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Daily GK - September 2015 -- 1 to 50 --useful for bank/ssc exams and interviews

1. RBI declared SBI and ICICI Bank as Domestic Systemically Important Banks

i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 31 August 2015 declared State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI Bank as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) in line with the D-SIB Framework released by the RBI on 22 July 2014.
ii. These banks have been identified as D-SIBs based on the methodology provided in the D-SIB Framework and data collected from banks as on 31 March 2015.
iii. Further, these banks have been put under associated bucket structure as required under the D-SIB Framework and each bucket corresponds to the higher loss absorbency requirements that they would be required to hold from January 2016.
iv. As a result, SBI has been put under Bucket 3 with additional Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) requirements as a percentage of Risk Weighted Assets (RWAs) placed at 0.6percent.
v. On the other hand, ICICI Bank has been put under Bucket 1 with additional CET1 requirements as a percentage of RWAs placed at 0.2 percent.

2. Union Government releases Rs 2,000 crore for Employees’ Pension Scheme 

i. Union Government has released 2,000 crore rupees to Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995 as its contribution for the year 2015-16. 
ii. This contribution is in addition to the 250 crore rupees contributed by the government as grant-in-aid in the EPS in order to provide minimum pension of 1,000 rupees to pensioners under the scheme. 
iii. In September 2015, Government had assured EPS pensioners a guaranteed minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month. In order to meet this assurance it was necessary for the Government to infuse additional amount as grants-in- to sustain the continuance of the minimum pension. 

3. IS damages ancient Temple of Bel in Syria’s Palmyra 
i. Islamic State (IS) militant group has destroyed part of historical Temple of Bel in the ancient site of Palmyra in Syria. 
ii. The ancient temple was dedicated to the Palmyrene gods and was one of the best preserved parts of the historical sites of Palmyra. 
iii. Earlier in August 2015, IS militant group had destroyed the ancient Temple of Baalshamin in same region of Palmyra.

4. Highest mountain of North America Mt McKinley renamed as Denali
i. The highest mountain of North America was on 28 August 2015 renamed as Denali instead of its existing name Mt McKinley by US President Barack Obama. This designation will now recognize the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska Natives.
ii. The mountain, which sits in the 6 million-acre Denali national park, has been known as Denali in Alaska since 1975. Now officially, the Denali name will be used by all and it will also take effect for all federal usage and on all official maps.

5. Tejinder Pal Singh named as Australian of the Day by Commonwealth Bank
i. An Indian-origin driver in Australia Tejinder Pal Singh was on 31 August 2015 named as Australian of the Day by Commonwealth Bank of Australia for feeding the homeless in Darwin for the past three years.
ii. He dedicated the last Sunday of every month to feed the poor and homeless in northern Darwin after his night shift as a cabbie. He cooked around 30 kg of Indian food to feed the homeless. The free lunch comprises chickpeas, rice and vegetarian curry.

6. CSO released estimates of GDP for April-June quarter of 2015-16
i. Central Statistical Office (CSO) on 31 August 2015 released the estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the April-June quarter of 2015.
ii. As per the estimates, India grew by 7 percent during the first quarter of the 2015-16 financial year. Thus, India remained the fastest growing major economy of the world for a second straight quarter.
India had overtaken China as the world’s fastest growing major economy in the January-March quarter, growing 7.5 per cent against China’s 7 per cent.

Highlights of the CSO estimates
  • GDP at constant (2011-12) prices in Q1 of 2015-16 is estimated at 27.13 lakh crore rupees as against 25.35 lakh crore rupees in Q1 of 2014-15, showing a growth rate of 7.0 percent. In terms of GVA it is 7.1 percent.
  • The economic activities which registered growth of over 7 percent in Q1 of 2015-16 over Q1 of 2014-15 are manufacturing, trade, hotels and transport & communication and services related to broadcasting and financial, insurance, real estate and professional services.
  • Growth in other areas: agriculture, forestry and fishing (1.9), mining and quarrying (4.0), electricity, gas, water supply & other utility services (3.2), construction and public administration, defence (6.9) and other services (2.7).
  • Gross Capital Formation (GCF) rate, a barometer for investments, continued to decline. It was down to 27.8 per cent from 29.2 per cent in April–June 2014.

7. L C Goyal appointed as CMD of India Trade Promotion Organisation
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31 August 2015 approved the appointment of L C Goyal as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Indian Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO).
ii. Prior to the present appointment, he retired as the secretary of the Union Home Ministry. He was a 1979 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre.mbly also passed a resolution welcoming the Peace Accord signed between the Union Government and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN)-IM.

