Thursday, 19 March 2015

Daily general awarenss update 19 March 2015

Daily general awareness update 19 March 2015

EVM’s to carry photo card:EC
Election Commission has announced that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and ballot papers will carry photographs of candidates from 1 May 2015.
This move of EC seeks to avoid voters being misled by several namesakes in the election fray. In this regard EC has issued an order to all political parties and State Chief Electoral Officers for implementation.

EC also has modified the relevant provisions of law under the Conduct of Election Rules giving effect to the photo ballot papers and EVMs.
Henceforth, the photo of candidate will appear between the name and election symbol on the ballot sheet and EVM.  While for designing the new photo ballot papers, the EC has specified election candidates to supply stamp size recent photograph with specification of 2.5 cm width and 2 cm height.

Sri Lankan duo Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara retired from ODI cricket
Veteran cricketers of Sri Lanka Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara on 18 March 2015 retired from the One Day International (ODI) format of Cricket.
The two veteran cricketers retired after the World Cup quarter-final match against South Africa played at Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia. In the quarter-final, Sri Lanka lost the match by 9 wickets to South Africa.
Both the much celebrated cricketers of Sri Lanka had earlier announced that 2015 World Cup would be their final ODI.

Xpress Money launches `direct account credit’ services to India
Xpress Money, global money transfer service provider, added a new mode of money transfer for its customers sending money to India.
The ‘Direct Account Credit’ service allows customers to send money directly to any bank account in India, making money transfer even more convenient for both the sender and receiver. Introduced from UK, Greece, Belgium, Ireland, Romania, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, France, Malta, Turkey, Germany, Netherlands, Gibraltar and Norway in the initial phase, the company has plans to roll out this service in other markets that have a large Indian diaspora, Xpress Money said in a statement.

China-backed AIIB to be joined by France, Germany, Italy
AIIB: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was in news in third week of March 2015. It was in news as it was reported that France, Germany and Italy have agreed to join the AIIB after the United Kingdom (UK) decided to join the bank.
UK was the first Western nation to join the bank disregarding reservations expressed by the United States (US) which raised concerns over its transparency.
If these US-led western allied join the bank, the total number of the bank’s member states including India will go up to 30.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a 50 billion dollar international investment bank and was floated in 2014 by President Xi Jingping. The bank was floated to provide support to infrastructure projects in Asia. It is expected that the bank will be formally established by end of 2015.
India along with 20 other countries on 23 October 2014 signed an agreement to become the founding member of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Haryana Government decided to issue UIDAI-like numbers for cows
State Government of Haryana in third week of March 2015 decided to introduce Special Identification Tags with unique identification numbers for Haryana cows, an indigenous breed found in the state. These special identification tags and unique identification numbers will be like the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) format.
The scheme aims to establish identity of cows, their security and provide them benefits of health schemes.
Features of this initiative
• Each cow will have a 12-digit identification number and an ID card which will be fixed as tags around its neck
• A booklet will be provided to the owners of the cow in which they can fill cows’ data everyday
• The database of the scheme of special identification tags will record certain details of the cows like photographs, race, complexion, body structure and age
This programme will begin under the National Dairy Programme. On an experimental basis the project will start at few blocks from April 2015

Nobel Laureate Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been confirmed as President Elect of the Royal Society.
His appointment was confirmed by the society’s council met on 19 March 2015 and will assume the charge on 1 December 2015.
He will succeed eminent geneticist Sir Paul Nurse who had taken on the role in 2010 and will step down after the customary 5-year term.
About Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
  • Famously known as Venki. He was born in Chidambaram in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu.
  • He holds B.Sc. degree in physics from Baroda University and Ph.D. from Ohio University, United States.
  • In 2003, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
  • Ramakrishnan was knighted for services to Molecular Biology in 2012.
  • Awards- In 2009, Ramakrishnan was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the precise structure of ribosomes i.e. the molecular machines that manufacture proteins inside all living cells. He shared this Prize with Tom Steitz and Ada Yonath.
  • Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2007) and Padma Vibhushan (2010).
About Royal Society
  • It is a self-governing fellowship society of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, medicine and engineering.
  • Established: 1660.
  • Purpose: To support excellence in science, and to encourage its use for the benefit of humanity.
The position President of the Royal Society is most important in British science and existed since 1660. The President of society is a key advocate for science in the UK and the world.

Astra test-fired successfully against simulated target
The indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile, Astra, was successfully launched from Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft to hit a simulated target at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur in Odisha. The missile was tested to prove the manoeuvring capability against a simulated target and also to validate various subsystems. All the subsystems like propulsion, navigation, guidance as also the smooth separation of the missile from the aircraft were proved. The all-weather, state-of-the-art missile developed by DRDO can engage and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speed ( 1.2 Mach to 1.4 Mach) in head-on (up to 80 km) and tail-chase (up to 20 km) modes. The 3.8 metre tall Astra is the smallest of the DRDO-developed missiles and can be launched from different altitudes. It can reach up to 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km, 44 km when launched from an altitude of eight km and 21 km when fired from sea level.

Year 2015 being observed as ‘Visit India Year’ in China
The year 2015 is being observed as the “Visit India Year” in China. The activities include advertising in the local print, online, and outdoor media, participation in travel fairs and exhibition, organizing road shows, “know India” seminars, and offering joint advertising and brochure support and inviting opinion makers to visit India under the hospitality programme of the ministry. In 2012, 1, 68,952 Chinese tourists visited the country and their number rose to 1,74,712 in 2013.

Benjamin Netanyahu sweeps Israel election
Deflating the claims made by an array of exit polls, Benjamin Netanyahu was on way to become the longest-serving prime minister of Israel, smoothly clinching a win over the much-touted rivals – the Zionist camp parliamentary elections. Exit polls in Israel had predicted it to be a knife-edge election with some giving the Zionist camp a lead over Netanyahu’s Likud. Netanyahu’s Likud Party has won over 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, while the Zionist Union led by Isaac Herzog remains languishing at 24 seats. The second runner up was the Joint List of Arab parties, which got 13 seats. Netanyahu, who is Israel’s ninth PM, has been retaining the post since March 2009 and will now become the longest-serving leader of Israel

PAN mandatory for service tax registration
Permanent Account Number (PAN) is now mandatory for private firms for getting service tax registration besides email and mobile number. Applicants, who are not government departments shall not be granted registration in the absence of PAN. The registration shall mandatorily require that the PAN number of the proprietor or the legal entity being registered should be quoted in the application except for government departments.

Govt launches Rs 200 cr scheme for innovation in agro-industry

The Union government has launched a Rs 200 crore scheme to set up a network of technology and incubation centres to accelerate entrepreneurship and promote start-ups for innovation and entrepreneurship in agro-industry. The scheme is designed to provide necessary skill set for setting up business enterprises and also to facilitate the market linkages available to entrepreneurs and to provide hand holding for a critical period to ensure self sustainability.

Niraj Parekh to be Citi’s finance head for Indian subcontinent
American bank Citi said that it has appointed Niraj Parekh as the head of finance for its operations in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Parekh, the India subcontinent cluster financial officer, replaces Abhijit Sen, who has retired from service. He will be reporting to its country head for India, Pramit Jhaveri, and also Mark Hart, the regional chief financial officer for Asia-Pacific.

HDFC, ICICI Banks launch m-pay apps
Commercial banks are entering the mobile payments space, a market that was incubated by Airtel Money, but which since then has seen a host of players including Vodafone m-pesa, Paytm, MobiKwik and Oxigen. HDFC Bank has just launched Chillr, a third party app platform that enables users to transfer money to anybody in their phone book contacts. The user only needs to know the phone number of the person to whom he/she is transferring. But the transfer happens directly from and to bank accounts. For now, only an HDFC Bank account holder can send money, but can do so to any bank account holder. Chillr expects to sign up more banks soon. ICICI Bank launched the Pockets app. Pockets is a wallet model like Paytm and MobiKwik. You don’t have to be an ICICI Bank account holder to use it, but account holders can use it with their internet banking credentials. The app uses a virtual Visa card and users can choose to add a zero balance savings account to it.

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