Daily GK Updates: 28 Jan 2012

1. Basant Panchami is being celebrated with religious fervor today. On the occasion a large number of devotees took a holy dip at the Sangam in Allahabad and offering their obeisance to goddess Saraswati. The idol of Saraswati – the Godess of Learning is being worshiped in every household and in educational institutions.
2. Polling started today in Manipur for the 60-member Assembly.
3. India lost the Adelaide Cricket test by 298 runs; Hosts Australia sweep the series four-nil.
4. India and Pakistan are set to sign three agreements to address issues such as non-tariff barriers (NTBs) that hinder bilateral trade.

Indian Joint Secretary for Commerce Arvind Mehta said, the agreements are expected to be signed during Commerce Minister Anand Sharma’s visit to Pakistan next month. Mr. Mehta was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
5. International Advisory Board (IAB) constituted by market regulator – Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has suggested widening the reach of the mutual fund industry in the country.
It has also emphasised that in order to enhance the participation of households, the mutual fund industry has to educate investors about the attractiveness of products.
The IAB constituted in September last year at its first meeting in New Delhi .
6. In a meeting on inland waterway transport issue Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterjee said Private sector investment in inland waterway transport is to be put on fast track. This will help reduce the pressure on Rail and Road transport infrastructure. 
It has huge potential of inland waterways in transporting bulk cargo like coal, food grains, fertilizers and fly ash at a cheaper rate. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC )- has agreed to use the inland waterways to transport three million metric tonnes of coal for Barh power project in Bihar . 
A tripartite agreement has been signed between the NTPC, the Inland Waterways Authority of India and a private developer. It will give a competitive transportation rates for the NTPC and also private sector investment of about 650 crore rupees has been committed for the Farakka Power Project in West Bengal .
7. Tennis star Leander Paes created history by becoming the first Indian to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the Australian Open men’s doubles title with Czech player Radek Stepanek. They defeated the top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan of the US by 7-6, 6-2 in the summit clash, which lasted one hour and 24 minutes.
8. Victoria Azarenka of Belarus won the Women’s singles Title of Australian Open 2012 in Melbourne today beating Maria Sharapova of Russia in the final.
9. Hundreds of demonstrators today defied a heavy police presence to stage a rare protest in Kazakhstan against strongman President Nursultan Nazarbayev and the conduct of legislative elections.
10. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Saturday raised the minimum investment amount per client in portfolio management schemes (PMS) to Rs 25 lakh from Rs 5 lakh on prospective basis.

The SEBI board which met in New Delhi also decided to ensure segregation of holdings in individual demat accounts in respect of unlisted securities also on the lines of those of listed securities by amending the SEBI (Portfolio Managers) Regulations to bring in the changes.
11. Standing Committee looking into the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Bill has invited suggestions from the general public on the subject matter of the bill. Individuals, experts, institutions and other stakeholders and organisations can submit their suggestions within 15 days. The legislation seeks to consolidate and amend the law relating to the scientific development and regulation of mines and minerals under the control of the Centre. The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in the Winter Session and then referred to the Standing Committee.
12. Another Parliamentary panel looking into the Consumer Protection Amendment Bill 2011 has also invited suggestions from the general public over the proposed amendments. The proposed amendments include widening the scope of some of the provisions of the Act to facilitate faster disposal of cases. The legislation will enable citizens in securing speedy redressal for their grievances and complaints.
13. In Bihar, the conflict over the 3300 MW Super thermal power power plant at Nabinagar in Aurangabad district on land acquisition and rehabilitation has been settled. The farmers of the area had been agitating over the issues for the last two years and stopped any work on the plant project since December 31st last year. The state government has agreed to pay over 21 lakh rupees per acre compensation to the farmers instead of the earlier rate rupees 14.62 lakh per acre.
14. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today laid the foundation stone of Nabinagar super thermal power project at Shivanpur village in Aurangabad district. Once completed, Bihar will get 70 percent share in power generated by it, while the balance will go to other states of the eastern region.
15. In Kerala, as directed by the empowered committee appointed by the Supreme Court experts from Survey of India will be visiting Mullapperiyar dam in Idukki today. At the same time, prolonged tests by the engineers of Central Water Power Research Station to ascertain the inherent strength of the structure has come to a halt due to machine failure. 
16. Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, is in Britain to meet Prime Minister David Cameron following France’s decision to speed up the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan. President Karzai and Mr. Cameron will sign an agreement setting out how the two countries will work together after British combat troops withdraw in 2014.
17. The 8th All-India Major Ports Football and Basketball Championships begins at Visakhapatnam today.
18. Three day long Bharat Nirman Public Information Campaign (PIC) began in Tirupur in Tamil Nadu today. This is the 41st PIC organized by Press Information Bureau Chennai in Tamil Nadu. Tirupur Mayor A. Visalakshi flagged off a massive rally in the city in the morning to mark the beginning of the campaign.
Directorate of Field Publicity, Government of India has been organising publicity programmes in 14 villages in Tirupur district as part of the campaign.

************* Patience and fortitude conquer all things! ******************

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