Daily GK Update 28 June 2014

1.    Jean-Claude Juncker named as next European Commission president
i. Jean-Claude Juncker has been named as the next president of the European Commission.
ii. Juncker, a former Luxembourg Prime Minister and veteran EU insider, was backed by all EU member states, except Britain and Hungary.
iii. The vote for leadership of the European Commission came after Mr. Cameron made a last ditch plea over lunch in Brussels with leaders to select someone other than Mr. Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg who played a central role in steering Europe through its long debt crisis.
iv. Previously, European leaders always selected the president of the Commission by consensus.
2.    Kochi wins CNBC Awaaz ‘best city award’
i. Kochi has won this year’s ‘best city award’ from news channel CNBC Awaaz.
ii. The CNBC Awaaz Travel Awards 2014 were presented at a function in Indore recently, presided over by Madhya Pradesh Tourism and Culture Minister Surendra Patwa.
iii. Currently in its eighth year, the CNBC Awaaz Travel Awards are a recognition of the best-in-class destinations, organisations, and service providers, based on a study conducted by the news channel across multimedia platforms.
3.    Tourism Ministry launches mobile app for exploring cities
i. The Ministry of Tourism has launched a mobile application to enable its users to independently travel and experience 16 cities in the country.
ii. he self-guided tour application 'Incredible India Walking Tours' was launched by the Tourism Ministry in collaboration with Genesys International Corporation and will cover 16 Indian cities including Agra, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Coastal Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Patna, Pune and Surat.
iii. The facility will be extended to 36 cities by December, 2015.
iv. The app enables users to sightsee free of cost at their own pace and convenience, with the help of walking tours curated by travel experts.
4.    PSLV C23 launch cleared
i. A 49-hour countdown for the 30th June launch of PSLV C23 carrying French Earth Observation Satellite SPOT-7 and four co-passenger spacecraft from the spaceport of Sriharikota will begin at 8.52 AM from Saturday.
ii. The launch, originally fixed at 9.49 AM, has been rescheduled for 9.52 AM to due to the probability of space debris movement during the launch window, it said.
iii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to witness the launch of the French satellite and the co-passengers from Canada, Germany and Singapore from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, about 100 km from in Chennai.
iv. SPOT 7 is an Earth observing satellite, similar to Indian Remote Satellite System (IRSS).

v. ISRO has so far launched 35 satellites of foreign countries onboard its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). 
5.    India set to open a new window to universe in two years
i. India is set to open a new window to the universe in two years.
ii. The country has developed the world’s second largest gamma ray telescope that will help scientists gain new knowledge on the origin of the universe and origin of cosmic rays that bombard the space.
iii. State-owned Electronics Corporation of India Ltd in Hyderabad has designed the giant 45 m high and 180 tonne telescope.
iv. The Rs 45-crore mammoth structure will begin its journey on Saturday to the high altitude Hanle region in Ladakh, where it will be finally be installed to study the universe.
v. “The telescope will be operational in Ladakh by early 2016. After we reassemble the structure there, we will have to have some scientific trials and calibrations,” P Sudhakar, Chairman and Managing Director of ECIL, said.
6.    Flipkart launches 7-inch calling tablet for Rs 9,999 
i. After e-commerce, Flipkart has jumped into the fiercely competitive smart device market in India by launching its calling tablet for Rs 9,999.
ii. The seven-inch tablet branded Digiflip Pro is expected to help the domestic online marketplace increase revenue and expand its presence in the multi-billion dollar electronics business. 
iii. Bangalore-based Flipkart already sells headphones, speakers and pen drives under its DigiFlip range
iv. The Digiflip Pro XT 712 is available in black and white variants, has dual SIM, a 1.3 GHz quad core Cortex A7 processor coupled with 1 GB DDR3 RAM and 3G calling feature. 
Note: Amazon, the world's biggest online retailer, launched its Fire Phone last week, becoming the first to enter the smart device segment. 
7.    Sudarsan Pattnaik won prize at World Cup of Sand Sculpting-2014
i. Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on 27 June 2014 won the People's Choice prize at the World Cup of Sand Sculpting-2014 held in the Atlantic City of the US.  He won prize for his work Save Tree, Save the Future.  This is first sand art world cup at USA 2014.
ii. The competition was begun on 19 June 2014. Twenty internationally renowned sand artists from around the world participated in the event. Every sculptor got 30 hours to create their artwork using 10 tons of sand.
About Sudarsan Patnaik
Sudarsan was born in Puri nearly near Bhubaneswar the capital city of Odisha in India. He started sculpting images on sand since the age of seven and has designed hundreds of sand sculpture. 
8.    Saina enters Australian Open final
i. Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal stands just a win away from clinching her second title of the year after she stunned world number two and top seed Chinese Shixian Wang in a gruelling three-game semi-final contest of the $750,000 Star Australian Super Series in Sydney on Saturday.
ii. Sixth-seeded Saina prevailed 21-19 16-21 21-15 in a marathon match, which lasted an hour and 16 minutes.
iii. Saina had earlier this year won the India Open Grand Prix Gold in Delhi.


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