1. Earth 2.0: What we know about Kepler 452b, the most Earth-like planet ever discovered
i. Nasa scientists have announced the discovery of Kepler 452b, also known as ‘Earth 2.0′, an earth-like planet in our galaxy.
ii. Over the course of years of data-gathering by the Kepler space telescope and even more analysis and work here on Earth, scientists confirmed the existence of the distant exoplanet, which is the most earth-like planet ever discovered.
iii. A year on the newly-discovered planet – the time it takes to orbit its star, Kepler 452 – lasts for 385 days, only 20 days longer than a year here on Earth.
iv. Kepler 452b has been the perfect distance from its star for many billions of years. According to Jon Jenkins, the Kepler data analysis lead at NASA’s Ames Research Centre, this means it’s possible that it hosts life on its surface, or at least could have at some point in its history.
2. Maharashtra cabinet approved scheme for development of villages around Tiger reserves
i. Maharashtra Cabinet on 23 July 2015 approved Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Jan Van Vikas Scheme. The scheme proposed by Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar in the state’s annual budget 2015-16 aims at creation of comprehensive development of villages in the buffer zones of tiger reserves and around them.
ii. Its objectives are to reduce the man-animal conflict and achieve sustainable development of these villages. The scheme also aims at reducing the dependence of villagers on the forest.
iii. The scheme will seek to boost the supplementary businesses to farming activities and create alternative employment possibilities in these areas. The scheme will be launched on project basis from 2015-16 to 2019-2020.
3. Reliance Group, Augur Overseas Operation signed MoU to manufacture Aerostats and Airships
i. Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group through its entity Reliance Unmanned Systems on 23 July 2015 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Augur Overseas Operation of Singapore to manufacture Aerostats and Airships in India.
ii. As per the MoU, both the parties will collaborate on new technologies for the civil and military market as part of the Make in India initiative of Union Government. The two companies have agreed to form a joint venture (JV) firm with Reliance having 51 percent stake as per Government’s policy.
iii. The joint venture will be involved in development, production, sales, modification and life support for different sizes of Aerostats and Airships. This JV will address the requirements of domestic market and also addressable regional/global markets.
iv. The Aerostat radars are deployed extensively in the surveillance, reconnaissance and communication roles by the army. These are also useful in detecting low-flying fighter aircraft.
4. CSC, HCL form joint venture to provide technology services, solutions to banks
i. IT companies CSC and HCL Technologies have signed an agreement to form a banking software and services company to provide technology services and solutions to the banking industry.
ii. The joint venture will invest in platform modernisation and product functionality enhancement and will capitalise on the proven capabilities of both companies in addressing the multi-billion-dollar, global core banking software market.
iii. CSC, which serves over 100 premier banking and financial services clients in 15 countries, will provide its core banking, cards, payments and default management industry talent, software and product development expertise.
iv. HCL will provide capital investment, its experience in product engineering and application implementation services, as well as banking sales and client engagement expertise.
5. T K Chand appointed as CMD of National Aluminium Company
i. T K Chand has been appointed as the new chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of National Aluminium Company(Nalco). Chand who has been Director (Commercial) of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), will take up his new position on Monday, July 27, 2015.
ii. The Public Enterprises Selection Board recommended his name for appointment as CMD of the Nalco in November last year after short-listing 11 candidates. The Department of Personnel issued the appointment order earlier this week.
iii. His appointment fills in a key leadership role at the country’s largest state-owned aluminium company, almost three months after the previous incumbent Ansuman Das superannuated on April 30, 2015.
6. Suresh Narayanan appointed new Nestle India MD after Maggi scare
i. Swiss food group Nestle has replaced the head of its Indian operations as the company battles its worst ever public relations crisis in the country, following a food scare that forced it to withdraw its popular instant noodles.
ii. Nestle has been at the centre of India’s worst food scare in a decade, after a regulator in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in May found excess lead in a sample of its hugely popular Maggi noodles.
iii. Criticised for its slow response to consumer worries over safety, the company withdrew the noodles from the shelves of Indian stores last month. It has since challenged the findings of India’s food safety authority in court. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee; Editing by Clara Ferreira Marques and Susan Fenton)
7. Shubham Jaglan won IJGA World Stars of Junior Golf event 2015
i. 10-year old Shubham Jaglan on 22 July 2015 won the IJGA World Stars of Junior Golf event in Las Vegas. Jaglan is the son of a milkman from rural Haryana, India.
ii. He shot a three round score of 106 winning by a five-stroke margin, ahead of two Americans Justin Dang and Sihan Sandhu and Thailand’s Pongsapak Laopakdee for the Boys 9-10 years category title.
iii. He also scripted a scintillating one-stroke win at the Junior World Golf Championships that was held at Welk Resort Fountain Course in California.