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Daily GK Updates 24th February, 2016

Daily GK Updates 24th February, 2016:

1. Government To Sell Its 5 % Stake In NTPC
i. Government will sell its 5 per cent stake in India's largest power producer NTPC at a floor price of Rs 122 per share to raise Rs 5,029 crore. 
ii. The government, which owns almost 75% of the company, plans to sell its stake in the two-day sale filings.
iii. Retails investors, for whom 20 per cent shares have been reserved, will get to bid on February 24. 
iv. Indian government still remains well short of its Rs69,500 crore stake sale target for the year to 31 March. 
v. This fiscal, the government has sold shares in companies including Power Finance Corp. and Rural Electrification Corp. It has raised Rs13,340 crore, or a fifth of the aim through disinvestment in five PSUs — EIL, Indian Oil Corp, PFC, REC and Dredging Corporation. 

2. Indian Origin Ismail Mahomed Conferred Knighthood By French Government
i. An Indian-origin art lover and playwright Ismail Mahomed from South Africa has been knighted by the French government for his lifelong devotion to the promotion of arts. 
ii. He was bestowed with Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature (The Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres) by French Ambassador Elisabet Barbier in Johannesburg. 
iii. Presently, Ismail Mahomed is working as the Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. He has also received numerous other award in his 30 year career. 
iv. In 1999, he was awarded Premier’s Award for developing and promoting the arts and culture sector as an economic enterprise in the South African province of Mpumalanga. 
v. He has a long standing relationship with France and has brokered several collaborations between French and South Africa artists. 

3. Naval Exercise IBSAMAR 2016 between India, South Africa, Brazil kicked off in Goa
i.  The fifth edition of IBSAMAR 2016 trilateral naval exercise between Brazil, India and South Africa kicked off in Goa. 
ii. IBSAMAR is abbreviated as India-Brazil-South Africa Maritime. 
iii. This is the for the first time the exercise is held in India as all the previous editions were held in South Africa since it began in 2006. 
iv. This trilateral naval exercise aims at increasing (i) Interoperability among navies of three countries (ii) Common understanding maritime security between them. 
v. This edition of IBSAMAR naval exercise will be conducted two phases namely Harbour phase and Sea Phase. During harbour phase, wide range of professional interactions will be undertaken and during Sea Phase diverse range operational activities will be conducted off Goa coast. 

4. Pakistan Parliament Become 1st In World To Run Entirely On Solar Power
i. Pakistan parliament became the first in the world to completely run on solar power, a venture supported by close ally China with a whopping $55 million funding. 
ii. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a simple ceremony switched on solar-powered building of the parliament in capital Islamabad.
iii. It was launched in 2015 when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited and addressed the Parliament. 
iv. The first announced of the project was in 2014 by Chinese government as an act of friendship with financial support of 55 million dollars. The solar panels of parliament have installed capacity 80 Mega Watts (MW) of which 62 MW is sufficient for it while remaining 18 MW will be connected to national grid. 
v. The project was completed in seven months at a cost of 280.61 million rupees. The solar plant will help the parliament save around 12 million rupees in electricity bills every year. 

5. Vienna Is The World's Best City To Live In : Survey
i. Austria’s capital Vienna is the best place in the world to live, according to an international survey on quality of life that has no Indian city in the top 100. 
ii. Baghdad is the worst, and London, Paris and New York do not even make it into the top 35, according to international research into quality of life.
iii. According to the 18th Mercer Quality of Life study which examined socioeconomic conditions of 230 global cities, Vienna, a city of nearly 1.8 million people, is the world’s best city, followed by Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver. 
iv. Among Indian cities, Hyderabad topped the rankings at 139th position, followed by Pune at 144, Bangalore 145, Chennai 150, Mumbai 152, Kolkata 160 and national capital Delhi at 161. According to the World Bank, Austria has one of the highest figures for GDP per head in the world, just behind the US and ahead of Germany and Britain.
v. The study examined social and economic conditions, health, education, housing and the environment, and is used by big companies to assess where they should locate and how much they should pay staff. 

6. Tamil film Kanavu Variyam wins 2016 Remi Award
i. Tamil film Kanavu Variyam has won the prestigious 2016 Remi Award in the United States. 
ii. The film has been directed and produced by a Chennai-based techie Arun Chidambaram and Karthik Chidambaram. 
iii. The film deals with the incessant power cuts and shortage of electricity faced by the Indian villages. It stars Jiya as the lead character and the music is by Shyam Benjamin. 
iv. The award will be presented to A Chidambaram during the 49th WorldFest Houston International Film Festival that will be held from 8 to 17 April, 2016 The movie also has won Special Jury Award at the National Science Festival. 
v. The song Kalla Manna in the film which is based on compilation of 51 traditional games of rural India has been accepted for screening at the Bare Bones International and Music Festival in Oklahoma. 

