Daily GK Update 26th & 27th March 2016, Important Current Affairs

1. Govt To Create 2.5Lakh Dalit Entrepreneurs Under Stand Up India
i. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the  Stand up India Start up India initiative in New Delhi in January.
ii. The launch by the prime minister was done at the virtual exhibition and interaction with Startup entrepreneurs.
iii. At the inauguration of the 5th National Industrial & Trade Fair organised by Dalit Indian Chamber Commerce & Industry (DICCI) , Union Minister for MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) Kalraj Mishra has announced that, Under Stand-up India initiative, each of the 1.25 lakh bank branches would be encouraged to fund a SC/ST and woman entrepreneurs to create 2.5 lakh new entrepreneurs in the country.
iv. According to Mishra’s observation the availability of adequate credit was always been a major issue and his ministry has taken several initiatives to address the challenges .
v. The dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has been encouraging and facilitating Dalit enterprise as a means of empowerment and has also ensured that the community contributes in the economy, and be the job givers, not job seekers.

2. ISRO Has Established GIRI Radar System In Andhra Pradesh
i. The Gadanki Ionospheric Radar Interferometer (GIRI) has been set up at the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh by The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
ii. NARL is an autonomous research institute of the Department of Space.
iii. Gadanki Ionospheric Radar Interferometer System is a 30 MHz radar system that will be engaged in meteor and space weather research in a comprehensive way.
iv. It consists of a rectangular antenna array of 160 two-element Yagi-antenna, arranged in a 20x8 matrix, 20 transmitter units, 6 digital receivers including data processing systems, a radar controller, and a host computer.
v. The main aim of GIRI is to carry out unattended observations towards studying the forcing from the sun like variation in solar flux, solar flare and magnetic storm on the ionospheric irregularities.

3. Fourth unit of NTPC-Bihar govt owned 195-Mw plant synchronised
i. The 4th unit of 195-Mw Muzaffarpur Thermal Power Station (MTPS) has been successfully synchronised with the national grid.
ii. The plant is owned by Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Ltd, a joint venture between NTPC and Bihar State Power Generation Company Ltd, in which the two companies have 64.57% and 35.43% shares.
iii. First unit of 110 Mw at MTPS started generation in November, 2013, while the second unit of 110 Mw started generation in November, 2014, after successful renovation and modernisation work carried out by BHEL. Both the units, each of 110 Mw, had stopped generation in 2003.
iv. The plant, which is being constructed at the existing site of an old power plant, would draw water from the river Burhi Gandak.
v. It would get coal supply from a coal block of Central Coalfield Ltd located in Jharkhand.

4. Mizoram, JICA Sign Pact for Promoting Sustainable Agriculture
i. The Mizoram government and Japanese International Cooperative Agency (JICA) signed an agreement on Capacity Enhancement for Sustainable Agriculture and Irrigation Development.
ii. The Memorandum of Understanding(MoUs) was signed by top officials of Agriculture, Minor Irrigation, Horticulture and Soil and Water Conservation departments in the presence of state chief secretary Lalmalsawma.
iii. The Mizoram government and Japanese International Cooperative Agency (JICA) signed an agreement on Capacity Enhancement for Sustainable Agriculture and Irrigation Development.
iv. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by top officials of Agriculture, Minor Irrigation, Horticulture and Soil and Water Conservation departments in the presence of state chief secretary Lalmalsawma.

5. BHEL commissioned 600 MW Jaipur Thermal Power Plant in Telangana
i. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a Maharatna central public sector enterprise, has successfully commissioned a 600 Mw coal-based thermal power plantin Telangana.
ii. The company has built 600 Mw rating sets which comprise of a four cylinder turbine, designed in-house. With the commissioning of the unit, Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) has successfully diversified into the power generation business.
iii. The heavy engineering major had earlier commissioned a 600 Mw thermal power plant at Kakatiya in the state in last December.
iv. The company commissioned 85 per cent of the coal-based power stations in Telangana amounting to 5,180 Mw.
v. The state government has recently placed orders with the company for executing around 6,000 Mw of thermal power projects in the state on engineering procurement construction basis.

6. Andhra govt set to inaugurate country's first lift irrigation project
i. Andhra government which is known for its innovations and use of technologies in various sectors has also become the first Indian state to implement lift irrigation.
ii. Andhra Pradesh government is all set to inaugurate Pattiseema lift irrigation project, described as the first river linking project in country, connecting Godavari with Krishna in this lower riparian state, as it has been completed in a record time of one year.
iii. The first pump of this Rs 1,300-crore project was installed and switched on in September, 2015, about six months after the project contract was awarded to Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) on condition to complete the entire project in one year.
iv. The project was designed to lift 80 tmc (trillion metric cubic feet) of flood water in a span of 110 days during the flooding season between July and October from Godavari as was permitted by the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal (GWDT) from the ongoing Polavaram Multi-purpose Irrigation Project.

7. Iran signs oil contract with France's Total
i. Iran signed a confidential oil agreement with France's Total to develope the South Azadegan oil field shared by Iran and Iraq, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said.
ii. Iran reached an agreement with the Japanese Inpex a decade ago to develop the oil field, however, the Japanese company quit the project as a result of US sanctions against Iran's energy sector because of the disputed nuclear issue.
iii. Iran and the world powers clinched a nuclear deal in July last year which enables the country to re-engage with the world's energy giants to develop its oil and gas fields.

8. Pakistan and Iran agree to boost cooperation on security, trade
i. Iran and Pakistan have mutually agreed to boost bilateral cooperation on regional security and trade.
ii. Decision in this regard was taken by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during intensive talks in Islamabad.
iii. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is on official state visit to Pakistan and is the first visit by an Iranian head of state in 14 years.
iv. Both the countries have agreed to fight extremist and terrorist groups in their countries’ shared border. They also announced the opening of two new crossing points to encourage trade long hampered by sanctions.
v. The opening will contribute to economic integration in the region and also promote tourism and people to people contacts.

