Daily GK Update 15th December 2015 Important Current Affairs

1. India ranks 130th in 2015 Human Development Index: UNDP
i. India has been placed at 130th position in the 2015 Human Development Index (HDI) among the 188 countries.
ii. It was unveiled in the recently released Human Development Report 2015 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
iii. India has been placed at 130th position with 0.609 score in the medium human development category. In 2014 report country’s rank was 135 with 0.586 score.
iv. Improvement in India’s 2015 HDI from previous year has been attributed to rise in life expectancy and per capita income.

2. Maharashtra Government constituted a task force for setting up an IFSC in Mumbai
i. The Maharashtra government on 11 December 2015 constituted a task force for setting up an International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) in Mumbai. The task force will be headed by Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha.ii. The task force includes, Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha (chairman), Lok Sabha MP from Mumbai North Central Poonam Mahajan (deputy chairman), Maharashtra Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshtriya, MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan, Principal Secretary Urban development Nitin Kareer, A representative from the Department of Economic Affairs, Union Government, OSD in the Chief Ministers Office (CMO) Kaustubh Dhavse will be Member Convenor.
iii. The task force will be required to plan and oversee the development of designated areas at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). They will also review the process of all stakeholders, take various decisions and issue directives to departments of the state and the Union Government.
iv. Apart from this, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will also assist the task force in arranging meetings with various groups and site visits. Logistics shall be provided by MMRDA as required by the committee.
v. As per plan, the IFSC will be developed within the BKC in suburban Bandra. Developing a designated area in BKC is one of the most ambitious projects of the Maharashtra Government.
vi. Earlier in the first week of December 2015, the state government issued a Government Resolution (GR) to make sure that the initiative is completed within time.

3. Violinist Itzhak Perlman awarded 2016 Genesis Prize
i. Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman (70) has been awarded 2016 Genesis Prize which is also known as Jewish Nobel prize.
ii. He has been bestowed with prestigious prize for his accomplishments as a musician, teacher and advocate for the disabled and also for his commitment to his Jewish identity.
iii. Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu will present the award to Mr. Perlman at the June 23, 2016 award ceremony to be held in Jerusalem.
iv. He has won 16 Grammys award including a lifetime achievement award in 2008. In November 2015 he was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour.

4. Mahindra Group acquired Italian auto design firm Pininfarina
i. Tech Mahindra and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, part of the Mahindra Group, on 14 December 2015 acquired Italian car designer Pininfarina SpA for 165 million US dollars in an all-cash deal. Pininfarina is well-known for designing cars for Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls-Royce and Cadillac.
ii. For the acquisition of Milan-listed Pininfarina, Tech Mahindra and Mahindra and Mahindra have formed a 60:40 joint venture. The joint venture will acquire 76.06 percent in Pininfarina from its controlling shareholder Pincar Srl at a price of 25.3 million euros.
iii. The joint venture will buy out the remaining 23.94 percent ordinary shares of Pininfarina through an open offer. The JV will also infuse 20 million euros into Pininfarina by way of a rights issue, which would be executed before the end of 2016.
iv. Tech Mahindra and Mahindra and Mahindra have also signed definitive agreements with the lenders and creditors of Pininfarina to restructure the existing debt. It will also provide a corporate guarantee not exceeding 114.5 million euros to the lenders, creditors and lessors of Pininfarina.

5. West Bengal Government honoured Bappi Lahiri and Kumar Sanu with Lifetime Achievement Awards
i. The West Bengal Government on 14 December 2015 honoured music composer Bappi Lahiri and singer Kumar Sanu with Lifetime Achievement Awards. State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee handed over the awards at the inauguration of the annual Bangla Sangeet Mela.
ii. Besides, Bollywood musician Shantanu Moitra was awarded with the Sangeet Mahasamman Award. The Bishesh Sangeet Samman was awarded to Dwijen Mukhyopadhyay, Ajoy Chakraborty and Sandhya Mukherjee.
iii. Vocalists Nachiketa, Sriradha Bandyopadhyay, Dileep Kumar Bose and Fakir Alamgir were honoured with Special Sangeet Samman.
iv. In addition, it was announced at the function that Sangeet Mela will be held for the next 10 days at different venues where 5000 artists will participate. A monthly honorarium of 1000 will be given to 50000 folk artists.

6. Union Government appointed L Narasimha Reddy to head Judicial Committee on OROP
i. The Union Government on 14 December 2015 appointed Justice L Narasimha Reddy, retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court, to head the Judicial Committee which will look into the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the ex-servicemen.
ii. The Committee has been given a six-month deadline for submission of its recommendations. It may give interim reports to the Government on any of the matters related to its terms of reference.
iii. In making its recommendations, the Committee shall take into account the financial impact of its recommendations. The Committee will devise its own procedure and may call for such information and take such evidence, as may be considered necessary. Ministries and Departments of Government of India will furnish such information and documents and other assistance as may be required by the Committee.
iv. The Committee will have its headquarters in Delhi. All administrative support to the committee will be provided by Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence.

