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Daily GK -- November 2015 -- 201 to 233

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201. Ratan Tata invests in Singapore’s data start-up
i. Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata has invested an unspecified amount in Crayon Data, a Singapore-based startup. “Given Tata’s experience and knowledge of our key focus verticals, we are excited by his validation of our vision. We hope to tap into his experience as we scale globally and fulfill our ambitions of mapping the world’s choices,” Crayon co-founder Srikant Sastri said in a statement from Singapore on Tuesday.
ii. As an alumni of the state-run Indian Institute of Management-Kolkata (IIM-K), Sastri and Suresh Shankar co-founded Crayon in 2012 and subsequently raised 10 million Singapore dollars (Rs. 47 crore) from institutional investors Jungle Ventures and Spring Seeds in first round (series A) funding.
iii. Crayon’s flagship product ‘Maya’ is a personalisation engine that empowers enterprises to deliver ultra-personalised choices to their consumers.
iv. Maya also facilitates choice delivery for banking, hotel and digital media verticals. The start-up plans to use the funds for product enhancements (new versions) of Maya and its geographical expansion in key markets like the APAC, Britain, Europe and the US.

202. Dhoni becomes brand ambassador for Dubai-based company
i. India’s ODI cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has bagged his first endorsement deal outside the country, signing up to be the brand ambassador of Dubai-based hospitality and event management company Grand Midwest Group for three years.
ii. Established by UAE businessman Zafar Shah Khan, the Grand Midwest Group owns hotel properties in Dubai, UK and Ireland. The company also has interests in the entertainment business in India and currently owns a local cricket team in the UAE.

iii. The group’s event management arm — GM Sports — was recently in the news for announcing the launch of a Twenty20 international cricket tournament called the Masters Champions League (MCL), which is scheduled to be played starting end of January next year.

203. HSBC to shut down private banking business in India
i. HSBC Holdings Plc is shutting its private banking unit in India, marking the exit of another foreign bank from the cut-throat wealth management business in Asia's third-largest economy.
ii. Many foreign wealth managers had scrambled to open up shop in India a few years ago and aggressively ramped up operations to take advantage of robust economic growth, only to find themselves struggling.
iii. Even though India's economy has been minting millionaires at a strong pace, it has failed to translate into profits for the foreign wealth managers that have set up teams of well-paid bankers to help manage those riches.
iv. Banks including Royal Bank of Scotland and Morgan Stanley have sold their onshore India private banking units in the recent past, as part of their global business restructuring.
v. The Mumbai-based HSBC spokesman said it would offer private banking clients the choice to move to HSBC Premier, the bank's global retail banking and wealth management platform. The process is likely to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

204. Govt. extends RuPay insurance cover period
i. The government has extended the usage criterion of the RuPay debit cards in order to avail of the in-built insurance cover, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Finance. Earlier, cardholders had to use the card within 45 days prior to claim the insurance claim. This has now been extended to 90 days.
ii. “One of the stipulations of meeting the claim under Accidental Death and/or Permanent Disablement was that the RuPay Card holder has to carry-out at least one successful financial or non-financial transactions…up to 45 days prior to the date of incident resulting into Accidental death / Permanent Disability. This condition was posing problem to the RuPay Card holders,” according to the statement.
iii. The National Payment Corporation has extended the usage clause to 90 days for RuPay Classic cardholders fromNovember 25.
iv. Only accidents arising on or after November 25 will be considered for the extended period. Claim intimations on accidents having occurred before November 25 will remain under the previous eligibility criterion of 45 days.
v. Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana 16.54 crore accounts have been provided a RuPay debit card.

205. Israel tests Barak-8 missile co-developed with India
i. The Israeli military has conducted another successful test of the Barak-8 missile, jointly developed with India, as it intercepted a small drone simulating an “enemy” target, defence sources said. “In the first of its kind operation test on Thursday,  Barak 8 missile fired from an Israeli Navy ship successfully intercepted an enemy target registering 100 per cent success,” Israeli military sources told PTI.
ii. INS Kolkata is the Indian ship likely to be used for the testing as the launchers and radars to track missiles are already installed on the vessel. The missile is being jointly developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Elta Systems, Rafael and other companies.
iii. Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) will be assigned the task of producing the missiles with 32 initial ones to be fitted on INS Kolkata. Israeli security sources said that the advanced surface-to-air missile system will be deployed to secure the country’s offshore gas fields.
iv. The system will extend the range of Israel’s aerial defence and should be operational in about two years. It will also help defend Israeli navy ships from anti-ship missiles like the Yakhont missile which is believed to be possessed by Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah and poses a major threat to Israel’s security.
v. The Barak-8, an upgraded version of the Barak missile system already being used by India and Israel, is designed to defend naval vessels against incoming missiles, planes and drones.

