DAILY GK UPDATE – 1 July

1.    SBI launches digital touch banking branches
i. State Bank of India
has launched six digital branches across the nation, as part of its programme
to offer next generation banking solutions to the mobile and internet-savvy
customer base.
ii. These branches are located in Mumbai,
Bangalore,Chennai and Ahmedabad, besides Delhi. One of such branches in Delhi
was inaugurated this morning by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

iii. Named as sbiINTOUCH, these branches
will have digital banking capabilities, which include instant account opening
with personalised debit cards, instant loan approvals for education, car and
home and remote expert advisors available via video links. The new branches are
equipped with interactive wall and table displays and multi-function kiosks.
iv. “Today, more than half of India’s population is
under the age of 25. By 2020, India’s average age will be 29 years — this is a
digital demographic, one that expects businesses to provide solutions
immediately. At the same time, the mass afflunet — no matter what their age —
have similar espectations. Indian banks need to provide a strong response to
these new demands,” Chairman of SBI Arundhati Bhattacharya said here.
Digital
biz strategy: i.
The
bank has engaged Accenture to develop the digital business strategy for its
programme.
ii. Accenture is a global management consulting,
technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 293,000 people
serving clients in more than 120 countries.
iii. Accenture helped SBI in designing the branch layouts,
implementing the digital processes and technology at the branches, and
providing back-end integration, including employee training.
‘Touch’
branches
i.
Customers can open a
SBI savings account by visiting the new ‘Touch’ branches launched by the bank.
ii. The new branches will be located in malls and will be
primarily aimed at youth, who look for digital banking.
2.    IDBI Bank launches mobile banking service
i. IDBI Bank on Tuesday introduced mobile banking service
for its customers. This facility enables the customer to meet all banking needs
such as fund transfer, bill payments, visa money transfer, DTH/ mobile recharge
and much more from any destination.
ii. To commemorate 50 years of its journey in the Indian
financial sector, the public sector bank’s Chairman & Managing Director
M.S. Raghavan also opened 50 new branches pan-India through e-inauguration.
iii. With the opening of these new branches, IDBI Bank now
has 1,467 branches, and 2,535 ATMs spread across 1,046 geographical locations
of the country.
3.    India announced new liberal visa policy for
Afghanistan nationals
i. India announced a new liberal visa policy for nationals
of Afghanistsan on humanitarian grounds. The Policy was released by Union Home
Ministry and will be effective from 1 July 2014.
ii. The new policy allows nationals of Afghanistan to stay
in India on stay visa or resident permit for a period of two years at a time.
Besides, Afghanistan nationals below 12 years or above 65 years are also
granted exemption from police reporting.
iii. The policy has also the
liberal provisions in relation to exemption from the requirement of police
reporting to various categories including Afghan students, medical patients,
short-term visitors, businessmen, scholars and eminent persons.
4.    US named a mountain in Antarctica after an
Indian-American scientist, Akhouri Sinha
i. The
United States on 30 June 2014 named a mountain in Antarctica as Mt. Sinha to
honour an eminent Indian-American scientist, Akhouri Sinha.
ii. The mountain was
named in recognition of Sinha’s work done as an explorer in 1971-72. Sinha’s
pioneering biological research expedition has provided critical data about
animal populations in Antarctica.
iii. Mt Sinha is a
mountain of 990 meter at the southeast extremity of Erickson Bluffs in the
south part of McDonalds Heights. It overlooks lower Kirkpatrick Glacier from
the north in Marie Byrd Land.


