Daily GK Update - 31st May-1st June 2015
1. President's visit to Sweden
i. President Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Sweden on the first leg of his five-day state visit to Sweden and Belarus, the first ever by any Indian head of State, during which a number of key agreements on sustainable development, scientific research are likely to be signed.
ii. During his three-day State visit in Sweden, the President will meet Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, and the Leader of Opposition, Anna Kinberg Batra besides number of meetings with the King and the Queen.
iii. The visit will focus on innovation, sustainable development, urban development and scientific research with both countries exploring ways to enhance mutual exchange in the areas of trade and science.
2. Service tax increased to 14%
i. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget had proposed to raise service tax from 12.36 percent (including education cess) to 14 percent.
ii. Some of the key services that will attract higher tax and hence become costlier are: railways, airlines, banking, insurance, advertising, architecture, construction, credit cards, event management and tour operators.
iii. Jaitley had proposed to raise the service tax rate to 14 percent to facilitate a smooth transition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, which the government wants to roll out from April 2016.
3. New chairman of Engineers India Ltd
i. Sanjay Gupta today took over as chairman and managing director of Engineers India Ltd, the state-owned engineering and consultancy, procurement and construction ( EPC) company in hydrocarbons and petrochemicals.
ii. Gupta replaced A K Purwaha who superannuated yesterday.
iii. Gupta has about 34 years of experience in the company ranging from planning to implementation of mega grassroot projects in the refineries and petrochemical sector.
4. K.Sivan-new VSSC chief
i. K. Sivan, Distinguished Scientist, ISRO, assumed office as the 12th Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
iii. Dr. Sivan joined ISRO in 1982 in the PSLV project and has contributed towards mission planning, design, integration, and analysis.
iv. He also spearheaded the Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) project. In April 2011, Dr. Sivan joined the GSLV project as director.
v. His leadership led to the successful flight of GSLV with an indigenous cryogenic stage.
5. Shooter Gurpreet Singh qualifies for Rio 2016
i. Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Gurpreet Singh became India's fifth shooter to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games finishing fourth in the 10m Air Pistol category at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol event being held in Munich.
ii. The 28-year-old shot a total of 154.8 points to finish fourth in the Final.
iii. Joao Costa of Portugal who shot a total of 201.4 in the event won the gold medal.
iv. The other Indians to have earned India the earlier four quota places are Jitu Rai, Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang, Apurvi Chandela and India's only individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra.
6. Bhanot elected Asian Athletics Association vice-President
i. Scam-tainted former IOA Secretary General Lalit Bhanot was elected vice-President of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) in polls held in Wuhan, China.
ii. Recommended by the Athletics Federation of India, Mr. Bhanot fought through a 14-strong challenge in the elections to be picked as one of the five vice-Presidents during the AAA council on the eve of the Asian Championships in Wuhan.
iii. Tainted in the corruption scandal that engulfed the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Mr. Bhanot served as secretary of AFI for more than a decade and was the Secretary General of the IOA when it served a 14-month suspension by the IOC.
7. Cricket greats Sachin, Ganguly, Laxman inducted into BCCI's high-powered advisory panel
i. Former greats Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and VVS Laxman on Monday joined the BCCI in a newly-constituted advisory panel to guide the board in all matters related to the game.
ii. It has been learnt that Thakur and president Jagmohan Dalmiya will consult with the panel on all major cricketing decisions.
iii. Board wants batsmen to specifically speak to Tendulkar before any tough international assignment.
iv. Ganguly might well be consulted for preparing a blueprint for success of the team overseas with Laxman working on the bench-strength and the new talent coming in through the system.
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