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Daily G. K. Buzz - 14th and 15th July 2015


PM Modi launches Skill India mission at Delhi

i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 1500cr ambitious Skill India mission aimed at giving vocational training youth in the country to meet "manpower needs of the world."
ii. The event saw a large turnout of Union ministers including finance minister Arun Jaitley and defence minister Manohar Parrikar as well as chief ministers. Foreign dignitaries and senior industry leaders were among the invitees.

Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha Kumbh Mela began in Maharsahtra

i. The festival, known as largest peaceful gathering in the world, began with the traditional ceremony of hoisting of flags and thousands of people taking a holy dip in Kushawart and Ramkund in Godavari River in Nashik and Trimbakeshwar.
ii. The ceremony at Trimbakeshwar was presided over by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and state Women and Child Welfare minister Pankaja Munde as chief guests, while Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis presided over Nashik ceremony.

Union Ministry of Urban Development launched nationwide HRIDAY scheme from Amritsar

i. Union Ministry of Urban Development on 14 July 2015 launched the National Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) for 12 cities in the country from Amritsar in Punjab.
ii. The scheme was launched by Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley in the presence of Union Minister of Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Minister of Punjab Singh Badal among others.
Features of HRIDAY
• It seeks to promote an integrated, inclusive and sustainable development of heritage sites, focusing on maintenance of monuments and on advancement of the entire ecosystem.
• In the initial phase of HRIDAY, 12 heritage cities have been identified which will be rejuvenated and developed. Union Government will provide 500 crore rupees to these 12 cities.
• Physical, institutional, economic and social infrastructure developed as part of the scheme in the identified cities.
• It will be completely funded by the Union Government to create infrastructure and provide facilities around the heritage sites to attract more tourists.

India becomes the highest recipient of US economic aid

i. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) on Tuesday siad that India received a total fund of $65.1 billion as economic assistance to India between 1946 and 2012, making it the highest among the economic aids provided to more than 200 countries and regions by the US during the same period.
ii. The data, which was inflation adjusted, shows India's aid of $65.1 billion in economic assistance was closely followed by Israel, which got $65 billion.

Automobile Skill Training Centre opened in Tirupati

i. The Andhra Pradesh government opened a new Automobile Skill Training Centre (ASTC) at Government Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Tirupati on Tuesday. 
ii. The ASTC, supported by Isuzu Motors India and Mitsubishi Corporation India, will impart training on best practices in the areas of automobile engineering and technology, enabling employment opportunities for the youth in the region.

Indigenously developed helicopter-launched Nag missile test fired from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan

i. Indigenously developed helicopter-launched Nag (HeliNa) missile was on 12 July 2015 test fired at the Chandhan firing range in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. HeliNa is a variant of Nag anti-tank guided missile (ATGM).
ii. About Nag Missile
• It is a third generation fire-and-forget and can be fired during night and day.
• While the land version can hit targets in the range between 500m to 4km, the range of air-launched version is between 7 and 10 km. It can carry a war head weighing up to 8kg.

Union Government, Facebook launched #100Women Initiative to recognize 100 women achievers of India

i. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development on 14 July 2015 launched the #100Women Initiative in collaboration with Facebook to select 100 women achievers of India.
ii. The initiative is aimed at recognizing and acknowledging women who are making a difference in their communities across the country.

India’s first railway-line built under PPP model inaugurated in Gujarat

i. Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu on 14 July 2015 inaugurated the broad-gauge railway-line between Gandhidham and Tuna-Tekra Port in Gujarat by flagging off a goods train.
ii. The rail line is India’s first railway-line built with private sector participation under Non-Government Railway (NGR) Policy 2012 of Indian Railways.


India and Georgia signed MoU for cooperation in field of Election Management

i. The MoU was signed by Chief Election Commissioner of India Nasim Zaidi and Tamar Zhvania, Chairperson, Central Election Commission, Georgia.
ii. Till now, Election Commission of India has signed twenty MoUs with Election Management Bodies and international organizations across the world.

NASA’s New Horizons made closest approach to Pluto

i. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) New Horizons space probe on 14 July 2015 made closest approach to Pluto when it flew 12600 km from the surface of the dwarf planet at an average speed of 49750 kph.
ii. The successful completion of the operation is very significant as the interplanetary probe could send the images of Pluto taken from the nearest point till date after travelling 4.88 billion km from the earth.

PM Narendra Modi concluded his 6-nation tour to Russia and five Central Asian nations

Major highlights of this Russia and five-Central Asian countries
• Prime Minister Modi, during his stay in Ufa in Russia, attended the Summit of the five-nation BRICS, which focused on economic and security cooperation. 
• He also attended the Summit of the six-member grouping, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO, which decided to grant full membership to India along with Pakistan. 
• On the sidelines of the Summit, Modi held a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister during which a host of significant decisions were taken to improve ties. One major decision was to speed up the trial in Mumbai attack case, including providing of voice samples of the accused.
• India-Pakistan joint statement was released at Ufa, Russia
• Head of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations on 9 July 2015 released the Ufa Declaration. The 7th BRICS was held under the theme ‘BRICS Partnership – a Powerful Factor of Global Development’.
• Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on 8 July 2015 signed framework agreements for equity investments in infrastructure projects in BRICS countries
• To boost cooperation within the members of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a 10 point initiative named as ‘Dus Kadam: 10 Steps for the Future’.
• During his eight-day visit, which took place from 6 July to 13 July 2015, he met the leaders of the five nations namely President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Atambaev, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, and President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov.