8. India wins UNESCO Award for conserving Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple in Kerala
i. India has won the UNESCO prize ‘Award of Excellence’ 2015 for the conservation efforts of the Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple in Kerala.
ii. The top award was given in the Asia Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation. This award recognises the conservation effort of sacred sites and its tangible attributes with conservation techniques emphasising on architecture and construction. 

iii. These scared sites employ age-old rituals and conservation techniques drawn from vastu shastra focusing on construction and architecture.
iv. It should be noted that, UNESCO’s “Award of Merit” in Heritage Award was bestowed upon 150-year-old Sino-Portuguese former residence of a Thai aristocrat, which now has been converted into a local museum and historic inn.
v. Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Thrissur district of Kerala.

9. Union Government recognizes Yoga as Sports discipline
i. Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has decided to recognize Yoga as a sports discipline and place it in the Priority category.
ii. This decision was taken by Ministry while reviewing and revising the categorization of various Sports disciplines.
iii. The sport of Fencing was upgraded from Others to General category based on the major past performance at international events.

10. Los Angeles to Be U.S. Bidder to Host 2024 Olympics
i. Eight months after finishing as the runner-up to Boston, Los Angeles has officially been chosen as the United States candidate for the 2024 Olympics, city officials announced Tuesday.
ii. Los Angeles is throwing itself into a contest — along with Paris; Rome; Budapest; and Hamburg, Germany — that some cities have grown increasingly hesitant to enter in recent years, as the financial pitfalls of hosting the Games have become more apparent.
iii. Boston, the U.S.O.C.’s original choice to bid for the 2024 Games, backed out earlier this year when concerns about costs the city might incur eroded public support. 
iv. Los Angeles would face few of the financial challenges that have troubled past hosts, citing the city’s history of hosting successfully twice before, in 1932 and 1984

11. Durban in South Africa confirmed as 2022 Commonwealth Games host
i. The South African city of Durban has been selected as the host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Federation’s general assembly in New Zealand on Wednesday.
ii. Organisers said the Games would be held from 18 to 30 July, opening on the birth date of the late South African President and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.
iii. “It gives me great pleasure to welcome the South African city of Durban as proud hosts of the 22nd Commonwealth Games,” the outgoing CGF president Prince Tunku Imran said. “As a movement we stand together to support the very first games on African soil.”

iv. The Commonwealth Games are held every four years and feature athletes from over 50 countries, mostly former British colonies. First held in 1930, 2022 will mark the first time the Games will be held in Africa, a move that could pave the way for South Africa to make another attempt for the Olympics after Cape Town finished third in bidding for the 2004 summer Games.

12. NASA’s SERVIR-Mekong project to help monitor environment in Southeast Asia
i. NASA and US Agency for International Development (USAID) have started the SERVIR-Mekong project, to strengthen the environmental monitoring in Southeast Asia region.
ii. It has been launched in the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Bangkok, Thailand to serve the 5 countries of the Mekong River Basin viz. Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
iii. The focus of this project is to host vital issues in the Mekong river basin region in the five countries which is often called as rice bowl of Asia.
iv. It will enable these countries better address issues of natural resource and disaster management and support climate resilience studies including reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
v. The project will help these Governments incorporate Earth observations and geospatial technologies in improving management of water and natural resources.
vi. Provide early warning of dramatic changes in regional water, weather, land cover and land use and climate and food security.

13. AK Jha appointed as interim CMD of NTPC Limited
i. A K Jha has been given additional charge of interim Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited.
ii. Presently, he is NTPC’s Director (Technical) and will be interim CMD for three months from September 1, 2015.
iii. Jha had joined NTPC as an Executive Trainee in 1977 and was directly associated with its flagship project Singrauli (5×200 MW).
iv. He has rich and varied corporate experience of 38 years in areas spanning across power projects such as engineering and design, monitoring and project planning, construction and management.

14. Snapdeal acquires Silicon Valley startup Reduce Data 
i. Snapdeal has acquired Silicon Valley-based startup Reduce Data, a programmatic display advertising platform, the New Delhi-based online marketplace announced on Wednesday. 
ii. While the financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, the Reduce Data team will join Snapdeal, as the latter's bid to build a world class discovery platform and associated tools for brands as well as over 200,000 sellers on the marketplace, the company said in a press statement. 
iii. This is the twelfth buyout announced by Snapdeal since 2010. 
iv. Founded in 2012 by Asif Ali, Reduce Data's platform uses artificial intelligence, real-time data and other tools, to help brands deliver advertising strategies for consumers across platforms and devices.

15. Union Government released 2000 crore rupees to EPS-95 as contribution for 2015-16
i. The Union Government on 1 September 2015 released 2000 crore rupees to Employee Pension Scheme, 1995 (EPS-95) as its contribution for the year 2015-16.

ii. Further, a sum of 250 crore rupees was contributed as grant-in-aid for providing minimum pension of 1000 rupees to the pensioners of EPS-95.

iii. The additional grant-in-aid became necessary as the Union Government directed the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in September 2015 to provide for guaranteed minimum pension of 1000 rupees per month.

iv. Employee Pension Scheme (EPS)-95 came into effect on 16 November 1995 and the scheme was launched under the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
v. It applies to the employees of all factories and other establishments to which the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 applies.
vi. The Union Government and employers contribute 1.16 percent and 8.33 percent of the monthly wages of the members respectively.
vii. Under the scheme, monthly benefits for superannuation/ retirement, disability, survivor, widow(er), children is provided and the amount of pension is based on average salary during the preceding 12 months from the date of exit and total years of employment.
vii. It also provides for minimum pension on disablement and also provides for past service benefit to participants of erstwhile Family Pension Scheme, 1971.

