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Union Budget 2013-14 Following are some of the key highlights of the Union Budget 2013-14 presented by Finance

Minister P Chidambaram in Parliament: 1. In 2013-14, the budget estimate is Rs 16,65,297 crore. 2. The revised expenditure target is Rs 14,30,825 crore 3. Plan expenditure Rs 5,55, 322 crore 4. Rs 14,000 crore capital infusion into public sector banks in 201314 5. SIDBIs refinancing facility to MSMEs to be doubled to Rs 10,000 crore 3. Rs 7 lakh crore targets fixed for agri credit for 2013-14 compared toRs 5.75 lakh crore in the current year. 4. Rs 500 crore would be allocated for addressing environmental issuesfaced by textile industry 5. No change in income tax slabs 6. Relief of Rs 2,000 for tax payers in tax bracket of Rs. 2-5 lakh 6. 24.3 % hike in expenditure for health care both rural and urban health mission. 7. Headline WPI inflation to 7 per cent and core inflation to 4.2 per cent. 8. Eastern Indian states to get Rs 1,000 crore allocation for improvingagricultural production. 9. Average economic growth rate in 11th Plan period is 8 per cent,highest ever in any Plan period 10. Rs 500 crore allocated for programme on crop diversification. 11. Food grain production in 2012-13 will be over 250 million tons 12. Rs 14,873 crore for JNNURM for urban transportation in 2013-14 against Rs 7,880 crore in the current fiscal 13. Rs 10,000 crore set aside for incremental cost for National Food Security Bill 14. Rs 80,194 crore allocated for Rural development schemes in 2013-14. 15. About Rs 33,000 crore for MGNREGA 16. Rs 5,000 crore will be made available to NABARD to finance construction of godowns and warehouses 17. Rs 17,700 crore to be allocated for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) 18. Rs 13,215 crore to be provided for mid-day meal scheme. 19. Rs 5,284 crore to various Ministries for scholarships for SC/ST, OBCand minority students. 20. Tax free bonds issue to be allowed up to Rs 50,000 crore in 2013-14strictly on capacity to raise funds from the market 21. Rs 4,727 crore to be allocated for medical education and research. 22. Current year's economic growth rate will be below India's potential growth rate of 8 per cent 23. Concessional 6% interest on loans to weavers. Fiscal deficit : i. Fiscal deficit seen at 5.2 % of GDP in 2012/13 ii. Fiscal deficit seen at 4.8 % of GDP in 2013/14 iii. Fiscal deficit to 3 % by 2016/17 Revenue Deficit i. Revenue Deficit seen at 3.9 % 2012/13 ii. Revenue Deficit seen at 3.3 % 2013/14 iii. Revenue deficit to 1.9% by 2016-17 Tax benefits in RGESS extended to 3 years

i. The Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) will be liberalised to enable first time retail investors to invest in mutual funds and listed shares and not in one year alone, but for three successive years, ii. Under the scheme, an individual with an income of less than Rs 12 lakhwould get tax incentives for investing up to Rs 50,000 in the stock market. iii. Also, the limit for investors wanting to invest in RGESS has been raised to Rs 12 lakh from Rs 10 lakh earlier. DAILY GK UPDATE 28TH FEB. 1. National Science Day was Celebrated Countrywide i. National Science Day is celebrated every year in India on 28 February 2013 ii. The theme of 2013 was Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security NOTE: i. The day is observed on the 28th of February every year to popularise science and its applications among school and college students. ii. National Science Day is observed in honour of Nobel laureate and physicist CV Ramans discovery of the Raman Effect, which he announced on this day in 1928. 2. Congress retains power in Meghalaya i. The Congress retained power in Meghalaya after emerging as the single largest party, bagging 29 seats, 2 short of an absolute majority, in the Assembly election results that were declared today. ii. The results are a shot in the arm of Congress chief minister Mukul Sangma who faced stiff opposition from old warhorse P A Sangma who had quit Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party to form the National People's Party last year. iii. In the 2008 Assembly election, the Congress had bagged 25 seats. Centre launches eBiz portal i. The Centre has launched eBiz portal to improve the environment for doing business. ii. The portal comprising licenses and permits service component that will allow business users to obtain a customized list of licenses, permits and regulations that they needed to comply while dealing with the government. iii. It will function as one-stop-shop for obtaining information. Left Front retains Tripura by a landslide i. The ruling Left Front won the Tripura polls by a landslide with the CPI(M) winning 49 seats and the CPI one in the 60-member Assembly. ii. It's a fifth straight term for the Left Front since 1993. iii. Congress wound up with 10 seats while its allies INPT and NCT drew a blank NPF sweeps back to power in Nagaland i. Naga Peoples Front swept back to power in Nagaland on Thursday to form the government for the third consecutive time winning absolute majority by securing 37 of the total 60 seats. ii. The state party bettered its tally in the 12th Nagaland assembly by two seats against 35 it won last time. iii. It had contested in all the seats. Congress' electoral luck deserted it as the party could win only eight seats compared to the 18 it won last time. Israeli film festival to be held in Kolkata

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i. For the first time the Federation of Film Societies of India in association with the Embassy of Israel will host a three day Israeli Film Festival in Kolkata from Tuesday. ii. Honourary Consul of Israel in Kolkata and leading industrialist Harshavardhan Neotia would inaugurate the fest at Nandan. iii. During the three day fest six award winning movies made by the film makers from the small West Asian Jewish state would be screened movie aficionados. iv. The movies at the film festival, to be concluded on February 28, are primarily centered on the life and other aspects of the Israeli society at large, sources at the Israeli consulate informed.

DAILY GK UPDATE 27TH FEB. 1. PM approves changes in civil services exam pattern i. Changes in civil services exam patterns have been approved by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, paving way for a new format which will give more weightage to general studies. ii. The decision came in on the recommendation of a Committee constituted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC),which conducts the examination annually. iii. The report of the Committee, under the chairmanship of Prof. Arun S. Nigavekar, former chairman, UGC, was examined by the Department of Personnel and Training. NOTE: i. At present, the civil services (main) examination has general studies Paper I and II of 300 marks each, including Compulsory and Optional subjects. ii. As per the new changes, both the general studies papers will have more weightage. iii. The UPSC conducts the civil service examination to select candidates for three All India Services - Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service besides scores of Group A services. iv. "The civil services examination, 2013 was scheduled to be notified on 2nd February, 2013. However, due to some unforeseen circumstances, this examination will not be notified on 2nd February, 2013. v. "The revised date of notification will be intimated in due course," an order issued by the UPSC stated. 2. Government proposes JPC probe into VVIP chopper deal i. The Congress-led UPA government on Wednesday proposed a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rs3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal. ii. VVIP chopper deal came into limelight with allegations of kickbacks in the 3,600 crore rupee in the deal. iii. It was alleged that kickbacks to the tune of 362 crore rupeeswere paid to help secure the deal in favour of the Anglo-Italian firm Augusta Westland. IRCTC fined Rs 10L for selling soft drinks above MRP i. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been slapped with a fine of Rs 10 lakh by a consumer forum here for selling soft drinks above the maximum retail price (MRP) to two customers. ii. The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum imposed "punitive compensation" of Rs 5 lakh each in two separate cases against IRCTC, a subsidiary of Indian Railways, and said being a government corporation, "it is not expected to be deficient in such matters and cannot come down to level of private dealers".

