Daily GK Update 24 June 2014

1.    UN award for govt’s Mobile Seva initiative
i. An initiative conceptualised by Indian government’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology to enable delivery of public services electronically through the mobile platform has been awarded a United Nations public service award.
ii. Mobile Seva, a nationwide initiative conceptualised, funded and implemented by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), is among the second-place winners of the 2014 UN Public Service Awards, along with Bahrain, Brazil, Cameroon, Republic of Korea and Spain.
iii. The vision of Mobile Seva is to mainstream mobile governance in India as a new paradigm for e-delivery of public services through mobile devices. It leverages the massive penetration of mobile phones in India to substantially enhance access to electronic services, especially in the rural areas.
iv. The main objectives of the initiative are to be a one-stop solution for all mobile-based public service delivery needs through mobile-based channels, including SMS, voice/Integrated Voice Response System and mobile applications, a statement said.
Note: i. The first place winners are Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Morocco, Oman, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay.
ii. Winners from 14 countries will be honoured for their innovative projects in fighting poverty and promoting sustainable development at a ceremony on June 26 in Seoul.
2.    RBI directs banking bodies to cooperate with SIT on black money
i. The Reserve Bank of India has directed all banks and financial institutions to provide information and documents sought by the Special Investigation Team, SIT set up to unearth black money.
ii. RBI issued a notification to this effect yesterday. The SIT under the chairmanship of former Justice M B Shah was constituted by the Narendra Modi-led government on its first day in office.
3.    General Budget to be presented on 10th July & Rail Budget on 8th
i. The Budget session of Parliament will begin from 7th of the next month. The session spread over five weeks will come to end on 14th of August.
ii. The decision was taken at a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi this morning.
iii. Official sources said in New Delhi that the General Budget will be presented on 10th and Rail Budget on 8th. The sources said, Economic Survey will be tabled on 9th of July.
4.    Import ban on milk items from China extended till June 2015
i. The government has again extended the ban on imports of milk and its products from China for one more year till June 2015.
ii. “Prohibition on import of milk and milk products (including chocolates and chocolate products and candies/ confectionery/ food preparations with milk or milk solids as an ingredient) from China is extended for one more year, i.e., till 23.6.2015 or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
iii. The ban, which expired on June 23, is extended every year.
iv. India had first imposed the ban in September 2008 due to presence of melamine, used for making plastics and fertiliser.
v. India, however, does not import milk products from China, but as a preventive measure, it has imposed the ban.
5.    BRT system will save 27,000 lives in India: World Bank
i. World Bank President Jim Young Kim has said India can save more than 27,000 lives and create over 128,000 jobs if it builds 1,000 kilometres of new bus rapid transit (BRT) lanes in the next 20 years.
ii. “If India built 1,000 kilometres of new, bus rapid transit lanes, over 20 years, that could save more than 27,000 lives by reducing air pollution and accidents and create more than 128,000 jobs,” Jim Young Kim said.
iii. Speaking at the release of a report “Climate-Smart Development”, according to which $3-4 billion is needed to develop 1,000 km of BRT corridors in about 20 cities across India within 6-12 years, Mr. Jim said India could also reduce “greenhouse gas emissions by about 42 million tons”.
iv. The analysis estimates that investment of $3-4 billion would be needed to develop 1,000 km of BRT corridors in about 20 cities across India within 6-12 years, the bank said.
6.    Gujarat ranks 5th in investments attracted by manufacturing sector: Assocham
i. With about nine per cent share in total investments attracted by the manufacturing sector in the country as on March 31, 2013, Gujarat ranked fifth among other states.
ii. This, according to the trade body, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), indicated the state’s emergence as a prominent manufacturing investment hub.
iii. Out of the total outstanding investments worth over Rs. 122 lakh crore attracted by various sectors across the country as of March 2013, manufacturing accounted for a about 25 per cent share with over Rs. 30 lakh crore worth of investments.
State-wise details
Odisha accounted for the highest share of over 18 per cent in total investments attracted by the manufacturing sector across India as of March 2013 followed by Karnataka (over 14 per cent share), Jharkhand (over 13 per cent share), Andhra Pradesh (about 10 per cent share) and Gujarat (over nine per cent share) amid top five states with maximum share in investments attracted by manufacturing sector,” said D.S. Rawat, national secretary general, Assocham.
7.    Delhi University Vice-Chancellor resigns
i. Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh tendered his resignation on Tuesday afternoon, according to news reports.
ii. His resignation will go to the Vice President of India, who is also the Chancellor of the varsity.
iii. On Monday, after the day-long confusion and chaos due to the ongoing tussle between the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Delhi University (DU) over the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), admissions to colleges for this academic session had been deferred.
8.    Air India joins Star Alliance
i. In a significant move, Air India has formally become part of the global airlines’ grouping, Star Alliance, which would enable seamless travel to over 1,300 destinations for the national carrier’s passengers.
ii. Ending a seven-year-long wait, the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board (CEB), at its meeting in London on Monday, gave an endorsement vote to induct Air India into the fold.
iii. “We are happy to note that Air India has become part of the Star Alliance. This is one of the biggest alliances in the world”, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju told reporters here on Tuesday.
iv. Air India’s revenues may increase by 4-5 per cent by joining the Alliance, he said. With this, Air India becomes the first Indian carrier to join a global alliance, the largest one now having 27 member airlines in its fold.
9.    Ratan Tata received honorary doctorate from York University
i. Former TATA Group Chairman Ratan Tata on 21 June 2014 received an honorary doctor of laws degree from York University in Toronto, Canada. The award was given for his achievements in promoting innovations, exemplary leadership and corporate social responsibility. 
ii. The honour was conferred at the 2014 spring convocation of York University's Schulich School of Business by Chancellor of the varsity Gregory Sorbara.
iii. The chancellor of the University Gregory Sorbara praised Ratan Tata for making his companies a Global Power and described him as a Great Architect of Modern India.
10.  Jitu Rai became first Indian shooter to win three medals in successive ISSF Shooting World C
i. Jitu Rai on 19 June 2014 became the first Indian to win three medals in successive ISSF Shooting World Cup. 
ii. Also, by winning his first-ever Gold medal and One Silver at the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia, he became the first Indian shooter to win two medals at the same World Cup. 
iii. He won Gold medal with 200.8 points on 19 June 2014. The Silver medal was won by Spain’s Pablo Carrera and the Bronze medal was won by Russia’s Anton Gourianov.
11.  Myanmar’s first site, Ancient Pyu Cities, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List
i. Ancient Pyu Cities on 22 June 2014 became the first site from Myanmar to be inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List. The Ancient Pyu Cities include three cities Halin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra.
ii. The decision to include Myanmar’s first site on World Heritage list was taken at the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Doha, Qatar. 
iii. Three cities Halin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra are located in Burma’s central Dry Zone and featured the walled remains of sites built by the Pyu dynasty.
About Ancient cities
i. The Cities are located in vast irrigated landscapes in the dry zone of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River basin. The three cities are partly excavated archaeological sites. 

