1. Union Cabinet gives nod to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement
i. Union Cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement.
ii. The agreement which is similar to the SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) seeks to regulate the vehicular traffic of passenger, personal and cargo amongst BBIN countries.
The agreement will be signed on 15th June 2015 at the Transport Minister’s meeting in Thimpu, Bhutan.
iii. BBIN agreement aims to promote safe, environmentally sound and economical efficient road transport in the sub-region of BBIN. It also seeks to help each member country to create an institutional mechanism for regional integration.
iv. BBIN agreement will benefit member nations for mutual cross border movement of passenger and goods for overall economic development of the region.
For implementation of this agreement each signatory member will bear its own costs.
2. Senior scientist Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar appointed as Director of CSIR-IICT
i. Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar was appointed Director of CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) a premier research institute of Union Government based in Hyderabad, Telangana.
ii. He was named appointed to the top post by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is ex-officio Chairman of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) functioning under Union Ministry of Science and Technology.
iii. He has made significant contributions in diverse areas of organic chemistry with a special emphasis total synthesis of biologically active natural products, on chiral chemistry and pharmaceutical products.
iv. He also has developed technologies for synthesis of latest anti-tumor and abortive drug mesoprostol, anti-tuberculosis drug bedaquiline and drug for treatment of schizophrenia asenapine etc. Apart from above contributions, he also has more than 250 publications with 5,000 citations to his credit.
3. 26 African countries create TFTA: Cape Town to Cairo free-trade zone
i. African countries have signed a historic The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) that facilitates creation of Africa’s largest free-trade zone.
ii. This free-trade zone will cover 26 countries in an area from southernmost tip of African continent i.e. Cape Town (South Africa) to Cairo (Egypt) in the north.
iii. The pact was signed in Egypt will intent to ease the movement of goods across 26 member countries which represent more than half the continent’s GDP. TFTA pact combines existing three trade blocs among the African nations viz Southern African Development Community (SADC), East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
iv. It will remove trade barriers on most goods, making them cheaper and stimulating $ 1 trillion worth of economic activity across the region of more than 600 million people.
4. Indian-Origin Surgeon General Vivek Murthy Presented With Pride of Community Award
i. Indian-origin US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has been presented with the Pride of the Community Award by a prominent Hindu advocacy group.
ii. Receiving the award by the Hindu American Foundation at its 12th Annual Day reception at Capitol Hill, Mr Murthy said that he draws inspiration from the life of Swami Vivekananda.
iii. HAF also awarded Anantanand Rambachan, Professor of Religion at St Olaf College, Dharma Seva award; Harpreet Singh Mokha of the Department of Justice, the Mahatma Gandhi Award for the Advancement of Pluralism; and Senator Mark Kirk and Rep Joe Crowley, HAF’s Friend of the Community awards.
5. Stanford scientist Manu Prakash makes water based computer
i. Manu Prakash, who amazed the world last year by building a paper microscope, has now come up with a computer that works by moving water droplets. P
ii. rakash is an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University and he has developed the water computer with the help of two of his students. He was born in Meerut, India.
iii. What Prakash did was devise a system in which tiny water droplets are trapped in a magnetic field. When the field is rotated or flipped, the droplets move in precise direction and distance. This became the basis of the computer clock, which is an essential component of any computer.
iv. Computer clocks are responsible for nearly every modern convenience. Smartphones, DVRs, airplanes, internet – without a clock, none of these could operate without frequent and serious complications.
6. Reliance Capital names Gopkumar as CEO of broking, distribution business
i. Reliance Capital, part of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, today said it has appointed B Gopkumar chief executive of its broking and distribution business.
ii. Gopkumar, who succeeds Vikrant Gugnani, has over 20 years of industry experience. He has handled various assignments across varied functions, including direct sales, priority banking, marketing, product development, broking and distribution.
iii. Reliance Capital’s broking business — Reliance Securities — provides a varied customer base with access to equities, equity options, wealth management solutions and mutual funds.
9. CAD shrinks massively to 0.2 per cent in Q4
i. The country’s current account deficit (CAD) narrowed sharply to USD 1.3 billion, or 0.2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in the fourth quarter of the last financial year on a sequential basis mainly on account of a lower trade gap.
ii. The CAD shrank to 1.3 per cent of GDP for full financial year 2014-15.
iii. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, CAD narrowed sharply to USD 1.3 billion (0.2 per cent of GDP) in fourth quarter of financial year 2014-15 from USD 8.3 billion (1.6 per cent of GDP) in the third quarter
8. Forbes list: Dhoni only Indian among world’s richest athletes
i. Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the only Indian sportsman in Forbes magazine’s 100 highest-paid athletes in the world.
ii. Dhoni has been ranked 23rd on the Forbes list of The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes 2015 dropping a notch from his ranking of 22 last year.
iii. Dhoni’s total earnings stood at $31 million, including amount from salary/winnings at $4 million and endorsements worth $27 million.
iv. The earnings figures include salaries, prize money and bonuses paid out between June 2014 and June 2015.