Daily GK Update : 18th March, 2016 For All The Upcoming Exams

1. World Sufi Forum: PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate four-day conclave
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the World Sufi Forum in New Delhi, where more than 200 Indian and international delegates, including Sufi Shuyukh, spiritual leaders, scholars, academicians and masters of Sufism, are participating.
ii. The 4 day event is being organised by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in India. 
iii. The meeting is expected to debate on how Sufi teaching can prevent global terrorism. 
iv. The conclave will also debate on how to guide the Muslim community away from sectarian division.
v. The meeting is expected to debate on how Sufi teaching can prevent global terrorism. 

2. India has signed $35 million loan agreement with The World Bank for MP project
i. The Government of India has signed a loan agreement with the World Bank for Neeranchal National Watershed Project in Madhya Pradesh. 

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ii. The loan has been sanctioned by the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm International Development Association (IDA).
iii. The project to be implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development over a six-year period (2016-21) will support the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana in hydrology and water management, agricultural production systems, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation. 
iv. The Neeranchal project was approved by the cabinet in October last year with a total budget outlay of Rs.2142 crore with the Government share of Rs.1071 crore and the rest 50% by the World Bank. 
v. The project size is 50 million dollars out of which 35 million dollar will be provided by World Bank and the remaining amount will be funded out of State Budget. The objective of the project is to improve access and quality of public services in the state through implementation of the Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act, 2010. The duration of the project is 5 years

3. Arun Jaitley to inaugurate National Community Radio Sammelan in New Delhi
i. Information and Broadcasting Minister ArunJaitley will inaugurate the 6th National Community Radio Sammelan in New Delhi. 
ii. The theme of the conference is, ‘Community Radio in India: Towards Diversity and Sustainability’.
iii. The conference will bring together Community Radio Operators, policy makers, Ministries, Departments, International bodies like UNICEF and UNESCO and other stakeholders for exchange of ideas and cross learning. 
iv. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been organising the National Community Radio Sammelan annually since 2011.
v. The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund is a United Nations program headquartered in New York City that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. 

4. Indian Railways ties up with ISRO for route surveys
i. The Indian Railway Ministry has announced that it has signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 

ii. The agreement will leverage the space technology for providing the passenger information in all trains. 
iii. With the help of this tie up Railways will assets and help the new route alignments.
iv. The Memorandum of Understanding has been signed on Thursday with the objective of developing applications in the field of remote sensing and graphic information system to provide information such as train stoppages, real-time train tracking, survey of new rail route alignments in hilly and difficult terrain.
v. At present during disaster, Indian Railways uses space technology to provide connectivity to passenger reservation counters, unreserved ticketing system in remote areas, and emergency communication using satellite phones.

5. Denmark firm to set up pumps manufacturing unit near Hyderabad
i. Desmi Technology a leading international manufacturer of pumps and pump solutions plans to set up a plant on the outskirts of Hyderabad shortly.
ii. A high-level delegation from Denmark representing Desmi Technology headed by its Chief Executive Officer Henrik Knudsen and Lars Boldt Rasmussen called on the Telangana Industries Minister Jupally Krishna Rao in the Secretariat on Thursday and conveyed its interest to start a plant.
iii. Along with the Desmi Technology Country head Murthy, the delegation told the Minister that they were planning to set up Indian operations under the Make in India programme.
iv. Desmi is a leading international manufacturer of pumps and pump solutions. This product is very well known globally and in Indian market especially in Marine i.e. Shipyards for private ships, Indian Navy and Coast Guard vessels. 
v. Their main line of activity includes platform, anchor handling, multipurpose and emergency response vessels equipment.