16. NSE seals pact with Stock Exchange of Mauritius for synergy
i. NSE today announced that it has formalised a memorandum of understanding with the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) to facilitate co-operation between the two exchanges. 
ii. "We have entered into an MoU with the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) with the objective of fostering a deeper and more strategic relationship between the two institutions, facilitating development of channels for knowledge sharing and developing mutual synergies for growth and development," NSE said in a statement here. 
iii. SEM started its operations in July 1989 as a domestic equity-centric exchange and has since seen an overhaul of its operational and regulatory framework to become one of the leading bourses in Africa and a multi-asset class international exchange. 
iv. SEM operates a multi-currency capital raising, listing and trading platform in four international currencies, namely USD, euro, pound sterling and ZAR. 
v. The areas of co-operation under the MoU will encompass education, training and knowledge transfer in securities markets, product development and indice creation as well as capacity development in surveillance and investigation. 
vi. Anerood Jugnauth, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, and S Bhadain, Minister of Financial Services, along with other dignitaries, met the NSE delegation on this occasion. 

17. Forward Markets Commission to be merged with SEBI with effect from 28 Sept 2015
i. Union Government on 28 August 2015 notified the merger of commodities market regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Its merging will be effective from 28 September 2015. 

ii. For this purpose, the government repealed the Forward Contracts Regulation Act (FCRA) 1952 and made a way to shift the Regulation of Commodity Derivatives Market to SEBI under Securities Contracts Regulation Act (SCRA) 1956.
iii. An official press release said, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his Budget speech, had announced the merger of FMC with the capital market regulator SEBI to strengthen the regulation of commodity futures market.
iv. A unified regulator for commodities and capital markets will help streamline monitoring of commodity futures trading and curb wild speculations.

18. ABB elevates India head Bazmi Husain as global chief technology officer 
i. ABB has elevated Bazmi Husain, managing director of ABB India, as the global chief technology officer, the Swiss-engineering major announced Wednesday. 
ii. Husain, a power and automation expert who has been with ABB for 30 years, will take over the new position in the beginning of 2016. He will be the first Indian on this position. Prior to him, Ravi Uppal had occupied a top position at ABB group level as the president of global markets. Uppal is now the managing director and chief executive officer of Jindal SteelBSE 1.40 % and Power. 
iii. The $42 billion-ABB said that the company will appoint a new head for India operations soon. Husain will now report to Group CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer.
iv. Heads of research and development operations at the group and division level as well as ABB's venture capital arm, ABB Technology Ventures would be reporting to Husain. ABB spends $1.5 billion annually on R&D and employs some 8,500 technologists. 

19. ICICI Lombard in bancassurance tie-up with CSB
i. ICICI Lombard General Insurance has tied up with Catholic Syrian Bank(CSB) for sale of its products through 431 branches of the bank.
ii. Through the bancassurance tie-up, the company will able to offer general insurance solutions to the bank's customer base in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The 94-year-old Kerala-based bank has a strong presence in the southern and western parts of the country.

iii. The bank had distribution network of 431 branches across 15 states and 4 union territories as on December 31, 2014. ICICI Lombard would be able to offer its risk solutions to the bank's customer base of 16 lakh clients (as on December 31, 2014). 
iv. The bank's focus is on the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and retail client segments apart from NRI customers.

20. West-Central Railway becomes first zone to eliminate Unmanned Level Crossings
i. The West-Central Railway (WCR) zone headquartered in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh has become the first Railway Zone in Indian Railways to eliminate all unmanned level crossings.

ii. The target was achieved after all 118 unmanned level crossings of WCR zone were eliminated in phase manner by August 31, 2015. 80 crossings were eliminated in the financial year 2014-15 and the remaining 38 crossings were eliminated in August 2015.
iii. This target was achieved by constructing 33 Limited Height Sub Ways (LHs) and manning of 30 level crossings.
iv. It is a being considered as a big success in the safety initiative of Indian Railways as unmanned railway crossings continue to remain a deathtrap in India as alone it had killed 126 people in 2014-15.

