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Daily GK Updates: 12th Sept 2014

1.    EU slaps new sanctions on Russia over Ukraine crisis
i. The European Union on 12 September 2014 imposed new economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. The restrictions include financing for some Russian state-owned companies and asset freezes on leading Russian politicians.

ii. Sanctions included asset freezes and travel bans on Igor Lebedev, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, other deputy speakers of the Russian lower house of parliament, and a number of leaders of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
iii. Sanction was also put on Sergei Chemezov. He is chairman of Rostec, a leading defence and industrial group that includes arms supplier Rosoboronexport and a firm that is planning to build energy plants in Crimea.

iv. Through this move, the EU wants to put pressure on Russia over the annexation of Crimea. Earlier, the restrictions were put on Russia in March 2014 by EU and United States.
v. The EU and the United States have been stepping up pressure on Moscow after its annexation of Crimea. West sees the annexation by Russia as an effort to further destabilise Ukraine by backing pro-Russian separatists in the east with troops and arms.
2.    Rohan Bopanna to receive Davis Cup Commitment Award

i. Indian tennis star Rohan Bopanna will be awarded the Davis Cup Commitment Award in Bangalore on Saturday on the sidelines of the ongoing World Group play-off tie against Serbia, it was announced by International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Thursday.
ii. The ITF through its national associations, will present Davis Cup Commitment Awards during this weekend’s 2014 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and zone group ties.
iii. Indian tennis star Rohan Bopanna will be awarded the Davis Cup Commitment Award in Bangalore on Saturday on the sidelines of the ongoing World Group play-off tie against Serbia, it was announced by International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Thursday.
iv. The ITF through its national associations, will present Davis Cup Commitment Awards during this weekend’s 2014 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and zone group ties.
v. Besides Bopanna, former Grand Slam tennis champions Lleyton Hewitt of Australia and Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil will also be presented the award after their respective games.
3.    Narendra Ambwani elected ASCI Chairman
i. Narendra Ambwani, Director, Agro Tech Foods Ltd, has been elected as Chairman of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
ii. He has been a member of the board of governors for seven years and provided active support to self-regulation in the advertising market.
iii. Benoy Roy Chawdhuri was elected as Vice-Chairman, while Shashidhar Sinha was appointed Honorary Treasurer.
iv. During 2013-14, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) met 41 times and considered complaints against 1,937 advertisements.
4.    Chitresh Tatha is the youngest sailor at the Asian Games 2014
i. Chitresh Tatha, 12, is the youngest sailor to represent India at the 2014 Asian Games . He sails in the Optimist Dinghy category. 
ii. The 17th edition Asian Games will be held in Incheon, South Korea from 19 September to 4 October 2014. 


About Chitresh Tatha
i. Tatha is a student of Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram (Kilpauk)
ii. He is a sailor who has travelled widely across the world namely Ireland, France, UK, Malaysia, Turkey, the Netherland, Bahrain and Malta
5.    Govt launches RVC service for smooth transportation of perishable goods
i. Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today launched Reefer Vehicle Call-In Centre (RVC) for smooth transportation of perishable goods. 
ii. The RVC will facilitate a database of bottlenecks experienced in transportation on the national highways. 
iii. Launching the unique call-in- centre in New Delhi, the Minister said, the cold chain sector including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, poultry and pharmaceuticals are critically dependent on it. 
iv. The exercise will help devise long term plans to remo New European Unions sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis will take effect from today, blocking loans for five big state banks and curbing EU business with oil and defence firms. The EU said, the aim is to keep pressure on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis. 

However it said that the sanctions could be eased or lifted if a ceasefire in Ukraine holds.

US President Barack Obama said, his country will join the EU in imposing tougher sanctions on Russia, targeting the defence, finance and energy sectors and he will provide details today. Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Ministry has accused the EU of undermining peace efforts in Ukraine after the bloc slapped more sanctions on Moscow over its role in the crisis. ve bottlenecks and control inflation in prices of perishable goods in the country.
6.    ADB to provide $150-m loan for building transmission lines in Rajasthan
i. The Asian Development Bank has agreed to give $150-million loan to the Government of India to help build transmission lines for renewable energy in Rajasthan.
ii. The Government of India and ADB have signed two loan agreements. The loans form the first tranche of the $500-million Rajasthan Renewable Energy Transmission Investment Program approved by ADB in 2013.
iii. The loans will be used to finance high-voltage transmission lines and sub-stations to be built by Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Ltd (RRVPNL).
7.    Union Cabinet approves sale of shares in ONGC, Coal India, NHPC
i. The CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) headed by Prime Minister, approved the sale of shares in Coal India, ONGC and NHPC to garner a combined Rs 43,000 crore.
ii. At current market prices, the sale of shares in state-owned CIL, ONGC and NHPC could bring over Rs 23,000 crore, Rs 18,000 crore and Rs 2,800 crore respectively, assisting the government meet its disinvestment target of Rs 43,425 crore for this fiscal.
iii. CCEA cleared 10% stake dilution in CIL (Coal India Limited), 5% in ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited) and 11.36% in NHPC (National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) via the Offer For Sale (OFS) route.
8.    Freedom Fighter and Journalist Jitendra Chandra Paul died
i. Freedom fighter and veteran journalist Jitendra Chandra Paul died on 11 September 2014 at B.R. Ambedkar Medical College in Agartala, Tripura. He was 101.
ii.  Paul participated in India’s freedom struggle and was imprisoned for many years during British Raj.
iii. Jitendra Chandra Paul brought out Tripura’s first Bengali daily Jagaran in 1954.
9.    Bihar government recognised transgender as third gender
i. The Bihar government recognised eunuch and transgender as third gender. The cabinet accepted to declare eunuch and transgender as backward class annexure II category which will provide them quota benefit for availing or getting government jobs.
ii. Eunuchs and transgender from upper castes will be treated as OBC annexure II and get reservation benefits whereas transgender from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes will remain in the same castes.
iii. The Supreme Court delivered the judgement in April 2014 recognising hijras or transgender as third gender and asked the Union Government to treat transgender as socially and economically backward.
iv. The court in its judgement said that the transgender should be allowed admission to educational institutions and given employment on the basis that they belonged to the third gender category. They should be considered as OBCs.
10.  Union Ministry of Science & Technology announces “KIRAN” scheme for Women Scientists
i. The Union Ministry of Science & Technology also announced KIRAN (Knowledge, Involvement, Research, Advancement through Nurturing) for women scientists – A unique advertising scheme to bring about, as far as possible, gender equality in the field of science and technology.
Objectives:-
i. To increase the number of women researchers in India.
ii. Provide Research grants particularly to those female researchers and technologists who had to take a break in career owing to household reasons.
iii. Bring about, as far as achievable, gender parity in the field of science and technology.

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