Daily NEWS Update - 25th July 2015

1. WTO slashes tariffs on IT goods but implementation held up. 

i. The World Trade Organization finalised a list of 201 information technology products to be freed from import tariffs in a $1.3 trillion deal on Friday, but said it was still short of the critical mass of countries needed to put it into force. 

ii. Valued at $1.3 trillion in annual trade, the products include new generation semi-conductors, GPS navigation, medical equipment, as well as machine tools for manufacturing printed circuits, telecommunications satellites and touch screens, Xinhua news agency reported. 

iii. Eliminating tariffs on trade of this magnitude will have a huge impact. It will support lower prices, including in many other sectors that use IT products as inputs, it will create jobs and it will help to boost GDP growth around the world," Azevedo said.  

2. Ajay Mathur appointed as Director-General of TERI. 

i. Ajay Mathur, the newly designated director general of TERI, is not as visible as R K Pachauri but no less illustrious. The current head of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, a government body under the Ministry of Power, is a technocrat who has been active on the climate change circuit for several years now. 

ii. A chemical engineer from Roorkee, Mathur is the man behind the energy efficiency programme of the government. 

iii. Incidentally, he had started his career at TERI in 1986 and was last associated with it in 1999.  

3. Peter Higgs receives Copley Medal, world’s oldest scientific prize. 

i. Nobel prize winner Peter Higgs has joined the ranks of Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein by winning the world’s oldest scientific prize, the Royal Society’s Copley Medal, for his pioneering work on the theory of the Higgs boson, which was discovered in 2012. 

ii. 86-year-old Higgs received the Copley Medal for his fundamental contribution to particle physics with his theory explaining the origin of mass in elementary particles, confirmed by the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. 

iii. The Copley medal was first awarded by the Royal Society in 1731, 170 years before the first Nobel Prize. 

iv. It is awarded for outstanding achievements in scientific research and has most recently been awarded to eminent scientists such as theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, DNA fingerprinting pioneer Alec Jeffreys and Andre Geim, for his discovery of graphene. 

v. In 1964, Higgs proposed a theory about the existence of a particle that explains why these other particles have a mass.  

4. PM launches new scheme for power reforms in rural areas. 

i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana’ for power sector reforms in rural areas with a view to ensuring round the clock electricity supply to farmers and rural households. 

ii. The new power scheme focuses on feeder separation (rural households and agricultural) and strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure, including metering at all levels in rural areas. 

iii. The scheme is one of the flagship programmes of the Power Ministry and will facilitate 24x7 supply of electricity. 

iv. The scheme has an outlay of Rs. 76,000 crore for implementation of the projects under which the Centre shall provide grant of Rs. 63,000 crore.  

5. President nominates 2 members of Anglo-Indian Community to Lok Sabha. 

i. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed 2 members of Anglo-Indian Community to Lok Sabha as per the provisions of Article 331 of Indian Constitution. 

ii. Professor Richard Hay: He hails from Kerala. Presently, he teaches economics in various academic institutes in India as well as abroad. 

iii. George Baker: He hails from West Bengal and is actor by profession. Since 1970s, he has acted in several Assamese and Bengali movies. 

iv. His notable film was ‘Chameli Memsaab’ which had won national film award in 1975. 

v. Presently, he is member of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). He had unsuccessfully contested for 2014 Lok Sabha election on BJP ticket from Howrah in West Bengal after he had joined BJP in 2014.  

6. Lupin acquires US pharmaceutical firm Gavis. 

i. Indian pharmaceutical major Lupin has acquired US based Gavis Pharmaceuticals in cash-free and debt-free transaction for 880 million dollars (around 5,606 crore rupees). 

ii. In this regard, Lupin has entered into definite agreement with Gavis Pharmaceuticals LLC and its subsidiary Novel Laboratories Inc. 

iii. This acquisition will help the Indian company to expand and deepen its presence in US and enter into niche generics areas such as dermatology and controlled substances along with other high-value areas.   

7. Indian-American Amitoj Chhabra wins junior title at US Powerlifting Championships. 

i. 20 year old Indian-American Amitoj Chhabra has won the Junior Title at the US Powerlifting Association National Championships 2015. 

ii. He won this title after he lifted a total of 1,383 pounds in the junior title Championship which was held at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas. 

iii. He is son of a Punjabi father and a Nepali mother. He had started powerlifting in 2013 and began competing at various championships in May 2014. Presently, he is undergoing Adam Lauritzen of Silverback Strength and Conditioning in Reno.