206. Canara Bank CSR drive
i. Canara Bank has tied up with the Navodhan Charitable Foundation in its efforts for timely detection of cancer. It has helped the foundation acquire a mobile cancer detection unit fitted with the best facilities as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) drive.
ii. To coincide with the launch the mobile unit, the Bank will join the Foundation to host a one-day cancer detection camp at its Circle Office here on Friday.
iii. VS Sivakumar, Minister of Health, will launch the camp in the presence of Elizabeth Antony, founding president of the foundation, and N Sivasankaran, General Manager, Canara Bank.

207. India successfully test-fires Agni-I missile
i. India today successfully test-fired the indigenously built nuclear-capable Agni-I missile, capable of hitting a target at a distance of 700 km, from a test range off the Odisha coast as part of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) training exercise.
ii. The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at 1002 hours from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island).
iii. The trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships from its launch till the missile hit the target area with accuracy, they said.
iv. The Agni-I missile is equipped with a sophisticated navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision.
v. The missile, which has already been inducted into the armed forces, has proved its excellent performance in terms of range, accuracy and lethality, the sources said. Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I is designed to carry a payload of more than one tonne. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload.

208. RBI permitted Foreign Portfolio Investors to buy Defaulted Bonds
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 26 November 2015 permitted the Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) to buy fully or partly defaulted bonds in the repayment of principal on maturity or principal installment in the case of amortising bond. The permission was given as part of the drive to promote investments by FPIs in corporate bonds.

ii. The revised maturity period of such NCDs/bonds that are restructured based on negotiations with the issuing Indian company should be three years or more.
iii. The FPI that proposes to acquire such NCDs/bonds under default should disclose to the Debenture Trustees the terms of their offer to the existing debenture holders from whom they are acquiring.
iv. Such investment should be within the overall limit prescribed for corporate debt from time to time (currently 2443.23 billion rupees). All other existing conditions for investment by FPIs in the debt market remain unchanged.

209. World Robot Olympiad, 2015 held in Doha; 2016 session to be held in Delhi
i. World Robot Olympiad (WRO), 2015 was held in Doha, Qatar from 6 November to 8 November 2015.  The 2015 session of the event was held with theme Robot Explorers. The event saw participation of students from more than 55 countries.
ii. This is the first time in the history of WRO that Indian students were able to win three medals (1Gold & 2 Silver) and one position (Eighth).
iii. Storm Divers from Ahmadabad won first rank. Participants included Aaman Shah, Aarav Savla and Shaurya Goenka. Thunder Divers from Ahmadabad won second rank. Participants included Vir Gandhi, Ishan Patel and Param Adani.
iv. Shadow Bots from Delhi won second rank. Participants included Jayant Sharma, Aman Thakur and Rohan Verma. Path Finders from Delhi won eighth rank. Participants included Dhariya Gupta, Ishaan Saini and Laxman Prasad.
v. Teams from over 225 different schools across India participated in this event to showcase their talent and creativity. The Indian delegation was led by Arvind Manjit Singh, JS (Culture).
vi. Besides, the Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism Dr Mahesh Sharma on 26 November 2015 announced that for the first time the 13th World Robot Olympiad will be held in Delhi in November 2016. It will be organized by National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) with India STEM Foundation (ISF).