21. SAARC countries’ conference on Disaster Mitigation begins in New Delhi
i. Disaster Mitigation conference of member counties of South Asian Association on Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has begun in New Delhi on 3 September 2015.
ii. The two day conference seeks to chalk out and undertake various joint efforts on various issues related to disaster mapping and mitigation in the member nations.

iii. The conference is being held by keeping in mind the prevalent geo-climatic conditions as well as increased frequency of natural disaster and calamities in the SAARC region.
iv. It is also being held in the wake of the recent Nepal earthquake (April 2015).
v. It calls for enhanced levels of preparedness and risk resilience amongst member countries.
vi. It also seeks collaborative action amongst member countries to deal jointly and individually in disaster situations and ensure minimal loss of lives and property.
A few facts about South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx)
* India has taken the lead to begin SAADMEx, a simulation exercises on disaster management in the region. In this regard, India has requested all SAARC countries to participate in this exercise.
* SAADMEx aims at augmenting current levels of individual and joint preparedness of member countries in the rescue, relief and response operations during disaster situations.
* The exercise will be conducted in two phases. 
* First phase is the current coordination conference which will discuss the requirements and modalities of the main exercise. 
* Second phase will cover the main exercise which will be held from November 23-26, 2015 in New Delhi. Three components of second phase of SAADMEx are Table Top Exercise (TTx) Field Training Exercise (FTx) and After Action Review (AAR).

22. RBI to issue Rs 5 coin on golden jubilee of 1965 Indo-Pak war
i. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to issue coins of 5 rupees denomination to commemorate golden jubilee year of Indo-Pak War 1965.
ii. These coins will be issued under in The Coinage Act, 2011 and will be considered as legal a tender.
iii. Obverse side: It will bear Lion Capital of Ashoka Pillar in the centre and Satyamev Jayate will be inscribed below it.
iv. Reverse side: In the centre it will bear image of ‘Amar Jawan’ monument along with the design of olive leaves branch on its left and right sides. The year 2015 will be written below the image of the monument.
v. It will bear inscription ‘VALOUR AND SACRIFICE’ in English on the right upper periphery and ‘Veerata Aur Balidan’ in Devnagri script on the left upper periphery.
vi. GOLDEN JUBILEE 1965 OPERATIONS in English will be inscribed on the lower periphery on the reverse side of coin.

23. Haryana Government wins Skoch Order-of-Merit National award for implementing e-governance, IT
i. Haryana Government has won the Skoch Order-of-Merit national award  for implementing 6 e-Governance and IT initiatives in the state.
ii. It was announced by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in the state Assembly on the second day of the monsoon session. The award will be presented to the state government on 22-23 September, 2015.
iii. Haryana Government has notified 163 e-Governance services which would be delivered to the citizens at their doorsteps with a view to provide time-bound and hassle-free services.
iv. Skoch Order-of-Merit national award Bestowed upon top performing government organisations and private organisations working with the government. Given by Skoch Consultancy Services Private Limited, a strategy and management consulting firm founded in 1997.
v. Recognises the best practices and governance models that aim for excellent and efficient implementation of programmes and services delivery. It recognises the best practices of local, state and national level government organisations in the area of Health, Education, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Urban Development, Finance and Security.

24. Punjab Government establishes Special MGNREGA cell
i. Punjab Government has established a special MGNREGA cell to coordinate effective implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the state.
ii. It has been established by Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Department at Chandigarh with an outlay of 233 crore rupees.
iii. This cell will monitor implementation of Union Government’s flagship 100 days employment guarantee scheme of MGNREGA.
iv. It will also monitor the wage rate under MGNREGA which has been fixed by Union Government on the basis of consumer Price Index- Agricultural Labourers (CPI-AL) which is implemented on 1st April every year and will be applicable for whole financial year.
v. It should be noted that all the districts of Punjab are being covered under MGNREGA with effect from 1st April, 2008. The recent wage rate has been revised from 202 rupees to 210 rupees with effect from 1st April 2015. The wages will be directly transferred by state government in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries from 15th September 2015.

25. India, Australia agree to deepen bilateral Defence Partnership
i. India and Australia have agreed to deepen their bilateral defence partnership based on their shared strategic interests by setting up of a joint working group on defence research and material cooperation.
ii. This decision was taken after the delegation-level talks between Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his visiting Australian counterpart Kevin Andrews in New Delhi.
iii. Focus on maritime security ties in the Indian Ocean region and acknowledged the importance of freedom of maritime navigation.
iv. First-ever bilateral Maritime exercise AUSINDEX between both countries is scheduled to be held in September 2015.
v. Agreed that maritime security should remain a key component of the bilateral defence relationship between both countries.
vi. India will take part in the first ever air exercise with Australia.
vii. Implement the action plan outlined in the Framework for Security Cooperation (FSC) which was agreed by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and his counterpart Tony Abbott in November 2014.

