Daily GK Potion – 27th and 28th March 2015

  1. Panel to review railway board’s PPP cell
    • The ministry of railways has constituted a committee to review the existing Public Private Partnership (PPP) Cell in the railway board.
    • The committee will be headed by Ajay Shankar, former secretary, department of industrial policy and promotion.
    • “The committee will recommend measures needed to make the cell more effective, customer friendly and result oriented,” said a press release issued by the railways ministry.
  2. Rajasthan passes bill on eligibility for panchayat polls
    • Rajasthan became the first State in the country to fix a minimum educational qualification for contesting elections to the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
    • The Assembly on Friday passed the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (amendment) Bill, 2015, which makes Class VIII pass mandatory for the post of sarpanch — except in tribal reserved areas, where the minimum qualification is Class V — and Class X for Zila Parishad or Panchayat Samiti elections.
    • The amendments to Section 19 of the Rajasthan Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 also make a functional toilet mandatory in the house of a contestant.
  3. Isro named for Gandhi Peace Prize
    • Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has been selected for the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2014 for its contribution to the country’s development through space technology and satellite-based services.
    • The award, comprising Rs 1 crore and a citation, was decided after the jury for the prize met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    • The Gandhi Peace Prize for social, economic and political transformation through non-violence was instituted in 1995. Some of its previous winners are Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Julius K Nyerere, Baba Amte, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan and Ramkrishna Mission.
  4. President confers Bharat Ratna to Atal Bihari Vajpayee
    • Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been conferred with India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee at his residence on 6 Krishna Menon Marg in New Delhi.
    • Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also attended the ceremony.
    • Vajpayee was the first non-Congress leader to serve India for a full five year term from 1999 to 2004.
    • Vajpayee is the seventh prime minister to receive the award after Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Gulzarilal Nanda.
  5. Delhi launches India’s first ‘e-ration card’ facility
    • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday launched the country’s first “e-ration card” facility in the national capital.
    • According to the Delhi government, as soon as the application for providing food security is approved by the food supply officer concerned, a message will be sent on the mobile number of the beneficiary informing him/her about approval of his/her application.
  6. India, Qatar ink six pacts to boost trade and investment
    • India and energy-rich Qatar today signed six agreements including one on transfer of sentenced prisoners as the two countries sought to inject a fresh momentum in their bilateral ties.
    • The MoU in the field of information and communication technology would provide enhanced business opportunities for Indian IT industry in Qatar.
    • Another MoU was signed between Ministry of Earth Sciences and Qatar Meteorological Department for cooperation in the field of atmospheric and ocean sciences.
    • A separate MoU was inked between Diplomatic Institute of Qatar’s Foreign Ministry and Foreign Service Institute of External Affairs Ministry to facilitate exchange of faculty members and experts.
    • The two sides also finalised a pact to encourage regular exchange of radio and TV programmes and content between Prasar Bharati and Qatar Media Cooperation.
  7. Superb Saina scales historic World No.1 ranking
    • Saina Nehwal on Saturday scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman shuttler to attain the number one spot in world rankings.
    • Saina becomes only the second Indian overall to be world number one after Prakash Padukone had the distinction of being the numero uno men’s badminton player.
    • The London Olympic bronze-medalist has won a staggering 14 international titles in her glorious career and most recently she became the first Indian woman to make the finals of the prestigious All England Championships in Manchester.

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