GENERAL AWARENESS BRIEFLY -- IBPS CLERKS/SBI CLERKS
Zayn Khan was unanimously elected as the new president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) on September 22, 2015.
Alexis Tsipras was on September 21, 2015 sworn in as Greece’s Prime Minister for the second time this year. Tsipras took his oath of office from President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. Supreme Court judge Vassiliki Thanou was sworn in as caretaker PM on August 28, becoming Greece’s first female PM.
John T. Chambers, Executive Chairman of Cisco, was on September 21, 2015 as the next Chairman of US – India Business Council’s Board of Directors in place of Ajay Banga, President as CEO of MasterCard. The transition will come at the end of the four-year term of Banga, who has been the Council’s longest-serving Chairman.
Former Egyptian oil minister Sherif Ismail took oath on September 19, 2015 as the new prime minister, just a week after the previous cabinet resigned following a corruption scandal. On September 12, Sisi accepted the resignation of the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb, after agriculture minister Salah Helal was arrested for corruption.
‘Metro Man’ E. Sreedharan was on September 18, 2015 invited by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to serve the United Nations’ High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport (HLAG-ST). Sreedharan, the Principal Advisor to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, was invited for the service for a period of three years.
P V Chandran
P V Chandran of the Mathrubhumi group was elected President of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) for 2015-16 on September 18, 2015. He succeeded Kiran B Vadodaria.
Malcolm Turnbull, an urbane former investment banker who supports marriage equality and action on climate change, was sworn in as Australia’s 29th Prime Minister on September 15, 2015. He is Australia’s fourth prime minister since 2013.
Prabhat Kumar Singh on September 14, 2015 took over as the new Managing Director and CEO of Petronet LNG Ltd, India’s biggest liquefied natural gas importer.
Indian-origin British MP Seema Malhotra was on September 14, 2015 appointed the shadow chief secretary for Treasury by the newly elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Indian-origin British MP Lisa Nandy was on September 14, 2015 appointed the shadow secretary for energy and climate change. Nandy is MP from Wigan in Greater Manchester.
Hormusji N Cama
Hormusji N Cama, Director of Bombay Samachar was on September 14, 2015 unanimously elected Chairman of the Press Trust of India. Cama, whose daily is the oldest continuously-published newspaper in India from 1855, succeeded Mahendra Mohan Gupta.
Riya Mathew, Director of Malayala Manorama, was unanimously elected Vice Chairman of PTI.
Ashok Sridharan, a mayoral candidate of Chancellor Angela Merkel-led Christian Democratic Union (CDU), on September 13, 2015 comprehensively won the election in Bonn, becoming the first person of Indian-origin to occupy the mayor’s office in a major Germany city.
Rakesh Sharma on September 11, 2015 assumed charge as the MD and CEO of Canara Bank. Before joining Canara Bank, Sharma was MD and CEO of Lakshmi Vilas Bank.
IPS officer Binita Thakur was on September 11, 2015 appointed as Director of NATGRID, a robust intelligence gathering mechanism set up to track any terror suspect and incident.
HT Media Executive Director Benoy Roychowdhury was on September 10, 2015 elected the Chairman of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
Anjuly Chib Duggal
Newly appointed Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal was on September 10, 2015 nominated to the central board of the Reserve Bank. Duggal had replaced Hasmukh Adhia as Finance Secretary on August 31.
Trindad and Tobago’s Prime Minister-elect Keith Rowley was sworn into office in Port of Spain on September 9, 2015. His People’s National Movement, won 23 of 41 seats in general elections on September 7, ousting Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar after five years in power.
Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani
Senior-most judge of the Bombay High Court Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani was on September 9, 2015 appointed the Chief Justice of the court, following retirement of the incumbent Justice Mohit Shantilal Shah.
IAS officer V Thiruppugazh was on September 9, 2015 appointed Adviser in National Disaster management Authority (NDMA) in New Delhi. Thiruppugazh was appointed for a five years term.
Agriculture expert Ramesh Chand was on September 8, 2015 appointed one of the full-time members in the NITI Aayog. Other full time members of NITI Aayog are economist Bibek Debroy and former DRDO Chief V K Sraswat.
Jagdeep Grewal, 57-year-old Indian-American, was on September 3, 2015 sworn in as the Postmaster in Sacramento in the US state of California, becoming the first woman to occupy the post in 166 years.
British sports administrator Lousie Martin was elected the Commonwealth Games Federation’s first female President on September 2, 2015. She beat the incumbent Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia.
Smita Purushottam, presently Ambassador of India to the Switzerland, was on September 2, 2015 concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Holy See (Vatican City).
India’s Ambassador in Berne, Switzerland, has traditionally been accredited to the Holy See which maintains a Nunciature (Embassy) in New Delhi, presently headed by a Nuncio (Ambassador).
Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre
Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre was on September 1, 2015 sworn in as the new President of Guatemala. He will complete the remaining term of Otto Perez Molina till January 14, 2016.
S A V Satya Murty
Noted scientist S A V Satya Murty on September 1, 2015 took charges as Director of Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam. Her replaced P.R. Vasudeva Rao who retired on August 31.
Abhilash Bhardwaj on September 1, 2015 took charges as the new Chairman of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). He has taken over the reins of the new office from Satinder Singh Bajaj, who was heading the Board since 2010.
D K Likhi
D K Likhi was on September 1, 2015 appointed Chairman and Managing Director of Hyderabad-based Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited. Mishra Dhatu Nigam is a ‘Mini Ratna’ PSU under the Defence Ministry.
Atul Sobti was on September 1, 2015 appointed the next Chairman and Managing Director of state-run power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL). Atul will take charge on or after January 1, 2016.
Senior IAS officer Rajiv Mehrishi was on August 31, 2015 appointed the Union Home Secretary. Mehrishi, Economic Affairs Secretary, on his last day in officer replaced L C Goyal for a period of two years.
Ratan P Watal
Ratan P Watal was on August 31, 2015 appointed the new Finance Secretary. Watal, 59, is a 1978-batch Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS officer.
Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das was on August 31, 2015 appointed the Economic Affairs Secretary. Das, a 1980 batch Tamil Nadu cadre IAS officer, replaced Rajiv Mehrishi.
Financial Services Secretary Hasmukh Adhia was on August 31, 2015 appointed the new Revenue Secretary, replacing Shaktikanta Das.
Union Home Secretary L C Goyal was on August 31, 2015 appointed the CMD of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). Goyal had taken over as Home Secretary on February 5.
P K Singh
Durgapur Steel Plant’s CEO P K Singh was on August 31, 2015 appointed the Chairman of Steel Authority Of India Ltd (SAIL). He replaced steel secretary Rakesh Singh who held the additional charge.
Raghav Chandra has taken over as the Chairman of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on August 31, 2015. NHAI is entrusted with the task of implementing National Highways Development Project (NDHP).
Jim O’Brien, a seasoned diplomat, was on August 29, 2015 appointed the First Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs by US President Barack Obama. He will analyse and find effective remedies to hostage issues.
Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, which played a major role in the country’s Green Revolution, has appointed Trilochan Mohapatra its new Director on August 28, 2015. Mohaaptra was heading Odisha-based Central Rice Research Institute.
Sushma Sahu and Rekha Sharma
Sushma Sahu and Rekha Sharma were on August 27, 2015 appointed to the National Commission for Women (NCW). Sushma Sahu is a former chief of BJP’s Bihar Mahila Morcha and Rekha Sharma is a former media in-charge of the party in Haryana.
24th Vyaas Samman 2014
The prestigious 24th Vyaas Samman for 2014 was conferred on eminent Hindi writer Dr Kamal Kishore Goenka for his work ‘Premchand ki Kahaniyon ka Kaal kramanusaar Adhyayan’ on September 22, 2015.
Global Leadership Award 2015
PepsiCo Chairman Indra Nooyi and Hindustan Times Group chairperson Shobhana Bharatia were on September 21, 2015 presented with the 2015 Global Leadership Award of the US India Business Council (USIBC).
Jnangarima Manad Alankaran 2015
Eminent Urdu litterateur Shamim Hanfi was conferred the Jnangarima Manad Alankaran by Bharatiya Jnanpith on September 20, 2015. The Urdu scholar is best known for his books “Jadidiya ki Falsafiyani Asas,” “Ghazal ka Naya Manzarnama” and “Infiradi Shaoor aur litemai Zindagi.”
V Krishnamurthy Award 2014
Senior journalist Shekhar Gupta was presented the annual ‘V Krishnamurthy award for excellence’ by Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah on September 18, 2015.
Asia Game Changer awards 2015
ICICI bank CEO Chanda Kochhar was on September 18, 2015 chosen for the Asian Game Changer award, given by Asia Society to honour “true leaders making a positive contribution to the future of Asia.”
UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award 2015
Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi, who has dedicated her life to bringing education to refugee girls in Pakistan, won the 2015 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award on September 15, 2015.
UN Climate Change Awards 2015
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was on September 14, 2015 announced as one of the winners of the United Nations Champions of the Earth award in recognition of her country’s initiatives to address climate change.
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, was given the UN Champions of the Earth Award. The other winners are the National Geographic Society, Brazilian cosmetics firm Natural and South Africa’s Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit.
Bharat Bharti Award 2014
Eminent writer Kashi Nath Singh was on September 14, 2015 awarded the Bharat Bharti award, the highest literary award given by the Uttar Pradesh government. The ‘Lohia Sahitya Samman’ was given to Mridula Garg from Delhi.
