Current Affairs: May,15

CURRENT AFFAIRS: MAY,2015
National:
  • DD Kisan,India’s first television channel dedicated to farmers launched by PM Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 May 2015 launched India’s first television channel DD Kisan dedicated to farmers in New Delhi.The 24X7 channel is owned by public service broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) and is dedicated to agriculture and allied sectors.
Features of DD Kisan
  1. DD Kisan will disseminate real-time inputs to farmers on new farming techniques, water conservation and organic farming.
  2. It will also share best farm practices in different parts of the country,quiz shows for farmers, a bottoms-up approach involving agriculturists.
  3. The channel show will also invite programme suggestions from general public and real-time interaction with experts and farm scientists.
  • India-Singapore bilateral naval exercise SIMBEX-15 commences in Singapore
Bilateral naval exercise SIMBEX-15 between India and Singapore commenced on 23 May 2015 in Singapore. It is 3 days exercise which will conclude on May 26, 2015.
This edition of naval exercise will give traditional emphasis on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and more complex maritime exercises. It will involve various facets of naval operations such as air and surface practice firing, air defence, maritime security and search & rescue operations.
For this edition of exercise,Indian navy is represented by 
INS Satpura– an indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate with  integral helicopter.
INS Kamorta– an indigenous anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette.
P 8I aircraft– It is a long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti- Submarine (LRMRASW) aircraft.

  • Union Government launches USTAAD Scheme for Traditional Artisans in Varanasi
Union Government formally launched Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTAAD) Scheme. It was launched by Union Minister of Minority Affairs Dr. Najma Heptullah in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh in order to improve degrading conditions of world famous Banaras Saree weavers who belong to minority communities.
Facts about USTAAD Scheme :
  1. The Scheme aims at upgrading Skills and Training of minority communities by preservation of traditional ancestral Arts and Crafts. It also envisages boosting the skill of craftsmen, weavers and artisans who are already engaged in the traditional ancestral work.
  2. Under the scheme, assistance will be provided to traditional artisans to sell their products in order to make them more compatible with modern markets. 
  3. It is fully funded by Union Government and Union Ministry of Minority Affairs is nodal agency in implementing it.

International:
  • India and Vietnam Sign a Joint Vision Statement on Defence Cooperation
India and Vietnam signed a Joint Vision Statement on Defence Cooperation for the period 2015-2020. It was signed by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Vietnamese counterpart Minister for National Defence General Phung Quang Thanh in New Delhi. Apart from this statement, a MoU on cooperation between the Coast Guards of the two countries was also signed.
  • China sets up largest gold sector fund for nations along ancient Silk Road
China has set up a gold sector fund involving 65 countries along the ancient Silk Road.  It has been set up in China’s northwest Xi’an city during ongoing forum on investment and trade.
The fund will be led by Shanghai Gold Exchange(SGE) and is expected to raise 16.1 billion dollars in three phases. It should be noted that it is the largest fund set up by China in the gold sector.
Around 60 countries which fall along the routes of 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) and Silk Road Economic Belt have invested in the fund. This fund will facilitate gold purchase for the central banks of member states to increase their holdings of the precious metal.It will be also invested in gold mining in countries along the Silk Road and also to increase exploration in countries such as
Afghanistan and Kazakhstan
.
  • Ireland becomes first country to constitutionally legalise same-sex marriage
Republic of Ireland on 23 May 2015 became first country in the world to constitutionally legalise same-sex marriage. The referendum on this issue to amend country’s written constitution was passed
with a resounding 62.1 per cent ‘Yes’. Off the total voter turnout of 60.5 percent, 1,201,607 people voted in favour of same-sex marriage, while 734,300 voted against it.
Regional:
·
Maharashtra government launches Swachhata Saptapadi scheme
Maharashtra Government has launched Swachhata Saptapadi scheme on the lines of Union Government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis along with actor Aamir Khan who is brand ambassador of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in Mumbai. 
Key facts :
1. The term saptapadi means vows taken during marriage by bride and groom in
Maharashtra.
2. Under this scheme, state government will introduce the concept of a pledge to create
awareness and seriousness about the Swachh Maharashtra Abhiyan.
3. The objective of the scheme is to expedite the process of cleanliness drive
complete with toilet every household by October 2, 2015 and 2016.
4. For successful implementation of the scheme by municipal councils and corporations,
grants received from the 14th Finance Commission will be linked with it.
5. Dumping of debris or waste will not be allowed at dumping grounds and processing of
waste will be made mandatory.

  • Himachal Pradesh government sets up satellite tracking system to check forest fire
Himachal Pradesh forest department has set up the satellite tracking system to check and find the forest fire incidents during summer season. The main aim of this tracking system is to protect the precious forest in the state from forest fires. The system is designed in such a way that, occurrence of any fire in the vicinity of forests, will immediately send SMS alerts to forest officials.


Sports:

  • Sepp Blatter has been re-elected as the Fédération Internationale de Football
    Association (FIFA) President for a fifth term.
       
  • Mumbai Indians defeat Chennai Super Kings to win IPL 2015 for second time
Mumbai Indians (MI) on 24 May 2015 won the eight edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 by defeating Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

This is the second IPL title triumph for MI after their maiden win in the
season six in 2013. It should be noted that Chennai has now lost four
finals of 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015 in six appearances and had won in 2011 and
2012 IPL seasons.

Other highlights of IPL 2015 :

Player of the Tournament: Andre Russell (KKR).
Orange Cap awarded to: David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad).
Purple Cap awarded to: Dwayne Bravo (CSK).
Emerging Player of the Season: Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Daredevils).
Most Valuable Player: Andre Russell (KKR).

·        Indian boxers clinch 4 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze medals in Doha Boxing Tournament
Indian boxers have rounded off a brilliant run at the Doha International Tournament by winning four gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
Gold medal winners are
L Devendro Singh in 49 kg category by defeating Aldren Moreno of Philippines by
3:0.
Shiva Thapa in 56kg category by defeating HYM Abdelaal of Egypt by 2:1.
Manish Kaushik in 60 kg category by defeating Rabi Hamza of Morocco by 3:0.
Manoj Kumar in 64 kg category by defeating Magliquian Nicole of Philippines
by 3:0
Person/Place in News:
  • Renowned American mathematician and Nobel Laureate John Nash passes away
Renowned American mathematician and Nobel laureate John Nash passed away on 24 May 2015. He was 86 and died in a car crash along with his wife Alicia Nash.
John Forbes Nash, Jr. was born on June 13, 1928 in West Virginia State of United States.
Work: He was renowned for works in game theory (mathematical study of decision-making), differential geometry and partial differential equations. His theories (especially Nash Equilibrium in game theory) are used in modern computing, economics, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence,
accounting, politics and military theory.
  • Veteran actor and film producer Shashi Kapoor has been conferred with
    prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award 2014.

