Daily GK Updates - 23rd May 2015 Current Affairs

1.  Parvinder Singh Batth, becomes first Sikh mayor in United Kingdom’s Wokingham Borough Council
i. Parvinder Singh Batth, an Indian-origin Conservative party councillor was chosen as the mayor of United Kingdom’s Wokingham Borough Council.
ii. With this, he became the first Sikh to hold the Mayor’s position in UK. He succeeds Councillor UllaKarin Clark for this post and will serve till 2016.
iii. Parvinder Singh Batth previously had served as Deputy Mayor of borough of Wokingham in Berkshire in south east England.
iv. He was born in Indian state of Punjab in the farmer’s family. Later he had migrated to United Kingdom.

2. SAIL, ArcelorMittal ink MoU to set up steel plant in India
i. Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal signed a MoU to set up an automotive steel manufacturing facility in India.
ii. The MoU was signed by ArcelorMittal Chairman & Chief Executive Lakshmi Niwas Mittal and SAIL Chairman CS Verma in London.
iii. Under the MoU, the project will be set up through a joint venture involving both parties. Under this project a state-of-the-art cold rolling mill and other downstream finishing facilities will be constructed in India.
iv. These facilities will offer technologically advanced steel products to India’s rapidly growing automotive sector. However in the MoU the location and size of the plant is not decided.
v. By tying up with ArcelorMittal, SAIL will get an advantage in the indigenous production of high-quality automotive steel. It will also broader SAIL’s effort in order to fulfill the high-quality steel requirements of the rapidly growing infrastructure and manufacturing sectors in India.
vi. It should be noted that NRI billionaire Laxmi N Mittal-led ArcelorMittal, is world’s leading steel supplier company to the global automotive sector.
vii.  It has global market share of approximately 17%. In 2014, the company had shipped over 13 mt steel to automotive customers globally in 2014 with in revenues in excess of US 12 billion dollars.

3. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) appointed G Mohan Kumar as Defence Secretary
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on 22 May 2015 gave its nod for appointing G Mohan Kumar as the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
ii. The decision was taken by the committee in a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
iii. Mohan Kumar will be in the office for a period of two years and succeeds Radha Krishna Mathur who completes his tenure on 28 May 2015.
iv. Kumar, a 1979 batch IAS officer of Odisha cadre, is presently Secretary of the Department of Defence Production in the MoD.

4. J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for fifth time
i. AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa on Saturday sworn in for the fifth time as Tamil Nadu chief minister, nearly eight months after she was forced to quit over corruption charges.
ii. Governor K Rosaiah gave oath to Jayalalitha at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium. Actor Rajinikanth, ICC Chairman N. Srinivasan and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan attended the ceremony.
iii. Along with Jaya, 28 others were sworn in as Ministers. Jayalalithaa will hold the portfolios of home, police, public, all India services, general administration and district revenue officers​.
iv. A day ago, 67-year-old Jayalalithaa was re-elected as legislature party leader at a meeting of party MLAs at its headquarter, 11 days after she was acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in a disproportionate assets case.

5. Vellayan resigns as Murugappa Chairman

i. A Vellayan has ‘stepped aside’ from the chairmanship of the Murugappa Group Corporate Board till a SEBI order linking him to insider trading is resolved.
ii. A note from his office said the SEBI order linking him to two individuals who had traded in the stocks of Sabero Organics Gujarat Ltd, which was acquired by Coromandel International in May 2011, was “based merely on suspicion and is a far fetched tenuous conjecture.”
iii. However, the note said that “in keeping with family values and tradition”, he has stepped aside from the chairmanship of the Murugappa Group Corporate Board, and of Coromandel International and EID Parry. It added that SEBI has tried to use an unconnected property deal with AR Murugappan, son of a grand aunt, to link Vellayan with the share deal. SEBI has “jumped to the conclusion” that the Sabero share trades could be attributed to “suspected communication” of unpublished price sensitive information by Vellayan to Murugappan.

6. Nepal earthquake death toll reaches 8,635

i. The death toll following the two devastating earthquakes that have struck Nepal has reached 8,635 with over 300 people, including 89 foreigners, still missing.
ii. About 240 Nepalese nationals and 89 foreigners have still been missing since the April 25 earthquake, police said.
iii. Of the total number of foreign military personnel deployed from 18 countries for rescue and search operations, 2,509 people, including 851 Indians, have already left the country after completing their assignments.
iv. However, 1,807 foreign military personnel, including 564 Indians, are in the process of returning to their home countries, according to a statement by the Nepal Army.


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