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Current affairs 18, 17, 16, 15, june 2015

  • Charles Correa, India's greatest architect passes away 
    • Charles Correa, the face of modern architecture in India, passed away after a brief illness. He was 84.
    • Correa played a defining role in developing architecture of post-Independence India and has designed some of the most outstanding structures. He was the man behind the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial in Ahmedabad and the Madhya Pradesh assembly building,Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, the Permanent Mission of India at the U.N., New York, Kala Academy in Goa.
    • He was winner of several national and international awards and was known for adapting his designs to local climates and building styles.
    • He was the chief architect of Navi Mumbai, the satellite suburb of Mumbai and  was later appointed the first chairman of the National Commission on Urbanisation. Correa is also known for pioneering work on low-income housing.
    • Although he was ill but still he completed projects like the Ismaili Centre in Toronto, the Brain Science Centre at MIT, Boston and the Champalimaud Centre in Lisbon 
    About Charles Correa :-
    He was Born in Secundarabad in Andhra Pradesh in 1930.Correa studied at St. Xavier's College in Mumbai and went on to study at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge.Charles Correa was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1972 and Padma Vibhushan in 2006. In 1984, he founded the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) in Mumbai, dedicated to protecting the environment and improving urban communities

  • Fake currency worth over Rs 1 cr recovered from HDFC Bank
    • Fake currency worth more than a crore has been recovered from an HDFC bank chest located on Golf Course Road at Gurgaon.
    • An FIR has been lodged on the complaint of the chest manager Umesh Sharma at the Sushant Lok police station.
    • The bank has submitted currency notes worth Rs 1,04,76,000 to police. 
    • According to police, money from around 100 HDFC banks was being collected at the chest for the past one year. 
    • The fake currency was noticed, when the cash in the chest was being checked and counted.

  • PM launches 'Narendra Modi Mobile App'
    Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today launched the ‘Narendra Modi Mobile App’. The application provides updates on the day-to-day activities of Shri Narendra Modi. It presents an opportunity to receive messages and emails directly from Shri Narendra Modi. There is also an option to contribute and earn 'badges' through to-do tasks. 
    Using the app, one can tune-in and listen to the various ‘Mann ki Baat’ editions of Prime Minister Modi, read his blogs, and get to know more about him from the Biography section. 
    The app provides comprehensive information on initiatives and achievements of the Union Government, including an 'infographics' section

  • Sunil Chhetri becomes first Indian footballer to score 50 international goal
    • Striker Sunil Chhetri became the first Indian footballer to score 50 international goals during his team’s 2018 World Cup qualifying match against Guam
    • Although India suffered defeat to tiny pacific island side Guam by 2-1in the preliminary joint qualification second round
    • Former captain Bhaichung Bhutia stays at the second spot with 42 goals in 107 matches while IM Vijayan has 40 goals from 79 games 
    About Sunil Chhetri:-
    • Sunil Chhetri is an Indian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Bengaluru FC in the I-League. He is the captain of the Indian national football team.
    • Sunil Chhetri born in Secunderabad, Telangana, Chhetri began his professional career at Mohun Bagan in 2002.
    • He helped India win the 2007 Nehru Cup, 2009 Nehru Cup, the 2012 Nehru Cup as well as the 2011 SAFF Championship. 
    • He was also one of India's best players during the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup in which India won the tournament and thus qualified for their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years.
    • Chhetri has also been named AIFF Player of the Year four times in 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014.
    • Chhetri was on the commentating panel for the 2014 FIFA World Cup for Sony Six channel.

