Daily GK update - 9th-10th November 2014

1.    Cabinet expansion: 21 new ministers join NDA govt,
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expanded his team on Sunday by appointing 21 new ministers, four of them in the Cabinet and three others as ministers of state with independent charge.
ii. Manohar Parrikar is the new Defence Minister and Suresh Prabhu will head the Railway Ministry Minister in the expansion-cum-reshuffle of the Narendra Modi ministry after 21 new Ministers were sworn-in on Sunday.
iii. Parrikar, who quit as Goa Chief Minister yesterday to join the Union Cabinet, takes over the charge from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who held the Defence portfolio as an additional charge. 

iv. Interestingly, Jaitley has been given the additional charge of Information and Broadcasting Ministry. 

New Minister –
1. Manohar Parrikar – Defence Minister
2. Suresh Prabhu - Railway Minister
3. D V Sadananda Gowda - Law and Justice Minister
4. Ravi Shankar Prasad: Communications and Information Technology
5. Jagat Prakash Nadda: Health & Family Welfare
6. Birender Singh - Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation
7. Dr. Harsh Vardhan: Science and Technology, Earth Sciences

2.    World Bank offers financial help for MSMEs in UP
i. The World Bank today said it will offer financial help to create new infrastructure for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises ( MSMEs) and improve the condition of existing ones in Uttar Pradesh.
ii. The offer was made to Sanjiv Saran, principal secretary, industries and infrastructure development, by Lead Urban Specialist of World Bank Barjor Mehta.
iii. A three-member team of World Bank, including Mehta and Senior Country Economist at World Bank .
iv. The report has been prepared by consulting agency CRISIL Limited under the aegis of World Bank for Agra-Firozabad sub-region, Kanpur-Lucknow-Unnao-Auraiya sub-region and Allahabad-Varanasi sub-region.
v. The World Bank has offered two options for funding, namely - Development Policy Loan (DPL) and Programme-for -Results instruments.

3.    India Ratings lowers growth forecast to 5.6 pc
i. Domestic ratings agency India Ratings today marginally revised down its economic growth estimate for 2014-15 fiscal to 5.6 per cent citing poor industrial performance, and warned that the government will slip on the fiscal deficit front.
ii. The agency pegged the final fiscal deficit print at 4.2 per cent, against the budget promise of 4.1 per cent, despite the 10 per cent spending cut announced last week. In the first six months of the fiscal, fiscal deficit touched 83 per cent of the tar ..

4.    Origo Commodities, NABARD tie up for warehouse receipt financing
i. Collateral management firm Origo Commodities today said it has tied up with NABARD to provide 'warehouse receipt financing' to farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
ii. Under this facility, farmers are allowed to deposit the crop at a warehouse closest to their farms and obtain pledge financing from banks to the extent of 70-75 per cent of the value of the commodity.
iii. The joint initiative will enable farmers to use the warehousing infrastructure of Primary Agriculture Co-opera ..
iv. This memorandum of understanding (MoU) is going to help farmers to a great extent by realising the right price by offering them options to sell their produce at the right time," NABARD Chief General Manager at Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Regional Office, Jiji Mammen said in a statement.

5.    Union Bank to charge own customers beyond 8 ATM transactions
i. After private banks – HDFC Bank and Axis bank – decided to charge own customers for more than five transactions at their ATMs, public sector lender Union Bank of India has also joined the bandwagon.
ii. The Mumbai-based bank will charge own customers for more than eight transactions per month at its ATMs and more than five at other banks ATMs. It will be charging Rs 15 per (excluding tax) from November 15, 2014.
iii. Many public sector banks are still in "wait and watch mode". They would like to see how pricing is firmed up by the private banks and large state-owned banks.

Note: i. HDFC Bank and Axis Bank will charge their own customers for more than five transactions at their Automated Teller Machines starting 1 December.
ii. HDFC Bank will be charging Rs 20 for financial transactions and Rs 8.5 (excluding taxes) for non-financial transactions (balance enquiry, mini statement).
iii. Axis Bank will be charging Rs 20 (excluding taxes) for financial transactions and Rs 9.5 for non-financial transactions
iv. At other bank ATMs, the customers of these banks will be charged beyond three transactions. Earlier five transactions were free at non-home bank ATMs.
v. However, Axis Bank has made ten transactions free for its Prime Plus Savings Account and Prime Salary account holders. These account holders are mandated to have a minimum opening balance of Rs 1 lakh.

6.    Govt considering to bring down its equity in Public Sector Banks to 52% percent: FM
i. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that government is planning to unfold disinvestment of its stakes in Public Sector Units, PSUs, to revive the economy.
ii. Addressing a gathering during the 25th India Global Forum in new Delhi, Mr Jaitley said, government is considering to bring down its equity in public sector banks to about 52 per cent so that almost 3 lakh crore rupees can be introduced for financial inclusion.
iii. Mr Jaitley said, the Modi led government is tax friendly and is committed to give exemption to those who are not in position to pay. He said, the goverment will follow a reasonable and rational tax policy to make India a hub of low-cost manufacturing.

7.    Nepal, India agree to form task force to install petro pipeline
i. Nepal and India have agreed to form a task force for the installation of a pipeline to transport petroleum products to Nepal from India. A meeting of officials of the two countries in Kathmandu constituted a five-member task force to initiate process for the installation of petroleum products pipeline between Nepal and India.
ii. Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies Jeebraj Koirala led the Nepali delegation in the meeting while Additional Secretary of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Rajiv Kumar led the Indian team. The pipeline will be installed on a 41 kilometer stretch from Raxual of India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal.

8.    Indo-Israel joint project LR-SAM successfully test-fired
i. Indo-Israel joint project LR-SAM has been tested successfully in Israel. Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile LR-SAM is a joint project of Israeli Aerospace Industry, Indian Navy and DRDO.