6. 5600 wilful defaulters owe banks Rs 60K Crore
i. According to the data from credit information bureau CIBIL, more than 5,600 borrowers, who owe banks close to Rs 60,000 crore, have been declared wilful defaulters by lenders as on December 31. 

ii. These instances of wilful default are those where banks have filed suits.
iii. The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) is owed Rs 12,091 crore, followed by another state-run lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) which has receivables of Rs 9,445 crore lent to 698 borrowers.
iv. Kotak Mahindra Bank has the highest amount of loans stuck with wilful defaulters among private sector banks at Rs 5,442 crore.
v. Wilful defaults for private sector banks stood at Rs 10,250 crore and at Rs 463 crore for foreign banks.

7. Vijay Mallya quits as RCB Director
i. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has confirmed to the BCCI that Russell Adams has been designated as points man for all further correspondence. 
ii. The decision has been taken when Mr. Vijay Mallya has resigned as the director of the Royal Challengers Sports Private Limited (RCSPL) on Thursday. But he will hold the post of chief mentor.
iii. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has confirmed that the founding promoter of the Bengaluru franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL). 
iv. RCSPL, the company that runs the daily affairs of the RCB team. Mallya has been representing the UB Group as Chairman from 2008 by a bid for the Bangalore team at $ 111.6 million for ten years (2008-2017). 
v. RCSPL is a subsidiary of United Spirits which is controlled by Diageo. 

8. TCS named official tech partner for London Marathon
i. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s leading IT services provider, announced a three year partnership with the Virgin Money London Marathon to enhance the digital experience delivered to marathon participants.
ii. Under the terms of the partnership, TCS will become the race’s Official Technology Partner for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 events.
iii. First established in 1981, and part of the World Marathon Majors, the Virgin Money London Marathon is considered one of the world’s foremost marathons.
iv. A record total of 247,069 people entered the ballot for the 2016 race.
v. TCS already partners with seven of the world’s leading races, including title sponsorships of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, TCS New York City marathon, and TCS World 10k Bengaluru. The agreement is the latest example of TCS’ commitment to using digital technology to foster health and wellbeing.

9. Ashley Judd appointed U.N. Goodwill Ambassador
i. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the lead UN agency for delivery of a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled, today appointed actor and activist Ashley Judd as its Goodwill Ambassador.
ii. UNFA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin announcing the appointment, Ms. Judd told journalists that that it was an “honour” to be appointed as UNFPA’s Goodwill Ambassador and to advocate for women’s rights.
iii. Ashley Judd is an American actress and political activist. She grew up in a family of successful performing artists as the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd and the sister of Wynonna Judd. 
iv. Ashley Judd was born in Granada Hills, California. She is the daughter of Naomi Judd, a country music singer and motivational speaker, and Michael Charles Ciminella, a marketing analyst for the horseracing industry While she is best known for an ongoing acting career spanning more than two decades.
v. She has increasingly become involved in global humanitarian efforts and political activism.

10. Surat Cleanest Railway Station; Varanasi Among The Dirtiest: Survey
i. Surat is the cleanest railway station in the country, followed by Rajkot and Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), according to an Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) survey released.

ii. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi’s railway station ranked poorly in terms of cleanliness as it stood at 65, among the 75 A-1 railway stations (those earning revenue more than Rs. 50 crore) surveyed. 
iii. The survey, conducted based on feedback from around 1.34 lakh passengers, is a part of Mr. Modi’s pet project ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan’.
iv. The station at Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh was third among the 75 A1-category railway stations followed by Solapur and Mumbai Central in Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) and Vadodara (Gujarat),as per the preliminary report of the survey, which was released by Railway Minister Suresh Prabu.

11. Hitachi to setup ATM making firm in India
i. Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions Corp (Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions) has established Hitachi Terminal Solutions India Pvt Ltd (Hitachi Terminal Solutions India) to be based in Bengaluru as an ATM manufacturing company.
ii. The new company has been set up with a capital of Rs 100 crore and is set a target to produce 1,500 units of ATMs per month at the end of calendar year 2016.
iii. The new entity is expected to commence production in June 2016.
iv. Hitachi has deployed over 5,000 units of ATM in India by 2015 and at present, there are about two lakh ATMs and CDs (Cash Dispensing ATMs) operating in the country.
v. Hitachi Terminal Solutions India will allow Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions to promptly accommodate the needs of the market, strengthen cost competitiveness, shorten the production lead time from order entry to shipment and expand the business of cash recycling ATMs. Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions had entered Indian market on a full-scale basis in 2010 through sales of the cash recycling ATMs.

