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DAILY GK UPDATE --1 TO 30




photo taken by ramadrama  - tks

1.Union government and the World Bank signed a $50-million credit agreement
i. The Union government and the World Bank signed a $50-million credit agreement for a project aimed at helping young people from minority communities complete their education and improve their employment opportunities named Nai Manzil Scheme.
ii. The Nai Manzil Scheme is designed as an integrated education and training programme that provides youth from minority communities skills needed for different tasks in a rapidly changing world. 
iii. The agreement was signed by Mr. Kumar and Michael Haney, the World Bank’s Operations Adviser in India.

2.Ambitious odd-even scheme of Delhi government started off in New Delhi

i. The ambitious odd-even scheme of Delhi government, a first such intervention in the country to combat spiralling air pollution, got off to a decent start on new year  with volume of cars on the city roads coming down significantly amid deployment of thousands of policemen and and moderately augmented public transport.
ii. As the clock struck eight, the vehicular restriction policy came into effect with thousands of volunteers carrying roses also taking to the streets to assist traffic police in enforcing the pilot plan that will stay in force till January 15.
iii. Under the scheme, cars bearing odd-numbered registration plates shall ply on city roads while those with even number plates, if taken out, will attract a penalty of Rs 2,000 under relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act. It will be vice-versa on Saturday. Also, 25 categories of people are being given exemptions including the VIPs.

3.LRSAM test-fired from INS Kolkata
i. Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM), the missile co-developed by India and Israel, was successfully test-fired on the Western Sea Board. The missile was fired from INS Kolkata and it successfully intercepted an aerial target at extended ranges.
ii. The test-fire was jointly carried out by the Indian Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries.
iii. This was the first test for LRSAM or BARAK 8 missile in India. Earlier, on 11 November 2015, it was successfully test-fired from a range in Israel.
iv. The missile was developed by the DRDL, Hyderabad in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries. It has been manufactured by M/s Bharat Dynamics Limited, India.

4.Iran’s leading banks will soon open branches in India
i. Iran’s leading banks will open branches in India to energise commercial ties between New Delhi and Tehran. The decision was amongst a slew of commercial measures taken by the India-Iran Joint Commission that met for the first time. 
ii. After the meeting led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Iranian Finance Minister Ali Tayebnia, India decided to allow the Pasargan Bank and Parsian Bank of Iran to set up branches in New Delhi and Mumbai.
iii. A major beneficiary of normalisation of banking channels between two sides will be India which has just begun settling more than $6.5 billion energy-related pending payment, with Iran. 

5.Pakistan's Singer Adnan Sami gets Indian Citizenship
i. The Union Home Ministry cleared the proposal to grant Adnan Sami the citizenship of India. Mr Sami, who has been staying in India since 2011, will now have to fill a citizenship form at the Home Ministry’s office in Delhi and pay Rs 13,700.
ii. He will be given citizenship under Section 6 (I) of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 under the category “citizenship by naturalisation.”
iii. Lahore-born Sami first arrived in India on March 13, 2001 on a visitor’s visa with a validity of one year. It was issued by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

6.RBI asked the banks to open banks in villages with a population of more than 5000.
i. India’s central bank has asked the lenders to open more brick and mortar branches in villages with no banking facilities and with a population of more than 5,000. The banking regulator has asked banks to submit a roadmap on how many branches they will be opening by 31 March 2017. Banks have to submit the roadmap by end of January 2016.
ii. RBI observed that coverage of banking services in unbanked villages is skewed towards the BC model and the ratio of branches to BC is very low. Therefore, it has been decided to focus on villages with population above 5,000 without a bank branch of a scheduled commercial bank. 
iii. This will also enable banks to provide quality financial services and timely support to BC outlets that would help in sustaining and strengthening the services provided through BCs and also ensure close supervision of BC operations.

7.D.K.Hota to be the new CMD of defence PSU BEML Ltd
The Public Enterprises Selection Board has recommended D.K.Hota to be the new CMD of defence PSU BEML Ltd. He is currently Director (HR) of the Bengaluru-based BEML. He has been on deputation at BEML from oil marketing major HPCL for the past two years.

8.Harpal Singh Kumar received Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II 
i. An Indian-origin cancer research expert Harpal Singh Kumar received a Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his influential work on prevention and treatment of cancer. His name appeared in the annual New Year’s Honours list that includes several other Indian-origin individuals.
ii. Samir Desai, founder-CEO of Funding Circle, received a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his work in the field of financial inclusion. Chairman of Sun Mark Ltd, Raminder Singh Ranger, was awarded a CBE for services to business and community cohesion.
iii. Among the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) list were Kala Patel, managing director of Kiddycare Ltd Nurseries, for services to childcare  business and Daljit Lally, deputy chief executive of Northumberland Country Council, for services to integrated care.

9.Ashwin becomes the no.1 Test Bowler
i. Star India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin ended 2015 as the No. 1 Test bowler in the ICC rankings issued on the back of his strong showing against South Africa in the recent home series.
ii. Ashwin, who took 62 wickets in nine Tests this year including 31 scalps in the four matches against South Africa, became the first India bowler since Bishen Bedi in 1973 to achieve the milestone of finishing the year on top.

iii. Ashwin achieved the number-one spot for first time in his career after injury prevented South African Dale Steyn from bowling more than 3.5 overs in England’s second innings in the Durban Test.

