton-China Series.
Doris Hart, the number one American tennis player of 1950s, died at the age of 89 on 29 May 2015. Hart as a player had won each Grand Slam tournament at least once, including three Wimbledon titles in a single day.
In 1951 at Wimbledon, she defeated friend Shirley Fry in singles, then paired with Fry to win the women’s double followed by mixed doubles which she won with Frank Sedgman. All three matches were on the same day because of rain delays. She also spent a decade in the world top 10 starting from 1946 and in her career she won 35 professional titles.
Hart, born on 20 June 1925 in St. Louis, won the US Open (then called US Championships) in 1954-55. She won the French Open twice and Wimbledon and the Australian Open once each.
She also totalled 29 major doubles titles and was ranked No 1 in the world in 1951. She retired from professional tennis in 1955 and after retirement she worked as a teaching pro for 28 years at a club in Pompano Beach.
In 1969, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan on 31 May 2015 won their maiden I-League title in 13 years. In the final clash at Kanteerva Stadium in Bengaluru, Mohun Bagan managed a 1-1 draw against the defending champions Bengaluru FC.
Mohun Bagan ended the season with 39 points, while Bengaluru finish second on the ladder with 37 points. This win is the fourth I-league title for Mohun Bagan. It won the first I-league title in 2002 when the tournament was called as the National Football League (NFL). Later in 2007, NFL was renamed as I-League.
The most interesting fact of this win of Bagan after 13-years is that in both the wins, that is, in 2002 and 2015 the winning goal was scored by a Nigerian player. Abdul Saliu of Nigeria scored the winning goal for Bagan in the 2001-02 National Football League title, and in 2015 Rasaq of Nigeria scored the much-needed goal.
The title also ended Bagan’s five-year trophy drought.
Uttarakhand’s Medical, Health and Family Welfare Minister Surendra Singh Negi on 31 May 2015 was conferred with the World No Tobacco Day Award 2015 by the World Health Organsiation (WHO). He was one of the six awardees from the WHO South-East Asia Region.
Every year, the WHO recognizes individuals or organizations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Awards and World No Tobacco Day Awards. The prestigious awards are presented to mark the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).
The decision of the Parliament to increase the rate of service tax from 12.36 to 14 percent became operational on 1 June 2015. Now, the new tax rate subsumes the education cesses, including the 2 percent Education Cess (EC) and 1 percent Secondary & Higher Education Cess (SHEC), which were earlier levied separately and calculated as consolidated service tax at 12.36 percent.
The decision to increase the tax rate by subsuming the education cesses was taken to facilitate smooth transition to the Goods Service Tax (GST) regime which is proposed to be implemented from 1 April 2016. Once implemented, GST will subsume service tax, excise and other indirect taxes.
Earlier, the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed for the hike in his 2015-16 budget speech on 28 February 2015 which was subsequently approved by the Lok Sabha in the form of the Finance bill, 2015 on 30 April 2015 and the President of India on 14 May 2015.
Service tax is an indirect tax levied by the government on service providers on all service transactions such as education, insurance, transportation, communication, hospitality, etc. However, few services mentioned in the negative list like services relating to agriculture or agricultural produce, education up to higher secondary school, etc. were exempted from the service tax net.
It came into existence under the Finance Act, 1994 as provided by the Article 268A of the Indian Constitution which states that the Service tax is levied by the Union and collected and appropriated by the Union and the States.
The Union Government on 30 May 2015 formed a committee under the Chairpersonship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to oversee the celebrations of 125th birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, also called Bhim Jayanti which is annually celebrated on 14 April.
The Committee was formed to suggest different programmes and activities to be undertaken by various Ministries and Departments and States and Union Territories (UTs). These activities and celebrations are aimed at spreading the thoughts and ideas of Dr BR Ambedkar. Apart from the Prime Minister, the committee consists of eleven members of the Union Council of Ministers including Home, Finance, External Affairs and Social Justice and Empowerment Ministers and six other members representing states and civil society.The Committee can co-opt other members with the approval of the Chairperson. The Secretary in the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment will act as the Member-Secretary of the committee.
Dr BR Ambedkar was called the Father of Indian Constitution as he was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of Indian Constitution. The hard work done by him in the drafting of the Constitution made it a powerful tool for social and economic empowerment of the downtrodden.
