1. Bharat Biotech unveils Zika vaccine candidates
  1. Indian biotechnology company Bharat Biotech has claimed to have developed a vaccine to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
  2. Bharat Biotech has developed the world’s first, two promising candidates ZikaVac vaccines for Zika infection. The two candidates include an inactivated vaccine that has reached the stage of pre-clinical testing in animals, and a recombinant vaccine.
  3. As per reports, work on Zika vaccine project was started in 2014 and the patent was filed in July 2015. The normal process for a vaccine to get commercialised would take seven years, that also includes the clinical trials.
  4. According to Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, the Zikavac vaccine could be made available if the Indian Government declares national emergency and moves aggressively in regulatory approvals. He said that women would be the prime target group for the vaccine, followed by adults of both the genders since the virus causes Guillain-Barre syndrome in them.
  5. Zika is now present in 23 countries. Brazil is the worst hit and has reported around 3,500 cases of the devastating birth defect called microcephaly. The Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, which can breed in a pool of water as small as a bottle cap and usually bites during the day.

2. US General John Nicholson appointed NATO commander in Afghanistan

  1. Army Lieutenant General John Nicholson has been appointed as the commander of the NATO forces in Afghanistan.
  2. Nicholson replaces US General John Campbell, who has been leading the US Army in Afghanistan for 18 months now.
  3. Nicholson currently is serving as US Army commander of NATO land forces and has previously worked as chief of staff of operations for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and US Forces – Afghanistan, director of Pakistan/Afghanistan Coordination Cell for the Joint Staff and deputy commander – Stability of ISAF Regional Command – South.

3. Snapdeal not to renew Aamir Khan’s contract as brand ambassador

  1. E- Commerce player Snapdeal has decided not to renew the contract of its brand ambassador Aamir Khan.
  2. The one year contract will end soon and it is unlikely that another celebrity will be replacing Khan. The company is currently working on rationalising advertising expenditure and focus on repeat customers, enhancing categories and trying to encourage buyers to shop through its FreeCharge wallet.
  3. According to reports, this decision may be linked to Khan’s controversial ‘intolerance’ remark that did affect Snapdeal adversely. Before this, Snapdeal had extensively featured Khan in its ‘Dil Ki Deal’ print, television and digital campaigns.
  4. It may be noted that Khan was removed from the Incredible India campaign last month, a brand he had been associated with since 2009. Khan has been replaced by actors Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra as the few face of the Incredible India campaign.

4. Amazon Web Services builds 5 data centres in Mumbai

  1. Amazon Web Services has built 5 data centres in Mumbai. As per reports, it aims to tap on the growing potential of the Indian e-tailing and cloud computing space.
  2. Amazon Web Services is Amazon’s cloud service arm and the move comes at a time when rival like Flipkart and other tech-giants such as Microsoft and IBM have started to move the data centres in India.
  3. According to industry experts, global companies with customers in India can use AWS (Amazon Web Services) infrastructure to build their businesses and run their applications in the cloud. This move will also help AWS to securely store the data of the companies in India with single-digit latency. Some of AWS’s clients include Future Group, Paytm and Jubilant Foodworks.

5. Labour Ministry Partners With Uber To Create Micro-Entrepreneurial Opportunities In India

  1. Uber has signed up an agreement with Union Ministry of Labour and Employment that will enable people who want to drive with Uber to sign up via the National Career Service online portal.
  2. The National Career Service online portal is a one stop shop launched to connect those looking for work with career counsellors, placement organizations and employers.
  3. The Ministry of Labour and Employment wants to encourage micro-entrepreneurship through technology platforms like Uber. To help promote these opportunities it will create a new ‘Start Your Own Business’ page on its website that will market these employment opportunities.
  4. Uber is present in over 361 cities in 66 countries today. In India the service is available in 26 Indian cities, just second to the United States.