    Miscellaneous:

·        Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurates New Bank Note Paper Line unit in Hoshangabad
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the New Bank Note Paper Line unit of 6000 metric ton capacity at Security Paper Mill in Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh. He also flagged off the first consignment of one thousand rupee bank notes made indigenously from this paper mill to the Currency Note Press Nasik.
Key Facts about New Bank
Note Paper Line unit
1.     State-of-the-art continuous pulp manufacturing plant integrated with paper machine.
2.     The bank note paper manufactured here is incorporated with advanced security
features.
3.     Capable of manufacturing all denominations of bank note paper, including in the higher
denomination of 1000 rupees with 3-dimentional toned water mark.
4.     Plant project has been completed at a cost of 495 crore rupees. Incorporated with
latest technology that uses less power and minimum water consumption.
5.     The plant is environment friendly with zero liquid discharge. It will generate both
direct and indirect employment.
·        NASSCOM launches Cyber Security Task Force
National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Data Security Council of India (DSCI) have launched NASSCOM Cyber Security Task Force.
The aim of task force is to build India as a global hub for providing cyber security solutions, developing cyber security Research & Development (R&D) plan and develop a skilled workforce of cyber security experts.
Rajendra Pawar, Chairman of NIIT will chair this task force and its members will include industry leaders from across various sectors like Information Technology (IT), BPM and internet.
·        2 Indians posthumously chosen for UN’s prestigious Dag Hammarskjold Medal Share
Two Indian peacekeepers have been chosen posthumously for United
Nation’s Dag Hammarskjold Medal. They are Lance Naik Nand Ram and
Raju Joseph
. Both of them are among the 126 police, military and civilian
personnel who have been posthumously awarded a prestigious UN medal.
·
A new species of fish called Pethia striata was discovered by ecologists in Tunga River in the Kudremukh National Park, Karnataka.
·        Yamuna Expressway becomes India’s first road runway after IAF Mirage 2000 jet successfully lands
Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh had become India’s first road
runway after Indian Air Force (IAF) Mirage 2000 fighter jet successfully landed
as part of trials to use national highways for emergency landing.
The first of its kind initiative in India’s aviation history
took place on Yamuna Expressway near Mathura with active support from Uttar
Pradesh government, Yamuna Expressway Authority. It should be noted that Yamuna
Expressway is the longest Greenfield expressway in the country.


·        Astra missile successfully test-fired  from Sukhoi-30 MKI in Odisha

Indigenously-developed beyond visual range air-to-air Astra
missile was successfully test fired at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur,
Odisha.
In the test, the missile was fired from Sukhoi -30 MKI fighter
jet in two developmental trials to prove its long range capability.
It can engage targets in head-on up to 80 km and tail-chase up
to 20 km modes and can reach up to 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km
and 44 km when launched from an altitude of 8 km and 21 km when fired from sea
level.

Science & Technology:
  • World’s first artificial molecular pump developed
Scientists have developed the first man-made molecular pump which is capable to transport key proteins to cells for its functioning and can be used to power artificial muscles.
This system on carrier proteins was modeled by J. Fraser Stoddart and coworkers at Northwestern
University. This system basically can pump ions, electrons, protons or
molecules across membranes of cells to produce energy.
Economics:
  • Union Government constitutes Committee headed by Vijay Kelkar to revisit PPP
    infra model
Union government has constituted a 10-member committee to review and revitalise public private partnership (PPP) mode of infrastructure development. The committee will be chaired by former finance secretary Vijay Kelkar and submit its report within a period of 3 months from
the date of its Constitution.
Members of Committee: C.S. Rajan, Dr. Shekhar Shah, S.B. Nayar, Pradeep Kumar,
Vikram Limaye, Sudipto Sarkar, P.S. Behuria, Sharmila Chavaly, Representative
of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.
Terms of Reference of the Committee :
  1. Review of the experience of PPP Policy. It will also include the variations in
    contents of contracts and difficulties experienced with particular
    conditions.
  2. Suggest optimal risk sharing mechanism by analyzing risks involved in PPP projects
    in different sectors. It will also look into existing framework of sharing
    of such risks between the Government and project developer.
  3. Propose design modifications to the contractual arrangements of the PPP based on
    best international practices and in correspondence with our institutional
    context.
  4. Suggest measure to Government in order to improve capacity building for effective
    implementation of the PPP projects.
  5. For firming-up its recommendations, the Committee may consult various stake
    holders in the different sectors including private, government sector,
    legal experts, banking and financial institutions and academia.
  • Meghalaya has achieved 100 percent success in implementing Union Government’s
    flagship scheme for financial inclusion-Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna
    (PMJDY).
 

Important Dates this Month:

May 01 : International Labour Day, Maharashtra Day

May 03 : International Energy Day
May 08 : International Red Cross Day (It is celebraed to commemorate the birth anniversary of the founder of the Red Cross Organization Jean Henry Dunant)
May 11 : National Technology Day
May 15 : International Family Day
May 17 : World Telecom Day
May 24 : Commonwealth Day
May 31 : World No Tobacco Day


<

Current Affairs: April,2015

Current Affairs- February,2015:

International

17 Agreements signed between India and France during PM Narendra Modi’s visit

India and France on 11 April 2015 signed 17 agreements in various fields during Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s visit to France.They were signed in presence of Indian PM and his counterpart French President Francois Hollande after they had held wide-ranging talks in Paris.

