Latest Current Affairs

Baileys Women’s Prize2015 for Fiction  

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2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is British novelist Ali Smith for How to Be Both.

Baileys Prize was set up in 1996 with an aim to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world. Earlier it was known as the Orange Prize.

Union Ministry of Water Resources launched nationwide Jal Kranti Abhiyan from Jaipur

Uma Bharti launches Jal Kranti Abhiyan

JAIPUR: Union minister for water resources Uma Bharti  launched a Jal Kranti Abhiyan aimed at turning one water stressed village in each district of the country into a water surplus village .

Under the campaign a village with acute water scarcity will be selected as ‘Jal Gram’ on a pilot project. For the identified village a comprehensive integrated development plan will be framed and several water conservation activities will be launched.”As pilot project, activities will be run in one water stressed village in each 672 districts in the country”

Activities proposed for Jal Gram include rain water harvesting, recycling of waste water, micro irrigation for water use efficiency and mass awareness program. A cadre of local water professional ‘Jal Mitra’ too will be created and they will be given training to create mass awareness.

The campaign aims to strengthen grass root involvement of all stake holders including Panchyati raj institutions and local bodies in the water security and development schemes.

IREDA awarded Miniratna (Category-1) status by Department of Public Enterprises

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) was on 2 June 2015 awarded the Miniratna (Cateogry -1) status by the Department of Public Enterprises under the Union Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises.The proposal for conferring Miniratna status for IREDA was recommended by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).Grant of status allows IREDA to make capital expenditure on new projects, modernization, purchase of equipment, etc. without Government approval up to 500 crores rupees, or equal to their net worth, whichever is lower.

IREDA was established as Public Limited Government Company in 1987 to promote, develop and extend FINANCIAL assistance for renewable energy and energy efficiency /conservation projects with the Motto Energy for Ever.

It was created as Non-Banking FINANCIAL Institution (NBFI) in Schedule C of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and was upgraded as Schedule B in 2010.

The Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of IREDA is KS Popli.

Grant of status allows IREDA to make capital expenditure on new projects, modernization, purchase of equipment, etc. without Government approval up to 500 crores rupees, or equal to their net worth, whichever is lower.


 The Scheme of Maharatna/Navratna/Miniratna

The scheme of awarding Navratna, Miniratna (Category-1 and 2) status to public sector undertakings (PSUs) was started by the Union Government vide a notification dated 22 July 1997 so as to grant greater autonomy to PSUs to become global giants.

Later on 4 February 2010, the scheme of Maharatna for PSUs was started.

At present, there are 55 Public Limited Companies in Mini Ratna (Cateogry -1) and 17 are in Mini Ratna (Cateogry-2). Besides, there are 7 Maharatna Companies and 17 Navratnas companies.

Eligibility for Miniratna Category-I PSEs

They should have made profit in the last three years continuously, the pre-tax profit should have been 30 crores rupees or more in at least one of the three years and should have a positive net worth.

India and the Netherlands signed agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation

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The agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Netherland Mark Rutte in New Delhi after the two leaders held discussions on various issues related to the region and the world.

Mark Rutte is on a two day visit to India on 5-¬6 June 2015

The Netherlands is a key partner in India’s economic development as it hosts the second largest Indian community in Europe and several Dutch companies have a long presence in India. Today, the Netherlands is the fifth largest source ofINVESTMENTS  in India and in turn India is also the fifth largest source of investments in the Netherlands.

Modi thanked Rutte for Dutch support for India’s permanent membership of a reformed United Nations Security Council and also for his support for India’s candidature for the Security Council in 2021-22.

List of Agreements signed between India and Netherlands

  •       Agreement on setting up Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism , which will hold its first meeting on 19 June 2015.
  •       Agreement on manufacturing of dredgers at the Cochin Shipyard.
  •       Agreement on manufacturing of Measles, and Rubella Vaccine in India, with transfer of technology from Netherlands.
  •       Agreement on developing coastal roads and metro lines in India.
  •       Agreement on setting up a Joint Working Group on Skill Development.
  •       Agreement on developing joint pilot projects for an electric vehicle ecosystem in India.
  •       Agreement on setting up centres of excellence in areas like horticulture and animal husbandry in India.

A MOU was inked between the Telangana government and Wageningen University of the Netherlands for a knowledge partnership and collaborative research in the agribusiness sector like

  •                 cold chain infrastructure
  •                 livestock and horticulture production system in the southern state

The agreements were signed during the visit of Prime Minister of Netherland Mark Rutte to India.

Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry Irwin Rose passed away

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Irwin Rose, a biochemist who shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering a way that cells destroy unwanted proteins the basis for developing new therapies for diseases such as cervical cancer and cystic fibrosis has died. He was 88.

Rose, along with Israelis Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko, won the Nobel for discovering how plant and animal cells marked old and damaged proteins with a “kiss of death” molecule the polypeptide ubiquitin. The proteins are then chopped to pieces.

 India and the US signed 2015 Framework for the India-US Defence Relationship

United States Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar  signed the 2015 framework agreement on India-US defence relationship.

Manohar Parrikar and Carter signed an agreement which builds upon the previous framework and successes to guide the bilateral defence and strategic partnership for the next 10 years.

The new framework agreement provides avenues for high level strategic discussions, continued exchanges between armed forces of both countries, and strengthening of defence capabilities.

The Framework also recognizes the transformative nature of the Defence Technology and TRADE Initiative (DTTI). Both India and the United States have finalized two project agreements for joint development of Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources and the Next Generation Protective Ensembles.

The two also agreed to pursue co-development and co-production projects that will offer tangible opportunities for American defence industries to build defence partnership with the Indian industries including in manufacturing under ‘Make in India’.

India and Belarus signed six Agreements during the visit of President to Belarus

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India and Belarus  inked six agreements, including a Roadmap for India-Belarus Cooperation as President Pranab Mukherjee held talks here with Belarusian counterpart Alexander V Lukashenko.

Besides the roadmap, the agreements include a protocol amending the agreement between the two sides for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Property (Capital) of September, 27, 1997.

A MoU was inked between Bureau of Indian Standards and Belarus’ State Committee for Standardization on cooperation in the field of standardization and information support, and another MoU between Prasar Bharati and the National State Television and Radio Company of Belarus (Belteleradiocompany) for cooperation on broadcasting.