Daily GK Updates: 2nd Sept 2014

1.   
India to get USD 35 bn
from Japan for infra projects
i. India will get USD 35 bn from Japan over the next
five years for developmental projects, including building of smart cities and
next generation infrastructure as also cleaning of the Ganga, as Premier Shinzo
Abe on Monday pledged to partner PM Narendra Modi’s ambitious vision of
inclusive development.

ii. The two sides also signed
five pacts covering defence exchanges, cooperation in clean energy, roads and
highways, healthcare and women while vowing to take their relationship to newer
level. 
iii. Abe
expressed his intention to realise 3.5 trillion Yen (Rs 2,10,000 crore, USD 35
billion) of public and private investment and financing from Japan, including
Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), to India in five years, it said. 
iv. The USD 35
billion funding, at an average of USD 7 billion per year, would be the highest
from any country and Modi expressed gratitude to Abe for this. 
v. The two
Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the document to promote partnership
city arrangement between the ancient cities of Varanasi and Kyoto. 
2.   
Japan to work with India in
finding sickle cell anaemia remedy
i. Japan on Sunday agreed to work with India in
developing a treatment for the sickle cell anaemia after Prime Minister
Narendra Modi sought help for finding remedy to the deadly disease commonly
found among tribals in India.
ii. Modi,
who has been keenly looking for a remedy to the disease since his days as Chief
Minister of Gujarat, discussed the issue with Nobel Prize winner for Medicine
(2012) S Yamanaka when he visited the Kyoto University.
iii. Yamanaka
is also the Director of the University. The Prime Minister, on the second day
of his tour, raised the issue during his visit to the Stem Cell Research
facility and discussed whether Japan could be of help in this regard.
3.   
RBI issues amendments to Basel 3 norms
i. The Reserve Bank of India has allowed banks to issue
additional Tier 1 capital instruments, the principal amount of which would
absorb losses, either through conversion into common shares or a write-down
mechanism that allocates the losses to the instruments, either temporarily or
permanently.
ii. Unveiling a slew of amendments in the implementation
of the Basel 3 regulations, the RBI said that banks must have a provision of
Point of Non-Viability (PONV) for every non-equity instrument which, when
triggered, would lead to a conversion to common shares (of the bank) or a
permanent write-off.
iii. The
regulator has reduced the minimum tenor after which call options are
permissible in perpetual debt instruments from 10 to five years.
iv. The
minimum maturity of Tier 2 debt instruments has also been reduced from 10 to
five years.
4.   
United Bank of India declared Vijay Mallya as
wilful defaulter
i. United Bank of India on 1 September 2014 declared debt-ridden
Kingfisher Airlines and its owner Vijay Mallya as wilful defaulters. Three
Kingfisher Airlines Ltd directors A.K. Ganguly, Subhash Gupte and Ravi
Nedungadi  were also declared as wilful defaulters. 


ii. This declaration would cut off
further bank finance for UB Group companies by empowering banks to change course
for managing firms who fail to pay. Banks will now initiate criminal
proceedings against Mallya and force him to quit company boards.
Impact of wilful defaulter tag on Vijay Mallya’s position

i. Mallya may have to quit as non-executive chairman of
United Spirits Ltd. in which a British company Diageo Plc holds nearly 55
percent of the shares.

ii. Mallya will have to step down as
Mangalore Chemicals chairman. On 22 April 2014, Pune-based Deepak Fertilisers
and Petrochemicals Corp. Ltd launched a bid for Mangalore Chemicals. 
Wilful Default

i. A wilful default occurs when either a borrower has
not repaid when he can do so, or when sanctioned funds have been used for other
purposes or when the borrower disposes off the assets assured for availing of
the loan without the bank’s knowledge.