9.    Govt planning to cover entire country under IGMSY by 2016
i. Government is planning to cover the entire country under Indira Gandhi Maatritva Sahyog Yojana by 2016.
ii. The scheme envisages providing cash directly to pregnant and lactating mothers during pregnancy and lactation to improve health and nutrition.
iii. Addressing a function in New Delhi today, Women and Child Development Secretary, Vinay Sheel Oberoi said, the scheme is currently being implemented in 53 districts and will be extended to 253 districts by April next year. 
iv. Mr Oberoi said, pregnant women of 19 years of age and above for first two live births are entitled for benefits under the scheme.
v. The beneficiaries are paid six thousand rupees in two equal installments. He said, the cash incentives will not only contribute to better enabling environment but also encourage and promote health and nutrition standards.

10.  China, Russia sign energy agreements at APEC Summit
i. China and Russia have signed energy cooperation agreements on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit in Beijing.
ii. The deals, which include a second major supply route, were signed yesterday by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
iii. The route will supply Russian natural gas to China along a western route. In May, the two sides signed a 400 billion dollars deal for an eastern supply route.

11.  Virat Kohli quickest to reach 6,000 runs in ODIs
i. Star batsman Virat Kohli on Sunday became the quickest cricketer to reach 6,000 runs in ODIs, bettering legendary West Indian Vivian Richards’ record during his 53-run knock in India’s third ODI against Sri Lanka.
ii. Playing in his 144th match and 136th innings, Kohli reached the milestone with a single off left-arm spinner Chaturanga de Silva in the 39th over at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Vivian Richards took 156 matches and 141 innings to reach the milestone in 1989.
iii. Kohli registered his ninth fifty (53 off 61 balls) vs. Sri Lanka - his 32nd in ODIs. The 26-year-old is the top run-scorer in ODIs in 2014 - his tally being 849 runs at an average of 49.94 in 19 matches.
iv. He also became the eighth Indian batsman to complete 6,000 runs or more in ODIs - his aggregate being 6003 (average 51.30) in 144 matches.

12.  India beat Australia, win test series by 3-1
i. Akashdeep Singh scored twice as Indian men’s hockey team stunned world champions Australia 3-1 in the fourth and final Test to register a historic 3-1 series win over the mighty Kookaburras in their home soil in Perth on Sunday. This is the first time that India have beaten Australia in a bilateral series.
ii. Prior to this series, the two countries have played five Test series in the past, with Australia winning thrice and one ending in a draw.
iii. India had beaten Australia 1-0 on Saturday to go 2-1 up in the series and Akashdeep pumped in two field goals in the 13th and 43rd minutes for the visitors, while S K Uthappa (53rd) scored once as the visitors completed a hat-trick of wins. Australia’s lone goal was scored by Tom Craig (36th).

13.  Nuclear-capable Agni-II missile test fired
i. India on Sunday successfully test-fired its medium-range nuclear-capable Agni-II missile with a strike range of more than 2000 km from the Wheeler Island off Odisha coast as part of a user trial by the Army. 
ii. The 20-metre long Agni-II missile is a two-stage, solid-propelled ballistic missile.
iii. It has a launch weight of 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of 1000 kg over a distance of more than 2,000 km. The Agni-II missile was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) and integrated by the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad.
Agni-II is part of the Agni series of missiles developed by DRDO which includes Agni-I with 700 km range, Agni-III with 3,000 km range, Agni-IV with 4000 km range and Agni-V more than 5,000 km range, they said. 

14.  Nico Rosberg wins Brazilian Grand Prix
i. The 29 year old German driver Nico Rosberg took full advantage of one mistake by Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton to win yesterday's Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo, Brazil and keep alive his hopes of winning this year's world championship. 
ii. Rosberg's triumph ended Hamilton's run of five straight wins and reduced his lead in the championship from 24 points to 17 with one race remaining, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 23rd where double points will be awarded.

15.  Hockey India announces annual awards
i. In a first for Indian hockey, the national federation on Monday decided to have the ‘Hockey India Annual Awards’ wherein the top players in the men’s and women’s categories will walk away with a prize money of Rs. 25 lakh each.
ii. Each award will consist of a trophy, certificate and cash award. The decision to announce the awards was taken in the 26th Meeting of the Hockey India Executive Board here.
iii. The 26th Meeting of the Hockey India Executive Board was Chaired by Hockey India Senior Vice President, Ms Mariamma Koshy and attended by Executive Board Members including Md.

List of Awards
Dhruv Batra Player of the Year (Men) — Rs 25,00,000
Dhruv Batra Player of the Year (Women) — Rs 25,00,000
Upcoming Player of the Year (Men U—21) — Rs 10,00,000
Upcoming Player of the Year (Women U—21) — Rs.10,00,000
Goalkeeper of the Year — Rs.5,00,000
Defender of the Year — Rs.5,00,000
Midfielder of the Year — Rs.5,00,000
Forward of the Year — Rs.5,00,000
Award for Invaluable Contribution (For coaches and support staff) — Rs.5,00,000
President Award for Outstanding Achievement — Rs.5,00,000.

16.  India clinch series by defeating Sri Lanka in 3rd ODI
i. India registered a comfortable six-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the third One-Day International, ODI to clinch the five-match series 3-0 last evening.
ii. Set a target of 243 runs, India coasted to the win in 44.1 overs, winning with 35 balls to spare.
iii. Opener Shikhar Dhawan played an impressive knock (91) and made useful partnerships with Ajinkya Rahane (31) and Ambati Rayadu (35) to lead India to victory. Skipper Virat Kohli also contributed with a solid 53.


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