Daily GK Updates – 26th February 2016

1. Maheshwari sworn-in as Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court

i. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari was today sworn-in as the chief justice of the Meghalaya High Court. 

ii. Governor V Shanmuganathan administered the oath of office to the Chief Justice at a ceremony in Raj Bhavanwhere Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and his cabinet colleagues, judges and government officials were present.

iii. Maheshwari replaces former chief Justice Uma Nath Singh who retired on January 14.  Maheswari was earlier a senior Judge of the AllahabadHigh Court.

iv. After Justice Singh’s retirement, Justice T N K Singh took over as acting chief justice till his retirement last month.

2. India, UK sign MoU on biotechnology, crop science

i. London, Feb 25 (PTI) India and a consortium of top UK research institutions, including the Cambridge University, have signed an MoU to conduct a research programme in the field of crop science to help tackle global challenges in the areas of food security, crop science and biotechnology.

ii. Scientists from Cambridge University will collaborate with Indian counterparts to conduct research in the field of crop science as part of an agreement signed yesterday.

iii. The UK-India Collaboration programme in crop science aims to enhance collaborative research, promote knowledge exchange, and support capacity building to develop resilience in food security.

3. Jonathon appointed CEO of AAE Travel

i. Expedia, the online travel company, has appointed Jonathon Sinclair Neal as the Chief Executive Officer of AAE Travel, a joint venture between AirAsia and Expedia Inc. Jonathon will be based out of Singapore.

ii. In this new role, Jonathon will provide strategic direction to the Singapore-based online travel company that drives two key brands, Expedia and AirAsiaGo, across 12 countries including India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.

iii. Prior to assuming his current role, Jonathon was the Chief Financial Officer of AAE Travel where he was responsible for all aspects of finance as well as corporate strategy and business analytics.

4. USL appoints M K Sharma as new chairman

i. New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) The Diageo-controlled United Spirits (USL) today announced the appointment of M K Sharma as its new chairman, a day after the embattled liquor baronVijay Mallya resigned from the post.

ii. Following Dr Mallyas resignation, the board of directors of the company is pleased to announce that Mahendra Kumar Sharma, Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee, has been appointed the chairman of the board with effect from February 25, 2016,” USL said in a BSE filing.

iii. Mallyas exit from the board of United Spirits ended a long-drawn tussle between him and the majority owner, UKs Diageo, following allegations of irregularities on loans given to UB Group companies.

5. Ola signs pact with UP govt to create over 50k entrepreneurs

i. Taxi aggregator Ola today entered into an agreement with the Uttar Pradesh government to create over 50,000 entrepreneurship opportunities across the state.

ii. As per the pact, Ola will work with the state government towards skill development of youth in state and providing entrepreneurship opportunities for 50,000 men and women across the state over the next five years, according to a release.

iii. Ola will also work with the state government to introduce innovative and customised mobility solutions like Ola Auto, Ola Share and Ola Shuttle across the state in the coming months.

6. IDBI Bank gets SEBI nod to raise ₹3,771 cr via QIP

i. IDBI Bank has received market regulator SEBI’s approval to raise ₹3,771 crore by issuing shares to qualified institutional players, a move that would dilute the government’s holding significantly.

ii. In a statement, IDBI Bank said SEBI has acceded to the request to permit the bank to raise capital by issue of equity shares aggregating up to ₹3,771 crore by way of a QIP.

iii. At the current market valuation, ₹3,771 crore is an equity stake of about 36.6 per cent in IDBI Bank. The government holding in the bank stands at 80.16 per cent. Under existing norms, government equity in a public sector bank cannot go below 52 per cent.

7. Union Cabinet approved Promotion of Payments through Cards and Digital means

i. Union Government on 24 February 2016 approved introduction of steps for promotion of payments through cards and digital means. The move aims at reducing cash transactions.

ii. Under the move no surcharge, service charge, convenience fee will be levied on card and digital payment. Steps will be taken for payments beyond a prescribed threshold mandatory through cards or digital mode.

iii. As per the decision, several short term (to be implemented within one year) and medium term (one year to two years) by the Government Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations.


i. If there was any need for confirmation on just how popular Pokemon is, twenty years after its initial release.

ii. we got it this weekend. A huge crowd flocked to Twitch in order to take in a 24-hour marathon celebrating the franchise’s recent anniversary.

iii. Interviews with people who worked on the games were joined by episodes from the Japanese animated series and several of the feature-length movies that have been released over the past two decades.

iv. At its peak, more than 70,000 viewers assembled to take in the stream and react in its lively chat.