9. Garry Shandling The Comedian And Actor Has Passed Away
i. Garry Shandling, the famous comedian who was best known for his faux docudrama and the show " it's Garry Shandling's " has passed away due to an apparent heart attack. He was 66 year old.
ii. Mr. Shandling became a hero to a generation of comedians for his self aware comedy and groundbreaking shows.
iii. He performed standup comedy and became a regular guest host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
iv. Shandling was born in Chicago and grew up in Arizona. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970s, beginning as an advertising copywriter before getting a job writing for the sitcom Sanford and Son.
v. It’s Garry Shandling’s Show first graced American TV sets in 1986 with the eponymous protagonist portraying a high-strung comedian whose love life was on the rocks. The Larry Sanders Show debuted in 1992, earning the comedian cult status and numerous awards.

10. Actor Peter Brown passes away
i. Peter Brown, who had starring roles in two television westerns in the 1950s and ’60s and later acted in soap operas, has died at the age of 80 due to Parkinson’s disease.
ii. Mr. Brown played Deputy Johnny McKay on “Lawman,” which was seen on ABC from 1958 until 1962. His character was the wide-eyed but tough sidekick of Marshal Dan Troop, played by John Russell, tasked with bringing order to Laramie, Wyo.
iii. He was born Pierre Lind de Lappe in New York City on Oct. 5, 1935, and his name was changed when his mother remarried. He moved with his family to the West Coast when he was young.
iv. Mr. Brown’s last acting credit came in 2005 when he returned to the western genre in the movie “Hell to Pay,” but his family said he continued to make appearances at collectors’ shows and western festivals.

10. India, China led investments in Renewable Energy in 2015: UN report 
i. India and China have led the developing countries in investments made in renewable energy in 2015.
ii. It was revealed by the ‘Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment’ Report published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Key facts 
For the first time commitments of emerging economies in solar, wind and other renewables’ capacity have surpassed those by wealthy nations.
The developing world committed a total of 156 billion dollars in new renewables capacity in 2015 year, these figures up 19% on 2014.
Within the developing-economy category, the “Big Three” of India, China and Brazil saw investment rise 16% to USD 120.2 billion.
In contrast, renewable energy investments by developed countries were down by 8 per cent in 2015 to 130 billion dollars.
A large part of the record-breaking investment in developing countries took place in China, with its investment commitment up by 17% to 102.9 billion dollars.
India was also among the top 10 investing countries in renewable energy with its commitments rising 22% to USD 10.2 billion.
It for the second time since 2011, India enjoyed a second successive year of increasing investment, breaching the USD 10 billion.
United States, Japan, UK Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Chile also made it to the top 10 investing countries in 2015.

11. Arvind Kejriwal named among World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine 
i. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been named among the world’s 50 greatest leaders by Fortune magazine. He is sole leader from India in the list and has been placed at 42nd position.
ii. 2016 edition is Fortune magazine’s third annual ‘World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’ list and it has been topped by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Key facts 
Top 10: Jeff Bezos (1st position), Angela Merkel (2nd), Aung San Suu Kyi (3rd), Pope Francis (4th), Tim Cook (5th), John Legend (6th), Christiana Figueres (7th), Paul Ryan (8th), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (9th) and Sheikh Hasina (10th).
Indian Americans in the list: Indian-American Nikki Haley and Resham Saujani were placed at 17th and 20th position respectively.
Nikki Haley is South Carolina’s Governor and Resham Saujani is founder and CEO of tech organization ‘Girls Who Code’.
Others in the list: US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko (22th), IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (36), Melinda Gates and Susan Desmond-Hellmann (41th), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (48) and Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay (50).
About World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list
The ‘World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’ list of Fortune Magazine features men and women from across the globe from the fields of government, business, arts and the philanthropy who are transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same.

12. Mint plant can help fight cancer: CIMAP Researchers 
i. Scientists at Lucknow​ based CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP​) have found that mint plant has medicinal values that can cure cancer.
ii. They have identified that a medicinal compound called ‘L-Menthol’ derived from Mentha plant popularly known as mint.​ ​
Key findings 
L-Menthol compound can kill the colon cancer cell line without affecting the normal cell line.
The compound inhibits the division of cancer cell and prevents its growth and spread to other organs of the body.
Its production is cost-effective, non-destructive and easily available in comparison to anti-cancer compound used at present obtained from the bark of European Yew tree.
The Mentha is available in abundance across the world compared to the European Yew tree which is found only in Europe and some parts of Africa and Asia.​
​Menthol can be derived easily without damaging the plant, whereas the European Yew tree has to be cut down for using bark for deriving anti-cancer compound.
The discovery can be very useful for farmers in ​India where Mentha is grown in large quantity.

13.Union Government releases self-regulation Code of ethical business conduct for industry 
i. The Union Consumer Affairs Ministry has released a self-regulation Code of ethical business conduct to be adopted by the Industry on providing best products and services.
ii. In this regard, Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) was inked between Department of Consumer Affairs and the industry bodies related to self-regulated code of fair business.
iii. The code contains provision of trustworthy products and services for the consumers, comply with the competition and anti-trust laws and respond to consumer complaints promptly.
iv. It covers six broad principles to be adopted by the industry viz (i) safety of products and services, (ii) building sustainable supply chains, (iii) marketing products ethically, (iv) non-indulgence in unfair trade practices, (v) complying with competition and anti-trust laws, (vi) prompt response to consumer complaints.


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