26. ONGC buys 15% stake in Russia’s 2nd-largest oil field from Rosneft
i. State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has bought a 15 per cent stake in Russia’s second-largest oil field Vankor from Rosneft for about 1.35 billion US dollars.
ii. In this regard, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) the overseas investment arm of ONGC has signed agreements to buy 15 per cent stake in the Vankor oil field located in East Siberia.
iii. The agreement to buy stake in Vankor was signed by the OVL Managing Director Narendra Verma and Chairman of Rosneft Management Board Igor Sechin in Vladivostok.
iv. OVL will get two seats on the Board of Directors of Vankor, a subsidiary of Rosneft that operates the Vankor field.
v. The 15 per cent stake Vankor oil field will give OVL about 3.5 million metric tonnes of oil a year of its total 2.5 billion recoverable reserves barrels (or 500 million tonnes). Rosneft will retain full control of infrastructure of the Vankor cluster.
vi. Rosneft will retain full control of infrastructure of the Vankor cluster. Presently, Rosneft (Russian national oil company) holds 100 per cent stake in Vankor which started production in 2009. With this stake acquisition Rosneft, stake will come down to 85 per cent.

27. Union Government cancels registration of Greenpeace India
i. Union Government has cancelled licence of Greenpeace India, a non-profit Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) to receive foreign donations.
ii. The license was cancelled by Union Ministry of Home Affairs as per under Section 13 of Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA), 2011. Henceforth, Greenpeace India will be not able to receive any kind of foreign donations from its international network.
iii. Earlier in April 2015, MHA had suspended the license of Greenpeace India for six months for mixing foreign and domestic funds and not disclosing the movement of its funds.
iv. Greenpeace India had filed a petition challenging this suspension in the Delhi High Court. The court had allowed the NGO to use two of its accounts for the purpose of receiving and utilising fresh domestic donations for its day-to-day functioning.
v. Greenpeace India is the subsidiary of the global environmental group Greenpeace, a non-profit NGO. Greenpeace has its presence in 40 countries across the world including in Europe, America, Asia and Pacific. Its operations in India run mainly in four broad campaigns viz. stop climate change, preserving the oceans, sustainable agriculture and preventing another nuclear catastrophe.

28. Govt to develop Bodh Gaya as spiritual capital
i. Describing Bodh Gaya as the “land of enlightenment”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said his government would develop the site as the spiritual capital for it to serve as a civilisational bond between India and the Buddhist world.

ii. “The government of India would like to provide all possible support that its Buddhist cousin nations need for the satisfaction of their spiritual needs from this holiest of holy places for them,” he said after visiting Mahabodhi Temple.
iii. Describing Buddha as a “crown jewel” of India, which accepts all ways of worship, he said he revered Buddha as a reformer of not only Hinduism but also the world, who gave a new world view and vision which is critical for survival of all.

29. Maharashtra to train 55,000 employees under KRA programme
i. The Maharashtra Government has decided to provide training to over 50,000 employees as part of its Key Result Area (KRA) programme to enhance their performance and bring them on par in competence with the corporate sector.
ii. During this programme, the government intends to train 55,000 employees out of total 11 lakh across the State in the first phase. The government is focusing on training bureaucrats, including fresh Class-I officers and those reaching the age of 50.
iii. According to Ajit Deshmukh, in-charge of the training programme, experts have set a syllabus to train employees in a manner that will change their views and motivate them to perform better. Deshmukh is the under secretary of General Administration Department (GAD).
iv. They will also be given training in public administration, management skills, works related to budget and finance, using of human resource, various laws and develop skills in computer and information technology, he added.

30. India among few bright spots in global economy, says IMF
i. The IMF on Saturday said India is among the few bright spots in the global economy as G20 finance ministers began their two-day meeting here against the backdrop of concerns over Chinese economic slowdown looming large on world markets.
ii. The remarks from International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde came at the meeting of G20 finance minister and Central Bank Governors where they also discussed monetary policy uncertainties.
iii. Lagarde told the gathering that between advanced and emerging economies, there are problems in most places in the advanced world while in emerging economies, there are problems in China although not that big as stock markets are making it to be, according to officials present at the meeting.
iv. Officials said that RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said at the meeting that they are surrounded by economic gloom probably hinting at concerns over slowdown in China.
v. On Thursday, India deprecated the recent devaluation of major currencies followed by currency depreciation in a large number of emerging markets which raises the risk of competitive devaluations.

31. G20, OECD announce new corporate governance code
i. To safeguard minority shareholders’ interests and promote capital market as a key platform to raise funds, G20 and OECD today announced new corporate governance principles for listed companies and regulators in all member countries, including India.
ii. Consequently, regulators and policymakers across the world, which include SEBI in India, will update their regulations for the listed firms in line with the new code.
iii. The new code calls for enhanced cross-border cooperation among regulators, including through bilateral and multilateral arrangements for exchange of information. It also states that the impediments to cross-border voting by shareholders should be eliminated, while shareholders should be allowed to consult each other.
iv. The new G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance were released here by the OECD Secretary General, Angel Gurria, and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Cevdet Yilmaz, on the sidelines of the ongoing G20 minister level meetings.