210. GRSE handed over ASW Corvette 'Kadmatt' to Indian Navy
i. The second Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette Kadmatt built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) was formally handed over to Indian Navy at Kolkata on 26 November 2015. The Corvette would be joining the Eastern Fleet shortly.
ii. The super-sophisticated frontline warship was handed over by Rear Admiral (Retd) AK Verma, Chairman and Managing Director of GRSE to the Commanding Officer of the ship Mahesh C Moudgil. 
iii. The ship is equipped with total atmospheric control ventilation system making it fully capable to fight in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare environments.
iv. It is 109 metres long with a displacement of 3200 tons. It has a maximum speed of 25 Knots. It is designed to accommodate 17 officers and 106 sailors. Its main role is to protect nation's maritime interests against possible submarine attack. It is a potent platform for neutralising the enemy submarines using weapons like torpedoes, rocket launchers and helicopter.
v. It has been built in the country with indigenously developed special grade high-tensile (DMR249A) steel produced by the Steel Authority of India. Its hull encompasses the bulk of sensors and weapon systems which are also indigenously manufactured.

211. South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise 2015 concluded
i. The South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx) 2015 was on 26 November 2015 concluded by the Union Government in Delhi. This was the first-ever joint exercise to be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of India.
ii. This joint exercise was attended by  South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries from 23 November to 26 November 2015. The member countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
iii. It aimed to synchronise efforts to institutionalise regional cooperation on disaster response among SAARC member countries. The main focus was to test the inter-governmental coordination, create synergy and synchronise efforts to institutionalise regional cooperation on disaster response among the member countries of SAARC.
iv. Through the exercise, the important aspects of responding to disasters by pooling of resources/expertise were addressed. Joint Field Training Exercise on Collapsed Structure Search & Rescue (CSSR) techniques was conducted by NDRF with active participation of all eight member nations of SAARC.
v. In the Joint Field Training Exercise, NDRF successfully painted the real disaster like scenario that was dealt by the Rescue Team of each SAARC nation to understand their CSSR capabilities. Joint Field Training Exercise on Chemical Emergency was also conducted by NDRF with active participation of SAARC nations where rescue teams of these countries promptly responded to the scenario of leakage of gases that was painted by NDRF.

212. Union Government approved 3120 crore rupees investment for infra boost in 102 AMRUT cities
i. The Ministry of Urban Development on 26 November 2015 approved an investment of 3120 crore rupees investment plans for basic urban infrastructure boost for 102 cities approved under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
ii. The plans will enhance water supply, sewerage network services, storm water drains, non-motorised transport and availability of public spaces in 102 cities, under AMRUT.
iii. Besides, an inter-ministerial Apex Committee approved State level Annual Action Plans for 2015-16 with an investment of 438 crore rupees for Haryana (18 AMRUT cities), 573 crore rupees for Chattisgarh (9 AMRUT cities), 416 crore rupees for Telangana (12 AMRUT cities), 588 crore rupees for Kerala (9 AMRUT cities) and 1105 crore rupees for West Bengal (54 AMRUT cities).
iv. The Apex Committee approved investments in different basic urban infrastructure areas as proposed by respective state governments. Ministry of Urban Development will provide an assistance 1540 crore rupees which is about 50 perecnt of total approved project expenditure. Total investment in water supply projects in 58 mission states will be 2386 crore rupees.
v. Sewerage projects will demand an investment of 495 crore rupees in 17 cities. A total of 106 crore rupees will be invested on storm water drains in 9 cities. Urban transport will seek an investment of 61 crore rupees in 9 cities. Around 72 crore rupees will be invested on development of parks and green spaces in all the 102 cities.

213. Australia, New Zealand started playing the historic first day-night Test at Adelaide Oval
i. First day-night Test will be played at the Adelaide Oval from 27 November to 1 December 2015 with a pink Kookaburra ball.
ii. For the first time in 138 years, a Test match will be played with a ball that is not red. For the first time in 138 years, a Test match will be played at night. Test Number 2188 will have a five-day limit, six-ball overs and a pink ball.
iii. This historical Test cricket will be played as per recommendations of the MCC World Cricket Committee to keep the test cricket alive.  
iv. The decision to have a day-night Test match was taken with an aim to make people watch it on TV in prime time or head to the ground after work to catch the second half of the day’s action. It represents a continuation of the evolution of the game.

