Daily GK Update: 3rd November, 2015 Important Current Affairs

1. ‘Project Loon’ in India: Google, govt working on balloon Internet project
i. Internet giant Google is working with the government on a pilot project for providing Internet connectivity by using large balloons.
ii. Google, under its ‘Project Loon’, is using big balloons floating at a height of 20 kilometers above earth surface for transmission of Internet services. It has already tested this technology in New Zealand, California (the US) and Brazil.
iii. Google may initially partner with BSNL for testing this technology by using broadband spectrum in 2.6 Ghz band. The technology, used for 4G services, has potential to replace mobile towers as it can directly transmit signals on 4G mobile phones.
iv. To use LTE, Project Loon partners with telecommunications companies to share cellular spectrum so that people will be able to access the Internet everywhere directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices.
v. Google uses solar panel and wind to power electronic equipment in the balloon throughout the day. The source said that Google may operate as technology service provider and not as internet service provider.
2. Facebook and BSNL partnered to set up 100 WiFi hotspots in rural India
i. US-based social networking giant Facebook on 31 October 2015 partnered with state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) to create 100 WiFi hotspots in rural areas of western and southern India.
ii. During the partnership, Facebook will invest 5 crore rupees per annum for buying bandwidth from BSNL. The hotspots will be set up by BSNL selected vendor Quad Zen and Trimax.
iii. Under the joint initiative, Facebook has chosen 100 villages to provide Wi-Fi hotspots on a revenue-sharing model. The social media major will spend 5 lakh per site a year for buying bandwidth from BSNL for a period of three years.
iv. As per the project, the first half an hour will be free for the consumers. In addition, the WiFi network will have a capacity to allow an average of 2000 individuals to latch on at the same time.
v. Qaud Zen will be responsible for equipment sourcing and sales and marketing initiatives for the south-west region while Trimax will work out for the northern region in an open process.
BSNL expects to complete the WiFi rollout by 31 December 2015.
3. First International Film Festival for the persons with disabilities to be held in Delhi
i. To recognise the spirit of the persons with disabilities, first international film festival for the persons with disabilities (IFFPD) will be held in Delhi from 1 December to 3 December 2015.
ii. The announcement with regard to the three-day event was made by Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Lov Verma on 2 November 2015.
iii. The three-day-long event will see the screening of 40 films comprising of 10 feature films, 16 short films and 14 documentaries. All these films have been selected from 541 entries from India and abroad. The film festival will conclude on 3 December, which is observed as International day of Persons with Disabilities.
iv. IFFPD 2015 will felicitate the Best Director and Best Film in each of the 3 categories of Films with cash awards with the First and Second Runner Up receiving trophies and citations from the Department.
4. Mana Patel, Virdhawal won best swimmers' award in 69th senior National Aquatic Championships
i. Mana Patel and Virdhawal Khade emerged as the best swimmers of the 69th senior National Aquatic Championships 2015 that concluded in Rajkot on 2 November 2015.
ii. Mana from Gujarat was adjudged the best swimmer in the women's category of the competition. She broke her national record by 13 micro second in women’s 50m backstroke race.
iii. She completed the 50m backstroke event in 30.25 second. Earlier in 2014, she had set a record in the 50m backstroke event taking time of 30:38 seconds.
iv. On the other hand, Khade from Maharashtra was declared best swimmer in men's category. He bagged three gold medals in the events 50m freestyle, 50m and 100m butterfly, with a national record in the 100m butterfly.
v. Swimmer from Tamil Nadu, AV Jayaveena set a national record in 100m breaststroke event, beating the previous record of 1:16.76 with a record time of 1:16.25.
5. Punjabi became third most common language in Parliament of Canada
i. Punjabi in the first week of November 2015 became the third most common language, after English and French, in the House of Commons of Canada after 20 Punjabi-speaking candidates were elected to the parliament in October 2015.
ii. On 19 October 2015, 23 Members of Parliament of South Asian origin were elected to the House of Commons, Parliament of Canada during parliamentary elections, out of which 20 speak Punjabi.
iii. Out of the 20 candidates, 8 are Liberals and two are Conservatives. Among the newly-elected Punjabi-speaking MPs, 14 are men and 6 are women. Twelve candidates were elected from Ontario, 4 from British Columbia, 3 from Alberta three and one belongs to Quebec.
iv. As per the Statistics Canada's 2011 National Household Survey, 430705 Canadians identified Punjabi as their mother tongue, making it the third most common language after English and French.
v. In addition, 430705 native Punjabi speakers make up about 1.3 percent of Canada's population and the 20 Punjabi-speaking MPs represent almost 6 percent of the House of Commons.
6. ICGS Arinjay commissioned in Kochi
i. An Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Arinjay was on 1 November 2015 commissioned by Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba PVSM, AVSM Flag Officer Commanding-in-chief, Southern Naval Command at a ceremony held at Naval Base in Kochi.
ii. The ship will be based at Okha under the administrative and operational control of the commander, coast guard region (north west). The ship is commanded by Commandant AK Mudgal and has complement of four officers and 31 enrolled personnel.
iii. The ship is 15th in the series of 20 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV). The 50-metre indigenous FPV has a displacement of 290 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots with an endurance of 1500 nautical miles at economical speed of 13 knots.
iv. It is equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry and advanced communication and navigational equipment. The ship is capable of undertaking multifarious tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and medical evacuation.
7. National Tribal Crafts Mela Aadishilp-2015 begins in New Delhi
i. 11th National Tribal Crafts Mela Aadishilp has begun in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram.
ii. This edition of Crafts Mela has been organised by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) and will be open till November 11, 2015.
iii. More than 90 tribal artisans from all over the country are going showcase their unique and exquisite tribal artefacts. The main objective of Aadishilp is provide tribal artisans an important platform to showcase their talents through their valuable products to urban India.
iv. Tribals will be also able to sell their traditional art and craft works directly to the customers and get their valuable feedback.
v. The mela will showcase hand crafted items, handloom products, cane and bamboo products, dry flowers, tribal
jewellery, Dhokra craft, tribal paintings, tribal weaves and embroidery etc.
8. Lionel Messi appointed Tata Motors’ global brand ambassador
i. Tata Motors has roped in Football star Lionel Messi as the global brand ambassador for its passenger vehicles. To start with, Tata Motors will roll out the association campaign, #madeofgreat, starring Lionel Messi tomorrow.
ii. This is the first time ever that the Passenger Vehicle Business will be undertaking an overall brand association campaign with a brand ambassador, said the company. The company has also announced to soon roll out an exclusive, limited edition merchandising range of this association.
iii. Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, said, “We are very excited to have Lionel Messi on board. He is talent galore with conviction & is an icon for today’s youth. Watching him play football is magical. His determination on the field is awe-inspiring.
iv. He is a winner who is trustworthy, reliable, pioneering, simple and driven by self-belief, which is the core idea of this campaign – ‘What drives us from within is what makes us great.,”
v. Lionel Messi, who is endorsing an Indian brand for the first time, said, “Namaste India. I am very excited about my first association with an Indian brand and am extremely thrilled to be a part of the Tata Motors family. I have always been fascinated by India and have heard such great things about this diverse country.
vi. I was once in India with Argentina National Team and I hope to visit it again.


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