1. Kailash Satyarthi selected for 2015 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award
i. Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi has been selected for the prestigious 2015 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award. He has been awarded this award in recognition for championing the cause of child reform and ending all forms of violence against children.
ii. It is annual award is given by US based Harvard University. It recognise the works and deeds individuals who have improved the quality of lives and inspired people to greater heights. Some of the recipients of are Kofi Annan, Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Javier Perez etc.
iii. Kailash Satyarthi is an adherent of Gandhian philosophy and as upheld Mahatma Gandhi’s practice of engaging and conducting peaceful protests against the exploitation of children for financial gain. He is the founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement).
iv. Through his NGO, he campaigns for protection of child rights and to abolish illegal human trafficking.
v. Satyarthi ss the eighth Nobel laureate from India. He had won Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and shared it with Malala Yousafzai. He was at the forefront of driving few agendas Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were announced at United Nations SDG Summit in September 2015.
2. Omid Kordestani appointed as Executive Chairman of Twitter
i. Former Google adviser Omid Kordestani was on 14 October 2015 appointed as Executive Chairman of Twitter. He succeeded Jack Dorsey, who stepped down as Executive Chairman to take up the post of Chief Executive Officer of Twitter.
ii. Kordestani is a technology industry veteran who played a significant role in building Netscape, an early web browser, and then spent more than a decade in senior positions at Google. He is also a Non-Executive Director at Vodafone, the UK based telecom group.
iii. Kordestani joined Google in 1999, leading worldwide revenue generation efforts and operations of the sales organisation. Later in 2014, he became the Chief Business Officer of Google and since then he oversaw all revenue and customer operations as well as marketing and partnerships.
3. DRDO Missile Complex renamed as Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex
i. The country’s prestigious DRDO Missile Complex in Hyderabad was on 15 October 2015 renamed as Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar during an event at Research Centre Imarat on the occasion of the 84th Birth Anniversary of Dr Kalam, the Missile Man.
ii. Dr Kalam joined the Missile Complex, DRDO in 1982 and was a part of it for nearly two decades. The Missile Complex comprises Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI), which are considered to be the brain child of Dr Kalam.
iii. As founder Director, Dr Kalam conceived and steered RCI as a generator of critical missile technologies.
iv. Parrikar also inaugurated two advanced R&D facilities of RCI- Outdoor RCS Test Facility ORANGE at Dundigal and Kautilya Advanced Research Centre at RCI, Hyderabad.
4. India, US and Japan navies kick off 2015 Malabar Naval Exercise
i. India, United States and Japan navies have started 2015 Malabar Naval Exercise of the eastern coast in Bay of Bengal and India Ocean. The high-end warfighting and complex trilateral exercise is part of annual series of exercises conducted to advance multi-national maritime relationships and mutual security issues.
ii. The five-day exercise includes both ashore and at-sea training exercises, that would share knowledge on carrier strike group operations, anti-submarine warfare, maritime patrol etc. Military-to-military coordination, submarine familiarisation, air defence and surface warfare exercise sessions will be also undertaken at-sea.
iii. The joint fleet of 3 navies will include warships, aircraft carriers and fast attack submarines. Total Ten ships, five from India, four from US and one from Japan are participating.
iv. Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt embarked with Carrier Air Wing 1 having 90 fighter aircrafts. Guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG60), USS Nimitz, Littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft and fast attack nuclear submarine.
5. Pranab Mukherjee becomes 1st Indian President to address Israeli Parliament Knesset
i. Pranab Mukherjee became first Indian President to address Israeli Parliament Knesset. He addressed the Knesset as last leg of his official visit to 3 countries of west Asia viz. Jordan, Palestine and Israel. He is also is first Indian President to make a state visit Israel.
ii. India’s consistent policy had been to build a strong, mutually beneficial and substantive relationship with Israel. Appreciates Israel’s support to India’s bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
iii. There is no other option to resolve conflicts other than negotiation and peaceful settlement as a long term measure. Condemed all forms of violence and India always sought a peaceful resolution of disputes.
iv. Both countries also signed agreements on double taxation avoidance, cultural exchange and academic fields.
6. Union Cabinet gives nod to RCE for Kaladan Multi Modal Project in Myanmar
i. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the Revised Cost Estimate (RCE) of 2904.04 crore rupees for the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project in Myanmar. Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
ii. To create a multi-modal mode of transport for cargo shipment from the eastern ports of India to Myanmar. It will provide an alternate access route to India’s north east region and contribute towards the regional economic development.
iii. The strategic link will promote economic, commercial and strategic links between India and Myanmar as it will connect North-East, thereby reducing pressure on the Siliguri Corridor.
iv. This project will connect Sittwe Port in Myanmar to the India-Myanmar border via roadway. Thus it will provide alternative cost effective shortcut to landlocked north eastern states.
7. US university honoured Tibetan PM Sangay with Presidential Medal for promoting peace
i. Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay on 14 October 2015 was awarded with the prestigious Presidential Medal by Salisbury University in Maryland, US for promoting peace and understanding.
