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Daily G.K. Buzz - 10th June to 13th June 2015


Union Government launched Migrant Resource Centre in Chennai

i. The Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) along with the Tamil Nadu Government on 11 June 2015 launched the Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) in Chennai. The MRC in Chennai is the fourth such MRC in India set-up by MOIA.
ii. The MRC will provide information, guidance, advise and counselling on all aspects of overseas employment including legal and regulatory requirements; documentation and procedures; policies; and problems faced while working aboard to intending migrants and overseas Indian workers.

Indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant undocked in Kochi

i. India’s maiden indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was on 10 June 2015 undocked at the Cochin Shipyard in Kochi, Kerala.
ii. Upon its induction, the aircraft carrier puts India in the elite group of four countries in the world viz., USA, Russia, the UK and France that are capable of designing and constructing aircraft carriers.

Tamil Nadu and Adani Power Ltd signed PPA to set up 200 MW solar power plant in Ramanathapuram

i. The district was chosen by the group because of the fact that it is one of the two districts along with Thoothukudi that receive highest solar radiation in the state.
ii. In India, Rajasthan and Gujarat lead among the states and Union Territories (UTs) in terms of solar power generation.

International News

India, Japan and Australia held first ever trilateral dialogue

i. India, Japan and Australia on 9 June 2015 held their first ever high-level trilateral dialogue in New Delhi.
ii. The talks were attended by Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar, Japanese vice foreign minister Akitaka Saiki and Australian secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Varghese.
iii. The representatives of three countries discussed prospects of cooperation in the fields of economy and security with special emphasis on maritime security.

African leaders signed 26-nation Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) agreement

i. African leaders on 10 June 2015 signed the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) pact paving the way for creating Africa’s largest free-trade zone.
ii. The pact was signed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and Mohamed Bilal, Vice-President of Tanzania at the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.
iii. It is intended to create a common market among 26 nations spanning half the continent from Cairo (Egypt) in the North to Cape Town (South Africa) in the South.

Sri Lanka increases Parliament size to 237

i. Conscious of strong opposition to its earlier decision on retaining the size of Parliament at 225 as part of the proposed 20th Constitutional Amendment, the Sri Lankan Cabinet on Friday decided to increase the number of Members of Parliament to 237.
ii. Of this figure, 145 members will be elected through the system of First Past The Post (FPTP) whereas the remaining 92 will be under proportional representation (PR). Within the tally of 92, the component of district PR will have 55 members and the national list will have 37.


Retail inflation up at 5.01 % in May

i. Retail inflation edged up to 5.01 per cent in May on costlier pulses even as prices of fruits and vegetables eased during the month.
ii. The Consumer Price Index-based inflation was at 4.87 per cent in April 2015. The retail inflation was 8.33 per cent in May 2014.
iii. The Reserve Bank, which tracks retail inflation as a benchmark for its monetary policy, said earlier this month that price rise was still a worry for the central bank. RBI expects inflation to rise to 6 per cent by January 2016.

Interest Rate Futures: Reserve Bank issues final guidelines

i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on Friday, released its final guidelines for 6-year and 13-year cash-settled Interest Rate Futures (IRF) on Government of India Securities with residual maturity of 4-8 years and 11-15 years, respectively.
ii. the RBI has also changed the residual maturity for the existing 10-year cash-settled IRF to 8-11 years from 9-11 years. This would provide market participants greater choice and flexibility to hedge their interest rate risk across different tenors.

Industrial production up 4.1% in April

i. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for April, released on Friday, registered a growth of 4.1 per cent, far faster than the 1.6-2 per cent expected by experts, and also much faster than the 2.1 per cent registered in March.
ii. The Consumer Price Index inflation for May, also released at the same time, rose to 5 per cent, in line with expectations. However, it was at 4.87 per cent in April.

HDFC Bank launched PayZapp

i. HDFC Bank on 10 June 2015 launched PayZapp, a complete digital payment and purchase solution. The mobile app will allow customers to manage credit or debit card details, recharge and pay bills, use virtual card, send money through a wallet and shop.
ii. The app will be available for all customers of HDFC bank who will be allowed to use both type of cards namely VISA and MasterCards.

RBI issued Draft Framework on Issuance of Rupee linked Bonds Overseas

i. It is intended to permit Indian corporate and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to issue rupee-linked bonds overseas.
ii. Indian corporates eligible to raise external commercial borrowings (ECBs) are permitted to issue Rupee linked bonds overseas.

RBI permits NRIs to subscribe to chit funds

i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to permit non-resident Indians (NRIs) to subscribe to the chit funds without limit on a non-repatriation basis.
ii. The subscription to chit funds, however, should come through the normal banking channel, including through an account maintained with a bank in India, the apex bank said.


Forbes released 2015 World's 100 Highest-Paid Athletes

i. Forbes on 10 June 2015 released the list of 2015 World's 100 Highest-Paid Athletes. The list has been topped by Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao stood at the second position & Real Madrid’s soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo stood at the 3rd position.
ii. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the sole Indian and only cricketer in the list with earnings of 31 million US dollars. Dhoni shared the 23rd position with Neymar in the list dropping a notch from his ranking of 22 in 2014.
iii. Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams were the only women athletes in the list who stood at 26th and 47th position respectively in the list.

Shah Rukh Khan acquired CPL T20 team Trinidad & Tobago

i. Shah Rukh Khan is the first owner of an Indian Premier League team to own an overseas cricket franchise.
ii. Khan's company Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt Ltd along with KKR co-owners Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta invested in the T&T franchise.

