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Daily GK Update – 28th and 29th June 2015
1. China-led AIIB development bank holds signing ceremony
i. China has hosted the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a new international financial institution set to rival the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
ii. Delegates from 50 countries signed articles that determine each member’s share and the bank’s initial capital.
iii. The AIIB, which was created in October by 21 countries, led by China, will fund Asian energy, transport and infrastructure projects.
iv. The AIIB will begin with authorised capital of $50bn (£31.8bn), eventually to be raised to $100bn. China will hold a 30.34% stake making it the largest shareholder of the bank, Reuters quotes China’s Finance Ministry as saying.
2. J Jayalalithaa launches first phase of Chennai Metro
i. First phase of Chennai Metro service was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa after she flagged off inaugural train.
ii. The first phase of Metro service covers the 10-km overhead (elevated) stretch. It connects Alandur in south Chennai to Koyabedu in the north.
iii. The metro service will bear capacity of 1276 passengers with four coaches. It will cover seven stations in the stretch. They are Koyambedu, Arumbakkam, Vadapalani, Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus, Ashok Nagar, Ekkattuthangal.
iv. The Corridor 2 or second phase of this metro connecting Chennai Central and St. Thomas Mount is will be ready by end 2015. The whole project is implemented by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL). It was approved by then Congress-led UPA government in 2009.
3. India, Thailand sign multiple agreements including double taxation avoidance treaty
i. India and Thailand on Monday signed a number of important agreements, including the double taxation avoidance treaty, and exchanged instruments of ratification on the extradition treaty inked in 2013, which provides for the legal framework for seeking extradition of fugitive offenders.
ii. The tax treaty provides for the framework to avoid double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes so as to promote bilateral economic cooperation.
iii. On the last day of her three-day visit, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj co-chaired the 7th meeting of the India-Thailand Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation.
iv. The extradition treaty signed between the two countries in 2013 provides for the legal framework for seeking extradition of fugitive offenders, including those involved in terrorism, transnational crimes, economic offences etc.
4. President conferred Punyabhushan Award on Prataprao Pawar
i. President Pranab Mukharjee on 26 June 2015 conferred Punyabhushan Award on Prataprao Pawar, Chairman of Sakal Media Group (SMG) at Balgandharva Auditorium in Pune.
ii. Pawar is the 27th recipient of the Punyabhushan award and his name was selected for the award by a committee led by scientist Raghunath Mashelkar. Besides, President also felicitated five veteran freedom fighters in the function.
iii. The Punyabhushan (Pride of Pune) award constituted by Tridal, Pune is annually announced by the Punyabhushan Foundation on 23 March with a view to commemorate the memory of Indian revolutionary martyrs Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru.
iv. It is awarded to an eminent personality from the field of art, music, culture, science, industry, social service, or sports in the city of Pune Maharashtra, India. The award carries a memento and cash prize of 1 lakh rupees.
5. Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji written by Abdul Kalam
i. Book titled Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji authored by former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Arun Tiwari was released on 15 June 2015.
ii. In Transcendence, the authors Dr Kalam and Arun Tiwari have mapped a journey of self-realization reflected in the eyes of Pramukh Swamiji, painting a delightful fusion of spirituality, science and leadership.
iii. His candid vignettes (literature) from life on the centre stage of Indian technology and societal missions, Indian politics and world affairs are interwoven with revelations of a profound connection with Swamiji.
iv. Pramukh Swamiji Maharaj, one of the most inspiring spiritual figures of modern times and the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, is the inheritor of a legacy of Gunatit gurus hearkening to the early nineteenth century. Pramukh Swamiji became a friend of the eleventh president of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
6. Bajaj Allianz launches weather-based crop insurance
i. Private insurer Bajaj Allianz has launched a weather-based crop insurance scheme for orange crops in Nagpur, Hingoli and Washim districts of Maharashtra.
ii. The index-based insurance policy will cover losses incurred by orange fruit-growing farmers due to deviation in weather conditions and has been approved by Central and the State government, a company release issued here said.
iii. The company has also launched a campaign to create awareness about the scheme in three districts.
iv. The losses would be assessed on the basis of pre-defined and government-approved term sheets and actual weather data received from an approved automatic weather station installed in each block of these districts.
7. Topalov wins title
i. A quick but frustrating draw for Viswanathan Anand proved enough for Veselin Topalov to claim the Norway Chess 2015 title in Stavanger, Norway, on Thursday.
ii. All the expectations of a thrilling battle for the title between the two leading players of the elite field came to naught once Topalov managed a safe position arising out of the Queen’s Gambit Declined.
iii. But in the biggest surprise result of the competition, Jon Ludvig Hammer upstaged World champion Magnus Carlsen in the battle between two home players.
8. Jwala Gutta, Ashwni Ponappa win women’s doubles title of Canada Open Badminton tournament
i. Indian pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwni Ponappa won the women’s doubles title of the Canada Open Badminton tournament.
ii. In the finals match played at Calgary, Canada they defeated Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek in straight games of 21-19, 21-16. It is their first title of this season.
iii. Michelle Li of Canada won the women’s single title, by defeating Kaori Imabeppu of Japan by 21-17 25-23 score in the final match.