10.Indian Test captain Virat Kohli named ‘BCCI Cricketer of the Year’
i. Indian Test captain Virat Kohli was named ‘Cricketer of the Year’, while Mithali Raj was picked for the M.A. Chidambaram Trophy for the best women’s cricketer.
ii. Under Kohli, the Indian team ended a 22-year wait for a series win on Sri Lankan soil before battering world No.1 South Africa to give them their first overseas loss in nine years. Mithali, on the other hand, became the first Indian woman and second overall to complete 5,000 runs in ODI format this year.iii. In other awards, former wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani will be presented the Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award. Karnataka all-rounder Robin Uthappa has been picked for the Madhavrao Scindia Award for being the highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy.

11.Magnus Carlsen won the Qatar Masters Open chess tournament 
i. World champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway won the Qatar Masters Open chess tournament, billed as the strongest Open in history. The top seed had finished with seven  points, the same as Yu Yangyi of China, seeded 11th. He drew his 10th and final round encounter with former World champion  Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, while Yu defeated Wesley So of the United States.
ii. Surya Shekhar Ganguly was the best-placed Indian, at 10th. 

12.Laxmi Ratan Shukla announced his retirement
i. Former India player and Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla announced his retirement from cricket. Shukla, who failed to make it to the Bengal Ranji squad for most of the current season after making a comeback from injury, was included in the team that played its last league match against Assam earlier this month. But the player choose to call it quits as he was not getting enough “motivation” to continue.
ii. The feisty all-rounder played 137 First Class matches and accumulated 6217 runs and 144 wickets.


13. DAVA project bags 2015 eASIA award for trade facilitation
i. The Drug Authentication and Verification Application (DAVA) project of The Department of Commerce has won the 2015 eASIA Award under Trade Facilitation category. The award was announced by Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation (APCTF) and Tehran based (Iran) Electronic Business.
ii. The eASIA award is administered by AFACT which aims to development and promotion of trade facilitation, electronic business policies and activities in the Asia Pacific region.


iii. DAVA project was launched by Union Government in June 2015. It seeks to create an integrated platform for implementation of the Track and Trace system for exporters and domestic markets of Drugs and Pharmaceuticals. The project aims to cover all the drugs manufactured in India and contribute considerably in enhancing the brand image of our pharmaceutical exporters.
iv. It will also provide simpler platform for the regulatory agencies and consumer for establishing drug authentication. Under this project, the DAVA application has been incorporated with value-added features like availability of stocks for a drug in an area/retailers/ wholesalers at a point of time.
v. Using it drugs can easily be identified and recalled due to traceability of stocks which in turn helps in prevention of black marketing which especially arises during epidemics.

14. Vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyam conferred 2015 Sangita Kalanidhi award
i. Foremost south Indian classical vocalists Sanjay Subrahmanyam has conferred with prestigious 2015 Sangita Kalanidhi award. The prestigious award was bestowed upon him by renowned mathematician Manjul Bhargava at 89th annual conference of the Madras Music Academy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

ii. With this, he became seventh artistes to be conferred with this award before completing 50 years of age. Others are Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Musiri Subramania Iyer, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, Semmangudi R. Srinivasa Iyer, G.N. Balasubramaniam, M.L. Vasanthakumari and M. Balamuralikrishna
iii. By profession he is Charted Accountant but in 2000 became full-time musician. He had started performing Carnatic music from 1987. Gaana Padhmam (2013), Vani Kala Sudhakara (2010) and the title Kalaimamani by Tamil Nadu Government (2006) etc.
iv. It is a prestigious award bestowed annually upon an expert of Carnatic Music by the Madras Music Academy. The award’s name has been derived from Sanskrit which means treasure of Music and art in English. This honour is considered one of the highest awards in Carnatic music.

15. Government constitute Kamlesh Chandra Committee to study wage structure of Gramin Dak Sevaks
i. The Union Government has constituted a committee to examine the wage structure, service conditions of the Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) in the Department of Posts (DoP). It is one member committee comprising of Kamlesh Chandra, Retired Member of Postal Services Board.
ii. The Committee will be assisted by Senior Administrative Grade Officer T.Q. Mohammad who will act as Secretary to the GDS Committee. The Committee will go into the service conditions of GDS and suggest changes as considered necessary. Examine the present system of Branch Post Offices, engagement conditions and existing structure of wage and enrolments paid to the GDS and recommend necessary changes.
iii. Review the existing Services Discharge Benefits Scheme and also other social security benefits for the GDS and suggest necessary changes. Review the existing facilities as well as welfare measures provided to the GDS and suggest necessary changes.
iv. Examine and suggest any changes in the
(a) method of minimum qualification for engagement as GDS.
(b) Conduct and disciplinary rules of GDS, particularly keeping in view the proposed induction of technology in the Rural Post Offices.

16. Indian-origin cancer expert Harpal Singh Kumar knighted
i. An Indian-origin cancer research expert Harpal Singh Kumar was honoured with a Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his influential work on prevention and treatment of cancer. Mr. Singh’s name has appeared in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list that includes several other Indian-origin individuals.
ii. Harpal Singh Kumar was born in India in 1965. He had founded Nexan Group, a venture capital-backed medical devices company in 1997. Later he had joined Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRTL) as chief executive in 2002 and was promoted as COO of Cancer Research UK in 2004.
iii. He is the chairman of the Board at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) and also chairman of the Cancer Outcomes Strategy Advisory Group (COSAG) in England. He has won the Mobil Prize, Metal Box Prize, and Hughes Prize.
iv. Knighthood is one of the highest honours bestowed upon an individual in the UK and it doesn’t carry any military obligations to the sovereign. The knighthoods are conferred by the Queen or a member of the Royal Family acting on her behalf in Britain. Queen usually presents insignia at the ceremony.

