Daily GK Update - 31st January 2015
1. Agni 5, successfully test-fired
i. India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed, intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-5, which has a strike range of over 5000 kms and can carry a nuclear warhead of over one tonne, from Wheeler’s Island off Odisha
ii. The three stage, solid propellant “missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 8.06 hours.
iii. M V K Prasad is the director of the project.
iv. About AGNI Series -
India has at present in its armoury of Agni series, Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2500 km to more than 3500 range. After a few more trials, Agni-5 will be inducted into the services.
2. Coal India stake sale fetches Rs. 22,600 crore
i. The Centre raised Rs 22,557.63 crore from the sale of its 10 per cent shareholding in Coal India (CIL).
ii. Of the total proceeds raised, Rs 11,360.11 crore came from insurance companies — both private sector and public sector including the Government-owned Life Insurance Corporation.
iii. With divestment drive, the Centre’s shareholding in CIL stands at 79.65 per cent.
3. Base year change pushes 2013-14 GDP growth to 6.9%
i. The Government, sharply revised India’s 2013-14 GDP growth estimate to 6.9 per cent from 4.7 per cent.
ii. The 2012-13 growth estimate was revised to 5.1 per cent from 4.5 per cent.
iii. The estimates released also follow a change in the base year for calculating national accounts to 2011-12 from 2004-05 in addition to the routine annual revision.
iv. The changes have reduced the gap between the way India calculates GDP and the methodology used by the International Monetary Fund.
4. India tops Credit Suisse Emerging Consumer Scorecard 2015
i. The formation of a strong government at the centre which triggered a major revival in consumer sentiment in 2014 saw India rank first in the Credit Suisse Emerging Consumer Scorecard 2015.
ii. The fifth annual Emerging Consumer Survey by the Credit Suisse Research Institute profiles consumer sentiment and its drivers across the emerging world providing insights regarding consumer sentiment and future consumption patterns.
iii. The survey showed India as having the lowest consumption of beer, meat and cigarettes, the lowest ownership of cars and lowest access to the internet.
5. Uniformity, innovation coming to credit data
i. In its bid to better the credit information landscape, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed all credit institutions to become members of credit information companies (CICs).
ii. Currently, there are four such companies in India—Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (Cibil), Equifax Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd, Experian Credit Information Co. of India Pvt. Ltd and CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd.
iii. According to the RBI’s report on furnishing credit information, India is ranked 28 in “getting credit” and the coverage of CICs accounts for only 19.8% of adult population, as against 100% in several countries.
6. Krishna Chaudhary appointed as the Director General of ITBP
i. Krishna Chaudhary is appointed as the Director General (DG) of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). He is an IPS officer of 1979-batch Bihar cadre and will be in office till June 2017.
ii. At the time of appointment, he was working as the Director General of the Railway Protection Force.
iii. Chaudhary succeeded Subhas Goswami who retired on 31 December 2014. CRPF DG Prakash Mishra was holding the additional charge of the ITBP since the retirement of Subhas Goswami.
7. Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova to win Australian Open
i. Serena Williams won her 19th Grand Slam title, continued her unbeaten run in six Australian Open finals and extended her decade-long domination of Maria Sharapova with a commanding 6-3, 7-6 (5) win.
ii. She is now second only to Steffi Graf (22) on the list of major winners in the Open era.
iii. The 33-year-old Williams, the oldest winner of the Australian women’s title in the Open era, won the first six points of the second set and seemed on course for another lopsided victory before Sharapova hit back in a gripping second set.
8. Bravo quits Tests
ii. The 31-year-old has played 40 Tests but had not suited up for the West Indies since December 2010.
iii. Bravo said he had already informed the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) of his decision to retire from Tests but said he had made clear his desire to continue playing ODIs and Twenty20s.
iv. He bagged 86 wickets at an average of nearly 40.
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