GK Update :4th August, 2016
By: D.K Choudhary
1. WEF India Economic Summit in Delhi on October 6-7
i. World Economic Forum (WEF), will host its annual India Economic Summit on October 6-7 in New Delhi which would be attended by over 500 business and political leaders including top policymakers and CEOs.
ii. This year’s meet will be convened under the theme, ‘Fostering an Inclusive India through Digital Transformation’.
iii. WEF is known for its annual five-day meet in Davos, Switzerland, attended by top leaders from business, politics, academia, civil society, international organizations, arts and culture and media.
2. Rajasthan becomes first state to approve sewage & waste water policy
i. Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to approve sewage and wastewater policy. It has been approved by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in Jaipur.
ii. Under this policy, all district headquarters, heritage cities, and cities in the state which have more than one lakh population will be included. Waste water treated under it will be used in irrigation and agricultural work. The requirement of next 30 years will be covered in this policy.
iii. It will be compulsory for every house in the state to connect with sewage system in those cities which have 100% sewage system in next five years.
3. Khandu expands cabinet, inducts 10 ministers
i. In its first expansion of the cabinet, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has expanded his cabinet by inducting 10 ministers including former Speaker Nabam Rebia.
ii. Governor Tathagata Roy administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed ministers at Darbar Hall of the Raj Bhavan.
iii. The politicians included in the cabinet are : Tanga Byaling, Rajesh Tacho, Nabam Rebia, Honchun Ngandam, Wangki Lowang, Kamlung Mossang, Tapang Taloh, Kumar Waii, Takam Pario and Jomde Kena. All of them were sworn in as cabinet ministers.
4. Kerala cabinet appoints Achuthanandan head of administrative reforms panel
i. The Kerala cabinet has decided to appoint veteran CPI-M leader V.S Achuthanandan as the chairman of the Kerala Administrative Reforms Commission with cabinet rank.
ii. Former chief secretaries Neela Gangadharan and C.P Nair will be the other members of the three-member panel headed by Achuthanandan.
iii. The Kerala Assembly had earlier passed an amendment bill to pave the way for his appointment.
5. Six New IITS Get Parliament Nod
i. The Parliament has approved the establishment of six new IITs across the country by passing the Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Rajya Sabha.
ii. These IITs will be started in Palakkad (Kerala), Goa, Dharwad (Karnataka), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Jammu, and Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh).
6. SBI launches cheaper home loan schemes for public sector undertaking employees and Defence personnel
i. India’s largest public sector bank, State Bank of India (SBI) has launched 2 new schemes of loans for the employees of central as well as state government, public sector undertaking employees and Defence personnel.
ii. The bank has introduced ‘Privilege Home Loan’ for government employees and ‘Shaurya Home Loan’ for Defence Personnel with pensionable service.
iii. Under the new schemes, loans will be available without any processing fees. The interest rates will be 0.05 % less than current interest rates on home loans. According to officials, the borrowers will enjoy cheaper interest rates and the extended installment tenure up to 75 years of age.
7. AXA, Alibaba, Ant Financial have tied up in global strategic partnership
i. AXA, Alibaba, and Ant Financial Services have stated that they have agreed to engage in a global strategic partnership to explore opportunities to distribute AXA’s insurance products and services through Alibaba’s global e-commerce ecosystem.
ii. This agreement will support the company to work together to co-innovate and to develop value-added products and services to customers around the world as well as to mutually support each other in developing and exploring new markets and segments.
iii. The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, serving 103 million clients in 64 countries. While the Alibaba Group is the largest retail commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Through Ant Financial Services (an Alibaba-affiliate which provides financial services), AXA would offer travel insurance products for Chinese travelers going overseas.
8. Neyveli Lignite plans to buy 1200 MW Raghunathpur Thermal Power Project
i. Neyveli Lignite (NLC) is planning to acquire a 1200 MW Raghunathpur Thermal Power Project (RTPP) of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).
ii. The proposed acquisition will be done through a joint venture company (JVC) of NLC and Damaodar Valley Corporation DVC with an equity shareholding of 74:26.
iii. RTPP consists of two units of 600 MW each and both the units has been commissioned during March 2016.
9. BHEL commissions 500 Mw Marwa Thermal Power station in Chhattisgarh
i. State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has commissioned the second 500 Mw (megawatt) thermal unit at Marwa Thermal Power Station in Janjgir-Champa district of Chhattisgarh.
ii. The first unit of Marwa TPS was also commissioned earlier by BHEL. Marwa TPS has been set up by Chhattisgarh State Power Generation Company (CSPGCL).
iii. In Chhattisgarh, BHEL has contributed a total of 12,500 MW to the state’s installed power generation, including central and private sector utilities.
10. Pushpa Kamal Dahal elected as new Prime Minister of Nepal
i. Maoist Party Chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, has been elected as the new Prime Minister of Nepal.
ii. The Parliament elected him with 363 in favour and 210 against it. Dahal returns to the post for the second time after a gap of over seven years.
iii. Dahal who will be heading a coalition government comprising Nepali Congress, the largest party in parliament, will be taking the oath of office and secrecy at the President’s Office today.
11. BCCI appoints Katju to head a legal panel to help implement Lodha report
i. The BCCI has appointed former SC judge Markandey Katju as the head of a 4-member legal panel to help the implications of the Justice Lodha Committee reforms.
ii. This panel will be a single point interface for the BCCI to interact with the Justice Lodha Committee.
iii. Justice Markandey Katju is the former Chairman, Press Council of India. Prior to his appointment as Chairman, he served as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India.
12. Angela Ruggiero appointed IOC’s Athletes’ Commission chair
i. American ice hockey Olympic champion Angela Ruggiero has been elected as the new chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Athletes’ Commission.
ii. Ruggiero will be replacing Claudia Bokel.
iii. Angela Ruggiero is a former ice hockey player who has played more games for Team USA than any other man or woman. She is the current Vice-Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
13. Anant Maheshwari named as President of Microsoft India
i. Software major company Microsoft has named Anant Maheshwari as the next President of Microsoft India. He will join Microsoft India as president on September 1st and take over the operations of the company on January 1st.
ii. He will succeed Bhaskar Pramanik, who retires in March 2017.
iii. As president, Maheshwari will be responsible for all of Microsoft’s product, service, and support offerings across India. Presently, Mr. Maheshwari is working as the President of Honeywell India, a Fortune 100 company.
14. Nobel Laureate Ahmed Zewail has passed away
i. Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian-American chemist Ahmed Zewail, a science and technology advisor to President Barack Obama and the first U.S. science envoy to the Middle East, has passed away in the United States. He was 70 years old.
ii. He was a member of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) faculty and was the sole recipient of the Nobel chemistry prize in 1999 for his pioneering work in femtochemistry, the study of chemical reactions in ultra-short time scales.
iii. Mr. Ahmed was born in Cairo and studied at Alexandria University. He later moved to the United States and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
15. Former Ferrari driver Chris Amon dies aged 73
i. Former Ferrari driver Chris Amon, often described as one of the best in Formula One never to have won a race has passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 73 years old.
ii. He was the part of a well-known trio of New Zealand drivers competing in Formula One in the 1960s and early 70s alongside Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme, who both enjoyed more successful careers in the sport’s premier series.
iii. Amon was born in Bulls and learned to drive at the age of six, taught by a farm worker on the family farm