Current Affairs, News & Facts of 28 Aug 2015

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  • Pakistan's nuclear stockpile could become world's third largest by 2025

     

    Pakistan's nuclear stockpile could become world's third largest by 2025

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    • 'Pakistan could become the third largest nuclear stock pile within the next five to ten years, behind only the United States and Russia two prominent US think tanks said in a report.
    • According to the report, Pakistan is adding 20 warheads to its nuclear arsenal annually because of its fear of India which is also a nuclear power. 
    • In the coming years, the report states, Pakistan's advantage could grow dramatically because it has a large stockpile of highly enriched uranium that could be used to quickly produce low-yield nuclear devices
    • Although India has large stockpiles of plutonium, essential for high-yield weapons, but  most of it is being used to produce domestic nuclear energy. As per the report Pakistan could have 350 warheads in the next 5-10 years, leaving UK and France behind.
    • It should be noted that unlike India, Pakistan hasn't declared any no-first-use commitment and its leaders never shy away from reminding India that it is a nuclear power. Even after the recent cancellation of NSA level talks, Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz said nuclear power Pakistan knew how to defend itself.
    • Pakistan is estimated to already have 120 warheads as against India's 100. Pakistan recently built its fourth reactor at Khushab military facility, a plutonium producing unit. 
    • Many believe that Pakistan is manufacturing low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons which, according to Indian experts, are meant to be used along the border in case of any skirmish with the Indian Army.
    • Pakistan is developing non-strategic or tactical nuclear weapons to check the asymmetry with India in conventional capabilities, noted nuclear expert Hans M Kristensen had said in a report in 2012.

    Image source : valuewalk

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  • Scientist Dr Modadugu Vijay Gupta to receive inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize

     

    Scientist Dr Modadugu Vijay Gupta to receive inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize

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    • Renowned Indian agricultural scientist Dr Modadugu Vijay Gupta has been chosen for the inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize along with him The president of the Central Pacific island nation of Kiribati Anote Tong has also been selected for the prize.
    • Indian biologist Modadugu Vijay Gupta was recognized for his development and dissemination of low-cost techniques for freshwater fish farming while Kiribati President Anote Tong was selected for his role in the fight against climate change.

    About Dr Modadugu Vijay Gupta :-

    • Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta, a biologist from India was the recipient of the World Food Prize in 2005 for development and dissemination of low-cost techniques for freshwater fish farming (using tilapia species) by the rural poor.
    • Dr Modadugu Vijay Gupta was born on August 17, 1939, and hails from Bapatla in the State of Andhra Pradesh, India.

    About Sunhak Peace Prize :-

    • The prize was founded in 2013 by Han Hak-ja, the widow of the late Moon, "to recognize individuals, who have willingly sacrificed themselves for peace, and praise them for their works". The winners will be given US$1 million in prize money.

    Image source :arizona.edu

     

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  • Rajiv Mangla appointed as CTO of Snapdeal

     

    Rajiv Mangla appointed as CTO of Snapdeal

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    • Former Adobe executive Rajiv Mangla has been appointed as the chief technology officer (CTO) of Snapdeal. Mangla will join the Gurgaon-based online marketplace after a decade long stint at Adobe Systems where he recently served as vice president, engineering and digital marketing. 
    • Snapdeal has ramped up its technology leadership team and hired senior leaders from across the globe. In his new role, Mangla will help to establish Snapdeal’s technical vision and lead all aspects of its technological development of the company.
    • Rajiv Mangla will take over the charge from Amitabh Misra, who had quit in February to start a new travel venture Bona Vita Technologies, in which MakeMyTrip recently picked up a majority stake for $5 million. 

    Senior leaders from across the globe who have joined snapdeal recently :-

    1. Former Bharti Airtel senior executive Anand Chandrasekaran joined as Snapdeal's chief product officer in June 
    2. Airtel's chief marketing officer Govind Rajan joined as chief strategy officer in July. 
    3. Former TaxiForSure CTO Amitava Ghosh also joined Snapdeal, as vice president engineering
    4. Former Adobe executive Viraj Chatterjee joined in a similar role 
    5. Scalearc India head Gaurav Gupta and former BSB Portal CTO Bhuvan Gupta have also joined
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  • Novak Djokovic appointed as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

     

    Novak Djokovic appointed as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

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    Novak Djokovic, the world number one men's singles tennis player has been appointed Goodwill Ambassador by Unicef. Djokovic has focused on the issues of vulnerable children and their communities through his previous position as a UNICEF Serbia Ambassador and his own Novak Djokovic Foundation.

