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Daily GK Updates: 27th Sept 2014

1.    Jayalalithaa convicted to 4 years imprisonment in DA case
i. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was on Saturday convicted under prevention of corruption act by a special court in Bangalore. She has been given a jail term of 4 years by the bangalore special court and slapped a fine of 100 crores.
ii. Special Judge John Michael D'Cunha convicted the 66-year-old AIADMK Chief in a case of owning assets to the tune Rs 66,65 crores disproportionate to her known sources of income during 1991-96 when she was chief minister for the first time.
iii. Jayalalithaa's close aide Sasikala Natarajan, her niece Ilavarasi and her nephew and the chief minister's disowned foster son Sudhakaran were also convicted. 
iv. The verdict was delivered at a makeshift court in the Parappana Agrahara prison complex in the presence of Jayalalithaa and the other accused.
v. Jayalalithaa, 66, will now lose MLA's post and has to step down as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, while she stands disqualified from public office for next 6 years.

2.    Justice Handyala Dattu to be sworn-in as new CJI
i. Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu will be sworn-in as the new Chief Justice of India tomorrow.
ii. He will succeed Chief Justice R M Lodha who is retiring today. Justice Dattu will be administered oath of office by the President Mr Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan. 
iii. He will have a tenure of 14 months as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Justice Dattu, who is the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court after Chief Justice Lodha has been heading the bench monitoring investigations into the 2G spectrum scam.
iv. Justice Dattu joined the Supreme Court as a judge in December 2008. Born on December 13, 1950, he began his practice as an advocate in Bangalore in 1975 and dealt with all type of cases including civil, criminal, tax and Constitutional matters. 
3.    K.V. Kamath-led panel to examine financial architecture for MSME sector
i. The Finance Ministry has appointed a 15-member committee under the Chairmanship of ICICI Bank Chairman K V Kamath to examine the financial architecture for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.
ii. The committee will, among other things, come up with concrete suggestions to improve the share of institutional finance to MSME from the low levels seen currently.
iii. Besides looking at innovative financial products for MSMEs, the committee will suggest measures to increase the flow of equity support to MSMEs by targeting incubator-based funds, angel/ seed funds, impact funds and venture capital/ private equity funds.
iv. It will also look at regional disparities in credit flow to MSMEs.
v. The Department of Financial Services move to set up this committee comes two-and-a-half months after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in his maiden Budget speech that a committee will be set up to examine the financial architecture for the MSME sector.
4.    BCCI extends tenure of Ravi Shastri as team India director till 2015 WC
i. The working committee of the BCCI today retained former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri as the Director of the Indian cricket team till the ICC World Cup next year. 
ii. The Committee also decided to hold its Annual General Meeting in Chennai on November 20. 
iii. The working committee also decided to continue with the services of coach Duncan Fletcher till the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February-March next year. 
iv. The Indian support staff trio of Sanjay Bangar, Bharath Arun and R Sridhar were also rewarded with contracts till the end of the World Cup. 
5.    SBI signed 500 million dollar Line of Credit with Korea Eximbank
i. State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender announced that it has signed a Line of Credit (LoC) of 500 million dollar with Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank).  
ii. The LoC will be utilised to provide finance to SBI’s clients in India and neighbouring countries that have business relationships either by way of equity participation or regular trade with Korean companies globally, as well as joint ventures or subsidiaries of Korean companies.
iii. SBI’s regional head (East Asia), C Venkat Nageswar and Korea Eximbank’s member of Board of Directors, Young Whan Sul signed the agreement at Seoul. The entire process was facilitated by SBI’s subsidiary, SBI Capital Markets and the signing of the pact for LoC is being seen as a step towards further strengthening of Korea-India strategic partnership.

  6. China launched Made in China campaign to retain its manufacturing prowess

Who: Made in China campaign
What: Launched by China
When: 25 September 2014
Why: to retain its manufacturing prowess
 
China on 25 September 2014 launched Made in China campaign to counter India. The launch of the campaign coincided with the launch of Made In India campaign.

The decision to launch the campaign was taken by Chinese cabinet headed by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

China by launching Made in China campaign seeks to retain its manufacturing prowess through giving host of tax concessions.

In order to arm China with advanced technology and equipment, encouraging more competitive products with high added value, the Chinese cabinet asked government organs to implement the new measures as soon as possible.

Main Elements of the Campaign
  • Under the campaign China will encourage high-tech imports, research and development (R&D) to upgrade Made in China.
  • Companies that bought new R&D equipment and facilities after January 1 or possess minor fixed assets will have taxes reduced based on value.
  • Imported high-tech equipment will also enjoy tax deductions. The industries with imported equipments which will enjoy tax deduction include aviation and bio-medicine production among others.
  • Made in China campaign aims to prompt technical improvement of companies, especially innovation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These SMEs in the last three decades propelled China to become world's second largest economy and made it a powerhouse of the manufacturing industry.
Comment
Manufacturing sector of China had been a key driver of its economic growth and is globally competitive. With the launch of Made in China campaign a new round of innovation is believed to be spurred which will contribute to stabilising economic growth.

Further this will lighten burdens of enterprises in the real term and prompt the upgrade of outdated equipment.

Finally, it will help ease three aspects problems, viz., weak domestic demand and investment amid slowing economic growth, lagging equipment in manufacturing sector and low technical level of home grown companies.

7.    Sri Lanka wins backing of 22 nations against UN rights probe
i. Sri Lanka has won the backing of 22 nations in its battle against the UN's war crimes probe into the country's human rights record during its brutal civil war.
ii. A government statement said the countries in a joint statement had termed the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution passed last March as an intrusive mandate and unwarranted in the context of Sri Lanka's own local investigation.
iii. The like minded group chaired by Egypt included Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, North Korea, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan,Russia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
iv. This support was in addition to the concerns raised by India as Sri Lanka's all important giant neighbour had questioned the methodology of the investigation.
v. This is in view of Sri Lanka's decision not to cooperate with the investigation.
vi. India backed the US-sponsored 2012 and 2013 UNHRC resolutions which pinned Colombo to a credible process of reconciliation with the Tamil minority.
vii. However, India much to the delight of Sri Lanka abstained at the crucial vote last March which mandated an international investigation.
8.    10 scientists get Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 
i. Ten scientists were on Friday felicitated with prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for their outstanding contributions to field of science and technology.
ii. P S Ahuja, Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) awarded the scientists for their notable and outstanding research, applied or fundamental, in the field of biology, chemistry, environmental science, engineering, mathematics, medicine and Physics. 
iii. Roop Mallik and Pratap Raychaudhuri, both scientists from Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), were awarded for their contribution in the field of Biological and Physical science respectively. 

iv. Sadiqali Abbas Rangwala from Raman Research Institute in Bengaluru was given the award for Physical Science.
v. Anurag Agrawal of New Delhi-based Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) was awarded for his contribution in the field of Medical Science.
vi. S Venkata Mohan from Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), Hyderabad and Soumen Chakrabarti from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai were given the award in the field of Engineering science while Kaushal Kumar Verma from Indian Institute of Science Bengaluru was awarded for his work in Mathematical Sciences. 
9.    Asian Games: Indian men's team wins compound archery gold
i. Creating a landmark in the history of Indian sports, India beat hosts and World champions South Korea in the men's compound archery team final at the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field on Saturday for the country's second gold of 17th Asian Games.
ii. Indian team of Rajat Chauhan, Sandeep Kumar and Abhishek Verma, came all guns blazing and beat the hosts 227-225 for the gold medal -- country's first from archery in the 17th Asiad.
iii. India won their first medal from the discipline earlier in the day as the women's compound team beat Iran to win bronze.
10.  Asiad: Men’s team gets historic Squash gold
i. Indian Men's Squash team scripts history as they won the first ever Gold medal in the Asiad. 
ii. They defeated Malayasin Team 2-Nil to fetch the gold. This was fourth medal from squash in this Asian Games. 
Earlier, today Indian Women's team settled for a silver after loosing to Malaysia Nil-2. Squash has given 1 Gold 2 Silver and a bronze.
iii. In the morning, Archery bagged Gold their first ever yellow metal. In the Men's Compound team event, the trio of Abhishek Verma, Sandeep Kumar and Rajat Chauhan defeated champions South Korea, 227-225. 
iv. Shooter Jitu Rai had won the first Gold on the opening day. Earlier today, in the Women's section, the team of Trisha Deb, Purvasha Shende and Jyothi Vennam defeated Iran, 224-217 to win a Bronze.

11. India announced to contribute 12 million US dollar to UN to fight Ebola virus

Who: 12 million US dollar contribution to UN to fight Ebola virus
What: By India
When: 25 September 2014

India announced to contribute 12 million US dollars to the United Nations to fight the deadly Ebola virus in Africa. The contribution was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 September 2014.

India will contribute 10 million US dollar to Fund of United Nations Secretary General for Ebola and 2 million US dollar for purchase of protective gear to tackle Ebola.

Recently, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon announced setting up of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) to put in place an effective response mechanism due to the wide spread of Ebola Virus in Africa.

The Ebola Emergency Response project will mobilize 52 million US dollars for Liberia, 28 million US dollars for Sierra Leone and 25 million US dollars for Guinea.

The World Bank Group also approved 105 million US dollars grant for Ebola Emergency Response to fight Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in September 2014.

11. Tamil Nadu government announced Price Stabilization fund for green tea leaf

Who: Price Stabilization fund for green tea leaf
What: Announced by Tamil Nadu Government
When: 26 September 2014

Tamil Nadu Government on 26 September 2014 announced a Price Stabilisation Fund for Green Tea Leaf with a corpus of 12 crore rupees.

Besides, the government announced a support price of 2 rupee per kg for green tea leaf will be given to small tea growers from the fund.

The Tamil Nadu Government will contribute 8 crore rupees and  Tamil Nadu Small Tea Growers Industrial Cooperative Tea Factories Federation Ltd (INDCOSERVE) will pitch in with 4 crore rupees  towards the corpus for 2014-15 fiscal year.

Every year, INDCOSERVE will give 75 percent of its profits from the sale of Ooty tea and the rest will be provided by the State government to price stabilisation fund.

12. SEBI notified final rules for REITs and InvITs

Who: SEBI
What: notified final rules for setting up of REITs Regulations 2014 and InvITs Regulations 2014
When: 26 September 2014
 
India’s market regulator, SEBI on 26 September 2014 notified the final rules for setting up of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) Regulations 2014 and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) Regulations 2014. The notifications would help in attracting more funds in a transparent manner into the realty and infrastructure sectors.

The notification on REITs has been issued after SEBI in August 2014 said that the REITs should operate with an asset pool of at least 5 billion rupees (81.8 million dollars). It also said that the REITs should have an initial issue size of at least 2.5 billion rupees for shareholders.

The SEBI (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014 (“REIT Regulations”) have been notified, vide notification No. LAD-NRO/GN/2014-15/11/1576 and the SEBI (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014 (“InvIT Regulations”) have been notified, vide a notification No. LAD-NRO/GN/2014-15/10/1577. These two regulations were issued by SEBI in exercise of the powers conferred to it by Section 30 with Section 11 and 12 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 (15 of 1992), laying a framework for Real Estate Investment Trusts and registration and regulation as well as Infrastructure Investment Trusts and registration and regulation.

About REITs and InvITs
The REITs and InvITs are listed entities that mainly invest in income-producing assets, the earnings of which are mostly distributed to their shareholders. They generally get special tax treatment.

13. PM Narendra Modi addressed 69th session of UNGA in Hindi

Who: Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Where: in New York
What: addressed the 69th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in Hindi
When: on 27 September 2014
 
The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on 27 September 2014 addressed the 69th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. He addressed the 193-member UN General Assembly in Hindi becoming the second Prime Minister after Atal Behari Vajpayee who was a Prime Minister from 1998 to 2004.

Apart from this, Modi is the third person to address the UNGA session in Hindi aafter Vajpayee and PV Narasimha Rao. Rao addressed the session in Hindi as foreign minister in 1988 and Vajpayee also addressed the UN General Assembly's Millennium Summit session in Hindi in 1977.

The theme of the UNGA was delivering and implementing a transformative Post-2015 development Agenda.

Some major points of his speech at UNGA were
• He termed the 69 UN peacekeeping missions since 1948 as the blue helmet, the colour of peace.
• India is ready to engage in a serious bilateral dialogue with Pakistan but in a peaceful atmosphere, without the shadow of terrorism, to promote our friendship and cooperation. For this purpose, Pakistan should take its responsibility seriously to create such an environment.
• He also called for concerted multilateral action to meet the challenges like fragile global economy, terrorism, Ebola health crisis, climate change and poverty.
• While calling for concerted international efforts to fight with terrorism, he termed that it takes new shape and new name and there is no country either big or small across the world is free from its threat. So efforts should be made to combat terrorism and extremism by keeping aside the difference by adopting Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism
• All G-groups should be converted into G1 or G-All
• The United Nations including the Security Council should be made more democratic and participative
• Development and empowerment should be spread at the speed of Facebook or Twitter
• The eradication of poverty must remain at the core of the Post-2015 Development Agenda
• Technology and capabilities of the countries should be shared with each other
• International Yoga Day should be adopted

Effect of his speech was UNGA was felt clearly after Modi rebuffed Pakistan for raising the Kashmir issue at the UN and asking for plebiscite in Kashmir. Pakistan after his speech at UNGA accepted that its talks with the Hurriyat were not necessary before the dialogue with India

Hindi is not among the official languages of the UN, which are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. But Modi wants that the Hindi should be recognised as a world language as it is fourth most prevalent language in the world after English, Spanish and Chinese.

14. President of Catalonia signed decree to hold independence referendum on 9 November

Who: Spanish region Catalonia
Where: Catalonia
What: announced to hold independence referendum on 9 November 2014
When: 27 September 2014
 
Spanish region Catalonia on 27 September 2014 announced to hold independence referendum on 9 November 2014.

The President of Catalonia Artur Mas signed a decree calling for a Scottish style referendum on independence. Earlier on 19 September 2014, Catalonian lawmakers voted by a margin of 106 to 28 in favour of authorising the referendum.

However, Spain quickly denounced the move and called the plan unconstitutional. It repeatedly insists that any regional vote on independence would be illegal, pointing out that the country's 1978 constitution means major questions must be put to all Spaniards and that only they can call a referendum.

On the other hand, Mas said he can use local laws to hold the vote and asserts that the non-binding nature of its regional vote allows it to take place within the legal confines of the constitution.
Catalonia is one of Spain's richest and most highly industrialised regions, and also one of the most independent-minded.  It includes Barcelona.

About Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain, designated a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. The official languages are Spanish, Catalan, and Aranese.

Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain, and the centre of one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe.

It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia, with the remainder now part of France.

Catalonia is bordered by France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish regions of Aragon and the Valencian Community to west and south respectively.

15. Volcano Mount Ontake erupted in Japan

Who: Volcano Mount Ontake
Where: in Japan
What: erupted
When: 27 September 2014
 
Volcano Mount Ontake in Japan erupted on 27 September 2014 killing more than 30 people and injuring as many people.

The volcano, which is a popular destination for religious pilgrimages, erupted when many hikers were out enjoying the beautiful start to the weekend and the autumn hiking season.

The eruption led to pouring in of smoke and ash hundreds of meters into the sky. Ash was found on cars as far as 80km away.

The volcano erupted despite showing no indication that it was about to erupt with such force. An official at the volcano division of the meteorological agency said that although there had been a rising number of small earthquakes detected at Ontake since 10 September 2014, the eruption could not have been predicted easily.

There were no other signs of an imminent eruption, such as earth movements or changes on the mountain’s surface.

Geoscience of the Ontake Eruption

Japan is at a triple-plate subduction boundary between the Eurasian continental plate and the Philippine and Pacific oceanic plates.
As the denser oceanic plates dive below the low-density continental plate, water from the saturated sediments lowers the melting point of surrounding rock. That magma feeds a range of volcanoes mirroring the plate boundary.

History of Eruption of Mount Ontake

Last major eruption of Mount Ontake happened during October 1979 to April 1980. Since then the volcano showed no signs of eruption, although a minor phreatic eruption happened in 2007 and an unconfirmed similar eruption in 1991. Phreatic eruptions are steam-driven explosions caused by magma heating groundwater.

The volcano has been placed under a Level 3 alert by Japanese Meteorological Agency. The Level 3 alert warns everyone to stay away. It was put under Level 3 category in 1984 when the volcano had a major landslide which appeared to be triggered by an earthquake independent of volcanic activity, although ash mixed in the sediment likely increased the landslide's mobility.

About Mount Ontake


The mountain is popular with weekend hikers, particularly in September and October when the autumn leaves are at their best. It is a popular site to view autumn foliage.

The mountain is located some 200 km west of Tokyo in between Nagano and Gifu prefectures. Its peak is 3067m high and the mountain is a popular hiking route, dotted with lodges, cabins and well-marked trails.

It is the second tallest volcano in the country second only to Mount Fuji. Mount Ontake is also known as Ontakesan and Kiso-ontake.

Frequent Eruptions

Volcanoes erupt periodically in Japan. Japan is one of the world's most seismically active nations. There have been no fatalities since 1991, when 43 people died in a pyroclastic flow, a superheated current of gas and rock, at Mount Unzen in southwestern Japan.

16. Chief Justice of India Justice RM Lodha retired

Who: The 41st Chief Justice of India (CJI), Rajendra Mal Lodha
What: retired after serving as the CJI for five months
When: on 27 September 2014
 
The 41st Chief Justice of India (CJI), Rajendra Mal Lodha retired on 27 September 2014. He retired after serving as the CJI for five months.

Rajendra Mal Lodha took charge of the office of the Chief Justice of India on 27 April 2014 after retirement of former CJI P Sathasivam. He was appointed as the Chief Justice of India after his name was recommended as the next CJI by Justice Sathasivam.

Justice Lodha’s most powerful verdict during his tenure as CJI was decision in the coal allocation scam. The Supreme Court bench headed by Lodha on 24 September 2014 scrapped 214 out of 218 coal blocks allocated between 1993 and 2010 by terming those allocations as arbitrary and illegal.

Rajendra Mal Lodha’s career in judicial field

• He enrolled himself with the Bar Council of Rajasthan in February 1973
• He practiced Law in Rajasthan High Court during which he dealt with all branches of law like constitutional, civil, company, criminal, taxation and labour
• In January 1994, he was elevated as a Permanent Judge of the Rajasthan High Court after which he was transferred to Bombay High Court, where he assumed the office in February 1994
• In 2007, he was transferred back to the Rajasthan High Court
• He had been the Administrative Judge of the Rajasthan High Court and was chairman of the State Judicial Academy
• On 13 May 2008, he was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Patna High Court from where he was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on 17 December 2008

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