32. World's shortest man, Chandra Bahadur Dangi, dies at 75
i. Chandra Bahadur Dangi, verified by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's shortest man - at 21.5 inches (54.6cm) - died of an undisclosed illness in American Samoa.

ii. The shortest man shot to fame after his pictures with the world's tallest man, Sultan Kosen from Turkey, were released in 2013. He was touring Samoa Islands, a US territory in South Pacific Ocean, when he fell sick and was admitted to Lyndon B Johnson Tropical Medical Center in Pago Pago at around midday.
iii. Thaneswar Guragai, who assisted him on his tours, was quoted in Himalayan Times: "Chandra Bahadur Dangi's nephew, Dolakh, called me from the Samoa Islands and asked me to inform the family about the death." Guragai was in Kathmandu when Dangi breathed his last.
iv. The 75-year-old Dangi lived in a remote village around 400km (248 miles) from Kathmandu, and travelled the world after he was officially declared the world's smallest man in 2013.

33. Aadesh Shrivastava Dead: Madhuri Dixit Nene, Arjun Kapoor and Other Bollywood Celebs Mourn Music Composer's Demise
i. Bollywood music composer-director Aadesh Shrivastava, who had been battling cancer, passed away in Mumbai on Saturday at around 12:30 a.m.
ii. The "Baabul" music director was being treated at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital for over 40 days after his cancer relapsed for the third time.
iii. His body is currently being kept at the hospital. The funeral will take place at 12:30 p.m. at Oshiwara Crematorium, Andheri West
iv. Shrivastava rose to fame with his musical compositions for films like "Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham", "Rajneeti", "Chalte Chalte", "Baabul" and "Baghban" among others.
v. As soon as news of Shrivastava's demise broke, several Bollywood celebs took to twitter to express their condolences to the acclaimed music director. 

34. PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Badarpur-Faridabad Metro
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Badarpur-Faridabad Metro in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR). The metro corridor will connect the national capital with the satellite town and give impetus to economic growth in the region by fast transportation of people.

ii. It is also first environment-friendly metro in Indian as all the stations and depot have been equipped with solar power plants.
iii. It is the 14 kilometre long corridor and has nine stations from Sarai (Delhi) to Escorts Mujesar. It is an extension of the presently operational ITO-Badarpur section of the Delhi Metro.
iv. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is nodal agency in implementing this corridor and has been built at an estimated cost of 2500 crore rupees.

35. China, Pakistan launch joint ‘Shaheen (Eagle) – 4’ Air Drill
i. China and its strategic partner Pakistan have launched a joint air exercise called Shaheen (Eagle)-4 in China. It is fourth edition of air exercise between the air forces of both countries which was launched as part of a series of military exchange programmes between two countries.
ii. In this edition of exercise, Chinese contingent was represented by fighter jets, fighter bombers and early warning planes. Pakistani counterpart included fighter jets and early warning planes.
iii. Chinese air force by this joint air exercise is willing to expand the scope of cooperation with various countries in the region.
iv. The first edition of such joint air drill between both countries took place in Pakistan in March 2011. Late in September 2013 the second drill took place in China’s western Xinjiang Uygur region and third drill again took in Pakistan’s Punjab province in May 2014.

36. ‘e-Pragati’ to pave way for Digital AP
i. With Andhra Pradesh already topping the country in e-transactions, the State government is now rechristening the AP State Enterprise Architecture (APSEA) as ‘e-Pragati’. APSEA is a comprehensive architecture to leverage the latest advances in e-governance tools.

ii. Developed in association with technology giant Wipro in a span of eight months, ‘e-Pragati’ is a comprehensive framework for implementing e-governance and provides e-services to citizens of Andhra Pradesh, according to an official release.
iii. With e-Pragati, Andhra Pradesh becomes the first state in India to conceive and execute state-wide enterprise architecture, the release claimed.
iv. e-Pragati extends to 33 secretariat departments and over 300 government agencies in AP. It seeks to provide a bouquet of 745 services in the government to customer (G2C), government to business (G2B), government to enterprise (G2E) and government to government (G2G) areas, the release said.

37. Union Government gives nod to One Rank One Pension scheme
i. Union Government has given its nod to implement One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for ex-servicemen.
ii. OROP will provide ex-servicemen of same rank and same length of service uniform pension regardless of date of retirement. The benefit will be given with effect from 1st of July 2014 and it will benefit all three services- Army, Navy and Air Force.
iii. Pension will be re-fixed every five years and future enhancements in rates of pension would be automatically passed to the past pensioners. Armed forces personnel who retire voluntarily would be not covered under OROP scheme. However, it will be applicable to personnel who have already retired prematurely.
iv. All arrears will be paid in four half-yearly installments and all widows will be paid arrears in one installment. Estimated cost to implement OROP scheme would be around 8000 crore rupees to 10,000 crore rupees at present and it will increase further in future.
v. Union Government also has decided to constitute one member Judicial Committee for examination of interests of retirees of different periods and different ranks. The Committee will also cover inter-service issues of the three forces and submit its report in six months.

