Daily GK Update - 28th December 2014

1. Jet carrying 162 lost over stormy Indonesian waters
i. AirAsia Flight QZ8501 with 155 passengers on board -- including one British, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, three Koreans, -- and seven crew members lost contact with air traffic control at 0724 local time Indonesia.

ii. The plane took off Sunday morning from Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, and was about halfway to its destination, Singapore, when it vanished from radar.
iii. Aircraft and ships that spent several hours searching Indonesian waters turned up no sign of an AirAsia plane that disappeared with 162 people on board.
iv. Aircraft searching for AirAsia Flight 8501 called off the effort for the night and will resume at Monday.
v. It is the third major aviation incident involving Malaysia this year. In March, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 239 people, and in July, a jet from the same airline was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.

2. Sebi to set up panel to push MF sales via internet, mobiles 
i. To re-energise the mutual fund industry, regulator Sebi plans to set up an expert panel to suggest measures for increasing distribution of MF products through digital modes such as internet and mobiles. 
ii. The panel, a sub-committee of Sebi's Advisory Committee on Mutual Funds, will look into various options and steps required to boost the penetration of mutual fund products through use of digital channels for their sale 
iii. The sub-committee, to be headed by M N Gopinath, will submit a report to the Sebi Advisory Committee. 

3. Save paper: Officials asked to write notes on both sides 
i. With an aim of saving precious paper pulp, Labour Department of the Delhi government has asked all its officials, including all deputy commissioners, to write notes on both sides of paper and type in single space. 
ii. The department has issued a circular directing officials to take such steps to minimise the impact on environment as trees are the major source of paper pulp production. 

4. France hopeful of $6-billion Maitri missile project. 
i. With the Indo-French $6 billion surface-to-air missile systems project in doldrums, France is hoping that new government's push for "Make in India" will lead to inking of the long delayed deal. 

ii. Titled Maitri, the project for joint development and production between India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and France's MBDA, was initiated in 2007.
iii. An MoU to co-develop the surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) was signed during French President Francois Hollande's visit to India in February last year. 
iv. the range of SRSAM will be of 40 km, Akash's range is only 25 km. 

5. MGNREGA to get a boost with new fund pattern
i. In a bid to optimise the quantum and outcome of public spending in rural India.
ii. the Narendra Modi government is planning an innovative synergy between the flagship rural employment guarantee scheme under MGNREGA and other rural development programmes.
iii. synergising funds allocated to programmes like the Indira Awas Yojna, micro-irrigation projects and the Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan with that of the rural employment scheme.