Daily GK Update – 18th – 19th January 2015

1. Mukherjee launches Pulse Polio Immunization Programme
i. President Pranab Mukherjee launched the Pulse Polio Immunization Programme by administering polio drops to children at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
ii. The National Immunization Day was held on 18th Jannuary when children under 5 years age were  given polio drops as part of the Government’s drive to sustain polio eradication from the region. 
iii. India has been implementing the Pulse Polio Programme since 1995.

iv. In India, the last case of wild polio was reported on January 13, 2011. The South-East Asia region of WHO has been certified on March 27, 2014 as “polio free”, meaning that transmission of wild poliovirus has been interrupted in this block of 11 countries including India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste for the last three years.

2. Manjul Bhargava to lead Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s teach in India programme 
i. Fields medallist Manjul Bhargava will be the face and facilitator of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet education project to rope in eminent scholars and scientists abroad to teach students at IITs and central universities.
ii. Bhargava, who is the first person of Indian origin to win the coveted international prize for his work in mathematics agreed to ‘recruit’ scientists in the US and across the world to participate in the Global Initiative of Academic network (GIAN), a shortterm teaching programme under which scholars abroad will be invited to teach in India.
iii. GIAN is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brainchild. The project is expected to figure once again on the Indian agenda when Obama arrives here.
3. Twitter ropes in Taranjeet Singh to head business in India 
i. Microblogging site Twitter has hired Taranjeet Singh as business head for its operations in India. 
ii. Singh will responsible for increasing commercial opportunities for Twitter and work closely with brands and agencies to maximise the value of real-time marketing for live public conversations.
iii. Taranjeet has more than 19 years of sales and business development experience. He was previously sales director of South Asia for BBC Advertising. 

4. 24 Children, including 8 girls selected for National Bravery Awards
i. Four of the awards have been given posthumously. The children will receive their awards from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 24th of January, and will also participate in the Republic Day parade.
ii. 16 year old Resham Fatma of Uttar Pradesh, a victim of Acid attack, will be conferred the Bharat Award for showing exemplary courage while fighting off her tormentor, whose marriage proposal she had turned down.

iii. The prestigious Geeta Chopra Award has been conferred on 13 year old Gunjan Sharma of Assam who displayed exemplary valor in saving her friends from the clutches of the abductor.

iv. The Sanjay Chopra Award has been given to 16 year old Master Devesh Kumar of Uttar Pradesh who displayed outstanding courage while confronting two chain-snatchers.
5. PSU bank employees to hold 4-day strike from Jan 21 on wage revision issue
i. Public sector bank (PSB) employees have decided to go on a 4-day strike from January 21 to protest against the “rigid and callous attitude” of Central Government in resolving the long pending wage revision issue.
ii. The decision is in response to the strike call given by United Forum Of Bank Unions, which has more than ten lakh employees and officers of banking Industry under its umbrella.
iii. The wage revision for bank employees is due from November one, 2012
6. Indian-American Frank Islam receives Martin Luther award
i. An eminent Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Islam has been presented with the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Award.
ii. He is awarded in recognition of his contribution to the legacy of the great leader through his efforts in international service and civil engagement.
iii. The award, which carries the name of Martin Luther King Jr., an apostle of peace, is about building bridges between humanity.
iv. The award was presented to Islam by Harry Johnson, president of the Memorial Foundation Inc. and one of the honorary vice chairs of the event, which was held at Willard Intercontinental.
7. Telecom Commission clears Rs 3700-cr base price for 2,100-MHz
i. The Telecom Commission (TC) approved a base price of Rs 3,700 crore for each MHz of 2,100-MHz spectrum to be auctioned on February 25. 
ii. The final reserve price is 36 per cent higher than the Rs 2,720 crore recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
iii. The previous Telecom auction was cancelled amid the speculation of bad and crony practices in the bandwidth allocation.
8. Kudankulam Nuclear Plant Restarts Power Generation
i. Power generation at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) has restarted after the first unit’s reactor and turbine tripped on January 14, said Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POSCO).
ii. India’s atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) is setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, 650 km from Chennai.
iii. Ever since the first unit at KNPP started commercial generation December 31, 2014 it has been producing around 940 MW per day or around 2.25 crore units per day.
9. AB de Villiers: South Africa batsman smashes century record
i. South Africa batsman AB de Villiers hit a century off 31 balls to record the fastest ever one-day international ton.
ii. De Villiers, 30, set the new landmark during an innings of 149 against the West Indies in Johannesburg.
iii. He smashed nine fours and 16 sixes in beating the previous ODI record of 36 balls by New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson against West Indies last year.
iv.South Africa scored 439-2 as they registered their highest ever ODI score, beating the 438-9 in a win against Australia in March 2006.
10. Sydney Open 2015 Winners
i. Czech Petra Kvitova beats compatriot Karolina Pliskova to win the Women’s Sydney International. 
Viktor Troicki
ii. The world No.4 and second seed needed to win two tie-breakers to clinch victory over her team mate in a big hitting contest at the Ken Rosewell Arena.
iii. While in the Men’s section, Viktor Troicki crushed fellow qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the Sydney International.
iv. In the first ATP final in history featuring two qualifiers, Troicki dispatched Kukushkin in 64 minutes after breaking the Kazakh twice in each set.