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Daily G.K. Buzz - 27th & 28th April 2015


Union Ministry for Power flagged off three Mobile Science Labs to revolutionise rural education

i. Union Minister for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal on 27 April 2015 flagged off three NTPC Mobile Science Labs (MSL) for revolutionizing education in rural India.

ii. MSL is a vehicle fitted with LCD TV carrying working Science Models which emphasizes curiosity based learning for children in rural India. It is an initiative to make hands-on learning accessible amongst underprivileged children.

Govt launches action plan for skill training of disabled

i. Government has launched a national action plan for skill training of persons with disabilities to improve vocational training and employment opportunities for differently-abled people.
ii. Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said in Lok Sabha that the action plan will bring all main stakeholders like various central government ministries, state governments, NGOs, PSUs and private sector on one platform.

RPower terminates PPA for 3,960 Mw Tilaiya UMPP in Jharkhand

i. Reliance Power (RPower) on Tuesday announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Jharkhand Integrated Power Limited (JIPL), has terminated the power purchase agreement (PPA) of its 3,960 Mw Tilaiya ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand.
ii. JIPL had signed a PPA with 18 power off-takers in 10 states for 25 years.  Based on tariff-based bidding managed by Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Reliance Power was awarded the Tilaiya UMPP in February 2009. 

Bank of Baroda tied up with UAE Exchange for instant money transfer

i. Bank of Baroda (BoB) on 25 April 2015 tied-up with UAE Exchange to offer instant money transfer facility to its Non-resident Indian (NRI) customers. In this regard, an agreement was signed between both the firms.

ii. This agreement will allow the customers to send money to their desired bank accounts in BoB within minutes in India. This facility will also be supported by SMS alert which will notify the moment the amount is credited in the bank account of desired customer.

Capgemini acquires IGATE for $4 bn in all-cash deal

i. The Paris-headquartered Capgemini has announced the acquisition of New Jersey-based IGATE, which has operations in India, for $4 billion in cash. The markets gave a thumbs up to the acquisition: While the Capgemini stock was up 7.6 per cent, the IGATE stock opened 3.45 per cent higher on Monday.
ii. The deal, one of the largest in the Indian information technology sector, will see the exit of IGATE co-founders Ashok Trivedi and Sunil Wadhwani, along with private equity firm Apax Partners. It will also bolster the offshore presence of the European infotech services giant, giving it access to a larger global delivery network and strong presence in the US financial sector.


President Conferred Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards

i. The President and Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces Pranab Mukherjee on 26 April 2015 conferred Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards at a solemn ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

ii. Kirti Chakra
• Naib Subedar Kosh Bahadur Gurung 1 Gorkha Rifles, 15 Rashtriya Rifles
• Subedar Ajay Vardhan 14 Garhwal Rifles (Posthumous)
iii. He conferred eleven Shaurya Chakras to Armed Forces Personnel for displaying conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty. Five Shaurya Chakras were given posthumously.

Gopinath Pillai awarded with the Outstanding Service Award for his services in Singapore

i. Indian-origin diplomat Gopinath Pillai was on 24 April 2015 awarded the Outstanding Service Award for his services in Singapore by the National University of Singapore (NUS).
ii. Currently, Pillai is serving as Ambassador-at-Large of Singapore and special envoy to Andhra Pradesh. He is the chairman of Management Board of the Institute of South Asian Studies, a National University of Singapore funded research institute.

Sangeeta Bhatia, Indian-origin scientist at MIT, won the 2015 Heinz Award

i. Sangeeta Bhatia, an Indian-origin scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), on 26 April 2015 won the prestigious 2015 Heinz Award in the Technology, the Economy, and Employment category. This was the 20th Heinz Award which is given annually since 1993.
ii. Bhatia who developed artificial human microlivers for drug testing was awarded for her work in tissue engineering and disease detection. Microliver is a miniature model organ that makes it possible to test drug reactions efficiently and predictively, and could eventually lead to an artificial human liver.

