GK Power Capsule – July 2014 (The Hindu Review)

1. New Governors Appointments –
(i) Shri Kaptan Singh Solanki - Governor of Haryana.
(ii) Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi - Governor of West Bengal.
(iii) Shri Ram Naik - Governor of Uttar Pradesh 
(iv) Shri Balramji Dass Tandon - Governor of Chhattisgarh
(v) Shri Om Prakash Kohli - Governor of Gujarat
(vi) Shri Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya - Governor of Nagaland.

2. Lt. General Dalbir Singh Suhag took over as Chief of Army Staff. He succeeded General Bikram Singh to become the 28th Army Chief.

3. Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha took over as the Chairman of the Chief of Staff Committee.

4. Amitabh Bachchan was appointed as the horticulture ambassador of Maharashtra.

5. Subhash Sheoratan Mundra took charge as the fourth Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for three years. He was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the KC Chakrabarty. Before being appointed as Deputy Governor of RBI, S S Mundra was the Chairman and Managing Director of Bank of Baroda.



6. The Comptroller & Auditor General of India, Shashi Kant Sharma assumed office as Member of the United Nations Board of Auditors for a term of six year.

7. The Supreme Court appointed R S Cheema as Special Public Prosecutor for trial in coal blocks allocation scam.

8. Yellapragada Sudharshan Rao was appointed as Chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).

9. B Ashok took charge as Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the India’s largest oil firm.
  
10. Emma Watson, the British Actress was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women.

11. Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Rohington F Nariman were appointed as Supreme Court judges.

12. M S Mehta was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Reliance Infrastructure.

13. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Nepal. She cochaired the meeting of the IndoNepal Joint Commission. India and Nepal agreed to review and adjust the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 to reflect the current realities.

14. The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim arrived in New Delhi, India on his threeday visit.

15. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi visited Brazil to attend the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil form 15 July to 16 July 2014. BRICS group includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. One of the most important decision taken was the creation of 100 billion dollar New Development Bank with equal contribution from all the BRICS countries. Besides, the Summit also saw the creation of 100 billion dollar Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA) fund for the BRICS nation. The 7th Summit will be held in 2015 in Russian city of Ufa.

16. Deputy National Security Adviser Nehchal Sandhu resigned.

17. The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigned from his post from Verkhovna Rada (The Parliament of Ukraine) after his governing coalition collapsed.

18. Madhukar Singh, an eminent Hindi litterateur died.

19. Sushilarani Patel, the renowned classical singer of India died.

20. Nadine Gordimer, the South African Nobel Prize winner author, died.

21. Eduard Shevardnadze, the former President of Georgia died.

22. Alfredo Di Stefano, the legend of Real Madrid Football Club, died.

23. Granville Austin, the eminent scholar of the Indian Constitution died.

24. Former Haitian president Leslie Francois Manigat died.

25. Nicolas Sarkozy, the former President of France was charged with corruption and influence peddling.

26. Sujit Choudhry became the first IndianAmerican dean of the Berkeley Law School, University of California.

27. The United States named a mountain in Antarctica as Mt. Sinha to honour an eminent IndianAmerican scientist, Akhouri Sinha.

28. Business 20 (B20) Australia Summit was held in Sydney, Australia. At the Summit, the business leaders of G20 countries issued a blueprint for G20 leaders to boost economic and job growth and make global economy more resilient to deal with future shocks.

29. 7th IndiaBrazilSouth Africa (IBSA) summit will be held in New Delhi, India in 2015. Apart from this, it was also agreed to hold India Africa Forum meet in New Delhi in December 2014.

30. President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma declared a public health emergency in Sierra Leone to curb the deadly Ebola outbreak. The outbreak is now the largest recorded in world history, and has infected three African capitals of Monrovia (Liberia), Freetown (Sierra Leone) and Conakry (Guinea) with international airports.