iv. The mountain
was named by Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (US-ACAN) and the US
Geological Survey. Akhouri was recognised by the US Geological Survey. 
5.    Twitter buys mobile ad-tech startup TapCommerce
i. Twitter is fattening its
mobile ad portfolio by agreeing to acquire TapCommerce, a company that
specialises in targeting app consumers, the latter has said.
ii. Based in New York, San
Francisco and London, TapCommerce specialises in targeting consumers who have
downloaded an app and trying to entice them to come back to it. The firm says it
is present on 50,000 apps.
iii. “The TapCommerce platform
is already deeply integrated with MoPub, Twitter’s mobile-focused RTB ad
exchange. We look forward to growing our role as an integral part of the
Twitter Publisher Network,” TapCommerce co-founder Brian Long wrote on the
firm’s blog.
iv. Since the start of the
year Twitter has been on a shopping spree, buying in particular companies that
measure TV audiences or the impact of TV programs or ads on social media,
including Gnip or SnappyTV in the US, Mesagraph of France and SecondSync in
Britain.
6.    Former Haitian President Leslie Manigat died at 83
i. Former Haitian president Leslie Francois Manigat on 27
June 2014 died at the age of 83. He was elected as the President of Haiti in
January 1988 but was overthrown by General Henri Namphy in June 1988.
ii. He led the centre-left Assembly of
Progressive National Democrats party (RNDP) that was founded in the late 1970s.
7.    Sri Lanka and Seychelles signed six agreements
i. Sri
Lanka and Seychelles signed 6 agreements of bilateral importance. The
agreements were signed during the visit of Sri Lankan President to Seychelles.
ii. The six agreements
were signed between Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and President of
Seychelles, James Michael in the capital, Victoria.
iii. As per the agreement
a Joint Commission on cooperation will be established that will guide the
entire bilateral cooperation mechanism including identifying areas of bilateral
cooperation, arriving at agreements, implementation, identifying issues and
finding solutions.
iv. Rajapaksa who is on
a 3-day working visit to the Indian Ocean island state also declared open Sri
Lankan Embassy in Seychelles. 


v. Seychelles
is an archipelago of 155-island in the Indian Ocean.
8.   
RIP Orkut! Google to shut down website
on Sept 30
i. Orkut, Google’s first social
networking site, will cease to exist after September with the Internet giant
deciding to shut down the service launched 10 years ago.
ii. Google said it will shut down Orkut,
which is very popular in India and Brazil, on September 30. The service,
however, did not do so well in other parts of the world and lost sheen to
rivals like Facebook.
iii. Orkut, which popularised posts or
“scraps” between friends, did not disclose the number of users on the website.
iv. However, according to its website
about 50.6 per cent of its users were from Brazil. Another 20.44 per cent came
from India, while the US and Pakistan accounted for 17.78 per cent and 0.86 per
cent, respectively.
v. Orkut was launched in 2004, the same
year when Facebook was founded. Facebook is now the world’s largest social
network with 1.28 billion users.
Orkut was the result of a “20 per cent
project” in which Google workers got to spend a fifth of their time on ideas
not necessarily related to their job responsibilities.
vi. In 2010, Facebook overtook Orkut as
the top social networking site in India with 20.9 million visitors in July that
year compared to Orkut’s 16 per cent growth with 19.9 million visitors,
according to research firm comScore.
9.   
New Zealand’s Lou Vincent Gets Life
Ban for Match-Fixing
i. The punishment, which is expected to
be formally announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board later Tuesday,
stems from one-day matches that Lou Vincent admitted he helped rig in English
county cricket in 2011.
ii. Disgraced former New Zealand batsman
Lou Vincent said on Tuesday he had received a life ban from cricket for
match-fixing.
iii. “My name is Lou Vincent and I am
a cheat. I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of
occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing,” he said in a
statement confirming the ban.
iv. The 35-year-old has also given
evidence to International Cricket Council anti-corruption investigators in
which he says he was involved in fixing in five countries between 2008 and
2012.
v. Vincent said he had shamed his
homeland and the game, prompting him to come clean to try to ease his
conscience.
vi. “Speaking out. Exposing the
truth. Laying bare the things I have done wrong is the only way I can find to
begin to put things right,” he said.
vii. Vincent played in 23 Tests and 102
one-dayers for New Zealand before retiring from international cricket in 2007.