Daily GK Potion – 27th November 2014

  1. E-visa facility launched for 43 countries
    • The much-awaited electronic-visa system for visitors from 43 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan and Russia is rolled out by government.
    • This move expected to ease visa processing and help increase of tourist inflow to India.
    • The tourist from these countries will now be able to apply for an e-visa through the designated website and pay the fee online to get an electronic travel authorization (ETA) within 72 hours.
    • The facility will be available initially at nine airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Kochi, Thiruvanthapuram, Hyderabad and Goa.
    • E-visa will be valid for 30 days and a tourist can avail the facility twice a year.
  2. CIBIL to gather information on first time borrowers
    • The Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd. (CIBIL) has sought information from service providers about first time borrowers to bring down the risk of lenders and to offer meaning credit score for consumers.
    • It is also planning to collect details about consumer financial discipline with regard to utilities payment such as electricity, water and sewage boards.
    • CIBIL report and credit score were being used extensively by banks and credit institutions to assess a borrower’s creditworthiness.
  3. State Bank of India to launch Islamic equity fund
    • State Bank of India will launch an Islamic equity fund namely Sharia Fund next month aimed mainly at attracting investments from the country’s 170 million Muslims.
    • The new fund has the approval of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, an authority that oversees the observance of Muslim civil laws in India.
  4. Punjab National Bank announces free ATM usage for customers
    • Punjab National Bank said it will not put a cap on number of free ATMs transactions for its saving account customers.
    • The RBI recently advised that at least five free transaction (inclusive of financial and non financial transactions) per month should be permitted to the saving bank account customers for use of own bank ATMs.
  5. SAARC leaders reach last-minute energy deal
    • Saarc member states signed the Saarc Framework Agreement on Energy Cooperation (Electricity) aimed at sharing and trading electricity among the member countries through a common grid.
    • 18th SAARC summit concluded with the deal.
    • Next SAARC summit will be held in Islamabad in 2015.
  6. Australia offers assistance for cleaning up the Ganga
    • Australia will offer technical support and assistance to India’s mammoth undertaking of cleaning up the Ganga.
    • A pilot study is already on in the Brahmani river in eastern India.
  7. Parliament passes Apprentices (Amendment) Bill, 2014
    • A Bill seeking to remove imprisonment as punishment for violating the provisions of the Apprentices Act, 1961 and allowing employers to fix the hours of work and leave as per their discretion or policy was passed by the Rajya Sabha.
  8. Anoop Mishra is new Secretary General of Lok Sabha
    • Former Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Anoop Mishra is the new Secretary General of the Lok Sabha.
    • Mishra has held several important positions at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh.
  9. Australian batsman Hughes dies from head injury

    • Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in hospital today, two days after the batsman was struck on the head by a bouncer during a domestic match.
    • He was 25.
    • He was struck on the head by a short-pitched delivery from New South Wales paceman Sean Abbott, a devastating blow that experts compared to the trauma suffered by car crash victims.
  10. PD James, crime novelist, dies at age of 94
    • Crime novelist PD James, who wrote more than 20 books, has died aged 94.
    • Her best known novels include The Children of Men, The Murder Room and Pride and Prejudice spin-off Death Comes to Pemberley.