31. The United Nation launched the 2014 revision of the World Urbanisation Prospects report. The report said that at present, 54 percent of the world's population lives in urban areas, which will have an additional 2.5 billion people in urban areas by 2050. Tokyo was ranked at first position as populous cities in 2014 with 38 million inhabitants. Delhi with 25 million population was ranked at 2nd position. Shanghai with 23 million was placed at 3rd position. Mexico City, Mumbai and Sao Paulo, each with around 21 million inhabitants in 2014 were ranked at 4th position.

32. India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2013 was released. The report said that total forest and tree cover of the country is 87.92 million hectare, which turns up to be 24.01 percent of the geographical area of India. States with maximum increase in forest cover are West Bengal, Odisha, Kerala. States with Largest forest cover are Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh. Mizoram in terms of percentage 90.38 percent had highest forest cover.

33. Heavy downpour caused landslide in Malin Village of Ambegaon Taluka, 70 Kms from Pune killing 41 peoples.

34. The World on 29 July 2014 observed the International Tiger Day.

35. World Hepatitis Day was observed across the world on 28 July 2014.

36. World Population Day was observed across the world on 11 July 2014. The theme of World Population Day 2014 was investing in Young People.

36. India on 1 July 2014 observed the National Doctors’ Day. The day is observed to honour legendary physician, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy whose birth and death anniversary falls on the same day.

37. Indian Air Force received its sixth C17 Globemaster III aircraft.

38. India's first indigenous antisubmarine warship (ASW) Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kamorta was handed over to the Indian Navy.

39. Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kuthar Warship was damaged in a mishap.

40. India successfully testfired an advanced version of the 290km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from ChandipuronSea off Odisha coast.

41. Union government decided to appoint Suresh Prabhu Committee to review the gas pricing formula. The Union Cabinet on 25 June 2014 had deferred the implementation of the C Rangarajan Committee's pricing formula till 30 September 2014 for conducting a comprehensive review of the whole issue.

42. The Union Civil Aviation Ministry on 7 July 2014 constituted an InterMinisterial Group (IMG) to examine the maximum potential of GPS Aided Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system. IMG will be headed by Ashok Lavasa.

43. One Life is Not Enough: An Autobiography written by Kunwar Natwar Singh was published on 1 August 2014.

44. The Lives of Others authored by Neel Mukherjee was shortlisted for Man Booker Prize 2014. Neel Mukherjee is a Kolkataborn British Indian writer.

45. The Vijay Mallya Story written by K Giriprakash was published by Penguin Books Limited in 2014.

46. A coffeetable book titled First Citizen: Pranab Mukherjee in Rashtrapati Bhavan was released on 2 July 2014 at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. The book’s first copy was received by Pranab Mukherjee.

47. Muzaffar Ali, a noted filmmaker of India was selected for Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award.

48. The Indian Contingent won five medals in 45th International Physics Olympiad held in Astana, Kazakhstan. India won 2 gold medals and 3 silver medals in the Olympiad.

49. Environmentalist Chandi Prasad Bhatt was awarded with the prestigious Gandhi Peace prize for 2013.

50. Shah Rukh Khan was conferred with top French civilian award Knight of the Legion of Honor. Shahrukh Khan is the second Bollywood actor after Amitabh Bachchan to be honoured with Knight of the Legion of Honour.

51. Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani education advocate won the 2014 Liberty Medal given by the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.

52. The classical music reality show of Doordarshan Naad BhedThe Mystery of Sound will be featured in Limca Book of Records. The reality show will be featured under Television Chapter in Limca Book of Records for being the first ever National level reality show on Classical Music.

53. The third edition of Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF) was held in Leh, Jammu and Kashmir.

54. The annual Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival) began on 29 June 2014 at Puri of Odisha.

55. Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi launched a web platform – MyGov.nic.in. The platform has been created to facilitate Citizen Engagement in Good Governance.

56. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development launched a Logo Design Competition for the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Campaign.

