Daily GK Potion – 21st to 24th May 2015

Gromo Referal
  1. SBI & Amazon ink MoU for payment, commerce solutions
    • The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), and e-commerce giant Amazon have signed an MoU for identifying potential areas of collaboration for payments and commerce solutions.
    • SBI has the largest SME base in the country. E-tailers are set to gain even if a percentage of SBI’s SME customers adopt the online platform for their businesses.
    • The bank is looking to tap Amazon’s expertise in connecting potential buyers and sellers, along with efficient ways of sourcing raw materials for existing customers.
    • The bank indicated that, in collaboration with Amazon, it will look to create awareness among its customers about tapping the potential of online markets.
  2. India’s economic growth to surpass China’s in 2015-16: UN report
    • India’s economic growth is projected to surpass that of China’s, with the GDP expected to zoom by 7.7 per cent in 2016, according to a UN report which said India will help accelerate economic growth in South Asia.
    • The mid-year update of the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP), released today, said India’s economy is projected to grow by 7.6 per cent this year and 7.7 per cent in 2016, overtaking China.
    • China is projected to grow by 7 per cent in 2015 and 6.8 per cent next year.
    • Japan’s GDP is projected to grow by 1.2 per cent in 2015 and 1.0 per cent in 2016.
  3. Maharashtra government to allow women to work in night shifts
    • Maharashtra government has decided to make necessary changes in the Factories Act, 1948 to allow women to work in factories in night shifts.
    • Earlier, section 66 (1) (c) of the Factories Act, 1948 restricted women from working at a factory between 7 PM and 6 AM. Now that has been done away with.
    • The managements will have to ensure security of women working in night shift.
    • The Cabinet also decided to make necessary changes in the Factories Act, 1948 which will lead to 14,300 factories being free from ‘inspector raj’.
    • The Cabinet also approved setting up Indian Institute of Information Technology at Nagpur and Pune. Land for Nagpur IIIT will be given at Waranga and for Pune IIIT at Chakan.
  4. Government relaxes FDI norms for NRIs, PIOs, OCI
    • Aiming to attract overseas funds, government today decided that non-repatriable investments by NRIs, OCIs and PIOs will be treated as domestic investments and will not be subject to foreign direct investment caps.
    • Investments by NRIs under under Schedule 4 of FEMA regulations will be deemed to be domestic investment at par with the investment made by residents.
  5. India ranks 24th in the first Environmental Democracy Index out of 70 countries
    • India has ranked 24th out of 70 countries in the first Environmental Democracy Index that is topped by Lithuania and evaluates nations’ progress in enacting laws to promote transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in environmental decision making.
    • Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, the US, South Africa, the UK, Hungary, Bulgaria, Panama and Colombia are the top 10 nations in the list launched by Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) and Access Initiative.
    • The index evaluates environmental democracy in 70 countries, including 75 legal and 24 practice indicators, based on recognised international standards.
  6. Cabinet Approves PSLV Continuation Programme
    • The Union Cabinet has approved Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) continuation programme of fifteen operational flights of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C36 to PSLV-C50, thus enabling the launch of satellites required for Earth Observation, Navigation and Space Sciences along with the possibility of clinching commercial launch service contracts.
    • The total fund requirement is Rs 3090 crore and includes the cost of fifteen PSLV vehicles, Programme Elements, Programme Management and Launch Campaign.
    • All the fifteen operational flights would be completed during the period 2017-2020.
  7. ArcelorMittal, SAIL ink pact to set up steel plant in India
    • ArcelorMittal and Steel Authority of India on Friday signed a MoU to set up an automotive steel manufacturing facility in India, marking renewed interest in the country by the Luxembourg-based steelmaker.
    • The MoU, the first step towards establishing the JV, was signed in London by ArcelorMittal Chairman & Chief Executive Lakshmi Niwas Mittal and SAIL Chairman CS Verma.
    • The proposed JV will construct a state-of-the-art cold rolling mill and other downstream finishing facilities in India that will offer technologically advanced steel products to India’s rapidly growing automotive sector.
    • India is forecast to become the world’s fourth-largest automobile manufacturing nation by 2020, growing from about 3.5 million units now to over 7 million units.
  8. 2 Indians among 126 fallen peacekeepers to be awarded UN medal
    • Two Indian peacekeepers are among the 126 military, police and civilian personnel who will be posthumously awarded a prestigious UN medal next week for their courage and sacrifice while serving in the world body’s peacekeeping operations last year.
    • Lance Naik Nand Ram, who served with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and Raju Joseph, who had served in a civilian capacity with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), will be awarded the Dag Hammarskjold Medal on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers observed annually on May 29.
  9. Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for fifth time
    • J. Jayalalitha dressed in a green saree, wearing a green stone ring and wielding a green pen became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the fifth time.
    • She was sworn in along with 28 ministers who will form her cabinet and who took oath in chorus so as to wrap up the ceremony early for the convenience of their leader.
    • After spending eight months out of office, Jayalalithaa’s return comes less than a fortnight after the Karnataka high court acquitted her and three others of corruption charges in a disproportionate assets case. In September 2014, she stepped down from office following conviction in Rs.66.65 crore disproportionate assets case.
  10. Ireland is first country to legalize same-sex marriage in popular vote
    • Ireland has become the first country to legalize gay marriage through a popular vote, defying the Roman Catholic Church in a landslide referendum victory to change the constitution of the traditionally conservative nation.
    • It marked a change in a nation where homosexuality was outlawed until 1993 and demonstrated the declining influence of the Catholic Church, which, along with evangelical Protestant groups, fought the measure.
  11. Masaan wins critics prize at Cannes
    • Debutant director Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan won the prestigious critics prize in the Un Certain Regard category, which runs parallel to the competition for the main prize, Palme d’Or, at the 68th Cannes Film Festival, the International Federation of Film Critics

Read next : Daily GK Potion – 25th and 26th May 2015 ››

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