12. Amar Abrol appointed as the new CEO of Air Asia India
i. Air Asia India has made an announcement on Thursday that Mr. Amar Abrol will be the new CEO of the company  with the effect from April 1, 2016. 

ii. He will succeed Mittu Chandilya. Chandilya’s contract with the airline will ends on March 31, 2016.
iii. Mr. Abrol born and raised in India and graduated from Delhi University. He is a chartered accountant by profession. Prior to this appointment Mr. Amar Abrol was working as the CEO of Tune Money. Tune Money is a start-up company that delivers low-cost financial products in South-East Asia. 
iv. The airline has also announced the appointment of Mr. Ankur Khanna as the chief financial officer (CFO) and Kiran Jain as head of commercial operations.
v. Mr. Ankur Khanna joins from Air France/KLM, where he most recently held the position of Regional Finance Head for the Middle East/Gulf region based in Dubai. And Kiran Jain has over 25 years of aviation related experience covering airports, airlines and duty free and most recently headed the Airport Marketing and Route Development function at Delhi International Airport.

13. Freecharge allows payments via chat in 5 seconds
i. Mobile wallet and digital payments player FreeCharge has announced the launch of its ‘Çhat and Pay‘ feature. The company said this feature enables social payments between users and merchants.
ii. The chat-based payments interface will let merchants accept payments using the FreeCharge app in under a minute of registration,merchants will also be able to upgrade their payment limit of Rs. 1,00,000 with necessary KYC verification.
iii. FreeCharge is looking to bring on board neighbourhood small shopkeepers, Taxi services and merchants from the unorganised sector using the service, which brings a buyer – seller chat interface for merchants.
iv. To accept payments, merchants must register their bank account number, geo-location and choose a custom identifier, called a paytag to allow customers to identify their service area through their FreeCharge app.
v. Merchants can start accepting digital payments in less than a minute after registering on the FreeCharge app, and the chat-based payment feature has a five second transaction time, the company said.

14. Ex Wipro CFO Suresh Senapaty Has Appointed As The New Chairman Of Honeywell Automation
i. Suresh Senapaty, The ex Wipro CFO has been appointed as the new Chairman by Honeywell Automation India Ltd (HAIL) on Thursday. 

ii. He has been appointed as an Additional Director (Non-Executive, Independent) and as Chairman of its Board of Directors. 
iii. He will be responsible for contributing to HAIL’s overall strategy and to provide counsel on corporate governance, business, and financial matters.
iv. Mr. L.Rao has been succeeded by Mr. Suresh Senapaty. He has been serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors from August 2014 to February 2016 and as the member of Board of Directors of HAIL from 2002 to 2014. 
v. Honeywell partners India through our company’s four businesses – Aerospace, Automation & Control Solutions, Transportation Systems & Specialty Materials with more than 12,000 employees across India.

15. Actor Larry Drake, has Passed away
i. Actor Larry Drake, known for playing Benny on TV show “L.A. Law”, has died. He was 66. 
ii. The actor played Benny Stulwicz, a mentally challenged law clerk, from 1987 until the TV show’s end in 1994.
The memorable role earned Drake two Emmy Awards, in 1988 and 1989, and a nomination in 1990. 
iii. He reprised the role for the reunion film, “L.A. Law: The Movie”, which aired in 2002. 
iv. Drake, who was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was also a series regular on the 1998 sci-fi TV show “Prey” and appeared in several films, including “Darkman” (1990) – as a ruthless villain – and its sequel; as a murderous doctor in “Dr. Giggles” (1992); “Bean” (1997); and “American Pie 2” (2001).

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