Daily GK Update: 4th and 5th October, 2015

1. At 17,600 Feet, DRDO sets up world’s highest terrestrial research centre
i. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) established the world’s highest terrestrial centre at 17,600 feet above sea level at Changla near Pengong lake in Ladakh.
ii. The centre will serve as a natural cold storage for preserving rare and endangered medical plants for generations to come. The centre was inaugurated by Director General, DRDO Dr S Christopher.

iii. According to reports, the centre will act as an important utility for research work in frontal areas of food and agriculture and bio-medical sciences for well being of the soldiers deployed in high altitude cold desert.
iv. A large number of Life Sciences activities are proposed to be undertaken at this centre.

2. India and Germany sign 18 MoUs
i. India and Germany on Monday signed a deal to fast-track business approvals, an arrangement to make it easier for German companies to operate in Asia's third largest economy that was announced as Chancellor Angela Merkel visited New Delhi.
ii. The fast-track approvals process will ensure that German firms will have a single point of contact in the Indian administration, helping them to navigate a web of red tape that often thwarts business initiative.
iii. The agreement is the first of its kind and comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to attract foreign investment in support of his "Make in India" drive to boost industrial investment and create skilled jobs.
iv. India and Germany also agreed to enhance ties in key areas of defence manufacturing, trade, intelligence and clean energy during wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel here after which 18 MoUs were inked.

3. Three scientists share Nobel Prize for medicine for work on parasitic diseases
i. The Nobel Prize for medicine has been jointly awarded this year to three scientists for their work on parasitic diseases. Half of the award goes to Ireland's William Campbell and Japan's Satoshi Omura, who discovered a new drug to treat infections caused by roundworm parasites.
ii. The other half goes to China's Youyou Tu, who used traditional herbal medicine to find a new kind of antimalarial agent.
iii. Campbell and Omura discovered a new drug, Avermectin, the derivatives of which "have radically lowered the incidence of River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis," the Nobel Assembly said. River blindness, or onchocerciasis, can cause vision impairment or blindness, nodules under the skin or debilitating itching, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
iv. Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a painful and extremely disfiguring disease, the World Health Organization said.

4. Mahindra Intertrade appoints Sumit Issar as MD
i. Sumit Issar has been appointed as the new Managing Director for Mahindra Intertrade Ltd (MIL) and Mahindra Steel Service Centre Ltd (MSSCL), a joint venture between Mahindra and Metal OneCorporation, Japan.
ii. He takes over from Harsh Kumar who retired on September 30, 2015 and will assume fresh responsibilities at the Mahindra Institute of Quality.
iii. Issar started his career at MIL as a graduate engineer trainee in 1995 and has performed a multitude of roles encompassing sales and operations, product development, sourcing, supply chain management and business development.
iv. Mahindra Intertrade is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and owns and operates the country’s largest network of independent steel service centres in the automotive, power and home appliances verticals. It operates steel service centres in Pune, Nashik, Vadodara, Bhopal and Chakan in India and Sharjah in West Asia.

5. 26th edition of CORPAT between India and Indonesia began in Andaman Sea
i. 26th edition of the Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) between India and Indonesia began on 3 October 2015 in the Andaman Sea. The expanded version of the 18-day long CORPAT that will conclude on 21 October 2015 will also see the first ever bilateral exercise between the two nations.
ii. The two-day inaugural India-Indonesia Bilateral Maritime Exercise is scheduled from 17 October to 18 October 2015 in the Andaman Sea.
iii. The two navies have been carrying out Coordinated Patrolling (CORPAT) along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year since 2002 with the aim of keeping this vital part of the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade.
iv. The first ever India-Indonesia Bilateral Maritime Exercise that will be hosted along with the 26th edition of the CORPAT will help the bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The Bilateral Maritime Exercise and the CORPAT would see participation by one warship and one Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both sides.

6. Flipkart appointed Sriram Venkataraman as Chief Financial Officer
i. India’s e-commerce giant, Flipkart, on 4 October 2015 appointed Sriram Venkataraman as the new Chief Finance Officer (CFO) for its commerce platform (CP). The homegrown online marketplace also appointed Pramod Jain as Vice President and Head of Taxation.
ii. Venkataraman will watch over all aspects of the finance function for CP. He will also be responsible to drive the CP business to deliver its goals. Jain will play an important role in taking the tax team’s engagement with revenue and government authorities to the next level.
iii. Sriram Venkataraman obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras and completed his post-graduation in Management from the Indian School of Business (ISB).
He holds more than 19 years of experience in Hindustan Unilever. His last role was Head of Sales Finance in Unilever.
iv. By professional qualifications, Pramod Jain is a Chartered Accountant and Lawyer. He has worked as the country tax head for Dell and Xerox. His last role was Vice President of Taxation with Indus Towers Limited, the world’s largest telecom tower company and a joint venture of Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.

7. Ashish Bahuguna given additional charge of Chief Executive Officer of FSSAI
i. Ashish Bahuguna, the Chairman of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), on 4 October 2015 was given an additional charge of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FSSAI.
ii. The decision was taken following the shift of Yudhvir Singh Malik to NITI Aayog as an Additional Secretary in September 2015. A retired IAS officer of 1978-batch of Rajasthan cadre and former Agriculture Secretary, Bahuguna was appointed as Chairman of the food regulator in July 2015.
iii. He will hold the position of CEO until a new appointment is made for the position.
iv. FSSAI was instituted under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 in August 2011. It is an agency of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety. It is headquartered at New Delhi.

8. Renowned Telugu Cinema producer Edida Nageswara Rao passes away
i. Renowned Telugu Cinema Producer Edida Nageswara Rao passed away in Hyderabad, Telangana. He was 81. He had produced numerous landmark movies Telugu Cinema (also known as Tollywood).
ii. He was born on April 24, 1934 in East Godavari district of undivided Andhra Pradesh. He had started his career in film industry as a theatre artiste, dubbing artiste, film actor and later turned into a film producer by launching Poornodaya Movie Creations.
iii. His debut movie as producer was Siri Siri Muvva which was a runaway hit in 1978 and was directed by eminent director K. Vishwanath. In all he has produced 10 movies which turned out to be very popular and were big hits.

9. Shashank Manohar elected unopposed as BCCI president
i. Shashank Manohar has been elected unopposed as President of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the second term.
ii. He belongs to Vidarbha Cricket Association and was elected by Special General Meeting (SGM) of BCCI. The meeting was called to elect President due to sudden demise of Jagmohan Dalmiya, who had served President for 7 months after winning election in March 2015.
iii. In this by-election, Shashank Manohar was the only candidate in the fray and was unanimously backed by all the 6 units of East Zone as it was this zone’s turn to elect President this time.
iv. Shashank Manohar by profession is a prominent lawyer. Earlier he had served as the 29th President of the BCCI from 2008 to 2011. As a cricket administrator he is known for his impeccable clean image and track record & integrity in cricketing circles.