6. Viacom names CEO Dauman as Executive Chairman

  1. Viacom’s board of directors have named CEO Philippe Dauman as executive chairman. Dauman will be replacing founder Sumner Redstone.
  2. Redstone has also stepped down as the executive chairman of CBS Corps and has been replaced by CEO Leslie Moonves. CBS Corps
  3. 92-year-old Redstone will become chairman emeritus of Viacom and Dauman will serve as a Redstone trustee in the event of his death as well as the founder’s health care proxy.
  4. Shari Redstone, the daughter of Sumner Redstone wanted someone who was not a member of her father’s trust to run Viacom, which would have excluded Dauman. according to an official statement, Shari Redstone will “continue to advocate for what she believes to be in the best interests of Viacom shareholders.”

7. Cisco to acquire Jasper Technologies Inc. for $1.4 billion

  1. Cisco Systems is going to acquire Jasper Technologies Inc., a start-up that connects devices such as cars and medical devices to the Internet, for $1.4 billion in cash and equity awards.
  2. It is Cisco’s largest acquisition since 2013 since it acquired security company Sourcefire for $2.7 billion and the emerging technology, dubbed Internet of Things, known for networking equipment, offers Cisco a chance to offer cutting-edge technology to its current customers.
  3. Singapore’s Temasek, Sequoia Capital and Benchmark are the investors in Jasper Technologies and will be looking to cash out post this deal.

8. India Signs an Agreement to Become an Associate Member State of European Molecular Biology Organisation

  1. India through the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology signed a Cooperation Agreement to acquire the status of the Associate Member State European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).
  2. After the signing of an agreement with Singapore by EMBC in July 2015, India will now become second such country outside the European region.
  3. EMBO is an organization of more than 1700 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information.
  4. The official kick-off launch ceremony of the agreement was held in New Delhi and the scientific presentations were made by Nobel Laureates Christiane Nsslein-Volhard and Ada E. Yonath to mark the occasion.

9. ICC appoints Rahul Dravid as member of Anti-Corruption Unit Oversight Group

  1. Former India player, Rahul Dravid has been appointed as a member of the newly formed Anti-Corruption Unit Oversight Group.
  2. This decision was taken by ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar, in a meeting held in ICC Headquarters in Dubai.
  3. Apart from Dravid as a member, the group will consist of a Chairman, two members and two ex-officio members.The team will meet annually to review and provide independent input into the strategy to tackle corruption and its implementation.
  4. The group apart from Dravid includes, David Peever as the Chairman, Louis Weston, John Abbott, Ronnie Flanagan and David Richardson.

10. Kerala’s all women taxi cab service wins the prestigious Chief Minister’s Award for Innovation in Public Policy

  1. Kerala’s all women taxi cab service, which is touted as India’s first 24×7 taxi network for women bagged the prestigious Chief Minister’s Award for Innovation in Public Policy 2014.
  2. She-Taxi’, was recognised for its unique model and its ability to be replicated in various places. It bagged award in the developmental interventions category.
  3. The venture which is fully owned and operated by women today began under an autonomous institution, The Gender Park, under the state Social Justice Department with the view to promote entrepreneurship, self-employment and security among women.
  4. The award was received by the Gender Park CEO Dr P T M Sunish from Member of Legislative Assembly (Kerala) K Muraleedharan.

11. World Bank expert Parameshwaran Iyer appointed to lead Swachh Bharat mission

  1. In a first, the government of India appointed an expert professional into bureaucracy with the view to steer India’s Swachh Bharat Mission.
  2. World Bank’s water and sanitation specialist, Parameshwaran Iyer, was recently appointed as the new Secretary of the Drinking Water and Sanitation Department.
  3. The post was allotted to Iyer by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a period of two years. Iyer, is an IAS officer of the UP cadre, who had launched Jal Suraj program in India, later he took voluntary retirement in 2009 and joined the World Bank.
  4. His appointment is expected to create synergy between the Swachh Bharat Mission and the objectives of the World Bank project.                                                                                                                                                                       To get fresh updates on your Facebook & Twitter timelines, subscribe to our pages created specifically for them. We will be posting only those exam specific links on these pages:Bank PO:
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