Daily GK Updates: 7th Oct 2014

1.    FinMin may amend RBI Act for appointing 5th Deputy Gov, COO
i. The Finance Ministry is considering amendments to the RBI Act 1934 to enable the central bank appoint a fifth Deputy Governor and a Chief Operating Officer (COO).
ii. Finance Ministry sources confirmed that both the sides had reached an informal agreement to appoint a COO and create the post of a fifth Deputy Governor in the RBI, but with a condition.
iii. The condition is that COO would be from among the two Deputy Governors from the RBI’s quota, while the key criteria for appointment of fifth Deputy Governor would be a person with at least 25 years of experience in public administration and governance,” a senior Finance Ministry official said.
iv. The COO’s appointment is part of the RBI’s human resources (HR) restructuring exercise. The proposal envisages grouping various departments into five clusters to be headed be a Deputy Governor.
v. The proposal also talks about creation of an additional position of a COO in the rank of Deputy Governor to head one of the five functional clusters.
2.    India ranks 18th on list of most desirable places to work: BCG
i. India has been ranked 18th globally on the list of most desirable destinations to work, even as 70-80 per cent of Indians are willing to work in an overseas location, says a new report.
ii. The US has been ranked on the top, followed by the UK, Canada, Germany and Switzerland, making them the five most desirable countries to work on the list compiled by the Boston Consulting Group, total jobs.com, and The Network.
iii. The other countries in the top 10, where foreigners said they would like to work include – France (6th), Australia (7th), Spain (8th), Italy (9th) and Sweden (10th).
iv. As a desirable work destination, India was ranked 18th among G20 nations.
v. The Asia Pacific region does not generate as much interest as a possible work destination as the US or Europe, largely because of the perceived difficulty of learning Asian Language, the report said, but noted “some fast growing Asian countries are starting to reclaim workers they have lost.”
vi. Globally, one in every five participants already has international work experience and almost 64 per cent said they would be willing to go to another country for work.
3.    Indian economy to grow 6.4% in 2015-16: World Bank
i.  Indian economy, which accounts for 80 per cent of South Asia’s output, is set to grow by 6.4 per cent in 2015-16 as against 5.6 per cent in 2014-15, the World Bank has said.
ii. With economic activity buoyed by expectations from the new elected government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “India is benefiting from a “Modi dividend“,” the Bank said in its twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus report yesterday.
iii. Over the next year or so economic growth should be supported by the recovering US economy that would provide a market for Indian merchandise and service exports, it said.
iv. “The outlook over the next years for South Asia indicates broad economic stability and a pick-up in growth with potential risks concentrated on the fiscal and structural reform side,” said Martin Rama, Chief Economist for South Asia at the World Bank.
4.    Phelps banned for six months, no 2015 worlds
Michael Phelps, the 18-time Olympic swim champion arrested last week for drink driving, was banned for six months by USA Swimming and dropped from the 2015 World Championships. 

5.    Nokia to shut down its Chennai factory from Nov. 1
i. Telecom gear maker Nokia on Tuesday said that it will shut down its Chennai plant from November 1 as Microsoft has terminated mobile purchase agreement from the factory and it is left with no business.
ii. “Microsoft has informed Nokia that it will be terminating the manufacturing services defined in the agreement with effect from November 1, 2014. In absence of further orders from Microsoft, Nokia will suspend handset production at the Sriperumbudur facility from 1st November,” Nokia said in a statement.
iii. In September 2013, Nokia announced it would sell its devices and services (D&S) business, including assets in India, to Microsoft for $ 7.2 billion by March 2014.
iv. The deal was completed on April 25 but Chennai facility could not be transferred to Microsoft because of legal issues related to tax demand by the government.
v. Nokia started manufacturing in Chennai from January 2006 and exported to markets including the Middle East and Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand from there.

6. SCI Launched India-Myanmar Service

Who: India Myanmar Service
What: Launched by Shipping Corporation of India Limited
When: 7 October 2014
Shipping Corporation of India Limited (SCI) on 7 October 2014 launched India Myanmar Service (IMS) Container service that will operate container services from Chennai to Myanmar. The service will link South and East India to Myanmar via Chennai, Krishnapatnam, Yangoon, Colombo port rotation.

The service will boost bilateral trade relations between India and Myanmar by providing immense opportunities for manufacturers, importers and exporters in both countries.

7. Union Government launched attendance.gov.in website to monitor attendance of staff

Who: Union Government
What: launched a website attendance.gov.in
When: 7 October 2014
The Union Government on 7 October 2014 launched a website attendance.gov.in to monitor the attendance of government employees in real time.

The move is aimed at increasing transparency and accountability. The government launched the attendance system as part of its Digital India programme.

