Daily GK Updates: 29th Sept 2014

1.    Panneerselvam sworn in as new Tamil Nadu CM
i. Jayalalithaa loyalist O. Panneerselvam was on Monday was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, succeeding his party chief two days after her conviction in an illegal assets case.
ii. An emotional Mr. Panneerselvam was seen wiping his eyes as he was sworn-in as Chief Minister by Governor K. Rosaiah at the Raj Bhavan.
iii. The new Chief Minister’s cabinet was also sworn-in by the Governor.
iv. The 63-year-old Panneerselvam, who is the AIADMK Treasurer, was unanimously elected as Leader of AIADMK Party Legislature on Sunday following Jayalalithaa’s conviction and subsequent disqualification as MLA following her four year prison term awarded by the Bangalore Special Court in the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case.
2.    World Heart Day: Adopt healthy lifestyle for a good heart
i. World Heart Day is being observed today.
ii. The objective of the day is to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year. 
iii. Eating more of low-calorie and nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and less of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed or fast foods, can shape up our diet as well as our heart.

3.    Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai sworn in as president of Afghanistan

Who: Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai
Where: Afghanistan
What: was sworn in as president of Afghanistan
When: 29 september 2014
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on 29 september 2014 was sworn in as president of Afghanistan. The sworn in ceremony was held at the presidential palace in Kabul.

The event marked the country's first democratic transfer of power since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

Nearly 1400 national and international dignitaries, including more than 200 delegates from the US, China, Pakistan, India and other countries, participated in the ceremony.

Ghani suceeded Hamid Karzai. He was sworn in after a three month standoff over disputed election results. The elections were held in Afghanistan on 14 June 2014.
After the mediation of US and UN, the tensions were strained away with the signing of Unity deal between Ghani and his rival Abdul Abdullah.

Moreover, after an audit of nearly eight million ballot papers Ghani was declared president.

About Ashraf Ghani

• He was an academic in the US, and worked for the World Bank
• Served as finance minister from 2002-2004 under President Hamid Karzai
• He fell out with President Karzai in 2004 and became Chancellor of Kabul University, where he was seen as an effective reformer
• He has been a vocal critic of the way international aid money has been wasted in Afghanistan
• He has a well-known reputation for having a quick temper.

4.    Modi announces lifelong visas for Indian Diaspora
i. Amid cheers from thousands of Indian-Americans, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced several measures to ease travel to their motherland including life-long visas.
ii. “There is even more to come,” he said smilingly as he announced that People of Indian Origin (PIOs) in staying in India for long would not have to report to police. “There is no need for them to do that anymore.”
iii. Eventually the PIO and OCI schemes will be combined in a new scheme and also cover spouses.
Note: i. Currently PIO cards, given to those who themselves, their parents or grandparents or their spouse, were one-time Indian citizens, allow for visa-free travel to and from India. However, a PIO card is only valid for 15 years.
ii. Also, if one’s stay in India is going to exceed 180 days on any single visit, one needs to register within 30 days of the expiry of 180 days with the concerned Foreigners Regional Registration Officer/Foreigners Registration Officer or local police authorities.
5.    Bombay HC directs centre to strictly ban manufacture of plastic flags
i. The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Union Government to strictly implement the ban on manufacture of national flags made from plastic. The Ministry of Home Affairs has been directed to take stringent measures against the use, distribution and sale of such plastic flags.
ii. The court thereafter directed the Maharashtra Government to make proper arrangements for the disposal of such flags. The tehsildars and the Collector offices will be the nodal agencies for the disposal of the national flags.
iii. The court also directed the State Government to allow NGOs and other organisations to collect the flags and hand them over to the district Collector office or Tehsildar office.
6.    Govt. to launch Universal Health Assurance Mission
i. Government will soon launch Universal Health Assurance Mission to provide affordable health services to people
ii. Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, the endeavor of the government is to provide affordable health care so that not a single patient remains undiagnosed.
iii. He said, under the mission about 50 essential drugs with a diagnostic package and 30 AYUSH drugs will be made available to all citizens at government hospitals and health centers across the country. 
7.    Alibaba gets approval to set up private bank in China
i. China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, which completed the world’s largest initial public offering ever this month, has won approval from authorities here to establish a private bank as it diversifies into financial services.
ii. Alibaba, through its subsidiary Zhejiang Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group Co, will hold 30 per cent of share capital of the new bank, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said.
iii. Having its own commercial bank will afford Alibaba greater control over many of its key services, including online payment and wealth management products.
iv. Alibaba is the latest company outside the financial sphere to win approval to start a bank in China. Beijing hopes private banks will help in its drive to open up the economy to more competition and get private capital to more parts of the economy.
Note: Alibaba completed the biggest initial public offering ever this month by selling $25 billion of stock to investors keen to tap into the world’s biggest pool of Internet users.
8.    KV Kamath-led 15-member panel to study financing in MSME sector
i. The Finance Ministry has appointed a 15-member committee under the Chairmanship of ICICI Bank Chairman KV Kamath to examine the financial architecture for the 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 MSMEs.
iii. This Panel has been asked to submit its final report in three months.
9.    Doha Bank to acquire India operations of HSBC Oman
i. Seeking to expand Asian operations, Qatar-based Doha Bank will acquire the Indian operations of the HSBC Bank Oman.
ii. The board of Doha Bank has approved the terms of amalgamation to “take over and combine” the banking operations of HSBC Bank Oman SAOG, India, with Doha Bank QSC India operation as a going concern, Doha Bank said a filing to the Qatar Stock Exchange.
Note: Late last year Doha Bank had secured licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to commence banking operations in India and has been permitted to open a branch in Mumbai to provide full—scale banking services.
10.  Seema Poonia wins Gold in women's discus throw at the Incheon Asian Games
i. India's Seema Poonia grabbed gold in the women's discus throw event. This is India's fifth gold. Seema threw 61.03 meters to bag the gold.
ii.  Her sister, Krishna Poonia figuring in the same event finished fourth. Two bronze medal also came from athletics today. O P Jaisha finished third in women's 1500 meter and Naveen Kumar won bronze in men's 3000 meter steeplechase.
11.  Sania-Saketh win gold
i. The tennis mixed doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Saketh Myneni won the gold medal for India by defeating Chinese Taipei top seeds Hsien Yin Peng-Hao Ching Chan 6-4, 6-3 in Incheon on Monday. It is the sixth gold medal for India.

