Daily GK Potion – 18th and 19th December 2014

  1. Lima climate change talks; all countries agrees on a plan to fight global warming
    • International negotiators at the Lima climate change talks have agreed on a plan to fight global warming that would for the first time commit all countries to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. ISRO’s First Experimental Flight of India’s Next Generation Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk-III Successful
    • The first experimental flight (GSLV Mk-III X/CARE) of India’s next generation launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III was successfully conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.
    • Also known as LVM3-X/CARE, this suborbital experimental mission was intended to test the vehicle performance during the critical atmospheric phase of its flight and thus carried a passive (non-functional) cryogenic upper stage.
  3. U.S. slaps sanctions on Swiss, Dutch companies over Syria
    • United States has slapped sanctions on Dutch and Swiss oil trading firms for their dealings with the Syrian government, which has been engaged in bloody civil war with opposition forces.
    • The U.S. Treasury put Netherlands-based Staroil B.V. as well as two Swiss-based firms, Rixo International Trading Ltd and Bluemarine SA, on its list of sanctioned entities, which effectively cuts them off from the U.S. financial system.
  4. Housing.com raises $90 mn from SoftBank Group
    • Housing.com, the leading real estate portal, has received investments worth $90 million from Japanese major SoftBank Internet and Media.
    • Housing.com has now raised more than $ 121 million in just 2 years.
    • Housing.com, founded in 2012, operates in over 45 cities, with over 350,000 verified listings and more than 15,000 new projects. Housing now has more than 1,500 employees in over 45 cities across India.
  5. HTC Global acquires CareTech Solutions
    • IT services company HTC Global Services has acquired CareTech Solutions Inc — an IT, web products and services provider based in the U.S.
  6. TVS Chairman Venu Srinivasan conferred honorary citizenship of Busan
    • TVS company Chairman Venu Srinivasan conferred the title of honorary citizen of Busan, the second largest city in Korea, in appreciation of his efforts to enhance friendship and cooperation between the Republic of Korea and India.
    • Srinivasan, who is also Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Chennai,is the first Indian industrialist to be granted honorary citizenship.
  7. Imtiaz Dharker awarded Queen’s gold medal for poetry
    • The Pakistan-born British poet Imtiaz Dharker has been awarded the Queen’s gold medal for poetry.
  8. IRDA fines Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance, Anand Rathi Insurance Brokers
    • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) slapped a penalty of Rs 31 lakh on Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) Life Insurance Company and Rs 5 lakh on Anand Rathi Insurance Brokers for violating regulatory norms.
    • IRDA has penalised Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance Company on charges including, delay in payment of claims, non-adherence to product specifications and violating licensing of corporate agents norms.
  9. Zaki Ur Rehman Lakhvi, mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, granted bail in Pakistan

    • Pakistani court gave bail to LeT operations commander Zaki Ur Rehman Lakhvi, a key planner of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks
    • The decision triggered quite an uproar in Indian political parties across the board as they accused Pakistan of sheltering terrorists.