Prime Minister conferred 50th Jnanpith Award

i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 April 2015 conferred the 50th Jnanpith Award on eminent Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade in Parliament House Complex, New Delhi.
ii. His novel, Kosala (Cocoon), written in 1963 was considered as a path breaking in Marathi literature. His other novels include Bidhar, Hool, Jarila and Jhool. He composed various poems which are compiled up in his collections named Melody and Dekhani.
iii. Nemade received the country’s highest literary award for his outstanding contribution towards Indian literature.

Yashwant Sinha honoured with Officier de la Légion d’Honneur by French Government

i. Former Union Finance Minister and veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha was on 25 April 2015 conferred with the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (Officer of the Legion of Honour) in recognition of his valuable contribution to thought on international issues.
ii. This highest French civilian distinction was presented by the French Ambassador François Richier on behalf of the President of the French Republic.

Anil Kapoor conferred with Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award 2015

i. Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor was on 25 April 2015 conferred with the prestigious Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award 2015. He was presented the award by noted historian and writer Babasaheb Purandare.
ii. Apart from Anil Kapoor, Marathi actor Dilip Prabhavalkar was also bestowed with the prestigious Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award 2015.

''Margarita...'' bags best feature at Washington fest

i. Kalki Koechlin-starrer disability drama "Margarita With A Straw" has bagged the best feature film honour at the recently concluded Washington, DC International Film festival. 
ii. Kalki, 31, who plays a cerebral palsy patient in the Sonali Bose-directed film, took to Twitter to share the news. 


Omar Hassan al-Bashir won the Presidential election of Sudan

i. Incumbent President of Sudan Omar Hassan al-Bashir on 27 April 2015 won the Presidential election of the country. He won another term in office with 94 percent of votes.

ii. The election results were announced by the election office after four days of voting. The head of the country's electoral commission said turnout was 46 percent.

Loretta Lynch sworn in as first black female Attorney General of United States

i. Loretta Lynch on 27 April 2015 was sworn-in as the United States' 83rd Attorney General, the first African-American woman to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement official.

ii. She succeeded former attorney general Eric Holder, who left the position on 24 April 2015 after serving as Attorney General for six years. Her name was confirmed five months after President Obama nominated her to succeed Eric Holder.

Chennai-born Raja Rajeswari is New York’s first Indian-American woman judge

i. Chennai-born Raja Rajeswari has been sworn-in as a criminal court judge in New York by Mayor Bill de Blasio, becoming the first India-born woman to be appointed a judge in New York City.
ii. Ms. Rajeswari took the oath of office at a ceremony in New York City on Monday along with 27 other judges appointed earlier this month to the Family Court, Criminal Court, and Civil Court, which are part of the New York State Unified Court System.


India crowned champions for the first time at 22nd President's Cup Boxing Tournament

i. India was crowned champions at the 22nd President’s Cup Open International Boxing Tournament on 27 April 2015. This is for the first time that India was crowned champions at the President’s Cup which was held at Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia.
ii. India finished the tournament on top with 33 points that included 4 Gold and 1 Bronze. Mongolia was placed second in the tournament.

Lin Dan of China won men`s title of Badminton Asia Championships 2015

i. Lin Dan of China on 26 April 2015 won the men`s title at Badminton Asia Championships 2015 held in the central city of Wuhan, China. He won the title by defeating compatriot Tian Houwei 21-19, 21-8.
ii. With this he won the Asian championship for the fourth time.  Lin, the No. 2 seed, is a five-time world champion and twice Olympic gold medallist.

India won a Gold and a Bronze at 2015 Asian Indoor Rowing Championship

i. India won a Gold and a Bronze at the 2015 Asian Indoor Rowing Championship. The championship was held from 25 April 2015 to 26 April 2015 in Pattaya, Thailand.
ii. Dushyant Singh and Succha Singh Tomar won the gold in the 2000m men’s light weight pair category, clocking 6:26.50. This is the first time the Indians were competing in an indoor event.


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