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Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi awarded highest civilian honour

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred with Amir Amanullah Khan Award, the country's highest civilian honour of Afghanistan.
•    He was awarded the honour by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
•    During his 25 minute-long speech after inaugurating the dam, PM Modi also invoked Chisht-born Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti who settled down in Ajmer and is venerated by thousands of people visiting his shrine.
•    At the close of the speech, the prime minister also wished the people of Afghanistan and all Muslims across the world for the Holy Month of Ramzan.
•    Modi is the first Indian and is among a handful of foreign leaders to receive the award.
•    The award is named after the Afghan national hero Amanullah Khan who championed the cause of Afghanistan’s freedom. He was the ruler of the Emirate of Afghanistan from 1919-1929.

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P Sreeramakrishnan elected as Speaker of Kerala Legislative Assembly

On 3 June 2016 P Sreeramakrishnan was elected as the Speaker of the 14th legislative assembly of Kerala. 
•    He was the candidate of ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and a two-time legislator from Ponnani constituency.
•    In the voting held, he secured 92 votes against UDF's V.P. Sajeendran from Kunnathunadu constituency, who got 46 votes in the 140-member legislative assembly.
•    The only MLA of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) O Rajagopal voted in favour of P Sreeramakrishnan whereas the Independent MLA PC George's vote was marked invalid.
•    Earlier on 25 May 2016, veteran CPI-M leader Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn-in as 12th Chief Minister of Kerala.
•    In the Assembly Election held in May 2016, the CPI (M)-led left Democratic Front (LDF) came back to power in Kerala after 5 years, winning 91 seats in the 140 member Assembly, while UDF won 47 seats. The other two seats were won by BJP and Independent candidate each.

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Nita Ambani first Indian women nominated for International Olympic Committee

Nita Ambani, founder-chairperson of Reliance Foundation, has been nominated as an independent candidate to be a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
•    The election for membership, is scheduled at the 129th IOC Session at Rio de Janeiro between August 2 and August 4. 
•    She will continue to serve as a member of the IOC until she reaches 70 years of age.
•    IOC President is Thomas Bach.
•    Among Indians, Ambani will be the first woman and the third individual to become a member of the IOC after the late Sir Dorabji Tata and Raja Randhir Singh.
•    Ambani spearheads all of Reliance Industries' initiatives in sports, notably cricket, football, basketball, kabaddi, tennis and golf, either through the company, the foundation or its joint ventures.
•    Sports is also an important component at the 13 schools overseen by her - which educate more than 15,000 students - and at the Dhirubhai Ambani International School and the Reliance Foundation.

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Rahul Johri takes charge as BCCI's first CEO

Rahul Johri on 1st  June 2016 assumed charge as first ever chief executive officer (CEO) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Mumbai.  
•    He was appointed on the recommendation of the Justice Lodha Committee.
•    He will be reporting to the BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke and will be based at headquarters of BCCI in Mumbai.
•    He will be responsible for “smooth functioning of operations, stakeholder management and building robust strategies for promoting of sport.
•    Before joining BCCI, he served as Asia Pacific's Executive Vice-President for Discovery Networks and General Manager for South Asia.
•    He had an experience in the media industry over 20 plus years.
•    He is widely respected in the broadcasting industry for converting Discovery to an 11-channel bouquet.
•    He was associated with Discovery Networks for the last 15 years and was leading South Asia operations for the past eight years.

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Madhavan Becomes Goodwill Ambassador For LEPRA India

Bollywood Actor R Madhavan feels proud to be the goodwill ambassador for the the LEPRA India organisation that fights against diseases like leprosy and tuberculosis.
•    LEPRA India is a non-government organisation working in the fields of leprosy, tuberculosis, malaria, HIV or AIDS and community health.
•    On the work front, Madhavan was last seen on the silver screen in 2016 "Saala Khadoos" directed by Sudha Kongara.
•    Lepra is a UK registered international charity. With a history spanning almost 90 years, they currently work on the frontline in India and Bangladesh to treat, educate, rehabilitate and give a voice to people affected by disease, poverty and prejudice and discrimination.
•    Lepra started life in 1924 as the 'British Empire Leprosy Relief Association', by Sir Leonard Rogers, with financial help from Sir Frank Carter, a Calcutta businessman and philanthropist.
•    Since then Lepra has grown to be an international charity giving a voice to people living at the intersection of disease, poverty and prejudice by helping them to improve their health, lives and livelihoods.

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Former Delhi Police Chief B S Bassi Appointed UPSC Member

BS Bassi, who had a controversial tenure as Delhi Police Commissioner with frequent run-ins with the AAP government, was on Tuesday appointed a member of UPSC, a Constitutional post, with a five year tenure.
•    The Government cleared the name of 60-year-old Bassi as member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which conducts the civil services examination to select IAS and IPS officers among others. The Commission has a maximum strength of 10 members besides a Chairperson.
•    A 1977 batch IPS officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre, Bassi retired as Delhi Police chief in February this year after completing 60 years.
•    He will have a tenure of about five years till February, 2021. Under the Constitution, a member of the UPSC can have a maximum of six years tenure or till he attains age of 65 years.
•    Bassi's tenure as Delhi Police Commissioner, especially towards the end, had come for criticism after the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar over sedition row. The former police chief was involved in a running battle with the AAP government led by Arvind Kejriwal.
•    The UPSC is headed by a chairman besides maximum of ten members. With Bassi's appointment, the Commission is in its full strength.
•    Alka Sirohi, David R Syiemlieh, Manbir Singh, Former Navy Vice Chief DK Dewan, Vinay Mittal, Chhatar Singh, Prof Hem Chandra, Arvind Saxena and Prof Pradeep Kumar Joshi are other members of the UPSC, headed by Deepak Gupta as its Chairman.
•    The members to the Commission are mainly experts drawn from various streams which includes the IAS, IPS and other All India services.
•    It had former CBI Director A P Singh as one of its member, representing the IPS. However, after his name was linked to controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi, he tendered his resignation in January 2015.

