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Daily GK updates - 25th December 2014

Daily GK updates - 25th December 2014

1. United Bank of India launches new alternate delivery products
i. Kolkata-based United Bank of India (UBI) recently launched three new ‘alternate delivery products’ that will provide more convenience to the customers. This puts the bank in the select group of banks offering the facility of online transactions (RuPay e-commerce), with RuPay debit cards.

ii. Another product ‘TD on Missed Call’ gives the ease of investment in pre-defined Fixed Deposit (Rs10,000) by just giving a missed call on a particular number.
iii. The other facility to have been launched includes the online PPF account maintenance, UBI said in a press release. The products were launched in the backdrop of the bank’s foundation day celebrations.

2. ISRO's Radhakrishnan in Nature journal's top ten list
i. Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is one of the 2014 top ten scientists chosen by the prestigious journal Nature.
ii. He is listed along with other people like Andrea Accomazzo, the Rosetta flight operations director, European Space Agency.
iii. The recent launch of the heaviest and tallest GSLV Mark III and the successful re-entry of the unmanned crew module were the other landmark achievements.

3. Reliance Capital ropes in Japan’s SMTB as strategic partner
i. Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Capital on Thursday roped in Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (SMTB) as a strategic partner to collaborate on various businesses, including in its proposed banking venture.
ii. SMTB, Japan’s largest financial institution with assets under custody of USD 1.8 trillion, will take an initial stake of 2.77 per cent in Reliance Capital at an investment of Rs 371 crore as part of a “comprehensive long-term strategic alliance between the two companies.”
iii. Reliance Capital intends to establish a new bank in India, with support of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank as strategic partner, as and when RBI’s policies permit formation of the same.
iv. As part of the agreement, SMTB will be taking an initial 2.77 per cent strategic stake in Reliance Capital, amounting to Rs 371 crore through preferential allotment, with a lock—in period of one year.

4. S. Bhattacharya appointed Coal India CMD
i. Senior IAS officer S. Bhattacharya has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of Coal India Ltd. (CIL).
ii. Mr. Bhattacharya, is currently the CMD of Singareni Collieries Company.
iii. “Search-cum-Selection Committee recommended the name (S. Bhattacharya) for the post of Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), Coal India Ltd. (CIL),” Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) had said on its website.

5. Four PSUs sign JV pacts to revive Talcher fertilizer facility.
i. Coal India Ltd. (CIL), the world’s largest producer, and state gas utility GAIL India Ltd., on Wednesday, signed agreements to invest Rs.9,000 crore in a plant to convert coal into gas and use this fuel to manufacture fertilizer.
ii. CIL and GAIL, along with Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) and Fertilizer Corp of India Ltd (FCIL), will set up an integrated coal gasification-cum-fertilizer and ammonium nitrate complex at Talcher in Odisha by 2019.
iii. GAIL will hold 35 per cent in the upstream venture, called GAIL Coal Gas (India) Ltd. FCIL will take 11 per cent interest while RCF and CIL will pick up 3 per cent each.
iv. Power Minister Piyush Goyal said the use of coal gasification technology for production of fertilizers would lead to annual subsidy savings of Rs.3,000 crore.

6. Center celebrated Good Governancre Day
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Varanasi to take part in a cleanliness drive to mark "Good Governance Day" on former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's birthday.
ii. Modi visited the Banaras Hindu University, founded by Pandit Mohan Malaviya whose name was announced on Wednesday for conferment of the highest civilian honour — the Bharat Ratna.
iii. Significantly, today is also the 153rd birth anniversary of the renowned educationist.
iv. The Bharatiya Janata Party had asked its parliamentarians to devote an hour to sanitation , which will be 90th birthday of Vajpayee.

7. Oil India commissions 5 MW solar power plant in Rajasthan
i. Oil India Ltd, India’s second-largest government-owned exploration firm, has commissioned its first 5 MW solar power plant in Rajasthan.
ii. OIL built and commissioned its first grid connected 5 MW unit at village Raghwa in Ramgarh district of Rajasthan 
iii. The plant consists of 20,408 solar modules, each having a capacity of 245 watts. 

8. Union Govt. set up Mathur committee to examine constitution of SIT on 1984 anti-Sikh riots
i. Union Ministry of Home Affairs on 23 December 2014 set up Mathur committee to examine the possibility of constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for re investigation of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases.
ii. The Committee will be headed by former Supreme Court Judge Justice (retired) G.P. Mathur. It will submit its report till April 2015.
iii. Earlier, the Justice Nanavati Commission had recommended reopening of only four of 241 cases closed by police but BJP wanted the reinvestigation of all the other 237 cases.
iv. Anti-Sikh riots of 1984 had broken out after the assassination of the then

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