Gandhi Peace Prize 2014
President Pranab Mukherjee on September 9, 2015 presented the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2014 to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The award was received by ISRO Chairman A. S. Kiran Kumar.
Renowned Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was on September 9, 2015 conferred with Kerala Government’s prestigious music award, ‘Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram’ in Thiruvananthapuram for his outstanding contribution to Indian music.
2015 International Literacy Prizes
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova on September 8, 2015 awarded the 2015 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes to five original and transformative literacy programmes from Chile, Madagascar, Mozambique, Slovakia and Sri Lanka.
The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize was given to Mozambique and Sri Lanka while the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy was given to Madagascar, Chile and Slovakia.
Saakshar Bharat Awards 2015
President Pranab Mukherjee presented the Saakshar Bharat Awards 2015 on September 8, 2015. The winners are:
Best Performing State – Tamil Nadu; Best Performing District – 1. Bastar, Chhattisgarh, 2. Dharampuri, Tamil Nadu 3. Haveri, Karnataka; Best Performing Gram Panchayat – 1. Palamalai, Salem District, Tamil Nadu 2. Giroud, Raipur District, Chhattisgarh 3. Poosarlapadu, Srikakulam District, Andhra Pradesh 4. Ankireddygudem, Nalgonda District, Telangana 5. Khanggabok Part – II, Mayai Leikai, Thoubal District, Manipur; Best Performing Resource Support Organisation – 1. State Resource Centre (SRC), West Bengal 2. Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
S Radhakrishnan award 2015
Noted Santoor exponent Bhajan Sopori was on September 4, 2015 conferred the ‘Dr S Radhakrishnan Memorial National Teacher and Media Award’ in New Delhi for his contribution in the field of music and culture.
Bihari Puraskar 2014
Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh on September 1, 2015 felicitated noted writer and journalist Om Thanvi with ‘Bihari Puraskar-2014’ for his book ‘Muanjodaro’, a travelogue which traces remains of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Bharati Jyoti Award
Dr Arati Barua, an Associated Professor in Philosophy in Deshbandhu College of Delhi University was conferred with the prestigious Bharat Jyoti Award by the Indian International Friendship Society (IIFS) on August 29, 2015.
National Sports and Adventure Awards 2014-15
President Pranab Mukherjee conferred National Sports and Adventure Awards on August 29, 2015. Rest of the winners are:
Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award 2014
Arunima Sinha: Land Adventure, Jot Singh: Land Adventure, Wg. Cdr. Paramvir Singh: Water Adventure, Lt. Col. (Retd.) Satyendra Verma: Air Adventure, Col. (Retd.) Satish Chander Sharma: Life Time Achievement
Maulana Abul Kalma Azaad (MAKA) Trophy 2014-15
Punjab University, Patiala was conferred with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy for the year 2014-15.
1st Sunhak Peace Prize 2015
Noted Indian agriculture scientist Dr Modadugu Vijay Gupta, who has done pioneering work in aquaculture in India and several other countries, was on August 28, 2015 awarded the first Sunhak Peace Prize, billed as an alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize. He shared the $1 million prize with President of Kiribati Anote Tong in Seoul.
Renu Khator, the Indian-American University of Houston president and Chancellor, was honoured with the ‘Excellence in Leadership Award’ by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on September 15, 2015.
Veteran sports administrator Randhir Singh on September 15, 2015 stood down as Seceretary General of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) after occupying the post for 24 years since 1991. He was made an Honorary Life Vice President of OCA.
Bulgarian musician Theodosii Spassov was on September 15, 2015 named an Artist for Peace by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Sports equipment manufacturer Yonex founder Minoru Yoneyama was conferred the Badminton world Federation’s highest honour, the President’s Medal, September 12, 2015.
Bollywood actor Actor Anupam Kher on September 15, 2015 received the “Certificate of Recognition” from the California legislature for his dedication to helping Kashmiri Hindu community. He was also presented with the “Honoured Guest” award by the US state of Texas and awarded with the ‘Certificate of Excellence’ by Nevada where September 10 was announced as ‘Anupam Kher Day’.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on September 14, 2015 resigned from the post after he was ousted as leader of the centre-right Liberal Party by Malcolm Turnbull.
G Satheesh Reddy
G Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, was on September 12, 2015 conferred with the 2015 Silver Medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), London. Reddy is the first Defence scientist working in India to be honoured with the prestigious “Silver Medal” of the Society. Reddy also received the M. Visvesvaraya award of the Institution of Engineers (India), Andhra Pradesh in Hyderabad on September 15.
President Barack Obama on September 10, 2015 presented the 2014 National Medals of Arts and Humanities to Pulitzer Prize winning Indian-American author Jhumpa Lahiri and 20 other distinguished persons.