9. Ashwini Nangia becomes Director of CSIR-National Chemical Lab, Pune

i. Ashwini Nangia from the University of Hyderabad (UoH) has been appointed as the Director of the CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune.

ii. The 1960 born, Nangia, an alumnus of the IIT Kanpur is at present with the School of Chemistry at the UoH. Post his PhD (1988), he worked in NOCIL Agrochemicals R&D Centre, Navi Mumbai for a year, and then joined the University in 1989.

iii. He has contributed to the new field of cocrystals and its applications to the pharmaceutical industry. He has over 200 research papers to his credit including several reviews. Nangia has guided over 20 PhD students in the past 25 years at UoH.

10. Govt appoints 3 information commissioners in CIC

i. The Centre on Wednesday appointed three information commissioners in the Central Information Commission (CIC).

ii. They are Amitava Bhattacharyya, Indian Administrative Service, (Gujarat 1980), retired Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, Bimal Julka, IAS (Madhya Pradesh:1979), retired Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Divya Prakash Sinha, Indian Police Service (Manipur-Tripura: 1979), retired Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat.

iii. The appointments have been made for a term of five years from the date on which they enter upon their office or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier, as per the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005,” an official release said.

11. IRCTC, OYO Rooms tie up for hotel bookings

i. Budget hotel aggregator OYO Rooms has tied up with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to offer standardised accommodation and a convenient booking platform to rail travellers, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

ii. Under the tie-up, OYO Rooms will power the IRCTC hotel-booking page, offering their inventory and standardised amenities to passengers.

iii. IRCTC CMD A.K. Manocha said, “We have made the necessary technology integrations and will be actively communicating about this newly available option through e-mailers, information on e-tickets so that our travellers can explore and utilize these services.”

12. Times Internet partners with Investopedia to deliver trusted financial content to India

i. Times Internet, the largest Indian Digital Network, today announced a strategic partnership with Investopedia.com, one of the web’s premier destinations for financial information.

ii. Through this partnership, Investopedia and Times Internet will collaborate to create and curate a blend of local and international content, knowledge events and seminars to grow the brand amongst the audience in India.

iii. These initiatives will reinforce Investopedia’s status as the world’s largest financial educations.

13. Nissan names Rohit Sharma as their global ambassador

i. Japanese car manufacturer Nissan on Wednesday named Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma as their new global ambassador.

ii. In its partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC), Nissan also named West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell and New Zealand women’s team captain Suzie Bates as its ambassadors.

iii. Nissan is absolutely delighted to welcome this illustrious line-up to the Nissan team as ambassadors,” Nissan corporate vice-president Roel de Vries said.

iv. As genuine performers in the shorter form of the game, these players consistently deliver on the big stage. We look forward to working together to bring cricketing excitement to fans worldwide, starting with the World Twenty20.”

14. India approves $150 million credit line for Iran’s Chabahar port

i. India on Wednesday approved a $150 million credit line for the development of Iran’s Chabahar port, the government said in a statement.

ii. The port in southeast Iran is central to New Delhi’s efforts to circumvent arch-rival Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests.

iii. Under the agreement signed last year between the two countries, India will equip and operate two berths in the first phase of development at Chabahar Port and extend a credit line of $150 million through its external lending arm.

15. EPFO tightens norms for withdrawal of funds

i. Retirement fund body EPFO has tightened norms on withdrawal of provident fund as well investment of such amount in Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana for its over five crore subscribers.

ii. Now, the subscribers will not be able to claim withdrawal of their provident fund after attaining age of 54 years. They would have to wait till attaining the age 57 years. The ministry has notified new rules,” a senior official told PTI.

iii. As per the earlier norms, the EPFO subscribers were allowed to claim 90 per cent of their accumulations in their PF account at the age of 54 years.

16. Union Cabinet approves establishment of Atal Innovation Mission and SETU in NITI Aayog

i. The Union Cabinet as given its approval for establishment of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) in NITI Aayog.

ii. This move seeks to give substantial boost to the innovation ecosystem and to catalyse the entrepreneurial spirit in the country.

iii. AIM and AIM Directorate will be established that will help in implementation of mission activities in a focussed manner. Its headquarters will be in New Delhi.

iv. Its headquarters will be in New Delhi. NITI Aayog will hire Mission Director and other appropriate manpower.

17. Lalita Babar named Sportsperson of the Year in India Sports Awards

i. Distance runner Lalita Babar was on Monday named as the Sportsperson of the Year in the India Sports Awards 2015.

ii. The Indian Sports Award were given away at the conclusion of day one of ‘Turf 2015-16′, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with the support of the Sports Ministry.

iii. Babar qualified for Rio Olympics recently in the 3000m steepelchase event and is the current Indian national record holder. She also won a bronze medal in 2014 Incheon Asian Games and is the current Asian champion.

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