17. CMPDI Chairman assumes charge
i. Shekhar Saran has taken over as Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Ranchi-based Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd (CMPDI) from this month. Prior to this, he served as the Director (Technical) of CMPDI.
ii. A mining engineer and MBA, he started his career in the coal industry from Sohagpur area of South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) in 1981.

18. Eight states to implement DBT in kerosene from April 1
i. Eight states have agreed to implement direct benefit of transfer in kerosene in 26 districts, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said on Friday. The scheme will be implemented from April 1, 2016 and till then state governments will be consulted in the run up to the scheme. 
ii The scheme will be implemented in three districts of Chhattisgarh, two in Haryana, three in Himachal Pradesh, six in Jharkhand, four in Madhya Pradesh, two in Maharashtra, three in Punjab and three in Rajasthan.

iii. In these districts, the consumer will pay the un-subsidised price of kerosene at the time of purchase and subsequently the subsidy amount will be directly transferred to the bank account of the beneficiary, an official statement said. 
iv. Calculations of the savings will be based on the net savings in kerosene consumption at the state level from the baseline which would be 90 per cent of the 2015-16 allocation. The implementing states will be advised to take all necessary steps to ensure that eligible and genuine beneficiaries particularly in rural areas are able to access the full entitlement of kerosene. 
v. Kerosene subsidy outgo for the financial year 2014-15 was ₹ 24,799 crore. The government expects DBT in kerosene to ensure that genuine beneficiaries get the subsidy benefit while preventing illegal diversion. 

19. Telangana become first state to accept e-motor insurance policies
i. Electronic motor insurance policies are legally accepted by the police and transport authorities in Telangana from today, making it the first state in the country to do so. The e-Vahan Bima, an electronic motor insurance policy issued in digital form with Quick Response (QR) code, has been formally launched here by the Minister for IT, K T Ramarao.
ii. As these policies can be stored and accessed on smart phones, the process of verification will become easier for commuters as well as police. There are 84 lakh vehicles in the state and 50 per cent of them do not have insurance.
iii. Driving a vehicle without a motor third party insurance is an offence under Motor Vehicle Act 1988 as it pays for legal liability in case of any injury or damage to any third party life or property caused by the use of vehicle in a public place.
iv. "The launch of e-Vahan Bima and digital acceptance will help the poor accident victims in the state and also ensure better compliance,’’ Ramarao said after formally launch of the initiative here on Saturday.
v. Going forward, registration certificates of vehicles and driving licences should be verified electronically, he added. The initiative was a joint effort by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) of India, Department of Information Technology, police and transport departments of the state.

20. Film-maker Shyam Benegal to head panel on Censor Board revamp
i. To put an end to recent controversies surrounding the Censor Board, the Centre has set up a Committee headed by noted film-maker Shyam Benegal to work out a revamp plan and submit its report within two months.
ii. Noting that film certification has to ensure that in doing so (giving certification), “artistic creativity and freedom do not get stifled/curtailed and the people tasked with the work of certification understand these nuances,” the committee is expected to provide a “holistic framework and enable those tasked with the work of certification of films to discharge their responsibilities keeping in view this framework,” a statement from Information & Broadcasting Ministry said.
iii. The other members of the Committee are Hindi film director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, adman Piyush Pandey, film critic Bhawana Somaaya, Nina Lath Gupta of National Film Development Corporation and Joint Secretary (Films).
iv. Among other things, the committee would be expected to take note of the “best practices in various parts of the world, especially where the film industry is given sufficient and adequate space for creative and aesthetic expression.”
v. It has been tasked with recommending broad guidelines/procedures under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act/Rules for the benefit of the chairperson and other members of the Screening Committee.
vi. The committee will also look into the staffing pattern of Central Board of Film Certification, known as the Censor Board, and recommend a framework to provide efficient/transparent user-friendly services.

21. India successfully test-fired indigenously developed MBRL Pinaka II at Pokhran
i. Amament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in the last week of December 2015 successfully test-fired Pinaka II multi barrel rocket launcher (MBRL) System. The three-day long user assisted trials were conducted at Pokhran in Rajasthan.
ii. Pinaka is an unguided rocket system and capable of neutralising large areas with rapid salvos. Range of Pinaka II is 20 km more than the Pinaka I version, which has a 40 km range and has already been inducted into the forces.



iii. The system acts as a force-multiplier while supplementing the artillery guns of the armed forces. It is capable to incorporate several types of warheads, which make the weapon deadly for the enemy as it can even destroy solid structures and bunkers.
iv. The system proved its mettle during Kargil war while neutralising the mountain peaks off the enemy. They are developed at a very low cost vis-a-vis other such rocket systems in the world bestowed with shoot and scoot capabilities. The Pinaka MBRL System has been indigenously developed by the ARDE, Pune.

