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Dr. Manoj Soni takes Oath as UPSC Member

Dr Manoj Soni has taken Oath of Office and Secrecy as a member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The Oath was administered to him by the UPSC Chairman Prof. David R. Syiemlieh.

Born on 17th February 1965, Dr Manoj Soni was a former Vice-Chancellor of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University. He became the youngest-ever Vice Chancellor in independent (India). Manoj Soni is a scholar of Political Science with specialisation in International Relation Studies. He has earned his doctorate in “Post-Cold War International Systemic Transition and Indo-US Relations” from Sardar Patel University.

He has received several awards and recognitions such as “Honorary Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge” from Mayor-President of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA and World Education Congress Global Award for Distance Learning Leadership.


UPSC is a constitutional body that conducts the prestigious civil services examination. It has been established under Article 315 of the Constitution and consists of a Chairman and ten Members, who are appointed and removed by President. The chairman and members of the Commission hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. Article 316 of the Constitution deals with the appointment and term of office of members.


Kaushik Basu takes over as President of IEA

Kaushik Basu has taken over as president of the International Economic Association (IEA). Basu will serve a three-year term as the President.

Kaushik Basu has served as India’s chief economic adviser from 2009 to 2012. He has also served as senior vice-president and chief economist at the World Bank from 2012 to 2016.

At present, Basu is the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University.


The International Economic Association (IEA) is one of the key organisations of professional economists and has been significant in determining global economic policy and research. Amongst the past presidents of IEA were the Nobel Laureates Robert Solow, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz.

IEA produces a large number of research papers and books and organises roundtables on topics of present-day interest. Its principal activities include International Congress organised every 3 years. The occasion serves as one of the major assemblies of economists from around the world.


Srinivas Gokulnath becomes First Indian to Solo finish Race Across America

Nashik’s army doctor Srinivas Gokulnath and Nagpur’s doctor Amit Samarth has created history by becoming the first Indians to complete the 4,900-km Race Across America (RAAM) in the solo 18-59 age category.

While Srinivas Gokulnath finished the distance of 4941kms in 11 days and 18 hours, Samarth took 11 days and 21 hours to finish the race. Among the 9 persons who managed to finish the race, Gokulnath stood 7th while Samarth finished at number 8. The race was won by Christoph Strasser.

Srinivas Gokulnath is an aerospace medicine specialist and had participated in the 2016 edition of RAAM. However, he withdrew from the event after covering 2447 km. Gokulnath also has a national record for cycling 4,000km from Leh to Kanyakumari in 16 days in 2014. His feat got into the Limca Book of Records.

Dr Amit Samarth is also a doctor and has a Master’s Degree in Public Health.

In the three decades old history of RAAM, only three Indians had attempted RAAM solo but so far no one was able to finish the event in the solo category.


RAAM is considered as the toughest cycle race in the world. It is about 30 percent longer than the Tour de France and the riders have to pedal over 400 km a day to finish the race in 12 days. The riders are allowed to rest for only a couple of hours a day. Racers have to pedal 2447 km across 12 states and climb over 1,70,000 vertical feet. The route traverses through three major mountain ranges (Sierra, Rocky and Appalachian) and crosses four of America’s longest rivers (Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio).