DAILY GK UPDATE 18TH SEPT

1.    Tony Abbott Sworn in as a new PM of Australia
i. Tony Abbott has been sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Australia. 55 year-old Abbott took oath at the Government House in Canberra, in front of Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
ii. His conservative coalition had won a comfortable lower house majority in the 7 September polls.
iii. Abbott had unveiled his new 19-member Cabinet on Monday, with only one woman, foreign minister Julie Bishop in the line-up. The new ministers will be sworn in later in the day.
iv. Abbott said, as well as carbon tax repeal, his government will put the budget back into surplus, and turn back boats bringing asylum seekers from across Asia via Indonesia.

2.    Inflation, rupee may force RBI to keep rates on hold
i. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan is likely to maintain his predecessor Duvvuri Subbarao's “hawkish” policy and keep key rates on hold due to continued inflationary pressure and the volatility in rupee, analysts say
ii. Most analysts feel that the sharp jump in the headline inflation in August has made choices tougher for Rajan, who will be holding his first monetary policy meeting Friday, barely a fortnight after taking charge at the Mint Street in Mumbai.
iii. The wholesale price based inflation, the country's key indicator of price movement, soared to six-month high of 6.1 percent in August as compared to 5.79 percent in the previous month and 8.01 percent in the corresponding month of last year.
iv. The more worrying is food inflation that surged to 18.18 percent, the highest level in nearly three years.
v. Ratings and consultancy firm Crisil said the RBI is expected to leave interest rates unchanged not only in this week's policy review but also for the rest of the year.
vi. Key policy rates that determine liquidity and cost of lending and borrowings in the country include repo rate, reverse repo rate and cash reserve ratio

Note: i. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's economic advisory council recently sharply lowered the economic growth forecast for the current fiscal to 5.3 percent from its earlier projection of 6.4 percent.
ii. The central bank had kept all key rates unchanged and lowered the growth forecast for the current fiscal to 5.5 percent from its earlier projection of 5.7 percent.
iii. The repurchase or the repo rate, the interest that commercial banks pay to the RBI on short-term borrowings currently stands at 7.25 percent, and reverse repo rate is at 6.25 percent.
iv. The cash reserve ratio (CRR), or the share of deposits banks must keep with the central bank, stands at 4 percent.

3.    ICICI Prudential Life launches new unit-linked pension plan
i. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has launched Easy Retirement, a unit-linked plan that enables customers to build their retirement corpus.
ii. The plan provides customers the flexibility to choose their equity exposure according to their risk appetite.
iii. ICICI Pru Easy Retirement rewards customers for continuing over the long-term through Pension Boosters which add 5 per cent of the fund value every five years after the tenth policy year onwards, thereby enhancing the corpus built, which provides regular income for life.
iv. Customers also have the flexibility to choose the premium paying term to build a corpus to ensure regular income to maintain their lifestyle post retirement.
Note: ICICI Pru Easy Retirement is available on the online platform.

4.    SEBI inks MoU with Argentina for info exchange on securities markets
i. Market regulator, SEBI has inked a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with its counterpart in Argentina to promote mutual assistance and exchange information related to securities markets in both the countries.
ii. In a statement, Securities and Exchange Board of India yesterday said that the MoU entered with Comisión Nacional de Valores, CNV aims to facilitate the development of deeper and broader capital market, enhance greater cross border activities and attain closer regulatory co-operation between two jurisdictions in a mutually beneficial manner.
iii. The MoU also seeks to establish and implement technical assistance and training programme, for an effective development of regulatory framework for securities markets in the two jurisdictions.
iv. The MoU was signed between SEBI Chairman UK Sinha and CNV Chairman Alejandro Vanoli during the 38th IOSCO annual conference in Luxembourg on Monday.

5.    New Zealand opens embassy in Myanmar
i. New Zealand has opened its embassy in Myanmar, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully announced Wednesday.
ii. "This new office in Yangon reflects Myanmar's remarkable progress in implementing political and economic reforms over the past two years," Xinhua quoted McCully as saying in a statement.
iii. New Zealand has substantially increased its development assistance to Myanmar, with major commitments to dairy cooperation and capacity building. There is also considerable scope for New Zealand companies to invest," he said.
iv. "The opening of this office comes as the region focuses its attention on Myanmar, which as the next chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, will host a number of ministerial and official level meetings throughout 2014, culminating in the East Asia Summit."
v. New Zealand has moved to normalise relations with Myanmar following reforms under the government of President Thein Sein, which has been in place since March 2011.
vi. The country is due to hold general elections in 2015.

6.    Bajrang wins bronze at World Wrestling championships 
i. India's impressive show at the World Wrestling Championships continued as Bajrang bagged a bronze medal in the 60kg freestyle category with an overwhelming 9-2 win over Mangolia's Nyam-Ochir Enkhsaikhan in a match which was held in Budapest on Tuesday. 
ii. It was Nyam-Ochir who got a good start with a takedown but 20-year-old Bajrang came back in the final seconds of the first period, pushing his his opponent out the mat to level the scores 2-2.
iii. Bajrang's performance light up India's day as Pawan Kumar (84kg) and Hitender (120kg) had made early exits from the competition.

Note: Amit Kumar had won silver on Monday and it is first time that India have won two medals in the men's events at the World Championships level.