22. 15 states have joined UDAY scheme: Piyush Goyal
i. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Bihar have agreed to join the central government’s electricity distribution utility (Discom) financial turnaround scheme to take the total number up to 15. 

ii. Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Minister said on Monday that within two months of getting Cabinet approval, more than half the states have voluntarily agreed to join the scheme called the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY).
iii. Under UDAY, states shall take over 75 per cent of Discom debt as on 30 September 2015 over two years where 50 per cent of Discom debt shall be taken over in 2015-16 and 25 per cent in 2016-17. Discoms will also issue bonds for the remaining 25 per cent of their debt which will be guaranteed by the state governments. 
iv. Further, states will issue non-SLR including SDL bonds in the market or directly to the respective banks and financial institutions holding the Discom debt to the appropriate extent.
v. The states which have agreed to join the scheme are Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra.

23. Lodha panel proposes drastic reforms for BCCI, IPL CEO given clean chit
i. The Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee today recommended sweeping reforms for the controversy-ridden BCCI, suggesting a bar on ministers from occupying positions, putting a cap on the age and tenure of the office-bearers and legalising betting.
ii. In a series of drastic reforms, the three-member panel, headed by Justice (Retd) R M Lodha, also suggested one unit should represent one state, while taking away the voting rights of institutional and city-based units. The committee also suggested the restructuring of the BCCI’s administrative set-up, proposing the position of a CEO accountable to a nine-member apex council.
iii. Among the most sensational recommendations by the Lodha panel was the suggestion to legalise betting. The panel felt that the move would help curb corruption in the game and recommended that except for players and officials, people should be allowed to place bets on registered sites.
iv. “Regarding the IPL, the recommendation is that the chief governing body will be known as the Governing Council, which will comprise nine members. The Secretary and the Treasurer of the BCCI will be ex-officio members of this IPL governing council,” Justice Lodha said.
v. “The Governing Council of IPL will be entitled to take all decisions concerning IPL, which includes decisions relating to financial matters. However, the Governing Council will be answerable to the general body of the BCCI. So limited autonomy is proposed for the IPL GC,” he added.

24. Wipro management changes, T K Kurien elevated as Vice Chairman, COO becomes CEO
i. India’s third largest IT services exporter – Wipro has announced major management changes with the elevation of the chief executive officer (CEO) T K Kurien as the executive vice-chairman and chief operating officer Abidali Neemuchwala as the new CEO and member of the board.
ii. In a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday afternoon, Wipro announced that both these changes will be effective February 1, 2016. Kurien who took over the role of CEO in February, 2011 will hold the executive vice chairman position until March 31, 2017.
iii. Commenting on the appointment, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji said, “Over the past five years, Wipro has been transforming into a next generation technology and consulting company with defining differentiators in the marketplace. As Executive Chairman TK will enable Abid by leveraging his deep relationships with customers and chart out a new technology roadmap for Wipro.”
iv. Neemuchwala, who was appointed as COO in April, 2015 will be the new CEO for a period of five year. He previously spent 23 years at TCS and is the second outsider to head Wipro’s IT business after Vivek Paul.
v. Kurien on the appointment of Neemuchwala said, “Abid had demonstrated a deep understanding of technology, business vision, sound judgement and innate ability to bring people together. I have no doubt that Abid is the right leader to lead Wipro in its next phase of growth.”
vi. Neemuchwala taking over as the CEO comes at a time when Wipro is struggling to get into double digit growth rate and has fallen behind its peers like TCS, Cognizant and Infosys.

25. Paytm acquires Shifu for $8mn to enrich customer experience
i. Paytm has acquired Shifu for $8 million (about Rs 53.2 crore), a move that will enable the digital payments company to offer more personalised user experience. Shifu, a context-aware personal assistant application, mines the smartphone usage patterns of users and makes personalised and highly relevant recommendations to them.
ii. By predicting user behaviour based on past usage, location and other data points, Paytm’s platform will be able to offer relevant recommendations to our users, he added.
iii. Shifu, created by Delhi-based The Signals, is a free task-managing app. Once the app is installed, it analyses the usage patterns of the device owner and give various suggestions based on a predictive algorithm.
iv. While the app will continue to be available in its original form after the acquisition, the technology behind it will be used by Paytm.
Paytm has a user base of more than 100 million people.
v. In November, Paytm acquired home service marketplace Near.in for an undisclosed amount to boost online-to-offline (O2O) play.

26. NABARD, NRSC signed MoU for monitoring Watershed Projects
i. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on 1 January 2016 signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) for web-based monitoring of Indo-German Watershed Development projects.
ii. The web-based monitoring of Indo-German Watershed Development projects will happen in three states- Gujarat, Rajasthan and Telangana.
iii. Under the MoU, NRSC will create a separate page for NABARD on Bhuvan web-portal.
iv. NRSC will develop customised software tool and mobile application for real time monitoring, online comparison and visualisation with respect to activities implemented in the projects.

27. Atul Sobti took charge as CMD of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited
i. Atul Sobti on 1 January 2016 took charge as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of state-owned power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) for a period of five years.
ii. His appointment as CMD of BHEL was approved by the Union Government in September 2015. Prior to this appointment, Sobti was the Director on the board of BHEL, where he headed two crucial portfolios of Power and Finance.
iii. He also held Additional Charge of the post of Director (Engineering, Research and Development). 
iv. Before his elevation to the Board of BHEL in December 2013, Sobti was Executive Director (Power) at BHEL and was holding concurrent charge of Industrial Systems Group, a Bengaluru based unit of BHEL.