Some of key agreements signed are

  • MoU between Larsen and Tubro and AREVA-It aims at improve the financial viability of the Jaitapur Nuclear plant project by reducing cost by increasing localization.
  • It will also enable France to transfer of technology to India for development of indigenous nuclear energy industry in India.
  • Pre-engineering agreements (PEA) between NPCIL and Areva-It intends to bring clarity on all technical aspects of the plant.
  • It will help all parties including AREVA, Alstom and NPCIL to fix their price and optimise all provisions for risks (still included at this stage) in the costs of the project.
  • MoU between CNES and ISRO on Megha Tropiques satellite-It extends MoU for two more years of joint project for sharing and use of data from the satellite.
  • The satellite was launched in October 2011 on board of Indian launch vehicle PSLV.
  • MOU between ISRO, CNES and ONERA-It proposes cooperation in the areas of satellite remote sensing, satellite communications and satellite meteorology and others field.
  • MoU between Union Sports Ministry and French Ministry of Sports-It envisages cooperation and exchange of experiences in the fields of sports medicine and institutional cooperation.
  • Railway protocol between Union Railways Ministry and French National Railways (SNCF)

It seeks to establish cooperation between Indian and French Railways for semi-high speed rail and station renovation.

Other agreements signed between both nations in the fields of economy, energy, culture,tourism, conservation, Ayurveda, skill development and science and technology.

BHEL, Russian firm INTMA ink MoU to set up power plant in Kazakhstan

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Russian company INTMA to set up a gas-based power project in Kazakhstan.

The MoU aims set combined path to execute projects of mutual interest in Russia and Kazakhstan.  In this regard, BHEL’s competence in design and manufacturing of power plants will play important role and INTMA’s strength in handling engineering procurement and construction contractors (EPC) contracts will implement the projects.

7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal

A high-intensity earthquake of magnitude 7.8 on the Richter scale had struck central Nepal between its capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara on 25 April 2015.Earthquake’s epicenter was 80 kilometers east of Pokhra near Kathmandu.

It had a depth of only 11 kilometers (7 miles) i.e. in geological terms it was a shallow depth.Earlier, Nepal had suffered its worst recorded earthquake in 1934. It was measured 8.0 and had destroyed the cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan. This earthquake in Nepal may have occurred because of two converging tectonic plates, the India plate and the overriding Eurasian plate.

India, Japan ink action agenda to boost trade, investment

India and Japan have signed a Five-point action agenda to increase bilateral trade and investment between the two nations.

The action agenda was signed between Japan’s Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa and Minister of State (independent charge) for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman.

The five-point agenda includes

  • Development of selected townships in India as Japanese industrial townships.
  • Promotion of investment and infrastructure development.
  • Further development and cooperation in IT sector.
  • Enhancing cooperation in strategic sectors.
  • Asia-Pacific economic integration.

Seychelles becomes 161st member of World Trade Organisation

Seychelles, an archipelago of 90000 inhabitants became the 161st member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is one of the smallest nations among the WTO members.

This approval by WTO ended Seychelles 20-year long wait to become a member of WTO since it had applied for WTO membership in May 1995.

National

Nasim Zaidi appointed as Chief Election Commissioner

President Pranab Mukherjee on 9 April 2015 appointed the senior most Election Commissioner (EC), Dr. Nasim Zaidi as the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).

He will succeed incumbent CEC HS Brahma, who retires on 19 April 2015 after attaining age 65. Dr Zaidi will have tenure of two years i.e. till he attains the age of 65 in July 2017.

National Judicial Appointment Commission Act, 2014 comes into force

Union Government has brought into force the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 along with the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014.In this regard, notification to effect from 13 April 2015 was issued by the Union Law Ministry.

With this new law the collegium system to appoint members to the higher judiciary has come to an end. Now President will appoint judges in the Supreme Court (SC) and 24 High Courts (HCs) in consultation with the NJAC.

Composition of NJAC

As per Article 124A, NJAC is a 6 member constitutional body. Consisting of

Chairman-Chief Justice of India (CJI).

  • Members-Two senior most Judges of the Supreme Court, the Union Minister of Law and Justice and two eminent persons.
  • Two eminent persons will be nominated by committee led by Prime Minister of India, the CJI, and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of the People.

Union Cabinet approves lowering of age of Juveniles from 18 to 16 years for heinous

crimes

Union Cabinet has approved lowering of age of juveniles from eighteen to sixteen years for heinous crimes.The cabinet also approved to introduce Amendment to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014.

This amendment will propose and add special provisions to tackle heinous offences like murder and rape committed by juveniles in the age group of 16-18 years.The proposed bill will amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000. The parent Act clearly defines and classifies offences as serious, petty and heinous and defines differentiated processes for each classified category.

India’s rescue operation in quake-hit Nepal named as Operation Maitri

Indian Army has named the rescue and aid to Nepal ‘Operation Maitri’ or friendship which was aftermath of 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal. This operation will involve number of Indian military aircraft and choppers along with bus services through road route.

Along with them more than 1000 trained personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will also take part in this operation.Under the operation, a Multi-National Coordination Centre (MNCC) has been set up. In addition, for relief operations Headquarters has been established in PPO Pokhra. Since the launch of operation more than 1000 Indian citizens have been safely flown from Nepal.

Person in News

Gulshan Rai takes charge as India’s first cyber security chief

Gulshan Rai on 1 April 2015 took charge as India’s first cyber security chief under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as Special Secretary for cyber security.Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2015 had created this new post in PMO and had appointed Rai as its head.Prior to this appointment, he was Director-General Computer Emergency Response Team(CERT) at the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).

Novelist Siddhartha Gigoo wins 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize in Asia region

Novelist Siddhartha Gigoo has won 2500 pounds 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize in Asia region for his novel Umbrella Man.

With this win he will compete with the other four regional winners for the 5000 pounds grand prize which will be announced in London on 8 September 2015.

Raja Rajeswari, first Indian-American woman judge of New York

Ms. Raja Rajeswari became the first Indian-born woman to be appointed a judge in New York City. She was sworn-in as a criminal court judge in New York by Mayor Bill de Blasio along with 27 other judges.

They were appointed as judges earlier to the Family Court, Criminal Court, and Civil Court, which are part of the New York State Unified Court System.

Science & Tech

Newly discovered Spider named after Telangana state

Newly discovered spiders of Thomisidae family have been named as Telangana crab spider (Thomisus telanganensis) i.e. after Indian state of Telangana.