ii. Remains include excavated palace citadels, burial grounds and early industrial production sites, as well as monumental brick Buddhist stupas, partly standing walls and water management features – some still in use -  that underpinned the organized intensive agriculture.
12.  UK firm honours Sachin Tendulkar with rare coin
i. Britain's premium luxury goods brand East India Company has issued an exclusive legal tender gold coin worth 12,000 pound sterling in honour of Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.
ii. The rare coin has been issued in honour of Tendulkar's remarkable career spanning 24 years.
iii. "Only 210 gold coins, each weighing precisely 200g, are being issued to pay tribute to Tendulkar at a global level. Only very few will ever see this coin in the flesh, making them exceptionally rare and precious amongst thousands of fans who yearn to own a piece of the superstar's legacy," the London-based firm said in a statement.
iv. The issue of a 'legal tender' coin is an official mark of distinction given to individuals who have accomplished great achievements in human history.
v. The design of the coin has been handcrafted in great detail by one of the world's most renowned coin designers Joaquin Jimenez, currently the Chief Engraver at Monnaie de Paris.

vi. The canvas of the coin shows the latitude lines of the globe modelled in cricket stitching to represent the international stage of cricket.
vii. The Gateway of India features to denote Tendulkar's home city of Mumbai, where he started and completed his illustrious career. 
13.  N Srinivasan unanimously elected as chief of TNCA
i. BCCI's president-in-exile N Srinivasan, was today unanimously elected as the chief of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) for the 14th consecutive year.
ii. As has been the case for over 10 years, all the sitting office bearers and executive committee members were elected unopposed during the 84th annual general body meeting of the TNCA.


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