28. LIC offers longer cover under ‘Jeevan Labh’
i. LIC is offering a ‘New Year gift’ to the public in the form of a limited-premium, non-linked and with-profit endowment assurance plan ‘Jeevan Labh’ from Monday. The highlight of the plan is that premium is payable for a limited period while risk is covered for the whole policy term.
ii. The plan is available from ages 8 to 59 years with a choice of policy term of 16, 21 and 25 years and premium-paying terms of 10,15 and 16 years respectively. The maximum age at maturity is 75 years, said Shaji M Shankar, Senior Divisional Manager, LIC, Thiruvananthapuram Division.
iii. The plan is suitable for those who want premium commitment for a short duration while life coverage and benefits are assured for a longer period. Minimum basic sum assured is ₹2 lakh with maximum basic sum assured having no limit, Shankar added.
iv. LIC’s accidental death and disability benefit rider is available as an optional rider by payment of additional premium. New term assurance rider is also available at the inception of the policy on payment of additional premium.

29. Arunima Sinha scaled Mount Aconcagua in Argentina
i. Arunima Sinha, the amputee mountaineer who set a record by climbing the Mount Everest on 25 December 2015, conquered Mount Aconcagua in Argentina. Arunima started her mission on the morning of 12 December 2015 and hoisted the Indian tricolour on 25 December 2015.

ii. With this, Arunima has successfully completed the 5th summit of the Mission 7 Summits and also became the first female amputee to climb 5 Mountains of the World. The four other peaks conquered by her include Everest in Asia, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, and Kosizko, Australia, as the world's four highest peaks.
iii. Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside Asia, at 6960.8 metres and by extension, the highest point in both the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.
iv. Arunima who lost her left leg in a train accident in 2011 surprised the world by climbing Mt. Everest on 21 May 2013. She was awarded the Padmashree for her achievement.

30. India won the 2015 SAFF championships
i. India on 3 January 2016 won of the South Asian Football Federation Cup (SAFF) championships. In the title clash played at Trivandrum International Stadium of Kerala, India defeated defending champions Afghanistan 2-1.
ii. Half time saw both the teams’ goal-less. At the end of a breathless normal second half, both India and Afghanistan were 1-1.
iii. For India, the first goal was scored by Jeje Lalpehlua. In the ongoing extra time, Indian captain Sunil Chhetri scored a goal to help India lead 2-1.
iv. India has been the most successful side in the tournaments history by winning the title in seven of the 11 editions. Afghans won their first title in 2013.


31. Jharkhand Government inaugurated land bank web portal jharbhoom.nic.in
i. Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on 4 January 2016 inaugurated the state's land bank web portal, jharbhoom.nic.in, that will help investors know land-related information. 
ii. With this, one would be able to get information about the land which is available at the district and the circle area level with a click of a mouse. This land bank will help investors get information through district-wise nodal officers.



iii. For this purpose, district wise nodal officers have been appointed whose mobile numbers and email ids will also be available on the website.
iv. The state government also issued directions to make land available through the land bank to the industrialists allotted with coal blocks.

32. Former Chief Justice of India Sarosh Homi Kapadia died
i. Ex-Chief Justice of India Sarosh Homi Kapadia passed away on 4 January 2016 in Mumbai. He was 68. Kapadia is survived by wife and a son and a daughter.

ii. Born on 29 September 1947, Kapadia graduated from Government Law College, Mumbai. He was enrolled as an advocate at the Bombay High Court in 1974. In 1991, he was elevated to the Bench as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court, and in 1993, he was appointed as a Permanent Judge.
iii. In 2003, he was transferred to the Uttarakhand High Court, where he served a short stint as Chief Justice. On 18 December 2003, he was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court. On 12 May 2010, he was sworn in as the 38th Chief Justice of India by the President Pratibha Patil.
iv. He retired on 29 September 2012. During his tenure as CJI, he served as the Chairman of the General Council of the Gujarat National Law University and the Visitor of the National Law School of India University.

33. LinkedIn names Akshay Kothari as India Country Manager 
i. Professional networking platform LinkedIn today appointed Akshay Kothari as Country Manager for India, with immediate effect. India has one of the largest userbase for LinkedIn, which has more than 400 million members globally.

ii. Kothari replaces Nishant Rao, who quit the company in October last year to join cloud-based customer support software firm Freshdesk as its Chief Operating Officer. Kothari will report to Olivier Legrand, LinkedIn's Managing Director for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, and join the company's APAC senior management team, LinkedIn said in a statement. 
iii. He joined LinkedIn in 2013 when Pulse, the company he co-founded and was CEO for almost 3 years, was acquired by LinkedIn. Since then, based out of LinkedIn's global headquarters in Mountain View, California, he has led several major product and content initiatives, including Pulse. Kothari also played an important role in boosting the number of members publishing on LinkedIn from 1,000 to nearly 2 million in the last two years. 
iv. India has the second largest base of LinkedIn members globally, after the US. Over the past six years, the member base in India saw a ten-fold increase (which translates to a compound annual growth rate of 46 per cent) to more than 33 million. 