These spiders were discovered by G.B. Pravalikha and Chelmala Srinivasulu, wildlife and taxonomy researchers from the Zoology Department of Osmania University at an expedition at Nagnur in Karimnagar district of Telangana.

Asteroid 316201 named after Malala Yousafzai

Asteroid 316201 was named as ‘316201 Malala’ after the youngest Nobel laureate and girls’ education campaigner Malala Yousafzai.

The asteroid was named after her by Amy Mainzer, astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, United States under the International Astronomical Union rules.

In 2010, Mainzer had discovered the asteroid which was known as 316201. As a discoverer of the asteroid she had owned the rights to name it.

New species of Geckos discovered at Hampi in Karnataka

A new species of a gecko was spotted at the ruins of the World Heritage Site of Hampi in Karnataka. It was named as Cnemaspis adii after a young herpetology researcher Aditya Srinivasulu from Hyderabad, Telangana.It was spotted by the researchers from the Osmania University in Hyderabad.

Cnemaspis adii gecko is similar to a type of lizard usually found in warm climates. It belongs to the family of day geckos which are characterized by round pupils unlike regular geckos which have vertical pupils.

Three super-Earths orbiting nearby star discovered

Scientists have discovered three planets orbiting a nearby star named HD 7924 that is only 54 light-years away.

These planets were discovered by Automated Planet Finder (APF) Telescope located at Lick Observatory in California and W M Keck Observatory, Hawaii.

They were traced out using the Doppler technique and the APT made crucial measurements of the brightness of HD 7924 to assure the validity of the planet discoveries.

Each of the discovered planets has mass 7 to 8 times that of Earth and complete their orbit’s in just 5, 15, and 24 days around HD 7924.

Miscellaneous

Railway Ministry launches mobile app for paperless unreserved tickets

The Railway Ministry has launched ‘utsonmobile’, a mobile application for paperless unreserved tickets.The application service was launched by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi.

This application will allow its passenger to buy a ticket on the move and to board the train with the ticket secured on his mobile phone in digital format, without any need for printing the ticket.Initially, it has been launched as a pilot project and cover 15 stations in Southern Railway.

50th Jnanpith Award conferred on Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade

50th Jnanpith Award was conferred on eminent Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade on 25 April 2015.

He was presented award comprising of 11 lakh rupees and a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a function in Parliament House Complex in New Delhi.His novel, Kosala, written in 1963 is considered as a path breaking in Marathi literature.

Sports

Veteran Australian Cricket legend and former Captain Richie Benaud passes away

Ace Indian shooter Jitu Rai on 12 April 2015 won a bronze medal in the 10m air pistol event at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Changwon, South Korea.

Sania Mirza becomes first Indian female tennis player ranked World No.1 in Women’s Doubles

Sania Mirza on 12 April 2015 created history by becoming the first Indian female tennis

player to achieve the world number one rank in doubles category.

She achieved this feat after winning WTA Family Circle Cup along with her Swiss partner Martina Hingis.

New Zealand wins Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament 2015

New Zealand has won the 24th edition of Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament 2015 for second time.

Earlier, New Zealand had won the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament in 2012. It is third time Australia came as runner-ups position in tournament (1999, 2006 and 2015).

Economics

Parliament passes Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, 2014

Parliament has passed Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, 2014. It was first passed in Lok Sabha on December 22, 2014 and later in Rajya Sabha on April 28, 2015.This bill amends Regional Rural Banks Act, 1976 and aims to strengthen the Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and deepen their financial inclusion.

  • Authorised capital:This amendment bill increases the authorised capital of each Regional Rural Bank (RRB) from Rs 5 crore to Rs 2000 crore divided into Rs 200 crore of fully paid share of Rs 10 each.
  • As per the parent Act the Rs 5 crore share capital of RRBs is split into 5 lakh shares of Rs 100 each.
  • Issued capital:It also provides that the authorised capital issued by any RRB’s shall not be reduced below Rs 1 crore and shares in all cases to be fully paid up shares of Rs 10 each.
  • Shareholding:The Bill allows RRBs to raise capital from sources other than the central and state governments, and sponsor banks.
  • Board of directors:The Bill adds provision that any person who is a director of an RRB is not eligible to be on the Board of Directors of another RRB.
  • It also mentions that directors will be elected by shareholders based on the total amount of equity share capital issued to such shareholders.
  • Tenure of directors:The bill raises the tenure of directors to 3 years from existing 2 years.The Bill also states that no director can hold office for a total period exceeding six years.

National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology inks MoU with Snapdeal

National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) on 23 April 2015 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with e-commerce giant Snapdeal to roll out digital marketing courses.

The MoU aims at helping small and medium enterprises/businesses and artisans who want to take the online route to become entrepreneurs.

Snapdeal by being a knowledge partner will provide inputs on the course and will facilitate industry interactions for the participants.

To begin with, the course will be launched in six centres across India. They are Srinagar, New Delhi, Calicut, Chennai Aurangabad and Kolkata.

PM Narendra Modi launches MUDRA Bank to provide credit to small entrepreneurs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 April 2015 launched Micro Units Development Re-finance Agency (MUDRA) Bank in New Delhi.MUDRA Bank will act as a regulator for ‘Micro-Finance Institutions’ (MFIs) involved in manufacturing, trading and service activities to promote their growth.

The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana will be the main support system for the bank and will be the part of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).

The MUDRA bank was proposed in Budget 2015-16 by Union Government with an initial corpus of 20,000 crore rupees. Apart from this, 3,000 crore rupees also has been earmarked as credit guarantee corpus.

MUDRA Bank will provide financing on 3 stages- Shishu, Kishore and Tarun.

  • Shishu is first stage in which loan cover upto Rs 50,000 will be given to a business entity at start of business.
  • Kishore is second stage in which loan cover ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh will be given.
  • Tarun is the third stage in which loan cover up to Rs. 10 lakh will be given.

Union Government launches FAME-India scheme to boost electric, hybrid vehicle sales

Union Government on 1 April 2015 launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) – India Scheme.The scheme was launched as part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility to boost eco-friendly vehicles sales in the country.

