Appointments & Resigns
Indiabulls Ventures appoints former NPCI MD Abhaya Prasad Hota as Independent Director
On 25th August 2018, Indiabulls Ventures appointed Abhaya Prasad Hota, as an independent director on the board for a period of 3 years.
Abhaya Prasad Hota – Independent Director of Indiabulls Ventures:
i. Abhaya Prasad Hota is a former managing director at the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). He was involved in designing the operating payments eco-system.
ii. He had worked with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for 27 years. He had played a major role in launching payment systems like MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition), RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement), NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer), IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) and Aadhaar based system with UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India).
iii. He is a consultant to the World Bank, SWIFT India Domestic Services (Trade Digitisation Project) and Bombay Stock Exchange.
iv. He is on the board of PNB Metlife Insurance, Federal Bank, IDBI Intech and Motilal Oswal Asset Management Company.
About Indiabulls Ventures:
♦ Purpose – offers securities and derivative broking services
♦ CEO – Divyesh Shah
Goldman Sachs appoints ex-RBI research head Prachi Mishra as MD and chief India economist
On 27th August 2018, Goldman Sachs appointed Prachi Mishra as the managing director and chief India economist.
Prachi Mishra – MD and chief India economist of Goldman Sachs:
i. Prachi Mishra will be based in Mumbai. Earlier, she was the deputy division chief of the western hemisphere department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
ii. She was the head of the strategic research unit at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from February 2016 to May 2017. She was also a specialist adviser at the RBI between November 2014 and February 2016.
iii. She was the first lateral recruit at the RBI. She also worked as a senior economist at IMF and the Finance Ministry of India.
iv. Goldman Sachs has been serving Indian clients since 1990s. It set up an onshore presence in India in December 2006. It is also an active investor in India.
About Goldman Sachs:
♦ Type – global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that offers financial services to corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals
♦ Founded – 1869
♦ Headquarters – New York
Prashant Agrawal appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Namibia
On 21st August 2018, Prashant Agrawal was appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Namibia.
Prashant Agrawal – High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Namibia:
i. Prashant Agrawal is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of the 1998 batch. At present he is Joint Secretary at Headquarters.
ii. He has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Namibia. He will take up this assignment soon.
♦ Capital – Windhoek
♦ Currency – Namibian dollar (NAD), South African rand (ZAR)
♦ Official language – English
♦ President – Hage Geingob
♦ Prime Minister – Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila
Sandeep Kumar appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Ireland
On 20th August 2018, Sandeep Kumar was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Ireland.
Sandeep Kumar – Ambassador of India to Ireland:
i. Sandeep Kumar is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of the 1985 batch. Currently, he is the Ambassador of India to Croatia.
ii. He has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Ireland. He will take up this assignment soon.
About Republic of Ireland:
♦ Capital – Dublin
♦ Currency – Euro (EUR)
♦ President – Michael D. Higgins
♦ Official languages – Irish, English
Science & Technology
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft catches its first image of its target Bennu asteroid
NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer), an asteroid sampling spacecraft, caught its first image of asteroid Bennu, last week after a 2-year journey.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft catches its first glimpse of Bennu asteroid:
i. OSIRIS-Rex has started its final approach towards its target asteroid Bennu. The mission’s asteroid operations started on 17thAugust.
ii. OSIRIS-Rex’s PolyCam camera secured the image from a distance of 1.4 million miles (2.2 million km).
iii. OSIRIS-REx is the first mission of NASA to visit a near-Earth asteroid. It will survey the surface, collect a sample and deliver it to Earth.
iv. It has travelled nearly 1.1 billion miles (1.8 billion km) since it was launched on 8th September 2016. It will arrive at Bennu on 3rd December 2018.
v. It will spend the next few months learning about Bennu’s size, shape, surface features, and surroundings.
vi. OSIRIS-REx will use its science instruments to collect information about Bennu and prepare for arrival.
vii. Its science payload are: the OCAMS camera suite (PolyCam, MapCam, and SamCam), the OTES thermal spectrometer, the OVIRS visible and infrared spectrometer, the OLA laser altimeter, and the REXIS x-ray spectrometer.
viii. Bennu has low gravity, which will be a challenge for the mission. Bennu’s diameter is nearly 0.3 miles (500 meters). It will be the smallest object that any spacecraft has orbited.
ix. After collecting sample OSIRIS-REx will return to Earth. It will eject the Sample Return Capsule for landing in the Utah desert in September 2023.
About NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex:
♦ Overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and mission assurance provided by – NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
♦ Principal investigator – Dante Lauretta
♦ Science team lead and the mission’s science observation planning and data processing – University of Arizona
♦ Spacecraft built and flight operations provided by – Lockheed Martin Space in Denver
♦ Responsible for navigating OSIRIS-REx – Goddard and KinetX Aerospace
♦ OSIRIS-REx is the 3rd mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program
♦ NASA’s New Frontiers Program is managed by – NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama