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Daily GK Updates: 17th Sept 2014

1.    India, China sign 3 MoUs including setting up Industrial Park in Gujarat
i. India and China have signed three MoUs including setting up Industrial Park in Gujarat. All the three MoUs have been signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. 
ii. The agreements include
1. Sister city pact between Guangzhou in China and Ahmedabad
2. setting up of an industrial park in Gujarat
3. The third is between the governments of Gujarat and a Chinese province. 
iii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held formal talks at Hotel Hayat in Ahmedabad. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the Chinese President Xi Jinping and first lady of China at the Hotel. 
iv. Keen to boost its trade ties with India, the Chinese side has already indicated that it will pledge to invest billions of dollars in India’s railway, manufacturing and infrastructure projects during the Xi’s visit, the third by any Chinese President to India.
2.    L.K. Advani becomes chairman of Lok Sabha’s Ethics Committee
i. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan appointed BJP veteran L.K. Advani as the chairman of the prestigious Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha.
ii. Manikrao Gavit of Congress was heading the Committee in the last Lok Sabha.
iii. The 86-year-old Advani is a member of the Committee on Public Undertakings headed by Shanta Kumar (BJP) and Committee on Information Technology headed by young BJP MP Anurag Thakur.
iv. Another BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi is heading the Committee on Estimates. Party senior Maj Gen B C Khanduri is heading the Committee on Defence.
3.    Lalitha Kumaramangalam appointed NCW chairperson
i. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has appointed BJP national executive member Lalitha Kumaramangalam as the new chief of the National Commission for Women (NCW).
ii. Ms. Kumaramanglam is an alumnus of St. Stephen's College and has Delhi and has an MBA from Madras University. She runs Prakriti, an NGO and contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 and 2009.
4.    India may become fifth largest exporter by 2030: HSBC report
i. India is likely to be the world’s fastest-growing exporter from 2014 to 2030, and has the potential to move from the 14th largest exporter of goods by value to be the world’s fifth largest exporter.
ii. The HSBC Trade Forecast Report says, India has the potential to become an export hub for autos and it is well-placed to further develop its textile industry. 
iii. The report also says, India will continue to be the largest trading partner of United Arab Emirates in the years to come. The report says, UAE is likely to remain top export destination for India till 2030, and China is forecast to emerge as the second largest export market, displacing the US by 2030. 
iv. India has been the largest trading partner of UAE over the past several years. Bilateral trade between the two countries was worth $75 billion in 2012-13.
5.    World Bank approves $105 million grant for Ebola-hit countries
i. The World Bank approved a 105 million US dollars grant yesterday to bolster the fight to contain the deadly Ebola virus epidemic raging in west Africa. 
ii. The funding is part of a 200 million US dollars World Bank pledge approved in early August to help Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. 
iii. Liberia, the country with the highest number of Ebola infections, will receive 52 million dollars, with Sierra Leone getting 28 million dollars and Guinea 25 million dollars. 
iv. The World Bank said the funding was aimed at helping people cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and strengthening public health systems to guard against future disease outbreaks.
6.    Chinese President launches construction of $1.4 billion Colombo Port City
i. Chinese President Xi Jinping today launched the construction of the 1.4 billion dollar Colombo Port City. 
ii. This is the largest foreign-funded investment in Sri Lanka that will reclaim 233 hectares of sea and extend the Colombo city. 
iii. The construction of the Phase 1 was given a green signal by Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony at the site this morning.
7.    Ukraine approves historic EU pact; Grants autonomy to rebel regions
i. Ukraine's Parliament has ratified a landmark European Union pact that decisively steers the former Soviet state towards the West and away from Russian influence. 
ii. The legislation grants greater autonomy to the separatist regions in the east of the country, as well as amnesty for most of those involved in recent fighting with government forces. 
iii. The new laws, which were proposed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, are aimed at ending a five month separatist rebellion, which to date has claimed an estimated 3,000 lives and paralyzed Ukraine politically and economically. 
iv. Poroshenko told lawmakers that the ratification of the association agreement in a simultaneous vote with the European Parliament in Strasbourg was a first step towards membership of the European Union.
v. A total of 355 lawmakers voted in favour of the ratification of the pact, which had been rejected by former pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych in November.
vi. Ukraine and the EU had agreed last week to delay until 2016 the implementation of a free trade deal that forms part of the pact, in what was seen as a concession to Russia.
8.    $63.3-million ADB loan for North Karnataka
i. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided $63.3-million loan for improving urban services and strengthening municipal and project management capacity in North Karnataka towns.
ii. The Centre today signed an agreement with ADB for improving urban services. The agreement is for the fourth project under the overall facility of $270 million for the North Karnataka urban sector investment programme.
iii. The fourth and last tranche of loan under this programme will help upgrade infrastructure, including expansion of the potable water systems to provide round-the-clock water supply with private sector participation in 12 towns.
9.    MIT tops world Univ rankings; no Indian varsity in top 200 
i. Massachusetts Institute of Technology has emerged as the leading varsity in the world with no Indian institution featuring in the top 200, according to a global university ranking released on Tuesday.
ii. The top-placed Indian institution, the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), is 222nd in the world, followed by IIT-Delhi at 235th, IIT-Kanpur at 300th, IIT-Madras at 322nd and IIT-Kharagpur at 324th position in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings . 
iii. The number of Indian institutions in the rankings has grown to 12 from 11. 
iv. The other Indian educational institutions that were given a rank lower than 400 on the list of over 700 top universities are -- University of Delhi, IIT-Roorkee, IIT-Guwahati, University of Mumbai, University of Kolkata, Banaras Hindu University, University of Pune. 
v. A total of 31 countries are represented in the top 200 in which the US is the dominant nation, with 51 institutions, ahead of the UK (29), Germany (13), the Netherlands (11), Canada (10), Japan (10) and Australia (8). 
Note: i. The QS World University Rankings, regarded as the most rigorous of its type, place Imperial and Cambridge as second equal, behind only the MIT which topped the rankings for a third year in a row. 
ii. Harvard dropped from second to fourth overall. It was followed by Oxford and University College London in joint fifth place, with Stanford, Caltech, Princeton and Yale of the US filling out the rest of the top 10. 

