Daily GK Update – 25th July, 2015, Saturday

1. Ramachandra Guha receives Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize 2015

a) Noted Indian historian & writer Ramachandra Guha has been awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize 2015 in the academic category.

b) Guha is well known for his book, India After Gandhi. He is currently working on a two-volume biography on Mahatma Gandhi. The first volume, Gandhi Before India was published in 2013.

c) Established in 1990 by the Japanese city of Fukuoka, Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize recognises outstanding achievements by individual or groups in creating & preserving diverse cultures of Asia. The prize is awarded in 3 categories viz. Grand prize, Academic prize & Arts & Culture prize. 

d) This year’s grand prize gone to Thant Myint-U, a historian from Myanmar while the Arts & Culture prize was won by Vietnamese fashion designer Minh Hanh.

2. Peter Higgs conferred the Copley Medal

a) For his remarkable work on the theory of Higgs boson, Nobel Prize winner Peter Higgs has been awarded the Royal Society’s Copley Medal, the world’s oldest scientific prize.

b) He received this medal for his paramount contribution to particle physics with his theory explaining the origin of mass in elementary particles. His theory was confirmed by the experiments carried out at Large Hadron Collider.

c) The Copley Medal is a scientific award given by London’s Royal Society for outstanding achievement in science. Stephen Grey was the first receiver of this medal back in 1731 for his new electrical experiments. Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, are some of the other legendary scientists who received the medal.

3. Ajay Mathur appointed as new TERI chief

a) Ajay Mathur has been appointed as the new Director-General of The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI). He was previously Director – General of Bureau of Energy Efficiency.

b) Recently climate scientist R.K.Pachauri was stripped of this post after sexual harassment allegations were filed against him from a women employee.

c) Established in New Delhi in 1947, TERI is a research institute that conducts research in the fields of energy, environment & sustainable development.

4. WTO inks landmark IT trade deal

a) WTO has struck an important deal that will cut down tariffs on $1.3 trillion worth of technology products. 

b) In 1996, the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) was enforced by the WTO to lower taxes & tariffs on IT products by signatories to zero. The recent IT trade deal will update the ITA & add 200 more products to the zero tariff list.

c) Adding modern products like advanced computer chip, GPS devices, medical equipment etc. will support lower prices in many other sectors using IT product as inputs.  

5. NASA’s Kepler telescope finds ‘Earth 2.0’

a) NASA’s space telescope Kepler has spotted ‘Earth’s bigger, older cousin’. It is the first planet close to Earth’s size, located in the habitable zone of star similar to the Sun.

b) The planet, Kepler – 452b is a part of the constellation, Cygnus. It is about 1400 light years from Earth. The planet is almost 60% bigger than Earth. According to findings, Kepler – 452b has the right amount of temperature to allow life-sustaining liquid water on the surface. 

c) The planet has around twice the gravitational pull of Earth and is almost 1.5 billion years older than the Sun.

6. All India Council of Sports formed

a) The Union Government has constituted the All India Council of Sports to deal with matters relating to the promotion & development of sports in India.

b) It is an advisory body. The advice given by the council will not be obligatory on the government.

c) It will be headed by a president and will comprise four other Members of Parliament, sports personalities, coaches, Director General (DG) of Sports Authority of India, DG of National Anti – Doping Agency, Vice Chancellor of LNIPE (Laxmibai Nation University of Physical Education), officials from Sports Ministry, National Sports Federation representatives, Indian Olympic Association, corporate bodies & NGOs.

7. Suresh Narayanan is new MD of Nestle

a) Suresh Narayanan will soon be taking over as the MD of Nestle India, replacing Etienne Bennet.

b) Recently, the Food Safety & Standards & Authority of India (FSSAI) banned Maggi noodles for containing excessive amount of lead & mislabelling information on monosodium glutamate (MSG).

c) Suresh Narayanan is currently chairman & CEO of Nestle Philippines.

8. T.K.Chand appointed as chairman of NALCO

a) T.K.Chand has been appointed as the chairman and MD of National Aluminium Company Ltd.

b) He was previously the Director of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited. 

c) NALCO is a public sector company with Navaratna status, having operations in mining, metal & power sectors. It is headquartered at Bhubaneshwar.

9. First ever Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela prize awarded.

a) Dr. Helena Ndume, an ophthalmologist from Namibia was awarded the prize for her efforts to treat blindness & eye-related illnesses. 

b) Jorge Sampaio of Portugal has been awarded for his struggle to restore democracy in the country & other services to the country.

c) The Nelson Mandela prize was given on 18th July, on the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day. It recognises people for their remarkable contributions to humanity.

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