Current Affairs, News & Facts of 10 Dec 2015

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  • Indian-American Entrepreneur Frank Islam selected for 2015 Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award

     

    Indian-American Entrepreneur Frank Islam selected for 2015 Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award

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    Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Islam, 63, will be conferred with Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award to recognise his achievements and outstanding contributions in a foreign country. He will be honoured by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the inaugural UP Pravasi Diwas which will be held in Agra on January 4.

    Facts about Frank Islam

    • Frank Islam, was born in Uttar Pradesh's (UP) Azamgarh district and studied at Aligarh Muslim University. He came to the US in early 1970s to study at University of Colorado where he received his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Computer Science.
    • He founded an Information Technology firm the QSS in 1994 with him as the sole employee and built the company to more than 2,000 employees and sales of USD 300 million before selling it in 2007. 
    • Frank has donated USD two million to Aligarh Muslim University for the construction of a new school of management in the 140-year-old institution. He currently heads the FI Investment Group, a private investment holding company that he established in 2007. 

    Books authored : 

    Frank has authored two books, Working the Pivot Points: To Make America Work Again (2013) and Renewing the American Dream: A Citizen's Guide for Restoring Our Competitive Advantage (2010). 

    About UP Ratna Award :

    The UP Ratna award has been instituted to recognise achievements and outstanding contributions of NRIs who hail from the state. The UP Ratna Award is conferred to the NRIs, who hail from the state, for making significant contribution to the field of science, technology, culture, medicine, education, public service and commerce in foreign countries. The awardees get felicitated with a shawl, citation certificate and memento. 

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  • Indian Institute of Science bags US military contract for (R&D) on solar powered micro-grid

     

    Indian Institute of Science bags US military contract on solar powered micro-grid

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    • The prestigious Indian Institute of Science has bagged a US military contract for research and development (R&D) on a solar-powered micro-grid. This is one of the rare instances that an Indian scientific institute known for its high-end cutting-edge research has been awarded a federal contract by the US military.
    • The announcement of the contract comes on the eve of the meeting between Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar and US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter at the Pentagon. Manohar Parrikar is on his maiden visit to the US to discuss ways to deepen the long term strategic partnership between the two countries.
    • The federal contract worth USD 52,900 has been awarded by the US Pacific Air Forces, Yokota Air Base in Japan to develop solar powered micro-grid with battery and supercapacitor energy storage system.
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  • 10 December: Human Rights Day 2015 observed

     

    10 December: Human Rights Day 2015 observed

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    Every year 10 December is observed as Human Rights Day. he Day marks the anniversary of the Assembly's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

    Theme for Human Rights Day 2015 :- The theme for Human Rights Day 2015 is 'Our Rights Our Freedoms Always'. The theme for the year 2015 aims to promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary. The two Covenants are  International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both adopted in 1966.

    Events organised : It is on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded. Many governmental and non-governmental organizations active in the human rights field also schedule special events to commemorate the day,

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  • Lok Sabha passes Indian Trusts (Amendment), Bill 2015

     

    Lok Sabha passes Indian Trusts (Amendment), Bill 2015

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    The Lok Sabha has passed the Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which seeks to amend the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 (Principal Act). The amendment would enable the Central Governmen to remove outdated provisions occurring in section 20 of the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 which have no relevance and retain only the last item. 

    Key facts about  Indian Trusts (Amendment), Bill 2015 

    1. The amendment enables the Central Government to notify securities or class of securities for investment by trusts and to remove the outdated provisions occurring in section 20 of the Indian Trusts Act, 1882.
    2. The Bill provides more autonomy and flexibility to the trustees so that they can take decision on investment of trust money based on their assessment of the risk return and other factors.
    3. The bill seeks to do away with age old provision of  case to case approval by the Government for investment in any security.

    Indian Trusts Act, 1882

    1. The Principal Act ( Indian Trusts Act, 1882) regulates the functioning of private trusts and trustees.  It also outlines the manner in which surplus funds of the trust may be invested for future use of the trust
    2. The Act lists seven categories of securities in which trust money can be invested.  These include some pre-Independence references such as securities issued by the United Kingdom, by municipalities of Presidency towns, Rangoon, port trust of Karachi etc.
    3. In addition, the Act allows investment in any security expressly authorised by the instrument of trust or by the central government by notification, provided that consent is taken of any person who is competent to contract and entitled to receive the trust income for his life.
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  • Govt approves MoU between India, UK for cooperation in energy sector

     

    Govt approves MoU between India, UK for cooperation in energy sector

    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and UK in the energy sector.

    Focus of MoU : The focus will be the electricity market structure and the integration of renewable energy into the grid. The programme would work at both central and state levels to improve energy security and reliability of supply, improve energy access and facilitate sustainable economic growth.

    The areas of cooperation include the following: 

    • Market reforms, regulatory structures and the role of competition in the supply and distribution of electricity, including regulations and incentives for Renewable Energy deployment; 
    • The integration of renewable energy into the grid which includes Off-shore wind energy, solar energy and Tidal energy;
    • Energy efficiency policies and practice, including industrial energy efficiency, vehicular fuel efficiency, Smart grids, and Capacity building of renewable energy institutions; 

    The MoU will provide an enabling framework for technical assistance, including in-kind grant, and other support, as mutually agreed, through relevant projects initiated by the United Kingdom. Project specific agreements may also be developed, from time-to-time. 

    The focus will be the electricity market structure and the integration of renewable energy into the grid. The programme would work at both central and state levels to improve energy security and reliability of supply, improve energy access and facilitate sustainable economic growth. 

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  • 9 December : International Anti-Corruption Day observed across the world

     

    9 December : International Anti-Corruption Day observed across the world

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    International Anti-Corruption Day was observed across the world on 9 December 2015 . The theme for International Anti-Corruption Day 2015 was 'break the corruption chain'.This day has been observed annually, on 9 December, since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003.

    On this day anti-corruption all the Governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, the media and citizens around the world organize events to engage the general public to effectively fight against corruption and fraud in communities. 

    Corruption in India

    In 2015, India was ranked 85th out of 175 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, compared to its neighbors Bhutan (30th), Bangladesh (145th), Myanmar (156th), China (100th), Nepal (126th), Pakistan (126th)  and Sri Lanka (85th). Most of the largest sources of corruption in India are entitlement programmes and social spending schemes enacted by the Indian government.

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