57. First Aid Post was launched at Shastri Bhawan in New Delhi. The post was launched to expand the network of health care to its beneficiaries.

58. China has invited India to participate in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

59. India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C23 successfully put five foreign satellites into orbit in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Indian Space Research Organisation, Sriharikota. ISRO launched the 714kg French earth observation satellite SPOT7, the 14kg German AISAT, the two 15kg Canadian NLS7.1 (CANX4) and NLS7.2 (CANX5) and the 7kg Singapore VELOX1. PM asked India’s space community to take up “the challenge of developing a Saarc satellite” which can be dedicated to “our neighbourhood, as a gift from India”.

60. China has for the first time formally agreed to allow Indian hydrological experts to conduct study tours in Tibet to monitor the flows on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra, according to a new agreement signed during the visit of VicePresident Hamid Ansari. The MoU on the Brahmaputra was among three agreements signed as VicePresident Hamid Ansari held talks with his counterpart Li Yuanchao. Both countries have also formalised a framework for setting up Chinadedicated infrastructure parks in India and for the firstever training exchange programme for officials of both countries, between the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie, and the China Executive Leadership Academy (CELAP) in Shanghai.

61. Kaafiron ki Namaaz , a movie by debutant director Ram Ramesh Sharma and producer Bhargav Saikai won four awards, including one for the best feature film at the third Ladakh International Film Festival.

62. The Rajasthan government declared the camel as the State animal.

63. NDA government has appointed the former Cabinet Minister, Suresh Prabhu, as the head of a highlevel panel on power revamp — “Advisory Group for Integrated Development of Power, Coal and Renewable Energy.”

64. The European Court of Human Rights upheld France’s controversial burqa ban.

65. WalMart India launched its online platform for members of Best Price Modern Wholesale stores in Hyderabad and Lucknow.

66. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the inclusion of onion and potato under the purview of stock holding limits under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

67. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the third most followed world leader on Twitter, next only to U.S. President Barack Obama and the Pope. Mr. Modi, who overtook Indonesian President S.B. Yudhoyono.

68. The government reappointed Harun Rashid Khan as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, for a further period of two years with effect from July 4.

69. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan wrote to Chief Ministers of all States (except Rajasthan) and Lt. Governors and Administrators of UTs to consider levying a VAT of at least 50 per cent on all tobacco products.

70. Universal Sompo General Insurance Company has entered into a tie with Dena Bank to offer loan secure insurance policy to the bank’s retail and SME (small and medium enterprise) customers. Universal Sompo is a joint venture between Allahabad Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Karnataka Bank, Dabur Investments and Sompo Japan Insurance Inc.

71. The Supreme Court held that fatwas issued by Muslim shariat courts (DarulQazas) do not have legal sanctity and cannot be enforced if they infringed on the fundamental rights of an individual.

72. NASA has fitted a 17tonne telescope with an effective diameter of eight feet on a modified Boeing 747 jetliner that the U.S. space agency is using as a flying observatory to study stars.

73. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has notified that the minimum broadband speed has been raised to 512 kilo bytes per second (kbps) from the earlier 256 kbps.

74. The RBI Governor has conveyed his approval to the Andhra Pradesh Government’s request for rescheduling of crop loans.

75. Railways made it clear that it would continue with the fuel adjustment component (FAC) to revise passenger fares every six months.

76. The muchawaited verdict on the dispute regarding the delimitation of the maritime boundary between India and Bangladesh was delivered, with a United Nations tribunal awarding Bangladesh 19,467 sq. km of the 25,602 sq. km sea area of the Bay of Bengal.

77. People can now book a coach or even a train on the Internet as part of Railways’ efforts to expand the scope of online booking.

78. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey 201314 in Parliament. It projects that the GDP growth this fiscal year will be in the range of 5.4 to 5.9 per cent.

79. Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayan approved the ordinance granting reservation to Maratha and Muslim communities in Maharashtra. Marathas will get a 16 per cent quota and Muslims five per cent in government jobs and educational institutions.

80. Senior Advocate Pinky Anand has been appointed Additional SolicitorGeneral.

81. Germany expelled the U.S. intelligence station chief in Berlin over alleged spying by Washington.

82. Indian engineers are toiling in the Himalayas to build the world’s tallest railway bridge which is expected to be 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower when completed by 2016. The arch shaped steel structure is being constructed over the Chenab River to link sections of the spectacular mountainous region of India's northern Jammu and Kashmir state. The bridge is expected to be 359 metres high when completed — surpassing the world’s current tallest railway bridge over the Beipanjiang River in China's Guizhou province, 275 metres high.

83. Air India formally became a member of Star Alliance, a conglomeration of 26 overseas airlines.

84. The government has imposed an additional penalty of $579 million (Rs. 3,475 crore) on Reliance Industries for producing less than the targeted natural gas from its KGD6 block in 201314.

85. Global AIDSrelated deaths and new HIV infections have fallen by over a third in a decade, raising hopes of beating the killer disease by 2030, the United Nations has said.

86. A World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dispute Panel has ruled that the imposition of Countervailing Duty (CVD) by the United States Department of Commerce (US DOC) on India’s exports of hotrolled carbon steel flat products is inconsistent with the law on subsidies.

87. India and Russia have commenced naval manoeuvres in the Sea of Japan.

88. A fivejudge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will take up for consideration a petition seeking to allow a person suffering from chronic terminal diseases and likely to go into a permanent vegetative state to refuse treatment and pave the way for their death.

89. The government cleared 19 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals worth Rs.2,326.72 crore. The proposals include those from Walt Disney Company and Reckitt Benckiser India.

90. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his brief stopover in Frankfurt on his way back from Brazil, called up German Chancellor Angela Merkel and extended greetings on her 60th birthday, congratulated Germany for the World Cup win and exchanged invitations for a bilateral summit next year.

91. RBI has set a minimum paidup capital of Rs.100 crore for those who wish to set up payments and small banks. RBI has said that the promoters will have to have an initial minimum capital of at least 40 per cent. According to the draft guidelines, existing authorised nonbank prepaid instrument issuers (PPIs), nonbanking finance companies (NBFCs), corporate BCs (business correspondents), mobile telephone companies, super market chains, companies, real sector cooperatives and public sector entities are eligible for setting up a payments bank. The guidelines allow even banks to take equity position in a payments bank as permitted under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The activities of a payments bank will be restricted to acceptance of demand deposits, and provision of payments and remittances services. A payments bank, says the RBI, will further the cause of financial inclusion by providing small savings accounts and payments and remittance services to migrant labour workforce, lowincome households, small businesses and other unorganised entities. The idea is to facilitate high volume and low value transactions in a secure and technologydriven environment. A payments bank cannot set up subsidiaries to undertake nonbanking financial activities. The payments bank, however, has to comply with the SLR (statutory liquidity ratio) and CRR (cash reserve ratio) requirements. The Payments Bank shall be required to maintain a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 15 per cent of its risk weighted assets (RWA) on a continuous basis. The RBI has made it clear that “a payments bank should ensure widespread network of access points particularly to remote areas, either through their own branch network or BCs or through network provided by others.’’

