Daily GK Update : 31st May, 2016 For All The Upcoming Exams

1. No tax deduction for PF withdrawals of up to rs. 50,000 from June 1
i. The government has notified that it has raised the threshold limit of PF withdrawal for deduction of tax (TDS) from existing Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000. So there will be no deduction for PF withdrawals of up to rs. 50,000. 
ii. Because the government had introduced the proposal to deduct TDS on PF withdrawals in order to discourage pre-mature withdrawal and to promote long term savings. 
iii. Also, no tax is deducted if employee withdraws PF after a period of five years. The provision will come into effect from June 1, 2016.

2. Indian Railways, PEC sign MoU to set up Kalpana Chawla Chair on geospatial technology
i. The PEC University of Technology of Chandigarh and Union Ministry of Railways have signed an MoU for setting up of Kalpana Chawla Chair on Geospatial Technology for Indian Railways at the University. 
ii. The academic chair is being instituted in memory of Indo–American Astronaut and Alumnus of PEC Late Kalpana Chawla. She was the first woman of Indian origin in space.
iii. The objective of the chair is to encourage research activities of Indian Railways in Geo-spatial Technology. The Chair will be headed as Chairman by V.K.Gupta, and Manoj Arora, as Co-chairman. 

3. India and US to sign 2 key pacts during Homeland Security Dialogue
i. India and US are all set to sign two key agreements in the month of July during the Homeland Security Dialogue, which is going to be held in Washington.
ii. The first deal which is likely to be signed would exempt prominent Indian citizens from immigration checks in America and the other one pave the way for exchange of information on terrorists on a real time basis.
iii. In US- India Homeland Security Dialogue, the Indian delegation will be lead by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh while the US team would be headed by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson.

4. JICA to provide Rs. 1,548 cr for TN urban healthcare
i. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide a loan of Rs. 1,548 crore to improve the quality of urban healthcare services in Tamil Nadu.
ii. The Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan will be provided at 0.3 per cent interest rate for a period of 40 years (including 10 years of grace period).
iii. It will be implemented in 17 cities in Tamil Nadu which include Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, etc. Till now since 1981, JICA has given Rs. 19,870 crore through ODA loans for comprehensive development of Tamil Nadu.

5. NBCC to launch Ganga cleaning project in Bihar
i. Public sector company NBCC (India) is set to kickstart projects aimed at cleaning the Ganga in Bihar, which has also got the financial approval for few project from the centre.
ii. Under the project, NBCC will undertake cleaning of debris, construction of new ghats, modernisation of existing ghats, repair, cleaning of the river surface, construction of crematorium and public facilities such as toilets. It will also set up a village drainage system in order to curb direct discharge into the river.
iii.  In total, NBCC will carry out projects across 19 towns in Bihar but till now it has got the approval only for 9 towns. The company is waiting for approval of remaining 10 town by the Ministry. The estimated cost of the project to company is around rs 600 crore.

6. ONGC Videsh signs pact with SOCAR trading
i. ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has signed a pact with the trading arm of Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic) to foray into oil trading. 
ii. The objective of the MoU is to explore possibilities of joint marketing of OVL's crude oil portfolio.
iii. The MoU was signed by S P Garg, Director (Finance), OVL and Arzu Azimov, CEO, SOCAR.

7. RIL sells stake in African oil retailer GAPCO
i. Reliance Industries, a conglomerate holding company headquartered in Mumbai has sold its stake in African fuel retailer Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation (GAPCO) to Total S. A. of France for an undisclosed sum. 
ii. With this sell, Total S. A. has become the care taker of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania's GAPCO business. Total S.A., a French multinational integrated oil and gas company is a leading retailer of petroleum products in Africa.
iii. GAPCO is a holding company incorporated in Mauritius by the JV of FOC and GAPCO but at the time of its starting only RIL has owned GAPCO shares with owning complete 76% stake of GAPCO while Fortune Oil Corporation, Mauritius has the remaining.

8. Snapdeal opens data sciences centre in California
i. Online marketplace Snapdeal has established a data sciences centre in San Carlos, California, which will help it to get top global talent and build high-value solutions. 
ii. This centre will focus on big-data and advanced analytics to add clarity to Snapdeal's consumer-centric initiatives, which will help to shape business strategy and optimize the operational efficiencies using data. 
iii. The centre is headed by Nitin Sharma, Senior Vice President, Data Sciences. 

