Daily GK Potion – 8th December 2015


  1. Tata Trusts Partners Khan Academy for Free Online Education
    • Tata Trusts Sunday announced it will be supporting US-based non-profit Khan Academy to provide free online education to Indians through one of the biggest open-access online platforms.
    • “This is a concept which is refreshingly different, extending free education and knowledge to anyone, anytime and anywhere which can change the world of illiterate to literate,” said Ratan Tata
  2. Andhra Pradesh first state to join discom revival scheme UDAY
    • Andhra Pradesh has become the first state in the country to join the Centre’s scheme for revival of debt stressed power distribution companies after the state gave in-principle nod to the Power Ministry for joining UDAY.
    • The scheme is optional and operationalised through signing of MoU between state governments, state discoms and Centre
    • Though many other states including Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Haryana have evinced the interest in joining the scheme, Andhra Pradesh is the first state to officially communicate its intend to avail benefits under UDAY.
  3. ONGC joined World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative
    • The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited has joined Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative of the World Bank on the sidelines of Conference of Parties-21 (COP-21) of UNFCCC in Paris.
    • ONGC has become the first oil company from India to join the global initiative that is aimed at curbing routine gas flaring at oil production sites around the world by 2030.
    • Along with ONGC, 19 other entities endorsed the initiative taking the number of total countries or companies or development institutions to 45 since its inception in April 2015
  4. India to have 8 new observatories to study climate change
    • India on Monday announced a programme to open eight more long-term ecological observatories to study the effects of climate change.
    • The new facilities under the Indian Long Term Ecological Observatories (I-LTEO) would assess the health of eight different biomes (types of habitat) and come up with long-term research findings on the changes there that were happening due to climate change.
    • It will cover the Western Himalayas to Western Ghats, Eastern Himalayas to Andaman and Nicobar islands, central India to the Sundarbans, and from Jammu and Kashmir to Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  5. Maharashtra wins Wheelchair Basketball Championship
    • Maharashtra beat Punjab to win the 2015 National Wheelchair Basketball Championship
    • The competition, which opened on the eve of the International Day of People with Disabilities and lasted from December 2-6, featured nine states: Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
    • Tamil Nadu beat Delhi to clinch the third spot.
  6. Maharashtra becomes first state to allow mlas raise online question
    • Maharashtra has become country’s first state to allow the members of state legislature to raise online questions in an effort to move towards complete digitization of the process. The step is aimed at bringing the paper work to minimum.
    • The experiment was tried for the first time before the ongoing winter session of the state legislature at Nagpur. “It has received satisfactory response from the MLAs and MLCs. We have managed to cut down 30% of the paperwork. The idea is to raise it to 100%,” said Anant Kalse, principal secretary, Maharashtra legislature.
    • The whole exercise called ‘Digital MLAs’ is expected to cut paper cost and time, while it will also enhance the accuracy.
  7. First ever red alert in effect in Beijing
    • Schools in Beijing are closed and outdoor construction halted as the Chinese capital’s first ever pollution “red alert” came into effect.
    • Limits have been placed on car use and some factories have been ordered to stop operations.
    • It is the first time China has declared a red alert under the four-tier alert system, which was adopted a little over two years ago, although pollution levels were far from the city’s worst.

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