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Daily GK update 29th November 2014

Daily GK update 29th November 2014

1.    RBI eased gold imports & scrapped 80: 20 scheme
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) eased gold imports and scrapped 20:80 scheme. The decision to withdraw the 20:80 scheme will cut smuggling of gold and raise legal shipments into India.
ii. In 2013, the 20:80 scheme was introduced to bring down inbound shipments, sliding rupee and to combat a huge current account deficit (CAD) along with a hike in import duty to 10 percent.

iii. Under the scheme, 20 percent of the imported gold had to be mandatorily exported as finished products like jewellery. Initially only public sector firms and banks were allowed to import gold and later in May 2014 these rules were slightly eased to star and premier export houses.

2.    Beijing banned smoking in all indoor public spaces
i. Capital of China, Beijing banned smoking in all indoor public spaces like workplaces and public transport vehicles.
ii. Beijing adopted an anti-smoking bill that prohibits smoking in public places and it will be effective from 1 June 2015. The bill will initially only cover Beijing, later it will cover rest of China.
iii. Already, a dozen Chinese cities, such as Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou, have launched local legislation on tobacco control.

i. China is the world’s largest cigarette manufacturer and consumer. The country has more than 300 million smokers, and smoking is responsible for more than one million deaths in every year.
ii. According to Chinese health officials, some 740 million people, including 180 million children, are exposed to second-hand smoke annually.
iii. In 2011, Ministry of Health of China published guidelines banned smoking in public spaces such as hotels and restaurants.

3.    Next China-India War authored by General S. Padmanabhan released
i. Book titled Next China-India War - World's First Water War – 2029 authored by former Army chief General Sundarajan Padmanabhan was released in October 2014.
 ii. 74-year-old former General, who is known for mobilizing the Army during Operation Parakram in response to the 2001 terror attack on the Parliament, in the book has predicted that the two countries will conflict over the Brahmaputra.

4.    NASA celebrated 50th Anniversary of First Mars Mission, Mariner 4
i. NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first mission to Mars, Mariner 4 mission on 28 November 2014. Mariner 4 mission launched on 28 November 1964 was the NASA’s first successful journey to Mars.
ii. The Mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
iii. Mariner 4 remained operational long after its planned eight-month mission life.
iv. It lasted about three years in solar orbit, continuing long-term studies of the solar wind and making coordinated measurements with the Mariner 5 spacecraft. NASA last communicated with the craft on 21 December 1967.

5.    First India-Nepal bus service launched
i. India and Nepal launched the first ever bus service between the two countries on Tuesday afternoon.
ii. To begin with daily buses will ply between Delhi and Kathmandu. Later, there will be similar buses which will ply on two other routes - Delhi-Pokhara and Varanasi- Kathmandu.
ii. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala flagged off the Kathmandu-Delhi bus service called Pashupatinath Express from Kathmandu, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari and tourism minister Mahesh Sharma launched the first bus from Delhi.

6.    GK Vasan, revives Tamil Maanila Congress
i. Former Union Minister GK Vasan, who split from the Congress, has revived the Tamil Maanila Congress. Speaking at a public function in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu yesterday, Vasan said that they have requested the Election Commission to give Cycle as their party symbol.
ii. Vasan along with former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President BS Gnanadesikan, former Trichy mayor Sarubala Thondaiman and many others parted ways with Congress earlier this month.
iii. Vasan had unveiled his party flag with pictures of his father GK Moopanar and veteran leader Kamaraj.

7.    PM Modi flags off first train from Mendipathar in Meghalaya to Guwahati
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first train from Mendipathar in Meghalaya to Guwahati.
ii. Speaking at the function, the Prime Minister said that four Railway Universities will be set up in the country to teach different aspects of Railways. Mr. Modi also stressed on privatization of railway stations.

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