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General Knowledge Buzz - 16th September 2014

1. G-20 Labour and Employment Ministerial meet.

I. The G-20 Labour and Employment Ministerial meet was held at Melbourne, Australia 
II. During the meet, discussions were held on how to increase job growth across the G20 to help address disadvantage, improve productivity and drive growth.
III. sets of policy priorities to prevent unemployment and underemployment from becoming structural, and create better jobs .

2. BJP’s string of bypoll losses continues.

I. BJP loses 13 of the 24 seats held by it, cedes ground to SP in U.P., and Congress in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
II. BJP  suffered a major blow in the Assembly by-elections in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, the States it had swept in the Lok Sabha polls four months ago, losing 13 of the 24 seats held by it.
III. All the seats in Uttar Pradesh (11), Gujarat (9) and Rajasthan (4) were held by the BJP and the bypolls were necessitated after the MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha.

3. Global hunger figures decline by more than 200 million.

I. The number of people in the world without enough to eat fell to 805 million in 2012-14, down from over a billion in 1990-92 according to the UN.
II. The figures “confirmed a positive trend, which has seen the number of hungry people decline globally by more than 100 million over the last decade and by more than 200 million since 1990-92,” the 2014 edition of The State of Food Insecurity in the World said.
III. The regions with the highest undernourishment rates were listed as Sub-Saharan Africa (23.8 per cent), the Caribbean (20.1 per cent) and Southern Asia (15.8 per cent). FAO, IFAD and WFP said 65 per cent of the hungry lived in Asia.

4. Ukraine grants self-rule to Donetsk, Luhansk.

I. The separatist-held regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine are granted temporary self-rule for three years in a new law adopted by Parliament.
II. The special status law granting greater autonomy to Donetsk and Luhansk also allows for elections but stipulates that the separatists must renounce their bid for independence.

5. All northeast State capitals to be linked to rail network in 5 

I. All the north-eastern State capitals will be connected to the rail network within the next five years, Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda announced on Tuesday.
II. At present only the capitals of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura in the north-east are connected to the rail network.
III. The total anticipated cost of these projects was Rs. 53522 crore, of which Rs. 19905 crore had already been spent as on March 31, 2014.

6. Exports growth slips to 5-month low in August

I. The growth rate of India’s exports slipped to five-month low of 2.35 percent in August at $26.95 billion, pushing up the trade deficit to $10.83 billion.

II. Exporters body FIEO attributed the poor performance of exports to slowdown in European markets.The situation in EU is still bad.
III. Oil imports declined by 14.97 per cent in August to $12.83 billion. However, non-oil imports were up by 13.82 per cent to $24.95 billion.

7. ADB to grant Rs.284 cr to Karnataka for municipal projects.

I. The NDA Government at the Centre signed an agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday for a Rs.284 crore loan for improving urban services and strengthening municipal and project management capacity in several towns in North Karnataka.
II. The fourth and last tranche of loan under the North Karnataka Urban Sector Investment Program will help upgrade infrastructure, including expansion of the potable water systems to provide continuous water supply with private sector participation in 12 towns:
III. The towns included are Basavakalyan, Bellary, Bidar, Gadag-Betegeri, Gokak, Haveri, Hospet, Nipanni, Raichur, Shahabad, Sindhanur and Yadgir.

8. SBI to revise interest rates on retail term deposits below Rs.1 crore.

I. The State Bank of India (SBI) is revising interest rates on retail term deposits below Rs.1 crore with effect from September 18.
II. As per the revision, there will be a reduction of 25 basis points on the rate on deposits in the maturity bucket of 1 year to less than three years. The new interest rate will be 8.75 per cent.

9. Capital goods sector scheme gets Cabinet nod.

I. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, on Monday, approved over Rs.930-crore scheme to enhance competitiveness in the capital goods sector with an aim to boost the economy.
II. “The gross budgetary support from the government for the scheme would be Rs.581.22 crore and the balance Rs.349.74 crore by the stakeholder industries.”


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