  • Centre raises solar power target five-times to 100,000 MW by 2022
    • The government has raised the solar power generation capacity by five times to 1,00,000 MW by 2022 which will entail an investment of around Rs 6 lakh crore.
    • Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi  gave its approval for stepping up of India's solar power capacity target under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) by five times  reaching 1,00,000 MW by 2022. It is a giant step towards creating clean and sustainable energy source in the country. 
    • The target will principally comprise of 40 GW (solar) rooftop and 60 GW through large and medium scale grid connected solar power projects.
    • Wth this ambitious target, India will become one of the world's largest green energy producers and even  surpass several developed countries
    • The total investment in setting up 100 GW will be around Rs 6,00,000 crore. In the first phase, the Government of India is providing Rs 15,050 crore as capital subsidy to promote solar capacity addition in the country
    • This capital subsidy will be provided for rooftop solar projects in various cities and towns, for Viability Gap Funding (VGF) based projects which are to be developed through the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)
    • Solar power projects with investment of about Rs 90,000 crore would also be developed using bundling mechanism with thermal power .Further investment will come from large public sector undertakings and independent power producers.
    • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved setting up of over 2,000 MW of grid-connected solar PV power projects on build, own and operate basis by solar power developers with viability gap funding under Batch-III of Phase-II of the JNNSM.
    • This would help in generating 12,000 jobs in rural and urban areas and reduction of about 3.41 million tonnes of CO2 emissions into the environment every year

  • President gives assent to Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015
    • The President has promulgated the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015, on Monday that will help lakhs of persons battling cheque bounce cases far away from their places this ordinance will allow filing of cheque bounce case at the place where the cheque was presented for clearance .It is the 14th ordinance by the Modi Government in a little over a year time.
    • The ordinance will enable filing of cheque bounce cases in the place where the cheque was presented for clearance or payment and not the place of issue around  18 lakh people are facing cheque bounce cases across the country.Union Cabinet had approved the ordinance on June 10
    About the  ordinance:-
    • The ordinance provides that cases of bouncing of cheques can be filed only in a court in whose jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee (person who receives the cheque) lies.
    • If a complaint against a person issuing a cheque has been filed in the court with the appropriate jurisdiction, then all subsequent complaints against that person will be filed in the same court, irrespective of the relevant jurisdiction area.

  • Election Commission suspends recognition of PA Sangma-led National People’s Party
    • The Election Commission on Tuesday suspended the recognition of the PA Sangma-led National People’s Party– a recognised state party in Meghalaya—for its “failure” to file the election expenditure statement for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. 
    • It is the first case that recognition of a party has been suspended by the poll panel under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968, for its failure to follow the lawful directions of the commission
    Why was recognition of  Sangma-led National People’s Party suspended?
    • The commission had earlier issued instructions to all political parties to file their election expenditure statement within 75 days of the assembly elections and 90 days of the Lok Sabha polls.As per the commission's instructions, the political parties were required to submit their election expenditure statements by August 26, 2014.
    • The commission had issued two reminders to the NPP to submit the required statement for the 2014 Lok Sabha election after the due date had long expired
    • Finally, the commission issued a notice on March 17 to the NPP to show cause as to why action should not be taken under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968 for failure to follow the lawful directions and instructions of the commission.
    • On receipt of the notice, the NPP requested time to submit its expenditure statement by April 15, 2015 and again for time up to by May 15, 2015 but failed to honour the deadline and did not file the expenditure statement.
    The Election Commission of India:-
    • The Election Commission of India is an autonomous, established federal authority responsible for administering all the electoral processes in the Republic of India. Under the supervision of the commission, free and fair elections have been held in India at regular intervals as per the principles enshrined in the Constitution.
    • The Election Commission has the power of superintendence, direction and control of all elections to the Parliament of India and the state legislatures and of elections to the office of the President of India and the Vice-President of India.
    • The Supreme Court of India has held that where the enacted laws are silent or make insufficient provision to deal with a given situation in the conduct of elections, the Election Commission has the residuary powers under the Constitution to act in an appropriate manner.
    • The Chief Election Commissioner of India can be removed from his office by Parliament with two-thirds majority in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the grounds of proven misbehavior or incapacity. Other Election Commissioners can be removed by the President on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner. 
    • The Chief Election Commissioner and the two Election Commissioners draw salaries and allowances at par with those of the Judges of the Supreme Court of India as per the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1992