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iii. "We have considered the case in the perspective of unfair and restrictive trade practices, by a government company who supply food articles to millions of rail users, who in transit cannot protest or have little choice but to avail services at whatever cost." iv. The IRCTC being a government corporation is not expected to be deficient in such matters and cannot come down to level of private dealers," a bench presided by C K Chaturvedi said. v. The forum directed IRCTC to deposit a fine of Rs 10 lakh with the Delhi State Legal Services Authority and also awarded compensation of Rs 10,000 each to the two passengers, Delhi residents Sachin Dhiman and Sharnya. NOTE: i. The two complainants had alleged that a retail outlet of IRCTC had sold each of them a bottle of Maaza having MRP of Rs 12 for Rs 15. ii. IRCTC, which handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the railways, was preceded against ex-parte as no one appeared on its behalf. 4. Paks largest bank set to establish in India i. The National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) is set to establish a banking channel between India and Pakistan by opening a NBP branch in Mumbai or Delhi. ii. NBP President Dr Asif Brohi stated that NBP has already contacted the Reserve Bank of India to seek permission for establishing the NBP branch in India and is awaiting a formal approval. iii. The bilateral trade relations between the two countries would flourish after the establishment of the banking channel and added that NBP is also catering to the banking needs of Pakistani businessmen in entire Central Asia after the opening of NBP branch in Tajikistan. US Senate confirms Hagel as new Defence Secy i. Former Republican senator Chuck Hagel has been confirmed as the new US Defence Secretary by the Senate ii. 66-year-old Hagel, a Vietnam war veteran, was confirmed by the Senate after a bruising confirmation hearing. iii. Hagel's confirmation comes as a great relief for the Obama Administration as his nomination was held up for weeks and the Democrats and the White House had to do a tough convincing act to get him approved by the Senate. iv. Hagel will replace incumbent Panetta at a time when the department is faced with multiple challenges including defence budget cuts, rapidly changing developments in the Middle East, increasing threat from North Korea besides the scheduled withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in 2014. Haryana raises Old Age Pension Scheme i. State Government of Haryana has raised the Old Age pension fromRS 500 to Rs 550, Rs 550 to Rs 600 per month given under three slabs benefitting over 9.83 lakh beneficiaries in the State. ii. No enhancement is made in the third slab of Rs 700. More than 2.92 lakh are getting Old Age Pension at a rate of Rs 700 per month. iii. At present a total of over 12.87 lakh beneficiaries are getting Old Age Allowance. West Bengal to give fixed Salary to ASHA workers i. The West Bengal Government has decided to give fixed salary to allAccredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers from next financial year.

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ii. Announcing this in Kolkata today the Chief Minister Miss Mamata Banerjee said that the ASHA workers will get 1300 rupees per month as fixed remuneration besides their daily amount of work done. iii. For this ASHA worker will have to open a bank account to which money will be transferred on the first day of every month. 8. Delhi to Ban the Manual Scavenging in the State i. Delhi became the first state in India to ban the manual scavenging. ii. The Chief Minister of Delhi banned deployment of the cleaning staff for the purpose of manual sewer cleaning. iii. In the meanwhile, it was also declared that all the civic bodies of Delhi would be asked to regularise services of the cleaning staff that was working for several years on contractual basis. NOTE: i. In January 2013, the Supreme Court of India had reproached the Union Government of India for not enacting the law that would lead to a ban on manual scavenging. ii. The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012 is still pending in the Parliament. India launches first Smartphone in Space i. The Surrey Space Centre (SSC) of the University of Surrey on 26 February 2013 announced that STRaND-1, a nano-satellite carrying a smartphone was launched successfully into space from India. ii. With this launch, India became the first country to successfully launch the first smartphone of the world. About STRaND-1 and apps on board i. STRaND-1 is the training and demonstration mission which is designed in order to test the commercial shelf technology in space. ii. There are certain applications on board STRaND-1. These applications were designed by the winners of social networking site, Facebook competition which was organised in 2012. iii. STRaND-1 mission weighs 4.3 kg and was launched in 785km Sun-synchronous orbit on the PSLV launcher of ISRO.

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10. India to finally participate in Azlan Shah Tournament i. Amid the ongoing drama of Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament, Indian Hockey team finally got a breather after government reversed its decision to fund the travel expenses. ii. "The Indian team will take part in the event. It will leave on 3rd March. iii. However, after the news broke out, the Sports Ministry said that it has directed SAI to allocate the required funds to meet the air ticket expenses of the team considering the prestige attached to the tournament. NOTE: i. India, who won the Azlan Shah Cup 5 times (1985, 1991, 1995, 2009 and 2010) bagged the bronze medal in the last edition of the tournament. ii. Apart from India, the other participating nations in the tournament are archrivals Pakistan, Australia, South Korea,New Zealand and hosts Malaysia. 11. SANTOSH Trophy: i. Maharashtra cruised into the semi-finals of the Santosh Trophy national football tournament by beating Tamil Nadu, 2-1 in a group B quarterfinal league match in Kollam yesterday.

ii. The second quarter-final between Jharkhand and Goa, ended in a 2-2 draw. 12. India moves to 4th spot in Test rankings i. India moved up a rung to 4th in the ICC Test rankings for teams replacing Pakistan, while Sachin Tendulkar jumped three places to be 17th in the batsmens chart announced on Wednesday. ii. Among the bowlers, off-spinner R. Ashwin rose to a career-best 11th. iii. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni charged up 15 places to 21st courtesy his maiden double hundred at Chennai. iv. Virat Kohli gained 10 places and is now on a career-best 25th position. v. Hashim Amla continued to lead the Test batsmen chart followed by Australian skipper Michael Clarke. ECONOMIC SURVEY : 2012-13 Economic Survey of India 2012-13: Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram today presented the Economic Survey 2012-13 in the Lok Sabha of the Parliament. India's Economic Survey for 2012-13 pegs the country's growth at 6.1-6.7%and inflation at 6.26.6% for the next fiscal 2013-14 and made a strong call for cutting subsidies. Survey said: i."With the global economy also likely to recover somewhat in 2013, these measures should help in improving the Indian economy's outlook for 2013-14", ii. There was across the board slowdown in all sectors during 2012-13 leading to problems in other areas of economy, especially revenue collection. Highlights of Economic Survey -2012-13 1. GDP growth seen at 6.1-6.7 percent in 2013/14 2. Government target for fiscal deficit is 4.8 pct of GDP in 2013/14 3. Government target for fiscal deficit is 3 pct of GDP in 2016/17 4. Headline WPI inflation may decline to 6.2-6.6 pct by March2013 5. India likely to meet fiscal deficit target of 5.3 pct of GDP in 2012/13, despite significant shortfall in revenues 6. Industrial output seen growing around 3 pct in 2012/13 7. Govt priority to fight inflation by reducing fiscal impetus to demand as well as by focusing on incentivizing food production. 8. More jobs in low productivity construction sector 9. Balance of Payments under pressure with net exports decline 10. Service sector has shown more resilience despite global slowdown 11. Pitches for hike in price of diesel and LPG to cut subsidy burden 12. Railway freight grows by 5.1 per cent in 2012-13 13. Foreign Exchange reserves remains steady at USD 295.6 Billion at December 2012 end. NOTE: i. Economic Survey is presented every year, just before the Union Budget. ii. It is a flagship annual document of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. iii. Economic Survey reviews the developments in the Indian economy over the previous 12 months. iv. It summarizes the performance on major development programmes, and highlights the policy initiatives of the government and the prospects of the economy in the short to medium term.

