Current Affairs – February 2016

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President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates India’s first Gender Park at Kozhikode

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated India’s first Gender Park at Kozhikode district of Kerala. It is also the first of its kind gender equality convergence centre in Asia.

The park is an initiative of the Social Justice Department of the Kerala Government to promote research and other initiatives to enable total gender equality.

Key facts

  • The Gender Park seeks to encourage women to take part in developmental and decision making process.
  • It has been launched as part of supporting the efforts of the State and Central governments in ensuring an inclusive, discrimination free society.
  • It covers issues pertaining to all three genders and in accordance with the 2015 gender and transgender policies of the state government.
  • The Gender Institute at the park will mainly focus on learning, research and capacity development.
  • It seeks to bring together the state, civil society and academia on a common platform to promote studies and research on gender issues to address the gender issues.
  • This platform seeks to create an environment to share global knowledge and experiences in reducing gender inequalities.
  • It also seeks to create awareness of the critical linkages between gender equality, economic growth and poverty reduction to effectively address gender related issues in national development processes.

State Government under its Gender Policy is planning to roll out ‘She Taxi’ that aims solely at empowering women. Earlier in 2016, State government had launch ‘Gender Taxi’ that is owned and operated by transgenders under its Transgender Policy (first such policy in the country).


President dedicates India’s first IT co-operative UL Cyber Park in Kozhikode

President Pranab Mukherjee dedicated India’s first co-operative society in Information Technology (IT) sector UL CyberPark in Kozhikode, Kerala.

The IT Park has been set up by a labour cooperative society, Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS).

It is built on 25 acre land in Nellikode in Kozhikode district at the cost of Rs. 270 crore. It is expected to provide direct employment to 4,500 persons in the first phase. It will export IT solutions and products to US and Europe and is eyeing a turnover of Rs 500 crore in the next five years.

About Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS)

  • ULCCS cooperative was launched in 1925 in Vadakara in Kozhikode district by 14 members with an initial investment of 37 paise.
  • It has set Technopark-based UL Technology Solutions (ULTS) in 2012. It provides IT solutions in the domain areas of Global Information Systems, Health Care, Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence and Analytic etc.
  • Kerala State Government has declared ULCCS as an “Accredited Agency” to undertake works directly without tender procedure.


Ex-DRDO DG Dr Avinash Chander awarded Aryabhata Award

Former DRDO Director-General (DG) Dr Avinash Chander has been awarded prestigious Aryabhata Award of Astronautical Society of India.

He was bestowed with this award in recognition for his contribution to missile technology.

He was presented with this award from Dr R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to Union Government, and Dr A S Kiran Kumar, Chairman ISRO.

About Avinash Chander

  • Avinash Chander was the chief architect of India’s strategic Agni series of ballistic missile systems and famously is known as Agni man of India.
  • Range of India’s Agni missiles were developed under his technology forecast, perspective planning and relentless efforts. He steered the first three missions of the Agni 5 missile.
  • He had joined DRDO after completing graduation in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi in 1972 and retired in 2015 after completion of 42 years of distinguished service.
  • He had served as DG of DRDO from 2013 to 2015. He also had served as Scientific Adviser to the Union Defence Minister.
  • Awards: He was awarded Padma Shri, AGNI Self-Reliance Award (1999), Dr. Biren Roy Space Science Award (2000), DRDO Award (2007), DRDO Technology Leadership Award, (2008).