Muhammadu Buhari on 29 May 2015 assumed the office of President of Nigeria. He became the 5th President of the country by defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 2015 general election. It is the first time in Nigeria’s history that an incumbent President was defeated in an election by the opposition.
He is a retired Nigerian Army Major General and was Head of State of Nigeria from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état.
Earlier, he unsuccessfully ran for the office of President in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections. In December 2014, he emerged as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that has also won the majority of seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives in the elections held in March 2015.
The Union Government on 30 may 2015 notified the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income as Assets) and imposition of Tax Act, 2015. The Act will come into effect from 1 April 2016. The Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 20 March 2015 and was passed by Parliament on 13 May 2015.
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was in news as on 31 May 2015 he was appointed as Governor of Ukraine’s southern Odessa region. He replaced Ihor Palytsia, a businessman who was appointed as governor of the region in May 2014.
His appointment was announced by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko who said that Saakashvili had been granted Ukrainian citizenship. He was granted the Ukrainian citizenship to facilitate the move on 30 May 2015.
Saakashvili as a person is widely credited with carrying out radical reforms in Georgia during his term in 2004-13. On the other hand, the current Georgian authorities accuses him of abuse of power and has demanded his extradition. He denies all the charges against him, and says that they are politically motivated.
He left Georgia after his term ended in 2013.
Former Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo was appointed as the new Chancellor of the Nalanda University, Bihar. Ministry of External Affairs announced his appointed for the post on 30 May 2015.
Yeo will succeed Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, who withdrew his candidature for a second term as Chancellor of the Nalanda University in February 2015. Till this announcement, Yeo was on the governing board of the University. Till this announcement, Yeo was on the governing board of the University. At present, he is the Chair of the International Advisory Panel of the NU Governing Board (GB).
Earlier, Governing Board of the university during its meet in May 2015 unanimously proposed that the Chancellorship of the University should be offered to George Yeo. The meet was presided by the present Chancellor Professor Amartya Sen.
In 2012, 60-year-old Yeo was conferred with the Padma Bhusan award (the third highest civilian award of India) in recognition of his contribution in the field of public affairs.
The ancient Nalanda University that functioned between 413 AD and 1193 AD was internationally known as a centre of learning. The university, which was destroyed in the 12th century by an invading Turkish army attracted research scholars from all over the world.
Former President APJ Andul Kalam in 2006 mooted an idea to revive Nalanda University. Later in 2010, the idea was approved by an Act of Parliament. The University threw its door open for students in September 2014 in which only 15 students were selected from over 1000 applicants.
The Union Cabinet on 30 May 2015 gave its approval to the Agreement on Coastal and Maritime Shipping between India and Bangladesh that paves the way for the commencement of coastal shipping between the two countries.
Barcelona on 30 May 2015 won Copa del Rey also known as Spanish King’s Cup. In the final clash at the Nou Camp, Barcelona defeated Athletic Bilbao, 3-1. This was the 27th Copa del Rey title for Barcelona. This was the second title of the season for Barcelona, earlier; it had won La Liga.
The Copa del Rey is an annual football cup competition for Spanish football teams. Its full name is Campeonato de Espana – Copa de Su Majestad el Rey which means Championship of Spain – Cup of His Majesty the King. The tournament founded in 1903 is one of the most well-known football competitions bearing the name of a monarch. The other tournament is the Emperor’s Cup in Japan.
It is also the oldest Spanish football competition. In 2014, it was won by Real Madrid.
The 4th North East Youth Festival concluded on 31 May 2015 at Majuli in Jorhat district of Assam. The Governor of Assam was the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony of the Festival. The three day long festival was organized by the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) on behalf of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
The festival was inaugurated by Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilisers, Ananth Kumar on 29 May 2015. About 2100 youth delegates from eight North East States participated in the festival.
The North East Youth Festival is organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport with the objective to foster National Integrity and to know each other better through exchange of culture besides promoting rich cultural heritage of various tribes and people of North Eastern States.
Gurpreet Singh on 31 May 2015 won a quota place in shooting for the 2016 Rio Olympics by finishing fourth in the Men’s 10 meter Air pistol final at the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Munich.
Singh succeeded in getting quota place in shooting for Rio Olympics after scoring 154 points in the finals. With this, he became the fifth Indian shooter to win a quota place for the Rio Olympics after Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai, Apurvi Chandela and Abhinav Bindra. He is also the second Indian to secure an Olympic berth at the ongoing World Cup after Bindra.
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.
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