Daily GK Potion – 5th March 2015

  1. Lok Sabha passes insurance bill
    • The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill to increase foreign investment limit in local insurers to 49 per cent from 26 per cent.
    • It also passed the Coal Mines bill to allow e-auction of coal blocks after the Supreme Court cancelled their allocation leading to uncertainty in the coal sector.
    • The bills will now face its real test in the upper house of parliament where BJP is in a minority and is dependent on opposition parties to pass the legislation.
  2. Parliament Passes Bill to Amend Citizenship Amendment Act
    • Parliament on Wednesday passed a bill to amend the Citizenship Act to remove disparity between Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders.
    • The benefits under the PIO scheme would be extended to OCI cardholders with recognition granted to their great grand children which was earlier limited to grand children.
    • People who apply for Indian citizenship would now be allowed a 30-day break if they have to leave India for some time and their absence from the country would not affect their application for citizenship.
  3. Reliance Infra acquires Pipavav for up to Rs 2,082 crore
    • Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) has agreed to purchase 18% stake from the promoters of debt-laden Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering.
    • Reliance Infrastructure trumped Mahindra & Mahindra and the Hero group which were also in the running for Pipavav.
    • Reliance Defence Systems, a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure, will also make an open offer to acquire another 26% for Rs 66 per share.
    • Pipavav Defence has one of the world’s largest infrastructure facilities — spread over 841 acres of land in the Gulf of Cambay, Gujarat, including 250 acres developed to shipbuilding. The infrastructure is capable of building submarines and aircraft carriers on the back of a technological alliance with Swedish defence company SAAB.
  4. Kathmandu-Varanasi direct bus service flagged off
    • Nepal and India today launched a direct bus service between Kathmandu and Varanasi.
    • It will link the two prominent cities – home to Pashupatinath and Kashi Vishwanath temples.
    • The bus would cover about 600 kilometres distance during its journey of about 12 hours.
    • The Nepalese registered ceremonial bus will follow the route Kathmandu-Bhairahawa-Sunauli-Azamgarh-Varanasi.
  5. BBC released a documentary film India’s Daughter
    • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on 4 March 2015 released a documentary film India’s Daughter.
    • The documentary film has been directed by Leslee Udwin.
    • The film is based on the Delhi gang rape and murder of the 23-year-old female named Nirbhaya that took place on 16 December 2012.
    • The film was simultaneously released in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway and Canada.
  6. RBI adopted Inflation Targeting as a policy tool for monetary regulation
    • Inflation targeting was in news recently as Union Government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 20 February 2015 signed an agreement on Monetary Policy Framework.
    • Inflation targeting is defined as an economic policy in which a central bank estimates or decides for a medium-term target inflation rate.

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