  • BSNL to set up 40,000 WiFi hot spots in India by 2018 BSNL will set up 40,000 wi-fi hotspots across the country, entailing an investment of about Rs 6,000 crore. This year BSNL will set up another 2,500 WiFi hot spots at 250 locations at the cost of Rs 500 crore out of which 200 hot spots have already been set up.BSNL will be providing free wi-fi services for 30 minutes per 24 hours (three times in a month) which visitors can utilise in multiple sessions. After free usage limit of 30 minutes is exhausted, one can continue using the service on paid basis for which subscription plans are available in the denomination of Rs 20, Rs 30, Rs 50 and Rs 70 for validity of 30 min, 60 min, 120 min and one day, respectively BSNL has also plans to expand the coverage of the WiFi facility to other tourist and religious locations such as Khajuraho and Jagannath, amomg others by March. Prasad added that BSNL has plans to invest more than Rs 1,200 crores in UP (West) circle during 2015-16.Out of which Rs 200 crores will be invested in upgrading and expanding mobile network

Jun 2015

  • United Kingdom celebrates 800 years of Magna Carta
    • On 15 June 2015 United Kingdom (UK) celebrated 800 years of signing of Magna Carta. The celebration was made at Runnymede where King John sealed the original accord in 1215. 
    • The event was attended by the Queen and other royals.The charter first protected the rights and freedoms of society and established that the king was subject to the law.
    • The influence of Magna Carta can be seen  in other documents across the world including the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
    Magna Carta :-
    • Magna Carta (Latin for "the Great Charter"), also called Magna Carta Libertatum is a charter agreed by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215.It was first drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular King and a group of rebel barons, it promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown, to be implemented through a council of 25 barons
    • Magna Carta established for the first time the principle that everybody, including the king, was subject to the law. Although nearly a third of the text was deleted or substantially rewritten within ten years, and almost all the clauses have been repealed in modern times, Magna Carta remains a cornerstone of the British constitution. 
    • Some of Magna Carta’s core principles are echoed in the United States Bill of Rights (1791) and in many other constitutional documents around the world, as well as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the European Convention on Human Rights (1950). 

  • Denmark’s Mogens Lykketoft elected as President of UN General Assembly
    The United Nations General Assembly unanimously elected Denmark's former parliament speaker Mogens Lykketoft as president of its 70th anniversary session
    Lykketoft,  will start his year-long presidency in September he said that  he wants leaders gathering for the anniversary in late September to “focus on the road ahead for peace, security and human rights" and his Presidency would be marked by a “commitment to action” towards building “a more fair and stable world”
    The current officeholder is Sam Kutesa  of Uganda . He was unanimously chosen by the African Union Executive Council to become President of the sixty-ninth session
    President of the United Nations General Assembly :-
    • The President of the United Nations General Assembly is a position voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on a yearly basis. The President presides over the sessions of the General Assembly.
    • The session of the assembly is scheduled for every year starting in September and the presidency rotates annually between the five geographic groups: African, Asian, Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean, and Western European and other States
    • Some of the largest, most powerful countries have never held the presidency, such as the People's Republic of China, France, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In particular, it is customary that no permanent member of the United Nations Security Council ever serves as General Assembly president.
    • The only country that had a national elected as President of the United Nations General Assembly twice is Argentina; all the other member states had been represented only once by their nationals holding this office.