34. SC directed Gujarat government to make Gujarat State Cooperative Tribunal functional
i. The Supreme Court (SC) on 4 January 2016 directed the Gujarat government to make functional the Gujarat State Cooperative Tribunal by filling up the vacant posts including that of judicial members, which is the bone of contention.
ii. Further, the court directed that the tribunal cannot be allowed to be non-functional. The ruling was made by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur.
iii. The dispute has its origin in 2011, when the Gujarat Co-operative Bar Association moved the High Court challenging the Gujarat Co-operative Societies Act, 1961 and the Rules made there under with respect to the appointment of members of the State Co-operative Tribunal and members of Board of Nominees.
iv. They had contended that the Act confers excessive power upon the State in the appointment process. It was also their contention that the process of appointment does not comply with the provisions of Part IV, Chapter 6 of the Constitution dealing with the Directive Principles of State Policy.
v. However, on 11 September 2015, the HC rendered Rule 40A (C) the Co-operative Societies Rules, which allows appointment of persons with just a law degree invalid. It ruled that only members with a minimum of five years’ experience as a judicial officer will be eligible to be appointed to the tribunal.

35. Nokia completed acquisition of Alca-Lucent for 15.6 billion euro
i. Nokia Corporation on 5 January 2015 announced that it completed the regulatory formalities for acquiring the French telecom equipment company Alca-Lucent. The deal, worth 15.6 billion euro, was signed in 2014 and later approved by the European Commission.

ii. With this acquisition, Nokia holds 79.32 percent of outstanding Alcatel-Lucent shares and at least 78.97 percent of the French company's voting rights. Further, the deal is expected to help the company in competing globally with the likes of Ericsson and Huawei in the telecommunications field.
iii. It is a Finland based multinational communications and information technology company. It was founded in 1865 and operates across 120 countries.
iv. In April 2014, its mobile phone business unit was acquired by the Microsoft in a deal worth 5.44 billion euro. At present, Rajeev Suri, an Indian, is the President and CEO of the company.

36. Mary Barra elected as Chairman of General Motors Board of Directors
i. Mary Barra was on 4 January 2016 elected as Chairman of General Motors (GM) Board of Directors with immediate effect. Barra succeeds Theodore Solso, who will continue serving as the  Lead Independent Director of the Board.
ii. Earlier, Barra was serving as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GM since January 2014.
iii. Barra began her career with GM in 1980 as a General Motors Institute (Kettering University) Co-Op Student at the Pontiac Motor Division. Barra served the company in various capacities including GM Vice President of Global Human Resources; Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering; Plant Manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly and Executive Director of Competitive Operations Engineering.
iv. In August 2013, Barra was named as Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing & Supply Chain.

37. Kate Atkinson won 2015 Costa Novel Prize for A God in Ruins
i. British writer Kate Atkinson on 4 January 2016 won the novel-of-the-year prize at Britain's Costa Book Awards 2015 for the second time in three years. She fetched the award for A God in Ruins, a story of war and its aftermath.

ii. With this, Atkinson became the first author to receive the Costa novel prize three times: for A God in Ruins in 2016, Life After Life in 2013 and Behind the Scenes at the Museum in 1995.
iii. Kate Atkinson was born in 1951 in York, England. She studied English literature at the University of Dundee and obtained her master's degree in 1974. She subsequently studied for a doctorate in American literature, entitled The post-modern American short story in its historical context.
iv. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year ahead of Salman Rushdie's The Moor's Last Sigh. Since then, she has published another eight novels, one play, and one collection of short stories.
v. She was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to literature.
vi. The Costa Book Awards is one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious and popular literary prizes. It recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year, written by authors based in the UK and Ireland. The award was launched in 1971.

38. Toilets made mandatory to contest Panchayat polls in Bihar
i. State election commissioner (SEC) Ashok Kumar Chauhan on 4 January 2016 announced that toilets will be mandatory requirement for eligibility to contest panchayat elections. This declaration means that no one can contest the Bihar panchayat elections scheduled in 2016 without having a toilet at their home.
ii. SEC said that candidates have to give an undertaking regarding status of toilet by 1 January 2016 in their home. He also said to ensure free and fair polling the elections will be held in 10 phases. The notification of the elections and dates will be issued on 15 February 2016.
iii. Election will be held for the posts of 8397 Mukhiyas (Village head), 8397 Kutcheri Sarpanchs besides Panchayat Samiti members, Kutchehri panchs, and Zila Parishad members.
iv. The decision is based on the legislation - the Bihar Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which was passed by the Bihar Legislative Assembly on 5 August 2015. The legislation  brought some new provisions including making it mandatory for candidates contesting all level of panchayat raj elections to have toilets at their individual home by 31 January 2016.

39. Union Government to launch River Information System for Inland Waterways
i. The term River Information System (RIS) was in news in the first week of January 2016 as the Union Ministry of Shipping is set to launch the system for Inland Waterways in the country. The system is expected to improve navigation in Indland Waterways as the government is set to expand the network across the country through the National Waterways Bill, 2015.

ii. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 21 December 2015 and is pending with the Rajya Sabha. It will be utilized for real time monitoring of ships plying on the inland waterways network. It will provide remote communication with vessels and real time meteorological data which will be available online.
iii. To operationalise the system, Radars and sensors will be installed along the route and there will be major base stations to monitor the movement. By using the system, vessels will be tracked and advised about nearby vessels, waterway information, meteorological information and river safety for ensuring efficient and collision free navigation.
iv. In the initial phase, it will be made operational on the 500 km long Haldia-Farakka National Waterways 1. With the implementation of the project, India will join a select league of countries in Europe and the USA which have similar systems in place already.

