Daily GK Update: 27th November, 2015

1. Dhoni becomes brand ambassador for Dubai-based company
i. India’s ODI cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has bagged his first endorsement deal outside the country, signing up to be the brand ambassador of Dubai-based hospitality and event management company Grand Midwest Group for three years.
ii. Established by UAE businessman Zafar Shah Khan, the Grand Midwest Group owns hotel properties in Dubai, UK and Ireland. The company also has interests in the entertainment business in India and currently owns a local cricket team in the UAE.

iii. The group’s event management arm — GM Sports — was recently in the news for announcing the launch of a Twenty20 international cricket tournament called the Masters Champions League (MCL), which is scheduled to be played starting end of January next year.

2. HSBC to shut down private banking business in India
i. HSBC Holdings Plc is shutting its private banking unit in India, marking the exit of another foreign bank from the cut-throat wealth management business in Asia's third-largest economy.
ii. Many foreign wealth managers had scrambled to open up shop in India a few years ago and aggressively ramped up operations to take advantage of robust economic growth, only to find themselves struggling.
iii. Even though India's economy has been minting millionaires at a strong pace, it has failed to translate into profits for the foreign wealth managers that have set up teams of well-paid bankers to help manage those riches.
iv. Banks including Royal Bank of Scotland and Morgan Stanley have sold their onshore India private banking units in the recent past, as part of their global business restructuring.
v. The Mumbai-based HSBC spokesman said it would offer private banking clients the choice to move to HSBC Premier, the bank's global retail banking and wealth management platform. The process is likely to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

3. Govt. extends RuPay insurance cover period
i. The government has extended the usage criterion of the RuPay debit cards in order to avail of the in-built insurance cover, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Finance. Earlier, cardholders had to use the card within 45 days prior to claim the insurance claim. This has now been extended to 90 days.
ii. “One of the stipulations of meeting the claim under Accidental Death and/or Permanent Disablement was that the RuPay Card holder has to carry-out at least one successful financial or non-financial transactions…up to 45 days prior to the date of incident resulting into Accidental death / Permanent Disability. This condition was posing problem to the RuPay Card holders,” according to the statement.
iii. The National Payment Corporation has extended the usage clause to 90 days for RuPay Classic cardholders fromNovember 25.
iv. Only accidents arising on or after November 25 will be considered for the extended period. Claim intimations on accidents having occurred before November 25 will remain under the previous eligibility criterion of 45 days.
v. Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana 16.54 crore accounts have been provided a RuPay debit card.

4. Israel tests Barak-8 missile co-developed with India
i. The Israeli military has conducted another successful test of the Barak-8 missile, jointly developed with India, as it intercepted a small drone simulating an “enemy” target, defence sources said. “In the first of its kind operation test on Thursday,  Barak 8 missile fired from an Israeli Navy ship successfully intercepted an enemy target registering 100 per cent success,” Israeli military sources told PTI.
ii. INS Kolkata is the Indian ship likely to be used for the testing as the launchers and radars to track missiles are already installed on the vessel. The missile is being jointly developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Elta Systems, Rafael and other companies.
iii. Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) will be assigned the task of producing the missiles with 32 initial ones to be fitted on INS Kolkata. Israeli security sources said that the advanced surface-to-air missile system will be deployed to secure the country’s offshore gas fields.
iv. The system will extend the range of Israel’s aerial defence and should be operational in about two years. It will also help defend Israeli navy ships from anti-ship missiles like the Yakhont missile which is believed to be possessed by Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah and poses a major threat to Israel’s security.
v. The Barak-8, an upgraded version of the Barak missile system already being used by India and Israel, is designed to defend naval vessels against incoming missiles, planes and drones.

5. Canara Bank CSR drive
i. Canara Bank has tied up with the Navodhan Charitable Foundation in its efforts for timely detection of cancer. It has helped the foundation acquire a mobile cancer detection unit fitted with the best facilities as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) drive.
ii. To coincide with the launch the mobile unit, the Bank will join the Foundation to host a one-day cancer detection camp at its Circle Office here on Friday.
iii. VS Sivakumar, Minister of Health, will launch the camp in the presence of Elizabeth Antony, founding president of the foundation, and N Sivasankaran, General Manager, Canara Bank.

6. India successfully test-fires Agni-I missile
i. India today successfully test-fired the indigenously built nuclear-capable Agni-I missile, capable of hitting a target at a distance of 700 km, from a test range off the Odisha coast as part of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) training exercise.
ii. The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at 1002 hours from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island).
iii. The trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships from its launch till the missile hit the target area with accuracy, they said.
iv. The Agni-I missile is equipped with a sophisticated navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision.
v. The missile, which has already been inducted into the armed forces, has proved its excellent performance in terms of range, accuracy and lethality, the sources said. Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I is designed to carry a payload of more than one tonne. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload.

7. RBI permitted Foreign Portfolio Investors to buy Defaulted Bonds
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 26 November 2015 permitted the Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) to buy fully or partly defaulted bonds in the repayment of principal on maturity or principal installment in the case of amortising bond. The permission was given as part of the drive to promote investments by FPIs in corporate bonds.
ii. The revised maturity period of such NCDs/bonds that are restructured based on negotiations with the issuing Indian company should be three years or more.
iii. The FPI that proposes to acquire such NCDs/bonds under default should disclose to the Debenture Trustees the terms of their offer to the existing debenture holders from whom they are acquiring.
iv. Such investment should be within the overall limit prescribed for corporate debt from time to time (currently 2443.23 billion rupees). All other existing conditions for investment by FPIs in the debt market remain unchanged.

