1. Haryana picks Ramdev as brand ambassador
i. The Haryana government plans to promote yoga and ayurveda in a big way, and has appointed yoga guru Ramdev as its brand ambassador.
ii. Haryana’s minister of sports and health Anil Vij said a herbal forest would be developed over thousands of acres of land in the state where plants of 25 thousand species of ayurvedic herbs would be grown under the supervision of the yoga guru and his close aide Balkrishna.
iii. An ayush wing was being established in all the hospitals of Haryana for which 550 doctors would have to do a refresher course under the supervision of the yoga guru.
iv. Haryana would be developed into an Ayurvedic University whereas a yogic centre of international standards would be built in Panchkula.
2. Censor Board chief Leela Samson decides to quit
i. Citing “interference, coercion and corruption of panel members and officers” appointed in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) by the Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Bharatnatyam danseuse Leela Samson has quit as Censor Board chief.
ii. She put in her papers on Thursday amid reports that the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) had cleared the release of the film MSG – The Messenger of God featuring Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the lead role.
3. Siddhartha Chatterjee appointed as CTO of Persistent Systems Ltd
i. Siddhartha Chatterjee was appointed as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Persistent Systems Ltd with effect will be based at the United States branch of the company.
ii. Chatterjee is a graduate in Electronics and Electrical Communications Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
iii. Chatterjee has served as an Assistant and Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill from 1994 to 2001.
iv. He had also served as a post-doctoral scientist at the Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science (RIACS) at Moffett Field, California from 1991 to 1994.
4. Noted RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal conferred with Giraffe Hero award 2015
i. Renowned Indian RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal was conferred with the Giraffe Hero award 2015 by a US-based NGO The Giraffe Heroes Project. ii. The award will be presented to him on 22 January 2015.
iii. Agrawal was awarded for his bravery in utilising the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 for public good despite innumerable challenges. Agrawal also holds the Guinness record of filing highest number of published letters to the editors.
5. China Food and Drug Administration approved new vaccine to treat Poliomyelitis
i. Chinese drug regulator China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) approved a new vaccine S-IPV to treat the Poliomyelitis.
ii. The vaccine S-IPV is known as Ai Bi Wei in China. It is manufactured by the Institute of Medical Biology of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences located in Kunming, southwest China’s Yunnan province.
iii. The vaccine will be given to Chinese children as part of routine disease prevention and will help the global fight against the polio virus. The World Health Organization is also considering use of this new vaccine in its global polio treatment program.
6. RBI issued final guidelines for banks to act as Insurance brokers
i . Reserve Bank of India issued final guidelines for banks to act as insurance brokers. Earlier, the banks were allowed to undertake insurance business as agents of insurance companies on fee basis with an aim to increase insurance penetration in the country.
ii. The banks were allowed to look forward for participation in insurance business in accordance to Union Government’s notification in which it allowed banks to do business of insurance under Section 6(1)(o) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
7. Trade deficit of India declined to ten month low in December 2014
i. Trade deficit of India declined to ten month low of 9.43 billion US dollars in December 2014. The data was released by the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
ii. The trade deficit in December 2014 was narrowed by 44 percent from November 2014 due to fall down of global oil prices and fall of demand for gold.
iii. Imports of India declined by 4.8 percent to 34.8 billion US dollars in December 2014 as compared to 36.6 billion US dollars in December 2013.
iii. Exports of India fell by 3.8 percent to 25.4 billion US dollars and outbound shipments were valued at 26.4 billion US dollars in December 2014.