40. India-Nepal Bus Service resumed after 27 years
i. India-Nepal Bus Service on 4 January 2016 resumed after a gap of 27 years. The service was suspended 27 years ago in the wake of the Indo-Nepal Trade and Transit Treaty. The service runs between Kanchanpur in Nepal, which is close to Banbasa border in Champavat district of Uttarakhand, and Anand Vihar ISBT in Delhi.

ii. To travel in these buses, no special documents are required as both the countries share open border.
iii. The service is expected to benefit people living along the border areas as they have family as well as trade relations with each other.
iv. And, it is also expected to benefit around 10000 Nepalis who travel from Kanchanpur district, Dandel Dhura, Voti, Sapen, Acham, Kalali, Jagbuddha and Siddhartha Nagar areas in Nepal.

41. Sterlite Grid commissioned first power project under TBCB incentive regime
i. Sterlite Grid on 2 January 2016 set a new benchmark by commissioning the Transmission Project to Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) ahead of schedule under the Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) incentive regime.

ii. RAPP is the first power transmission line to be been commissioned ahead of schedule since the implementation of TBCB scheme. 
iii. As per Sterlite Grid, the construction work on transmission project to RAPP, which was awarded to the company in 2013, was completed within 12 months from the start of construction.
iv. With the commissioning of the RAPP Transmission Project, Sterlite Grid so far has commissioned four out of a portfolio of seven projects and operates ~2900 Circuit Km of projects in eight Indian states.
v. The project includes laying a 200-km, 400-kilovolt double-circuit transmission line passing through Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. It will connect Kota in Rajasthan to Shujalpur in Madhya Pradesh to provide the path for the evacuation of electricity generated at RAPP-7 and 8.
vi. Under the TBCB norms, developers quoting the lowest average electricity tariffs from a proposed project get to set it up, as against the erstwhile “cost-plus” model, where projects were set up through pacts with distribution utilities and were entitled to assured returns.

42. IUPAC announced addition of Four Elements to complete Seventh row of Periodic Table
i. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) on 30 December 2015 announced discovery and assignment of elements with atomic numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118.
The decision was taken by the IUPAC as the four elements met the discovery of elements of the IUPAP/IUPAC Transfermium Working Group (TWG) 1991 Discovery Criteria.
ii. All these four elements are synthetic in nature. They were discovered by scientists belonging to the USA, Russian and Japan and complete the 7th row of the periodic table of the elements.
iii. Also, these four elements are the first to be added to the table since 2011, when elements 114 (Flerovium, FI) and 116 (Livermorium, LV) were added. Naming of elements: After officially recognizing the elements, the IUPAC also invited suggestions related to permanent names and symbols from the scientists who discovered them. New elements can be named after a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or country, a property or a scientist.
iv. Element 113 - Temporary working name and symbol are ununtrium and Uut respectively. It was discovered by the scientists belonging to RIKEN research laboratory in Japan.
v. 115: ununpentium, Uup are the temporary working name and symbol respectively.
vi. 117: ununseptium, Uus are the temporary working name and symbol respectively. They were discovered by scientists belonging to Russia and the USA in collaboration
vii. Element 118 - It has ununoctium and Uuo as the temporary working name and symbol respectively.
viii. They were discovered by slamming lighter ­nuclei into each other and tracking the following decay of the radioactive superheavy elements. Like other superheavy elements that populate the end of the periodic table, they only exist for fractions of a second before decaying into other elements.

43. Department of Posts formed Kamlesh Chandra Panel on Gramin Dak Sevaks
i. Department of Posts on 1 January 2016 formed a one-man committee to study issues related to Gramin Dak Sevaks including wage structure and service conditions. The panel will be headed by Kamlesh Chandra, a retired member of the Postal Services Board, which will be assisted by T Q Mohammad, a senior administrative grade officer, as the secretary.
ii. It will examine the system of branch post offices, engagement conditions and the existing structure of wage and emoluments paid to gramin sevaks and recommend necessary changes. It will review the existing facilities for 2.6 lakh employees spread across the country, the service discharge benefit scheme and other social security benefits.

44. PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Indian Science Congress in Mysuru
i. rime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the annual Indian Science Congress (ISC) at University of Mysore campus in Karnataka on Sunday. Theme of this edition (103rd) of the ISC is "Science & Technology for Indigenous Development in India". The Congress will continue till January 7.
ii. After inaugural of the Congress by Modi, eminent scientist CNR Rao will deliver the Bharat Ratna M Visvesvaraya Lecture on 'Doing Science in India' on the opening day on January 3.
iii. Over 100 eminent scientists from different universities and research institutions will deliver plenary talks on subjects like Nano Science, Space Science, Technology & Applications, Diabetes, Evolution: The Frontiers, Atomic Energy, Safe water and sanitation, Diseases and drug development, Public-Private partnership for the Swachh Bharat Mission initiative during the five-day meet.
iv. As part of Indian Science Congress, the Children Science Congress will be inaugurated by Nobel Laureate John B Gurdon (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012) on January 4 at the amphitheatre, Manasagangothri inside the University campus.