v. The economic survey 2012-13 was prepared by a team of economists led by Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram Rajan, and pitches for speeding up economic reforms to activate a sluggish economy. vi. It serves as an indicator of what is likely to be contained in the General Budget proposals. RAIL BUDGET - 2013 Union Railway Minister Pawan Bansal presented the Union Railway Budget for 2013-14 in Parliament today. The first Congress minister to present a Railway Budget in 17 years. The Railway Budget for 2013-14 on Tuesday spared passengers from any further hike in fares but raised various other charges on tickets along with freight tariff of less than 5 per cent. Highlights of Budget: 1. No hike in passenger fares; 67 new express and 26 passenger trains to be launched. 2. Indian Railways to join 1 billion tonne select club with China. 3. Educational tourist train"Azadi Express" proposed 4. Train Collision Avoidance System to be put to rigorous trials 5. Passenger earning target Rs 32500 crore this year. 6. Freedom fighters to renew their passes only once in 3 yrs. 7. Complementary passes for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Olympic awardees. 8. Coach making facilities at Bhilwara and Raebarelli. 9. Indian Railway Financial Management Institute to be set up atSecunderabad. 10. Coaches to be made wheelchair friendly. 11. Hostel facilities for all single women railway employees at all Div.HQS. 12. Free wi-fi facility at select trains. 13. 1800111321 number for redressing complaints 14. Wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi in Odisha. 15. E-ticketing to be made available through mobile phone. 16. Target of investment of 1 lakh crore through PPP mode in 12th FYP. 17. For the first time, Arunachal Pradesh brought under Rail Network. 18. UID-Aadhar to be used for ticket reservation. 19. Freight loading estimated to be 1007 tonnes this year. 20. Railways to fill up 1.52 lakh vacancies. 21. 47000 vacancies reserved for differently abled to be filled. 22. Dronacharya awardees to get Shatabdi and Rajdhani passes. New Trains Introduced: Presenting the 2013-14 Railway Budget, Mr. Bansal also said that fiveMainline Electrical Multiple Units (MEMUs) are being introduced this year besides 8 DEMUs. 1. Hazrat Nizamuddin-Mumbai AC Express via Bhopal, Khandwa and Bhusawal - weekly service, and a similar venture between Bikaner and Chennai. 2. Vaishnodevi, a New Delhi-Katra AC Express - run six days a week. 3. A Puri-Ajmer Express, which would be a weekly service, is also being introduced so also a weekly Puri-Sai Nagar Shirdi Express. 4. Una-Nangaldam in Himachal Pradesh is being connected to Hazoor Saheb Nanded in Maharashtra through a weekly express train which would travel via Anandpur Saheb.

5. Weekly Ahmedabad-Jodhpur express and a similar venture betweenBandra and Haridwar, and Bandra and Jaisalmer. 6. Yesvantpur-Lucknow Express - weekly via Rae Bareli and Pratapgarh. 7. 9 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains to be introduced. New factories/workshops to be set up: 1. New Forged Wheel Factory at Rae Bareli in collaboration with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited. 2. A Coach Manufacturing Unit in Sonepat District (Haryana) in collaboration with State Government. 3. A Midlife Rehabilitation Workshop at Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh) in collaboration with the State Government. 4. Bikaner and Pratapgarh workshops to undertake POH of BG wagons. 5. A workshop for repair and rehabilitation of motorized bogies at Misrod (Madhya Pradesh). 6. A new wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi (Odisha). 7. A modern signaling equipment facility at Chandigarh through PPP route. DAILY GK UPDATE 26TH FEB. 1. India beat Australia in 1st Test i. India clinched the first cricket Test against Australia with a comfortable 8 wicket victory to take a 1-0 lead in the four-matchseries in Chennai. ii. This was the third time that Indian spinners managed to take all the 20 wickets in a match. iii. The Indians took about 25 minutes on Tuesday morning to finally bring an end to the stubborn last wicket partnership between Moises Hendriques (81 not out) and Nathan Lyon (11) as Australia folded up for 241 in their second innings, leaving the hosts a small victory target of 50. iv. Needing just 50 runs to win, Team India lost both its openers, Virender Sehwag and Murali Vijay at the score of 36. Later, batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and Cheteshwar Pujara steered India home. NOTE: i. The two teams will now travel to Hyderabad for the secondTest be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium from 2nd to 6th March. ii. The first time that Indian spinners bagged all the 20 wickets was at this same venue against England in 1972-73 while the second such instance was against New Zealand in Auckland in 1975-76. 2. Parl. Clears Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill 2012 i. The Parliament has approved the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill 2012 with the Rajya Sabha unanimously passing the bill by voice vote today. ii. The bill has already been passed by Lok Sabha on 3rd September last year. iii. All complaints will have to disposed off within three months and the bill also deals with the harassment of women workers by their women colleagues. iv. An option of conciliation has also been provided for at the discretion of the victim. Managing Director for Yahoo India Quit the Company

