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Daily GK update 26th November 2014

Daily GK update 26th November 2014

1.    China beats India in November FII inflows: HSBC
i. Foreign institutional investors warmed up to Asian equities in November as the region recorded net inflows of $5.3 billion, out of which India attracted $1.4 billion, says a report by HSBC.
ii. According to the global financial services major, after two consecutive months of sell-offs, FIIs have warmed up to Asian equities and all markets have received positive flows in November.
iii. Among Asian economies, China regained the top position as the ‘most loved’ market, pushing India down to second position in the region, while Thailand was placed at the third spot, it said.
iv. Till November 24, the region recorded a net inflow of $5.3 million and though all markets received positive flows, Taiwan and India received the major chunk of funds with inflows of $2.3 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively.

2.    Modi proposes Saarc business traveller card
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday proposed a Saarc business traveller card for making it easier for traders and merchants in the region to travel and access one another’s markets.
ii. “India will now give business visa for 3-5 years for Saarc. Let’s make it even easier for our businesses through a Saarc business traveller card,” the prime minister said as the two-day, 18th Saarc Summit began at Kathmandu.
iii. According to Modi, intra-regional relations become stronger as connectivity is increased and people-to-people contacts encouraged. He said this will also provide for boosting opportunity for tourism in the region.

3.    State Bank of India to launch Islamic equity fund
i. State-owned bank will launch an Islamic equity fund next month aimed primarily at the country's 170 million Muslims.
ii. The Securities and Exchange Board of India recently allowed the government-owned State Bank of IndiaBSE 0.41 % and three mutual funds to launch Sharia funds.

Note: i. India's stock exchanges have between 600 and 700 companies that are Sharia-compliant.
ii. India is only the second country outside the Islamic world where a state-owned bank is offering a Sharia-compliant fund. The U.K. issued sovereign Islamic bonds in June.

4.    Kotak Mahindra Bank is the first bank to fully own an insurance business
i. Kotak Mahindra BankBSE 0.07 % on Tuesday became the first bank to get the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) permission to set up a wholly-owned non-life insurance company.
ii. The bank is already the promoter of a life insurance company in partnership with Old Mutual of South Africa.

Note: i. RBI guidelines allow a bank to hold max 50 per cent in insurance joint venture. However, RBI allowed some exceptions, like SBI and ICICI Bank. In both these partnerships, the banks hold 74 per cent.
ii. Kotak General Insurance will be the 29th non-life company in the country. The last non-life insurer to get permission from the regulator was Cigna TTK — a health insurance company.
ii. The last company to set up a full-fledged general insurance business was Liberty Videocon General Insurance.

5.    Canara Bank partners Micro Energy
i. Canara Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with Micro Energy Credits Corporation to finance bank customers buying energy efficient ‘green’ products such as cook stoves, solar home systems, biogas digestors and water purifiers.
ii. The partnership has identified Chitradurga district in Karnataka to promote such green products on a pilot basis.

6.    ‘LS passes amendment bill on appointment of CBI Chief
i. The Lok Sabha today passed the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2014 by voice vote.
ii. As per the new provisions, CBI director will be selected by a panel which will comprise of Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha or the leader of the Single largest party in the House and Chief Justice of India or any Supreme Court Judge.
ii. Earlier, there was no provision of the leader of the single largest party in the panel. The Bill also makes a provision that no appointment will be invalid merely because of vacancy or absence of a member of the panel. 

7.    Assam NGO Aaranyak won UN Lighthouse Activities award
iAaranyak, an Assam-based NGO working for the conservation of nature and a Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on 25 November 2014 won United Nations Lighthouse Activities award for the year 2014. 
ii. They won the award under the focus area of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions.
iiiThey won the award for its community-based flood early warning system that has benefited 40 villages in flood-prone Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts. Since 2010-11, the system has directly or indirectly benefitted more than 20000 people living in the catchment areas of two rivers, Jiadhal in Dhemaji and Singora in Lakhimpur districts. 

8.    Haryana government reduced retirement age of government employees from 60 to 58
i. Haryana government reversed the retirement age of government employees from 60 to 58 years. It also reversed the retirement age of Class IV, visually impaired and handicapped employees from 62 to 60 years.
ii. Government notification will come in effect from 30 November 2014. While, the upper age limit for fresh recruitment would remain 42 years.

iii. The decision was made during a Cabinet meet chaired by Chief Minister Mahohar Lal Khattar at Chandigarh.

9.    Sania Mirza appointed as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia
i. United Nations (UN) Women on 25 November 2014 announced the appointment of Indian tennis superstar and youth icon, Sania Mirza, as its Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia. The organisation is dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
ii. She became the first South Asian woman to be appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador.
iii. The other Goodwill Ambassadors include British actor Emma Watson, Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman, HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha  Mahidol of Thailand, and Indian actor-filmmaker-singer Farhan Akhtar.

10.  Boxer Manoj Kumar finally receives Arjuna Award
i. Boxer Manoj Kumar today received the prestigious Arjuna Award from Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
ii. The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medalist, was bestowed with the honour in a function organised in the National capital. 
ii.i Manoj was earlier denied the award by the Kapil Dev-led selection committee after which he approached the Sports Ministry but after being snubbed for a second time in the review meeting, Manoj took the legal route and filed a case in the Delhi High Court.
iii. He won the case and that led to the Ministry accepting his nomination for the award.

11.  Michael Phelps named Male Athlete of the Year at the 2014
i. Michael Phelps was crowned Male Athlete of the Year at the 2014 USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards on 24 November 2014. He was crowned with the title for a fifth time.
ii. Earlier, he won the title in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2012. He was awarded with the title despite being suspended from competition for six months after a drunken driving arrest in September 2014.

12.  Indian cyclist Deborah creates history; Wins 4 golds in Track Asia Cup
i. Ms Deborah, a tribal girl from Andaman and Nicobar Islands has created history in National Level by winning four Gold Medals in the Track Asia Cup Cycling Championship 2014 which concluded at Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi.
ii. Deborah won both the two gold medals - in the women's elite keirin and sprint finals - yesterday on the concluding day of the championship for an overall individual tally of four gold.
iii. India also grabbed four silver, including the two they won yesterday and added three more bronze medals to their tally to finish with a total of 18 medals, 5 gold, 4 silver and 9 bronze.

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