214. RBI granted in-principle approval to NPCI to function as the central unit for Bharat Bill Payment Systems
i. The Reserve Bank of India on 24 November 2015 decided to grant in principle approval to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to function as the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) in Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS).
ii. The BBPS is an integrated bill payment system which will function as a tiered structure for operating the bill payment system in the country with a single brand image providing convenience of anytime anywhere bill payment to customers.



iii. As the central unit, NPCI will set necessary operational, technical and business standards for the entire system and its participants. Besides, NPCI will undertake clearing and settlement activities. The present scope of BBPS will include utility bill payments, such as, electricity, water, gas, telephone and Direct-to-Home (DTH).
iv. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) was incorporated in December 2008 and the Certificate of Commencement of Business was issued in April 2009. It has been incorporated as a Section 25 company under Companies Act.

215. P Uday Bhaskar appointed as Chairman of Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission
i. P Uday Bhaskar was on 26 November 2015 appointed as the Chairman of Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC). The post has been lying vacant for quite some time now. There had been no permanent Chairman of the APPSC since 2014. Sivanarayana, who is one of the member of APPSC, had been the Interim Chairman but he retired in June 2015.
ii. Dr Uday Bhaskar is a professor of Civil Engineering and Director of Foreign Universities and Alumni Relations of the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Kakinada (JNTU-K).
iii. He is also the Director of evaluation at the JNTU-K. He worked at JNTU-K in various capacities including head of civil engineering, chief coordinator of several consultancy and research projects.
iv. He published more than 20 research papers in the national and international journals and conferences. Dr Uday Bhaskar did his Post Graduation and Doctoral degrees in Environmental Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

216. Patricia Scotland appointed as Secretary General of Commonwealth of Nations
i. Dominica-born British lawyer Patricia Scotland was on 27 November 2015 appointed as the Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations. With this, Patricia become the first British citizen and first woman as well to hold the role in the 66-year history of 53-member Commonwealth.
ii. Scotland succeeds India's Kamalesh Sharma and will join the office on 1 April 2016. She will receive a salary of nearly 160000 British Pound as well as a four storey mansion in Mayfair. She was selected during the 24th biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta on 27 November 2015.
iii. Scotland was the first black woman to be made a Queen’s Council in 1991. Patricia Scotland is prominent lawyer and was created Baroness Scotland of Asthal in 1997. She became a member of House of Lords (Upper House) of the British parliament in 1997.
iv. The Commonwealth Secretary-General is the head of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the central body that has served the Commonwealth of Nations since its establishment in 1965. The Secretary-General can now serve a maximum of two four-year terms.

217. RBI granted in-principle approval to three applicants for setting up TReDS
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 24 November 2015 granted in-principle approval to three applicants to set up and operate Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS). The three organisations have been asked to set and operate TReDS in accordance to the Guidelines issued on 3 December 2014 under the Payment and Settlement System (PSS) Act 2007.
ii. Organisations which got in-principle approval was granted are 
NSE Strategic Investment Corporation Limited (NSICL) and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI),
Mumbai.  Axis Bank Limited, Mumbai
Mynd Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon, Haryana
iii. The in-principle approval granted will be valid for a period of 6 months, during which time the applicants have to comply with the requirements under the Guidelines and fulfill the other conditions as may be stipulated by the Reserve Bank.
iv. On being satisfied that the applicants have complied with the requisite conditions laid down by it as part of in-principle approval, the RBI would consider granting to them a Certificate of Authorisation for commencement of the business of TReDS.

218. UNESCO Fellini medal to be awarded at IFFI for the first time
i. The UNESCO Fellini medal will be awarded in India for the first time at the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in collaboration with the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication (ICFT), Paris. The medal is given to a film that reflects UNESCO’s ideals.
ii. The Fellini medal was unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1995. The medal holds a double significance - to honour Italian director Federico Fellini’s contribution to film as an art form, and to commemorate the centenary of the birth of cinema (1895-1995). Italian painter Valerio Adami designed the fragmented, interlocking images of the medal.
iii. The obverse side features a profile of Fellini with his signature hat, facing the inscription 8 1/2, the title of one of the most famous films in the history of cinema. The reverse is inscribed Fellini (1920-1993) UNESCO.

