1. Gujarati writer Raghuveer Chaudhari given Jnanpith Award for 2015
· Npted Gujarati writer Raghuveer Chaudhari has been conferred with India’s the highest literary honour, the Jnanpith Award for 2015.
· Chaudhari, whose most noted works include novels ‘Amruta’ and ‘Uparvas,’ has become the 56th writer and fourth Gujarati literary artist to receive the prestigious award.
· The 77-year old writer was born in Bapupura near Gandhinagar in Gujarat. After schooling in his village, he joined Gujarat University and studied Hindi literature under noted Gujarati scholar Bholabhai Patel.
· Chaudhari received the Sahitya Akademi Award (1977) for his novel trilogy ‘Uparvas’. Etween 1965 and 1970, he won numerous prizes awarded annually by the Gujarat government. He received the Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak in 1975 and the Munshi Award in 1997.
2. Giorgi Kvirikashvili elected as Prime Minister of Georgia
· Giorgi Kvirikashvili is elected as the Prime Minister of Georgia
· He will succeed Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, who resigned from the post on 23 December 2015
· Kvirikashvili fetched 86 votes of the parliament of Georgia out of 114 deputies. However, 28 deputies voted against him. The parliamentary vote also ratified Kvirikashvili’s choice of cabinet.
3. After Panchayats, Haryana Sets Educational Qualification for Municipal Polls
· Haryana Cabinet has decided to amend Section 13 A of Haryana Municipal Act 1973 and Section 8 of Haryana Municipal Corporation Act 1994 to make minimum educational qualification compulsory for aspirant of contesting local body polls on the lines of Panchayat polls.
· The minimum educational qualification for male candidates would be matriculation while for females and males belonging to scheduled caste it would be middle pass.
· The candidate should have functional toilet at home and he or she should not be defaulter of cooperative bank loans and electricity department.
4. WHO declares Guinea Ebola free
· The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Guinea Ebola free, thereby ending two-year long plague in West Africa.
· This is the first time in two years- when original chain of transmission that began in Gueckedou, Guinea in December 2013 and spread to seven other countries- that all three Ebola affected countries in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) are Ebola free.
· Guinea now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to ensure that any new cases are identified quickly before they can spread to other people
5. Cabinet nod to Indo-Australian nuclear deal
· The Indo-Australian civil nuclear cooperation agreement, which came into force last month, on Wednesday received the stamp of approval of the Union Cabinet.
· “The fuel supply arrangements with Australia will bolster energy security by supporting the expansion of nuclear power in India,” an official statement said.
· It is a step toward India achieving international acceptability for its nuclear programme despite not ratifying the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
· India, which has nuclear energy contributing just 3 per cent of its electricity generation, will be the first country to buy Australian uranium without being a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
· India has less than two dozen small reactors at six sites with a capacity of 4,780 MW, or 2 per cent of its total power capacity. It is plans to increase its nuclear capacity to 63,000 MW by 2032 by adding nearly 30 reactors at an estimated cost of USD 85 billion.
· It currently has nuclear energy agreements with 11 countries and imports uranium from France, Russia and Kazakhstan.
6. Cabinet approves Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme for textiles industry
· Originally introduced by the government in 1999, the scheme aims to help the industry upgrade operational technology and provides fixed subsidies to entrepreneurs who invest in this regard.
· While replacing the Revised Restructured Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (RR-TUFS), the new scheme will be implemented across two broad categories. For the sub sectors of apparel, garment and technical textiles, upto 15% subsidy would be provided on capital investment, subject to a ceiling of Rs 30 crore for entrepreneurs over a period of five years.
· The remaining sub-sectors would be eligible for subsidy at a rate of 10%, subject to a ceiling of Rs 20 crore on similar lines.
7. Union Government unveiled National Biotechnology Development Strategy 2015-2020
· Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan has unveiled the National Biotechnology Development Strategy 2015-2020 in New Delhi.
· The Strategy aims to establish India as a world-class bio-manufacturing hub.
· The strategy also intends to launch a major mission, backed with significant investments, for the creation of new biotech products, create a strong infrastructure for R&D and commercialization and empower India’s human resources scientifically and technologically.
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