Highlights of the website
•    The website attendance.gov.in uses an Aadhaar-enabled biometric attendance system to track employees from the cabinet secretariat to Border Road Organization. It provides a graphical representation of attendance in real time.
•    The information which can be found on the website are attendance, over time, the number of registered employees and number of employees present.
•    A back-end administrator will check the details submitted by the organisation and make the organisation active by assigning it a unique sub-domain which will be the first name of the website.

Biometric attendance system
•    A common Biometric Attendance System is implemented in central government offices in Delhi.
•    Employees will mark attendance through biometric terminals from now onwards.
•    The employees will be required to enter their 6-digit Attendance ID on the terminal and subsequently the system will ask for finger print verification.
•    The 6 digit number will be generated based on the last 6 or first 6 digits of the individual's Aadhaar number.
•    Since network connectivity is essential for marking attendance, the government is planning two types of connectivity with each attendance terminal-  wi-fi on broadband and SIM based GSM connectivity on tablets.

So far, 148 central government organizations have opted for the Biometric Attendance System while fewer than 50000 employees have registered for it. The implementation of the system is a work in progress and all employees are yet to adopt the system.

8. President of India presented the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award 2014

Who: President of India Pranab Mukherjee
Where: New Delhi
What: presented the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award 2014
When: 7 October 2014
The President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 7 October 2014 presented the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award 2014 for Excellence in Public Administration, Academics and Management to Dr Apathukatha Sivathanu Pillai at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

Dr Apathukatha Sivathanu Pillai was honoured for his outstanding contribution in the field of aerospace and missile technology.

The award carries cash price of 5 lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque.

9. DIPP approved 33 defence proposals

Who: Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)
What: approved 33 defence proposals
When: in October 2014
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in first week of October 2014 approved 33 defence proposals. Of these 33 proposals, 19 are related to the foreign direct investment that aims to boost the manufacturing in defence sector.

These proposals were approved by the Licensing Committee chaired by Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion.
Apart from this, a release of Union Minister of Commerce said that the decision will give a major impetus to Make In India programme that was initiated by Union Government to boost domestic manufacturing.

Nineteen proposals who’s Industrial License for defence production have been granted include  Reliance Aerospace Technologies Limited, Bharat Forge Limited, Mahindra Telephonic Integrated Systems Limited, Punj Lloyd Industries Limited, Mahindra Aero Structure Pvt Limited, Tata Advanced Materials Limited. Apart from this, 14 applicants didn’t required licenses as a vast number of defence items have been de-licensed.

This decision was made after the FDI policy vide Press Note 7 was simplified and the FDI cap was in defence was raised from 26 to 49 percent. It also permitted portfolio investments up to 24 percent of the total equity of the investee / joint venture Company under automatic route and doing away with requirement of 51% equity ownership by a single Indian investor/company.

10. Skype announced to stop phone calls within India

Who: Skype
What: To stop phone calls within India
When: 7 October 2014
Skype’s parent company, Microsoft on 7 October 2014 announced that Skype will stop the calling facility from its application on mobile and landline phones within India. The facility will be stopped from 10 November 2014.

11. Rockwell Collins signed MoU with Zen Tech to tap Indian defence market

Who: Rockwell Collins
What: signed MoU with Zen Tech
When: 7 October 2014
Why: to tap Indian defence market
Communication and aviation electronic solutions firm Rockwell Collins on 7 October 2014 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement with the Hyderabad-based Zen Technologies to tap the Indian defence market.

Highlights of the MoU agreement

•    The two companies signed a MoU to combine their strengths in simulation and training to offer industry-leading, high fidelity solutions to Indian military customers.
•    The deal will help Rockwell Collins in opening up its avenues to further extend its reach in the Indian defence market.
•    Both companies will combine to provide air and ground solutions to Indian military customers that will help them in preparing their soldiers and airmen to successfully complete missions.

Rockwell Collins
Since its founding as Collins Radio in the United States in 1933, Rockwell Collins and its products have been recognized for distinctive quality and state-of-the-art technology.

US-based Rockwell Collins has facilities in Hyderabad and near New Delhi. It provides aviation simulation and training products, systems and integration solutions.

Zen Technologies
Zen Technologies was incorporated in 1993 as an Indian military simulation and trainings solution firm. It designs, develops manufactures world-class, state-of-the-art training simulators.

Its mission is to provide its customers quality products and services. It was the first Indian company to commercialize PC-based visual simulation technology for training simulators.

12. Union Science and Technology Minister launched microscope with 3-D feature

Who: ingenious Broad Spectrum Confocal Microscope that generates 3D images
Where: in New Delhi
What: launched by Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh
When: on 7 October 2014

13. Worthy Fights authored by Panetta and Newton released 

Who: Book titled Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace
What: authored by Leon Panetta, and Jim Newton was released
When: on 7 October 2014