Daily GK Update - 14th June 2015 Important Current Affairs

1. RBI issued final guidelines for 6-year and 13-year Interest Rate Futures
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the final guidelines for the 6-year and 13-year cash settled Interest Rate Futures (IRF) on government securities with residual maturity of 4-8 years and 11-15 years respectively under the Interest Rate Futures (Reserve Bank) (Amendment) Directions, 2015. For this purpose, RBI amended the Interest Rate Futures (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2013 dated 5 December 2013.
ii. For the 6-year cash settled IRF contracts, the underlying shall be a coupon bearing government security of face value of 100 rupees and the residual maturity of 6-year IRF is between 4 and 8 years on the expiry of futures contract.

iii. For the 13-year cash settled IRF contracts, the underlying can be a coupon bearing government security of face value of 100 rupees and residual maturity will be between 11 and 15 years on the expiry of futures contract.
iv. Moreover, the RBI  also expanded the residual maturity for the existing 10-year cash settled IRF from 9-11 years to 8-11 years to provide market participants a greater choice and flexibility to hedge their interest rate risk across different tenors.

2. US becomes world's largest oil producer, says BP Report
i. As per recently released report by British Petroleum (BP) Energy Company, United States (US) became the world’s largest oil producer in 2014 surpassing Saudi Arabia. 
ii. Production: US had produced 11.6 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) i.e. 15.9% more oil in 2014. While, Saudi Arabia was placed second position as it had produced 11.5 million bpd in 2014.  Russia was placed at third position with 10.8 million bpd oil production. 
iii. Natural Gas Production: US also has surpassed Russia as the world’s largest producer of natural gas. 
iv. Consumption: China had remained the world’s largest growth market for energy in 2014 
v. Facts related to India: India’s oil production gad declined by 1.3% at 895,000 bpd, while the consumption had increased by 3% to 3.8 million bpd. India has shown 7.1% rise in energy consumption.

3. Government sacks Dr. Bimal Roy, Director of Indian Statistical Institute
i. Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) has sacked Dr Bimal K Roy as the Director of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI). He was removed from the office on charges of indiscipline one-and-a-half months before the end of his term.
ii. Professor Sanghmitra Bandyopadhayay now will replace Dr Bimal K Roy as the Director of ISI. With this appointment she has become the first woman to lead the institute.
iii. Roy who is a renowned cryptologist was appointed Director of ISI in August 2010. In April 2015, he was conferred with India’s fourth highest civilian honour Padma Shri for his contribution in the discipline of literature and education. 

4. VK Singh inaugurates first India-China Yoga College at Yunnan Minzu University, China
i. Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V K Singh inaugurated first India-China Yoga College at Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming, China.
ii. This is first Indian government institution related Indian spiritual art form i.e. Yoga in China inaugurated ahead of the first UN Yoga Day to be observed on June 21.
iii. The Yoga College was established in lines with the MoU for establishing the Yoga College signed during the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China in May 2015.
iv. This college seeks to provide certification courses in the Indian spiritual art with them Indian teachers who are going to help in curriculum development and training.

5. Government launches Migrant Resource Centre in Chennai
i. Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) was set up in Chennai by the Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and Tamil Nadu state government.
ii. The MRC will provide migrants and overseas Indian workers with information, advice, counseling and guidance on all aspects of overseas employment.
iii. Following are support functions of MRCs

  • Dissemination of information on safe and legal migration. 
  • Dissemination of information regarding status of recruiting agents along with other service providers. 
  • Registration and response to complaints and grievances within the redressal forum of MOIA. 
  • To offer counseling support in form of walk in or telephone and email support. 

iv. Note: It is the fourth such MRC in India set up by MOIA. The first MRC was established in 2008 in Kochi, Kerala by MOIA. Later, fully functional MRCs in Hyderabad (Telengana & Andhra Pradesh), Gurgaon (Haryana) were established.

6. 14th June: World Blood Donor Day
i. World Blood Donor Day is being observed across the world on 14 June to raise the public awareness about the need for safe blood donation. 
ii. The theme of this year’s campaign is Thank you for saving my life. This year’s campaign encourages donors all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly with the slogan Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters. 
iii. Objective 
To spread awareness about the need for safe and secure blood supplies. 
Provide an opportunity to draw public attention to the importance of blood donation for saving lives.

7. Recommendations of Bibek Debroy Committee on restructuring of Indian Railways
i. The committee has suggested measures for restructuring the Railway Board and its departments so that policy making is separated from day-to-day operations. 
ii. Recommendations of Bibek Debroy committee 
  • Establishment of an independent regulator Railway Regulatory Authority of India (RRAI) with a separate budget and to be independent of the Ministry. 
  • RRAI will decide on tariffs to revamp the cash-strapped railways. 
  • Railway Budget should be phased out with gross budgetary support to Indian Railways. 
  • No privatisation of Indian Railway but allowed participation of private sector in the railway projects.
  • State governments should be asked to entirely fund the Government Railway Police (GRP). 
  • The recommended changes should be implemented only by Union Railways ministry in the first five years including the resolution of the social cost issue. 
iii. Background: Union government had constituted the high-level committee in September 2014 to restructure the Railways and suggest ways for resource mobilisation. It was seven-member panel headed by eminent economist and NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy. The other 6 members are former cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar, Gusharan Das, Ravi Narain, Partha Mukhopadhyay, Rajendra Kashyap, Ajay Tyagi and Ajay Narayan Jha.

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