Daily GK Update: December 17th, 2015.

US Fed raises interest rates, 7 years after financial crisis.

The US Federal Reserve has raised the interest rates by one quarter percentage, the first in seven years when America tumbled into a deep financial crisis with the collapse of the Wall Street.

Corruption will continue to hound corporates in 2016: EY.

Bribery and corruption will continue to be “challenging” for corporates in 2016 and will have a significant impact on bottom lines, says a report from consulting firm EY.

China backs India in fight against introduction of ‘new’ issues in WTO talks.

China backed India’s fight against attempts by the developed nations to introduce ‘new’ issues into the WTO’s Doha Round talks – meant for a pact to open up world trade – even before the member countries manage to arrive at a consensus on unresolved matters including on protection of poor farmers’ interests and food sovereignty.

Govt. seeks inputs from public on Rail Budget.

The Ministry of Railways has invited suggestions from the public for its forthcoming Budget 2016-17 on its website, for the first time.

Ban on large diesel cars to hit nascent recovery: automakers.

The Supreme Court’s decision banning registration of diesel vehicles with engines of 2000 cc and higher capacity in the National Capital Region is “unfortunate”, as the move will hit the nascent recovery in the industry, car makers said. The ruling will also impact investments and employment in the automobile sector.

India gets PE investments worth $17.5 bn in 2015: PwC.

Private equity investments in India touched a record high of $17.5 billion in 2015 across 685 deals, breaching the previous high of $14.7 billion recorded in 2007, a PwC report says. According to the report, PE investments (excluding real estate deals) till December 14, this year stood at $17.5 billion, registering a jump of 34 per cent over calendar year 2014, which saw $13 billion invested across 560 deals. The surge in PE investments this year was largely owed to the e-commerce sector, which saw deals worth $5.3 billion across 290 deals.

Pichai pitches Project Loon for connectivity.

Chennai-born Google CEO, 43-year old Sundar Pichai, had some anxious moments during the recent floods in the city as he was unable to reach his family members. While Mr. Pichai’s relatives are now confirmed to be safe, he said that amid natural disasters – like the one in Chennai where people get cut off from the grid – Google’s Project Loon that uses helium-filled balloons to provide data connectivity in remote areas could be of great help.

India ranks 97th on Forbes’ best countries for business list.

India has ranked a low 97th out of 144 nations, behind Kazakhstan and Ghana, on Forbes’ annual list of the best countries for business in 2015, scoring poorly on metrics like trade and monetary freedom and tackling challenges like corruption and violence.