38. G-20 launches W-20 grouping for gender inclusive economic growth
i. Group of Twenty (G-20), a forum of world’s 20 largest economies, including India launched W20, an engagement grouping of women leaders in order to push for gender inclusive global economic growth.
ii. It was launched in the on-going G-20 Summit of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Ankara under the Turkish Presidency.
iii. The W20 group would 20 women leaders from G20 nations.  It will work as an outreach group to promote gender inclusiveness in economic growth process by empowering women.
iv. It would host its first summit in October 2015 in Istanbul after all member countries appoint their respective nominees. Gulden Turktan from Turkey has been appointed as the first President W20 forum.

39. Australian Cricketer Shane Watson announces retirement from Test cricket
i. Veteran all-rounder cricketer Shane Watson from Australia has announced his retirement from International Test cricket. ii. His decade long Test career came to an end at the Ashes opener at Cardiff, which England won by 169 runs. In this match Watson had made 30 runs and failed to take a wicket.

iii. He also has represented Australia in One Day International (ODI) and T20 cricket formats. He had played as a right-handed batsman and a right-handed fast medium bowler.
iv. He debuted in international cricket in 2002, playing his first ODI against South Africa. In 2010 he was awarded Allan Border Medal and again in 2011. He is only the second player (after Ricky Ponting) to win back-to back Allan Border Medals.

40. Indian boxer Vikas Krishan wins silver medal in 75 kg category in Asia Championships
i. Indian boxer Vikas Krishan has won the silver medal in the Asian Championships held in Bangkok, Thailand.

ii. In the final match of 75kg weight category, he was defeated by Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikuziev by 0-2 score.
iii. In this edition of Asian Championships, Vikas only has won silver medal for India. Shiva Thapa (56kg), Devendro Singh (49kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) won bronze medal each in their respective category.
iv. Besides, six Indians also qualified for World Championships which is to be held in October 2015 and will be the first qualifying event for the 2016 Rio Olympics Games.

41. Lewis Hamilton wins 2015 Italian Grand Prix of Formula One
i. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain won 2015 Italian Grand Prix of Formula One. This was his seventh victory of the season.
ii. His win for the season 2015 of Formula One began with Australian Grand Prix and later won Chinese Grand Prix, Bahrain Grand Prix, Canadian Grand Prix, British Grand Prix and Belgian Grand Prix.
1st position: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) of Mercedes
2nd position: Sebastian Vettel (Germany) of Ferrari
3rd position: Felipe Massa (Brazil) of Williams.

42. Arun Jaitley launched digital version of Mahatma Gandhi's collected work
i. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley on 8 September 2015 launched the e-version of the 100 volumes of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG) in New Delhi.
ii. The works of Mahatma Gandhi compiled by a team of Scholars includes historic speeches of Gandhi. The collection provides varied, numerous and logical profiles of Gandhi’s life and thought, action and engagements.

iii. The CWMG was published by Publications Division. Electronic Master Copy of CWMG (Volumes 1 to 100) is in the form of a searchable PDF beta version.
iv. Authentic documentation of Mahatma Gandhi's available writings was carried out under the CWMG project. The project commenced on September 1956 and concluded on 2 October 1994, with the publication of the 100th volume.

43. DRDO names new Director General, first woman in the role
i. In a first, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), will have a woman scientist heading an important cluster with the high rank of a Director General.
ii. J Manjula, has been appointed the new Director General (DG - Electronics & Communications Systems or ECS) today. She will be one of the seven DG's, who are heading different clusters within the DRDO, which has nearly 50 national laboratories and Institutes under its network.
iii. A recognised expert in electronic warfare systems for Air Force, Manjula is an Outstanding Scientist and Director of Bengaluru-based DARE, Defence Avionics Research Establishment.
iv. She brings vast experience in EW systems, following a long stint with the Hyderabad-based, DLRL (Defence Electronics Research Laboratory), which is a pioneer in EW systems and cutting edge communications.
v. The over 55-year old DRDO in heirarchy has a Director General, S Christopher (appointed a few months ago) and 7 DGs heading various clusters. The clusters are fallout of the implementation of the P Rama Rao Committee on restructuring the Organisation. It came into effect in 2013.

44. 6th Indo-Maldives Joint Military Exercise begins in Thiruvananthapuram
i. The sixth Indo-Maldives joint Training Exercise has commenced at Pangode Military Station in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala.
ii. Aim of the Joint Exercise is to acquaint forces of both countries with each other’s operating procedure and increase understanding and interoperability between Armies of both countries.
iii. In this edition of joint exercise, total of 45 soldiers each from Indian Army (BIHAR Regiment) and the Maldivian National Defence Force will take part.
iv. The exercise will cover varied military training activities in order to enhance interoperability between the two defence forces. It will conclude with tactical exercises.
v. August 2015 and it will conclude on 13 September 2015 with the closing ceremony involving cultural events by various military display teams along with aerial acrobatics display by Sarang Team of Indian Air force.