7. Operation Smile-II to start from 1 January 2016
i. Union Government on 14 December 2015 requested the states and Union Territories (UT) to start Operation Smile-II from 1 January 2016. The operation will end on 31 January 2016.
ii. In this regard, the Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Mehrishi has written a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories for participation in Operation Smile-II in their respective State/UT.
iii. Operation Smile-II is a campaign to rescue/rehabilitate the missing children. It is a follow up of the exercise Operation Smile that helped in rescuing and rehabilitating 9146 missing children.
iv. All children residing in shelter homes, platforms, bus stands, roads, religious places and others will be screened by trained police personnel. Before 1 January 2016, the Police Personnel from each state will be properly trained in methodology to extract information from such children tactfully without their getting intimidated.
v. The police personnel will also be trained about various provisions like Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) JJ Act, Protection of Child Right Act and others.

8. Indian-origin politician Pravin Gordhan becomes South Africa’s Finance Minister
i. An Indian-origin politician, Pravin Gordhan has been appointed as South Africa’s new Finance Minister. With this he becomes country’s third Finance Minister in a week. He replaces David van Rooyen who was appointed on 10 November 2015. Earlier President Jacob Zuma had sacked incumbent Nhlanhla Nene from Finance Ministry.
ii. Born 12 April 1949 in Durban. He is trained and worked as a pharmacist in Durban He was one of the main negotiators in the drafting of South Africa’s democratic constitution from 1991-1994.
iii. He had served as a commissioner in South Africa’s revenue service (SARS) from 1999-2009 Gordhan had served as Finance Minister from 2009-2014 and was widely respected for his work.
iv. Prior to this appointment he was serving as Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

9. GIFT City Phase-2 work launched
i. Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) on Monday announced the launch of the Phase-2 development, which will be focused on International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) to be set up in GIFT SEZ.
ii. With the launch of Phase-2 development, GIFT City has invited proposals from developers to build office towers in SEZ and non-SEZ areas, an official statement said here.
iii. GIFT City’s Phase 1 has received overwhelming response from realty developers as well as leading BFSI and IT players. So far, allotments of over 14 million square feet of built up area (BUA) has been made in the SEZ and Non-SEZ area for development of office towers, residential apartments and social facilities to be developed at an estimated investment of around Rs. 9,600 crore.
iv. GIFT IFSC has already made allotment to around 20 institutions, including leading names such as SBI, IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and YES Bank. GIFT has also signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with various leading Capital Market players namely, BSE, NSE, MCX and DMCC.
v. India’s first IFSC is already operational with the commencement of IFSC banking units by Yes Bank & Federal Bank in November 2015.

10. Rajasthan becomes the first state to submit smart city plan
i. Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to submit smart city plans for three selected cities to Union Government.
ii. In this regard, state government has submitted smart city Proposals of Udaipur, Kota and Ajmer to Union Ministry of Urban Development. Under the proposal the investment outlays proposed by state government for developing these 3 cities as smart cities are Kota 1,493 crore rupees, Ajmer 1,300 crore rupees and Udaipur 1,221 crore rupees respectively.
iii. State Government is also forwarding Smart city proposal for Jaipur Cilty with an investment proposed 2,403 crore rupees prior to December 15, 2015 deadline. Overall Rajasthan has proposed a total investment of 6,457 crore rupees for 5 years for developing these four cities as smart cities.

11. Anirban Lahiri wins Order of Merit crown of Asian Tour
i. India’s star golfer Anirban Lahiri (28) has won the coveted Order of Merit crown of Asian Tour for year 2015. In the 2015 season world No. 41, Lahiri has earned $1,139,084 a way ahead of second-placed Scott Hend of Australia who has earned $491,631.
ii. With this he became only the fourth Indian golfer to win this coveted award after Jeev Milkha Singh (2006, 2008), Arjun Atwal (2003) and Jyoti Randhawa (2002). Anirban Lahiri has won twice on the Asia’s premier Tour to be ranked into the world’s top-50 golfers.
iii. He has posted a top-five finish in a Major (PGA Championship) that helped him to mak his maiden appearance at the Presidents Cup and earning his PGA Tour card. Earlier in 2015 Season, Lahiri had won the Malaysian Open and the Indian Open within a span of three weeks in February 2015. He recorded five other top-10 finishes around the world in the season.


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