12.  Wrestler Bajrang and the men’s tennis combination of Sanam Singh and Saketh Myneni picked up silver medals.

ii. Apart from Bajrang and the tennis team’s silver-winning feats, athlete O.P. Jaisha (women’s 1500m race) and wrestler Narsingh Pancham Yadav (74kg) clinched bronze medals on a rather mixed day for the Indian contingent.
Note: With the addition of five medals on Monday, India had a total of haul of 42 -- six golds, seven silver and 29 bronze. China maintained their supremacy with a tally of 231 (110-69-52) followed by hosts South Korea 144 and Japan 131.

  13. Leander Paes and Marcin Matkowski won Malaysian Open doubles title of tennis

Who: Leander Paes and Marcin Matkowski
Where: at Kuala Lumpur
What: won the ATP Malaysian Open men's doubles title
When: 28 September 2014
Why: as they defeated Jamie Murray and John Peers 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-5

14.  Indo-US joint military Yudh Abhyas exercise underway in Uttarakhand
i. The 10th edition of annual Indo-US joint military exercise is on at Ranikhet in Uttarakhand. It is focused on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in mountainous terrain in United Nations peace keeping scenario. 
ii. The exercise, involving contingents from Garud division of the Indian army and the US' infantry division, is being held at Chaubattia forest range in the foothills of Himalayas. 

 15.Muthuraman Vice Chairman of Tata Steel retired 

Who: B Muthuraman

What: Retired
When: 26 September 2014
B Muthuraman, Vice-Chairman of Tata Steel retired from the Board of the company on 26 September 2014 after attaining the age of 70. He retired as per the company’s retirement policy.

B Muthuraman who was also a chairman of Tata International Ltd, the global trading and distribution arm of the Tata group was replaced by former Union Home Secretary GK Pillai. Pillai was appointed for the post on 26 September 2014.

About B Muthuraman
• He served the Tata Steel for almost 48 years.
• He joined the Tata Company as trainee engineer in 1966 and was he rose to the position of Vice-Chairman in 2009.
• He has served on the boards of Bosch, Tata Industries and Strategic Energy Technology Systems.
• He is also president of the Confederation of Indian Industry, chairman of the board of governors of the National Institute of Technology (Jamshedpur).
• He is also a member of the Business Advisory Council of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
• He received the Padma Bhushan Award by the Government of India in 2012.

About Tata Steel
Tata Steel Group was established in 1907. Tata is the world’s second-most geographically-diversified steel producer and Asia’s first integrated private sector steel company.

Tata Steel expended across various geographies with acquisition of Tata Steel Thailand (earlier known as NatSteel Holdings and Millennium Steel) and Tata Steel Europe (formerly known as Corus). Those acquired firms have manufacturing base in Singapore, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

16. Kotak Mahindra Bank acquired 15 percent stake of FTIL in MCX for 459 crore rupees

Who: Kotak Mahindra Bank
What: acquired 15 percent stake of Financial Technologies (India) Ltd (FTIL) in MCX
When: 29 September 2014
Kotak Mahindra Bank on 29 September 2014 acquired 15 percent stake of Financial Technologies (India) Ltd (FTIL) in Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) for 459 crore rupees. Kotak Bank acquired MCX shares at about 664 rupees a piece.

After the Forward Markets Commission declared FTIL as unfit to hold stake in the commodity exchange, FTIL was forced to offload its holding in the exchange.

Forward Market Commission declared FTIL unfit after its arm, National Spot Exchange, failed to settle trade worth 5600 crore rupees on its platform.

With this deal, FTIL managed to sell its entire 26 per cent shareholding in MCX for about 900 crore rupees. The deal lifts the embargo on MCX to launch contracts for the next calendar year.
Besides reducing the term of the technology contract, MCX will now pay FTIL a fixed charge of 1.5 crore rupees a month, including managed services payable in advance on a semi annual basis. Earlier, it was paying 2 crore rupees a month.

FTIL will also get a variable charge of 10.3 per cent of gross transaction fees, compared with 12.5 per cent earlier. MCX paid about 60 crore rupees to FTIL for receiving technological support and services last fiscal.

Earlier, FTIL concluded a long-term 10-year technology contract with MCX for providing software support and managed services on mutually agreed terms and conditions, and a further renewal as may be mutually agreed upon.

17. Year-Long Centenary Commemoration of Komagata Maru Incident Inaugurated

Who: Centenary Commemoration of Komagata Maru Incident
Where: New Delhi
What: inaugurated
When: 29 September 2014
The year-long centenary commemoration of 1914 Komagata Maru Incident was inaugurated on 29 September 2014 by Union Ministry of Culture on completion of 100 years after the incident.

The event was organised to pay tribute to the heroic struggle of 376 Indian immigrants on board the ship the Komagata Maru against discriminatory immigration laws of Canada in the early years of twentieth century. A set of commemorative coins of denominations of 100 rupees and 5 rupees was released to mark the occasion.

Union Culture Minister Shri Shripad Naik honored three granddaughters of Baba Gurdit Singh: Harbhajan Kaur, Satwant Kaur and Balbir Kaur on the occasion. Baba Gurdit Singh was the hero of the Komagata Maru episode.

The National Implementation Committee in its first meeting on 8 July 2014 decided to hold the inaugural function to commemorate centenary of the Komagata Maru incident on 29 September 2014 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

National Implementation Committee
•    The Union Government constituted National Implementation Committee on 5 May 2014 to chalk out programmes for creating awareness about the heroic struggle of Indian migrants. These programmes will be taken up during the period from 29 September 2014 to 29 September 2015.
•    The programmes include national and international conferences, publications, development of digital archives and preparation of films and documentaries.
•    The National Implementation Committee also approved a proposal from Punjabi University, Patiala for the production of a play titled Komagata Maru – 1914.
•    It has also decided to hold a week-long function at Vancouver from 23 May 2015 to 30 May 2015 which would include cultural events, seminars and exhibitions besides honouring the descendants of the Komagata Maru passengers as well as non-Indians including Canadians who rendered assistance both to the cause of Komagata Maru passengers.

Komagata Maru Incident
The Komagata Maru incident was about a Japanese steamship named the Komagata Maru that sailed from Hong Kong, Shanghai, China to Yokohama, Japan and then to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1914.

It carried 376 passengers from Punjab, India. Among them 24 were admitted to Canada, but the 352 other passengers were not allowed to land in Canada and the ship was forced to return to India. The passengers consisted of 340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims, and 12 Hindus and all of them were British subjects.

The Komagata Maru arrived in Calcutta in September 1914. The British Imperial Government saw the men on Komagata Maru as dangerous political agitators. The police went aboard the ship on 29 September 1914 to arrest Baba Gurdit Singh and other leaders.

The arrest was resisted by the passengers which led to police firing in which 19 passengers were killed. However, Baba Gurdit Singh escaped along with many others. The rest of the passengers were sent to Punjab.