Iran, P5+1 countries reached agreement on Iran's nuclear programme at Vienna

i. Ending a 12-year stand-off, Iran and P5+1 countries comprising of the United States, the United Kingdom (UK), Russia, China, France and Germany on 14 July 2015 reached an agreement on the Iran nuclear programme.
ii. The agreement called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) or Vienna agreement was reached after 17 days of almost uninterrupted negotiations in Vienna involving foreign ministers of seven countries.

4 Indians figured in Asia 21 Young Leaders Class of 2015 list

i. Four Indians-Mishi Choudhary, Manish Dahiya, Sanjay Vijayakumar and Aarti Wig- were figured in the Asia 21 Young Leaders Class of 2015 list that was released on 8 July 2015 in New York, the USA.
ii. These were part of 32 young leaders (under the age of 40), who were selected for the Asia 21 Class of 2015 by the Asia Society as part of its leader ship development programme.


Tamil music composer Manayangath Subramanian Viswanathan died

i. Iconic Tamil music composer Manayangath Subramanian Viswanathan (MSV) died on 14 July 2015 following a brief illness. He was 87. He is survived by four sons and three daughters.
ii. In the Tamil film music world, no other composer was as diverse as Viswanathan. He had composed music for over 1700 films in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada.

Iconic musician Joan Sebastian passed away

i. Iconic Mexican musician Joan Sebastian passed away on 13 July 2015 after battling bone cancer for more than 15 years in Juliantla, Mexico. He was 64.
ii. He was also known as El Rey del Jaripeo (the King of Mexican Rodeo).


Yes Bank gets RBI nod to open GIFT unit

i. Yes Bank Ltd has received Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approval to set up a banking unit at the proposed International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), envisaged as the country’s first international financial services centre.
ii. In a notice to BSE, Yes Bank said a banking unit in the IFSC will help it access international financial markets and help its corporate banking clients raise foreign currency funds.

Wholesale inflation at (-)2.4%, in negative zone for 8th month 

i. Deflationary trends continued for the eighth month in a row in June with the wholesale price- inflation slipping to (-)2.4 per cent, largely due to cheaper vegetable and fuel prices. 
ii. The overall Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation was (-)2.36 per cent in May, the government data showed today. It has been in the negative zone since November 2014. A year ago in June 2014, inflation was 5.66 per cent.

"Frost and Sullivan’s 2015 Economic Development Innovation Award 2015" won by Make in India initiative of DIPP

i. Frost and Sullivan, a US-based Growth Partnership Company, on 14 July 2015 recognised Make in India initiative of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India.
ii. The award was received by Amitabh Kant, Secretary, DIPP from Aroop Zutshi, Frost & Sullivan’s Global President and Managing Partner in New Delhi.
iii. The Make in India initiative scored the highest score among the 100 countries in the GIL-100 Index: Manufacturing Index for 2015 on Manufacturing Excellence which was prepared by independent global experts through a detailed 10-step process.

India-based Comparex India Pvt Ltd won Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award 2015

i. An India-based software products and technology services company Comparex India Pvt. Ltd on 14 July 2015 won the prestigious Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award for 2015. Comparex India Pvt. Ltd is headquartered in New Delhi.
ii. The company was awarded along with 110 awardees by Microsoft at its Worldwide Partner Conference 2015. Another India-based IT company was the finalist in the Cloud Productivity Partner of the Year category.

Snapdeal launches marketplace app Shopo

i. Aiming to bridge the gap between offline and online retail, Snapdeal has launched Shopo, a zero-commission mobile-based marketplace app that allows users to upload images and create their own marketplace to sell products. Shopo is available for Android and iOS platform.
ii. Using the chat feature within the app, users can communicate, exchange information such as discount price and place of delivery with the seller.

48% Growth in FDI Equity Inflows after Make in India

i. The growth in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been significant after the launch of Make in India initiatives in September 2014, with 48 percent increase in FDI equity inflows during October 2014 to April 2015 over the corresponding period last year claims the union government. 
ii. In a press statement issued by ministry of commerce and industry the government has stated that in 2014-15, country witnessed unprecedented growth of 717 percent, to US $ 40.92 billion of Investment by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs).


Steffi Graf appointed as Kerala’s Ayurveda brand ambassador

i. German tennis legend Steffi Graf, who reigned the field of sports for nearly two decades in 1980s and 1990s, will now promote Kerala’s famed Ayurveda system of healthcare.
ii. Kerala’s Ayurveda, an ancient system of health care which is well known for its holistic effect on body and mind, attracts a large number of people from across the world.


IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals suspended for two years by Justice Lodha panel

i. Justice RM Lodha-headed panel on IPL Betting Scandal 2013 on 14 July 2015 suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) for two years. 
ii. The panel also suspended Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra from all cricket matches for life as they were found guilty of illegal betting. They both acted contrary to the spirit of the game.

BCCI suspended Mumbai Ranji player Hiken Shah for corruption

i. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on 13 July 2015 suspended Mumbai Ranji cricketer Hiken Shah with immediate effect. BCCI suspended him after he was found guilty of breaching BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Code for participants.
ii. Hiken Shah was accused for making a corrupt approach to a fellow player from first-class cricket, who is also a member of one of the IPL teams. The approached player immediately informed the incident to his franchise team.


Professor Kamal Bawa, an Indian-origin scientist, elected to Royal Society of London

i. Prominent Indian-origin scientist Professor Kamal Bawa was in news in the first week of July 2015 as he was elected, along with other two Indian-origin scientists, to the Royal Society of London on 30 April 2015. Other two scientists were- Ajay Sood and John Kuriayn.
ii. The three scientists were elected for life to the society through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science.


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