9. Surajit Kar Purkayastha Appointed Director General Of West Bengal Police
i. Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha has appointed as the new Director General of Police in West Bengal following the retirement of G M P Reddy. 
ii. Purkayastha is a 1985 batch Indian Police Service officer. He has earlier served as Kolkata's Commissioner of Police.
iii. He had also worked with the Intelligence Branch for many years and is one of the few IPS officers who have worked for Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Iran.

10. Ashok Lavasa named as Finance Secretary
i. Ashok Lavasa, who was recently appointed as the Secretary, Expenditure in the Finance Ministry has been designated as the Finance Secretary by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) headed by PM Narendra Modi . 
ii. The 1980 batch IAS officer was shifted from the Environment Ministry to the Finance Ministry after the retirement of Ratan P. Watal on April 30. 
iii. Watal was later appointed as Principal Advisor in NITI Aayog. 

11. Noted Kannada writer D Javare Gowda passes away
i. Noted Kannada writer D. Javare Gowda has passed away following a cardiac arrest in Mysuru. He was 101 year old. 
ii. He was popularly known as 'De Ja Gow' in literary circles. He has served the Mysore University from 1969 to 1975 as Vice-Chancellor. He played an important role in getting the classical language status for Kannada by launching an indefinite fast and threatening to return the Padma Shri that was conferred on him in 2001. 
iii. In recognition of his contribution to literature and the cause of Kannada, the Karnataka government has honoured him with the Karnataka Ratna (2008) and the Nadoja title (2003).

12. Former Lok Sabha MP Rudra Madhab Ray passes away
i. Former Lok Sabha MP from Odisha and senior BJP leader Rudra Madhab Ray has passed away at a hospital in Bhubaneswar. He was suffering from Kidney related problems from past couple of month. He was 80 year old. 
ii. He was elected to the Odisha Assembly three times from Daspalla constituency from 1990 to 1995, 1995 to 1997 and again from 2004 to 2009.
iii. He was born on November 23, 1937 at Madhyakhanda village in Odisha’s Nayagarh district and was a member of the Indian Parliament, and represented Kandhamal (Lok Sabha Constituency) on BJD ticket in 2009. He was suspended from Biju Janata Dal on 12 April 2014 for his alleged role in anti-party activities.

13. AR Rahman conferred with Japan's Fukuoka prize 2016
i. Renowned Indian music composer A. R. Rahman has been awarded with the Japan's Fukuoka prize 2016 for his outstanding contribution towards towards creating, preserving and showcasing South Asian traditional fusion music. 
ii. For the year 2015, noted Indian Historian Ramchandra Guha was conferred with Fukuoka Prize in academic category. 
iii. The Fukuoka Prize is an award established by the city of Fukuoka and the Yokatopia Foundation to honor the outstanding work of individuals or organizations in preserving or creating Asian culture. There are three prize categories : Grand Prize, Academic Prize, and Arts & Culture Prize.

14. Kohli named T20 Player of Year in Ceat Award event
i. Star Indian Batsman Virat Kohli added another feather to his cap as he was named 'Ceat T20 Player of the Year' awards 2016 in Mumbai. Recently, after the conclusion of IPL 2016, he was also named as the Player-of-the-Tournament after scoring 973 runs in 16 matches. 
ii. While, former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Besides, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer were awarded 'The Young Player of the Year award' and 'Domestic Cricketer of the Year' respectively.
iii. The other awardee includes - England batsman Joe Root, who was named as the Ceat International Cricketer of the Year as well as International Batsman of the Year while, India off-spinner R Ashwin won the Ceat International Bowler of the Year award and Rohit Sharma was named as the Indian Cricketer of the Year. 
iv. One special award was handed over to Rahane, who has become the fifth Indian Cricketer to score a century in each inning of a Test Match. 
v. A New Zealand duo of Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill were also awarded as the "Test Cricketer of the Year" and "ODI Cricketer of the Year" respectively.

15. Alastair Cook Becomes Youngest Cricketer To Score 10000 Test Runs
i. England captain Alastair Cook has become the youngest ever batsman to cross 10,000 runs in Test cricket and also become the 12th man to join the elite 10,000-run club in Test cricket.
ii. Cook, who is 31 years and five months old, beat Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar's record, who was 31 years and 10 months old when he crossed 10,000 runs. 
iii. Cook achieved the landmark on Day 4 of the second Test against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street. He is also the first Englishman to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket.

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