Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2014 - Page 62

Jean-Claude Juncker will be next president of European Commission

Backed by most EU leaders, Jean-Claude Juncker has been nominated as the next president of the European Commission. The development is a severe impact on opponent David Cameron and threatens to amplify the chances of Britain leaving the European Union (EU).

The British PM David Cameron was opposed to Juncker’s nomination and said it may hamper his efforts to keep Britain in the EU ahead of an in-out referendum to be conducted in 2017.

Former Luxembourg PM, Juncker, was supported by all EU member states except Hungary and Britain.

Chung Hung Won retained as PM of S Korea

South Korea has retained Chung Hung Won as its Premier. The President of South Korea, Park Geun-Hye announced the decision to retain the Chung Hung Won as country’s PM.

Won had resigned taking the responsibility of government’s inability and untimely response to the ferry disaster that happened in April 2014. President Park accepted the resignation and asked him to remain in the job until new Prime Minister takes over.

Union Government de-licensed manufacturing of defence items

India’s Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry de-licensed manufacturing of defence items. Around 55% of the defence items have been removed from the mandatory licensing list.

There is now a smaller negative list of defence items in which compulsory licensing is still required. This includes items such as tanks, vehicles fitted with military mountings of arms and ammunition or with equipment for mine laying, defence aircraft, including helicopters, UAVs and warships.

The decision is expected to generate interest of private companies like Tata, Mahindra and Larsen & Toubro as they will no longer require a license to manufacture components, castings and sub-assembly.

The primary motive of easing private sector participation is to tap available expertise in the private sector towards realizing self-reliance in the area of defence equipment production. Private sector participation will also raise the employment opportunities.

Project Android One: Google’s bid to build ultra cheap Smartphones

With a view to build ultra cheap Smartphone, search giant Google launched Project Android One at Google I/O 2014 in San Francisco. Google I/O is Google’s annual developer meeting.

Project Android One is a design reference platform that will enable manufacturers to build ultra-cheap smartphones with much more ease. Google wants to build a Smartphone within Rs. 6000 – 7000 range with a list of recommended apps from Play Auto-installs.

Google will launch the programme from India and it has already tied with Micromax, Karbonn and Spice as initial partners.

Biochip developed to measure blood sugar via saliva

A new biochip sensor that can selectively measure glucose concentrations in a complex fluid like saliva has been developed by scientists at Brown University in the US. It is an important breakthrough towards developing a device that would enable people with diabetes to check their glucose levels without drawing blood.

Developers of the device have used a series of specific chemical reactions combined with plasmonic interferometry, a means of detecting chemical signature of compounds using light. The device is sensitive enough to sense variations in glucose concentrations that amount to just a few thousand molecules in the sampled volume.