Daily GK Potion – 21st to 25th January 2015

Gromo Referal
  1. EU lifts ban on import of mangoes from India
    • The European Union has decided to lift a ban on the import of mangoes from India after the country made improvements in plant health controls and certification system.
    • The EU accounts for more than 50 per cent of total exports of fruits and vegetables from India.
    • The UK is the main destination, followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
    • The European Union’s “temporary ban” came into force on May 1, 2014 and was to remain effective until December 2015 after authorities in Brussels found consignments infested with fruit flies.
  2. Periyar tiger reserve wins NTCA award
    • The Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala, bagged the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) biennial award for encouraging local public participation in managing the reserve.
    • There are 75 communities living around the reserve, including tribal people who are dependent on eco-development programmes.
  3. India signs transfer of prisoners agreement with Hong Kong
    • India has signed an agreement with Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of China, for transfer of sentenced persons and their social rehabilitation.
    • It would enable transfer and social rehabilitation of people coming under its purview.
  4. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna makes it to Guinness World Records
    • The financial inclusion scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) has made its way into the Guinness World Records for opening the highest number of bank accounts in the least time.
    • 11.5 crore new bank accounts have been under Jan Dhan Yojana so far.
    • 99.74 percent households in the country have been covered by Jan Dhan Yojana, the Finance Secretary said.
    • According to reports, 11.43 crore accounts were opened by banks across the country as of January 16. Of this, 8.24 crore accounts had zero balance.
    • Public sector banks alone opened 9.06 crore accounts, followed by regional rural banks which opened about 2 crore accounts. 13 private sector banks together open just 36 lakh accounts.
  5. WhatsApp adds messaging from Web
    • The popular mobile messaging application WhatsApp has unveiled a new service for sending messages from a Web browser.
    • WhatsApp, which claims some 500 million users, said its Web service will be a “mirror” and would require an Internet- connected phone to work.
    • “Our Web client is simply an extension of your phone: the Web browser mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device – this means all of your messages still live on your phone,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.
    • The new messaging service currently only works with Google’s Chrome browser and will not be available to iPhone users “due to Apple platform limitations,” according to WhatsApp.
    • Facebook paid an estimated $19bn (£12.6bn) to acquire WhatsApp.
  6. High Level Committee submit its FCI restructuring report to Government
    • The High Level committee (HLC) on restructuring the Food Corporation of India (FCI), which was set up by the government on August 20, 2014, submitted its report to the government.
    • Shanta Kumar, chairman of the committee submitted it to prime minister Narendra Modi.
  7. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches Sukanya Samridhi Yojna under Beti Bachao campaign
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a small deposit scheme for girl child, as part of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao‘ campaign, which would fetch an interest rate of 9.1 per cent and provide income tax rebate.
    • ‘Sukanya Samridhi Account’ can be opened at any time from the birth of a girl child till she attains the age of 10 years, with a minimum deposit of Rs 1000.
    • A maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh can be deposited during the financial year.
    • The account can be opened in any post office or authorised branches of commercial banks.
    • The account will remain operative for 21 years from the date of opening of the account or marriage of the girl child after attaining 18 years of age.
    • To meet the requirement of higher education expenses, partial withdrawal of 50 per cent of the balance would be allowed after the girl child has attended 18 years of age.
  8. Goa to host Indo-Russian musical festival ‘ZimaFest’
    • Goa will host ‘ZimaFest’ – India’s newest live musical festival that will witness a confluence of Russian and Indian music at Candolim beach.
    • It will be held from January 24-25.
  9. Arundhathi Subramaniam wins poetry prize
    • Poet Arundhathi Subramaniam has won the inaugural Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize for Poetry for her work When God is a Traveller.
    • The winner was announced at a prize ceremony at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, attended by over 2,500 poetry lovers.
    • The award, carrying a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh, was established earlier this year by Suhel Seth in memory of the late Khushwant Singh and is open to Indian poets writing in English or Indian language translation.
  10. Modi, Obama walk the talk on nuke deal

    • India and the U.S. has broken the seven-year-old logjam in operationalising their landmark civil nuclear agreement with an announcement that “the deal is done” after talks between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    • The two sides have resolved key hurdles pertaining to the liability of suppliers of nuclear reactors in the event of an accident and the tracking of fuel supplied by the U.S. and other countries for its proposed nuclear plants
  11. India, U.S. sign three MoUs on smart cities
    • India and United States signed three Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) on Sunday to give a boost to the Centre’s flagship ‘smart cities’ scheme.
    • The U.S. has agreed to partner with Indian in developing three smart cities in Allahabad, Ajmer, and Visakhapatnam.
    • The U.S. will assist the cities in project planning, infrastructure development, feasibility studies and capacity building.
    • The State Governments for their part will provide resources like technical information and data related to smart cities planning; staff, logistical and travel support and budgetary resources.
  12. TRAI issues draft rules for full mobile number portability
    • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued draft regulations to facilitate full mobile number portability, which is set to start from May 3.
    • The full or nationwide mobile number portability (MNP) will allow consumers to change the service provider in any part of the country while retaining their existing number.
    • At present, mobile number portability allows consumers to change their service provider within a telecom circle, which, in most cases, is limited to a State.
  13. India’s first e-kisaan tablet for farmers launched.