7.    Tigmanshu Dhulia wins Best Director at Norway Bollywood film festival
i. Tigmanshu Dhulia was presented the best director award for Paan Singh Tomar at the 11th Norway Bollywood Film Festival at a packed Loreskog cinema center in Oslo on Tuesday. 
ii. While filmmaker Rahul Mittra bagged the Best Producer award for his last year's hit Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns, Jimmy Sheirgill got the best actor award for the same film. 
iii. The festival is one of the biggest film festivals in Scandinavia, attracting hundreds of Indians, Pakistanis and Norwegians each year, apart from top names from Bollywood. 
iv. Mittra and Dhulia also announced the date of their upcoming film Bullett Raja starring Saif Ali Khan, Sonakshi Sinha and Jimmy Sheirgill which is releasing on November 29. 

8.    Dutch cyclist breaks world land speed record 
i. A 23-year-old Dutch cyclist has pedalled his way to a world record, hitting more than 133.78kph as he sped through a US desert, to become the planet's fastest cyclist. 
ii. Sebastiaan Bowier reached a rip-roaring 133.78 kph in the high-tech recumbent bike developed by students from Delft University of Technology and VU University Amsterdam. 
iii. This set a new world record, making him the world's fastest cyclist travelling 0.6 kph faster than the previous record holder, Canadian Sam Wittingham. 
iv. The speeds were achieved on a 200 metre stretch of road, with a run-up of 8 km across a totally straight route in the Nevada desert, US.

9.    Himachal to launch Food Security programme from 20th Sept 
i. Himachal Pradesh government is all set to launch the Food Security programme in the state from 20th September and all arrangements are in place for the big event, state Food and Supplies minister G S Bali said on Saturday. 
ii. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh would launch the programme at historic Ridge maidan by distributing subsidised ration kits to beneficiaries under Antyodaya Ann Yojana, the minister said. 
iii. Meanwhile, Bali has directed the state Civil Supplies Corporation to provide 2-kg sugar per ration card to each ration card holder during October through its godowns, retail and all fair price shops keeping in view the ensuring festival season. 
iv. The decision would benefit about 17-lakh ration card holders of the state, Bali said. 

10.  P. Sudhakar Appointed as the CMD of Electronics Corporation of India Limited
i. P. Sudhakar took over as the Chairman & Managing Director of the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) on 16 September 2013.
ii. He was working with ECIL since 1979 and was holding the Office of the Director (Technical) and acting CMD, prior to this appointment.
iii. P. Sudhakar is a graduate in Electrical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Warangal, Andhra Pradesh and holds a Masters in Integrated Electronics and Circuits from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
iv. He specialised in the areas of design, development, manufacturing, testing and commissioning. He is closely involved with the control and automation systems of all the operating nuclear power plants of the country.

11.  Indian rollerskater Rohan Kokane entered into Guinness Book
i. Rohan Kokane, a 12 year old Indian roller skating enthusiast, made it into the 2014 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records released on 12 September 2013.
ii. He is one of the youngest new record breakers to make it into the Guinness Book.
About Rohan Kokane
i. He is from Belgaum in Karnataka
ii. He is studying VII class in St. Xavier’s High School.
iii. He is the lowest limbo skater, achieving a roller skating height of just 25 cm over a distance of 10 m.

12.  Malala Yousafzai, Edward Snowden Nominated for EU's Sakharov Prize
i. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen shot by the Taliban for championing girls' education, and US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden have been nominated for the European Parliament's prestigious Sakharov human rights prize on 17 September 2013.
ii. European Parliament also named the Standing Man group, activists behind the Taksim Square protests in Istanbul in June 2013.
iii. Past winners of the Sakharov Prize include South African anti apartheid hero Nelson Mandela and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.

About The Sakharov Prize
i. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year by the European Parliament. The prize was set up in 1988 to honour individuals or organisations for their efforts on behalf of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

ii. Parliament awards the human rights prize, at a formal sitting held in Strasbourg on or around 10 December, the day on which the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948.

13.  Malala receives top Amnesty award
i. Pakistani schoolgirl and education rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai and American singer, human rights and social justice activist Harry Belafonte were jointly awarded with Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2013 on 17 September 2013 in Dublin, Ireland.
ii. The Ambassador of Conscience Award is the human rights group's highest honour, recognizing individuals who have promoted and enhanced the cause of human rights through their life and by example.

About the award
i. The Ambassador of Conscience Award is Amnesty International's most prestigious human rights award. It is given to individuals who show exceptional leadership in the fight to protect and promote human rights and human conscience.

ii. The Award, inspired by a poem written for Amnesty International by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, aims to promote the work of Amnesty International by association with the life, work and example of itsAmbassadors.

14.  India retain number 1 position in ICC ODI rankings
i. India continue to occupy the number one position in the latest International Cricket Council, ICC ODI rankings with 123 rating points followed by Australia with 115 and England with 111 points.
ii. The latest ODI rankings were released by the ICC in Dubai today. Among the batsmen , South Africa’s Hashim Amla is at the top followed by fellow countryman AB Devilliers. 
iii. India’s Virat Kohli is at number four while skipper Dhoni is at number seven. Ravindra Jadeja tops the list of ODI bowlers along with Caribbean Sunil Narine and is followed by Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal.