Daily GK Updates – 4th August 2015

1. Union Government extends term of Rajan S Katoch as Director of ED for 3rd time

i. Union Government has extended term of senior IAS officer Rajan S Katoch as the Director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). In this regard, Apppointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued an order.

ii. Thus, Mr. Katoch will have three months additional tenure till October 31, 2015. Mr. Katoch is an IAS officer of 1979-batch of Madhya Pradesh cadre.

iii. He was appointed to top most post of Enforcement Directorate (ED) in March 2012 for three year term which was to end in January 2015.

iv. However, his tenure was extended by 3 months for two times, earlier in January 2015 (till April 30, 2015) and later in April 2015 which was extended to July, 2015.

2. Gurgaon Police traces over 1,000 kids

i. The Gurgaon Police has traced the maximum number of children in Haryana during the month-long and nation-wide Operation Muskaan launched on July 1.

ii. A spokesperson of the Gurgaon Police said that 1,094 children were traced under the operation, of which 263 children were already living in shelter homes, while 831 children were traced from different places.

iii. They were counselled by office-bearers of the Counselling and Wellness Centre. Out of the 831 children, 809 have been reunited with their parents, while the remaining 22 have been lodged in shelter homes.

iv. Gurgaon Police Commissioner Navdeep Virk said that the Gurgaon Police had resolved to be the best in the State when the operation was launched.

3. NTPC inks agreement to form JV with Jharkhand for Patratu Power Plant

i. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited has inked an agreement with Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (JBVNL) to form a joint venture (JV) company for Patratu Power Plant.

ii. The agreement will help optimise utilisation of improve performance, assets and expand capacity of Patratu Thermal Power Station located in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand.

iii. The JV company will have 74 per cent share or stake of state-run NTPC while JBVNL will have the rest 26 per cent stake.

iv. It will work to improve the performance of the existing power stations in Jharkhand in order to gradually provide more power to the state.

4. Delhi’s specially-abled athletes win 7 medals at Summer Games

i. A team of specially-abled athletes from state-run Asha Kiran Home has brought laurels to Delhi by winning seven medals, including three gold, at the World Summer Games 2015 in the United States.

ii. According to a statement by Delhi government today, Phoolan Devi (17) won first gold for the country in power lifting (bench press category). She also clinched three bronze medals in power lifting (all lifts, dead-lift and squat lift).

iii. Two of the other gold winners at the games, held between July 25 and August 2 in Los Angeles, were Mathru and Patto who excelled in softball (team event) and 800 metres run respectively.

5. HSBC India plans to launch ‘green bonds’

i. HSBC India’s chairman Naina Lal Kidwai announced to launch ’green bonds’ in India for raising funds for investments in environmental projects.

ii. Announcement was done by the HSBC chairman in a Ficci event held on 3 August 2015. The total investment attracted by Green Bonds in last two years is 37 million dollars.

iii. HSBC is the fourth largest issuer in the world. Green Bonds in India was initially launched by Axis Bank and Yes Bank in February 2015 that attracted investment of 1,000 crore rupees against the target of 500 crore rupees.

iv. The issuer of green bond gets capital from the investors only if the investment is being raised to fund ‘green’ projects relating to renewable energy or emission reductions etc.

6. Bharti Airtel acquired YTS Solutions for mobile payment solutions

i. India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel on 4 August 2015 acquired financial solutions firm YTS Solutions for an undisclosed amount.

ii. With this acquisition, YTS Solutions will be integrated with the operations of Airtel Money Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Airtel.

iii. This acquisition will help Airtel to expand its footprint in the payments sector by integrating business capabilities and unique service delivery model of the YTS.

iv. Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd (AMSL) offers wallet service under the brand name Airtel Money.

7. RBI holds rates, leaves door open for more easing

i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its policy rate on hold at 7.25 percent on Tuesday, as widely expected, while leaving the door open to ease further depending on the inflation outlook and how swiftly banks lower their lending rates.

ii. It is prudent to keep the policy rate unchanged at the current juncture while maintaining the accommodative stance of the monetary policy,” the RBI said in its statement.

iii. As the Reserve Bank awaits greater transmission of its front-loaded past actions, it will monitor developments for emerging room for accommodation.

iv. The next policy review is set for Sept. 29. Any increase in U.S. rates decided at a Federal Reserve meeting earlier that month is expected to suck money out of emerging markets.

8. Union Government signed historic peace accord with NSCN (I-M)

i. Union Government  signed a landmark peace accord with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland Isak-Muivah (NSCN (I-M)), putting an end to almost two decades long pending peace talks.

ii. The signing of the pact is the end of over 80 rounds of negotiations that spanned 16 years with first breakthrough in 1997 when ceasefire agreement was sealed.

iii. The accord was signed at the Prime Minister’s official residence 7 RCR, New Delhi in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the NSCN (IM) leader Th. Muivah, and government’s interlocutor for Naga peace talks RN Ravi.

9. IOC gives Olympic Sport recognition to ‘Frisbee’

i. International Olympic Committee (IOC) has officially recognised ‘Frisbee’ as an Olympic sport. Decision in this regard was taken at the 128th IOC Session held in Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia by giving official recognition to World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF).

ii. It was included as Olympic sport after WFDF had meet all the criteria including having 62 national federations members and gender equality.

iii. Olympic recognition to this sport now opens the door to the some financial support from the IOC and participation in the Olympic Games.

iv. Frisbee is the sport of flying disc which became popular in the 1960s and 70s. Presently, WFDF governs several Frisbee events including Beach Ultimate, Ultimate Frisbee and field events.

10. Airtel appoints Rajiv Mathrani as chief brand officer

i. Bharti Airtel (Airtel) on Tuesday said it has appointed Rajiv Mathrani as Chief Brand Officer for its India operations.

ii. He will lead Airtel’s brand positioning, strategic initiatives and associations, and will report to Srini Gopalan, Director – Consumer Business, Bharti Airtel (India), the company said in a statement.

iii. He takes over from Mohit Beotra, who has decided to move on from Airtel to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.

iv. Mathrani joins Airtel from Pepsico where he led the snacks category and portfolio strategy for Lay’s, Kurkure, Uncle Chipps and Cheetos – and played a key role in driving strong business growth and defining master brands.

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