  • India inks motor pact with Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal 
    • India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh have inked a Motor Vehicles Agreement for the regulation of passenger, personnel and cargo vehicular traffic in Thimpu, Bhutan. 
    • Transport minister Nitin Gadkari signed the agreement  on behalf of India it will enable seamless movement of people and goods across the borders for the economic benefit of the entire region. 
    • The agreement would be further supplemented through building and upgrading roads, railways and waterways infrastructure, energy grids, communications and air links to ensure smooth cross-border flow of goods, services, capital, technology and people 
    •  Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) will not only reduce transport costs, but also foster development of multi-modal transport and transit facilities, enabling increased connectivity and promotion of greater trade between the four countries.
    • The four countries will carry out a six-month work plan from July for the implementation of the BBIN MVA in accordance with  agreements and protocols.The implementation of the historic pact will begin in October this year.
    • A meeting of the Transport Secretaries of the four countries identified 30 priority transport connectivity projects with a total estimated cost of over $8 billion that would promote development of land transport and also connect supply and demand centres in the BBIN countries.
    • All the four countries agreed on a six-month work plan for the BBIN MVA, from July to December which includes formulation, negotiation, and finalisation of the necessary legal instruments and operating procedures for implementing the agreement.

  • Dr Jitendra Singh launches Augmented Reality Application named ‘Sakaar’
    The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development ofNorth-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances &Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh launched an AugmentedReality (AR) application named "Sakaar"
    About Augmented Reality Application :-
    • Augmented Reality is a live direct view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated 3D models, animations, videos etc.  The technology enhances user’s current perception of reality.
    • Augmentation is in real time and the information is overlaid on the live view of the device’s camera.  Essentially, AR requires three elements: Android device with back camera, AR application, AR Markers. The Multimedia content which is embedded in the Sakaar app is generated with the support of multimedia & editing facilities of DECU-ISRO.
    • Sakaar consists of 3D models of MOM, RISAT, rockets (PSLV, GSLV Mk-III); videos of INSAT 3D-predicting cyclones, GSLV D5/Cryo, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) orbit insertion, launch video of MOM, 360 degree animated view of MOM; Anaglyph of Mars surface.  
    • The sakaar app is loaded on webpage with the URL: http://www.sac.gov.in/SACSITE/sakaar/index.html. The user can scan the QR code using a QR code reader on the device for downloading the app.
    • Mentioning about the societal applications of space technology, Shri Kiran Kumar said that utilization of space technology for hydrological monitoring and geomorphological monitoring is of great support for National Mission for Clean Ganga. The space technology was of great help for rapid flood mapping and monitoring done on almost daily basis during the floods in Jammu and Kashmir. Four satellites based VPN nodes were established at critical locations in Kashmir for communication.  
    • During the Cyclone Hudhud also, the cyclone tracking and landfall prediction was done. He said that space technology has applications in diversified areas including forestry, national urban Information system, watershed development, agriculture, fisheries, monitoring irrigation infrastructure etc. 
    • The ISRO Chairman informed that various missions are planned for the upcoming year 2015-16 including launch of PSLV-C28 in July, GSLV–D6 in August, ASTROSAT in September this year among others. The launch of IRNSS-1F and IRNSS-1G are planned for beginning of the 
  •  Indian Railways has named Haridwar Mail as Yoga Express.

    • Indian Railways has named Haridwar Mail as Yoga Express. The train No 19031/19032 Ahmedabad-Haridwar-Ahmedabad which is also known as ‘Haridwar Mail’ will be named as ‘Yoga Express’ with immediate effect.
    • However, the train timings and its composition have not been changed. Yoga Express run between Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Haridwar (Uttarakhand) on daily basis covering 1208 km distance in 26 hours 05 mins.