7. Udai Kumar Appointed As Full Time MD And CEO Of MSEI
i. Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (formerly MCX Stock Exchange) has appointed its interim Managing Director & CEO Udai Kumar as MD & CEO after receiving necessary approvals from securities regulator SEBI. 
ii. Prior to this appointment, he was given an interim charge after then MD and CEO Saurabh Sarkar had resigned. 
iii. Udai Kumar is a veteran of the capital and financial markets. 
iv. He has over two decades of rich experience in stock exchange administration, fund-raising, capital markets, restructuring and merger and acquisition functions. 
v. The SEBI approval comes after a stringent short-listing process and interviews by the Selection Committee to select a suitable candidate for the role.

8. World’s 1st fast-acting Anti-Rabies drug to be launched in India
i. World’s first fast-acting anti-rabies drug Rabies Human Monoclonal Antibody (RMAb) will be launched in India. 
ii. The drug has been developed by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) and US-based MassBiologics of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. 
iii. RMAb drug is a human IgG1 monoclonal antibody that instantly deactivates rabies virus by specifically binding to a conformational epitope of glycoprotein of the virus. 
iv. It is 25% cheaper compared to the existing expensive human rabies immunoglobulin (hRIG) treatment. 
v. It has advantage of automatically precluding the chances of transmitting blood-borne infections that are present in rabies immunoglobulin vaccines. 

9. RBI extends currency swap arrangement with SAARC nations
i. In order to enhance economic cooperation and strengthen financial stability, RBI has extended the $2 billion currency swap arrangement to SAARC nations till mid-November 2017.
ii. Under the arrangement, RBI is to offer swap arrangement up to an overall amount of $2 billion both in foreign currency and Indian rupee.
iii. The SAARC Swap Arrangement was offered by the RBI to SAARC nations on November 15, 2012.
iv. The facility will be available to all SAARC member countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
v. The swap amount available to various member central banks has been arrived at broadly based on two months import cover subject to a floor of $100 million and a maximum of $400 million per country.

10. Rahul Taneja Appointed As Chief People Officer of Jet Airways
i. India's 2nd largest airline Jet Airways India Ltd named Rahul Taneja as its chief people officer, responsible for shaping the operations and performance of the group. 
ii. Taneja previously headed corporate human resources (HR) at Essar Group where he led the strategic redesign of the organization and HR function for global operations across all business portfolios.
iii. He will join the Executive Management Committee that has been tasked by the Board of Directors to drive the company’s growth and future strategy. 
iv. Taneja, 47, has over 25 years of experience in diverse industry sectors and has worked in HR leadership positions across leading Indian and international companies. 
v. His earlier roles included HR Director at computer giant Dell International and Group HR Head at telecom networks solutions company HFCL.

11. CGPDTM issues revised patent guidelines for Computer Related Inventions
i. The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDT) has issued an order excluding software patents in its revised guidelines for Computer Related Inventions (CRIs). 
ii. The new order clearly mentions that, mere computer programmes those not in conjunction with a novel hardware will not be granted patent in India. 
iii. The new guidelines Follow CGPDT’s stay on the revised guidelines issued in August 2015 which have allowed the patenting of software which demonstrated technical advancement and did not clarify it. 
iv. Have been aligned to the Patents Act, 1970 and brings out clarity in terms of exclusions expected under sub-section 3(k) of the Act.

12. KN Vyas appointed as Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
i. Distinguished scientist KN Vyas has been appointed as Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for a term of three years.
ii. His appointment was confirmed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. 
iii. He succeeds Shekar Basu who was appointed as Atomic Energy Secretary and Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in October 2015.

13. Justice Vineet Saran appointed as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court
i. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Justice Vineet Saran as the new Chief Justice (CJ) of Orissa High Court as per the provisions of Article 217 of Constitution. 
ii. His appointment comes after it was lying vacant ever since transfer of Justice D H Waghela as CJ of Bombay High Court. 
iii. During the vacant period, Justice Pradeep K. Mohanty was officiating as Acting CJ of Orissa High Court.
iv. Prior to this appointment, Justice Saran was officiating in Karnataka High Court as a senior judge.

14. All About Asia Cup 2016
i. The much awaited Asia Cup 2016 will kick off from Today, where hosts Bangladesh will take on India in the opener at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. 
ii. The 2016 Asia Cup is a Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket tournament to be held from 24 February to 6 March 2016. 
iii. It will be the 13th edition of the Asia Cup, the fifth to be held in Bangladesh, and the first to be played using the T20I format.
iv. Along with Bangladesh (the host) and Sri Lanka (the defending champions from the 2014 event), the tournament will include India, Pakistan, and one ICC associate member, the United Arab Emirates, who qualified from a qualifier played from 19 to 22 February 2016.

15. Mortaza Set To Become UNDP’s Goodwill Ambassador
i. Bangladesh limited overs captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is set to be named as the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) “national goodwill ambassador for youth”. 
ii. The appointment will be made official on that day following a signing ceremony, the UNDP said in a statement.
iii. The release stated that UNDP Bangladesh will appoint Mashrafe Bin Mortaza as the UNDP National Goodwill Ambassador for Youth in Bangladesh. 
iv. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who is currently the ODI and Twenty-20 skipper, said that he had received the proposal a month ago and was extremely excited to receive the opportunity.
v. The UNDP has enlisted the volunteer services and support of prominent personalities from the worlds of art, music, film, sport and literature to highlight key issues and to draw attention to its activities.
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