Daily GK Update – 21st January 2016

  1. Cabinet approves policy on Promotion of City Compost
    • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for a Policy on Promotion of City Compost.
    • Under the policy, a provision has been made for Market development assistance of Rs. 1500 per tonne of city compost for scaling up production and consumption of the product.
    • Market development assistance would lower MRP of city compost for farmers. Compost from city garbage would not only provide carbon and primary/secondary nutrients to soil but also help in keeping the city clean.
    • Eco-Mark standard for City Compost would ensure that environment friendly quality product reaches the farmers.
  2. Setting up of over 5,000 MW Grid-connected Solar PV Power Projects approved
    • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the setting up of over 5,000 MW Grid-Connected Solar PV Power Projects on build, own and operate basis.
    • The work will be implemented by Solar Power Developers (SPDs) with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under Batch-lV of Phase-ll of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).The total investments expected under the scheme is about Rs 30,000 crore.
    • This would help create additional 5,000 MW capacity of Grid-connected solar PV power generation projects in four trenches of each 1,250 MW capacity during four financial years -2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
    • This would also help generate employment for about 30,000 people in rural and urban areas with reduction of about 8.525 Million T of CO2 emissions into environment every year.
  3. World Economic Forum meeting starts in Davos, Switzerland
    • The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting has started in Swiss resort of Davos, Switzerland with participation of political leaders and business from around the world.
    • In this edition of WEF meeting, the agenda includes the outlook of the global economy and measures to fight terrorism.
  4. ISRO puts fifth GPS satellite in orbit
    • PSLV-C31 successfully put into orbit IRNSS-1E, the fifth satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) after its succesful launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR, Sriharikota
    • PSLV-C31 for the eleventh time used ‘XL’ version of PSLV.
    • IRNSS-1E, with a liftoff mass of 1425 kg, carried navigation payload and ranging payload, according to an ISRO release
  5. Sex ratio down, literacy rate of women up: Family health survey
    • In the past 10 years, the sex ratio has significantly decreased in nine out of 11 states of India, whereas women’s literacy has gone up in each of those states, according to the first phase of the latest national family health survey, known as NFHS-4.
    • The 11 states surveyed in the first phase were also surveyed in the last NFHS of 2005-06.
    • In these 11 states, on an average, there are 985 females per 1,000 males in 2015-16 compared to 1,000 females per 1,000 males in 2005-06. Women’s literacy has increased 12.15 per cent in these 11 states.
    • The only state where the sex ratio rose was Uttarakhand – from 996 to 1,015 females per 1,000 males. Meghalaya saw its sex ratio stabilise at 1,005 females per 1,000 males. All other states saw a disturbing fall in sex ratio.
  6. Oscar for Indian-origin actor, producer Rahul Thakkar in technical category
    • Rahul Thakkar will be presented with the Technical Achievement Award for his contribution to cinema through “groundbreaking design”
  7. Uttar Pradesh won 2014-2015 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
    • Uttar Pradesh has won its maiden Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy with a 38-run win over two- time champions Baroda in the final played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
    • It was Uttar Pradesh’s ninth straight win in the tournament, including five in the preliminary league phase and three more in the super league stage.
    • The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is a Twenty20 cricket domestic championship, named after a famous Indian cricketer, Syed Mushtaq Ali.
  8. PM releases “The Z Factor,” a book written by Shri Subhash Chandra
  9. N R Narayana Murthy panel on AIFs seeks favourable tax regime for VCs, PEs
    • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) panel on Alternative Investment Funds(AIFs) headed by Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy, has proposed creating a favourable tax environment for investors, tweaking of safe harbour rules, unlocking domestic pools of capital, enabling onshore fund management in India and reforming the AIF regulatory regime.
    • AIFs which include venture capital funds, private equity funds, debt funds, infrastructure funds and social venture funds among others have invested more than $103 billion in Indian companies between 2001 and 2015.
    • The committee has recommended several changes in taxation policy for AIFs with two key reforms being introduction of STT for private equity and venture capital investments as it has worked effectively for several years in case of foreign portfolio investors and tweaking of safe harbour norms.
  10. Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra replace Aamir Khan as ‘Incredible India’ brand ambassadors
    • Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra have been chosen as the brand ambassadors for the government’s ‘Incredible India’ campaign.
    • The selection of the two actors follows the Centre’s decision to discontinue the contract of actor Aamir Khan, who had angered the BJP-led government with his remarks on perceived intolerance in the country.
    • Khan had promoted Indian tourism for a decade as the brand ambassador.
  11. Stop Rs 1,000 Notes Without Security Thread: RBI to Banks
    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has received complaints about notes of Rs 1,000 denomination without the security thread being in circulation and has asked banks not to issue them in case these are found.
    • The RBI has informed all the banks in Mumbai region not to issue such notes if found in stock and to provide exchange value to the customer who approaches with such a note, if it is otherwise genuine.
    • The total number of such notes with public may not be more than 500 pieces, the spokesperson added. So, in value terms these would be worth Rs 5,00,000.

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