219. India to launch $1-b equity fund for renewable energy
i. India proposes to launch a $1-billion equity fund, with seed capital from public sector units, to support renewable energy companies.
ii. Addressing a ‘Talkathon’ ahead of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference or COP-21, Piyush Goyal Minister of State (Independent Charge) Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, said, “While we hope the Paris talks will help developed countries provide long-tenor low-cost funding, we are also preparing ourselves to see how we can finance our renewable energy thrust.”
iii. Goyal and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, were taking questions from the public which were being asked on the micro-blogging social network Twitter.
iv. Apart from the private equity fund, Goyal also said that the country expects to collect $4 billion a year in the next three-four years for the National Clean Energy Fund through a cess on coal mining. Since the Narendra Modi-led Government took charge last year, clean cess on coal mining has been quadrupled to Rs 200 a tonne.
v. Asked about the International Solar Alliance, Goyal said it will be launched on November 30 by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande. The Minister said that the purpose of the International Solar Alliance is to forge a partnership in countries blessed with abundant sunshine.

220.Union Govt to roll out BSV norms from April 1, 2019
i. Union Government has decided to advance the date for implementation of Bharat Stage (BS) V and BS VI emission norms for four-wheelers in order to reduce vehicular air pollution from road transport sector. 
ii. As per advance dates,  BS V norms will be rolled out from 1st of April, 2019 and BS VI norms from 1st April, 2021. 
iii. In this regard draft notification was issued Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways as per the Auto Fuel Policy, 2003. 


About Bharat stage (BS) norms 

  • Bharat stage (BS) norms are emission standards decided by the government to regulate the amount of air pollutants from vehicles. They were adopted in line with European regulation standard ‘Euro norms’ in 2000. 
  • So far, 4 states of Bharat stage (BS) norms have been issued by government. In each stage certain limit is specified on the released pollutants and in the succeeding higher stages, the BS norms reduces the limit of pollutant emission. 
  • Issued BS stages are:
  1. BS-I - Euro 1 - 2000 
  2. BS-II - Euro 2 - 2005 
  3. BS-III - Euro 3 - 2010 
  4. BS-IV - Euro 4 - 2015 (63 cities till 1 April 2015) 

221.India-Israel co-developed LRSAM misile successfully tested
i. Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) co-developed by India and Israel was successfully test-fired for the first time from an Israeli Naval Platform. 
ii. Test: The trial test was undertaken by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in the presence of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists. During the test the missile achieved the desired goal by hitting the incoming target. 



About Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) 
  • LRSAM is also called Barak 8 missile in Israel which in Hebrew language means Lightning. 
  • Barak 8 is an advanced, long-range missile defence and air defence system. Its main features are long range, active radar seeker missile, vertical launch and multiple simultaneous engagements. 
  • For the LRSAM, DRDO has developed dual pulse propulsion system along with other safety arm mechanisms for Solid Propulsion system. 
  • The LRSAM programme consists of Missiles, Weapon Control System, MFSTAR (Radar), Vertical 
222. NHAI approves pilot project for developing greenbelts along National highway
i. National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI) has approved a pilot project for undertaking scientific studies on designing greenbelts along national highways. 
ii. Proposal in this regard was submitted by Nagpur based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). 


Key facts 
  • The pilot project will be implemented on a 5 km stretch on NH-7 (Varanasi to Kanyakumari) between Jam and Hinganghat in Nagpur region. 
  • Around 20,000 scientifically chosen species of trees are proposed to be planted on both sides of this stretch in multiple rows at an estimated cost of 11 crore 80 lakh rupees. The project will run for five years’ time span. During this period various experiments will be conducted in NEERI laboratory to record the impact of greenbelt development. 

223. CBDT signs 11 more Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements
i. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into 11 more unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies operating in various segments of the economy. 
ii. Of the total eleven APAs, seven were having rollback provisions in them with maximum period of 9 years, while the other four are extension agreements for future five years i.e. till 2020. 
iii. With this, CBDT so far has entered into 31 APAs (30 unilateral and one bilateral) and is now aiming to finalise another 30 to 40 APAs in order to provide stability and confidence among the foreign enterprises operating in India. 


What is Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) 
  • APA usually is signed between a taxpayer and the central tax authority (in case of India it is CBDT) for multiple years on an appropriating transfer pricing methodology. 
  • The APA Programme was introduced in 2012 as per the provisions of the Income Tax (IT) Act, 1961. It helps in determining the price and ensuing taxes on intra-group overseas transactions.