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i. Arun Tadanki, the managing director for Yahoo India and South East Asia quit Yahoo on 25 February 2013 citing reasons that he wanted to explore fresh opportunities in the world of the Internet. ii. However, Arun Tadanki will remain in Yahoo at his designation till June 2013. iii. He announced that he was looking forward to play different role in the Internet ecosystem now. iv. Arun Tadanki became the Managing Director of Yahoo in May 2009. 4. Life of Pi Bagged Maximum Awards at Oscars 2013 i. The Oscars 2013 ceremony was held at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. ii. The main winners of the Oscars 2013 were: Life of Pi, with 4 awards 1. Best Directing: Ang Lee for Life of Pi 2. Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi 3. Best Music-Original Score: Mychael Danna for Life of Pi 4. Best Visual Effects: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott for Life of Pi Argo with 3 awards Les Miserables with 3 awards Django Unchained, Lincoln, Skyfall with 2 awards each. ISRO successfully launches PSLV-C20 i. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday launched PSLV-C20 carrying seven satellites ii. Indo- French satellite SARAL and six other mini and micro satellites from itsspaceport in Sriharikota. iii. The 44.4 metres tall rocket with a mass weight of 229.7 tonnesblasted off majestically over the Bay of Bengal and the first stage separated successfully after 113 seconds. iv. There were six foreign mini and micro satellites onboard ISRO's workhorse rocket PSLV. NOTE: i. This is the 23rd mission of PSLV, which has a fine record of 21 consecutive successful flights. ii. SARAL (Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA) is an ISRO-CNES (France) joint Venture for oceanography studies. iii. The other six auxiliary payloads are from Canada (2), Austria (2), Denmark (1) and UK (1). Womens Professional Golf Tour begins in Mumbai i. The third leg of Women's Professional Golf Tour 2013 will begin in Mumbai today. ii. The three day tournament will be played at the 18 hole Bombay Presidency Golf Club iii. A total of 12 rounds will be played to decide the final winner who will get a cash reward of 5,00,000 rupees. Jelena Jankovic Won WTA Copa Claro Colsanitas Cup 2013 i. Jelena Jankovic, the former world no. 1 won the WTA Copa Claro Colsanitas Cup 2013 in Bogota, Colombia ii. This was her first tour title in three years as well as the 13th of her career.

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iii. The 27-year old Serbian defeated Argentine Paula Ormaechea 6-1 and 6-2. DAILY GK UPDATE 24-25TH FEB. 1. Bansal to introduce Rail Budget tomorrow ! i. All eyes will be on Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday on whether he yields to pressure of hiking passenger fares yet again or looks at other measures to mobilise resources to offset the burden of the recent diesel price hike. ii. Bansal had on 22nd January hiked passenger fares across-the- board after the Railways faced a loss of about Rs 25,000 crore in the passenger segment. iii. The Rail Minister held several round of discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and the Planning Commission in connection with the Rail Budget iv. However, sources said a section of the Congress is not inclined towards effecting another round of fare hike as general elections are not far away. 2. Park Geun-hye sworn in as 1st women Prez of S. Korea ! i. Ms Park Geun-hye defeated liberal rival Moon Jae and sworn-in as the first women President of South Korea. ii. Taking the oath of office before 70,000 people in front of the National Assembly building in Seoul, Park called on North Korea to "abandon its nuclear ambitions without delay" and rejoin the international community. iii. The 61-year-old is the daughter of former military strongman Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea for almost two decades. Indo-French satellite 'SARAL' launched from Sriharikota ! i. ISRO has launched Indo-French satellite 'SARAL', aimed atoceanographic studies, and six foreign mini and micro satellitesonboard ISRO's workhorse rocket PSLV from the spaceport ofSriharikota on Monday. ii. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C20 is blast-off at 6.01 PM local time from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, 110 kms from Chennai. iii. This is the 23rd mission of PSLV, which has an impeccable record of 21 consecutive successful flights. iv. This is the ninth time ISRO is using the 'core alone' variant of the rocket. v. The 668.5 kgs and 44.4 metres tall rocket will have a lift off massof 229.7 tonnes. vi. Besides SARAL, it would put into orbit two micro-satellites UniBRITE and BRITE from Austria and AAUSAT3 from Denmark and STRaND from United Kingdom as also one micro-satellite (NEOSSat) and one mini-satellite (SAPPHIRE) from Canada. NOTE: i. The ISRO-built SARAL is a 410-kg satellite with payloads -- Argos and Altika -from French space agency CNES for study of ocean parameters towards enhancing the understanding of the ocean state conditions which are otherwise not covered by the in-situ measurements. ii. ISRO had initially planned to launch SARAL on December 12 last year but postponed it to carry out additional tests to "address technical issues to ensure reliability".

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iii. SARAL will provide data products to operational and research user communities, in support of marine meteorology and sea state forecasting; operational oceanography; seasonal forecasting; climate monitoring; ocean, earth system and climate research.

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Raul Castro re-elected as President in Cuba ! i. Raul Castro has been re-elected as Cuba's president, officially to his last five-year term. ii. "The National Assembly of People's Power approved Army General Raul Castro Ruz as president of the Council of State, and elected Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, as its first vice president. iii. Raul Castro, now 81, became interim president when his brother, revolution icon Fide took ill in 2006. He then formally became president in 2008. iv. Diaz-Canel has been one of the eight vice presidents on the Council of Ministers. Nicos Anastasiades elcted as President of Cyprus ! i. Nicos Anastasiades, the centre-right DISY (the Democratic Rally) party leader won the presidential elections of Cyprus. ii. Nicos Anastasiades had a very easy-going victory over Communist-backed Stavros Malas who secured 42.5 percent votes in the election. About Nicos Anastasiades i. Nicos Anastasiades is a 66-year old lawyer and a member of the Cypruss parliament since 1981. ii. Nicos Anastasiades would be replacing the former President of Cyprus, Dimitris Christofias who served the office from 28 February 2008 and will remain into the designation till the end of his term on 28 February 2013. 6. Argo bags best film award ! i. Ben Affleck's Iranian hostage drama 'Argo rode to victory at the 85th Academy Awards as it took home the coveted best picture trophy despite the actor-director not being nominated in the best helmer category. NOTE: i. 'Argo' saw off tough competition from eight other films --including 'Lincoln', 'Life of Pi', 'Amour', 'Django Unchained' and 'Zero Dark Thirty'-- to walk away with the top award. ii. The film, based on real incidents, narrates the near impossible escape story when CIA pulled out six US diplomats from Iranin 1979 by posing as a fake film crew. iii. It won three trophies --best picture, best adapted screenplay and best editing-- out of its seven nominations.

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Ang Lee wins best director Oscar for 'Life of Pi' ! i. Ang Lee has won the Academy Award for best director for his Life of Pi. ii. Its the second Oscar for Lee, who won in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain. Daniel Day-Lewis wins best Actor award ! i. British actor Daniel Day-Lewis, 55, scored a historic third Best Actor Oscar for his turn as the 16th US President Abraham Lincolnin Steven Spielberg's civil-war set drama 'Lincoln'. NOTE: He has become the first actor to win the most number of Best Actor Oscars. His previous Oscars were for 'My Left Foot' in 1989 and 'There Will Be Blood' in 2007. Jennifer Lawrence wins best Actress award !