  • The overall scheme is proposed to be implemented over a period next 6 years i.e. till 2020.
  • It envisages providing Rs 795 crore support till 2020 for the manufacturing and sale of electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • It will be implemented in phases. The Phase-1 will be implemented over a two year period in FY15-16 and FY16-17.
  • Based on the outcome and experience from the Phase-1, it will be reviewed for implementation after 31 March 2017. Then appropriate fund will be allocated for future.
  • Four focus areas of scheme-Technology development, Pilot Projects, Demand Creation and Charging Infrastructure.

Defence

ISRO successfully tests indigenous cryogenic engine with four-tonne capacity

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 28 April 2015 successfully tested an indigenous cryogenic engine.The powerful version of the cryogenic engine was tested successfully at ISRO’s propulsion complex at Mahendragiri in Tirunelveli district of TamilNadu. A team headed by Director D Karthikesan had led the testing.This engine will allow launch vehicles to carry satellites of up to capacity of four tonnes in geostationary orbit. It will also give boost to India’s interplanetary probes and manned space missions.

Indian Army conducts Akraman–II defense exercise in Rajasthan

Indian Army on 26 April 2015 conducted a major exercise ‘Akraman-II’ in Rajasthan.The exercise was conducted by the Chetak Corps, a part of South Western Command based in Bhatinda, Punjab.

The exercise aimed to test a new generation of weaponry and platforms which are employed in the desert region to provide ‘real time battle and situational awareness’ to its commanders.In this exercise more than 300 Combat Vehicles including Main Battle Tanks,Long Range Artillery Guns participated along with 10,000 troops.

India and France begin naval exercise ‘Varuna’

10-day naval exercise ‘Varuna’ between India and France began on 23 April 2015 off the Goa coast.

It is the fourteenth edition of this naval exercise which will host of naval assets of both countries and will conclude on 3 May 2015.This exercise will include the entire gamut of various maritime operations from aircraft carrier operations, maritime interdiction operations, anti-submarines warfare exercises to multi-ship replenishment exercise.

INS Visakhapatnam, stealth destroyer of Indian Navy launched

Indian Navy’s new stealth destroyer named INS Visakhapatnam was launched on 20 April 2015 at the Mazgaon Docks Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Visakhapatnam is the Kolkata-class warship and the first of P15-B stealth destroyers which is designed indigenously and fitted with advanced features. It is the largest destroyer

Regional News

Odisha Government launches Aahar scheme

Odisha Government on 1 April 2015 launched ‘Aahar’- cheap meal scheme for providing subsidised food to urban poor.It was launched by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar on the occasion  the foundation day of the state i.e.Utkala Dibasa.

Facts about Aahar- cheap meal scheme

  • It aims at providing meal at Rs. five to the urban poor.
  • In the first phase scheme was launched simultaneously in five cities of state including Bhubaneswar, Rourkela, Cuttack, Berhampur and Sambalpur.
  • The subsidised meals will be provided at four crowded places each in these five cities to people visiting urban areas for various work

India’s first IFSC becomes operational at GIFT City in Gujarat

India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) became operational at Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City in Gandhinagar district of Gujarat.It became operational after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unveiled the rules and regulations for this global financial hub.

Key facts of IFSC rules and regulations

  • Aim at creating a vibrant IFSC on the lines of those in Dubai and Singapore.
  • They also seek to check the flight of trading in rupee and Indian securities to such offshore financial hubs.
  • These rules will allow companies incorporate outside India to raise money in foreigncurrencies by issuance and listing of their equity shares on stock exchanges within the IFSC.
  • They will also allow individual and institutional investors from India and abroad, including NRIs to trade.
  • Allows foreign and Indian stock exchanges to set up separate bourses within IFSC as subsidiaries.
  • Relaxes capital and other requirements for some time in order to facilitate exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories to set shop in the IFSC.
  • Allows alternative investment funds and mutual funds that have set up in the IFSC to invest in the securities listed there.

Kerala government launches Subodham project to end liquor, drug abuse

Kerala government has launched Subodham, a major campaign in a bid to wean people away from addiction to liquor, drug and other substance abuse.It was launched by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravishankar. This project is also state government’s first step towards ‘Punarjani 2030 Project’, an initiative to completely eradicate the menace of substance abuse.

  • Subodham project aims to free one lakh people in the state each year from alcoholaddiction, through systematic, comprehensive awareness campaigns.
  • It also aims to achieve the ambitious target of making the state totally alcohol free over the next 10 years.
  • The project is supported by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund(UNICEF).

Assam awarded as Best e-Panchayat state on National Panchayati Raj Diwas

State of Assam has been awarded as the Best e-Panchayat state on 25 April 2015 on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Diwas by PM Narendra Modi.

Apart from this award, 8 Panchayat Raj Institutes of state also received Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Shasaktikaran award.These panchayat raj institutes are – Agomoni Anchalik Parishad, Morigaon Zila Parishad, Ketri Gaon Panchayat, Mayong Gaon Panchayat, Boitamari Anchalik Parishad, Halakula Gaon Panchayat, Chandrapur Gaon Panchayat and Baghara Gaon Panchayat.

NGT bans burning of waste in Delhi NCR

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered a complete ban on burning of any kind of garbage, leaves, plastic waste and rubber in the open in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).

This decision of NGT bench headed by its chairperson Swatanter Kumar comes in line with a series of orders to control air pollution in the Delhi- NCR and on an application by a person identified as Vardhaman Kaushik.

In this regard, NGT also has directed authorities to levy a fine of Rs 5,000 on anyone found burning such material in the open.

Important Dates

April 1 : Orissa Day

April 5 : Natinal Meritime Day

April 7 : World Health Day

April 11 : National Safe Motherhood Day

April 13 : Jallianwallah Bagh Massacre Day (1919)

April 14 : B.R. Ambedkar Remembrance Day

April 18 : World Heritage Day

April 22 : World Earth Day

April 23 : World Books Day

April 24  : National Panchayati Raj Diwas

April 25 : World Malaria Day

Current Affairs: March,2015

CURRENT AFFAIRS: MARCH,2015

 National:

  • PM launches first indigenous rotavirus vaccine

PM Narendra Modi launched the 1st indigenously developed & manufactured rotavirus vaccine to curb Diarrhoea.The 3-dose ROTAVAC vaccine,developed through a collaboration between India and the US,is expected to help bring about a significant reduction in the 10000 infant deaths caused by the rotavirus diarrhea in India.

