July 2015

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.
Ajay Mathur: The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has appointed him as the head, replacing Rajendra Pachauri, who headed the organisation for over 30 years.

Ram Sewak Sharma: A 1978 IAS batch officer of the Jharkhand cadre, he has been appointed as the Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

DIED
Omar Sharif: Hollywood actor from Egypt, best known for his title role as Doctor Zhivago in the Oscar-winning film, he died on 10 july 2015 at 83.

M.S. Viswanathan: Veteran music composer, he died on 14 July 2015, at age 88. His film compositions transcended every known category of music and he refused to be pinned down to musical traditions. In the Tamil film music world, no other composer was as diverse as he was and he had composed music for over 1,700 films in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada and worked with four Chief Ministers—N.T. Rama Rao, M.G. Ramachandran, M. Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former Presient of India (2002-07), also known as the ‘missile man’ who became popular as ‘People’s President’, he died on 27 July 2015, at age 83.

MILESTONES
R. Paul Singh: Indian-American Professor, he has been named as the 2015 Global Confederation for Higher Education Associations for Agriculture and Life Sciences World Agriculture Prize laureate.

Ira Singhal: A physically handicapped IRS officer from Delhi, she has topped the 2014 Union Public Service Commission Civil Services Examination becoming a role model for one and all.

Gennady Padalka: Russian cosmonaut, he has officially set a new Guinness world record by spending 804 days on the ISS. He surpassed cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, former Russian Air Force officer who spent 803 days, nine hours and 41 minutes in the space, across six missions from 1998 to 2005. In addition, Padalka is scheduled to return to earth in September 2015 and by then he would have spend a total of 877 days in space.

Nischal Narayanam: He has become the youngest Chartered Accountant in the country at just 19. Among his other accolades are: the youngest ‘Double Guinness World Record holder, youngest World Memory Champion, one of the “7 brilliant brains of the world” as accredited by National Geographic Channel and youngest graduate in the history of Osmania University from where he completed his B.Com and M.Com degrees. He was also awarded the national child award for exceptional achievement.

Nalini Sengupta: Veteran mountaineer who has scaled several summits till now, she has been bestowed with honour of having a peak in Himalayas named after her. Trekkers of Giripremi, a noted mountaineering institute in Pune, conquered peak 5260 in the Hamta pass region in Himalayas and decided to name it as “Mount Nalini”, to salute her persistent efforts to inculcate mountaineering in youngsters since 1970. Generally, the first team who summits a new virgin peak is granted the honour to name it. Survey of India is the authority which sanctions names to a mountain which fall under the Indian territory. This is a long process but as a reputed mountaineering institute, the trekkers are confident that Survey of India will sanction their name to the peak (5260) as Mount Nalini.

EVENTS
JULY 2015
2—The United States and Cuba formally agree to restore diplomatic ties that had been severed for 54 years, fulfilling a pledge made six months ago by the former Cold War enemies.

6—Greeks overwhelmingly reject conditions of a rescue package from creditors. The resounding ‘no’ vote throwa the future of Greece’s euro zone membership into further doubt and deepens a standoff with lenders.

14—Iran and six major world powers reach a nuclear deal, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East, and which Israel called an “historic surrender”.

14—NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft finally reaches Pluto after a nine-and-a-half-year mission.

15—Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches the ambitious Skill India mission (Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana), aimed at giving vocational training youth in the country.

20—The United States and Cuba abolish one of the last vestiges of the Cold War as they restore diplomatic ties frozen for half a century. For the first time since 1961, the Cuban red, white and blue flag flies over Havana’s newly upgraded embassy in Washington, just a stone’s throw from the White House.

21—Officials from the world’s largest emerging nations launch the New Development Bank (NDB), the second of two new policy banks heavily backed by Beijing that are being pitched as alternatives to existing institutions such as the World Bank. Also known as the BRICS bank, it will fund infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

31—India and Bangladesh make a historic exchange of enclaves at midnight, finally ending a long-drawn border dispute between the two nations that had left some 51,000 residents of the enclaves Stateless for several decades.

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