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i. 22-year-old Jennifer Lawrence emerged a winner for 'Silver Linings Playbook' in a tight best actress race by tripping strong contenders like Jessica Chastain, Emmanuelle Riva, Naomi Watts and Quvenzhane Wallis. 10. Assam became First Indian State to produce over 500 million kg Tea ! i. Assam became the first state in India to produce over 500 million kilogram tea for two years in a row. ii. Assam produced five hundred 88 million kilogram of tea in 2012, which is 53 percent of the countrys total tea production. Earlier in 2011, 5 hundred 89 million kilogram tea was produced in the state. iii. According to an estimate, over seven thousand five hundred crore rupee turn-over was recorded in Assam tea sector in 2012. iv. It may be recalled that around seven lakh workers are engagedin the tea sector. Fifty percent of them are women. 11. Rajasthan to establish Kisan & Village knowledge centers ! i. The Rajasthan Government will establish Kisan Service Centers and Village Knowledge centers at all Panchayat headquarters. ii. These centers will serve farmers and they would get urban facilities in villages through these centers. iii. BSNL will provide Internet connectivity in these centers. NOTE: i. Rajasthan has achieved 80 percent target of target of construction of Rajiv Gandhi Bharat Nirman Seva Kendras which is highest in the country. 12. CBI Registered Case against Airtel & Tata Comm. for Violating DoT Norms ! i. The Central Bureau of Investigation registered a case against Bharti Airtel Ltd and Tata Communications Ltd, the giant telecom companies for having link up with the Singapore Telecom for the purpose of international calls, thereby violating norms ofDepartment of Telecom (DoT). ii. CBI on 24 February 2013 announced that the two companies were charged for causing a loss of around 48 crore Rupees to the Union Government of India since 2004 because of illegal arrangement. NOTE: i. CBI accused these operators on charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy. ii. Actually, Bharti Airtel Ltd and Tata Communications Ltd had entered into an agreement with the Singapore Telecom for the purpose of international calls, which violates the norms that are laid down by the Department of Telecommunications. 13. Hari Shankar Singhania, passes away ! i. Hari Shankar Singhania, the leading industrialist died at the age of 79 years. ii. Hari Shankar Singhania was a Padma Bhushan awardee (in 2003) and was also involved with JK organisation since 1951. iii. He was also the chairman of International Chamber of Commerce from the time duration of 1993 to 1994. iv. He had remained the president of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in 1979-80. About Hari Shankar Singhania: i. Hari Shankar Singhania was born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh on 20 June 1933. ii. Hari Shankar Singhania achieved various recognitions and award, one of which also includes 2008 Paper Industry International Hall of Fame Award. iii. He had also won Lifetime Achievement Award for Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship in 2010.

iv. In 2005, he won Royal Order of the Polar Star by the king of Sweden for contributing towards the Indo-Swedish business relationships. 14. Sania & Bethanie wins Dubai Tennis Championship 2013 ! i. India's Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie-MattekSands won the Dubai Tennis Championship on 23 February 2013. ii. The Indo-American duo defeated the second seededRussian-Slovenian combination of Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik, 6-4, 2-6, 10-7. iii. Sania bagged her second Doubles title of the season. NOTE: i. Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova yesterday clinched the Women's Singles trophy. ii. In the finals, she defeated Sara Errani of Italy, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 to win her career's 10th title. 15. Bopanna-Fleming win ATP Open 13 title ! i. Rohan Bopanna won his first title of the season when he combined with Colin Fleming to claim the ATP Open 13 doubles trophy with a straight-sets win over Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi and Jeal-Julien Rojer. ii. Bopanna and Fleming shared euro 29,000 as prize money and earned 250 ranking points each. NOTE: i. It was eighth ATP doubles title for Bopanna, who has been ignored for Indias Davis Cup tie against Indonesia. ii. Last year he won two titles Paris Masters and Dubai event with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi. iii. Bopanna played with Fleming in the absence of regular partnerRajeev Ram. 16. Dhoni breaks Sachin's record ! i. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has surpassed Sachin Tendulkar's record of highest individual Test score by an Indian captain en route his majestic 224 against Australia in the first cricket test. ii. Dhoni, who reached his maiden double century on Sunday, went past Tendulkar's 217 scored against New Zealand in 1999-00 at Ahmedabad. NOTE: The India captain however fell eight runs short of equallingAndy Flower's highest individual score by a skipper --- 232 against India. Highest Individual scores by Indian captains i.224 Mahendra Singh Dhoni vs Aus (Chennai) ii. 217 Sachin Tendulkar vs New Zealand (Ahmedabad) iii. 205 Sunil Gavaskar vs West Indies (Mumbai) iv. 203 MAK Pataudi vs England (Delhi). 17. Marina Erakovic Won Her First WTA Title ! i. Marina Erakovic won her first Women's Tennis Association title, US National Indoor Tennis Championship 2013 after beatingGermany's Sabine Lisicki in Memphis on 23 February 2013. ii. With this victory, Erakovic became the first women from New Zealand to win WTA Title since Belinda Cordwell in Singapore in1989. 18. India close to a big victory over Australia ! i. India inched closer towards a comprehensive victory in the first cricket Test against Australia but debutant Moises Henriquesdelayed the inevitable with an undefeated 75 on a difficult track to take the match into the fifth and final day. ii. Ashwin grabbed 5 for 90 and his current match haul of 12 wickets helped India reduce Australia to 175 for 9. iii. The highlight of India's performance was skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's magnificent 224 which enabled the home team to post a mammoth 572 in their first innings, thereby ensuring a lead of 192 runs.

BANKING AWARENESS 1. Inflation low to 6.62 percent in January 2013 i. The inflation rate of India dropped down to the three year low in the chart to 6.62 percent in January 2013 from the 7.18 percent, measured in December 2012. ii. The inflation was measured based upon monthly Wholesale Price Index. iii. The official Wholesale Price Index for All Commodities (Base: 2004-05 = 100) in January, 2013 rose by 0.4 percent to 169.2(Provisional) from 168.6 (Provisional) for the previous month. 2. NTPL signs 1,000 MW project with banks: i. A groups of banks which includes Bank of India, Indian Bank and Central Bank of India has agreed to lend Rs 937 crore for the 1,000 MW NTPL power project, a joint venture of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation and the Tamil Nadu Power Generation and Distribution Corporration. ii. The project is being set up at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. The Project would be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs. 4,909.54 crore. iii. The power generated from the project would be distributed amongTamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry. SBI launched Tatkal Scheme... i. Recently Tatkal scheme is launched by SBI (State Bank of India) that enables the people to transfer money to their families in their native towns and villages without actually opening an account. Saxo Bank enters Indian market: i. Saxo Banks has announced its entry into the Indian market to provide trading platform for foreign equities. About Saxo Bank: i. An online Danish investment Bank: Headquater: Copenhagen, Denmark Chairman: Kurt K. Larsen Service offered: i. Trading via an online platform Saxo Trader in Forex, stocks, futures, funds and Bonds ii. Private wealth management services. iii. The bank provides online trading and investment across global financial markets. iv. Saxo Bank is well known internationally for its success in Internet brokerage and it has bagged numbers of awards for the same. 50% increases in Bad loans of listed banks: i. The bad loans or Non Performing Assets of listed banks swelled by 50% at Rs 30,840 crore in the first nine months of the current financial year ended December 31,2012. ii. The net Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of 40 listed banks surged to Rs 92,398 crore as on December 31, 2012, from Rs 61,558 crore as on March 31, 2012. iii. The net NPAs in State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Bank of Baroda rose by 60%, 70% and 118% respectively. Govt. increase NABARD capital base to Rs 20,000 crore i. The Govt. has increased the capital base of Indias apex development bank NABARD to Rs 20,000 crore from existing Rs 5000 crore.

