06 Jan, 2017
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1) The 104th Indian Science Congress (ISC) was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 3 January 2017. The latest edition of this prestigious annual event is being hosted at which place? – Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
Explanation: Sri Ventakteswara University (Tirupati) is hosting the 104th edition of the Indian Science Congress. The event is being organized from 3 to 7 January 2017 and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who addressed the gathering of eminent scientists at Tarakarama Stadium of the University.
– Six Nobel Prize winners from different countries such as the US, Japan, Israel, France and Bangladesh also took part in the event besides about 14,000 scientists and scholars from across the country.
– It is the second time that Tirupati is hosting the prestigious ISC, the first being in 1983 when the 70th ISC was held here.
2) Guru Gobind Singh’s which historic birth anniversary celebrations concluded with fanfare across the country on 5 January 2017? – 350th
Explanation: The innumerable celebratory programmes held for observing the 350th Birth Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of Sikhs, concluded on 5 January 2017. The main programme was held in Patna, the birth place of Guru Maharaj.
– To mark the occasion, a huge Prakash-Parv was observed in Patna Sahib Gurudwara, where the Guru was born on 22 December 1666. Apart from this over 5-lakh Sikhs from all over the world assembled in Patna for which prayers and langar (community kitchen) was held in 61-acre area in Patna’s historic Gandhi Maidan.
– Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth Guru of the Sikh order and before he left the mortal world, he proclaimed that the Adi Granth would be henceforth the Guru for all Sikhs , the proclamation known as ‘Guru manayo Granth’.
– His teachings were essentially a continuation of Guru Nanak and the other Gurus. He created the Khalsa or the pure.
3) Who took over as the new Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on 4 January 2017? – Prof. David R. Syiemlieh
Explanation: Eminent historian David R. Syiemlieh was appointed the new Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) by President Pranab Mukherjee on 3 January 2017. He took over his responsibilities from 4 January. He succeeded former IAS officer Alka Sirohi as chairman.
– Syiemlieh will occupy this prestigious post till 21 January 2018. He was till now the member of UPSC. He comes from the Khasi community and became the second person from Meghalaya, after Rose Millian Bathew, to hold the coveted post. Bathew was the first from Meghalaya to hold the post of UPSC chairperson. She was also the first woman to chair the commission from 1992 until 1996.
– UPSC is India’s central agency authorised to conduct various exams such as Civil Services Examination (IAS), Engineering Services Examination, Combined Medical Services Examination, Combined Defence Services Examination, National Defence Academy Examination, Naval Academy Examination, Indian Forest Service, etc. It consists of a chairman and ten members.
4) Google Inc. on 4 January 2017 announced which two new initiatives for small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India with the view of utilizing the power of the Internet to transform entrepreneurship? – ‘Digital Unlocked’ and ‘My Business Websites’
Explanation: ‘Digital Unlocked’ and ‘My Business Websites’ are the names of two website-based initiatives announced by Google CEO Sundar Pichai on 4 January 2017.
– In launching these new initiatives, Google cited a joint study with KPMG that showed 68% of the 51 million SMBs in India are offline. The study attributed the lack of understanding of the benefits of digital technology and technical skills as the primary reasons for being offline. Their digitisation will dramatically increase their contribution to the Indian GDP
– The Digital Unlocked initiative is meant to empower Indian SMBs with essential digital skills. Digital Unlocked’s Primer app seeks to teach digital marketing skills in an interactive manner, and has been launched in English and Hindi. It works offline, and Google is touting upcoming support for Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
– ‘My Business Websites’ lets business easily create a mobile optimised website for free. Using data provided by business alongside photos from Google Maps, this service will create template, editable websites. The service will be available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam.
5) Which Indian origin trustee was on 5 January 2017 appointed President of the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the largest and most influential philanthropies? – Rajiv J. Shah
Explanation: Rajiv J. Shah was appointed the new President of the Rockefeller Foundation on 5 January 2017. He will succeed Judith Rodin, who has been president for 12 years. 43-year old Shah will be the youngest person and the first Indian-American to lead the Rockefeller Foundation.
– The Rockefeller Foundation is one of United States’ largest and most influential philanthropies. It was founded in 1913 by the oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller. The foundation says it has given away the equivalent of more than $17 billion in today’s dollars and donates almost $200 million annually.
– Shah until recently had been the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (UNAIDS). He is presently one of the trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation. He had worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for nearly a decade.
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