  • ISRO navigation satellite IRNSS 1-D in orbit

India successfully established Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System(IRNSS) 1-D into orbit which was launched through ISRO’s PSLV C-27.IRNSS 1-D is the fourth of series of 7 satellites. While four of the seven satellites will be in geosynchronous orbit, other three would be positioned in a geostationary orbit, some 36000 km above the Earth.

International:

  • Benjamin Netanyahu wins PM election in Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu secured 3rd straight term for Israel’s PM after his rightwing Likud Party confounded the polls to win 30 of 120 seats in Parliament against 24 for the centre-left Zionist Party.

Regional:

  • Beef banned in Maharastra

The ban was imposed after president Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the long-pending Maharastra Animal Preservation(Amendment) Bill,1995.The sale and possession of beef is now punishable by a jail term of up to 5 years.

  • Maharastra scraps Muslim quota

The Maharastra Govt. has scrapped 5% reservations for Muslims in educational institutions.However,admissions in educational institutions and jobs already granted under quota would be protected.

  • Rape accused lynched in Nagaland

A rape accused,Syed Sarif Khan was lynched by a mob after dragging him out of Dimapur jail in Nagaland on march,06.

Sports:

  • Jagmohan Dalmiya was elected as President of BCCI on March,02.
  • Spain’s Carolina Marin won the All England Badminton Championship by defeating India’s Saina Nehwal.
  • Saina Nehwal has become World No.1 badminton player after dethroning China’s Li Xuerui.
  • WORLD CUP CRICKET:
  • Martin Guptill(New Zealand) strike a double-ton (237-not out) against West Indies in quarterfinals.
  • Australia trounces New Zealand by 7 wickets to clinch World Cup 2015.It became first nation to lift the World Cup 5 times. Michelle Starc has been adjudged Player of the tournament.

Person/Place in News:

  • Dilip Shanghvi is the richest Indian:Forbes

Dilip Sanghvi of Sun Pharmaceuticals,with a net worth of $21.5 billion, surpassed Mukesh Ambani (India’s wealthiest person for 8 consecutive years) as the World’s richest Indian on March,04.

  • Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore died on 23rd

Miscellaneous:

  • ‘Water Man’ Rajendra Singh wins Stockholm Water Prize.
  • K. schoolboy to grace new £1 coin

A design drawn by David Pearce,15, from Walsall in central England has been chosen to grace one side of Britain’s new 12-edged £1 coin when it is introduced in 2017.

 

Science & Technology:

  • World’s first solar aircraft on its maiden journey

Solar Impulse-2,claimed to be world’s only solar-powered aircraft is on its maiden global journey.The aircraft has a 72-metre wingspan,larger than that of Boeing-747,and weighs just 2,300 kg, equivalent to the weight of car.

Economics:

  • RBI cuts Repo Rate by 25 basis points to 7.5%

Important Dates this Month:

Mar 03 : National Defence Day

Mar 04 : National Security Day

Mar 08 : International Women’s Day

Mar 09 : CISF Raising Day

Mar 12 : Mauritius Day;Central Industrial Security Force Day

Mar 15 : World Consumer Day

Mar 16 : National Vaccination Day

Mar 21 : World Forestry Day

Mar 22 : World Day of Water

Mar 23 : World Meterological Day,Shaheed Diwas

Mar 24 : World TB Day

Mar 26 : Bangaladesh Liberation Day

Current Affairs: February,2015

CURRENT AFFAIRS: FEBRUARY,2015

National:

  • L.C. Goyal was appointed as Union Home Secretary after former Home Seretary Anil Goswami was sacked.
  • 2 Varanasi Ghats goes Wi-fi

IT Minister inaugurates Wi-Fi zones in two ‘ghats’-Dashashwamedh and Sheetla.The plan is to provide the facility free initially,Later,users might be charged a nominal fee.

  • On 18th Feb,PM Narendra Modi inaugurates the “Aero India 2015” event at Yelahanka Air Base in Bengaluru.
  • Policy papers smuggled out of Oil Ministry

Police foiled the attempt to steal documents from Shastri Bhavan on Feb,17.Five men were arrested for alleged theft and sell ofofficial secrets of Oil Ministry to private corporate entities in petrochemical sector.

  • India signs civil nuclear cooperation agreement with Sri Lanka,which is Sri Lanka’s first nuclear partnership with any country.
  • RAILWAYS BUDGET 2015-16:

PRESENTED BY RAILWAY MINISTER SURESH PRABHU

  • 6581 crore allotted for removing 3438 level crossings
  • Speed on 9 railway corridors to be raised to 160 & 200 kmph for faster inter-metro travel.
  • 24×7 helpline number 138,toll-free number 182 for grievance redress launched.
  • Innovation Council,”KAYAKALP’,to be set upand also Railways to establish a full-fledged university during 2015-16.
  • Recommendations of Kakodkar Safety Committee to be examined by April.
  • Unreserved tickets will be made available on smartphones and facility of SMS on mobiles is extended as a valid proof of travel for PRS tickets.

International:

  • Britain became 1st country which nods to ‘three-parent’ babies

Britain allows the creation of babies with DNA from three people.House of Commons voted by 382 to 128 in favour of allowing the creation of in-vitro fertilization(IVF) babies with DNA from three people,a move aimed at preventing serious inherited diseases being passes on from mother to child.

  • Rebels take over Yemen

Yemen’s powerful Shiite rebels announced on Feb,06 that they have taken over the country and dissolved Parliament.

  • HSBC’S Swiss unit offices raided

Swiss authorities on Feb,18 raided the offices of British banking giant HSBC’s Swiss unit as a part of a money laundering probe into the bank that has been accused of helping clients to dodge millions of dollars in taxes.

Regional:

  • Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) wins Assembly Elections in Delhi

The 6th Delhi Assembly Election was won by Aam Aadmi Pary with 67 seats out of 70 seats,leaving only 3 to BJP and nil to Congress.