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ii. The increase will augment the operations and broaden the activities of NABARD. Following these changes NABARD would be able to undertake short term lending operations and introduce new credit products. 7. Financial institutions Syndicated deal Award goes to Yes Bank: i. YES Bank has been awarded the Financial Institutions Syndicated Deal of the Year 2012 in its Asia Pacific Region. ii. The award was given for $155 million loan syndicated by YES bank which was distributed across 9 different countries from 14 banks. iii. The award was given away by Asia Pacific Loan Market Association (APLMA), which is a leading trade association for syndicated loan market in this region. Exports of India Increased By 0.8 Per Cent in January 2013 i. The exports of India increased by 0.8 percent in the month of January 2013 to 25.58 billion US dollars. ii. Comparatively, exports in January 2012 were 25.37 billion US dollars. iii. Imports on the other hand, increased by 6.12 percent to 45.5 billion iv. Oil imports in January 2013 increased by 6.91 percent to 15.89 billion US dollars in comparison to 14.87 billion US dollars in January 2012. Net Direct Tax Collection Grew 12 Percent in April-January in FY 2012-2013 i. Net Direct Tax collections registered a growth of 12.49 percent, i.e., 390310 crore Rupees in 2012-2013 fiscal year against 346959 crore Rupees in 2011-2012 fiscal year. ii. Gross Direct Tax collection from the period of April to January in fiscal year 2012-2013 increased by 7.02 percent at 455125 croreRupees against 425274 crore Rupees in same period in 2011-2012 fiscal year. iii. 2.85 percent growth was recorded in wealth tax. It increased to 685 crore Rupees in 20122013 financial year in comparison to 666 crore Rupees in 2011-2012 financial year. iv. Gross collection of the corporate taxes increased 3.71 percent,i.e., 296451 crore Rupees in 2012-2013 fiscal year against 285837 crore Rupees in 2011-2012. v. Gross collection of personal income tax increased by 13.81 percent, i.e., 157913 crore Rupees in 2012-2013 fiscal year against 138746 crore in 2011-2012 fiscal year.

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10. Dell ready to become private in $24 billion deal i. PC manufacturer Dell is ready to go private in a $24 billion buyout. ii. The company which is facing slump will pay its stockholders$13.65 share to leave the company on its own. iii. The company will be sold to a group of investors that includes investment firm Silver Lake. iv. Once this is done, Dell will stop trading on the NASDAQ v. Dells sale is the highest priced leveraged buyout of a technology company. NOTE: i. Dell did rapid growth through the 1990s which brought its founder Michael Dell into one of the worlds richest people. ii. Michael Dell, who owns nearly 16% stake in the company will remain the CEO after the sale closes.

DAILY GK UPDATE 23RD FEB. 1. Final RBI norms for new banks i. The Reserve Bank released the final guidelines for issuing new banking licenses as it will now allow entities in the private and the public sector as well as non-banking financial companies to enter the fray.

ii. "Entities/groups in the private sector, entities in the public sector and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) shall be eligible to set up a bank through a wholly-owned non-operative financial holding company (NOFHC)," iii. The final guidelines sets 49 per cent cap on foreign holding in new banks and minimum paid-up equity capital is Rs 500 crore. iv. New banks will have to set up 25 per cent of its branches in unbanked rural areas. v. Existing NBFCs, if considered eligible, may be permitted to promote new banks or convert themselves into banks. vi. The paid-up equity capital should be Rs 500 crore and they will have to get listed within three years of operations, the guidelines added. vii. The RBI, which allowed private banks in 1993, had issued the last set of licences in 2001 to two entities - Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank. viii. "The new banks shall open at least 25 per cent of their branches in unbanked rural centres (population up to 9,999 as per the latest Census)," the report stated, adding that all priority sector norms would be applied to the new entities as well. ix. The RBI, however, said those banks promoted by groups having 40 per cent or more assets or income from non-financial business will require its approval for raising paid-up eqity capital beyond Rs 1,000 crore for every block of Rs 500 crore. 2. Justice Usha Mehra Commission Submitted its Report i. Justice Usha Mehra Commission on 22 February 2013 submitted its report to on the 16 December 2012 Delhi gang-rape incident to the Union Government of India. ii. The report was received by the Union Minister of Law and Justice Ashwani Kumar and the Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh. Major Points of the Reort i. Lack of Coordination between the Police and the transport department ii. Lack of cooperation between the police of National Capital Territory and National Capital Region plays a great role in escape of the criminals from one place to another iii. Lack of PCR vans and public transport facility in Delhi Usha Mehra Commission i. The Usha Mehra Commission was constituted by the Union Government on 26 December 2012 to inquire into the different aspects of the brutal rape and assault incident of the girl on 16 December 2012 on the streets of Delhi. ii. The commission was asked to submit the report within three months. iii. Retired Delhi High Court Judge, Usha Mehra was the head of this commission. 3. F.M. launches CPC (TDS) i. Finance Minister P Chidambaram has launched the Centralised Processing Cell for Tax Deducted at Source (CPC-TDS) on Saturday, a move likely to ease the compliance procedure for taxpayers. ii. "The CPC (TDS) will provide the tax deductors, taxpayers and the assessing officers a wide range of online services related to TDS through a functionality designated TDS Reconciliation, Analysis and Correction Enabling System (TRACES)," iii. TRACES will provide a bouquet of services like viewing and downloading of Form 26AS and downloading of consolidated filesfor filing of correction statements.

iv. This will facilitate proper reconciliation between credit of taxes paid by deductors and claimed by deductees. v. Moreover, banks, being the most important Tax Deductors will now have the facility to file correction statements online to minimise the difficulties faced by tax deductees in claiming credit of tax deducted at source. vi. It is expected that this facility will, to a large extent, ameliorate the problem faced by tax payers of mismatch in credit of tax deducted and claimed in the return of income," NOTE: The CPC (TDS) will be situated at Aayakar Bhawan, Sector-3, Vaishali, Ghaziabad (UP). 4. 'Mobile connections with Rs 20 balance cannot be deactivated' i. Telecom regulator TRAI on Friday said inactive mobile connections of pre-paid customers cannot be deactivated if they have a minimum balance of Rs 20 in their account. ii. Announcing an amendment to a regulation for protecting consumers, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said, "There shall be no deactivation if the balance in pre-paid consumer account is Rs 20 or more." iii. "The mobile connections of prepaid consumers shall not be deactivated for any period of nonusage less than 90 days," NOTE: "A consumer whose connection is deactivated shall be given a grace period of 15 days within which he can reactivate the same number," Taj Mahotsava begins i. Taj Mahotsava, the ten-day long cultural feast showcasing country's finest crafts and culture at a single platform, has started near the Eastern gate of the Taj Mahal, Agra. iii. The theme for this year's Mahotsav is 'Our Tradition, Our Heritage' (humari parampara, humari virasat). iii. Uttar Pradesh Minister for Tourism Om Prakash Singh opened the festival at Shilpgram, the artisans village about a kilometre east of the Taj Mahal. iv. The festival will showcase Indian art, craft, music and cuisine. Bopanna-Fleming in final of Open 13 i. Rohan Bopanna reached the first final of the season along withBriton Colin Fleming.. ii. The second seeded Indo-British pair converted all three breakpoints to beat third seed Austrian-Slovakian team 7-5 6-1 in the semifinals. iii. This is the second tournament Bopanna has played without his regular partner American Rajeev Ram. Sania-Bethanie in Dubai Tennis Championships final i. Sania Mirza reached the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Friday with partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands. ii. The duo now await winner of the other semifinal between the pairs of Nuria Llagostera Vives -Jie Zheng and Nadia Petrova-Katarina Srebotnik.

