Daily GK Update – 28th March 2015

Book titled Food for All written by Uma Lele
i. The book will be published by Oxford University Press. The book surveys the food and agricultural development assistance delivered by five major international organizations since their establishment to gauges their relevance, effectiveness, and impacts in a dramatically changed world.
ii. The five organisations surveyed by the book are:  the World Bank Group, Food and Agriculture Organization, World Food Programme, International Fund for Agricultural Development and Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research.
iii. The book is the result of a meeting convened at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in October 2010 to explore how to address the challenges and opportunities of the global food and agriculture system.

About the Author
  • Uma Lele is Ph.D from Cornell University and has four decades of experience in agricultural research, project design and implementation, policy analysis, and program evaluation.
  • She is a former senior adviser to the World Bank and has published notable works on agricultural and rural development.

CNN IBN announced Indian of the Year Award 2014
i. CNN-IBN announced the Indian of the Year Award 2014 on 18 March 2015. The award recognises the remarkable achievements and contributions of Indians who worked tirelessly towards strengthening India’s foundation in 2014.
ii. The CNN-IBN Indian of the Year Award is presented annually to various Indians for their work in their respective fields. The awards are presented in various categories of Politics, Sports, Business, Entertainment, Public Service and Global Indian.
iii. List of the Winners of CNN-IBN Award 2014:
  • Narendra Modi – Indian of the Year 2014
  • Arun Jaitley – Indian of the Year 2014: Politics
  • Jitu Rai – Indian of the Year 2014: Sports
  • N Chandrasekaran – Indian of the Year 2014: Business
  • Chetan Bhagat – Indian of the Year 2014: Entertainment
  • Tongam Rina – Indian of the Year 2014: Public Service
  • Satya Nadella – Indian of the Year 2014: Global Indian
  • K Chandrasekhar Rao – Indian of the Year 2014: Popular Choice
  • P Vijayan – Indian of the Year 2014: Popular Choice
  • Kangana Ranaut – Indian of the Year 2014: Special Achievement
  • Pankaj Advani – Indian of the Year 2014: Special Achievement
  • Kailash Satyarthi – Indian of the Year 2014: Outstanding Achievement
  • Azim Premji – Indian of the Year 2014: Outstanding Achievement
  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) – Indian of the Year 2014: Lifetime Achievement

ADB sanctioned 300 million US dollars under SCRIP for road construction in NBNE region
i. The abbreviation SCRIP (SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program) was in news as a loan agreement of 300 million US dollars under the programme was signed between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Union Ministry of Finance on 26 March 2015.
ii. Under this multi-tranche programme, about 500 km of roads will be constructed in the North Bengal-North East (NBNE) region. ADB is providing 500 million US dollars for the execution of the programme.
iii. SRCIP is a strategic initiative that aims to achieve regional integration among the members of the South Asia Sub regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) group by improving road connectivity within the North Bengal-North Eastern Region in India. The members of this group are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.
International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade observed – 25 March
i. International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2015 was observed globally on 25 March 2015. 
ii. The theme for the year 2015 is Women and Slavery. The theme is a tribute to the many women who suffered and died during the slave trade.
iii. On this occasion the United Nations (UN) unveiled a permanent memorial for victims of transatlantic trade, named as Arc of Retrun, at the UN headquarters in New York. The memorial reminds not only the gross injustice done to African slaves but also the successful journey of the UN in restoring their dignity by actively condemning the practice.
iv. The Arc was unveiled by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on 25 March 2015.
v. India contributed 260000 US dollar to the memorial which was built under the supervision of Haitian-American architect Rodney Leon.
Nobel Laureate John Nash won Abel Prize 2015 for work on partial differential equations
i. Nobel Laureate John F Nash Jr. won the Abel Prize 2015 for his work on partial differential equations. 
ii. The prize was announced on 25 March 2015 by the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. They will receive the Abel Prize from His Majesty King Harald at a ceremony in Oslo on 19 May 2015.
iii. He will share the Prize with Louis Nirenberg, Professor Emeritus at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. They both will share the prize money of 760000 US dollar.
About the Abel Prize
  • The Abel Prize is an international prize presented annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. The prize was named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.
  • The award was established in 2001 by the Government of Norway and complements the Holberg Prize in the humanities.
  • The Abel Prize has often been described as the mathematician’s Nobel Prize, competing in that respect with the much older Fields Medal. It comes with a monetary award of 6 million Norwegian kroner (NOK).

ISRO won Gandhi Peace Prize 2014
i. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 27 March 2015 won Gandhi Peace Prize 2014. The award was selected by the jury under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
ii. Besides Prime Minister, other members of the Jury that selected the ISRO for the award were Justice H L Dattu, Chief Justice of India; Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the single largest Opposition Party in the Lok Sabha; LK Advani, Member of Parliament and Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
iii. The Indian space agency successfully launched Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and at a very cost effective price of 450 crore rupees.
About the Award
  • The Gandhi Peace Prize for social, economic and political transformation through non-violence was instituted in the year 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • It is given to individual or organisation for making social, economic and political transformation through non-violence means.
  • The award comprises an amount of one crore rupees and a citation.

Delhi Government launches India’s first E-ration card service
i. Delhi government has launched First E-ration card service in India. It was launched Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 27 March 2015. 
ii. In this service, E-ration card will be linked with Aadhaar cards in order to curb corruption and increase transparency in the system. 
iii. Along with the E-ration card service, Delhi government is also starting issuing temporary Fair Price Shop (FPS)-licences. These licenses will be issued to around 25,000 FPS in Delhi. FPS are operated by private players to provide subsided foodgrains
First goods train from Lumding  to Silchar in Assam flagged off
i. First goods train from Lumding to Silchar in the northeastern state of Assam was flagged off by the Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu through video conferencing at a function in New Delhi. 

Key facts
  • The train was launched on 210 km Lumding-Silchar section rail line after the gauge conversion was completed at a cost of 3500 crore rupees. 
  • This line will provide connectivity to Barak valley of Assam with the rest of the country. 210 km rail line consist of 28 stations, 4 halt stations, 79 major bridges and 340 minor bridges and 21 tunnels. 

PM Narendra Modi launches PRAGATI platform for redressal of grievances

i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 March 2015 launched Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI) platform. 
ii. PRAGATI is a multi-purpose and multi-modal platform aimed at addressing grievances of common man. It also aims at simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important Union government programmes and projects as well as projects flagged by State Governments. 
iii. It is an innovative project in e-governance and good governance and accountability with real-time presence and information exchange among the key stakeholders. 

Key features of PRAGATI 
  • Designed in-house by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) team with the help of National Informatics Center (NIC). 
  • Uniquely bundles three latest technologies including Digital data management, geo-spatial technology and video-conferencing. 
  • Three-tier system that brings PMO, Union Government Secretaries, and Chief Secretaries of the States at one stage. 

iv. Thus, offers a unique combination in the direction of cooperative federalism. 
v. Prime Minister can directly discuss the issues with the concerned Central and State officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground level situation. 
vi. On a monthly basis, Prime Minister will interact with bureaucrats i.e. on fourth Wednesday of every month at 3.30 PM- called as PRAGATI Day. 
vii. Issues to be flagged before the PM will be picked up from the available database regarding Public Grievances, pending Projects and on-going Programmes. These issues will uploaded seven days prior to the PRAGATI day.

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