Daily GK update 29th November 2014

1.    RBI eased gold imports & scrapped
80: 20 scheme

i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) eased
gold imports and scrapped 20:80 scheme. The decision to withdraw the 20:80
scheme will cut smuggling of gold and raise legal shipments into India.
ii. In 2013, the 20:80 scheme was introduced to bring down
inbound shipments, sliding rupee and to combat a huge current account deficit
(CAD) along with a hike in import duty to 10 percent.

iii. Under the scheme, 20 percent of the imported gold had to
be mandatorily exported as finished products like jewellery. Initially only
public sector firms and banks were allowed to import gold and later in May 2014
these rules were slightly eased to star and premier export houses.
2.    Beijing banned smoking in all
indoor public spaces
i. Capital of China, Beijing banned
smoking in all indoor public spaces like workplaces and public transport
ii. Beijing adopted an anti-smoking bill
that prohibits smoking in public places and it will be effective from 1 June
2015. The bill will initially only cover Beijing, later it will cover rest of
iii. Already, a dozen Chinese cities,
such as Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou, have launched local legislation on
tobacco control.
i. China is the world’s largest cigarette
manufacturer and consumer. The country has more than 300 million smokers, and
smoking is responsible for more than one million deaths in every year.
ii. According to Chinese health officials,
some 740 million people, including 180 million children, are exposed to
second-hand smoke annually.
iii. In 2011, Ministry of Health of China
published guidelines banned smoking in public spaces such as hotels and
3.    Next China-India War authored by
General S. Padmanabhan released
i. Book titled Next China-India War – World’s First Water
War – 2029 authored by former Army chief General Sundarajan Padmanabhan was
released in October 2014.
 ii. 74-year-old former General, who is known for mobilizing the
Army during Operation Parakram in response to the 2001 terror attack on the
Parliament, in the book has predicted that the two countries will conflict over
the Brahmaputra.
4.    NASA celebrated 50th Anniversary of
First Mars Mission, Mariner 4
i. NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first
mission to Mars, Mariner 4 mission on 28 November 2014. Mariner 4 mission
launched on 28 November 1964 was the NASA’s first successful journey to Mars.
ii. The Mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station, Florida.
iii. Mariner 4 remained operational long
after its planned eight-month mission life.
iv. It lasted about three years in solar orbit, continuing
long-term studies of the solar wind and making coordinated measurements with
the Mariner 5 spacecraft. NASA last communicated with the craft on 21 December
5.    First India-Nepal bus service launched
i. India and Nepal launched the first ever bus service
between the two countries on Tuesday afternoon.
ii. To begin with daily buses will ply between Delhi and
Kathmandu. Later, there will be similar buses which will ply on two other
routes – Delhi-Pokhara and Varanasi- Kathmandu.
ii. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese
counterpart Sushil Koirala flagged off the Kathmandu-Delhi bus service called
Pashupatinath Express from Kathmandu, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari and
tourism minister Mahesh Sharma launched the first bus from Delhi.
6.    GK Vasan, revives Tamil Maanila
i. Former Union Minister GK Vasan, who split from the
Congress, has revived the Tamil Maanila Congress. Speaking at a public function
in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu yesterday, Vasan said that they have requested
the Election Commission to give Cycle as their party symbol.
ii. Vasan along with former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President BS
Gnanadesikan, former Trichy mayor Sarubala Thondaiman and many others parted
ways with Congress earlier this month.
iii. Vasan had unveiled his party flag with pictures of his father GK
Moopanar and veteran leader Kamaraj.
7.    PM Modi flags off first train from
Mendipathar in Meghalaya to Guwahati
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off
the first train from Mendipathar in Meghalaya to Guwahati.
ii. Speaking at the function, the Prime Minister said that
four Railway Universities will be set up in the country to teach different
aspects of Railways. Mr. Modi also stressed on privatization of railway