PM Sangay dedicated the medal to the sufferings of the Tibetan people and the non-violent Tibetan movement to reinstate freedom and dignity inside Tibet.
ii. Lobsang Sangay was born in Darjeeling, India in 1968. He became Sikyong (equivalent to Prime Minister) of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile on 8 August 2011.
iii. He obtained his BA (Hons) and LLB degrees from the University of Delhi in India. He obtained his LLM degree from the Harvard Law School in 1995.
8. Netaji files to be declassified from January 23
i. The Narendra Modi government will begin declassification of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose files in the possession of the Centre from January 23, 2016, the birth anniversary of the freedom fighter.
ii. The Prime Minister made the announcement after meeting members of the Bose family at his residence here on Wednesday.
iii. “Process of declassification of files relating to Netaji will begin on 23rd January, 2016, Subhas Bose’s birth anniversary,” Mr. Modi tweeted. “We also request foreign countries to declassify files on Netaji available with them. Shall begin this with Russia in December.”
iv. Before this, he had an hour-long interaction with the Bose family members, who requested him to declassify the files and ask other countries having such files to do so.
9. Union Cabinet approved MoU with Mozambique for cooperation in renewable energy
i. The Union Government on 14 October 2015 approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India and Mozambique.
ii. The agreement aims at establishing a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation, investment promotion and partnership on new and renewable energy issues on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity.
iii. The agreement was inked between the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of the Government of India and the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, Government of Mozambique in New Delhi on 5 August 2015.
iv. The focus will be on the development of new and renewable energy technologies in the field of conducting on-the-job and specialized training courses on renewable energy field, research & development and of technology transfer in renewable energy.
10. Tata Housing tied-up with Facebook to sell its affordable homes online
i. Real estate developer Tata Housing on 14 October 2015 tied-up with social networking firm Facebook to sell its affordable homes online. For this purpose, Tata Housing launched the new campaign titled Social sell on Facebook.
ii. Through this new campaign Social sell, the company plans to sell around 250 units of its new five-acre residential project in Goa called Goa Paradise. The initiative is in line with the company’s target to generate over 30 percent of its overall sales online in the next five years.
iii. Tata Housing started selling homes online in India in 2013 through its partnership with Google as part of The Great Shopping Festival. Currently, the company has sold around 2000 homes online in the last three years.
iv. Earlier, Tata Housing tied up with real estate portal Housing.com and online marketplace Snapdeal to sell its housing units across the country.
11. Dell Inc acquired EMC Corporation for 67 billion US dollars
i. Dell Inc and EMC Corporation on 12 October 2015 signed a definitive agreement under which Dell, together with its owners will acquire EMC Corporation, while maintaining VMware as a publicly-traded company.
ii. This will the biggest tech deal in history with a 67 billion US dollars acquisition of EMC Corp by Dell. The owners of Dell include Michael S Dell, founder, chairman and CEO of Dell, MSD Partners and Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing.
iii. VMware Inc is a US company that provides cloud and virtualization software and services. It is a subsidiary of EMC Corporation.
iv. A valuation for each share of tracking stock of 81.78 US dollars, EMC shareholders would receive a total combined consideration of 33.15 US dollars per EMC share and the total transaction would be valued at approximately 67 billion US dollars.
12. Portugal became the first European country to sign the MoU on establishment of Nalanda University
i. Portugal on 9 October 2015 became the first European country to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of Nalanda University.
ii. The MoU was signed in New Delhi by Portuguese Ambassador to India Ana Martinho and Dr Jitendra Nath Misra, the Ambassador of India to Portugal. With this, Portugal became the 17th country overall and the fourth outside the East Asia Summit to do so.
iii. The revived university is located at Rajgir in Nalanda District in Bihar. It is a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution mandated to be engaged in the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical, historical and spiritual studies. It was established through Nalanda University Act, 2010 and formally inaugurated on 19 September 2014.
iv. The ancient Nalanda University was established in 427 AD during the reign of Gupta king Sakraditya. It was destroyed in 1193 AD by the Turkish army of the Bakhtiyar Khilji, the military general of the army of Qutb-ud-din Aibak.
13. Uttar Pradesh Government launched mobile app mSehat for health workers
i. Uttar Pradesh government on 13 October 2015 launched the mobile app mSehat for health workers to record maternal and infant data in real-time.
The application was developed by Kellton Tech, a company that was selected as the technology partner for the initiative by State Innovations in Family Planning Services Agency (SIFPSA).
ii. The application is aimed at improving the infant mortality rate outcomes. mSehat is a cloud-hosted solution to facilitate remote access and enrolment from across the region through 2G-enabled mobile devices. The recorded data will be stored in the cloud, which will act as the central repository.
iii. The initial implementation will be done in five districts, namely Mirzapur, Faizabad, Sitapur, Bareilly and Kannauj, and later it will be extended to the entire state. In the first phase, 10252 ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) workers will be equipped with smart phones.
iv. Tablets will be given to 1719 Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANMs) and 300 people comprising medical officers, medical officers in-charge & SIFPSA staff.