  • Japan lowers voting age from 20 to 18
    • The upper house of the parliament passed the revised public office election law on Wednesday after it was approved by the lower house on June 4
    • The revised law will be effective within one year with the new law around 2.4 million people aged 18 and 19 will become eligible to vote.
    • Lowering the voting age would raise the young generation's involvement in politics and help them express their political views.Japan last lowered the voting age from 25 to 20 years in 1945.
    Importance of lowering the voting age :-
    Lowering the voting age means that there is the possibility of getting a better glimpse of what the general population wants. More opinions can be emphasized in the voting booth and this information can give politicians the direction they need for public policy

Current Affairs 16 Jun 2015Jun 2015

  • FDI in services sector grows by 46% in 2014-15
    Since Government is taking steps to improve ease of doing business and attracting investments, FDI inflows into the services sector grew by over 46 per cent to $3.25 billion in 2014-15.
    services sector that includes banking, insurance, outsourcing, R&D, courier and technology testing, had received foreign direct investment (FDI) worth $2.22 billion in 2013-14.  
    The total foreign inflow in 2014-15 in the services sector was low as compared to 2012-13 when it was $4.83 billion, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) data. Services contribute about 60 per cent to India’s GDP and it receives high foreign inflows in this sector
    The other sectors where inflows have recorded growth :-
    • Telecommunications ($ 2.89 billion) 
    • Automobiles ($ 2.57 billion) 
    • Computer software and hardware ($ 2.20 billion)

    To attract investment in the services sector, the government has raised the FDI cap in insurance sector to 49 per cent from 26 per cent.Foreign investments are considered crucial for India as growth in foreign investments helps improve the country’s balance of payments (BoP) situation and strengthen the rupeeAround $ 1 trillion is needed in the next five years to improve its infrastructure sector such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth

    Snapdeal acquires mobility solutions company Letsgomo Labs
  • To achieve it ambitious goal of strengthening its position in mobile commerce Ecommerce giant, Snapdeal has acquired a mobility solutions company, Letsgomo Labs.With the acquisition, the 76 member Letsgomo team has joined Snapdeal.
    This is Snapdeal’s second acquisition in the m-commerce space in the previous months last month, it had acquired Hyderabad-based mobile technology startup MartMobi for an undisclosed amount.
    This acquisition will allow Snapdeal to provide merchants on its platform better mobility options.However it’s not yet decided if MartMobi will continue operating as an independent entity or not.
    About Letsgomo :-
    It has been founded by Founded by Manav Kamboj and Vikas Banga.Letsgomo consults businesses regarding building mobile strategies, conceptualization of applications and mobile sites, as well as implementation and hosting. The Gurgaon-based company also works with leading e-commerce companies to help them improve their mobile capabilities.

  • Supreme Court cancels 2015 AIPMT

    The Supreme Court has cancelled the All India Pre-Medical Test for admission to undergraduate medical courses this year after its question paper was leaked
    and ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to conduct fresh exams within four weeks so Over 630,000 students will have to take the All-India Pre-Medical Test afresh The top court has directed all institutions to extend cooperation in conducting fresh exams.
    Last week a petitioners had sought cancellation of the exam, citing a report by the Haryana Police which said that 44 beneficiaries of the leak had already been identified.but the CBSE opposed a re-examination, saying, "6.3 lakh students cannot be made to take the exam afresh when only 44 students have been found involved in taking benefits through unfair means
    CBSE was to declare the results of AIPMT, taken by over six lakh students, on June 5.Around 6.3 lakh students appeared for the exam; nearly 4,000 would have been admitted to medical colleges across India

  • Some 400 million lack healthcare worldwide: WHO and World Bank report
    • Some 400 million people worldwide lack access to at least one of seven essential health services, ranging from pregnancy care to clean water, according to a report released by the World Health Organization and World Bank
    • At the same time a new report by the bank and WHO on tracking universal health care (UHC) coverage said more people than ever around the world, 80 percent, have access to key health services which shows a large coverage gap.
    • The report examined surveys from 37 nations conducted between 2002 and 2012, is the first to track progress toward universal health coverage
    • Universal Coverage means all citizens would have access to health services without experiencing financial hardship to pay for them it is likely to be included in the United Nations' upcoming Sustainable Development Goals.
    • Along with lack access to essential health services, the cost of catastrophic health spending is forcing many into poverty