APPOINTMENTS / Resignations

Prof S Bandyopadhayay appointed as Director of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI)

i. Prof Sanghmitra Bandyopadhayay was on 10 June 2015 appointed as the Director of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).
ii. She is the first woman to lead the institute and replaced Dr Bimal K Roy who was removed on charges of indiscipline.

Ravi Garikipati appointed as Entrepreneur in Residence of Flipkart

i. In this position, he will work closely with Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal and head of Flipkart’s e-commerce platform Mukesh Bansal on new business projects.
ii. Before the present appointment, Ravi was president for innovation labs at Silicon Valley-based Inc. where he was responsible for overall strategy and development of all products.

Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar appointed as Director of CSIR-IICT

i. Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar on 9 June 2015 was appointed as the Director of Hyderabad-based CSIR-Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT). The appointment was made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is President of the CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research).
ii. He is currently working as Chief Scientist at the IICT to which he was appointed in 2010.  He has made significant contributions in the field of organic chemistry, synthesis of active natural products and pharmaceutical products.

Moldova's Prime Minister Chiril Gaburuci resigned

i. Moldova's Prime Minister Chiril Gaburuci on 12 June 2015 resigned from his post after he was questioned about the authenticity of his high school and university degrees.
ii. Moldova is a small country of 3.5 million people, lying between Ukraine and Romania.

Dick Costolo resigned as CEO of Twitter Inc

i. Dick Costolo on 11 June 2015 resigned as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Twitter Inc after serving the company for five years. Costolo will demit the office of CEO on 1 July 2015.
ii. Twitter co-founder and Square Inc's CEO Jack Dorsey will take over as the Interim CEO of the company on 1 July 2015 and will stay until a replacement is found.

England’s cricketer Matt Prior retired from all forms of cricket

i. Matt Prior, the English cricketer, on 11 June 2015 retired from all forms of cricket. The 33-year-old, wicketkeeper-batsman helped England to win three Ashes series between 2009 and 2013.
ii. Test: Batted in 123 innings of 79 matches and scored 4099 runs of which 131 not out was his highest score.
ODI: Batted in 62 of 68 matches and scored 1282 runs of which 87 was his highest score.

C.S Verma steps down as SAIL CMD

i. State-owned SAIL on Thursday said C. S. Verma had relinquished the charge as Chairman and Managing Director on completion of his tenure and Steel Secretary Rakesh Singh has assumed the charge till a regular incumbent is appointed.
ii. Mr. Verma was appointed CMD of the country’s largest steel producer for a 5-year term in June 2010 by the previous UPA government, and was eligible for an extension till he attained the superannuation age of 60 years in September 2019.

Devendra Chaudhary appointed Secretary to Dept. of Administrative reforms

i. Senior IAS officer Devendra Chaudhary has been appointed as Secretary in the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG).
ii. Mr. Chaudhary, a 1981-batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, is presently working as Special Secretary in the Power Ministry. He will join DARPG as Special Secretary and take over as Secretary following the superannuation of incumbent Alok Rawat.

Important Days

World Day Against Child Labour observed on 12th June 

Theme - "NO to child labour – YES to quality education!"
i. The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and on the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.
ii. The latest surveys suggest that more than 215 million children work instead of attending school. Some do not even have enough time to play.


Veteran actor Sir Christopher Lee died at the age of 93

i. Veteran actor Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, famous as the master of horror, died on 7 June 2015 at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. He was 93.
ii. Lee was famous for his role as Count Dracula in a sequence of Hammer Horror films. He also appeared in Lord of the Rings trilogy (as Saruman).

Chandigarh's Rock Garden creator Nek Chand died

i. His creation Rock Garden of Chandigarh was opened for public on 24 January 1976. The garden is maintained by the Nek Chand Foundation, formed in 1996. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1984
ii. Born on 15 December 1924 in Shakargarh region, now in Pakistan, Chand immigrated to India with his family and settled in Chandigarh in 1950.

Big Band Leader James Last passed away

i. German composer and Big Band leader James Last died on 9 June 2015 in Florida after battling a short illness. He was 86.
ii. He sold more than 80 million records worldwide and was best known for pop hits in a big-band style.

Former Indian Cricketer Hemant Kanitkar died

i. Former Indian cricketer Hemant Kanitkar died after a prolonged illness on 9 June 2015 at his residence in Pune, Maharashtra. He was 72.
ii. Kanitkar, a stalwart of domestic cricket, played two Tests as a wicketkeeper-batsman in the home series against West Indies cricket team led by Clive Lloyd in 1974-75.

Awards and Recognitions

Parkash Singh Badal conferred with 2015 Sant Namdev National Award

i. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was on 10 June 2015 conferred with the prestigious 14th Sant Namdev National Award at a function in Pune, Maharashtra. He was awarded for promoting peace, communal harmony and universal brotherhood.
ii. The award was given by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on behalf of the Sarhad Foundation.

Indian-origin scientist Manu Prakash developed World's first water-based computer

i. The results were published in the journal Nature Physics. Manu Prakash is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University.
ii. They have built a synchronous computer that operates using the unique physics of moving water droplets.


Bibek Debroy committee on Railways restructuring submitted its report

i. The committee lays down a five-year roadmap to evolve a statutory rail regulator, scrap the Rail Budget and make room for more players in an “open access” regime which turns the Railways into just another train-service provider in the country.
ii. In a major recommendation, it proposed separation of activities like running of hospitals, schools, catering, real estate development, manufacturing of locomotives, coaches and wagons from the core business of running trains.
iii. Seeking to provide the private sector a level playing field, the report has recommended setting up of a Railway Regulatory Authority of India -- a statutory, quasi-judicial, independent body with a separate budget.
iv. On the issue of Railway Protection Force, it said it too should be delinked from Railways' principal task of running trains.


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