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Ashok Lavasa Becomes New Finance Secretary

Senior IAS officer Ashok Lavasa was on 31 May 2016 was appointed as the Finance Secretary. Lavasa, at present serving as the Expenditure Secretary, is a 1980 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre.
•    The post was lying vacant since April 2016 after the retirement of Ratan Watal. After retirement, Watal was appointed as principle advisor, social sector, in the NITI Aayog.
•    Prior to this appointment, he served as Civil Aviation Secretary and Environment Secretary.
•    Before that, he served in various capacities in the Ministries of Power, Renewable Energy among others.
•    He holds a Master’s degree in English literature from Delhi University and an MBA from Southern Cross University in Australia.
•    Prior to joining the civil services, he taught literature and also had a brief stint at State Bank of India.
•    He did his schooling from Belgaum Military School, one of the five military schools in India, from 1966 to 1973.
•    He co-authored a book titled An Uncivil Servant with former IAS officer and Stellar Group’s Chairman Ravi Mohan Sethi.
•    Norms for appointment of Finance Secretary
•    According to the existing norms, the senior most of the five secretaries in the Finance Ministry is appointed as Finance Secretary. The other four senior secretaries and their post includes
•    Shaktikanta Das is Secretary, Economic Affairs
•    Hasmukh Adhia is Revenue Secretary
•    Anjuly Chib Duggal is Secretary, Department of Financial Services
•    Neeraj Kumar Gupta is Secretary in Department of Investment and Public Asset Management

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Sunil Lanba Takes Over As Cheif Of Naval Staff

Admiral Sunil Lanba on 31 May 2016 took over as Chief of Naval Staff. 58-year-old Lanba, a specialist in Navigation and Direction, will have the full three-year tenure as the Navy Chief.
•    Lanba succeeded Admiral RK Dhowan.
•    An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Lanba is the 21st Indian to be the Navy Chief. The first two were British.
•    Born on 17 July 1957, Lanba is a recipient of Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM) and Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) for distinguished service of an exceptionally high order.
•    His operational and staff experience in a career spanning more than three decades include
•    He served as Navigating Officer of corvette INS Sindhudurg and frigate INS Dunagiri.
•    He has commanded four frontline warships namely INS Kakinada (minesweeper), INS Himgiri (frigate) and INS Ranvijay and INS Mumbai, both destroyers.
•    He is also an alumnus of the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad, where he has served as a faculty.
•    Lanba held key staff assignments such as Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet and the Chief of Staff, Southern and Eastern Naval Commands.
•    He was also the Flag Officer Sea Training, Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area and Commandant, National Defence College.
•    He was the Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command at Kochi, prior to being appointed to head the Western Naval Command. He took over as the Vice Chief on 2 June 2014.

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AR Rehman conferred Japan's Fukuoka Prize

Adding to the Academy Award-winning Jai Ho composer's vast collection of wins, the ceremony had Rahman presenting a lecture on "From The Heart: The World of AR Rahman's Music."
•    The Fukuoka Prize is an honour established in 1990 by the city of Fukuoka and the Yokatopia foundation. 
•    It was meant to pay a tribute to the works of individuals and organisations, who have promoted and preserved the diverse and rich culture of Asia.
•    Divided into three categories — Grand Prize, Academic Prize and Arts and Culture Prize — this year's winning list saw Rahman sharing the stage with historian Ameth R Ocampo from Philippines (Academic Prize) and Yasmeen Lari from Pakistan (Arts and Culture Prize).
•    Allah-Rakha Rahman, born A. S. Dileep Kumar, is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician and philanthropist. 
•    A.R. Rahman's works are noted for integrating Eastern classical music with electronic music, world music and traditional orchestral arrangements. 
•    Among his awards are two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South. 
•    Rahman's body of work for film and stage has given him the nickname of "the Mozart of Madras", and Tamil commentators and fans call him Isai Puyal 

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Discus thrower Seema qualifies for Rio Olympics

Asian Games discus throw gold medal winner Seema Punia got qualified for the Rio Olympics with a 62.62m effort at the Pat Young's Throwers Classic 2016 at Salinas (California) in the United States.
•    She won the gold in the event and in the process pipped 2008 Olympic discus throw champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton of United States of America for the gold.
•    This will be Seema's third Olympic Games. 
•    She is the 19th Indian track and field athlete to have qualified for Rio Olympics.
•    She had also won silver in the 2014 Glasgow CWG Commonwealth Games with an effort of 61.61m.
•    She had also won silver in 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and a bronze in the 2010 Delhi CWG. 
•    She has over 10 career marks over 61.00m.

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