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Current Affairs Today – July 2 2015

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Indian Affairs 

Kerala announces port development works worth Rs 850 crore

  • Kerala government has announced port development project worth Rs 850 crore.
  • K Babu, Minister for Ports and Fisheries, said that a bunkering service would be introduced to enable refuelling, provide water and other items for big vessels passing through the sea off Kerala coast.
  • There are also plans to set up a sand purification plant at the port at a cost of Rs 20 crore.

Mumbai to get first rail, road double-decker bridge at CST 

  • Mumbai will get its first double-decker bridge on P D’Mello Road at CST that will have railway tracks and a motorway.
  • Railway tracks will be constructed at an elevated level and cars will run above that as the Eastern Freeway will be extended up from Orange Gate to GPO junction.
  • Platforms between CST and Dockyard Road station will be built at the elevated level and will be equipped with escalators.

Govt launches mob app; Twitter handle of Panchayati Raj Min

  • Government has launched an online mobile application for better planning of Panchayat assets and the official Twitter handle of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
  • The mobile app “m-asset” can be used by citizens to capture photographs and geographical coordinates of various assets available at Gram Panchayat level.
  • It will enable these assets to be seen on a map and will be useful for planning by the Panchayats and the government.
  • The initiatives and programmes as well as important development of the ministry will be communicated through the Twitter handle“@MoPRInida”.

International

BHEL commissions Sudan’s largest power plant

  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned Sudan’s largest power plant.
  • BHEL has executed this project on the basis of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC). It has designed, manufactured, supplied and installed the complete power project which consists of 4 units of 125 MW each.
  • BHEL has commissioned the 500 MW Kosti Thermal Power Station (TPS) in Sudan which is now Sudan’s largest power plant.

 Awards

R.-Paul-Singh

Indian-American professor R Paul Singh named for 2015 World Agriculture Prize laureate

  • Indian-American professor R. Paul Singh has been named as the 2015 Global Confederation for Higher Education Associations for Agriculture and Life Sciences World Agriculture Prize laureate.
  • This award was announced last week and will be formally presented on September 20.
  • R. Paul Singh got his bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from India’s Punjab Agricultural University, then a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University, respectively.
  • UC Davis Chancellor Linda P B Katehi said, “For over four decades, Professor Singh’s work as a pioneer in food engineering has been improving lives the world over.”
  • His research group created food-processing equipment for a manned mission to Mars, under a NASA contract.

Darshan Jain, an Indian-American teacher named for US Presidential Award

  • Darshan Jain, an Indian-American teacher from Illinois, US in July 2015 was named for prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching by President Barack Obama.
  • Along with Jain, President named 108 Mathematics and Science teachers as recipients of the Award.
  • Jain has taught mathematics at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois for eight years. Right now, he is serving the school as the director of mathematics. He is a BA in mechanical engineering and a MS in secondary mathematics education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Indian student wins US fellowship for LGBT research

  • An Indian girl student in the US has received a LGBT scholarship from the prestigious California University in Berkely to study how political issues brought new notions of sexual identity in India.
  • Shakthi Nataraj, who grew up in Chennai has been awarded with ‘The Philip Brett LGBT Studies Fellowship’ that honours the memory of Philip Brett who is considered a pioneer of lesbian and gay musicology.
  • The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Fellowship will help Nataraj study how political tensions brought new notions of sexual identity in Tamil Nadu.

Banking & Finance 

Business 

TATA’s JLR signs deal to manufacture cars in Austria

  • Tata Motors owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has signed a contract manufacturing agreement with Austrian automotive firm Magna Steyr.
  • This collaboration is aimed at creating additional volumes needed to support the company’s plans to achieve further growth.

 Science & Technology

India to become world’s second largest smartphone market

  • Buoyed by growing sales, India will overtake the U.S. to become world’s second largest smartphone market by 2017.
  • According to international research firm Strategy Analytics, global smartphone sales are forecast to grow from 1.5 billion units in 2015 to a record 1.7 billion by 2017.
  • India will soon overtake the U.S. to become the world’s second largest smartphone market by 2017 behind China, selling an impressive 174 million units.

Sports

Sushil opts out of World Championships with injury

  • Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar has opted out of the World Championships after sustaining a shoulder injury.
  • The World championships which will be a ticket to Rio Olympics, is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas from September 7-12.

Indian Women’s Hockey team beats Italy, keep Olympic dreams alive

  • India kept their Olympic qualification dreams alive by beating Italy in the shoot-out in the Women’s Hockey World League Semi-finals.
  • The Indian hockey eves, ranked 13 in the world defeated Italy by 5-4 in the shoot-out after both teams ended with one goal each in the designated 60 minutes.

BCCI Extends Best Wishes to Kanitkar, Ratra on Retirement

  • The BCCI today congratulated Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Ajay Ratra on their India careers after the two announced retirement from the game.
  • Hrishikesh Kanitkar will be remembered for his contributions for India, at crucial stages in several limited-overs matches and tournaments in the late 1990s. It was under his captaincy that Rajasthan first won the Ranji Trophy, in 2010-11.
  • Ajay Ratra was a member of the under-19 team that brought us World Cup glory in 2000. His unbeaten 115 against the West Indies in Antigua in 2001-02 made him the youngest wicketkeeper-batsman to score a Test hundred.

Obituary

Matti-Makkonen

Matti Makkonen, Father of SMS technology passes away

  • Matti Makkonen, known as the father of SMS has died. He is known for after developing the idea of sending messages via mobile networks.
  • Makkonen was an engineer from Finland and had worked with Nokia.

Interesting facts
The first text message was sent via the Vodafone network from a computer to a mobile device in December 1992. In 1994,  Nokia became first mobile manufacturer to introduce phone i.e. Nokia 2010 to write and send SMS.

Holocaust ‘Hero’ Sir Nicholas Winton Dies Aged 106

  • Unassuming hero who to whom the second statue is dedicated died at the age of 106 in Slough on July 1, 2015,coincidently anniversary of the departure of a train in 1939 carrying the largest number of children-241.
  • Winton save more than 650 Jewish children from the Holocaust-Nazi tyranny and slaughter in Czechoslovakia-himself the label “Britain’s Schindler.”
  • Sir Nicholas organised foster families for Jewish children in Britain, placing adverts in newspapers.
  • Nicholas Winton won an International Emmy Award in 2002 and knighted by the British government in 2003 and also received the Order of the White Lion by the Czech government in 2014.