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NASA Names New Species After Abdul Kalam

NASA has named a new bacteria discovered on the filters of the International Space Station, ISS, as Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.  The genus is Solibacillus and the species name is kalamii. Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has found that the bacteria remained on board the International Space Station for 40 months. The new organism is found only on the ISS and has not been found anywhere on the earth. In 1963, Dr. Kalam had his early training at NASA before setting up India’s first rocket launching facility at Thumba in Kerala.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen (A.P.J) Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 in Rameswaram, Ramanathapuram District of Tamil Nadu. In 1960, he had joined Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a scientist and started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army. In 1969, he had joined India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as the project director for India’s first indigenous satellite launch vehicle programme. Under his leadership and vision, India entered into the elite space club after Rohini satellite was place into the orbit in 1980. He was a pioneer and instrumental in development of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), India’s space workhorse. In 1980, he was appointed Chairman of Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) and was brain behind developing Agni and Prithvi missiles. Thus he came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile. He was Chief Project Coordinator of Pokhran II Nuclear Test (Operation Shakti) which was conducted on 11 May 1998. He was the 11th President of India and was in office from 2002 to 2007. He was India’s most popular President and famously known as People’s President. He has been awarded with Bharat Ratna (1997), Padma Vibhushan (1990), Padma Bhushan (1981).

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Hassan Rouhani Wins Iran’s Presidential Election

Hassan Rouhani has been re-elected as the President of Iran. He was elected as president for his first term in 2013. He won 2013 elections by pledging to end Iran’s isolation and improve civil rights at home.

Rouhani was born in Semnan province on November 12, 1948. He is a graduate of University of Tehran and did his PhD from Scotland’s Glasgow Caledonian University. The 68 year old Rouhani is a lawyer, academic and a former diplomat.

Rouhani has won his second term by presenting himself as the candidate of change and social freedoms that ended many sanctions and a 13 year standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme. He has held various key positions like the key defence portfolios during the 1980 -88 Iran-Iraq war. He had spent 16 years as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, which is Iran’s top security post. Rouhani consistently worked to rebuild Irans’ relations with the West. He also became the first Iranian leader to speak with the President of United States when Barack Obama phoned in September 2013.

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Study on Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) for Solar Power Generation Projects in Solar Rich Countries Commissioned

India along with countries like Argentina, Burkina-Faso, Chad, France, Ivory Coast, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Yemen has jointly commissioned a study to define and structure a Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) for solar power generation projects in solar rich countries. The commissioning of the study is aimed at dramatic reduction in the cost of finance for renewable energy and the overall price of electricity. The exercise is part of the international efforts aimed at implementing the the Paris Declaration of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) adopted on 30 November 2015.
The study has been entrusted to a task force chaired by Terrawatt Initiative (TWI), the World Bank Group, the Currency Exchange Fund (TCX), the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and also the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). Each of the participating countries will also appoint a qualified representative who will cooperate with the task force and provide information regarding the country specific expectations, experience and needs of the task force. All the countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics are also invited to join the task force and support this initiative in order to attract investments into solar sector.

Need

The Council on Energy, Environment and Water calculates the cost of capital to form a substantial amount in the total costs of renewable energy. In India it accounts for 70% of the total cost of solar Power. In this regard, the CRMM is expected to offer a simple and affordable tool that will develop a secure environment for private institutional investment in solar assets.

ISA

On the first day of the COP-21 summit, the International Solar Alliance was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande as a union of countries with abundant sunlight. Under this alliance, 121 countries that fall within the tropics {i.e. between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn} have been invited to make collaborative efforts to harness solar energy to generate the electricity. Most of these countries fall within Asia, Africa and South America.There are three objectives behind the International Solar Alliance. First is to force down prices by driving demand; second is to bring standardization in solar technologies and third is to foster research and development.

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