1. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today said that India may get below normal monsoon this year and there is a 60% possibility of El Nino during monsoon. The department will issue a second forecast on monsoon in June. The probability of a normal monsoon is 35%, while that of a below normal monsoon is 33%, the department said.
The Meteorological Department defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 cm for the entire season. This is a bad news for Indian economy as below normal monsoon will have adverse effect on agricultural sector out and inflation. New Government will have big challenge fighting with drought in most of the areas and Inflation if India faces below normal monsoon this year.
2. India dropped to 83rd spot among 148 economies in terms of leveraging information and communications technologies (ICT) for growth and wellbeing, as per the latest report published by the World Economic Forum. India was ranked at 68th place out of 144 countries. Among emerging market economies, China was placed on the 62nd position, Brazil (69th), Mexico (79th) and India (83rd). India is also the least performing of the BRICS economies and the drop in rankings can be traced back mainly to difficulties in improving historical limitations and keeping up with other emerging economies in several dimensions.
3. Union Ministry of External Affairs has appointed Suresh Kumar Reddy as India’s first Ambassador to the separate Indian Mission to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) & East Asia Summit. He is currently working as the Ambassador of India to Iraq. With this India aims for a stronger relationship with the member countries of ASEAN which will help India in countering insurgencies in North-east of India. ASEAN and India have entered into a regional economic comprehensive partnership resulting in trade worth USD 80 billion to improve ties.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a political and economic organisation of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
4. Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and BJP leader Narendra Modi and were featured at first and second place respective in the list of the world’s 100 most influential people, as per the list published Time magazine yesterday. Arvind Kejriwal has won the Time magazine’s readers poll of 100 Most Influential People in the world with the highest percentage of ‘yes’ votes and pushed BJP’s PM candidate to second place.
Each year, Time publishes a list of the 100 most influential people in the world and ask all its readers to vote for the most influential people. The result was announced yesterday based on the online votes received from its readers.
1. Finland was placed in the first place, followed by Singapore and Sweden in the second and third spots among 148 economies in terms of leveraging information and communications technologies (ICT) for growth and wellbeing, as per the latest report published by the World Economic Forum. Other economies in the top ten include, the Netherlands (4th), Norway (5th) and Switzerland (6th), the United States (7th) Hong Kong SAR (8th) the United Kingdom (9th) and the Republic of Korea (10th).
GK Quiz – 24 April 2014
|6471||G8 leaders have suspended participation of which country in the iconic club of super power countries in March 2014 amid rising tensions over Ukraine?|
|6472||Who the BNP Paribas Open Men’s Final in Indian Wells ATP Tennis Masters held in California in March 2014?|
|A) Novak Djokovic|
|B) Andy Murray|
|C) Roger Federer|
|D) Rafael Nadal|
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Two of the world’s top drugmakers Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline have struck a multi-billion-dollar deal to reshape their businesses. As per the deal, Global pharma giant Novartis AG agreed to acquire GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s (GSK’s) cancer-drug business for nearly USD 16 billion to form a consumer-health venture with GSK. It has also announced to sell its vaccines business, excluding the flu operations, to GSK for USD 7.1 billion in an overhaul of the Swiss drug maker.
Post this deal, GSK and Novartis’s consumer-health venture will have about USD 10.9 billion in revenue in which GSK will have majority control with an equity interest of 63.5%. It will help Novartis to concentrate on its key businesses.
In a separate deal, Novartis also announced to sell its animal-health operation to Eli Lilly and Co. for USD 5.4 billion. Post this, Lilly will become the second-largest animal health company by sales.
1. The Supreme Court has set up a committee for framing guidelines to prevent misuse of public funds by the Government and its authorities for advertisements in newspapers and television to get political mileage. The four-member committee comprising former Director of National Judicial Academy, Bhopal, NR Madhava Menon, former Lok Sabha Secretary TK Viswanathan, senior advocate Ranjit Kumar and Secretary of Information and Broadcasting Ministry and it will be headed by NR Madhava Menon. The apex court asked the committee to submit its report within three months.
2. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed the use of portable electronic devices, including cellphones, laptops, and smart phones in flight/airplane mode, during all phases of flight. The DGCA amended the rule today which bans the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) and allowing their usage in all phases of flight but on a non-transmitting or flight mode.
Flyers have to use these devices in offline mode without any network connectivity. They can now switch on their cellphones, tablets or laptops on ‘flight mode/offline’ for work or entertainment purpose going forward.
3. India conducted developmental test of supersonic surface-to-air missile ‘Akash’ from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) launch complex at Chandipur today. The missile targeted a floating object supported by Pilot Less Target Aircraft (PTA) ‘Lakshya’ today afternoon, 15 minutes after the aircraft took off.
Akash is a medium range surface-to-air anti-aircraft defence system developed by the DRDO as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. It has a strike range of 25 km and can carry a warhead of 60 kilograms. It has the capability to target aircrafts up to 30 kms away and is packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously.
4. India’s Chitra Magimairaj emerged champion in the senior category after defeating Alena Asmolova of Belarus 3-0 in the final at the World Snooker championship in Leeds, UK yesterday. Magimairaj defeated fellow-Indian Revanna Umadevi 2-0 in the semi final after getting past Carmelita Yumito (Brazil) 2-1 and Jenny Poulter (England) 2-1, in the previous rounds.
The former World Billiards champion Chitra has bagged three gold, three silver and three bronze medals in the WLBSA event so far.
1. World Book Dayor World Book and Copyright Day is being observed today (23rd April) across the world to raise importance of books and promote reading, publishing and copyright. World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995.
23 April is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.
Port Harcourt (Nigeria) is chosen as the World Book Capital 2014. UNESCO and the international organizations of publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, effective 23 April each year.
2. IT Services Company Cognizant announced that it has entered into an agreement with itaas to acquire the company. Itaas is a US-based digital video solutions firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
Interactive television and application solutions (itaas) was formed in 1999. It has played a unique, multifaceted role in development and delivery of interactive television (iTV). It helps the leading cable, telecommunications and technology companies to deliver a broad range of digital video services across traditional cable, broadcast and telecommunications network environments and on consumer devices such as set-tops, tablets and smart phones. It also enables live streaming and interactive digital video services on any device. This acquisition will help Cognizant to increase its capabilities and services offerings in media, communications and high-technology sectors.
3. Adidas has started a weekly series of online documentary-style films titled Brazuca around the World to for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil which will be held this year. The series of the film was launched by Adidas on its YouTube Channel yesterday to excite all the footballs across the world.
GK Quiz – 23 April 2014
|6461||Who has been appointed as the new Director (Commercial) of Navratna PSU National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO) in March 2014? She is also the first woman employee of the company to be elevated to the post of Director.|
|A) Aruna Bahuguna|
|B) Rupanjana Dutt|
|C) Soma Mondal|
|D) Aditi Khanna|
|6462||Who has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in March 2014?|
|A) KS Popli|
|B) Saurabh Chandra|
|C) Amitabh Kant|
|D) Vivek Rae|
1. The Supreme Court revoked its 19-month-old ban on iron ore mining in Goa but restricted the extraction to 20 million tonnes per annum yesterday. The Apex court also said the expert panel will give a final recommendation on the annual cap on excavation of iron ore within six months. It said there cannot be a deemed renewal of lease after 2007 of the existing lease deeds emanating from 1962.
It said there will be no grant of lease for mining around one km of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The court directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to identify eco-sensitive areas around national parks within six months. It said the Goa Government will formulate a scheme within six months for utilising the funds generated by e-auction.
2. The Supreme Court has asked the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee to further investigate the IPL 2013 spot fixing and betting scandal, and in particular the 13 names mentioned in the sealed envelope. One of the names is that of suspended BCCI president, N. Srinivasan.
The Apex Court also asked Justice Mudgal to list the investigating agencies he needs help from. The Supreme Court had constituted a three-man panel under Retired Justice Mudgal in October last year, to investigate the scandal. On February 10, the Mudgal committee submitted a report to the court after a four-month probe.
3. Indian Cities New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore were placed among the global cities with maximum shopping centre space under construction in 2014, according to the latest Global Viewpoint report from realty consultant CBRE. While New Delhi was ranked at 21st rank, Hyderabad stood at 23rd position and Bangalore stood at 31st place in the global ranking while Chennai was among the top 15 most active shopping centre development markets in the world in 2013.
4. Karnataka musician Mathangi Sathyamurthy was selected for M S Subbulakshmi Award 2014, announced by the M S Subbulakshmi Foundation last weekend. She will receive a cash award of 10001 rupees and a plaque.
5. India’s largest IT services Company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) joined the league of top 10 global IT services companies after posting robust revenue growth for FY2014. TCS moved from the 13th position in 2012 to the 10th spot in 2013, as per the data published by the HfS Research Survey on competitive landscape for IT Services in 2013.
According to the Survey, IBM leads the list and is followed by Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Accenture and NTT. India-based companies Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro and HCL are at the 15th, 18th, 20th and 25th positions, respectively, all of them rising by one to three spots compared to 2012.
6. India’s largest IT services Company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Mitsubishi Corporation, an integrated global business enterprise, announced a new joint venture, Nippon TCS Solution Center Limited, for the Japanese market, the second largest market for software services which is still untouched by Indian services companies.
The entity will offer a full-service suite of IT, BPO and infrastructure services to Japanese corporations. TCS Japan will have a 60% stake and Mitsubishi Corporation will hold remaining 40% stake. The new joint venture will also establish a nearshore delivery center in Japan.
7. Motorola Mobility, which was recently acquired by Google, has appointed Amit Boni as General Manager of India. He will lead the team across the country and be responsible for the Go-to-Market strategy. This is the senior most post for the company in India.
8. Bengaluru FC won the I-League for the first time after defeating Dempo Sports Club 4-2 at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. This is the biggest prize in Indian football. This is also Bengaluru FC’s debut season of I-League.
1. World Earth Day is being observed today (22nd April) across the world in order to raise awareness and also to support environmental protection. Theme for Earth Day 2014 is “Green Cities”. Earth Day 2014 will focus on green cities, mobilizing a millions of people to create a sustainable, healthy environment by greening communities worldwide. Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. As the urban population grows and the effects of climate change worsen, our cities have to evolve.
Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.