    About UNICEF :-

    The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is a United Nations Program headquartered in New York City. It provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. 

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  • GSAT-6 communication satellite successfully placed in orbit

     

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    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its latest communication satellite GSAT-6, into its intended geosynchronous transfer orbit. It was launched by the indigenously built Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)-D6 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta.

    It should be noted that ISRO is the sixth space agency in the world after those of US, Russia, Japan, China and France to have joined the indigenous cryogenic regime, which is crucial for launch of heavier satellites weighing more than two tonnes. 

    About GSAT 6 :-

    • GSAT-6 satellite was carrying S-Band and C-Band transponders meant for public and strategic purposes. One of the advanced features of GSAT 6 satellite is its S Band unfurlable antenna of 6m diameter. This is the largest satellite antenna made by our space agency. The antenna will be utilised for five spot beams over the Indian main land.
    • GSAT-6 satellite provides communication through five spot beams in S-band and a national beam in C-band for strategic users. The cuboid shaped GSAT-6 has a lift-off mass of 2117 kg. Of this, propellants weigh 1132 kg and the dry mass of the satellite is 985 kg.
    • GSAT-6 is the twenty fifth geostationary communication satellite of India built by ISRO and twelfth in the GSAT series. Five of GSAT-6's predecessors were launched by GSLV in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2014 respectively.

    Image source :oneindia

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  • Maharashtra government acquires Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s London House

     

    Maharashtra government acquires Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s London House

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    • Maharashtra government has bought the house in London where Dalit icon and architect of Constitution Dr. B.R. Ambedkar lived as a student at the London School of Economics in 1920-21
    • The 3.1 million-pound deal was completed on behalf of the Maharashtra government by officials of the Indian high commission in London
    • Maharashtra’s Minister for social justice and special assistance Raj Kumar Badole exchanged contracts with regard to the 2,050 sq ft house at 10 King Henry’s Road, in northwest London. 
    • After possession the house will be converted into a museum-cum-memorial to Ambedkar. After taking possession, it will be managed by the high commission and offer temporary accommodation to scholars from India

    Image source :India today

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  • Union Government announces names of 98 cities for Smart Cities Project

     

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    • Union Government has unveiled the list of 98 cities that will be part of its ambitious Smart Cities project. These cities together have a population of 13 crore, accounting for 35 per cent of India’s urban population. 
    • The list of 98 smart cities include  98 cities, including 13 cities from Uttar Pradesh and 12 from Tamil Nadu. Other cities include 10 from Maharashtra, 7 from Madhya Pradesh , 3 each from Bihar & Andhra Pradesh.
    • Except Jammu and Kashmir, all states have finalised the names of proposed Smart Cities through competition. Centre has announced Rs 48,000 crore for development of 100 smart cities.
    • Smart cities will have the core infrastructure and will give a quality and decent life to citizens. It will enable a clean environment and provide smart solutions to problems. Each smart city would get a Central assistance of Rs 100 crore per year for five years.

    See the full list of  98 proposed Smart Cities

    Image source :indianexpress

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  • Government launches e-payment gateway for forest land diversion levies

     

    Government launches e-payment gateway for forest land diversion levies

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    • To speed up transactions and make them "more transparent". the government launched an e-payment gateway to receive payments for diversion of forest land from project proponents.
    • e-payment gateway module was launched by environment Minister Prakash Javadeka with an objective to simplify the administrative procedures without compromising on environmental safeguards.
    • The module will end delays in the deposit of compensatory levies  and bring transparency because till now  the verification of receipt of compensatory levies in the ad-hoc CAMPA has been done manually involving various steps and is a time-taking process. The launch of e-payment module will end such delays
    • With the launch of the e-payment portal, henceforth no payments will be accepted other than through the portal or unless specifically ordered guidelines issued by Ad-hoc CAMPA.

    Image source : The Hindu

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  • NTPC records highest single day generation of 733.12 million units   

     

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    NTPC the largest power utility of the country recorded highest single day generation of 733.12 million units on August 27. The generation was from its 18 coal-based plants, seven gas-based, and eight solar and hydro stations. 

    The Declared Cumulative Capability of the stations was 91.10 % and Plant load factor ( PLF) of 86.34 % on the day. The company's gross generation of 241.26 billion units in fiscal 2014-15 was a growth of 3.42 per cent over the previous year. Its coal-based plants operated on a plant load factor of 80.23 per cent against a national average of 64.46 per cent.

    Image source :Ibtimes

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