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Person Current Affairs Jan 2nd Week 2018
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 1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates 1st PIO Parliamentary Conference in Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Tuesday inaugurate the first Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Parliamentary Conference in the `Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra` at Chanakyapuri here.

As many as 124 Members of Parliament and 17 mayors from 23 countries will participate in this conference.

While 124 MPs from the UK, Canada, Fiji, Kenya, Mauritius, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and other countries are slated to take part in today`s conference, 17 mayors from US, Malaysia, Switzerland, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago will also participate in it.

No lawmaker from the US will be attending this year`s PIO conference because of the ongoing session of the Senate. 

The event is scheduled to commence at 10 am with Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj`s speech and Prime Minister Modi will be the keynote speaker.

Every year, January 9 is celebrated as Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD), an annual celebratory day that marks the contribution of overseas persons of Indian origin (PIO) towards their homeland.

This is the first PIO Parliamentary Conference and it is a way of reaching out to the Indian community overseas by the government.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in order to celebrate the spirit of the conference, has also organised an open competition to design a logo that would best reflect the spirit of the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference. 


2. Indias 1st Multi-Petaflop Supercomputer Pratyush Dedicated to Nation.

Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan Monday dedicated India`s fastest and first "multi-petaflops" supercomputer to the nation in Pune.

Petaflops is a measure of a computer`s processing speed.

Christened "Pratyush", meaning the sun, the High Performance Computing (HPC) facility has been established at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, and will be a national facility for improving weather and climate forecasts, an IITM release said.

While inaugurating the facility, the minister said that it would be India`s number one HPC facility in terms of peak capacity and performance.

COMMENTSThe IITM release added that the facility would help the country with better forecasts in terms of monsoon, extreme events, tsunamis, cyclones, earthquakes, air quality, lightning, fishing, hot and cold waves, flood and drought among others.


3. Anchal Thakur Bags Bronze India`s 1st International Medal in Skiing.

Manali girl Aanchal Thakur becomes the first Indian to win a medal at an international skiing event; PM Modi congratulates the 21-year old for her bronze at the Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup in Turkey.

Aanchal Thakur made history by winning India`s first-ever international medal in skiing.

The 21-year-old clinched bronze in the coveted Alpine Ejder Cup organised by the Federation Internationale de Ski. She won the medal in the slalom race category.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi  congratulated 21-year-old Manali resident Anchal Thakur on bagging India`s first-ever international medal in skiing.

In his message, PM  Modi said "Well done @alleaanchal for winning an international medal in skiing!" "The entire nation is ecstatic on your historic accomplishment at the FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey. Wishing you the very best for your future endeavours.

Roshan Thakur, Aanchal`s father and the secretary general of Winter Games Federation of India (WGFI), was elated. "This is a breakthrough for the sport in India and the entire skiing fraternity is proud of her achievement," he said.

Sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore took to Twitter to congratulate Aanchal: "Congrats Aanchal Thakur for the Slalom Skiing Bronze in the FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey. India opens account by a first ever medal in skiing. Well done!"


4. A R Rahman Becomes Sikkims Brand Ambassador.

Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman on Monday was officially announced the first brand ambassador of Sikkim. He said he is honoured to be the face of a state which is not just visually but also culturally beautiful.

Rahman was honoured here at the onset of The Red Panda Winter Carnival 2018, which aims at increasing the flow of tourists by promoting the state’s bounty.

“As Helen Keller rightly said – The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. I feel this was said for Sikkim and Sikkim only,” Rahman said in a statement.

“The beauty of Sikkim doesn’t only lie in its hills and valleys but in its feelings and culture as well. I am highly impressed by the State’s development and mesmerizing culture. I’m honored to be the face of this beautiful state,” he added.

At the event, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling felicitated Rahman and said they look forward to working in tandem with him “to take the state to higher levels and achievements”.

Ugen T. Gyatso, Sikkim’s Tourism Minister, is happy to have the Mozart of Madras on board to promote the state.

“Despite being the second smallest State in the country, we are growing at a rapid pace.

“We see a bigger and better future for Sikkim and with Rahman and his versatility and graceful nature, he lives up to the affectionate nickname of Aisai Puyal’ (Music storm) as he breezes in from the south to the Himalayas, resonating his mellifluous melodies to the world. There couldn’t have been a better fit,” Gyatso said.


5. Aditya Mehta Wins Kolkata Open 2018 International Invitation Snooker Championship.

Veteran cueist Aditya Mehta won the Kolkata Open 2018 International Invitation Snooker Championship at the Hindustan Club here on Monday.

He edged out Englishman Alfie Burden 5-4 in a thrilling final.

Mehta started well with a break of 93 in the opening frame but Alfie countered him with break of 75 to come at par. 

Further, he won another frame to take 2-1 lead over Aditya. Though Aditya levelled it once again but Alfie took handsome lead of 5-2.

From there, Aditya made a remarkable comeback and won three frames in a row to win the Kolkata Open 2018. This is his third Kolkata Open title since it`s inception.

Earlier in the day, Alfie defeated Laxman Rawat 5-2 in the semi-finals. 

Interestingly he tried three times to go for the maximum 147. In the first frame he missed on 65, which Laxman cleared with 70 points break and then on 81 and finally in the sixth frame, which was close, on 97.