  • Rohan Bopanna-Florin Mergea Win Stuttgart Open Title
    Indo-Romanian tennis pair of Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea clinched the men's doubles title of the 574,965-euro Stuttgart Open on the grass courts of Tennis Club Weissenhof after beating Austrian-Brazilian third seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 5-7, 6-2, 10-7 in the final
    The fourth seeds took just an hour and 12 minutes to beat Austrian-Brazilian third seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 5-7, 6-2, 10-7 in the final.
    This is the second title the two have won together, having won the clay court Madrid Open last month and 35-year-old Bopanna's fourth title of the year
    he has won two hard court tournaments in Dubai and Sydney with Canadian partner Daniel Nestor. This is also the Bengaluru-born's 14th career doubles title and second on grass.
    Bopanna and Mergea came back strongly to not allow even a single break point opportunity to their opponents while earning themselves three chances, converting two to win the second set and push the match into the decider.
    About Rohan Bopanna :-
    Rohan Bopanna is an Indian professional tennis player. His singles career high ranking was World No. 213 in 2007 and his career high ranking in doubles was World No. 3 on 22 July 2013. Recently, most of his appearances in professional tournaments have been in doubles matches. He is a member of the Indian Davis Cup team since 2002In 2010, he finished as a runner-up in doubles at the US Open, partnering with Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi.He is currently ranked 17th in the world in the doubles rankings. Bopanna started playing tennis at age 11. He reached his career high doubles rankings on 22 July 2013 when he was ranked World No. 3 in the ATP Rankings. He distinguished himself as a doubles player at the 2007 Hopman Cup. Bopanna's first ATP doubles title came in the 2008 Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles with Eric Butorac
    Rohan began playing tennis at the age of 11 because his father wanted him to pursue an individual sport. He did enjoy other games like hockey and football, but by the time he turned 19, tennis became his main priority. His father, M. G. Bopanna, is a coffee planter, and his mother, Malika Bopanna, is a housewife. Both his parents are ardent supporters of Rohan's career. They live in Coorg, which is a four-hour drive from Bangalore. He has an elder sister who lives in Mumbai. Growing up, Rohan idolized and was greatly influenced by Stefan Edberg. He made his Davis Cup debut for India versus Australia in September 2002 and turned pro in 2003

Current Affairs 15 Jun 2015Jun 2015

  • Philae comet lander 'wakes up' from hibernation to resume Rosetta mission
    The European Space Agency's Philae lander, which has been stranded, cold, and alone somewhere on Comet 67P for the last seven months, has woken up.Philae, the first spacecraft to land on a comet, phoned home and made contact with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the first time in seven months on Saturday.In November 2014, Philae comet lander had created space history by becoming first to probe landed on a comet.The historic feat was achieved after it was dropped on to the surface of Comet 67P by its mothercraft Rosetta.After successfully landing on the comet it had worked for 60 hours and had conducted experiments and transmitted that data to Earth. The craft's battery had failed to charge after it bounced twice off 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko There had been hopes as the comet neared the Sun that Philae's solar panels would recharge its batteries. Now it appears the craft has done just that, communicating for 85 seconds with controllers.
    Timeline of Philae’s journey:-
    • March 2, 2004: Europe's unmanned probe Rosetta takes off from Kourou, French Guiana, after a series of delays, including an abandoned January 2003 launch window because of a rocket problem.
    • Feb. 25, 2007: Rosetta carries out a close flyby of Mars. European Space Agency's mission control breaks out in applause after the end of 15 tense minutes of radio silence as the craft passes behind the Red Planet.
    • Sept. 5, 2008: Probe successfully passes close to an asteroid 250 million miles from Earth. The spacecraft loses its radio signal for 90 minutes as planned during the flyby of the Steins asteroid, also known as Asteroid 2867
    • July 10, 2010: Between Mars and Jupiter, Rosetta transmits its first pictures from the largest asteroid ever visited by a satellite after it flies by Lutetia as close as 1,900 miles (3,200 kilometers). It is the closest look to date at the Lutetia asteroid.
    • Jan. 20, 2014: Waking after almost three years of hibernation, Rosetta sends its first signal back to Earth. Systems had been powered down in 2011 to conserve energy, leaving scientists in the dark for 31 months.
    • Aug. 6, 2014: Rosetta swings alongside comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko somewhere between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter
    • Nov. 12, 2014: The probe releases the Philae lander and it drops to the comet's surface. Seven hours later, Philae touches down on the comet.
    • Nov. 15, 2014: Philae goes into hibernation after performing experiments and sending data back to Earth for 60 hours.
    • Feb. 14, 2015: Rosetta swoops to a distance of just 6 kilometers (less than 4 miles) above the surface of the comet to take close-up pictures of the surface.
    • June 11, 2015: Scientists say they may have caught a glimpse of Philae, whose exact location remains unknown. After analyzing images and other data collected over the past months they identified several possible sites including one bright spot described as "a good candidate for the lander."
    • June 13, 2015: Philae communicates with Earth for the first time in seven months in a sign that it has come out of hibernation.

