Daily GK Updates: 19th August 2014

PM invites ideas from people on new plan body
i. Taking a step further towards
scrapping the Planning Commission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday invited
ideas from the people on the new institution to replace the plan body.

ii. The government also announced
creation of a special open forum on the website mygov. Nic. In for suggestions
on the new institution.
iii. “We envision the proposed
Institution as one that caters to the aspirations of 21st century India and
strengthens participation of the States…. Let the ideas flow,” the Prime
Minister said in a statement. It said, “The Prime Minister has invited
ideas from people on what shape the new institution to replace the Planning
Commission can take.”
iv. Addressing the nation from the Red
Fort on Independence Day, Modi had said that the 64-year old Planning
Commission, a vestige of socialist era, would be soon replaced with a new
institution to address the current economic challenges and strengthen the
federal structure.
v. “We need a new body with a new
soul…. We will have to think about giving a new shape to the Planning
Commission…. Very soon this new institute will start working in place of
Planning Commission,” Modi had said.
offers EMI on debit cards
i. ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector bank,
has launched EMI (equated monthly instalments) facility on debit cards to
enable its customers to convert their high value transactions into easy
ii. The private lender has tied up with Samsung India to
offer this facility across 9,000 stores in the country, including large format
retailers, multi-brand outlets and standalone stores, for purchase of Samsung
products like mobile phones, tablets and consumer electronics, among others.
iii. The bank is the first in the
country to introduce this facility
ICICI Bank said in a statement.
iv. ICICI Bank debit cardholders having fixed deposits with
the bank can avail themselves of this facility to buy products on EMIs of 3, 6,
9 or 12 months.s
Ravi Shastri appointed as the Director
of Indian Cricket Team
i. The
Board of Cricket Control India (BCCI) appointed Ravishankar Jayadritha Shastri
as the Director of Indian Cricket Team on 19 August 2014. The decision came
after seeing defeat of Indian Cricket Team in Test series against England.
ii. Ravi Shastri would
be assisting the team for the upcoming ODI series (25 August 2014-5 September
2014) and a single Twenty-20 (7 September 2014) against England. He would be
handling overall cricket affairs of the team. However, Duncan Fletcher will
continue to serve as the head coach of the team. 
Chhattisgarh to develop marine fossil
park in Manendragarh
i. Chhattisgarh government had proposed
to set up a marine Fossil Park in Manendragarh area of Koriya district.
ii. The department of forests of the state
government would develop the park in Amakherwa area of Manendragarh in Koriya
district — located in the Northern part of Chhattisgarh.
iii. The presence of marine fossil was
first discovered by the forest officials during the visit in the area located
in the Northern part of the state.
iv. According to forest officials, the
scientists had confirmed the presence of Fossil and suggested to the state
government to develop the area as Geoheritage centre.
Australia, Japan to assist India in
civilian nuclear deal
i. Australia are soon expected to be
the new entrant in the club of cooperating countries with India in the civil
nuclear sector.
ii. Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
official told Business Standard”, Japan
is the leading producer of turbine required for 1,000 MW capacity.
iii. The civil nuclear deal will be
mutually helpful to both India and Japan. While Japan can tap huge business potential
in India’s nuclear sector, India will certainly benefit from the equipment
which is not available generally.”
iv. As far as India’s civil nuclear deal
with Australia is concerned, the official said Australia with huge uranium
reserves will be able to meet India’s future supplies.
v. Australia holds about a third of the world’s recoverable uranium resources, and exports
nearly 7,000 tonnes a year.
vi. The official informed that so far
India since 2005 onwards has entered into civil nuclear agreements with the US,
Mangolia, Australia, Namibia, Argentina, UK, Canada, Kazakhstan and South
Google buys travel guide app startup
i. Google confirmed that it has bought
the startup behind a Jetpac mobile application that creates insightful travel
guides by analyzing pictures from social networks such as Instagram.
ii. Jetpac said that its application
would be removed from Apple’s online App Store in the days ahead and that it
would stop supporting the software in the middle of September.
iii. Jetpac was founded about three years
ago and is based in San Francisco.
Roger Federer won Cincinnati Tennis
i. World
number three tennis player, Roger Federer of Switzerland won Cincinnati Tennis
Open, also called Western & Southern Open.
ii. He defeated David
Ferrer of Spain 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in the final played in Cincinnati, US. This was
sixth Cincinnati title for 33-year-old Federer and was the first Masters title
for Federer since 2012.
iii. With this, he
became the third oldest winner to win Cincinnati Open after Ken Rosewall (35 in
1970), Andre Agassi (34 in 2004). Besides, he also became the third player in
the Open Era to reach the 80 titles landmark, joining Jimmy Connors (109) and
Ivan Lendl (94). 
Founder of Delhi Gymkhana Club Dilbagh
Singh died at 81
i. Dilbagh
Singh, the noted club cricketer and founder of Delhi Gymkhana Club, died on 18
August 2104. He was 81. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. 

ii. His
younger son Bantu Singh also was a dependable middle-order batsman who played
for Delhi during the mid 80’s to early 90’s and has also captained the side.
defeat against England puts India to 5th position in ICC Rankings
i. With a humiliating defeat in the test series against
England, India has been relegated to fifth position behind South Africa,
Australia, England and Sri Lanka in the latest ICC Test team rankings.
ii. The latest ICC Test ranking was
released in Dubai today. 

South Africa leads the ICC Test team ranking with
124 points followed by Australia with 123 points, England with 104 points and
Sri Lanka with 101 points. 
iii. A pathetic display in England has pushed the Men in Blue to the fifth
position in the ranking table. No Indian batsman or bowler has been able to
find a place in top ten.