Daily GK update – 4th Nov 2014

1.    Hasmukh Adhia replaces GS Sandhu as
Financial Services Secretary
i. Hasmukh Adhia was
appointed as the Union Financial Services Secretary (FSS) on 3 November 2014.
He is the 1981-batch IAS officer of Gujarat-cadre. 

ii. At the time of being appointed as
FSS, Adhia was working as Additional Chief Secretary in the Finance Department
of Gujarat government. 

iii. He succeeded GS Sandhu who was made
the Chairman of the National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention. Sandhu
is a 1980-batch Rajasthan cadre IAS officer.

iv. He has written two
motivational books titled 
My notes to my Self. The books deal with government administration and practical
tips for all bureaucrats to help in day-to-day governance.
2.    NCAER lowers India GDP growth
forecast to 5%
i. The National Council of
Applied Economic Research has lowered India’s GDP growth forecast to 5 per cent
in the current financial year on weak economical fundamentals and uncertainties
in growth prospects.
ii. The economic think-tank in its earlier
projection had suggested that the Indian economy was likely to grow at 5.7 per
cent in 2014-15.
iii. “NCAER is predicting a slower growth for the economy
unlike other forecasts. The fundamentals of the economy remain weak with
uncertainties prevail. The only redeeming feature is the weakening of inflation
and FDI inflows.
3.    Ashwin continues to top Test rankings
for all-rounders
i. Ravichandran Ashwin is the lone Indian to feature in the
top 10 of the latest Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings as he continues to lead
the way in the all-rounders list.
ii. South Africa’s Vernon Philander is second in the
Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings for All-rounders behind Ashwin, while
Bangaldesh’s Shakib Al Hasan is placed third.
iii. Meanwhile, Pakistan batsmen Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq
and Azhar Ali have all improved their rankings in the latest Reliance ICC Test
Player Rankings, which were released on Tuesday.
iv. Younis, who scored 213
and 46 in Pakistan’s 356 runs victory, has climbed one place to sixth. The
middle-order batsman, who rose to number-one position following his triple
century against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2009, had entered the series in 11th
place on 759 ratings points.
4.    Mallikarjun Kharge inducted into the
three-member CIC selection committee
i. Mallikarjun Kharge, a
leader of Congress in Lok Sabha was inducted into the three-member CIC
selection committee.
ii. The committee will
select the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC). 
iii. The other two members of the committee are Prime Minister
Narendra Modi
(as head) and Union Finance and Defence Minister Arun
Jaitely. 
iv. Kharge was inducted in the selection committee by virtue of
being the leader of the single largest party in the opposition in Lok Sabha as
there as there was a lack of clarity on the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha.
Why a Leader of Opposition was
required?

The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 says that CIC selection can be done by
a three-member panel comprising the Prime Minister, who shall be the
Chairperson of the committee, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and a cabinet
minister nominated by the Prime Minister. 
5.    India-Sri Lanka started joint military
exercise, Mithra Shakti
i. The special forces of
Indian and Sri Lankan armies began a three-week long mock war drill at the
Uva-Kudaoya Commando Regiment Training School near Colombo in the island
nation. The exercise will continue till 23 November 2014. 
ii. The exercise is seen
as New Delhi’s attempts to advance a dialogue, which began with Colombo in 2012
to counter China’s growing influence in the region and is indicative of
strengthening bilateral military relations.
iii. This exercise is a
part of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency in the island nation.
6.    New tower of World Trade Center
re-opens 13 years after 9/11 attacks
i. In the United States,New tower of World Trade Center
re-opened for business more than 13 years after the original towers were
destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. Employees of a publishing company are started
moving into the 104-storey building in New York.
ii. The $ 3.8 4 billion skyscraper took eight years to build
New York’s World Trade Center and is now the tallest building in the US. 
iii. The 104-storey building is the
centrepiece of the 16-acre site where the twin towers once stood, before they
came crashing down, killing about 3000 people. 
7.    Lt Governor Najeeb Jung recommends
dissolution of Delhi Assembly
i. Ending the eight-month-long political uncertainty, Lt
Governor Najeeb Jung today recommended to the President dissolution of the
Delhi Assembly as major players BJP, AAP and Congress have expressed
“inability” to form government and preferred holding of polls.
ii. The report by Jung paved the way for holding of fresh
polls in the Capital which is under President’s Rule since February after the
AAP government quit after ruling for 49 days. The Union Cabinet is likely to
take a decision on Jung’s report soon.
iii. Sources in the Lt Governor’s office said Jung in his
report to President Pranab Mukherjee mentioned that all three main political
parties BJP, AAP and Congress have expressed their inability to form government
and conveyed that they were ready to face fresh election.
iv. With all the three main parties favouring fresh
mandate, the LG recommended to the President dissolution of the Assembly.
8.    EU cuts growth forecasts as big
economies falter
i. European Union slashed
its economic growth forecasts for the bloc on Tuesday, indicating the recovery
will remain sluggish amid problems for the biggest economies, particularly
France.
ii. The official forecast for growth this
year in the 18-country eurozone was cut to 0.8 per cent from a prediction of
1.2 per cent made in the spring.
iii. The broader 28-nation E.U., which includes non-euro
members like Britain and Sweden, was expected to grow 1.3 per cent this year,
down from a 1.6 per cent forecast previously.
iv. “The economic and employment situation is not improving
fast enough” in the wake of the financial crisis that has hit the continent for
the past half-decade, said E.U. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen.
v. The European Commission blamed in particular a weaker
performance in Europe’s larger economies, with the exceptions of Spain and
Britain.
vi. Germany, Europe’s largest economy and
for years the region’s engine of growth, was expected to stagnate for the rest
of the year, with growth “set to resume gradually”.