  • Former Union Minister Sheila Kaul passes away

    Former Union Minister Sheila Kaul, a sister-in-law of Jawaharlal Nehru and oldest surviving former parliamentarian, died after a brief illness.She was 100.Sheila Kaul was a former Himachal Pradesh Governor and a five time MP.Kaul was born on February 7, 1915.She was an arts graduate from Lahore Women’s College and had a degree in teaching from Sir Ganga Ram Training College, Lahore. She was married to renowned botanist Kailash Nath KaulMs Kaul was inducted into the union cabinet in 1980 as education minister.In 1991, she was made urban development minister.In 1995, she functioned as governor of Himachal Pradesh for around a year.Ms. Kaul was accused of making out-of-turn allotment of government accommodations in return for monetary gain between 1992 and 1995
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  • India launches Rs 1,500 crore insurance pool for nuclear liability
    The Government has launched aninsurence pool to the tune of Rs. 1,500 crore which is mandatory under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND) in a bid to offset financial burden of foreign nuclear suppliers.Several held up projects such as the long-pending Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojna (GHAVP) are now expected to move forward after setting up of the insurance pool.Clauses in the CLND Act, that gives the operator the Right to Recourse and allow it to sue the suppliers in case of any accident, were seen as being a major hindrance to the growth of the nuclear industry. These concerns led to the formation of the Indian nuclear insurance pool.Under the Rs. 1,500 crore pool, set up by General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) and 11 other life insurers including New India, Oriental Insurance, National Insurance and United India Insurance from the public sector apart from private insurance companies, policies offered will be a nuclear operators liability insurance policy and a nuclear suppliers' special contingency (against right to recourse) insurance policy."shortfall of Rs. 600 crore" was met when a domestic insurance company chipped in with Rs. 100 crore more.Remaining gap of (Rs. 500 crore) was filled in by the British Nuclear Insurance PoolThe GHAVP was supposed to be a pressurised heavy water reactor which was sanctioned by the previous govt. It had met with some problems there were problems of tenders not getting matured due to absence of an insurance pool. The launch of the pool would now enable the concerned parties to come forward for the project,The GHAVP was supposed to be a pressurised heavy water reactor which was sanctioned by the previous govt. It had met with some problems there were problems of tenders not getting matured due to absence of an insurance pool. The launch of the pool would now enable the concerned parties to come forward for the project,
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  • BSNL launches free roaming; To put up 5,000 additional towers
    BSNL has launched free roaming from today, allowing all its mobile customers across the country to receive incoming calls at no cost.Now BSNL mobile customers will not need to carry multiple SIMs and handsets during roaming.BSNL is to put up 5,000 Base Transceiver Station towers across the country to provide better services to its customers.Out of the 5,000 towers, 1,250 will be established in Bihar to improve the communications network in the state, especially in the interior areas.
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