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Daily GK Update 10 December 2014 - Current Affairs

1.    Richard Rahul Verma confirmed as US Ambassador to India 
i. Richard Rahul Verma was on Wednesday unanimously confirmed as the next US Ambassador to India by the Senate, making him the first-ever Indian-American to hold the post.
ii. 46-year-old Verma's nomination was approved by the Senate by a voice vote, reflecting a sense of bi-partisan support to the Indo-US ties and showing his popularity among Senators across the aisle. 
iii. The Senate raced through his nomination process ahead of more than 50 ambassadorial nominations to make sure that he is in New Delhi when US President Barack Obama travels to India to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade on January 26.

iv. Verma, who quietly played an important role in the Congressional passage of civil nuclear deal with India, had advocated for strong Indo-US ties when in the administration and recently started "India 2020" project at Centre for American Progress a top American-think tank.
v. He will replace Nancy Powell, who resigned in March after a damaging row over the treatment of diplomat Devyani Khobragade over visa fraud charges.
vi. The US Embassy in New Delhi is currently headed by charge d'affaires Kathleen Stephens.
2.    Human Rights Day observed globally on 10 December
i. Human Rights Day was observed globally on 10 December 2014.  The theme for the 2014 Human Rights Day is Human Rights 365. Ii. The theme was based on the idea that every day is Human Rights Day and everyone is entitled to basic human rights day.
iii. The day celebrates the fundamental proposition in the Universal Declaration that each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights, that human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values.
iv. The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948.
v. First Human Rights Day was celebrated in 1950.
3.    SBI launches first homegrown economic indicator
i. The State Bank of India has launched two indices namely the SBI Monthly Composite Index and the SBI Yearly Composite Index that will primarily track manufacturing activity and offer a forward-looking economic trends.
ii. SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya told reporters in Mumbai that the Index will analyse data from both manufacturing and services industries to determine expansion or contraction in the economy.
iii. Both these indices will fulfill complementary purposes such as month-on-month sentiment movement and year-on-year growth forecast, respectively.
iv. Currently, Markers at present depend on HSBC India Purchasing Managers' Index(PMI) and HSBC India Services Business Activity Index to get clues about economic trends. 
4.    India’s second most “up and coming” destination for expats: HSBC
i.  India has been ranked as the second most ‘up and coming’ destination – the countries that are getting better as a place to live and work in – for expats after China, says an HSBC survey.
ii. According to the Expat Explorer survey commissioned by HSBC Expat, emerging Asian economies are an attractive destination for challenge-seeking and adventurous expats, with 44 per cent of them saying they made the move for a new challenge.
iii. “India is likely to develop its industrial sector to catch up on infrastructure development, which will happen with the help of overseas funding. It’s natural to assume that the foreign funding will bring along foreign human expertise,” HSBC India Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management Sanjiv Sud said.
iv. Indian economy is consistently growing above 5 per cent every year, and is expected to post a 7.3 per cent growth in 2016, according to HSBC.
v. Expats in China and in India are also the most confident and have a positive outlook on the local economy with 60 per cent of them sharing the feeling that their host country is getting better as a place to live and work, compared to the 32 per cent global average.
5.    India’s GDP may grow 5-6% in 2015: Moody’s
i. Indian economy is expected to pick up pace in 2015 and grow in the range of 5 to 6 per cent, helped by strong domestic demand, rating agency Moody’s today said.
ii. “India will have stronger GDP growth in 2015, which we forecast at 5-6 per cent, up from around 5 per cent in 2014,” Moody’s said in a report titled — 2015 Outlook-Global Credit Conditions.
iii. The country, it said, has benefited from a strong domestic demand base and diversified export market that give protection from the effects of a slowing Chinese economy and muted growth in the euro zone and Japan.
6.    BHEL commissioned Nyaborongo Hydro Power Plant in Rwanda
i. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) successfully commissioned a 28 MW Nyaborongo Hydro Electric Project in Rwanda on turnkey basis.
ii. With the commissioning of this project, the installed generating capacity of Republic of Rwanda has gone up by 24 percent from 119 MW to 147 MW
iii. BHEL's scope of work in the contract included turnkey execution for the Nyaborongo hydro power project comprising two hydro generating units of 14 MW each.
7.    Ministry of Railways inaugurated Wi-Fi broadband services at New Delhi railway station
i. Ministry of Railways inaugurated Wi-Fi broadband services at the New Delhi railway station on 8 December 2014.
ii. The Wi-Fi facility is being executed by RailTel, a Public Sector Undertaking of the Ministry of Railways.
iii. The RailWire powered Wi-Fi will give maximum speed of 1 mbps and the facility is free for first 30 minutes by registering on the Wi-Fi network through mobile.
iv. If user wants to use beyond 30 minutes then the user may purchase scratch cards priced at 25 rupees for 30 minutes and 35 rupees for 1 Hour and are valid for 24 hours.
8.    Azim Premji awarded Swiss Ambassador's Award
i. Chairman of Wipro Azim Premji was awarded Swiss Ambassador's Award in Mumbai. He was awarded for inspirational and socially responsible leadership.
ii. Switzerland ambassador Linus von Castelmur praised Azim Premji as a beacon of the corporate world who has maintained values such as tolerance, honesty and modesty.
iii. Swiss Ambassador's Award was constituted in 2010. The award recognises individuals who have contributed to the promotion of Indo-Swiss relations or have stood out for their exceptional role in society and industry.
9.    Veteran Journalist Piratla Venkateswarlu passed away
i.Veteran journalist Piratla Venkateswarlu passed away on 8 December 2014 in Narayanaguda following a brief illness. He was 74.
ii. Piratla began his career as a full-time Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker.
iii. He was the National Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of Bharatiya Janata Party.
10.  Pakistan 8th most dangerous country in the world: Report
i. A US-based intelligence think tank has placed Pakistan eighth in the list of the most dangerous countries in the world which is led by Iraq.
ii. Afghanistan, the only other South Asian country in the list, is placed fourth in the Country Threat Index, CTI compiled yesterday by Intel Center, a Washington-based company working for intelligence agencies.
iii. The rankings were prepared after examining the volume of terrorist and rebel alerts, messaging traffic, videos, photos, incidents and the number of killed and injured in a country over the past 30 days.
iv. The other countries in the top 10 are Nigeria (second), Somalia (third) followed by Yemen (fifth), Syria (sixth), Libya(seventh), Egypt (ninth) and Kenya (10th).

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