Daily GK Potion – 26th February 2015

Gromo Referal
  1. Railway Budget 2015-16 announced
    • Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 26 February 2015 presented the Railway Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha.
    • Prabhu outlined a plan to invest over 8 lakh crore rupees over 5 years.
    • He announced 9 thrust areas, four goal of budget.
    • No increase in passenger fares
    • Passengers can book tickets 120 days in advance instead of 60 days which was available till date
    • Outlay for passenger amenities increased by 67 percent
  2. Government to give digital boost to MGNREGA scheme
    • Government will roll out a pilot project to give a digital boost to the flagship rural job scheme MNREGA in gram panchayats to ensure its better implementation through mobile monitoring system.
    • Under the scheme expected to be functional from April this year, a total of 35,000 gram panchayats will be covered which would be given a mobile/tablet.
    • An amount of Rs 35 crore have been sanctioned as each mobile/tablet would be costing Rs 10,000.
  3. Cabinet approves agreement on BRICS development bank
    • The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday gave approval for establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).
    • Heads of the five nation BRICS group — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — decided at their sixth summit in Fortaleza in July last year to create a development bank as well as a reserve fund to finance infrastructure projects and other sustainable development projects.
    • The $100 billion BRICS CRA would help countries deal with short-term liquidity pressures, provide mutual support and further strengthen financial stability.
  4. Cabinet nod for 15000 MW grid-connected solar projects
    • Union Cabinet has approved the implementation of the scheme for setting up of 15,000 Mega Watt Grid-connected Solar Photo Voltaic Power projects under the National Solar Mission.
    • The scheme will be implemented through NTPC and NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited.
    • The project under this scheme is expected to accelerate the process of achieving grid tariff parity for solar power and also help reduce consumption of kerosene and diesel.
  5. Spouses of H-1B visa holders to get work permits in US
    • The US has announced that it will provide work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders beginning May 26, a move that is expected to benefit thousands of talented and professional Indian spouses who come to America but are unable to work.
    • Under existing laws, spouses of H-1B visa holders, many of whom are Indians, are not eligible to work.
  6. Jamaica decriminalises marijuana use
    • Jamaica has decriminalised the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.
    • The country’s parliament passed a much-debated law allowing the possession of up to 2oz (57g) of marijuana.
    • It will also allow for a licensing authority to oversee the medical and scientific uses of the plant.
  7. India bans ISIS under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act
    • Dreaded terror group ISIS and all its affiliate organisations, responsible for series of savage attacks and killings in Iraq and Syria, have been banned in India under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
    • The Islamic State/Islamic State of Iraq and Levant/ Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Daish and all its manifestations have been declared as outlawed in India under UAPA, a notification issued by the Home Ministry said.
  8. Six Indians among Forbes’ 50 ‘Power Businesswomen’
    • Six Indian women CEOs and Managing Directors, including State Bank of IndiaBSE -2.03 % head Arundhati Bhattacharya and ICICI CEO Chanda Kochchar, have been named by Forbes magazine in its 50 ‘Power Businesswomen’ from Asia.
    • Apart from Bhattacharya and Kochchar, the Indian executives on the list are Akhila Srinivasan, MD/Non-Executive Director of Shriram Life Insurance/Shriram Capital, Biocon Founder, Chairman and MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Axis Bank CEO and MD Shikha Sharma and Life Insurance Corp. of India MD Usha Sangwan 56 (India).
  9. Australian researchers create first 3D-printed jet engine
    • Australian researchers have created the world’s first 3D-printed jet engines, a breakthrough that could change the way aircraft are constructed.
    • Researchers from Monash University, aided by staff from the CSIRO and Deakin University, have printed two engines and put one of them on display at the International Air Show in Avalon, Victoria.
  10. Pan-India Mobile Number Portability from May 3, Trai amends regulation
    • Mobile phone users from May 3 will be able to retain their numbers when they relocate to any part of the country, even if they change operators, after the telecom regulator on Wednesday issued an order for full mobile number portability (MNP).
    • the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said that it has “issued sixth amendment to the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulation, 2009, which will facilitate full Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in the country, with effect from May 3, 2015.”

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