Daily GK Updates: 1St Oct 2014

1.    US to help India develop three smart cities
i. In a boost to India’s 100 smart city programme, the US will help India in developing three such cities apart from joining hands with civil society and authorities to provide clean water and sewage facilities in 500 cities in the country.
ii. The three cities are Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam.
iii. This announcement was made after the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama
iv. The Indian government plans to develop 100 smart cities and in this regard an allocation of Rs. 7,060 crore was proposed in the Union Budget.

2.    Come soon before it's too late, PM tells US businesses
ii. "Together we will reach new heights of development and growth," Modi said at the event organised by the US-India Business Council (USIBC). "Take the benefit of the fast paced development and changes in the Indian economy," Modi said in his address on Tuesday to American businesses urging them to take advantage of India's growing economy to foster mutual prosperity. 
iv. Among those present at the meeting were World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, and several top corporate leaders from both the US and India, including Mukesh Ambani. 
v. USIBC chairman, Ajay Banga, who is also MasterCard CEO, said India under Modi is experiencing a new chapter of growth.

3.    Rajiv – appointed New Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).
i. President Pranab Mukherjee on 30 September 2014 authorised Vigilance Commissioner Rajiv to act as chief of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) until the appointment of the Central Vigilance Commissioner.  His appointment came with effect from 29 September 2014.
ii. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is headed by a Central Vigilance Commissioner and has two Vigilance Commissioners.
iii. The vacancy for the post of Central Vigilance Commissioner had occurred after Central Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar completed his tenure on 28 September 2014. Pradeep Kumar took oath as the chief of the Central Vigilance Commission on 14 July 2011.
Note: The other Vigilance Commissioner JM Garg completed his tenure on 7 September 2014 following which Rajiv was left as the lone Vigilance Commissioner in CVC.
ii. According to the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003, in the event of any vacancy in the office of the Central Vigilance Commissioner by reason of death, resignation or otherwise, the President may authorise one of the Vigilance Commissioners to act as the Central Vigilance Commissioner until the appointment of a new incumbent.
4.    Magnificent Mary gives India first boxing gold at 17th Asiad
M C Mary Kom became the first Indian woman boxer to clinch a gold medal at the Asian Games after she came from behind to beat Kazakhstan's Zhaina Shekerbekova in the flyweight (51KG) summit clash at Incheon by 2-0.
5. Google social network site–Orkut closed
Google closed the social networking site Orkut permanently on 30 September 2014. Google announced the decision to shut down Orkut in June 2014.
Note: Orkut started in 2004 was named after its creator, Orkut Buyukkokten, a Google employee.

6. Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train to cost Rs 65,000 crore

Railways minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda has said that the Ahmedabad -Mumbai track of 160Km will cost 65,000 crore under Public Private Partnership.

7.  Krishak Express and Lucknow-Barauni express collided near Gorakhpur station
i. Barauni bound Lucknow – Barauni express on 30 September 2014 collided with the coaches of Lucknow bound Maduadih-Lucknow Krishak Express near Gorakhpur station at Nandnagar railway crossing.
ii. The collision led to derailment of four coaches of Krishak express in which at least 12 passengers have been killed and 44 others were injured.

8.  Mahatma Gandhi's book “My Experiments with Truth” now in Kashmiri, Punjabi
i. Largest selling book of Mahatma Gandhi “My Experiments with Truth” will now be available in Kashmiri and Punjabi language from today. 
ii. The Kashmiri and Punjabi translation of the famous autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi has been published by Ahmedabad based publication House- Navjeevan Trust- also founded by Mahatma Gandhi. The book will now be available in 17 Indian languages apart from English and Hindi.
iii. After growing demand from Kashmiris to print Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography in their language, the book is being translated by three scholars. The best translation, which retains the heart of Gandhi's teachings, has been selected for printing.
9.  Core Sector grows 5.8 % in August
i. Eight core industries grew by 5.8 per cent in August this year as against 4.7 per cent in the same month last year led by healthy growth in coal, cement and electricity sectors. 
ii. According to data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry, coal sector grew by 13.4 per cent, cement by 10.3 percent and electricity by 12.6 per cent in August.
10.  Sarita Devi refuses Asiad medal
i. Indian boxer L Sarita Devi on October 1, 2014 stunned officials and spectators by refusing to accept the bronze medal, which is now in the custody of organizers
ii. Sarita had lost her semi-final bout in controversial circumstances and had to be content with the bronze medal in the women's light weight (57-60kg) event of the 17th Asian Games on September 30. India later lodged an official protest with the Amateur International Boxing Association's technical jury team. But the protest was rejected.
iii. The 32-year-old Indian lost 0-3 in an unanimous decision to South Korea's Jina Park at the Seonhak Gymnasium. Sarita lost on points against Park in a bout where she was the dominant boxer.
11.  Indian economy to grow at 5.5 percent in current fiscal, estimates ESCAP
i. United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific,ESCAP has estimated that the Indian economy will grow at 5.5 percent in the current fiscal. 
ii. The report forecast that the Asia -Pacific developing economies will grow at 5.8 percent this year
12.  Mark Zuckerberg to visit India later this month
i. After Sheryl Sandberg (COO), it’s now the turn of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (CEO) to visit India, the second biggest market for the social networking giant, later this month.
ii. Mr. Zuckerberg, who will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be in India to address the first Internet.org summit taking place on October 9-10 in New Delhi.
iii. The young billionaire is expected to meet members of other key ministries as well.
iv. Mr. Zuckerberg is the third high profile CEO of a US-based corporation, after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Micrsoft’s Satya Nadella, to visit India in last few days.
13.  Tintu Luka claims 800m silver in Asiad