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi was on September 10, 2015 included in Fortune’s list of 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, which has been topped by General Motors CEO Mary Barra. Nooyi, the sole Indian-origin executive in the list, is ranked 2nd.
Guinea-Bissaus new PM Baciro Dja announced his resignation on September 9, 2015, just two days after his government was sworn in, as the west African nation’s Supreme Court declared his appointment unconstitutional.
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II on September 9, 2015 officially became the longest-reigning British monarch after passing the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. The Queen has served 63 years and 216 days on the British throne. Her reign has included 12 prime ministers, two more than served under Victoria.
Anirudh Kathirvel, a nine-year-old Indian-origin boy, was on September 8, 2015 crowned champion of the first ‘The Great Australian Spelling Bee’ contest.
Bhubaneshwar’s Ananya Sritam Nanda, 14, on September 6, 2015 won the “Indian Idol Junior” title. The finalists also included V. Nityashree, 15 and Naheed Afreen, 13.
Andrea Mogensen on September 4, 2015 became the first Danish astronaut to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) as part of a three-man team.
Preethika Kumar, an Indian-American professor at a leading university in the US was on September 3, 2015 selected for the prestigious Outstanding Teacher Award for demonstrating special dedication and creativity in her teaching.
The chief of Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party R. Sampanthan was on September 3, 2015 elected unopposed the leader of opposition in the parliament. A. Amirthalingam of the Tamil United Liberation Front was the first and last Tamil leader to hold this post from 1977 to 1983.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on September 2, 2015 chaired a session of the 4th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament in the UN General Assembly in New York. Mahajan chaired the session as acting President.
Otto Perez Molina
The embattled President of Guatemala Otto Perez Molina on September 1, 2015 resigned and voluntarily handed himself over to judicial authorities.
Baseball legend Yogi Berra, the Hall of Fame catcher renowned as much for his unique way of turning a phrase as for his record 10 World Series championships with the New York Yankees, died on September 22, 2015. He was 90.
Noted Odia lyricist Nizam passed away on September 21, 2015 at the age of 62. Nizam started his career in Odia Film industry in 1977 and established himself as a great lyricist.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya, hailed as the architect of India’s rise as the game’s financial superpower, passed away on September 20, 2015. He was 75.
Malayalam playback singer Radhika Thilak passed away on September 20, 2015 in Kochi. She was 45.
British-born author of Hollywood Wives’ and ‘The Stud’ Jackie Collins died on September 19, 2015 at the age of 77. Collins’ 32 books on glamour, sex an affairs in Hollywood were international bestsellers.
The pioneer of cricket commentary in Marathi who made the game more popular in Maharashtrian households, Bal Pandit passed away on September 17, 2015 after a prolonged illness. He was 88.
Eminent Dogri poet and the father of Dogri sonnet, writer and journalist Randhir Singh passed away on September 16, 2015 in Jaipur at the age of 75.
Former Yorkshire cricketer and the youngest batsman to have played a Test for England, Brian Close passed away on September 14, 2015 at the age of 84.
Well-known Mohiniyattam dancer and Padma Shri-awardee choreographer Kalamandalam Satyabhama died on Sept 13, 2015. She was 77.
Frank D. Gilory
Frank D. Gilory, whose play about a veteran’s fraught return home, “The Subject Was Roses,” won him a Pulitzer Prize, died on September 12, 2015. He was 89.
Music director Aadesh Shrivastava passed away in Mumbai at the age of 49 on September 5, 2015. Shrivastava composed music for movies like ‘Chalte Chalte,’ ‘Baabul,’ ‘Baghban,’ ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham,’ ‘Rajneeti’ and others.
Wilfred De Souza
Former Goa Chief Minister Wilfred De Souza, who held the post three times, passed away in Panaji on September 4, 2015. He was 88.
Chandra Bahadur Dangi
The world’s shortest man, Chandra Bahadur Dangi of Nepal, died in American Samoa in the Pacific on September 4, 2015 at the age of 75. Standing all of 21.5 inches (54.6 cms) tall, Dangi held the current Guinness World Record for the shortest man on earth till his demise.
Renowned Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi was shot dead by unknown persons in Dharwad (Karnataka) on August 30, 2015. The Kannada scholar was conferred with the National Sahitya Akademi Award in 2006.
· Two Years, Eight Months And Twenty Eight Days by Salman Rushdie
· The Big Indian Wedding by Sakshi Salve
· The Country of First Boys and Other Essays by Amartya Sen
· Baat Niklegi Toh Phir by Sathya Saran
· Combating Hunger and Achieving Food Security by MS Swaminathan
· The House of Hidden Mothers by Meera Syal
· The Crown Prince, The Gladiator And the Hope-Battle For Change by Ashutosh
· The Blue Between Sky and Water by Susan Abulhawa
· Midnight’s Furies: The deadly legacy of India’s partition by Nisid Hazari
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