  • Bengaluru-Ernakulum Intercity Express derailed on Feb,13 leaving 9 passengers dead and 19 injured.
  • Madya Pradesh Assembly adjourned sine die 29 days ahead of schedule.
  • Mufti Mohammed Sayeed of PDP to sworn as Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir on March,01

Sports:

  • TENNIS : Roger Federer became only third player after Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl to win 1000 matches on the men’s tour.
  • WORLD CUP CRICKET:
  • World Cup Cricket 2015 starts from Feb,14 with first match played between Australia and England and former won it.
  • India crushes Pakistan in its opening match and maintained its record of never losing to Pakistan in WorldCup.
  • Ireland defeated West Indies by 4 wickets in their first outing in WC.This is the third time Ireland has made 300-plus runs in successful chases in WC.No other team has managed 300-plus chase more than once.
  • India defeated South Africa by 130 runs and break the jinx of losing all 3 previous matches against South Africa in WC.
  • Chris Gayle become first batsman to score double century in WC by scoring 215.He became fourth batsman to score double century in ODI after Sachin Tendulkar,Virendra Sehwag & Rohit Sharma.
  • AB De Villiers scored fastest 150 in ODI cricket against West Indies in 64 balls.
  • Ranchi Rays won the 3rd edition of the Hero-Hockey India League against Jaypee Punjab Warriors.

Person/Place in News:

  • Billionaire Michele Ferrero,who became Italy’s richest man with a confectionary empire built on his popular Nutella spread,died in Monte Carlo on Feb,14.

Miscellaneous:

  • Abhishek Bachchan first Indian to ‘play at NBA’

Abhishek Bachchan will be the 1st Indian to participate in the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity game on Feb,13 at Madison Square Garden,as one of the league’s Goodwill Ambassador.

  •  87th Academy Awards (OSCARS):
  1. Best Picture : Birdman
  2. Best Director : Alejandro G. Inarritu
  3. Best Actor : Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything -movie)
  4. Best Actress : Julianne Moore (Still Alice – movie)
  5. Best Foreign Language Film : Ida (Poland)

Science & Technology:

  • ICICI launches digital service “Pockets”

ICICI launched first digital banks in the country,’Pockets’,on a mobile phone.Anyone including non ICICi customers can download the app and transact to any website,pay bills or mobile application in India.This wallet allows users to send instant money to email id,mobile no,friends on facebook and bank account.

  • Facebook launches Internet.org in India

Facebook announced a tie-up with Reliance Communications to launch Internet.org in India.The subscribers of Reliance Communications who have Internet-enabled handsets can access 38 websites for free.The list includes facebook,wikipedia,Bing etc.

  •  Nationwide MNP from May 03

From May 3,subscribers will be able to retain the same mobile number in any part of country.At present,number portability within a telecom circle is possible.

Economics:

  • Videocon-BPCL team discovers oil off Brazil coast

A consortium of Videocon Industries,Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd(BPCL) and Brazilian state owned company Petroleo Brasilerio SA(Petrobras) has announced discovery of oil,off the coast of Brazil. The well 3-SES-186 was drilled 103km from the city of Aracaju,Brazil,and 10km from the discovery well in 2,467 meter of water.This accumulation is part of the exploratory project in the deepwater Seripe-Alagaos Basin.

  • RBI cuts SLR by 50 basis points to provide liquidity

RBI reduced Statutory Liquidity Ratio(SLR) by 50 basis points to 21.50% from 22% with effect from February 07.This is likely to pump in around Rs.45,000 crore to the system,which is likely to prod banks to cut their lending rates.However,the RBI kept the short-term policy rate(repo rate) unchanged at 7.75% and Cash Reserve Ratio(CRR) at 4%.

  • Centre adopts new criteria for Capital infusion into banks

The centre has selected nine public sector banks(PSBs) for infusing Rs.6,990 crore out of current years’ Budget.The efficiency parameters is based on

  1. the weighted average of return on assets(ROA) for all PSBs for last three years,
  2. Return on Equity(ROE) for last financial year.

  

  • UNION BUDGET 2015-16:

PRESENTED BY FINANCE MINISTER ARUN JAITELY

  • GDP growth in 2015-16 projected at between 8% and 8.5 %
  • Fiscal deficit target for 2015-16 is set to 9% as against 4.1% in 2014-15
  • Corporate tax rate to be reduced from 30% to 25% over the next 4 years
  • Implementation of General Anti Avoidance Rule(GAAR) deferred by 2 years
  • National Investment and Infrastructure Fund set up
  • MUDRA Bank with a corpus of 20000 crore to refinance micro-finance institutions
  • Bankruptcy Code to be introduced in 2015-16
  • Allocation of Rs.34699 crore to MGNREGS
  • Forward Markets Commission to be merged with SEBI
  • Public Debt Management Agency to be set up
  • 02 lakh accident cover at Rs.12 per annum premium
  • Life Insurance scheme with a cover of Rs.2 lakh at a premium of Rs. 330 per annum

Important Dates this Month:

Feb 02 : World Wetlands Day

Feb 04 : National Day of Srilanka

Feb 05 : Kashmir Day (Organised by Pakistan)

Feb 13 : Sarojini Naidu’s Birth Anniversary,World Radio Day

Feb 14 : St. Valentine’s Day

Feb 24 : Central Exise Day

Feb 28 : National Science Day

Current Affairs: January,2015


Current Affairs- January,2015:

 

International

  •  Nepal to join Silk Road Economic Belt through Tibet

Nepal signed a 4-point document endorsing the silk road belt-a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jingping for connecting Asia with Europe along a land corridor,with China as its hub.

  • Terror attack on Paris magazine kills 12

A attack in office of satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo took place on Jan,07 in which at least 12 people were shot dead.In past,the cartoons published by magazine on Prophet Mohamed is said to the cause which had sparked anger among Muslims.

  • Palestine’s request to join ICC accepted

UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon has accepted the request by Palestine to join the International Criminal Court,a move that would open the way for war crimes complaints against Israel. 

  • Russia: Transgenders ‘barred’ to drive

New Russian Road Safety Regulations bar ranssexuals,transvestites and other with “sexual disorders” from driving.They quoted the WHO’s classification of “gender identity disorders” such as transsexualism and “disorders of sexual preference” including fetishism and voyeurism.

National

  • Pakistani boat with explosives intercepted

A explosive-laden pakistani boat near the maritime boundary in the Arabian Sea off the Porbandar coast was Intercepted.