In other semi-final, Aditya Mehta beat Brijesh Damani 5-4 to meet Alfie in the final.


6. Dr Sivan K appointed as New ISRO Chairman.

The government today appointed renowned scientist Sivan K as the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to replace of A S Kiran Kumar. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved his appointment as secretary, Department of Space and chairman of Space Commission for a tenure of three years, an order issued by the personnel ministry said.

Sivan, at present Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, will succeed Kumar, who was appointed on January 12, 2015. He graduated from Madras Institute of Technology in aeronautical engineering in 1980 and completed Master of Engineering in Aerospace engineering from IISc, Bangalore in 1982, according to his biodata.

Subsequently, he completed his PhD in Aerospace engineering from IIT, Bombay in 2006. Sivan joined the ISRO in 1982 in PSLV project and has contributed immensely towards end to end mission planning, mission design, mission integration and analysis.

He has numerous publications in various journals and is a fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, Aeronautical Society of India and Systems Society of India. Sivan has received numerous awards throughout his career which includes Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Sathyabama University, Chennai in April 2014 and Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr Vikram Sarabhai Research award for 1999.


7. President Ram Nath Kovind Inaugurated 4th International Dharma Dhamma Conference.

President Ram Nath Kovind is arriving Bihar on Thursday to inaugurate 4th International Dharma-Dhamma Conference on "State and Social Order in Dharma-Dhamma Traditions" at Rajgir in Nalanda district.
Nalanda University, in collaboration with the Centre for Study of Religion and Society, India Foundation, Ministry of External Affairs and the Vietnam Buddhist University, is organising the conference from January 11 to 13 at Rajgir International Convention Centre, about 100 km from the state capital here
The event is being organised as part of the commemorative events to celebrate the Silver Jubilee year of ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership, with support of the Union Ministry of External Affairs.
Besides President Kovind, Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik, CM Nitish Kumar, Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Assignments Tilak Marapana and Kingdom of Thailand`s Minister for Culture Vira Rojpojchanarat, among others, will attend the conference.
CM Nitish Kumar will on Thursday first go to Gaya and receive Kovind at Gaya International Airport. From the airport, he will go to Rajgir along with the President.
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8. Indian-Origin Businessman Sunny Verghese appointed as WBCSD Chairman.
Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman Sunny Verghese has been appointed as the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Verghese, 57, Co-Founder and the CEO of Singapore`s agri-business group Olam International Limited, is the first World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Chair from the agri-sector.
He succeeded Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever, on January 1 and will serve a two-year term.
WBCSD is a global network of more than 200 CEOs who are responsible for a combined revenue of more than USD 8.5 trillion and 19 million employees. The leading businesses in the CEO-led organisation work together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.
"Creating a sustainable future for all is fundamental to our survival. In leading a global agri business operating across 70 markets, I`ve seen intimately how each action we take separately as business leaders can impact millions of people, as well as the planet," Verghese said.
He said the potential was even greater when "we come together to take collective positive action".
"It gives me great pleasure to have the CEO of one of the largest agribusinesses as Chair of the WBCSD. We look forward to leveraging his experience and expertise to lead members in accelerating the transition towards a sustainable future for all," said WBCSD CEO and President Peter Bakker.
9. Indu Malhotra is First woman lawyer to be directly promoted as SC judge.
Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph, who set aside President`s rule in the hill state in 2016, and senior lawyer Indu Malhotra have been recommended for appointment as Supreme Court judges.
Sources told NDTV that the top court`s collegium, a committee of its senior-most judges led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, had decided on the two names against the six vacancies.
Once the government clears the recommendation. Indu Malhotra would be the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed to the top court. She has specialised in arbitration
In 2007, she was only the second woman lawyer to be appointed as senior advocate by the Supreme Court, three decades after the first, Justice Leila Seth, was designated.
Of the top court`s 25 judges, only one is a woman, Justice R Banumathi. She was elevated to the top court in August 2014. Justice Banumathi was the sixth woman to become a Supreme Court judge. Justice  Fathima Beevi was the first in 1989.
Just a month after he had delivered the verdict in 2016 that allowed Harish Rawat to return to power, the Supreme Court collegium had recommended the Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph`s transfer to the joint high court for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in Hyderabad.
But the government did not clear the transfer. The high court at Hyderabad still does not have a full-time Chief Justice.
COMMENTSAs per the established procedure, the recommendations of appointment, transfer and elevation of high court and Supreme Court judges are sent to the government. The government can return the file once, but usually agrees to it if the collegium reiterates its recommendation.
The Modi government has on a few occasions returned the recommendations despite being reiterated by the collegium.
10. Gallup International Survey ranked Indian PM Narendra Modi as the No. 3 world leader.
Jan 11 (UNI) Ahead of his visit to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum meeting, an international survey has ranked Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the top three leaders of the world.
An annual survey by Gallup International has put Prime Minister Modi at number 3 among the Global leaders.
Respondents in the survey, which was conducted among people across 50 nations, rated PM Modi among world`s top three leaders.
The top ranking in the survey went to French president Emmanuel Macron with a net score of 21 followed by German chancellor Angela Merkel with a net score of 20.
PM Modi is ranked at number three with a score of 8.
The survey comes as a major boost for Mr Modi ahead of his visit to Davos from January 22 to attend the World Economic Forum meeting.