November 28, 2014

GK & Current Affair Updates: November 28 - 2014









28 November 2014

National:

LS passes bill to include more communities in SC list
The Lok Sabha has passed the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2014. The Bill seeks to amend the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and the Constitution (Sikkim) Scheduled Castes Order, 1978. It includes certain communities in the list of Scheduled Castes in Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Tripura. The Bill also removes a community from the list of Scheduled Castes in Sikkim.

Sanskrit will be 3rd language in classes 6-8 in KV
The Centre submitted before the Supreme Court that Sanskrit will be the third language in classes 6 to 8 in Kendriya Vidyalayas. Appearing before the bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi sought its permission to file an affidavit on the controversy arising out of Centre's decision to drop German as an alternative to Sanskrit as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas.

Historian Raychaudhuri passes away
Tapan Raychaudhuri, a distinguished historian of modern India’s economic and intellectual history, passed away. He was 90 and had suffered a stroke a year ago from which he never fully recovered. Professor Raychaudhuri was Reader in Modern South Asian History at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, from 1973 to 1992, when he was given an Ad Hominem Chair as Professor of Indian History and Civilisation. He retired from Oxford in 1993, but continued to lecture, travel and write till a year before his death.


Jhumpa Lahiri in list of 5 shortlisted for DSC prize
Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri is one of five frontrunners for next year's DSC Prize, one of South Asia's biggest literary awards. The five writers on the 2015 shortlist are a step closer to winning the $50,000 awarded to the author of the best novel about South Asia published or translated into English. The jury selected the finalists from 75 novels submitted for the award, now in its fifth year. The winner will be announced at the annual literature festival in the Indian city of Jaipur in January 2015.The finalists are Bilal Tanweer for "The Scatter Here is Too Great", Jhumpa Lahiri for "The Lowland",  Kamila Shamsie for "A God in Every Stone", Romesh Gunesekera for "Noontide Toll", Shamsur Rahman Faruqi for "The Mirror of Beauty".

International:

China is world's biggest wildlife trading center with intense online deals
China has emerged as the world's largest market for trading in illegal wildlife product and live species, according to research by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, a widely respected non-government organization. IFAW researchers were surprised to find that a major part of the deals immwildlife products including elephant and rhinoceros ivory, turtles, tortoises and stuffed exotic birds was being done online because of the relative anonymity it offers as compared to direct meetings and transactions. China has seen a dramatic increase in the number of illegal wildlife products sold online increased from 544 items in 2008 to 2,061 in 2014. Only four websites were monitored in 2008 compared with the 21 tracked in 2014. IFAW's investigators found 33,006 endangered wildlife and related products for sale on 280 online marketplaces in 16 countries in 2014.

Crime novelist PD James passes away
Crime novelist PD James, who penned more than 20 books, died aged 94 in Oxford. The author's books, many featuring sleuth Adam Dalgliesh, sold millions of books around the world, with various adaptations for television and film. Her best known novels were ‘The Children of Men’ and ‘The Murder Room’.

Business & Economy:

RBI allow banks to lend against long-term infra bonds
The Reserve Bank of India has allowed banks to extend loans up to Rs 10 lakh to individuals against long-term infrastructure bonds issued by them, thus easing loan norms for low-cost housing. The RBI said that loans ceiling and tenure should be within the maturity period of the bonds. However, banks are not permitted to lend against such bonds issued by other banks. Earlier, the apex bank had exempted long term bonds raised by banks from mandatory regulatory norms like CRR and SLR if the money raised is used for funding of such projects. The RBI, in its communication addressed to the banks,said boards of the banks should lay down a policy in this regard prescribing suitable margins, purpose of the loan and other safeguards.

Corporation Bank allows unlimited ATM transactions
Corporation Bank has decided to allow unlimited free transactions on its ATMs for savings bank account holders of the bank. The bank at present has 2,776 ATMs across the country.

Floor capital for small finance, payments banks set at Rs. 100 Cr
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has issued final guidelines for small finance banks and payments banks, paving the way for mobile firms and supermarket chains, among others, to enter the banking arena to cater to individuals and small businesses. The minimum paid-up capital for these banks will be Rs.100 crore each. The foreign shareholding will be in line with the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for private sector banks. Applications will be accepted till the close of business as on January 16, 2015. According to the RBI, the objective of setting up of small finance banks will be to further financial inclusion by provision of savings vehicles and supply of credit to small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries and other unorganised sector entities, through high technology-low cost operations. Individuals/professionals with 10 years of experience in banking and finance and companies and societies will be eligible to set up small finance banks. Existing non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), micro finance institutions (MFIs), and local area banks (LABs) can also opt for conversion into small finance banks. The small finance banks will be required to extend 75 per cent of its adjusted net bank credit (ANBC) to the sectors eligible for classification as priority sector lending (PSL) by the RBI. At least 50 per cent of its loan portfolio should constitute loans and advances of up to Rs. 25 lakh.

BSNL launches mobile tracking, security services
The BSNL has launched mobile security value added service that will allow its customers to track location of their lost mobile phones. Through this application, the user will also be able to remotely lock device, erase data in the lost mobile. The application will also provide complete call log details of the lost device at pre-determined intervals to emergency number feeded in the mobile. BSNL Director for Consumer Mobility Anupam Shrivastava said that through M-secure solution user can remotely manage data contained in his or her lost mobile handset. BSNL is offering the solution, M-secure, in association with Beyond Evolution.

Cipla, Strides sign collaboration pacts with MMV
Cipla and Strides Arcolab have signed collaboration agreements with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) for the development of rectal artesunate for pre-referral treatment of children with severe malaria.

Sports:

Phil Hughes dies aged 25
Australia and New South Wales batsman Phil Hughes has died at the age of 25 at a Sydney hospital after succumbing to an injury sustained from being hit on the head by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield game. Hughes, who in 2009 became the youngest player to score a century in each innings of a Test when he achieved the feat against South Africa in his second appearance, had been in critical condition after doctors performed emergency brain surgery. He played 26 Tests, 25 ODIs and a solitary Twenty20 international. Abbott, who represents New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield tournament, bowled a short ball and Hughes misjudged a pull shot and collapsed to the ground unconscious after being hit on the base of the skull.


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