224. BBIN Friendship Motor Car Rally flagged off from Silchar
i. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Friendship Motor Car Rally was flagged off from Silchar, Assam. 
ii. The international rally aims at highlighting connectivity in the sub-region and seamless movements of vehicles across the borders in the 4 nations through implementation of BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA). 

Key facts 
  • The Car Rally has been jointly organised by the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Kalinga Motor Sports Club (Odisha) in partnership with the counterpart clubs of the neighbouring countries. 
  • The 19-days rally will culminate at Kolkata (West Bengal) on December 2, 2015 next after covering the capitals of Indian states and neighbouring countries.


225. Sindhu seizes Macau Open title for third time
i. Sindhu produced a dominating game to notch up a 21-9 21-23 21-14 win against sixth seed Mitani in a women’s singles match.
iii. Two-time defending champion P. V. Sindhu completed a hat-trick of women’s singles title at the $ 120,000 Macau Open Grand Prix Gold after defeating Japan’s Minatsu Mitani in the finals here today.
iii. Sindhu produced a dominating game to notch up a 21-9 21-23 21-14 win against sixth seed Mitani in a women’s singles match that lasted an hour and six minutes here.

226. Mahesh Gupta takes over as PHDCCI President
i. The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has a new President in Mahesh Gupta. Gupta, a seasoned entrepreneur, is currently Chairman of Kent RO Systems Ltd, which is a leading player in water purifier industry.
ii. He is a Mechanical Engineering Graduate from IIT Kanpur (1975) and Post Graduate in Petroleum Conservation from IIP, Dehradun. Gupta succeeds Alok Shriram who demited office as PHDCCI President on Friday.
iii. Kent RO Systems Ltd is an Indian healthcare products company, headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. It makes water purifiers, based on the process of Reverse Osmosis (RO) purification. Kent is a household brand with more than 40% market share in RO Water Purifiers.
iv. Gupta started his entrepreneurial journey in 1999 from scratch by inventing the country’s first dual technology water purifier.

227. Dubai bank Mashreq appoints new retail bank head
i. Nov 26 Mashreq, Dubai's third-biggest bank by assets, said on Thursday Subroto Som had been appointed head of its retail banking group.
ii. The former Standard Chartered banker takes over from Farhad Irani, who is leaving after almost five years at the helm to rejoin his family in Australia, Mashreq said in a statement.
iii. Som's last assignment with Standard Chartered was head of consumer banking for the ASEAN region, the statement said. (Reporting By Tom Arnold. Editing by Jane Merriman)

228. Saudi Arabia Women to Vote and Contest in Municipal Elections for the First time
i. For the first time, Saudi Arabia allowed women to vote and contest in municipal elections. As per a royal decree issued in 2011, the authorities on 29 November 2015 allowed 979 women to register and campaign for 284 municipal councils.
ii. They were out of the total 6917 registered candidates who obtained campaign permits from the authorities in the capital Riyadh.
iii. Earlier, Saudi Arabia held municipal elections in 2005 and 2011, but only men were allowed to take part.
iv. At present, women make up a quarter of the country's Shura Council (Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia), an unelected body appointed by the king that can propose laws but cannot pass them.

229. Three-day Mayyazhi Mahotsavam kicked off in Mahe, Puducherry
i. The Mayyazhi Mahotsavam (Fete de Mahe), a three-day cultural extravaganza, started on 29 November 2015 at Mahe, Puducherry. The festival is being organised jointly by the Department of Tourism and the Legislative Assembly Secretariat at Mahe, which is Puducherry’s exclave in Kerala. The festival will conclude on 1 December 2015.
ii. The Aayi Mandapam, the main venue, will witness the performance of artists of national and international acclaim. A parade of classical and folk-ritual art forms, including Kathakali, Mohiniyattam and Theyyam, are part of the fete.
iii. E. Valsaraj, long-serving Mahe MLA, will be felicitated on his completion of 25 years of distinguished service in the constituency. Valsaraj’s paintings will also be featured at an exhibition. There will be the performances by playback singers Chithra and Mano.
iv. Actress Remya Nambeesan will perform Lasyam, a type of dance. Artists camp, painting and photo exhibitions, seminar on Waste is Wealth and a debate will also be held.