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G.K. QUIZ ON CURRENT AFFAIRS 1. Recently Tatkal scheme is launched by which among the following bank that enables the people to transfer money to their families in their native towns and villages without actually opening an account? (1) SBI (2) Bank of India (3) Canara Bank (4) Union Bank of India (5) None of these 2. What is the name of the Indias fastest Super computer? (1) Prithvi Yuva II (2) Prithvi Yuva III (3) Param Yuva II (4) Param Yuva III (5) None of these 3. Which among the following is the Indias first indigenous weaponised helicopter? (1) Aakash (2) Rudra (3) Astra (4) Deepak (5) Mahesh 4. 12th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit was held? (1) Sudan (2) Egypt (3) Iran (4) Saudi Arabia (5) None of these 5. 2013 Sustainable Leadership Award was presented to the President of: (1) Madagascar (2) Fiji Islands (3) Seychelles (4) Mauritius (5) None of these 6. Who among the following Indianorigin woman is selected for Order for Australia award? (1) Krishna Arora (2) Manilal Sharma (3) Mala Mehta (4) Kajal Agarwal (5) None of these 7. ONGC-Videsh Ltd. Acquired a stake in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashi (ACG) oil fields, located in___? (1) Azerbaijan (2) Kazakhstan (3) Georgia (4) Armenia (5) None of these 8. Which country has announced that it has successfully sent a monkey into space? (1) North Korea (2) Japan (3) South Korea (4) Iran (5) None of these 9. Which among the following State has lowest maternal mortality ratio in India? (1) Karnataka (2) Tamil Naidu (3) Kerala (4) Manipur (5) None of these 10. Minimum capacity of the Ultra Mega Power projects (UMPP)? (1) 1000 MW (2) 2500 MW (3) 4000 MW (4) 5000 MW (5) None of these

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DAILY GK UPDATE 22ND FEB. 1. India 19th largest exporter in world: Govt i. India is the 19th largest exporter with a share of 1.7 pc in the worldwide merchandise trade; on the other hand, the country is the 12th largest importer with a share of 2.5 pc in 2011. ii. Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said: "As per WTO's International Statistics, 2012, in merchandise trade, India is 19th largest exporter in the world with a share of 1.7 per cent and 12th largest importer with a share of 2.5 per cent in 2011," iii. Recently, the government has extended a 2 percent interest subsidy scheme for labour intensive sectors till March 2014,

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T. S. Vijayan, Took Over as the Chairman of IRDA i. T. S. Vijayan, the former LIC chief took over as the Chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) on 21 February 2013. ii. Vijayan will succeed J. Hari Narayan. J. Hari Narayan completed the five-year term on 20 February 2013. iii. The tenure for IRDA chairman is five years or till 65 years. NOTE: T. S. Vijayan will take over as the Chairman of IRDA when the entire industry is facing meltdown. The challenges which will be faced by him include taking the insurance industry to rural areas as well as simplifying the insurance products. RBI releases final guidelines for new bank licenses i. The Reserve Bank has released final guidelines for issue of licences to new banks in private sector. ii. RBI says, entities or groups in private sector, public sector and Non-bank financial companies - NBFCs are eligible for seeking bank licence. iii. RBI has set 49 per cent cap on foreign holding in new banks and minimum paid-up equity capital at 500 crore rupees. Bharat Heavy Plate & Vessels Ltd. (BHPV) Merged With BHEL i. The Union Cabinet of India approved merger of Bharat Heavy Plate & Vessels Ltd. (BHPV) Vishakhapatnam with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) on 21 February 2013. After the merger, BHVP will be a unit of BHEL. ii. Bharat Heavy Plate & Vessels Ltd. (BHPV) Bharat Heavy Plate & Vessels Ltd. (BHPV) is the engineering and heavy fabrication company which was established back in 1966 in Andhra Pradesh. The company had suffered immense loss because of various reasons. iii. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) acquired BHPV in 2008 as 100 percent subsidiary. However, because BHVP was a separate company, therefore it was not able to derive complete benefits.

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NTPC Signed Loan Agreement with Banks i. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) tied up a term loan facility of 250 million US dollars with the State Bank of India, New York Branch as well as Singapore Branch of Mizuho Corporate Bank Limited. ii. The agreement for the loan was signed in New York. iii. The loan will empower NTPC for making use of the proceeds of loan towards capital expenditure for procurement of goods and services for new as well as ongoing projects. iv. It will also help NTPC in modernization as well as renovation of stations of this corporation. v. The loan signed by NTPC will carry a floating rate of interest associated to LIBOR. It also has door to door maturity of 7 years. NOTE: With execution of this term loan facility, NTPC raised a total of750 million US Dollars in 2012-2013 fiscal year, which is the maximum amount allowed under the Automatic Route of the ECB guidelines issued by the Central Bank of India- RBI. Ratan Tata Awarded with Life Time Achievement Award 2012 i. Ratan Tata, the former head of Tata Group was awarded the life time achievement award 2012 by Ernst & Young on 21 February 2013. ii. He was given away the award for displaying great role for theIndian businessmen on global business level. iii. The entrepreneur of the year (2012) award was given away toAdi Godrej, Godrej Group Chairman. iv. It is important to note that entrepreneur of the year award is an only business award which is based on self-nomination. Ashwin, Clarke sparkle on day 1 i. Australia were 316 for 7 at stumps on the opening day of the first cricket test against India in Chennai today. Australia won the toss and elected to bat. ii. Ravichandran Ashwin captured six of the seven Australian wickets that fell today.One wicket was claimed by R.Jadeja. Aussies were 126 for 2 at lunch but by tea, their score stood at 215 for 5. iii. Skipper Michael Clarke helped Australia win the spin battle against India and he remained unbeaten with 103. iv. Veteran Indian off spinner Harbhajan Singh is playing his 100 test in Chennai and pacer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is making his debut for India in this test. Bopanna-Fleming in semis of ATP Open 13 i. Rohan Bopanna and his British partner Colin Fleming fought their way to the semifinals of the ATP Open 13, edging past James Cerretani and Adil Shamasdin, in Marseille, France. ii. India's singles challenge had ended with the defeat of Somdev Devvarman, who went down fighting against Australia's Bernad Tomic in the second round PERSON IN NEWS: 2013 1. Mohan Parasaran