  •  On 3rd Jan, PM inaugurated the 102nd Indian Science Congress at University of Mumbai.
  • Members appointed of NITI Aayog by PM Modi :

Vice-Chairman : Arvind Panagariya (Economist)
CEO : Sindhushree Khullar (former Planning Commission Secretary)
Full time members : Bibek Debroy(economist),Dr. V.K. Saraswat(former Secretary DRDO)
Ex-officio members: Rajnath Singh,Arun Jaitley,Suresh Prabhu,RadhaMohan Singh

  • Barak Obama Became 1st USA President to attend Republic Day parade of India.

Person/Place In News

  • Maithripala Sirisena on Jan,09 assumed charge as the Sri Lanka’s sixth executive President after defeating Mahindra Rajapaksha.
  • The Music Academy in its 9th edition conferred the title of “Natya Kala Acharya” to renowned Bharatnatyam artist Leela  Samson.
  • Kiran B. Vadodaria  of Sambhaav Metro was elected president of Indian Newspaper Society(INS) for 2014-15.
  • Nepalese civil servant Gyan Mani Nepal became country’s first Integrity Idol. He wins integrity award for his efforts to increase teacher attendance and boost student pass rates.
  •  Eminent cartoonist R.K. Laxman died on Jan,26.
  • PADMA AWARDEES:

Total Awards-104;Padma Vibhusan-09;Padma Bhusan-20;Padma Shri-75;Total Women Awardee-17.
Padma Vibhushan: L.K. Advani,Kottayam K. Venugopal ,Prakash Singh Badal(Public Affairs);Amitabh Bachchan,Dilip Kumar(Arts);D.Veerendra Heggade(Social Work);Malur Ramaswamy Srinivasan(Science&Tech);Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan(Trade&Industry);Jagadguru Rambhadracharya(Others).

Science & Tech.

  • ISRO working on aspects of manned mission


ISRO is working on developing technology for various aspects of a manned mission such as minimising failure rate,providing environmental & life support system for crew.

  •  A team of US scientists has found a promising new antibiotic to which resistance may not develop easily.The extract from a bacterium named Eleftheria terrae,yielded this new antibiotic,teixobactin.

Miscellaneous

  • Apple sued over storage sleight of hand

A suit filed against Apple argues that while Apple boasts about 16 GB of digital storage on lower price models of gadgets(e.g.-iPhones),about a fifth of that is eaten up by its operating software.

  • Aamir Khan starrer movie PK has crossed Rs.300 crore mark becoming highest grossing Bollywood film in India.
  • Quikr launches instant messging product for users named Quikr Nxt.Company claims that it is world’s first instant messenger by a classified company.
  • 72nd Golden Globe Awards winners :

Best Film(drama) : Boyhood
Best Film(musical or comedy) : The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Foreign Language Film : Leviathan (Russia)
Best Director : Richard Linklater

  • Odia actor Hara Patnaik died at age of 56.
  • Tiger population in India has increased at average rate of 6% per annum from 2006.It was recorded 1706(in 2010) and in 2014, it becames 2226.
  • 60th Filmfare Awards :

Best Film : Queen
Best Actor(Male) : Shahid Kapoor (Haider)
Best Actor(Female) : Kangana Ranaut (Queen)
Best Director : Vikash Bahl (Queen)
Filmfare Lifetime Award : Kamini Kaushal

Sports

  • German football club Vfb Stuttgart has appointed Indian origin Robin Dutt as its new director of sports.
  • CRICKET : Australia won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with 2-0 series truimph over India.Steven Smith,Australian Captain was adjudged Player-of-the-Series.
  • TENNIS : Poland has won its first ever Hopman Cup title,beating USA by 2-1.
  • TENNIS : Roger Federer became only third player after Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl to win 1000 matches on the men’s tour.

Economics

  • Only 10% of 22 lakh NGOs file returns

Only about 10% of the over 22 lakh NGOs ,as scanned by CBI on Supreme Court directions,files their annual income & expeniture statements with concerned authorities.

  •  PSBs to accept solar rooftap cost as part of home loan proposals

Public Sector Banks(PSBs) are to accept rooftap solar installation cost as part of home loan proposals of individual customers.The proposals may include non-solar lighting,wiring and other such fittings.

  •  SEBI proposes e-IPO norms

SEBI proposes e-IPO norms,where investors can bid for shares through internet & mobiles,while already listed PSUs will be provided a ‘fast-track’ route for share salesto meet the disinvestments targets.For already listed companies,they had proposed a fast-track route for raising of funds through FPOs(follow-on public offers) or right-offers.

  •  Center to release new series of CPI next month

Govt. will release next month a new series of Consumer Price Index(CPI) with 2012 as base year for computing the retail inflation rate.

Polity

  • CIC action likely against defiant parties>

Central Information Commission will run shortly on action to be taken against political parties that refuse to comply with the Right to Information Act.

Regional

  • Another feather in cap for Delhi Metro

C has been registered as the world’s first transport sector project under the Program of Activities(PoA).A PoA is a unique UN-mandated mechanism which allows similar carbon credit projects to be clubbed together.Thus,Delhi Metro will be the managing entity for all other metros in India.

  •  Excavation conducted by ASI at late-Harappan site of Chandayan in UP has,for the first time,revealed, the plan of house on the Ganga Yamuna doab,with its mud walls,four successive floor levels and post-holes.
  • Ford to pilot share-car project in Bengaluru

This project aims to create a model for easy vehicle sharing among small communities such as office workers,apartment dwellers etc.Ford is working with 2-year old start-up Zoomcar on the project.Zoomcar is a self-drive car rental service that allows users to rent cars by hour,day,week or month.

  •  UN Secretay General Ban Ki-moon launches Gujarat’s second canal-top 10-MW “Sardar Sarovar Nigam Ltd.”solar power project built over Narmada canal at Chandrasan village.
  • Election Commision announces schedule for Delhi Assembly polls:

Polling Day: 07 Feb   and;   Counting Day : 10 Feb

Important Dates

  • 09 Jan  : Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas
  • 12 Jan  : National Youth Day (Birthday of Swami Vivekanand)
  • 15 Jan  : Army Day
  •  23 Jan  : Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary
  •  25 Jan  : International Customs Duty Day, India Tourism Day, Indian Voter Day 
  •  26 Jan   : Republic Day
  •  30 Jan   : Martyr’s Day