Currents Affairs on 2nd March 2015

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Jagmohan Dalmiya elected as President of BCCI

  • Jagmohan Dalmiya was unanimously elected as President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
  • He was elected as President at the BCCI Annual General Meeting held at Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • Dalmiya will succeed N. Srinivasan who was barred from contesting BCCI Presidential election by Supreme Court over the corruption and IPL spot fixing scandal.
  • It is second term of Jagmohan Dalmiya as President of BCCI, earlier he had served from 2001–2004. He
  • was also International Cricket Council (ICC) chief for three years from 1997 to 2000.
  • In the meeting, K. Khanna was elected as Vice-President of Central Zone and T.C. Mathews elected as Vice- President of West Zone.
  • Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Chief Anuarag Thakur was elected as BCCI Secretary.
  • Amitabha Chowdhury was elected as Joint Secretary and Anirud Chaudhry was elected as Treasurer.

Arun Singh named as new Indian Ambassador to US

  • Senior IFS officer, Arun Singh has been named as new Indian Ambassador to US. Prior to this announcement he was serving as India’s Ambassador of France.
  • Arun Singh will replace S Jaishankar, who was appointed as Foreign Secretary.

About Arun Singh

  • Singh is a 1979-batch IFS officer. His first assignment abroad was at the Indian Embassy Moscow from 1981-1982.
  • He has served at the Indian Missions in Addis Ababa and in Tokyo.
  • He also has served as joint secretary in-charge to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan division in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
  • Earlier, Singh had served as ambassador to Israel (2005-2008) and later was served as deputy chief of mission in Washington (2008-2013.). Singh was appointed as ambassador to France in 2013.

Ficci appoints Arvind Virmani as Economic Mentor

  • Arvind Virmani will now mentor Ficci’s public policy & economic work.
  • He served as the country’s Chief Economic Advisor and Principal Advisor in the Planning Commission.
  • Virmani’s association as Economic Mentor to Ficci will spur the growth agenda for the Indian economy.

China kicks off Silk Road infrastructure project worth $79.8bn in Gansu province

  • China has launched a massive Silk Road infrastructure project worth $79.8 billion in the northwest province of Gansu as part of its ambitious Silk Road plan.
  • These project will facilitate trade and people exchanges between China and central Asian Countries.
  • It will be six-year Silk Road development project. 
  • On its completion it is going to add more than 60,000 kilometres of road network including 4,070 km expressways. Thus improving the connectivity of the existing transportation network. 
  • This project will also build 12 civilian airports in the next six years. Thus, expanding the air service reach to 82 per cent of the province’s population. 
  • Gansu province does not share its borders with any central Asian countries but it will be an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt.

About Silk Road projects

  • The Silk Road projects are part of China’s ambitious Silk Route plan, which involves maze of roads and ports connecting Asia, Europe and Africa.
  • These projects aims to revive China’s trade links especially its declining exports besides globally enhancing its sphere of influence. 

Govt gets 107 applications for allotment of 43 mines to PSUs

  • The Coal Ministry received 107 applications from PSUs like NTPC, SAIL, DVC and NLC for allocation of 43 coal blocks to be given to state-run firms.
  • The Palma II mine in Chhattisgarh got nine applications, the highest for a single block.
  • The companies which have applied for Gare Palma II mine in Chhattisgarh, include NTPC, Singareni Collieries Company Ltd, Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation and Gujarat State Electricity Corporation. 

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba wins Mo Ibrahim prize for African leadership 2014

Hifikepunye Pohamba, outgoing Namibian President has won the world’s most valuable individual award- Mo Ibrahim prize for African leadership for year 2014.

About Hifikepunye Pohamba

  • Pohamba was born in 1935 in Namibia and was a former rebel who fought for his country’s independence.
  • He has served as Namibian President two terms. For first time he was elected in 2004 and again in 2009. 
  • Now, he is due to be succeeded by elected President Hage Geingob.

Olacabs acquires TaxiForSure

  • Online cab aggregator Olacabs has acquired TaxiForSure for $200 million cash and equity deal.
  • After the acquisition both entities are going to operate as a separate entity. But as per acquisition deal the leadership and all 1700 employees of TaxiForSure will continue with the company.
  • While, Arvind Singal has been appointed as CEO of TaxiForSure and its founders Aparmeya Radhakrishna and G. Raghunandan for certain period will contribute as advisory role.
  • At present Olacabs as cab aggregator is market leader in the personnel taxi hiring segment with 1 lakh registered vehicles platforms.
  • While, TaxiForSure has 15000 registered vehicles in same platform and is present in 47 cities across India.

About Olacabs

  • Olacabs was founded in 2010 by two IIT Bombay graduates, Bhavish Aggarwal (CEO) and Ankit Bhati.
  • Its headquarter is located in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Government may declare additional 101 routes as national waterways 
  • Government is considering a proposal to declare an additional 101 routes as national waterways.
  • The proposal covers waterways across the country, which have potential for year-round commercial navigation.
  • Infrastructure development is poised to take a giant leap as the Budget promises rapid construction of highways, ports, ultra mega power plants, airports and renewable energy projects with the help of massive public funding made possible by delaying fiscal belt-tightening

World’s first electric satellites successfully lifted off by SpaceX rocket

World’s first electric satellites were successfully lifted off by a Space Exploration (SpaceX) Technologies rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, United States.
  • The rocket was carrying two all-electric commercial satellites built by Boeing.
  • The satellites are owned by the French satellite provider Eutelsat and Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS).
  • Eutelsat’s satellite is part of its 35-member commercial network.
  • It will provide services like mobile, internet, video and other communications services to expand its reach into the Americas. 
  • While, ABS new satellite will serve its customers in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Features of electric satellites

  • These satellites are fitted with lightweight, all-electric engines rather than conventional chemical propulsion systems.
  • These electric engines allow satellites to produce electric propulsion in order to reach and remain fixed in particular orbit. 
  • Electric propulsion from these satellites consumes less fuel compared with satellite having chemical propulsion. Thus making satellites lighter in weight and further reducing cost of launch.