Thursday, October 16, 2014

Starred Articles

Aamir Khan appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
World > UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador > Oct 10
Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has been appointed as UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador for South Asian region. Aamir was present in Nepal to attend UNICEF’s nutrition programme and promote child nutrition.

Union Bank launches telephone bill payment service for MTNL subscribers
Corporate > Union Bank – MTNL > Oct 13
Union Bank of India has launched a telephone bill payment service through mobile banking for MTNL subscribers. The service is now restricted to MTNL’s 16 lakh landline subscribers in Mumbai and will soon be extended to MTNL landline subscribers in Delhi and mobile subscribers as well. Union Bank plans to offer this facility to other service providers as well in the near future. Under the arrangement MTNL will pay Union Bank a fee of Rs 2.5 per transaction, creating an opportunity for the bank to earn a fee-based income.

Kotak Mahindra Bank launches Facebook-based funds transfer platform KayPay
Corporate > Kotak Mahindra > Oct 13
Mumbai headquartered Kotak Mahindra Bank has launched KayPay, a bank agnostic payment product for Facebook users to send money to each other. Users won't have to depend on net banking or have to know the details of the payee, the company said. According to the bank, users can transfer funds by choosing recipients from their Facebook friends list.
KayPay is built on top of the mobile based Immediate Payment System launched by the National Payment Corporation of India. Users have to register their bank accounts once to start using the service. KayPay uses Facebook user id & password and a One Time Password (OTP) to authenticate a transaction. Both sender and the receiver receive notification on SMS and Facebook.
In March, the bank had launched JiFi, a Twitter based product that lets users receive banking updates and rewards using the social network.

Binatone acquires Gecko-maker Connovate for an undisclosed amount
Corporate > Binatone > Oct 13
Connovate Technologies, the maker of multifunctional piece Gecko, has been acquired by Hong Kong-based consumer electronics company Binatone for an undisclosed amount, heralding a breakthrough for Indian startups in the internet-of-things (IoT) space. Connovate becomes the first Indian startup to have an exit in the internet of things domain, a technology that represents a truly connected world where all devices talk to one another.
The deal will give Connovate access to Binatone's shelves in 1,500 stores in the US and 1,000 in Europe and boost sales by at least 10 times. Gecko, its coin-sized electronic device, will be bundled with home, pet and baby monitoring solutions of Binatone, which are sold under Motorola's brand.


82nd Air Force Day celebrated on 8th October
India > Air Force Day > Oct 8
The 82nd Air Force Day was celebrated by the Indian Air Force on October 8th. On this day in 1932, the Indian Air Force was officially established. The day was observed with a grand parade and a spectacular air-show by a fleet of different fighter aircrafts of the Indian Air Force. Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan, Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag and former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar attended the parade.

Eric Betzig, Stefan Hell, William Moerner win Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Awards > Noble Prize - Chemistry > Oct 8
Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner shared the 2014 chemistry Nobel for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy, which has enabled the study of single molecules in ongoing chemical reactions in living cells. Their work has enabled modern chemists to study molecules and other substances at the nano-scale. Researchers can now, for example, see how molecules create junctions between nerve cells in the brain; track proteins involved in Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases; and can follow individual proteins in fertilized eggs as they divide into embryos.
Professor Betzig is Group Leader at Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in Virginia.
Professor Moerner is based at Stanford University.
Professor Hell is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and Division head at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg.

Patrick Modiano wins Nobel Prize in Literature
Awards > Noble Prize - Literature > Oct 8
French author Patrick Modiano, who has examined memory, identity and loss in the post-war era with elegant and spare prose, has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Modiano was born in July 1945 in a Paris suburb during the immediate aftermath of World War II. He studied at Lycee Henri-IV in Paris where his geometry teacher was Raymond Queneau, a writer. He has published some 30 books mainly novels and his storylines usually centre on young men cast adrift among high-living crooks in 1960s Paris.

Malala and Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize
Awards > Noble Prize - Peace > Oct 8
Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner, have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala is the youngest ever recipient of the prize.
Malala Yousafzai
Yousafzai came to global attention after she was shot in the head by the Taliban -- two years ago Thursday -- for her efforts to promote education for girls in Pakistan. Since then, after recovering from surgery, she has taken her campaign to the world stage. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Yousafzai's advocacy has since grown into an international movement. She is also the recipient of the Sakharov Prize for 2013.
Kailash Satyarthi
Kailash Satyarthi is an Indian children's rights activist. He founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) in 1980 and has acted to protect the rights of more than 83,000 children from 144 countries.

World Post Day observed on 9th October
World > World Post Day > Oct 9
World Post Day was observed across the world on 9th October, 2014. This day is celebrated to create awareness about the role of the postal sector in businesses and people’s lives as well as its contribution to the social and economic development of countries.

US approves two technology transfer licenses to India
World > USA > Oct 10
The US Department of Defence, Pentagon has approved two previously-stalled technology transfer licenses to India and in an unprecedented move has set aside $20 million for strategic cooperative science and technology projects with India. Frank Kendall, Pentagon's point person for the India-US Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI), however, did not give details about the two licenses approved by the US. He said he and his Indian counterpart Mohan Kumar have agreed to establish a written framework for DTTI and to meet in person every six months. The two have also agreed to continue efforts to identify specific co-development and co-production opportunities and that Acting Assistant Secretary for Research and Engineering Al Shaffer would continue to work with Scientific Adviser to the Minister of Defence to develop specific Science and Technology Projects.
Kendall refuted the notion that DTTI is an attempt to sell defence products to India, saying it is "just one facet of an initiative to build a deeper, closer, and broader relationship with one of the most important countries on earth.”

UK and India launch new financial partnership for deepening financial cooperation
India > UK India Financial Cooperation > Oct 10
The United Kingdom and India on Friday launched a new financial partnership which would establish closer ties and deepen financial cooperation between London and Mumbai, two important financial hubs. The financial partnership would be led by Uday Kotak, executive vice chairman and managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank from India and Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Standard Life, from the UK. The partnership would initially focus on five themes including collaboration to develop the corporate bond market, mutual sharing of expertise on banking regulation and capitalization, enhancing financial training and qualification, financial inclusion and developing programmes to improve cross-border provision of financial and insurance services.

Future Group and Amazon sign deal to jointly sell goods over the internet
Corporate > Future Group – Amazon > Oct 13
India’s largest listed retailer Future group and the world’s largest online retailer Amazon have entered into a deal to jointly sell goods over the internet. Future Group will sell more than 45 own labels of apparel initially, followed by in-house brands in the home, electronics and food categories, while Amazon will handle order fulfilment and customer service for the merchandise on its portal. Both firms will also develop a new line of products across categories to be exclusively sold at Amazon and Future Group's retail stores.


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