DAILY GK UPDATE – 2nd May

1.    India ranked No. 3 in US Green Building Council list
i. The US
Green Building Council (USGBC) has ranked India as No 3 among the list of top
10 countries for LEED outside of the United States.

ii. Canada tops the list followed by
China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and Brazil, among others.
iii. The list demonstrates the global
reach of the movement that is transforming the built environment into healthy,
high-performing structures that benefit the planet and its people.
iv. “LEED’s
success in India represents not only a growing recognition of its demonstrated
benefits for human health and operational cost-savings, but also its
unparalleled potential to be part of the solution to a warming planet and rising
sea levels.”
2.    President confers gallantry awards
i. President Pranab Mukherjee
Friday conferred three Kirti Chakras and nine Shaurya Chakras on armed forces
personnel for displaying “conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and
extreme devotion” to duty at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
ii. The president also
presented three Uttam Yudh Seva Medals for a high degree of distinguished
service in an operational context which includes times of war, conflict, or
hostilities.
ii. Besides, the president
conferred 13 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, four Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva Medals
and 23 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals upon senior officers of the armed forces for
distinguished service of an exceptional order.
iv. Two of the three Kirti
Chakras were given posthumously.
v. The recipients of Kirti
Chakras are Constable Bhrigu Nandan Choudhary (posthumous), Constable Lohit
Sonowal (posthumous) and Naib Subedar Bhupal Singh Chhantel Magar.
3.    Elango steps down as Cairn India CEO
i. P Elango,
interim CEO & Wholetime Director, announced his decision to step down to
the employees of the company.
ii. Ending an 18-year
stint and less than two-year tenure as the chief of the company, Elango has
decided to step down on ‘personal grounds’. However, whispers in corridors were
that the management’s indecisiveness on confirming him as a full-fledged CEO
was the cause.
iii. Elango’s
resignation has come just when Cairn has delivered 200,000 barrels of oil
equivalent (oil plus gas) a day from the Rajasthan block. A similarity can be
drawn with what happened in August 2012.
iv. Cairn informed the
BSE that Sudhir Mathur, CFO, has taken over the additional responsibility of
leading the organisation in the interim. The board has accepted his
resignation, it said.
v. The announcement had
not come as a surprise to those tracking the industry closely, as speculations
on Dhir’s exit were high since Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Group became the
majority stakeholder.
4.    World’s highest
railway tunnel opens in China 
i. The world’s highest tunnel for high-speed trains in northwest China
became operational on Thursday at an altitude of 3,607.4 metres. 
ii. The 16.3-km-long
was completely linked up, operationalising the line linking Gansu Province and
Xinjiang provinces. 
iii. With altitudes of
up to 3,607.4 metres, the tunnel passes through the Qilian Mountains with two
sections and a bridge. 

iv. The
construction began in 2009. The tunnel’s complete joining means the most
difficult part for the Lanxin high-speed railway has been solved, state-run
Xinhua reported, quoting an official in charge of the tunnel project. 
5.    Deadline ended for non-CTS cheques
i. The deadline for
switching to new format bank cheques under the Cheque Truncation System (CTS)
ended on 30 April 2014.
ii.The Reserve Bank of
India (RBI) started the process of migration to CTS cheques in New Delhi and
Chennai from 24 September 2011.
iii. Transactions with
cheques that have Magnetic Ink Character Regnition (MICR) and not CTS
technology will be delayed from 1 May 2014.
iv. Now, the non- CTS
cheques will be likely to take four days or more from the date of deposit to
credit the amount. Banks will now clear non-CTS cheques on Mondays and Fridays
only.
Future Aspect

RBI has decided to extend the adoption of CTS
cheques countrywide in phases. Tamil Nadu, Kerala,Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and
the Union territory of Puducherry will implement the system under the Chennai
grid.
6.    British actor Bob Hoskins died at 71
i. British actor Bob
Hoskins died of pneumonia at the age of 71 in London on 29 April 2014. He is
best known for roles in The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa and Who Framed Roger
Rabbit.
ii. His most memorable
performance was as the Cockney cabbie in Mona Lisa film for which he was
nominated for Oscar and won best actor awards at Cannes, the BAFTAs and the
Golden Globes.
iii. He also worked in
the US film likes The Cotton Club, Maid in Manhattan and Nixon.
iv. His last role was in
Snow White and the Huntsman which starred Kristen Stewart in 2012. He also
directed two films The Raggedy Rawney and Rainbow.
7.    Oldest Olympian, US sharpshooter, dies at 106
i. Walter R Walsh, an FBI sharpshooter who was the world’s
oldest living Olympian, has died. He was 106.
ii. Walsh died yesterday, six days before his 107th birthday
at his home in Arlington, USA Shooting announced.
iii. Walsh, who first honed his shooting skills by picking
off clothespins on a clothesline with a BB gun as a child, finished 12th in the
men’s 50-metre free pistol at the 1948 London Olympics. He was 41 by then, and
had already demonstrated his marksmanship with the FBI and the Marine Corps.
iv. In October 1937, he
posed as a sales clerk at a sporting goods shop in Bangor, Maine, awaiting the
arrival of three members of the Brady Gang, which had been on a long crime
spree. He quickly disarmed one of them as the man entered the store, and helped
gun down the others despite being hit twice.
v. Born in Hoboken, New
Jersey, on May 4, 1907, Walsh was married for 43 years until his wife died in
1980.
8.   
Air India set to join
Star Alliance in July
i. Air
India is all set to join the
world’s largest 
airline grouping, Star Alliance, this July,
making it the first airline from India to be part of a global chain of
carriers.
ii. The move, according
to AI CMD Rohit Nandan, will bring immense benefits to Indian fliers from Day
One as they will be able to earn-and-burn miles, get access to lounges across
the globe and enjoy seamless connectivity across the world on Star members. 
iii. Almost all the requirements for joining Star are complete.
Some work, mostly related to IT, will be completed by mid-May. Then we are
set,” said Nandan. 
iv. Star Alliance CEO
Mark F Schwab said CEOs of Star’s member airlines will meet in London on June
22 or 23 to have an endorsement vote on AI’s entry into the fold. “Once
all airlines endorse the move, AI should be in Star by July.
9.   
IIT Guwahati leads India into top 100 global varsity
rankings 
i. The prestigious Indian Institute of Technology,
Guwahati has taken India into the world’s top 100 university rankings for the
first time with an entry at No. 87.
ii. IIT Guwahati is the
only Indian educational institute in the 2014 league table of ‘100 Under 50’
institutions released by the ‘Times Higher Education’ (THE) magazine in London
on Wednesday.
iii. The annual
evaluation of the world’s top 100 universities under 50 years of age had a
distinct Eastern stance with South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and
Technology topping the list for the third consecutive year.