Current Affairs April 2015

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Former Nepalese PM Surya Bahadur Thapa passes away

Surya Bahadur Thapa, former Prime Minister (PM) of Nepal passed away on 15 April 2015 in Gurgaon. He was 87.

Thapa had served as Prime Minister of Nepal for five times under three different kings. His was in office from 1963-64, 1965–69, 1979–83, 1997–98 and 2003-04.

About Surya Bahadur Thapa

  • Surya Bahadur Thapa was born on 21 March 1928 in Muga village, Dhankuta district. He had completed his higher studies from Allahabad University, Uttar Pradesh.
  • His political career spanned more than 50 years. He had started his political career in 1950 by executing underground student movement.
  • In 1958, he was elected to the Assembly and became Chairman of the Advisory Council. He was elected to the Upper House of Nepal in 1959.
  • In 1960, under the newly introduced Panchayat system of Nepal, he was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Forest and Industry.

Surya Bahadur Thapa’s son Sunil Bahadur Thapa at present is serving as the Minister of Commerce and Supplies in the Sushil Koirala-led coalition government.


India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile

Nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Agni-III ballistic missile was successfully tested on 16 April 2015.

The test was conducted from Wheelar Isalnd off the Odisha coast in the Bay of Bengal by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) with support of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Facts about Agni III missile

  • It is surface-to-surface nuclear capable intermediate-range ballistic missile.
  • Indigenously developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
  • Range: 3000 km.
  • Dimensions: 17 metres in length, 2 metres in diameter. Launch weight is around 50 tonnes.
  • Payload: It can carry a nuclear warhead of 1.5 tonne and is protected by carbon all-composite heat shield.
  • It is a two-stage solid-propelled missile.
  • Equipped with the hybrid guidance, navigation and control systems along with advanced on-board computer.

At present India has arsenal of Agni-I, II and III and Prithvi missiles with strike reach of over 3000 km, giving an effective deterrence capability.


Susanta Lahiri awarded Hevesy Medal Award 2015

Professor Susanta Lahiri was awarded prestigious the Hevesy Medal Award 2015.

The award was presented to him for his outstanding contributions in heavy ion induced radioisotope production, converter targets, tracer packet technique and green chemistry.

About Professor Susanta Lahiri

  • He is a Professor at Chemical Sciences Division at Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics in Kolkata.
  • He is credited for co-creating super heavy chemical element Ununseptiumm which has atomic number 117.
  • He is also a professor at Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai.

Apart from Lahiri, Professor Kattesh V. Katti of the Centre for Radiological Research, University of Missouri, Columia were also awarded this award.

About Hevesy Medal Award

  • It is an international award of excellence that honours scientist for their outstanding achievements in nuclear and radio chemistry.
  • Established in 1968 by Editor-in-Chief and the publishers of the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry (JRNC).
  • Named after renowned chemical scientist George de Hevesy who was awarded Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1943.
  • At present the award is administrated by International Committee on Activation Analysis of the Modern Trends in Activation Analysis Conferences (ICAA-MTAA).