Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2014 - Page 62

Key facts about Oscar De La Renta

Oscar De La Renta

Fashion designer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and fashion icon Oscar de la Renta passed away at age 82 at his home in Kent, Connecticut. Some of the important facts of his life are:-

  • De la Renta was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic in 1932 in a middle class family.
  • Later, he moved to Madrid, Spain and studied at the Academy of San Fernando. He was meant to study painting, but he accidentally got involved in designing.
  • In Spain, he worked in the ateliers of Balenciaga, Dior and Lanvin
  • He, then moved to USA to work for Elizabeth Arden
  • In 1965, he launched his own ready to wear label. His style is described as modern, yet feminine
  • He has designed for CEOs, first wives, political icons, socialites and Hollywood elites for the last five decades.
  • He served as President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America from 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988
  • Between 1993 to 2002, de la Renta designed haute couture collections for Pierre Balmain, single-handedly helping the revival of fashion house which has been witnessing disappointing sales
  • Also, he has served on the boards of The Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall amongst others. He also supports several cultural institutions, including New Yorkers for Children, the Americas Society and the Spanish Institute. He also supports an orphanage in the Dominican
  • The Dominican Republic has awarded him the Order of Juan Pablo Duarte and the Order of Cristóbal Colón
  • In 2002, he introduced his own furniture line. His brand also has a line of perfumes & fragrance which is sold in over 70 countries
  • He has been battling cancer since 2006, and is believed to have passed away due to the disease. Before his death, he appointed British designer Peter Copping as his successor to the Oscar de la Renta brand
  • De la Renta is survived by his wife, Annette Engelhard; his son, Moises; three sisters; three step-children and nine step-grandchildren

Government substantially increases fellowship amount to research scholars

The Central Government has substantially increased the amount it pays to over 70,000 research scholars.

 Details of changes in benefits

  • The new fellowships will be effective retrospectively from October 1.
  • Science students undertaking PhD and post-doctoral studies will not only receive better stipend but also other facilities like house rent allowance and medical benefits from the government.
  • Junior research fellowship has been enhanced to Rs 25,000 from Rs 16,000
  • Senior research fellowship has been increased to Rs 28,000 from Rs 18,000
  • Fellowship for post doctoral studies has been increased from Rs 22,000 to Rs 36,000 (for research associate-1), from Rs 23,000 to Rs 38,000 (research associate-2) and from Rs 24,000 to Rs 40,000 (research associate-3). [Research associate 1 and 2 are generally for one year, while research associate-3 can continue to work till they get a position in a research institute]

Financial outgo

The additional financial outgo for the Centre on account of the changes will be Rs 750 crore annually and has been approved by the Finance Ministry. Currently, the Centre spends Rs 1,663 cr annually on the fellowships

Protests and Demonstrations

Several protests and demonstrations by students and researchers were held in academic institutes across India, asking the government to raise the fellowship amounts and show its support to the study of the sciences. While most of the demands of the protestors have been met with, one of their demands for an inflation-linked annual increase has not been met with.

The last pay revision for research scholars was in 2010.

Oscar Pistorius sentenced for five years


The judgment sentencing Olympian Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was passed by Judge Thokozile Masipa.


Oscar Pistorius was convicted earlier by a South African Court for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend. The Court held that Pistorius had unintentionally killed her. Pistorius had claimed that he had mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder and shot and killed her.

 Sentencing hearing

Pistorius has been sentenced to the maximum of five years for the crime of culpable homicide. He was also found guilty on one charge of possessing a gun at a restaurant and sentenced for three years. The two sentences are expected to run concurrently.

However, Pistorius could have his sentence commuted to corrective supervision, or house arrest, after serving a sixth of the sentence i.e. 10 months.

The Ban

The International Paralympic Committee has announced that it will ban Pistorius from its competitions for five years. The Olympic Committee is expected to follow suit.

About Oscar Pistorius

Pistorius was born with a congenital abnormality, which led to him getting both his legs amputated below the knee even before his first birthday. He is a Paralympics and Olympics sprinter. In 2012, he became the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics. Though he did not win a medal there, he won a medal in the Paralympics.