45. Himachal Pradesh organised organic fair and food festival to boost organic farming
i. To promote organic farming in the state, the Himachal Pradesh Government on 8 September 2015 organised a three-day organic fair and food festival in the state. The organic fair and food festival was organised in Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh.
ii. The fair was organised by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA), Bengaluru. It was inaugurated by State Agriculture Minister Sujan Singh Pathania.
iii. The fair was organised with an aim to popularise organic farming in the state where 90 percent of the population is residing in rural areas and 79 percent families are dependent on agriculture. At present the organic farming is being done on nearly 16 thousand hectare land in the state.
iv. Farmers from all over the state have put their different products in the exhibition, a part of this fare in capital Shimla. The farmers are demanding proper marketing facilities for their organic produces in the state.

46. Sahara India's para-banking license scrapped by RBI
i. In a fresh setback to the beleaguered Sahara India Pariwar, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the license of its holding company Sahara India Financial Corporation Limited (SIFCL), officials said on Tuesday.
ii. The action has been taken by the department of non-banking supervision of the RBI, in Kanpur. The move comes in wake of several irregularities and ignoring financial rules and regulations by Sahara, an official further informed.
iii. The notice cancelling its license to conduction financial business has been sent to the Kapurthala head quarter of the Sahara India.
iv. The RBI had in 2008 barred the company from taking any deposits from the people under its chit fund operations. Many depositors had since then complained to the RBI that they were not being paid back their money by Sahara, following which a probe was ordered by the bank.
v. A report of the investigations was sent to the RBI HQ in Mumbai last month after which the penal action of cancelling the license of SIFCL was taken.

47. Agriculture expert Ramesh Chand appointed to Niti Aayog
i. Agriculture expert Ramesh Chand has been appointed as new member of the Niti Aayog. Chand is the third member to join the government's think tank which has replaced the erstwhile planning commission.
ii. The Aayog, which is headed by eminent economist Arvind Panagariya, has two other members—economist Bibek Debroy and former DRDO chief V K Saraswat.
iii. Chand's appointment came at a time the Modi government is keen to revive the agriculture sector and reaffirm its commitment to farmers.
iv. The BJP government has already formed a task force to suggest ways to boost agriculture sector in a follow up to first meeting of the Niti Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
v. The task force, under the aegis of Aayog, is mandated to recommend ways to reinvigorate agriculture, strategies for reforms and identify successful experiments from which all states can learn.

48. Weightlifter Deepak Lather wins gold in fifth Youth Commonwealth Games 
i. Indian weightlifters continued to make their presence felt on Day 2 of the fifth Youth Commonwealth Games after Deepak Lather won a gold in the 62 kg category here today. 
ii. This was India's second gold in weightlifting after Jamjang Deru stood atop the podium in the 56 kg category on the opening day of the event.
iii. The 51-year-old Deepak finished with a total of 258 kg with 120 kg in snatch -- new CYG record -- and 138 kg in clean and jerk. 
iv. India are being represented by 25 athletes in eight disciplines out of the nine being competed in the CYG. 

49. Apurvi Chandela bags silver at ISSF World Cup Final
i. Young Indian shooter Apurvi Chandela impressed again as she clinched the silver medal in women’s 10m air rifle event of the ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Cup Finals on Saturday.
ii. The 22-year-old Jaipur girl finished second on the podium after she tallied 206.9, just 0.6 behind Ahmadi Elaheh of Iran, who won the gold medal with a tally of 207.5.
iii. In the finals, Chandela started on a rousing note as she fired two shots of 10.8 to lead after Series 1 of first competition stage. A total of 30.6 in the second series saw her a drop a place.
iv. London Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang and Gurpreet Singh had earlier reached the finals of their respective events in the tournament, but missed out on medals.

50. Union Cabinet approved introduction of Gold Monetization Schemes
i. The Union Cabinet on 9 September 2015 approved introduction of Gold Monetization Schemes that were announced by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his 2015-16 budget speech.
ii. Under this initiative, revamped Gold Deposit Scheme (GDS) and the Gold Metal Loan (GML) Scheme will be implemented.These revamped schemes are in addition to the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme as approved by the Cabinet.

Revamped Gold Deposit Scheme


  • To mobilize the gold held by households and institutions in the country.
  • To provide a fillip to the gems and jewellery sector in the country by making gold available as raw material on loan from banks.
  • To reduce reliance on import of gold to meet the domestic demand.
Daily GK - September 2015 -- 1 to 50 --useful for bank/ssc exams and interviews Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 4:46:00 PM Rating: 5

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