Monday, 12 January 2015

Daily GK Update - 12th January 2015

1. NRIs can vote through postal ballots
i. Centre gave their nod to the proposal prepared by a 12-member committee led by Vinod Zutshi, Deputy Election Commissioner, for ‘Exploring Feasibility of Alternative Options for Voting by Overseas Electors’.

ii. The Centre told the Supreme Court that the EC’s recommendation to extend voting rights to NRIs through postal ballots have been accepted in letter and spirit.
iii. Chief Justice H L Dattu and A K Sikri asked the Centre to inform it about “further steps taken to implement the suggestions.”
iv. The poll panel had contended that the move to allow NRIs to use proxy voting on the lines of defence personnel and e-ballot facility will require changes in the law and a legislative framework.

2. Golden Globe Awards announced 
i. the 72nd Golden Globe Awards announced in Beverly Hills, California 
ii. Coming of age tale "Boyhood" won the coveted Golden Globe for best drama on Sunday.
iii. while the quirky period caper "The Grand Budapest Hotel" was the surprise winner for best comedy or musical, in a big upset to awards season front-runner "Birdman."

List of award winners - 

  • Best Motion Picture-Drama: Boyhood
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture- Drama: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
  • Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical: The Grand Budapest Hotel 
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: Amy Adams, Big Eyes
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical: Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Best Animated Film: How To Train Your Dragon 2
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Leviathan (Russia)
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
  • Best Director-Motion Picture: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
  • Best Screenplay: Birdman
  • Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything
  • Best Original Song - Motion Picture: John Legend and Common, "Glory," Selma

3. Govt to sell stake in PSUs
i. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the divestment programme would be pursued on priority and involve more than one PSU during this period.
ii. There are reports that the government is looking to sell 10 per cent stake in Coal India to raise Rs 24,000 crore.
iii. The government has realised Rs 1,715 crore from disinvestment proceeds so far in the current fiscal 2014-15.
iv. Government have set a target of Rs 43,425 crore from sale of its shares in listed companies.

4. Microsoft ties up with Idea for paid apps, games
i. Handset maker Microsoft Devices has partnered with Idea Cellular to help subscribers of the telecom services firm pay for apps as part of monthly bills. 
ii. Idea users will be able to purchase premium apps and games from the Windows Store on Microsoft Lumia as well as other Windows-based smartphones and pay for them through integrated billing. 
iii. The smartphone market in India is poised to grow over 70 per cent this fiscal and the app ecosystem is also booming. 
iv. The Windows Store, competes with Google's Play Store and Apple's App store besides other smaller platforms. 

5. National Youth Day observed across India on 12 January
i. The day is observed annually to mark the birth anniversary of social reformer, philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda.
ii. This is the 152nd birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
iii. The Union Government in 1984 had declared that 12 January, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda will be observed as the National Youth Day. 
iv. Swami Vivekananda's lectures and writings are a source of inspiration for youth and have motivated numerous youth organisation.
v. His writings derive their inspiration from Indian spiritual tradition and the broad outlook of his Master Sri Ramakrishna.
vi. All his teachings can be found in The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, in nine volumes, published by Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.
vii. He is best known for his inspiring speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893 in which he introduced Hinduism, his words began with words, Sisters and brothers of America.

6. SDSC-SHAR director MYS Prasad chosen for Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Award 2015
i. The director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota Range (SHAR) MYS Prasad was on 10 January 2015 selected for the Vikram Sarabhai memorial award 2015. 
ii. The award will be presented to MYS Prasad by the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).
iii. Prasad was selected for his outstanding contribution to Research and Development in the field of space science in his long career at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).  
iv. The Vikram Sarabhai memorial award was instituted by the Indian Science Congress Association in 1997-98. The award carries a Gold Medal and is given in every alternate years. 

7. EC announces Delhi Assembly poll dates; voting on Feb 7, counting on Feb 10
i. Voting for Delhi Assembly Elections 2015 would be held in a single phase on February 7 with the counting of votes scheduled for February 10,Delhi has 70 Assembly seats.
ii. The total electorate of Delhi is 1.3 crore and the total number of total stations are 11763. Model Code of Conduct has come into force from today.
iii. Last time Arvind Kejriwal challenged Modi - in the Lok Sabha polls - the people of Varanasi had left him humbled.
iv. The Congress forms the third axis of politics in Delhi but given the party's weak performance in successive Assembly polls after the Lok Sabha poll defeat, the battle is essentially between the BJP and the AAP.
v. The EC appears to have taken care while finalising the dates so as to ensure that it does not come in the way of school annual examinations, including those conducted by the CBSE that usually start early March.
vi. In 2013, the BJP had emerged as the single largest party with 31 MLAs, followed by AAP which got 28 MLAs.

8. Stan Wawrinka wins Chennai Open
i. Stan Wawrinka's notched a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 victory over Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedene to win the Chennai Open.
ii. It was the second consecutive title victory at Chennai and third overall for the top-seeded player, who did not drop a set in the tournament.
iii. It was the third time the two players met at the Chennai Open with Bedene winning their quarterfinal match in 2013 and Wawrinka prevailing at the same stage last year.

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