Daily general awareness 20 March 2015
Former Lok Sabha Meira Kumar’s book released
Former Lok Sabha Meira Kumar’s book entitled “Indian Parliamentary Diplomacy – Speaker’s Perspective” was released on 19 March 2015.
The book was released by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and its first copy was presented to the President Pranab Mukherjee at a function held in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
The book features an account of the parliamentary diplomacy and its role in furthering foreign policy and strengthening international relations.
It is also a collection of select speeches and reports by Kumar during her stint as Lok Sabha speaker and as leader of Indian parliamentary delegations at several international fora.
About Meira Kumar
· She was the first unopposed elected woman Speaker of Lok Sabha and served from 2009 to 2014.
· Kumar was also 5 time Member of Parliament and was elected to 8th, 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th Lok Sabha.
· She also had served as a Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of Manmohan Singh led UPA Government (2004–2009).
· Prior to joining politics she was a lawyer and a former diplomat.
Japan and China on 19 March 2015 held their first security talks in Tokyo after four years since the ties had worsened over a row over islands in the East China Sea.
In the security talks both nations agreed to keep alive and foster a nascent recovery in bilateral ties plagued by the legacy of Japan’s wartime aggression and a territorial dispute.
However, both nations failed to set a timetable for the implementation of a scheme designed to ensure real-time communication between their armed forces.
Background of East China Sea dispute
· Sino-Japanese relations had worsened after China had claimed its rights over the group of tiny East China Sea islets.
· The islets comprises group of eight uninhabited islands and rocks. They have a total area of about 7 sq km in China Sea and are controlled by Japan.
· These islets are close to strategically important shipping lanes in this region and also offer rich fishing grounds. The region surrounding these islets is also thought to contain oil deposits.
· China claims that these islets have been part of its territory since ancient times. While, Taiwan separately is also claiming its right the islands.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has become first Indian Cricket team Captain to register the 100 ODI
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has become first Indian Cricket team Captain to register the 100 One Day International (ODI) match wins.
He was able to achieve this feat after Indian team defeated Bangladesh in the 2015 ICC World Cup quarter-final match by 109-run in Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Australia.
He is the third captain in the history of the cricket to record 100 wins. Other two captains to achieve this feat are – Australians Allan Border (107 wins) and Ricky Ponting (165 wins).
Mahendra Singh Dhoni had started his captaincy in 2007 after he took over from Rahul Dravid.
Since then under his captaincy, Indian Cricket team has won 2007 World Twenty20, CB Series of 2007-08, Asia Cup 2010, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Champions Trophy 2013.
It should be noted that former Indian Captain Mohammad Azharuddin had recorded 90 wins in ODIs, followed by Sourav Ganguly with 76 wins.
Union Government launched Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council
Union Government launched Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) AcE Fund to accelerate growth of entrepreneurs in Biotechnology. It was announced by Minister of State (MoS) for Science and Technology (S&T) and Earth Sciences Y.S. Chowdary on the occasion of the third foundation day of BIRAC in New Delhi. The BIRAC AcE Fund aims to address the pressing needs of accelerating the growth of entrepreneurs, in the field of Biotechnology.
The Karnataka State Cabinet has decided to make Kannada language a mandatory subject from Class 1 to 10 in all schools recognised by the government. The proposed legislation would not be applicable to CBSE, ICSE, and other schools established in the State. It would be applicable to all private and government schools that received the State government’s recognition. The Supreme Court has also permitted teaching one of the subjects in Kannada till Class 10.
Acting Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court and Patron-in-Chief of the Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority Justice Uma Nath Singh took oath as Chief Justice of High Court. Meghalaya Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi administered the oath of office and secrecy to Justice Singh in Shillong. Prior to his transfer to Meghalaya High Court, he was the senior-most Judge-in-charge of Lucknow Seat of Allahabad High Court from February 2012 to June 2014.
Noted industrialist Ratan Tata will head a new innovative council of Indian Railways, called ‘Kaya Kalp’, formed to turn around the ailing state-run rail network. Apart from Tata Group’s chairman emeritus, the Kaya Kalp council will also have two railway union leaders Shiv Gopal Mishra and M Raghuvaiah. Ratan Tata will head the Kaya Kalp council, while general secretaries of All-India Railwaymen Federation and National Federation of Indian Railwaymen will also be the members of the council.
The governing body of World Football, FIFA, has announced the date of 2022 World Cup final. It will be played in Qatar on the 18th of December. The event will be held in the winter to avoid the hot temperatures in June and July. FIFA has chosen France to host the 2019 women’s World Cup ahead of South Korea. France will also stage the Under-20 women’s tournament in 2018.
Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap dropped a place to be positioned No.13 in the men’s singles rankings released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Meanwhile, his compatriots Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy kept their places at No.4 and No.17. In women’s singles rankings, Saina Nehwal retained her No.2 spot while PV Sindhu is ranked at No.9. However, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa rose a spot to be ranked No.18 in women’s doubles. India does not have any representation in the top-25 of men’s and mixed doubles.
American tennis player Wayne Odesnik has been banned for 15 years after a second doping violation. The International Tennis Federation said the 29-year-old Odesnik tested positive for several banned substances, including steroids, during tests in December 2014 and January 2015. The ban was back-dated to January 30 and will run until January 29, 2030.
NCP nominee Ramraje Nimbalkar was unanimously elected as the Legislative Council Chairman
i. NCP nominee Ramraje Nimbalkar was unanimously elected as the Legislative Council Chairman, even as the Congress and Shiv Sena withdrew their candidates from the fray.
ii. The Congress had fielded party loyalist Sharad Ranpise while the Sena had nominated its spokesperson Neelam Gorhe.
Maharashtra Government announced to rename Girgaum Chowpatty as Swaraj Bhoomi
i. Maharashtra Government announced to rename Girgaum Chowpatty as Swaraj Bhoomi to honour veteran freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
ii. The demand was raised by the Lokmanya Tilak Gaurav Samiti. They demanded that the spot at Chowpatty where Lokmanya Tilak was cremated, and where a garden stands now, should be called Swaraj Bhoomi.
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has died aged 84
i. Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has died aged 84.
ii. Mr Fraser, who led the nation between 1975 and 1983, died after a short illness.
iii. He became its leader in controversial circumstances, after the unprecedented dismissal of PM Gough Whitlam.