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Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran was appointed as the country's new Solicitor General following the resignation of senior advocate Rohinton Nariman from the post. 2. Hamadi Jebali Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali resign from his post after failing to form a new government aimed at ending a political crisis. 3. Boiko Borisov: Bukgaria Prime Minister Boiko Borisov announced his resignation on 20 feb 2013 due to several weeks of protests in the country against high electricity prices. He said I dont want to see blood in the streets Rafael Correa i. Ecuador's President Rafael Correa was re-elected for a third term . ii. Correa is a socialist leader who was first elected in 2007. He is credited with bringing political stability to a nation that experienced several protests and coups. Justice Y Bhaskar Rao i.Justice Yarabati Bhaskar Rao was sworn in as the new Lokayukta of Karnataka. ii. The post of Lokayuktha was lying vacant since September 2011, after Justice Shivaraj Patil, resigned following allegations of false declaration while obtaining a housing site. Viswanathan Anand Viswanathan Anand, won the Grenke Chess Classic trophy of 2013 after defeating Arkadij Naiditsch from Germany on 17 February 2013. Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal Win Brazil Open 2013 by defeating Argentinean David Nalbandian in straight sets by 6-2, 6-3 in Sao Paolo. Mithali Raj Indian women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj hold number one spot in the latest ICC rankings Ela Bhatt i. Noted social worker Ela Ramesh Bhatt was conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development by President Pranab Mukherjee. ii.Bhatt, the founder of Self-Employed Women's Association,was conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize for 2011

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10. Victoria Azarenka Victoria Azarenka defeats Serena Williams in the final at the 2013 Qatar Open to win the tournament. 11. Serena Williams Serena Williams regain the World Number one ranking in Womens Tennis player by beating Kvitova in three sets in the quarter finals of the Qatar Open. 12. Lydia Ko Lydia Ko, the teenager became youngest winner of a women'sEuropean Tour golf event by winning at New Zealand Women's Open in Christchurch on 10 February 2013. 13. Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke, the Australian captain won the fourth Allan Border Medal in Melbourne on 4 February 2013. 14. P.R. Vasudeva Rao P.R. Vasudeva Rao became the Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam. He succeeded S.C Chetal. 15. Milos Zeman i. Milos Zeman became first directly elected President of Czech Republic. ii. Milos Zeman is the first directly elected President in Czech history (and overall third President), with the presidential elections held prior to 2013 all being decided internally by the senate.

DAILY GK UPDATE 21ST FEB. 1. AirAsia ties up with TATAs to start Airline in India i. A new Indian airline, proposed to be launched by the Tata Group, AirAsia and another Indian investor, is likely to start operations by the fourth quarter of this year with about USD 50 mn initial investment by the Malaysian budget carrier. ii. The airline, which would be based on the low-cost, no- frill model, would launch its operations with three to four Airbus A-320 aircraftand "scale up (the fleet) quickly thereafter," iii. The airline would be based in Chennai and in the initial phase concentrate on destinations in South India where AirAsia already operates, iv. AirAsia's initial investment in the airline, which would be run through a joint venture that includes the Tata Group and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace, would be about USD 50 million. 2. Bangladesh, Japan strike deal for Dhaka metro rail i. With an endeavor to ease the traffic problems that create havoc mainly in the capital city, Bangladesh on Wednesday signed a loan deal with a Japanese development agency for construction of the country's first-ever metro rail system. ii. The project will cost an estimated USD 2.8 billion, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Bangladesh chief Takao Toda said, adding that his agency will finance 85 per cent of the cost at an interest rate of 0.01 per cent. iii. The metro-rail construction will start in 2016 and end in 2021. CCI approved proposal for North Karanpura Super Thermal Power Plant in Jharkhand i. The Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) on 20 February 2013 cleared the proposal of the Power Ministry to set up the North Karanpura Super Thermal Power Plant (NKSTPP) (3 x 660 MW) near Tandwa town in Chatra district of Jharkhand by theNational Thermal Power Corporation, NTPC. ii. The CCI also agreed for restoring the original coal linkage for the project and declared that the project will be based on environment friendly super-critical technology. This supply will be made available in the 13th Five Year Plan iii. The power project is being developed for generation of 1980 MW power. The Plant is expected to generate electricity for a period of about 35 years.

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India to launch Mars mission this year i. India will launch its first space mission to Mars this year, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday. ii. Several space missions are planned for 2013, including Indias first mission to Mars and the launch of our first navigational satellite, iii. The Indian Space Research Organisation will also put in orbit the first of its seven satellites of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). The system is Indias version of theGlobal Positioning System. NOTE: i. Under the mission, India will put in orbit a spacecraft using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. ii. The satellite will undertake a 300-day journey to Mars and is expected to be put into the Martian orbit in September next year. TRAI begins process for nation-wide mobile number portability i. Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) started pre-consultation process on Wednesday for nation-wide mobile number portability services that will allow users to retain their numbers even after they shift from one service area to another. ii. At present, mobile number portability (MNP) services are available within a service area only. iii. With nation-wide MNP services, mobile users can retain their numbers even if they shift from one state to another. iv. TRAI stated that there are two MNP service providers at present catering to 22 service areas. Kerala Govt. Raised Age Limit (18 to 21 ) for Buying and Selling Liquor i. The State Government of Kerala today approved Kerala Abkari Act Amendment Ordinance 2013 that envisaged raising age limit for buying or selling liquor from 18 years to 21 years. ii. The new policy was announced in 2012, according to which Congress had committed to raise liquor buying and selling age from 18 to 21 years. iii. This was aimed at bringing down the consumption of liquor in Kerala. iv. Apart from this, the Kerala Abkari Act Amendment Ordinance 2013 would obligate showing statutory warnings for movies and television, against the consumption of liquor. Banking, transport sector hit on day two of nationwide strike i. Banking services were paralysed on Thursday with ATMs running out of cash in metro cities and public transport disrupted on second day of the two-day Central unions sponsored strike. ii. In the national capital, commuters faced hardships for the second consecutive day as majority of auto-rickshaws and taxis stayed off the road in support of the strike. iii. "A majority of ATMs have dried up while (bank) branches are shut. Additionally, there has not been any cheque clearing as personnel from RBI too joined the strike. It will take at least 2-3 working days to clear the backlog for banks", Maharashtra to host senior national carrom championship i. The 42nd Senior National and Inter-State Carrom Championship will be held from 26th February to 3rd March at Akola in Maharashtra.

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ii. The Indian team for the upcoming SAARC and Asian Carrom championships is to be picked up from this event. iii. The nationals would see participation from 17 institutions and most of the states and union territories. iv. The competition will feature eight events inter-state team championship for men and women, mens and womens singles, veterans singles (for men and women) and inter institution mens and womens team championship