i. Indian sprinter Tintu Luka clocked her season’s best to clinch a silver medal in the 800m women’s race of the 17th Asian Games in Incheon on Wednesday.
ii. Luka clocked 1:59.19s to better the bronze medal she had won in this event in the previous edition of the Games in Guangzhou.
iii. The gold was won by Kazakhstan’s Mukasheva Margarita, who broke the two-decade-old Games record of 1:59.85s with a timing of 1:59.02s.
iv. China’s Zhao Jing settled for the bronze medal after finishing the race in 1:59.48s, which also happened to be her personal best.
14.  Microsoft unveils Windows 10 Operating System

i. Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced its 'Windows 10' Operating System to replace the largely unpopular Windows 8, skipping a number to mark a leap toward unifying the way people work on tablets, phones and traditional computers. It will availble in market Springs (Jan - March) or 2nd quarter of 2015.
15.  Japan's "bullet train" turns 50
i. It was 50 years ago 1964, that Japan first introduced the world to the bullet train, also known as Shinkansen. The country's high-speed rail network helped transport Japan to the top tier of world economies.

16. First case of Ebola virus diagnosed in US

Who: Ebola's first patient
What: diagnosed in the US
When: in last week of September 2014
The United States in last week of September 2014 diagnosed its first case of the deadly Ebola virus. The person was diagnosed for the disease after being hospitalised with the symptoms that were confirmed to be caused by Ebola.

As per the US health officials, the person became infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia and traveled to Texas, US. The patient left Liberia on 19 September 2014. The symptoms of the virus on the patient became apparent on 24 September 2014. He was admitted to hospital in Texas on 28 September 2014 and since then has been put in isolation.

About Ebola
Ebola virus disease (EVD) also known as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) is a disease of humans and other primates caused by an ebola virus. Symptoms start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus. The virus causes bleeding both internally and externally to the affected patient.

According to the World Health Organization, the world's largest outbreak of Ebola has infected over 6500 people across five West African countries, and killed more than 3000, till date.

17. Apollo Hospitals tied up with pharma firm Sanofi

Who: Healthcare major Apollo Hospitals
What: tied up with the global pharma firm Sanofi
When: 30 September 2014
Healthcare major Apollo Hospitals on 30 September 2014 tied up with the global pharma firm Sanofi. The aim behind this tie-up is to expand Apollo Sugar Clinics which provide integrated diabetes care programmes in India.

Through this collaboration, Apollo and Sanofi plan to leverage their respective expertise in diabetes to provide patients with access to comprehensive educational resources, treatment and care programmes for better management.

Under this collaboration, the plan is to roll out another 150 clinics over the period of next two three years with an investment of 30-60 lakh rupees each.

Diabetes in India
Globally, Diabetes has affected close to 382 million people with India alone accounting for over 65 million people affected with diabetes (III). Around 77.2 million people were diagnosed as being pre-diabetic.

As per estimates, an average person with diabetes in urban India spends approximately 30000 rupees per year on treatment. In cases of late diagnosis, it results in 10-18 times higher spending.

The number of people with diabetes in India is expected to rise to 109 million by 2035. Such scenario demands for quick actions and a sense of purpose to arrest the disease from claiming more lives.

•    In 1718, Laboratoires Midy was founded by a family of pharmacists. In 1980, the this Midy group was acquired by Sanofi.
•    Sanofi is a global healthcare leader that focuses on the needs of the patients. It is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of innovative therapeutic solutions.
•    Sanofi has core strengths in healthcare with 7 growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme.