230. Hyundai launches traffic safety campaign
i. The country's second largest passenger car manufacturer Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) on Monday launched its CSR initiative -- Safe Move-Traffic Safety Campaign -- in association with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
ii. The campaign constitutes four main pillars -- 'Safe move, green move, happy move and easy move' -- to promote best practices of road and traffic safety habits among children.
iii. The initiative will have both online and offline engagement channels.
iv. "It is our responsibility to apprise children about the importance of traffic safety for a better future. Children are the future of a nation and 'traffic safety campaign' is an effort to reach out to the children to educate them with best practices of the traffic safety," YK Koo, Managing Director, HMIL, said.
v. As Hyundai's corporate brand ambassador, actor Shah Rukh Khan will participate in this CSR initiative.

231. Interceptor boat ICGS C-422 commissioned into Indian Coast Guard service
i. Indian Coast Guard has commissioned interceptor boat ‘ICGS C-422’ into its fleet to further enhance its vigil along Pondicherry and South Tamil Nadu coast in the Bay of Bengal.
ii. It was commissioned in a traditional ceremony held at Karaikal port in Tamil Nadu by Puducherry Assembly Speaker V Sabapathy.
iii. ICGS C-422 is the 36th interceptor boat to be inducted into the Coast Guard service. The boat is capable of multiple tasks including interdiction, surveillance and search and rescue.
iv. It has been fitted with state-of-the-art communication, navigational equipment along with adequate fire power. Presently, Indian Coast Guard has two fast patrol vessels ICGS Rani Durgavati and ICGS Ameya along with two interceptor boats C-428 and C-415 stationed at Karaikal port.

232. Great Britain defeated Belgium to win 2015 Davis Cup tennis title
i. Great Britain on 29 November 2015 won the 2015 Davis Cup tennis title by defeating Belgium 3-1 at Ghent in Belgium. While Leon Smith was the captain of the winning team, Andy Murray played a crucial role in the victory as he beat Belgium's David Goffin to clinch the decisive point.
ii. Murray beat Goffin by 6-3 7-5 6-3 to give Great Britain 3-1 lead in the best-of-five tie. With this win, Murray joined John McEnroe and Mats Wilander as the only men to have an 8-0 singles record in a Davis Cup year.
iii. For Great Britain, it was the first title since 1936 which was won by defeating Australia. Overall, it was the tenth title for the team in the competition’s 116-year history.
iv. It is the premier international team event in men's tennis and considered as the world cup of tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format.
v. It began in 1900 as a challenge between Great Britain and the United States. The women's equivalent of the Davis Cup is the Fed Cup. So far, Australia, the Czech Republic and the United States are the only countries to have held both Davis Cup and Fed Cup titles in the same year.

233. ICC suspended West Indies spinner Sunil Narine for illegal bowling action
i. International Cricket Council (ICC) on 29 November 2015 suspended West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect. The ICC took a decision after an independent assessment found his bowling action to be illegal.
ii. Thereafter, a test was performed on 17 November 2015 at the ICC's accredited testing centre in Loughborough University. The assessment revealed that all variations of his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.
iii. Narine's bowling action was reported after the third ODI match against Sri Lanka in Pallekele on 7 November 2015.
iv. In accordance with Article 6.1 of the regulations, Narine’s international suspension will also be recognised and enforced by all National Cricket Federations within domestic cricket events played in their own jurisdiction.

234. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won 2015 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
i. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg on 29 November 2015 won the 2015 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE. To win the title, the German driver defeated the defending champion and his team mate Lewis Hamilton of the UK.
ii. While Kimi Raikkonen of Finland representing Ferrari was at the third position, Force India drivers- Sergio Perez (Mexico) and Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) were at the fifth and seventh position respectively.
iii. For Rosberg, it was the sixth title in the 2015 season. In early 2015, prior to Abu Dhabi, he won the titles in Spain, Monaco, Austria, Mexico and Brazil. Overall, it was the 14th title in his career.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the season-ending championship in 2015. While the 2015 World Drivers’ Championship (WDC) was won by Lewis Hamilton with ten titles overall, Rosberg was declared the runner up.


Daily GK -- November 2015 -- 201 to 233 Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 9:14:00 PM Rating: 5

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