Current Affairs of 28 September 2015

1. India’s 1st dedicated satellite for astronomy research ASTROSAT launched
Indian Space Research Orgnaisation (ISRO)  launched India’s first dedicated satellite for astronomy research, named ASTROSAT.
The satellite was launched from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh at 10 am by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C30). PSLV-C30 is the tenth flight of PSLV in its 'XL' Configuration.
It was launched after the end of its 50-hour long countdown for its launch which began on 26 September 2015 at 8am.
Scientific objectives of ASTROSAT
• To understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes.
• Estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars.
• Study star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy.

• Detect new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky.
• Perform a limited deep field survey of the Universe in the Ultraviolet region.
Characteristic features of ASTROSAT 
• ASTROSAT is India’s first dedicated multi wavelength space observatory. 
• The mission is capable of performing observations in Ultraviolet (UV), optical, low and high energy X-ray wavebands at the same time.  
• The satellite is of about 1513 kg and was placed in a 650 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 deg to the equator around the Earth.
• It carries four X-ray payloads, one UV telescope and a charge particle monitor.
• ASTROSAT’s life span is five years.

2. FMC merges with SEBI; Jaitley rings the bell to solemnise amalgamation
The commodities regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) formally merged with the securities market regulator SEBI in Mumbai.
SEBI's Whole-Time Member Rajeev Kumar Agarwal would oversee the commodities market regulation in the merged entity under the overall guidance of the SEBI Chairman.
SEBI was set up in 1988 as a non-statutory body for regulating the securities markets, while it became an autonomous body in 1992 with fully independent powers.
FMC, on the other hand, has been regulating commodities markets since 1953, but lack of powers has led to wild fluctuations and alleged irregularities remaining untamed in this market segment.
The commodities market has been known to be more prone to speculative activities compared to the better-regulated stock market, while illegal activities like ‘dabba trading’ have also been more frequent in this segment.
Besides, the high-profile NSEL scam has rocked this market in the recent past and the subsequent regulatory and government interventions in this case eventually led to the government announcing FMC’s merger with SEBI.
The announcement for the merger was made by the Finance Minister in his Budget speech earlier this year and he rung the customary bell today to formalise the merger.
This is the first major case of two regulators being merged, as against the relatively more frequent practice worldwide of creating new regulatory authorities, including by carving out new bodies from the existing entities.

3. Seven MoUs signed to boost start-ups in India
Aimed at giving a big boost to start-ups in India, as many as seven MoUs have been signed between various organisations of India and the US.
The MoUs were signed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the India-US Start-up Konnect 2015 in San Jose.
The first MoU between Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences is to develop Indo-US Life Science Sister Innovation Hub so as to enhance science-based entrepreneurship, research, academia and businesses by leveraging each other’s ecosystems.
Department of Biotechnology and Prakash Lab, Stanford University signed another MoU on Foldscope — a frugal science innovation that has emerged from a lab of an Indian with majority of Indians working in this laboratory.
This lab will work with DBT to further develop and deploy the products from this lab.
National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) and the Indus Entrepreneurs signed a MoU to collaborate in a mutually satisfactory form and manner in order to support the creation of a vibrant ecosystem to foster technology entrepreneurship in India and Silicon Valley.
IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) and Lester Centre for Entrepreneurship of the Haas Business School of the University of California, signed a MoU to collaborate on mutual incubation, and support each other’s activities of mutual interest.
CIIE also signed a MoU with Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator to extend NGIN Membership benefits to CIIE.
The CIIE /LACI NGIN Landing Pad Programme is a reciprocal initiative that enables entrepreneurs and innovators in the cleantech space to gain access to the California and Indian markets.
The programme will assist early and growth stage cleantech companies with market expansion through partnerships and funding opportunities in California and India.
IIM Ahmedabad’s CIIE signed a MoU with Tata Trust for founding partner for the Bharat Fund, which will provide seed funding to Indian entrepreneurs.
CIIE also signed a MoU with Google to support technology and impact entrepreneurs through strategic support.