Apollo Hospitals
•    Apollo Hospitals was inaugurated in 1983 by Shri Giani Zail Singh (President of India). The first Apollo Hospital was in Chennai. The hospital commenced commercial operations in 1984.
•    It aims to bring healthcare of International standards within the reach of every individual.
•    Today, it has over 10000 beds across 51 hospitals, more than 1500 pharmacies, over 100 primary care & diagnostic clinics, 115 telemedicine units across 9 countries, health insurance services, global projects consultancy, 15 academic institutions and a Research Foundation.

18. Union Government approved six STPIs for Odisha

Who: Union Government
Where: in Odisha
What: accorded in-principle approval for setting up six more STPIs
When: 30 September 2014
Union government on 30 September 2014 accorded in-principle approval for setting up six more Software Technology Parks of India (STPIs) in Odisha. With this the number of such parks in the state will go up to 10.

These six STPIs will be developed at Jaypore in Koraput district, Sambalpur, Jajpur, Angul, Rayagada and Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi. The four existing STPIs are at Bhubaneswar, Rourkela, Brahmapur and Balasore.


The Union Government gave its approval for the STPIs after Odisha’s Information Technology Minister Pranab Prakash Das met Union Minister for Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad in July 2014 at New Delhi and raised the demand of STPIs.

About Software Technology Parks of India (STPIs)
Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) is an autonomous society established in 1991 under the Union Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. It was set up to promote software exports from the country and manages the Software Technology Park scheme.

19. Union MNRE announced the organisation of the first RE-INVEST Promotion Meet & Expo

Who: Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
What: announced the organisation of the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo
When: 30 September 2014
The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy ( MNRE) on 30 September 2014 announced the organisation of the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo (RE-INVEST). The meet is scheduled to be held on 15 February 2015 in New Delhi.

The central theme of the meet is to attract large scale investments in the renewable energy sector in India. The event, which is the follow-up to the Make in India initiative, is proposed to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It will be the first major platform for investment promotion in the renewable energy sector at the level of Government of India.

Highlights of the RE-INVEST Promotion Meet & Expo
•    RE-INVEST will be jointly organised by Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
•    Moreover, other leading industrial and sector specific Associations including ASSOCHAM and PHDCII will also be closely associated.
•    RE-INVEST will enable the global investment community to connect with renewable energy stakeholders in India. Over 1000 delegates are expected to attend the Meet.
•    The event is expected be attended by over 200 investors including domestic and international.
•    RE-INVEST will be the culmination of a conference and exhibition of manufacturers, project developers, investors and other players in the renewable energy space to showcase manufacturing capabilities, latest technologies, financing options and investment opportunities.
•    International companies in the renewable energy space from different countries will also have the opportunity to exhibit and showcase at the Expo to a wide Indian audience.

Renewable Energy Sector in India
Renewable Energy Sector is contributing about 6.5 percent in the electricity mix of the country. FDI up to 100 percent under the automatic route is permitted in Renewable Energy Sector.

Major initiatives by the Government including accelerated depreciation, generation based incentive, feed-in-tariff, viability gap funding is expected to add massive investments in the renewable energy sector.

20. MoCA approved the appointment of Cramer Ball as CEO of Jet Airways

Who: Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA)
What: approved the appointment of Cramer Ball as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jet Airways.
When: 1 October 2014
Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on 1 October 2014 approved the appointment of Cramer Ball as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jet Airways.

He will serve for the next three-year till 2017. Earlier, he was serving as the acting CEO of the Jet Airways.

Cramer Ball was appointed in June 2014 as acting CEO after Gary Kenneth Toomey stepped down from the position of CEO.  Gary Kenneth Toomey served for a period of just seven months.

About Cramer Ball
Cramer Ball is of Australian nationality and has previously held senior positions with international airlines such as Ansett Australia, Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Kendell Airline and Qantas.
He has also served as the CEO of Air Seychelles.

About Jet Airways
Jet Airways is a major Indian airline based in Mumbai. It is the second largest airline in India, both, in terms of market share and passengers carried, after IndiGo.
It operates over 3000 flights daily to 74 destinations worldwide. Its main hub is Mumbai, with secondary hubs at Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru.

21. Pratima Dharm appointed as the first Hindu priest at Georgetown University 

Who: Pratima Dharm, who was the first Hindu chaplain of US Army
What: appointed as the first Hindu priest by Georgetown University
When: she joined the work on 1 October 2014
Why: to serve the religious needs of its Hindu students
Pratima Dharm was appointed as the first Hindu priest (Chaplain) at Georgetown University. Dharm began her assignment at the University on 1 October 2014. She recently retired from the US Army as its first Hindu priest.