Daily GK Updates – 29th January 2015

1. Nation remembers Lala Lajpat Rai on his 150th birth anniversary
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has saluted Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai, on his birth anniversary. In his message, the Prime Minister said that Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai was a unique personality who was ahead of his time. 

ii. Journey of Lalaji – 
  • Popularly known as Punjab Kesari, Lala Lajpat Rai was born on 28 January 1865 in Jagraon town of Ludhiana district. 
  • The session of the Indian National Congress at Allahabad in December 1888 marked the beginning of his political career. 
  • The year 1905 was important for the emergence of a new leadership in the Indian National Congress of Lal-Bal-Pal, as they were popularly known. The partition of Bengal in 1905 aroused their stout nationalism. 
  • Lalaji presided over the first session of the All India Trade Union Congress in 1920. 
  • Lalaji also went to Geneva to attend the eighth International Labour Conference in 1926 as a representative of Indian labour community. 
  • His journal Arya Gazette concentrated mainly on the subjects related to the Arya Samaj. 
  • For the sake of India’s independence movement, Lalaji led a procession to demonstrate against the Simon Commission. 
  • Lalaji was made the target of a brutal lathi charge in which he was injured badly. 
  • A meeting was held the same evening at which Lalaji, wounded and aching, spoke with such vigour that his words, ‘Every blow aimed at me is a nail in the coffin of British imperialism’, became historic. 
  • on 17 November 1928, Lalaji succumbing to his injuries passed away. 
2. BrahMos to be integrated with Sukhoi  
i. HAL has completed integration of BrahMos thermonuclear cruise missile with Sukhoi-30MKI after over two years of work, modifying the Russian-made aircraft. 
ii. HAL director S Subrahmanyan, who led the project, said the first test flight of the modified Su-30MKI with the BrahMos missile will be conducted in March. 
3. Governor nominates Anglo-Indian in Jharkhand Assembly 
i. Glen Joseph Galstaun was today nominated as the representative of the Anglo-Indian community in the Jharkhand Assembly. 
ii. Governor Syed Ahmed nominated Galstaun to the House as there is a need for a representative from the community.
iii. With his nomination, the strength of the House has gone up to 82 from 81. 
4. Centre to dilute stake in CIL 
i. The government is planning to dilute its stake further in Maharatna public sector Coal India Ltd (CIL) with the company putting up on the stock exchanges a notice for an offer for sale of up to 10 per cent of the government stake in CIL.
ii.  CIL had gone public in October 2010 with a 10 per cent dilution of the government holding, the trade unions had blocked a follow-on offer proposed by the UPA-II government in late 2013.
iii. In this fresh move, the allocation shall be on a price priority method at multiple clearing prices in accordance with the SEBI OFS circular.
iv. CIL had helped generate over Rs 23,000 crore through its initial public offer and expectations are that a similar amount would be garnered this time too. CIL shares have averaged at Rs.383.
5.  S Jaishankar takes charge as Foreign Secretary 
i. S Jaishankar took charge as Foreign Secretary, replacing Sujatha Singh whose tenure was abruptly curtailed.
ii. S Jaishankar is a 1977-batch IFS officer .
iii. He will have a two-year tenure as per rules. The 60-year-old diplomat was India’s Ambassador to the US. 
iv. The decision to appoint Jaishankar, who played a key role during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in September and US President Barack Obama’s just concluded visit here, was taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet chaired by Modi. 
6. ICC ends Amir’s ban
i. In a major breakthrough, the ICC has allowed Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir to return to domestic cricket early from his five-year ban for involvement in spot-fixing.
ii. Amir (22) was jailed for six months and banned for his part in a spot-fixing scam during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010.
iii. Amir, then 17, delivered pre-arranged no balls at Lord’s in a plot that also led to the banning of Mohammad Asif and then captain Salman Butt.

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