4. Union Government formed B S Baswan committee to revisit civil services examination pattern
Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions in the fourth week of September revealed that an expert committee was constituted to revisit the civil services examination pattern.
The seven member committee was constituted on 12 August 2015 and is headed by B S Baswan. Also, the committee was mandated to submit report within six months from the date of its constitution.
Terms of reference of the expert committee
• To evaluate the effectiveness of the existing scheme of the civil services examination in selecting suitable candidates keeping in view various factors such as inclusiveness, fair mix of candidates from different disciplines, etc.
• To examine the plan of the examination and suggest suitable changes to all the three stages of the examination viz., preliminary, mains and interview.
• To examine the time frame in which the examination is conducted and suggest suitable changes to reduce the time taken for selection of candidates by utilizing information and communication technologies, etc.
• To suggest timeframe for implementation of the revised pattern of examination
• To suggest suitable eligibility criteria for candidates appearing at the examination with special reference to minimum and maximum age limits, number of attempts; to review the eligibility criteria for candidates, who have already been selected to different services, and who desire to reappear for selection to some other services;
• To suggest a mechanism for designing and periodically updating the syllabus for each of the papers in the two states
• To review the logistical requirements and constrainsts of conducting the examination in view of the increasing number of candidates at the preliminary level
Members of the committee
B S Baswan (Chaiman)
B N Nawalawala
Dr Hari Pratap Gautam
Dr Anil Sahasrabudhe
Prof Peter Ronal deSouza
B Mahadevan
M P Tangirala (Member-Secretary, UPSC)

5. Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis won Ghangzhou Open Women’s Doubles title
Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis  won the Guangzhou Open title of tennis. The top-seeded Indo-Swiss pair defeated the Chinese pair of Xu Shilin and You Xiaodi 6-3, 6-1 in the summit clash held at Guangzhou of China.
It was Sania's seventh title of the 2015 season and sixth with Hingis. She won one trophy with Bethanie-Mattek Sands in Sydney.

5. Former England Fast Bowler Frank Tyson Died
One of the fastest bowlers of all time, former England cricketer Frank Tyson died  in Australia. He was 85 years old. Nicknamed Typhoon, Tyson emigrated to Australia in 1960.
Between 1954 and 1959, he played only 17 Tests for England, but captured 76 wickets at an average of 18.56.

6. World Tourism Day observed with theme One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities
World Tourism Day was observed across the world on 27 September 2015. The theme of the World Tourism Day 2015 is One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities.
The theme wants you to talk Tourism and help to raise awareness of its impact on countries and communities around the world. It talks about its potential as a force for good and creating a better world for all. 
Burkina Faso will host the Official Celebration 2015.

7. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won 2015 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix title
Lewis Hamilton of Britain and Mercedes racing driver  won the 2015 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix title. The final race was held at the suzuka circuit in Mie Prefecture, Japan.
While Hamilton topped the table, his team mate Nico Rosberg of Germany stood second and Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) finished third.
Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) and Sergio Perez (Mexico) of Force India stood at the 6th and 12th positions respectively.

8. Dr. Jacob Tsimerman wins 2015 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize
Mathematician Dr. Jacob Tsimerman from Canada has been chosen for the prestigious 2015 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize. Presently he is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Canada and his mathematics research work is primarily in the field of Number Theory and surrounding topics. He will be conferred with the prize during the International Conference on Number Theory to be held at SASTRA University in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.

9. Abhinav Bindra wins Gold in Asian Air Gun Championships
Ace Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra has clinched gold medal in the men’s 10 metre Air Rifle event of the Asian Air Gun Championships held in New Delhi. Bindra shot 208.3 points to settle at first position ahead of Kazakhstan’s Yurkov Yuriy (206.6) who is current world number eight and Yu Jaechul (185.3) of South Korea. In this event, India’s Gagan Narang was placed at fourth position with a score of 164.5 points. While another Indian, Chain Singh placed at seventh position of after notching up 122.7 points.

10. Pankaj Advani wins 2015 IBSF World Billiards Championship
India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani has won 2015 IBSF World Billiards Championship (Time Format) in Adelaide, Australia. It was his overall 14th World title. He won 2015 IBSF World title by defeating Peter Gilchrist of Singapore by 1168 points. Advani is 14-time World Billiards and Snooker Champion. He is only player in the world to win world titles in all formats of both, Billiards and Snooker. He is the first cueist in the world to win the Grand double three times in 2005 and 2008 respectively.

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