Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Daily GK Update - 19th August 2015

Kochi airport becomes world’s first to operate on solar power
i. Scripting a new chapter, the Cochin International Airport on Tuesday became the first in the world to operate completely on solar power. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the 12 MWp solar power plant, comprising 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres near the cargo complex, at a function at the airport this morning.

ii. With this, the airport will have 50000 to 60000 units of electricity per day to be consumed for all its operational functions, which technically makes the airport ‘absolutely power neutral,’ Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) said in a release, adding, it is the first airport in the world to operate completely on solar power.
iii. CIAL had ventured into the Solar PV sector during March 2013, by installing a 100 kWp solar PV Plant on the roof top of the Arrival Terminal Block. This was a trendsetter in the field of grid-connected solar PV in Kerala.
iv. A total of 400 polycrystalline modules of 250Wp with five numbers of 20kW capacity ‘Refu-sol make string inverters’ were used in this plant. It is a grid connected system without any battery storage.
v. After the successful commissioning of this plant, CIAL installed a 1 MWp solar PV power plant partly on the roof top and partly on the ground in the Aircraft Maintenance Hangar facility within the airport premises.

Tata Trusts to develop 264 villages in Vijayawada under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana(SAGY) initiative
i. Tata Trust to develop 264 villages in Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency of Andhra Pradesh under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana(SAGY) initiative. This is fruit of the labor of existing MP of Vijayawada Srinivas Kesineni, who had approached Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons seeking his collaboration to develop model villages in his constituency under SAGY initiative.
ii. This initiative by the Tata Trusts is first of its kind where a Trust had planned to bring about grass-root level changes and to develop model village under SAGY initiative.
iii. Tata Trusts has come forward with an objective to build self sustainable and self driven villages with a focus on the well-being and happiness of the poor in 264 villages.
iv. The project has excluded the Vijayawada city and other urban areas in the constituency. Andhra Pradesh has endorsed the idea and will support the project by providing Rs 600 crore-Rs 700 crore funds under the governmental schemes.
v. For this project Tata Trust has recruited over 1,400 volunteers from these villages who will also get training for the job.

Finance Minister launches two funds for promoting MSMEs and Start-ups
i. On 18 August Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched two funds the India Aspiration Fund (IAF) and SIDBI Make in India Loan for Enterprises (SMILE) under Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in line to carter funding for start-ups and to aid small enterprises in India.
ii. SIDBI under the first fund India Aspiration Fund (IAF) would invest in venture capital funds for meeting the equity requirement of MSME start-ups and for this the initial corpus of Rs. 2,000 crore has been set. Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC) will be a partner and co-investor in this fund.
iii. Under second fund the SIDBI Make in India Loan for Enterprises (SMILE) is a debt-fund which will carter soft term loans to MSMEs to meet debt-to-equity norms and pursue growth opportunities, SIDBI has set Initial corpus of Rs. 10, 000 crore under SMILE fund. Finance Ministry has launched these funds under SIDBI to boost MSME and start-ups under Make in India initiative and expects to create employment for over one lakh person for four to five years.
iv. Ministry also intend to move people from overstaffed agriculture sector to areas such as services and manufacturing through MSMEs and start-up which fund their own business and creates employment.

LIC launches maiden unit linked insurance plan (ULIP)
i. State run insurer, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has launched its maiden unit linked insurance plan (ULIP) product across the country. The ULIP which is also called as ‘New Endowment Plus’ offers investment-cum-insurance provision during the term policy providing dual benefit for the policy holder.
ii. It provides dual benefits of risk cover and investment opportunity in market to the policy holder and also provides option of partial withdrawal under this plan.
iii. ULIP provides four fund options to policy holders in form of — bond fund, balance fund, secured fund, and growth fund to which policy holder can switch over according to their conveniences. Policy holders can switch over among the fund options for four times in a given policy for free of charge.
iv. ULIP provides double death benefit .i.e. it gives assured amount equal to the higher of basic sum assured or policy holder’s fund value on death before or after the date of commencement of risk. It also provides accident death benefit to rider which provides for an additional amount equal to accident death benefit sum assured on death due to accident.
v. The basic sum assured under ULIP is higher by 10 times the annualised premium and 105% of the total premiums paid. The minimum lock-in period for ULIP plan is for five years and if surrender before that an additional charge is levied.

BSE sets up new system for reporting suspicious trades
i. Bombay Stock Exchange has instituted new system Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) for reporting suspicious trades in order to check money laundering through stock markets.
ii. The national stock exchange has asked its members to report details of the STRs submitted to the government’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) on a monthly basis. As per new rules
iii. Trading members are required to submit the data through a specific FIU-STR module on the BSE Electronic Filing System (EFS), an online gateway along with Cash Transaction reports (CTRs).
iv. In this data members should provide details of their registration with the FIU along with the information regarding the principal officers and the designated directors for the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) compliance.
v. The new system was initiated in line with regulators and Government’s financial intelligence agencies move to enhance their vigil recently on entities trying to misuse the stock market platform for black money laundering and to evade taxes.

The Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity authored by Tarun Khanna released by Akhilesh yadav
i. Book titled The Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity authored by Tarun Khanna was released by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on 17 August 2015. The book, a product of Harvard University, is edited by Rahul Mehrotra, Felipe Vera and Diana Eck.
ii. The book which is a kind of research work of the University tells the story of the Kumbh Mela, the largest celebration on earth that depends on the positions of Jupiter, the Sun and the Moon. It also narrates that people mostly Hindus travel certain places along holy rivers, like Ganga, to take bath and cleanse themselves from sin.
iii. In 2013, a team from Harvard University monitored the large-scale event from its preparation through to the actual celebration, investigating and documenting the prototypes for flexible urban planning and offering organizers advice on issues around environmental protection.
iv. This substantial hardcover presents their comprehensive research findings along with city maps, aerial images and photographs of this most fascinating feat of urban planning.

Meet the White House’s first transgender staffer
i. The White House has appointed its first openly transgender staff member. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan has been hired as an outreach and recruitment director for presidential personnel in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, LGBT groups and the White House said Tuesday.
ii. Freedman-Gurspan "demonstrates the kind of leadership this administration champions,” Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama, said in an e-mailed statement confirming the appointment. "Her commitment to bettering the lives of transgender Americans -- particularly transgender people of color and those in poverty -- reflects the values of this administration."
iii. ational Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling said: "President Obama has long said he wants his administration to look like the American people. I have understood this to include transgender Americans. A transgender person was inevitably going to work in the White House.
iv. Freedman-Gurspan's previous job was at the National Center for Transgender Equality, where she worked as a policy adviser for the Racial and Economic Justice Initiative. In that role, she also urged the government to release undocumented transgender immigrants who cannot be adequately protected from sexual violence in detention.

Happy World Photography Day to all shutterburgs
i. The World Photography Day is annually observed on Aug 19 across the world. Be it  a professional or amateur photographers, all of them celebrate the day with equal zest. One of the most important thing is to know about the origin of photography.
ii. The Daguerreotype photographic processes was invented by Frenchmen Joseph Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre in 1837. William Fox is said to be the inventor of Calotype photo process.
iii. Homai Vyarawalla is the first lady press photographer from Navasari, Gujarat. She was born in a middle class family in 1913. Her work captured the last day of the British Empire in India and the emergence of a new country.
iv. The one behind the famous photograph of Jawaharlal Nehru and the wife of the then British Deputy High Commission lighting up a cigarette together, Vyarawalla shot to fame from there.

Bangladesh lifted South Asian Football Federation U-16 title
i. Bangladesh Under-16 team on 18 August 2015 won their first-ever South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) under-16 title. In the title clash at the Sylhet District Stadium of Bangladesh, the hosts defeated defending champions India 4-2 in penalties.
ii. Bangladesh got the lead through Fahim Murshed when he found the net in the 46th minute. India equalised the score after the hour mark through Amay Morajkar's left-footer. The match went into penalties after both sides failed to score the second goal.
iii. In the shoot out, Bangladesh did not miss any of their penalties, while India failed to score its second and fourth helping the home side clinch the title for the first time. Earlier, Bangladesh had beaten India in the group stage as well.
iv. Besides India and Bangladesh, the tournament was participated by Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and the Maldives.

New IAAF president Sebastian Coe promises independent doping unit
i. Sebastian Coe has described his election as president of the world athletics governing body as the pinnacle of his career and vowed to introduce an independent doping commission to address perceived “conflicts and loopholes”.
ii. Lord Coe, the double Olympic gold medallist who led the organising committee for the London 2012 Games, said beating the Ukrainian former pole vaulter Sergey Bubka to the presidency was a bigger moment than any of his previous successes.
iii. Victory for a visibly relieved Coe, who defeated Bubka by 115 votes to 92, prompted an outpouring of support from British athletes and sports administrators who said he was the man to repair the battered image of the sport in the wake of a slew of doping and corruption allegations.
iv. The new IAAF president, who will begin work following the impending world championships in Beijing, said athletics had played a lead role in tackling doping. But he admitted: “We do have to recognise there is too broad a view that this something – whether real or perceived – that there are conflicts and loopholes. 

AFI chief Sumariwalla elected IAAF Council member 
i. Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwalla was today elected as one of the members of the prestigious Council of the IAAF, the global governing body of the sport, in its polls held here. 
ii. Sumariwalla, an Olympian 100m runner, was elected as one of the nine individual members of the all-powerful IAAF Council at the 50th Congress of the world athletics body held a day ahead of the start of the World Athletics Championships. 
iii. Sumariwalla is the first Indian to be elected in the IAAF Council. He got 61 votes in the second round to get elected. Former AFI and Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi was also earlier a member of the IAAF Council from 2001 to 2013 but by virtue of his being the chief of the Asian Athletics Association and not through an election. 
iv. The Commonwealth Games scam-tainted Kalmadi lost his seat as an ordinary member after he was defeated in the AAA presidential elections to Dahlan Al-Hamad of Qatar in Pune in 2013. 

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