45. Filippo Grandi takes helm as UN High Commissioner for Refugees
i. Filippo Grandi, a UN official who has worked in refugee and political affairs in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, began his five-year term as UN High Commissioner for Refugees on January 1, succeeding António Guterres whose more than 10 years in office ended last week.
ii. High Commissioner Grandi, who arrived at UNHCR's headquarters office in Geneva earlier on Monday (January 4), takes up the position at a time of unprecedented displacement challenges. Record numbers of people globally are forced to flee war and persecution, including more than one million refugees and migrants who crossed the Mediterranean to Europe during the past year.
iii. Other challenges include critical shortfalls in humanitarian funding, fewer voluntary returns than at any time in more than three decades, people staying in exile for longer periods of time and the increased politicization of refugee issues in many countries.
iv. Grandi, 58, who is from Italy, has worked in international affairs for over 30 years, 27 of them with the United Nations. Formerly head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), he worked prior to that for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) as Deputy Special Representative, following a long career first with NGOs and later with UNHCR in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and at the organization's Geneva headquarters.

46. ONGC won 26th Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey tournament
i. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on 3 January 2015 won the 26th Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey tournament.

ii. To win the title, the ONGC defeated Indian Railways 3-0 on penalties in the final match held at the Shivaji Stadium in New Delhi.
iii. At the end of the stipulated time both the teams stood at 2 points each. In the shootout, Sumit Kumar, Gurjant Singh and Vikramjit Singh scored for ONGC while the Railways players could not score a single goal.
iv. It will examine and suggest any change in the method of engagement, minimum qualification for engagement for gramin dak sevaks. It will examine their conduct and disciplinary rules, particularly keeping in view the proposed induction of technology in rural post offices.

47. Sachin is brand ambassador for Novo Nordisk's diabetes campaign
i. Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk today announced Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar as brand ambassador for the disease awareness campaign 'Changing Diabetes' initiated by it in India.
ii. Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Sachin Tendulkar advised people to hit the gym or go for a long walk to keep away from diabetes. In India 69.2 million people have diabetes and by 2035, it is estimated that 123.5 million people will have diabetes. The alarming fact is that almost half of the existing diabetes patients are unaware that they have diabetes, according to the company.
iii. Novo Nordisk Corporate Vice President Mads Bo Larsen said about 2 per cent of the gross national product (GDP) gets impacted by diabetes disease. The company, which is the leading global insulin maker, is providing free diabetes treatment and education to 4,000 children, who have been suffering from Type-2 diabetes, in India.


48. Cabinet okays India-Singapore MoU on civil aviation
i. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its ex-post facto approval for a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed with Singapore in the field of civil aviation.
ii. This MoU was signed in November 2015 between the Airports Authority of India (on behalf of the Government of India) and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (on behalf of the Government of Singapore) during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Singapore.
iii. The objective of this MoU is to establish mutual cooperation in the field of civil aviation, which will cover, to begin with, the airports of Jaipur and Ahmedabad. This cooperation will be extended to other airports with mutual consent.



iv. The Union Cabinet also gave its nod for post-facto approval to the Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between the Corporate Affairs Ministry, Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) with foreign countries/organisations.
v. The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the protocol signed earlier between India and Czech Republic in the field of heavy industry, especially in industrial cooperation and facilities construction.
vi. The protocol includes the intent for modernisation of the existing facilities in India by the Czech companies, including modernisation of three plants of Heavy Engineering Corporation, a Central Public Sector Enterprises under the Department of Heavy Industries at Ranchi, set up with Czech support

49. Forbes released 2016 30 Under 30 List; 45 Indian-origin people figured
i. Forbes on 4 January 2016 released the 2016 30 Under 30 List featuring 600 men and women who achieved remarkable professional success before attaining 30 years of age. They were chosen from an initial screening list of more than 15000 representing a gamut of 20 segments that include art & style, finance, sports, education, etc.
ii. The list includes John Boyega (Hollywood & Entertainment category), Shawn Mendes (Music), Emerson Spartz (Media) among others.
iii. Further, 45 Indians and Indian-origin people figured in the annual compilation for their entrepreneurial spirit and breakout talents.
iv. Indian-origin people figured in the list are,
Ritesh Agarwal, OYO Rooms CEO
Karishma Shah, Alphabet’s Google X
Divya Nettimi, Viking Global Investors
Nisha Chittal, MSNBC
Ashish Patel, NowThis Media
Saagar Govil, CEO of Cemtrex

50. Union Cabinet approved Stand Up India Scheme
i. The Union Cabinet on 6 January 2016 approved the Stand Up India Scheme to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and Women entrepreneurs.
ii. The Scheme is intended to facilitate at least two projects per bank branch, on an average one for each category of entrepreneur. It is expected to benefit at least 2.5 lakh borrowers. The expected date of reaching the target of at least 2.5 lakh approvals is 36 months from the launch of the Scheme.
iii. It provides for refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with an initial amount of 10000 crore rupees. It will create credit guarantee mechanism through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC). It will provide support for borrowers both at the pre loan stage and during operations.
iv. It will provide support for borrowers both at the pre loan stage and during operations. Its focus is on handholding support for both SC/ST and Women borrowers.
v. The aim is to leverage institutional credit structure to reach out under-served sectors of the population by facilitating bank loans repayable up to 7 years and between 10 lakh rupees- 100 lakh rupees for greenfield enterprises in nonfarm sector set up by such SC, ST and Women borrowers.
vi. The National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd (NCGTC) will be the operating agency for the loan. Margin money of the composite loan would be up to 25 percent. The Start up India Stand up India initiative was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech on 15 August 2015.


SOURCE: www.bankersadda.com

DAILY GK UPDATE --1 TO 30 Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 9:55:00 PM Rating: 5

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