8. World Robot Olympiad, 2015 held in Doha; 2016 session to be held in Delhi
i. World Robot Olympiad (WRO), 2015 was held in Doha, Qatar from 6 November to 8 November 2015.  The 2015 session of the event was held with theme Robot Explorers. The event saw participation of students from more than 55 countries.
ii. This is the first time in the history of WRO that Indian students were able to win three medals (1Gold & 2 Silver) and one position (Eighth).
iii. Storm Divers from Ahmadabad won first rank. Participants included Aaman Shah, Aarav Savla and Shaurya Goenka. Thunder Divers from Ahmadabad won second rank. Participants included Vir Gandhi, Ishan Patel and Param Adani.
iv. Shadow Bots from Delhi won second rank. Participants included Jayant Sharma, Aman Thakur and Rohan Verma. Path Finders from Delhi won eighth rank. Participants included Dhariya Gupta, Ishaan Saini and Laxman Prasad.
v. Teams from over 225 different schools across India participated in this event to showcase their talent and creativity. The Indian delegation was led by Arvind Manjit Singh, JS (Culture).
vi. Besides, the Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism Dr Mahesh Sharma on 26 November 2015 announced that for the first time the 13th World Robot Olympiad will be held in Delhi in November 2016. It will be organized by National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) with India STEM Foundation (ISF).

9. GRSE handed over ASW Corvette 'Kadmatt' to Indian Navy
i. The second Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette Kadmatt built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) was formally handed over to Indian Navy at Kolkata on 26 November 2015. The Corvette would be joining the Eastern Fleet shortly.
ii. The super-sophisticated frontline warship was handed over by Rear Admiral (Retd) AK Verma, Chairman and Managing Director of GRSE to the Commanding Officer of the ship Mahesh C Moudgil. 
iii. The ship is equipped with total atmospheric control ventilation system making it fully capable to fight in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare environments.
iv. It is 109 metres long with a displacement of 3200 tons. It has a maximum speed of 25 Knots. It is designed to accommodate 17 officers and 106 sailors. Its main role is to protect nation's maritime interests against possible submarine attack. It is a potent platform for neutralising the enemy submarines using weapons like torpedoes, rocket launchers and helicopter.
v. It has been built in the country with indigenously developed special grade high-tensile (DMR249A) steel produced by the Steel Authority of India. Its hull encompasses the bulk of sensors and weapon systems which are also indigenously manufactured.

10. South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise 2015 concluded
i. The South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx) 2015 was on 26 November 2015 concluded by the Union Government in Delhi. This was the first-ever joint exercise to be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of India.
ii. This joint exercise was attended by  South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries from 23 November to 26 November 2015. The member countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
iii. It aimed to synchronise efforts to institutionalise regional cooperation on disaster response among SAARC member countries. The main focus was to test the inter-governmental coordination, create synergy and synchronise efforts to institutionalise regional cooperation on disaster response among the member countries of SAARC.
iv. Through the exercise, the important aspects of responding to disasters by pooling of resources/expertise were addressed. Joint Field Training Exercise on Collapsed Structure Search & Rescue (CSSR) techniques was conducted by NDRF with active participation of all eight member nations of SAARC.
v. In the Joint Field Training Exercise, NDRF successfully painted the real disaster like scenario that was dealt by the Rescue Team of each SAARC nation to understand their CSSR capabilities. Joint Field Training Exercise on Chemical Emergency was also conducted by NDRF with active participation of SAARC nations where rescue teams of these countries promptly responded to the scenario of leakage of gases that was painted by NDRF.

11. Union Government approved 3120 crore rupees investment for infra boost in 102 AMRUT cities
i. The Ministry of Urban Development on 26 November 2015 approved an investment of 3120 crore rupees investment plans for basic urban infrastructure boost for 102 cities approved under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
ii. The plans will enhance water supply, sewerage network services, storm water drains, non-motorised transport and availability of public spaces in 102 cities, under AMRUT.
iii. Besides, an inter-ministerial Apex Committee approved State level Annual Action Plans for 2015-16 with an investment of 438 crore rupees for Haryana (18 AMRUT cities), 573 crore rupees for Chattisgarh (9 AMRUT cities), 416 crore rupees for Telangana (12 AMRUT cities), 588 crore rupees for Kerala (9 AMRUT cities) and 1105 crore rupees for West Bengal (54 AMRUT cities).
iv. The Apex Committee approved investments in different basic urban infrastructure areas as proposed by respective state governments. Ministry of Urban Development will provide an assistance 1540 crore rupees which is about 50 perecnt of total approved project expenditure. Total investment in water supply projects in 58 mission states will be 2386 crore rupees.
v. Sewerage projects will demand an investment of 495 crore rupees in 17 cities. A total of 106 crore rupees will be invested on storm water drains in 9 cities. Urban transport will seek an investment of 61 crore rupees in 9 cities. Around 72 crore rupees will be invested on development of parks and green spaces in all the 102 cities.

12. Australia, New Zealand started playing the historic first day-night Test at Adelaide Oval
i. First day-night Test will be played at the Adelaide Oval from 27 November to 1 December 2015 with a pink Kookaburra ball.
ii. For the first time in 138 years, a Test match will be played with a ball that is not red. For the first time in 138 years, a Test match will be played at night. Test Number 2188 will have a five-day limit, six-ball overs and a pink ball.
iii. This historical Test cricket will be played as per recommendations of the MCC World Cricket Committee to keep the test cricket alive.  
iv. The decision to have a day-night Test match was taken with an aim to make people watch it on TV in prime time or head to the ground after work to catch the second half of the day’s action. It represents a continuation of the evolution of the game.

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