iii. Kings College London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Manchester universities are all in the top 30, capping the best performance by British institutions in the 10 years the QS rankings have been published. 
10.  IndiGo inks $2.6 bn aircraft finance deal with ICBC
i. IndiGo has signed a $2.6 billion deal with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) for the lender to finance more than 30 new aircraft, the carrier said in a statement on Wednesday.
ii. The announcement comes on the day Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in India, where the two countries are expected to sign trade and investment deals worth billions of dollars.
iii. Under the memorandum of understanding, ICBC will provide IndiGo with financing for the planes through either a sale and leaseback, financial lease or commercial lending deal, IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh said in the statement.
iv. Privately owned IndiGo said it will use the deal to add Airbus A320 planes to its fleet.
v. IndiGo, owned by InterGlobe Enterprises, is planning on listing on the Mumbai stock exchange next year.
11.  Boxer Manoj wins court battle against govt, to get Arjuna
i. Forced to take the legal route after being denied the honour initially, Indian boxer Manoj Kumar will be bestowed the Arjuna Award as the Sports Ministry has finally accepted his nomination.
ii. Manoj, a 2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, told  that he was informed of the Ministry’s decision this morning.
iii. The ministry, represented by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, had admitted in the court that Manoj was initially not considered for the award by the committee as they mistakenly believed that he was involved in a doping case.
Note: i.  The controversial recommendation of boxer Jai Bhagwan for the Arjuna Awards had led to Manoj approaching the Sports Ministry officials, who, he said, had assured him that his name would be added to a list of 15 athletes in a review meeting.
ii. But after being snubbed for a second time in the review meeting, Manoj took the legal route and filed a case in the Delhi High Court.
12.  Mumbai Indians fail to qualify for Champions League T-20
i. Mumbai Indians have failed to qualify to the Champions League Twenty-20 tournament, an annual competition played between the top domestic teams from major cricketing nations. 
ii. In the final qualifying match at Raipur last night, Mumbai lost to the New Zealand's Northern Knights by 6 wickets. 
iii. This year's winners Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings Eleven Punjab and Chennai Super Kings will represent from the IPL in the group stage which begins today. Kolkata will take on Chennai in the opening Group-A match in Hyderabad at 8 this evening
13.  East Bengal bags Calcutta Football League title
i. Continuing their reign, East Bengal bagged a sixth successive and a record 36th overall Calcutta Football League Premier Division title with a clinical 2-1 win over Tollygunge Agragami here on Tuesday.
ii. Their star recruit Ranti Martins (36th minute) headed home the decisive goal after Prolhad Roy’s 27th minute strike was nullified by Tollygunge’s Bello Rassaq within a space of six minute with a rising header.

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