Tuesday, September 29, 2015

1.           Ri Su Yong :- Ri Su Yong, the Foreign Minister of North Korea, visited India from 12 April to 14 April 2015. He was on a three-day visit to India and this was the first-ever visit of a foreign minister of North Korea to India. During the visit, foreign minister level talks were held covering issues of mutual interest including India’s security concerns were discussed. In this regard, India informed Yong about the significance of peace and stability in the Korean peninsula for India’s Act East policy.
2.       Normandy Four :- Normandy Four group comprising of foreign ministers of four nations viz., Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France on 13 April 2015 agreed to form four working groups to observe the implementation of the ceasefire deal on Ukraine conflict that was signed in Minsk, Belarus on 12 February 2015.
3.       New Zealand has won the title for only the second time since inception of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup competition in 1983. New Zealand’s first victory came in 2012 against Argentina.
4.       Tree of Life:- A painting titled Tree of Life was gifted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to French President Francois Hollande during his visit to France from 9 April to 12 April 2015. The painting reflects traditional societal respect for nature in India and tree as a divine gift central to human life is a recurring element in Indian artistic practice. The painting is the work of Bhaskar Mahapatra, an Odisha artist and the art form is pigments on silk which he has been practicing for last thirty years along with rest of his family. He works from his home in the heritage crafts village of Raghurajpur.
5.       Gandhinagar:- India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) became operational on 11 April 2015 at GIFT City in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It became operational after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unveiled the rules and regulations for this global financial hub at a special ceremony organized at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar .
6.       Arun Kumar Jha: - Arun Kumar Jha was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
7.       Ananda Kumar and Dr Pramod Patil:- Two Indians namely Dr Ananda Kumar and Dr Pramod Patil on 29 April 2015 won the prestigious Whitley Awards (also known as Green Oscar) for their contribution to wildlife conservation. The awards were presented at a ceremony in Royal Geographical Society, London. Kumar was honoured for his work of using innovative communication systems to enable human-elephant co-existence in Southern India. Patil, on the other hand, was honoured for his work to protect the iconic great Indian bustard in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan.
8.       Seychelles:- Seychelles on 26 April 2015 became the 161st member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). With this, Seychelles archipelago of 90000 inhabitants became one of its smallest members.
9.       Mukesh Khanna:- Actor and producer Mukesh Khanna on 29 April 2015 was appointed as the Chairperson of the Children's Film Society of India (CFSI). He was appointed by Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as successor of Amole Gupte. Mukesh Khanna is known for his iconic role as Shaktimaan, a 1990s superhero series. He is also remembered for his portrayal as Bhishma Pitamah in Mahabharat.
10.   Nursultan A Nazabayev:- The incumbent President of Kazakhstan Nursultan A Nazabayev was on 27 April 2015 re-elected as president for the fifth successive term. Nazarbayev has been governing the country since the Soviet Union (or USSR) collapsed in early 1991.
11.   CE-20:- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 28 April 2015 successfully tested an indigenous cryogenic engine CE-20 at Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. This engine will enable scientists to put satellites of up to the capacity of four tonnes in geostationary orbit. The engine will also give boost to India’s interplanetary probes and manned space missions. So far India's GSLVs were being powered by cryogenic engines given by Russia. But this development marks a milestone in the country's effort to develop a big cryogenic engine to fly satellites of up to five tonnes.
12.   Siddhartha Gigoo:- Srinagar-born novelist Siddhartha Gigoo on 28 April 2015 won the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia region for his work Umbrella Man, a tale of surreal meditation on mental health and the environment.
13.   Salman bin Abdulaziz:- Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on 29 April 2015 appointed his nephew Mohammed bin Nayef as the new Crown Prince and as a Deputy Prime Minister. Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz was relieved from his duties.
14.   Raja Rajeswari:- India-born Raja Rajeswari was on 27 April 2015 sworn-in as the criminal court judge of the New York City. With this, she became the first India-born woman judge of New York City. She was sworn-in as a criminal court judge by Mayor Bill de Blasio at a ceremony in New York. She took the oath of office along with 27 other judges appointed to the Family Court, Criminal Court, and Civil Court, which are a part of the New York State Unified Court System.
15.   Omar Hassan al-Bashir:- 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. The election has been boycotted by the opposition. It was also critisised by the European Union, United States, Britain and Norway, by terming that the country had failed to create a free, fair and conducive elections environment.
16.   Yashwant Sinha: - 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.
17.   Loretta Lynch:- Loretta Lynch was sworn in as first black female Attorney General of US. She succeeds former attorney general Eric Holder, who left the position on 24 April 2015 after serving as Attorney General for six years, five months after President Obama nominated her.