ii. According to the guidelines of Reserve Bank of India
(RBI), once a wilful defaulter notice is issued, the borrower has 15 days to
defend himself in front of the bank. The wilful defaulter tag gives surety that
the borrower and any firm on the board of which he is a director will not get a
loan from any financial institution in future. 
iii. The tag wilful defaulter
entails serious consequences including penal consequences. Thus, Kingfisher
Airlines (KFA) and Vijay Mallya were deprived of an opportunity to be represented
by a trained legal professional.
5.   
Congress members to head 5 Parliamentary
Standing Committees
i. Congress
has secured chairmanship of five Parliamentary Standing Committees after failing to get the Leader of the Opposition
post in the Lok Sabha.
ii. Its
members M. Veerappa Moily, Shashi Tharoor and P. Bhattacharya will now
head the important committees on Finance, External Affairs and Home
respectively.
iii. The
main Opposition party has also got chairmanship of standing committees for
Science and Technology and Law and Personnel. While the former will be headed
by ex-Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, the latter has E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan as
its chairman.
iv. Congress
leader K.V. Thomas has already got the chairmanship of the prestigious Public
Accounts Committee.
v. Rahul
Gandhi is a member of the Committee on External Affairs, while Congress
president Sonia Gandhi does not figure in any of the panels announced. In the
last Lok Sabha, Ms. Gandhi had been a member of the Committee on HRD and
Sports.
6.   
Renowned Kathak dancer Maya Rao died
i. Veteran Kathak dancer Maya Rao died on 1 September
2014 following a massive cardiac arrest on 31 August 2014. She was 86. 
ii. Known for her mastery over abhinaya and dance ballet, Maya
Rao helped the dance form Kathak to gain popularity in South India.
Maya Rao

• Born in 1928 in
Bangalore, Maya Rao practised the Lucknow and Jaipur gharana of Kathak from
Shambhu Maharaj and Sunder Prasad.


• She studied
Masters in Choreography from the USSR in 1964.


• Maya’s
ground-breaking work in choreography helped thousands of dancers in learning
the composition and arrangement of dances.


• She trained over
4000 students across the globe in about eight decades of her career.
7.   
Carolina Marin became the first Spaniard to
win World Badminton Championship
i. Carolina Marin on 31 August 2014 became the first
Spaniard to win World Badminton Championship. The World Badminton Championship
was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

ii. Carolina won women’s singles titles by defeating world number
one Li Xuerui of china. China’s Chen Long won the men’s singles titles of the
World Badminton Championships.
8.   
Oldest surviving Test cricketer Gordon passes
away
i. South
African fast bowler Norman Gordon, oldest surviving Test cricketer at
103 years old, passed away after a year long illness due to renal
complications. Gordon played five Tests against England back in 1939 taking 20
wickets in all before World War cut short his international career. 

ii. He was best known for being one of the 22 players, who took part in
the epic ‘Timeless Test’ between England and South Africa that was held between
March 3-14, 1939 in Durban.
9.   
India among top three medical tourism
destinations in Asia
i. A study by KPMG-FICCI
says India ranks among the top three medical tourism destinations in Asia.
ii. This is mainly due to the low cost of treatment, quality health care
infrastructure and availability of highly-skilled doctors. 
iii. The report titled
Medical Value Travel in India pointed out that Asian countries have introduced
various marketing strategies to attract medical tourists.
iv. In the past few years, Asia has taken the lead as one of the most
preferred destination for medical value travel.
v. The report added that India is known mostly for its cost-effective
medical treatments along with high standards in cardiology, orthopaedics,
nephrology, oncology and neuro surgery.
vi. The country is also known for its alternative treatment options such
as yoga and ayurveda.
10.  India
becomes No 1 in ICC ODI rankings
i. Their
dominating performance against England coupled with Australia’s shock loss to
Zimbabwe on Monday made India the sole number one team in the latest ICC ODI
rankings issued here.
ii. “World
champion India have been confirmed as the number-one ranked side in the
Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings following Zimbabwe’s three wickets victory over
Australia in a triangular series match in Harare on Sunday,” the ICC said in a
statement.
iii. India had joined Australia on top of the table after
winning the third ODI in Nottingham at 114 ratings points, but took sole
possession at the coveted number-one spot after Zimbabwe recorded their first
victory over Australia in 31 years.
iv. This result meant Australia
have dropped three ratings points and slipped behind South Africa and Sri Lanka
into fourth position on 111 ratings points.


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