Daily GK Updates - 12th June 2015 Important Current Affairs

1. China conducts fourth test of Wu-14 nuclear delivery hypersonic vehicle
i. China has conducted the fourth successful test of a new Wu-14 hypersonic strike vehicle which is capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
ii. The test was conducted on 7 June 2015 and the vehicle launched atop a ballistic missile fired from a test facility in western China. The vehicle has ability to executed extreme maneuvers that may be able to render US anti-missile defense systems obsolete. This test was the fourth test in past 18 months.
iii. Previous tests were conducted in year 2014 in the months of January, August and December. The Wu-14 is capable to travel in high altitude in the atmosphere on the edge of space. It can carry nuclear or conventional warheads. The high-tech vehicle can travel at speeds of up to 10 times the speed of sound i.e. around 7,680 miles per hour.

2. Google Launches Special Search Mode for Slower 2G Phone Network for India, Brazil

i. Google has launched a new lite mode of Google search engine for India and Brazil. The feature will be rolled out in India in two weeks and expected to open pages much faster, yet consume 80% less data than the traditional search engine.
ii. The new lite mode has been developed by keeping the 2G network speed in mind.
iii. Before launching, Google tested the feature in Indonesia, where the network speed is similar to India.
iv. Google explained the new light pages load four times faster than the traditional webpages and hence consume 80% less data, and penetrate 50% faster connection than before.
v. In India, around 200 million people access Internet through smartphones and a majority of them still prefer 2G network due to affordable tariffs. In 2G network, a consumer usually gets 10KB/s speed in good network conditions, while in poor network coverage, it goes down to 2-3KB/s.
vi. The feature is currently limited to Android smartphones. Google has not said anything about the availability of the feature on smartphones running on other platforms.

3. Union Government scraps import duties on AIDS drugs and test kits

i. Union Government has scrapped customs import duties for drugs and test kits used to treat Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).
ii. In this regard Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has issued a notice that will remain in effect till March 2016.
iii. This decision will help to cut prices of AIDS drugs across the country and thus help directly in Government’s national program to fight the disease.
iv. It will also make import raw materials that are used to make antiretrovirals under the national program cheaper.
v. This tax exemption will be applicable to certain first-line and second-line antiretroviral drugs which are used to treat adults and children.
vi. Apart from drugs certain diagnostic kits and equipment are also exempted from tax.
vii.In India more than 2.1 million HIV/AIDS patients are provided with daily antiretrovirals for free from state-run distribution centres which are operated by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).

4. Legendary actor Sir Christopher Lee passes away
i. Legendary English actor, singer and writer Sir Christopher Lee passed away in London, United Kingdom. He was 93.
ii. The veteran actor was famously known as the master of horror for his famous villainy acting roles in numerous movies such as Dracula, The Wicker Man, James Bond, Lord of the Rings trilogy etc.
iii. His on screen acting career began in 1947 after he had the Rank Organisation where he was trained as an actor. His career spanned more than 7 decades.
iv. His famous acting roles include Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Saruman in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003), The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014), Count Dooku Star Wars trilogy (2002 and 2005) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008).

5. Nek Chand Saini, creator of Chandigarh’s Rock Garden passes away
i. Nek Chand Saini, creator of Chandigarh’s iconic Rock Garden passed away on 11 June 2015 in Chandigarh. He was 90.
ii. He was born in Berian Kalan village in Shakargarh region (now in Pakistan). He was as a self-taught Indian artist. He had emigrated to India with his family during the partition in 1947 and had settled in Chandigarh in 1950.
iii. In 1951, Nek Chand had started working as a road inspector of the Chandigarh’s Public Works Department (PWD). During this time Chandigarh was redesigned as a modern utopia by the Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier and became first planned city in India. Awards: Nek Chand was awarded the Padma Shri in 1984.

6. Ravi Garikipati appointed as Entrepreneur in Residence of Flipkart
Ravi Garikipati was appointed as Entrepreneur in Residence of online portal Flipkart.com.
ii. He will work closely with Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal and head of Flipkart’s e-commerce platform Mukesh Bansal on new business projects.
iii. His first assignment will be to grow the online advertising division.
iv. This is the first time such a role is being created in the organisation. Usually, position of Entrepreneur in Residence is created when an organisation brings an accomplished executive to work on a new project or start a new firm and is willing to back him financially.
v. He worked also as the Senior Vice President at Vendio, a large third party e-commerce service provider which was later acquired by Alibaba Group Holding Limited.

7. Dr Bimal K Roy removed as Director of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI)

i. Dr Bimal K Roy was on 10 June 2015 removed as the Director of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).
ii. He was removed from the position one-and-a-half months before the end of his term.
iii. He was replaced by director-designate Prof S Bandyopadhayay who was set to assume the office on 1 August 2015 on Roy’s superannuation.
iv. The ministry accused him of indiscipline and removed him on a reasonable apprehension that he may indulge in propagation of indiscipline and mischief, including acts of administrative and financial impropriety in the interregnum up to 31 July 2015 when he is set to demit the office.
v. Roy was appointed to the position in August 2010.

8. World Bank: Indian economy to grow fastest, outpace China too
i. With an expected growth rate of 7.5 per cent this fiscal, India has for the first time topped the World Bank’s growth chart for major economies.
ii. The World Bank’s 2015 Global Economic Prospects report says that India will this year race ahead of China, where growth is likely to moderate to a still robust level of 7.1 per cent. It says that 2015 will most likely be the first full calendar year when India outpaces China in decades.
iii. India’s GDP expansion is expected to accelerate to 7.5 per cent in calendar 2015, 7.9 per cent in 2016 and 8 per cent in 2017, says the report. At the same time, over the next three years, China’s economy is projected to slow from 7.1 per cent this year to 7 per cent in 2016 and 6.9 per cent in 2017. But the expected lift off in US interest rates could lead to a reduction in capital flows to emerging countries by up to 1.8 percentage points of GDP, it says.

9. England’s cricketer Matt Prior retired from all forms of cricket
i. Matt Prior, the English cricketer, retired from all forms of cricket. The 33-year-old, wicketkeeper-batsman helped England to win three Ashes series between 2009 and 2013.
ii. He was the first English wicketkeeper to score a century on debut match against West Indies in 2007. He scored an unbeaten 126 at Lord’s. He played his One Day International (ODI) debut match against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo on 5 December 2004.
iii. Matt Prior played his last test match against India at Lord's from 17 to 21 July 2014 and his last ODI match was against Sri Lanka at Colombo (RPS), on 26 March 2011.

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