18.   Lin Dan:- Lin Dan of China won 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.
19.    Ratchanok Intanon:- Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand defeated top seed Li Xuerui of China to win Women’s  Badminton Asia Championship.
20.   Anil Kapoor: - Anil Kapoor was  bestowed with the prestigious Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award 2015. Along with him Marathi actor Dilip Prabhavalkar was also bestowed with the prestigious Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award 2015.
21.   Wladimir Klitschko:- Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine on 25 April 2015 successfully defended his world heavyweight boxing title for the 18th time in a row. At Madison Square Garden in New York, Klitschko defeated his American challenger Bryant Jennings with a lopsided 12-round unanimous point decision.
22.   Dharahara (Bhimsen) tower:- 19th century Dharahara (Bhimsen) tower at the center of Sundhara in Kathmandu, Nepal on 25 April 2015 was reduced to rubbles after an earthquake of magnitude 7.9 on the Richter scale struck the country. The nine-storey, 61.88-meter-tall (203-feet) tower was a part of the architecture of Kathmandu recognised by UNESCO. It was built in 1832 by Mukhtiyar (equivalent to Prime Minister) Bhimsen Thapa under the commission of Queen Lalit Tripura Sundari. The architecture of Dharahara was designed in Mughal and European style and resembled an Islamic minaret. The statue of Hindu deity Shiva was placed on the top of the tower. Dharahara tower was constructed for military use as a watchtower, and in cases of incidents of national importance, bugles were blown from the top floor of the tower. It was the second such tower built by Bhimsen Thapa. The first tower was built eight years earlier in 1824 and was 11 stories high, two stories taller than the
Dharahara. It was reduced to rubbles on 15 January 1934, when an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 struck Nepal. Besides, other historical and UNESCO World Heritage sites of Nepal which collapsed due to the earthquake were hilltop Monkey Temple of Swayambhunath, the oldest
Buddhist stupa in the Kathmandu valley, Basantapur Durbar square, Kasthamandap temple, Patan Durbar Square, gilded statue of King Bhupatindra Malla and others.
23.   Sangeeta Bhatia:- 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. 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.
24.   Operation Maitree: - The operation was launched in quake hit Nepal. The operation involve two dozen military aircraft and choppers along with bus services through road route. India also pressed nearly 1000 trained personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) into service.
25.   Thomas Bach:- Thomas Bach, the president of International Olympic Committee (IOC), was on 22 April 2015 named as ambassador of HeForShe campaign by UN Women.HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for gender equality established by United Nations (UN) Women. The campaign was launched by the UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson in September 2014. HeForShe encourages men and boys to join in on the fight for women's rights and gender equality all over the glove. Their goal is to enlist one billion men and boys to become advocates for women's rights worldwide. In November 2014, Farhan Akhtar was named as UN Women's Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia towards the empowerment of women and girls. He serves as an advocate for HeForShe initiative in advocating for gender equality and women's empowerment
26.   The New York Times on 20 April 2015 won two prestigious Pulitzer prizes for coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The coverage is described by the Pulitzer board as courageous and vivid journalism that engaged the public and held authorities accountable. For its Ebola coverage, The New York Times staff won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and freelancer Daniel Berehulak won Pulitzer Prize for the feature photography.
27.   Chhurim Sherpa:- Chhurim Sherpa, first woman to climb the 8850 metre (29035 feet) Mount Everest summit twice in a week was in news on 19 April 2015. Sherpa was in news as during her third ascent to Mount Everest she will take a cricket bat and two jerseys of deceased Australian cricketer Phil Hughes. The belongings of Hughes are being carried to the summit as a mark of tribute to the player. He died in November 2014 after he was hit on the back of his head by a ball while batting during a domestic match in Sydney.
28.    Vivek Pridarshi:- The Supreme Court of India (SC) on 17 April 2015 appointed Vivek Priyadarshi to head the team probing the Indian Premiere League (IPL) scandal. The decision was taken by a SC bench headed by Justice TS Thakur.  He succeeds BB Mishra as the head of the probing team who was retired on 31 March 2015.  The bench took the decision on the recommendation of a three member panel headed by former Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha.
29.   Vankadarath Saritha:- Vankadarath Saritha was in news as on 17 April 2015 she became the first woman bus driver of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). She is a 30-year-old driver from Nalgonda in Telangana. She has been posted in day-time duty at the Sarojini Nagar depot and will start working officially from 20 April 2015.

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