Daily GK Update 31st December 2015 Important Current Affairs

1. Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek died
i. Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek died on 29 December 2015 at Ostrava, Czech Republic. He was 47.
ii. Srnicek passed away nine days after suffering cardiac arrest.
iii. Srnicek played as a goalkeeper from 1990 to 2007 mainly for Newcastle United.
iv. He played internationally for the Czech Republic from 1994 to 2001, earning a total of 49 caps.

2. Laxmi Ratan Shukla announced retirement from all forms of cricket
i. Laxmi Ratan Shukla, former Indian cricketer and Bengal all-rounder, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. However, he might continue playing for his club Mohun Bagan.
ii. Sukhla’s announcement came two days after he was named in the Bengal squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy starting on 2 January 2016.

3. Union Cabinet approved construction of 69 bridges on trilateral highway in Myanmar
i. The Union Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the construction of 69 bridges including approach roads on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section of the trilateral highway in Myanmar.
ii. The bridges will be constructed at a cost of 371.58 crore rupees.

4. Andhra Pradesh Government decided to hike wages of Anganwadi workers
i. The Andhra Pradesh Government on 30 December 2015 decided to hike the wages of Anganwadi workers. The wages of the Anganwadi workers will be increased from 4200 rupees to 7000 rupees and the wages of Anganwadi helpers will be hiked to 4500 rupees.
ii. It was also decided to replace the conventional street lights with LED lights in 659 villages across the state.
iii. The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting presided by state Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in Vijayawada.
iv. In addition, the Cabinet decided to implement a new sand policy with effect from 1 February 2016. As per the policy, Mines Department will monitor tendering and auctioning of sand reaches in the state.

5. BHEL commissions Prayagraj power project unit in Uttar Pradesh
i. State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned a 660 MW unit of Prayagraj Super Thermal Power Project at Bara town in Allahabad district of Uttar Pradesh. This is the first supercritical thermal unit to be commissioned in the state to achieve capacity addition on attaining full load.
ii.  It is Greenfield thermal power project is owned by Prayagraj Power Generation Company Limited (PPGCL), a subsidiary company of Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited. 
iii. Super-critical units are generally eco-friendly and more efficient thermal power plants as they consume less coal as fuel.

6. Govt launches national biotechnology programme
i. The government  launched a national programme which aims to turn India into a biotechnology hub and the sector into a US$ 100 billion industry with focus in areas of healthcare, food and nutrition, clean energy and education.
ii. The National Biotechnology Development Strategy 2015-2020 programme which was launched by the Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science and Technology is aimed at ensuring strategic and focused investment in building human capital by setting up a Life Science and Biotechnology Education Council which will spearhead the initiative.

7.  TSPSC notifies recruitment to 439 Group – II posts
i.  In what can be seen as a New Year gift to lakhs of state government job aspirants, Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) has notified recruitment to 796 posts including 439 much coveted Group – II executive posts.
ii. As per the notification hosted on the Commission’s portal, vacant posts include assistant commercial tax officers (110), sub inspector – prohibition and excise (220), executive officer of Panchayat Raj (67) and municipal commissioner (19), agricultural extension officers (311), among others.
iii. The online registration for group – II applicants has commenced today and will continue till February 9, 2016 while written examination will be conducted on April 24-25, 2016. The registration deadline for agricultural extension officers, however, is January 25, 2016.
iv. In September this year, TSPSC has released detailed scheme of examination and syllabus for the examinations and many aspirants are eagerly waiting for the notification.
v. Some candidates, however, are disappointed with the number of vacancies. "The Government has been maintaining that over one lakh vacancies in the state government will be filled up since the formation of Telanagna in June 2014. But vacancies are too discouraging as four to five lakh candidates are expected to compete for the posts,’’ said Mudi Suresh, a post-graduate student in Osmania University aspiring for a state government job.
vi. It remains to be seen if further recruitments will be taken going forward. There is an expectation that notification for Group-I posts will be coming soon.

8. Indian test captain Virat Kohli named BCCI Cricketer of the Year
i.  Indian Test captain Virat Kohli was named 'Cricketer of the Year', while Mithali Raj was picked for the top women's award in the BCCI annual honours to be given away on January 5 in Mumbai.
ii. The 27-year-old batsman, who took over as captain in the middle of the tour of Australia after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's sudden retirement, delivered some good results under his leadership. Under Kohli, the Indian team ended a 22-year wait for a series win on Sri Lankan soil before battering world No.1 South Africa to give them their first overseas loss in nine years.

9. Ashwin finishes 2015 as number-one ranked bowler and all-rounder
i. Australia captain Steve Smith and Ravichandran Ashwin of India have finished 2015 as the number-one ranked batsman and bowler respectively in the ICC Test Player Rankings, which were released 31 December 2015  following the conclusion of the Boxing Day Tests in Durban and Melbourne.
ii. Ashwin has achieved the number-one spot for first time in his career .
iii. In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Ashwin has become the first India bowler since Bishen Bedi in 1973 to achieve the milestone of finishing the year in number-one Test position.

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