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Major News and Events of 04 January 2014

What Happened on 04 January 2014

Gopinath joined the Aam Aadami Party

More and more high profile people are joining the Aam Aadami Party (AAP) and now is the turn of GR Gopinath. He is the one who started the low cost airline business in the country. Before him former Infosys executive V Balakrishnan and former chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland in India Meera Sanyal joined AAP. Gopinath said that he was always a part of anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. He knows the AAP leaders and wants to be a part of the crusade against corruption. So more and more of professionals are joining the Aam Aadami Party. The AAP leader Prashant Bhushan said that more and more professionals from the corporate world are getting in touch with the party and their names will be announced shortly. He further added that people from all spheres of life are welcomed. But they must be clear of AAP’s strategies and agenda. According to him companies do provide support to political parties but trend is changing as people are coming out to support AAP. Gopinath is not new to politics. He had earlier contested as an independent candidate from the Bangalore South constituency in 2009 but lost. He said that he is not sure about his role in AAP.

Kolkata gangrape protest – Protestors are demanding death penalty

New wave of protest against Kolkata gang rape has started when people of Bihar have come out on streets on Friday. They demanded the death penalty to the attackers. The accused raped 16-year-old-girl and then set her ablaze in West Bengal. Chief Minister of Bihar has extended a help of Rs 1 lakh to the girl’s family. A top Bihar Police official went to handover the money to the girl’s family in Kolkatta. Girl’s father actually belonged to Shahpur Patori in Samastipur district, about 100 km from Patna. But protestors are demanding that they need nothing less than death sentence to the attackers. The girl belonged to district of Samastipur and people from her hometown recommended Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take up the issue with the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Activists are saying that state government’s involvement is must as this is an issue of justice. In a gang rape the girl was raped twice in October. She was admitted to the hospital for severe burn injuries on 23 December where she breathed her last. In her dying declaration, the victim said that two of the rapists had set her on fire. Murder charge had been filed against the accused and six of the accused are behind the bars.

Suchitra Sen is stable but on ventilator

Veteran Bengali actress Suchitra Sen is stable but on ventilator and still in the critical care unit (CCU) of a clinic. She had been admitted to the Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkatta due to her critical condition. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited her on Friday and said that Sen is stable. Banerjee met doctors treating Sen and also Sen’s daughter Moon Moon Sen in the clinic. Banerjee further added that she did  not meet Suchitra Sen because Sen shunned away from public life about 30-35 years back. Sen’s doctor, critical care specialist Subrata Maitra said that need of ventilator support came when Sen’s oxygen saturation dipped. Team of four doctors is keeping a check on Sen’s health and decision of ventilation has been taken after consulting Sen’s daughter, chest specialists and the team. It is an non-invasive ventilation through a mask. Sen was undergoing treatment for chest infection since Dec 23 in the clinic. Her condition deteriorated on Sunday night and she was then taken to CCU. Her vital parameters were normal except for her heartbeat that became irregular. Sen is now 82 years old and living a very restrictive life.  She only meets her daughter, grand-daughters and handful of other people close to her.

Video on Devyani Khobragade strip search goes viral

Anything can go viral on social media and this time it is a video showing CCTV footage of the strip search of Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade. She was arrested in New York. The video shows a woman being strip searched by the law enforcement officials. Woman in video is screaming during search. The United States said that the video is a hoax and provocative in nature. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said yesterday that video is absolutely provocative in nature and it is not the footage of Ms. Khobragade. Khobragade is a 1999-batch IFS officer and was posted as India's Deputy Consul General in New York. She was arrested on the charges of providing false visa papers for her maid Sangeeta Richard. Khobragade was released on a USD 25,000 bond. She has also given a temporary diplomatic immunity. The State Department had words with the US Marshals Service regarding the video. It was then authenticated by the officials that video is not real. The CCTV footage does not show the US marshal employees  and the manner in which strip search is shown is not the way it is done as per US Marshals' policy.

New criteria for giving away Arjuna Award

New criteria have been laid down for giving away Arjuna Awards which is the highest award in sports category. It has been done to add more transparency in the award process as the image of this prestigious award was getting tarnished. The changes have been brought by the ministry who decided to give 90% weightage to medal winners. This includes international championships, sports events in Summer, Winter and Paralympics, Asian and Commonwealth Games. For Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna or Arjuna Awards, sportsperson who has won medals in Olympics and Paralympics will be considered. Further it will depend upon the type of medal they won. Also whether they have already been honored with anyone of these awards will be considered. Olympics will be followed by World Championship/World Cup (once in four years), followed by Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. For the rest of the 10% marks, the selection committee will assess the player on the basis of profile and standard of the sports events in which he or she has won medals. Also many other factors such as leadership quality, fair play, team spirit and sense of discipline will play a major role while deciding. Sports secretary Ajit Sharan said that new criteria will add total transparency in the entire process. For the games not included in the Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games the number of awards and name of the players will be proposed by the selection committee. Maximum of two awards can be recommended by the committee and for the selection of players criteria like sportsman spirit, leadership qualities, discipline etc will be considered. Each year only 15 awards can be given. Though this system is not foolproof but certainly better than the previous one. There will be two-layered background check of the players.

Largest corporate learning and development centre in Thiruvananthapuram by TCS

India is soon going to have the world's largest corporate learning and development centre in Thiruvananthapuram. This center will be developed by India's largest software service firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Technopark area of the city. The center will train 50,000 professionals each year. Foundation stone has been laid by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who expressed his happiness. He added that the center will provide the required skill based training to young men and women at a large scale which is the need of the day. The facility will cover an area of 6.1 million square feet with a capacity to train 15,000 individuals at a time and 50,000 annually. Professionals and faculty will also be given residential accommodation. TCS chief executive and managing director N Chandrasekaran said that TCS has been present in Thiruvananthapuram since 1997 which is its great learning and development center. He also said that this center will create professionals much needed in the IT industry and it will also create benchmark in the corporate learning. Not only this but it will also provide employment to 2000 skilled and unskilled local people for four years. Worldwide 2,85,000 professionals are working with TCS and the company spends more than 15 million hours on learning and development programmes for its employees annually. Hence this is really a big move by TCS.

FAQs and Answers on Indian History and Geography
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