92. Small bank eligibility Resident individuals/professionals with ten years of experience in banking and finance, companies and societies are eligible to set up small banks. Existing nonbanking finance companies, microfinance institutions, and local area banks can also convert themselves into small banks after complying with the requisite legal and regulatory requirements. The area of operations of the small bank will be restricted to contiguous districts in a homogenous cluster of States/Union Territories so that the bank has the ‘local feel’ and culture. However, if considered necessary, the bank will be allowed to expand its area of operations beyond contiguous districts in one or more States with reasonable geographical proximity. “Its branch expansion plan for the initial three years will need prior approval of RBI after which, based on experience, the RBI may consider relaxing this condition,’’ the guidelines say. The small bank shall primarily undertake basic banking activities of acceptance of deposits and lending to small farmers, small businesses, micro and small industries and unorganised sector entities,’’ say the guidelines. A small bank also cannot set up subsidiaries to undertake nonbanking financial services activities, and its promoters have to ringfence their like activities. A small bank has to comply with the CRR and SLR requirements. The Payments Bank shall be required to maintain a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 15 per cent of its risk weighted assets (RWA) on a continuous basis. And RBI has fixed an upper limit for loan/investment exposure to an individual or group at 15 per cent of its capital funds. Also, a small bank has to comply with the priority sector lending targets.

93. A bill to remove legal hurdles in the appointment of former TRAI chief Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister has now become an Act with President Pranab Mukherjee giving his assent.

94. Railways has cleared decks for the upgradation of five stations through commercial development. The five stations are Chandigarh, Anand Vihar, Bijwasan (both at Delhi), Habibganj (Bhopal) and Shivaji Nagar (Pune). The Railways had formed the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) to modernise and upgrade passenger amenities at stations by raising finances through commercial development of Railway land and air space at these stations.

95. Manilabased Asian Development Bank has upgraded India’s economic growth forecast to 6.3 per cent in 201516 on hopes of speedy reform process.

96. The Indian government is planning to open up a first ever Yoga resource centre in China.

97. International pop star Shakira is officially the most popular person on Facebook with over a 100 million ‘likes’, the most for any public figure.

98. The Defence Ministry has cleared projects worth Rs. 21,000 crore, including replacement of 56 Avro transport planes, demonstrating the government’s intent to fasttrack military acquisitions with an eye on promoting private sector investment in the Defence sector.

99. Close on the heels of the recently concluded $400billion mega gas pipeline deal between Russia and China, Moscow wants to work on a pipeline to India “through the Himalayas” that could become the “biggestever energy project in history,” Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin told.

100. The recent decision of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to allow field trials of GM rice, mustard, cotton, chickpea and brinjal has been met with strong opposition from farmers’ groups and environmental activists.

101. The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for international investigators to have unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine.

102. The Civil Aviation Ministry has issued No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to six entities whose applications to start airlines in India were pending for long. These six — Air One, Premier Air, Zexus Air (all national), Turbo Megha, Air Carnival and Zav Airways (all regional) — are in addition to the TataSingapore Airlines.

103. India, the United States and Japan are embarking on joint naval manoeuvres in the Pacific Ocean as part of the Malabar series of exercises.

104. The proposed IndiaPakistan pipeline, through which India plans to supply natural gas to Pakistan, may be completed within a year. The pipeline, being put in place by the Gas Authority of India Ltd. The pipeline will start at Dahej in Gujarat, pass through Vijaipur in Madhya Pradesh, Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, Bawana in Delhi before reaching Nangal in Punjab.

105. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved of new powers for the SEBI to crack down on Ponzi schemes and illegal deposit schemes such as chit funds.

106. The Union Human Resource Development Ministry has advised all States and Union Territories (UTs), barring Jammu and Kashmir, to take appropriate action for the inclusion of “third gender’’ children among socially and educationally backward classes for admission in educational institutions under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

107. According to the 2014 UNDP Human Development Report with an HDI value of 0.586 out of a maximum possible 1, India is 135th out of 187 countries.

108. Kurdish politician Fuad Masum became the new President of Iraq after forming a new government.

109. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) signed an agreement, enabling the RBI to access the Sri Lankan government securities market, up to a maximum value of $500 million.

110. Despite India’s objections to the UN observer mission at the Line of Control – UNMOGIP, visiting UN peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous made it clear that the mission would remain in India until the UN Security Council removes its mandate, established in 1948 after the first war over Kashmir.

111. The Reserve Bank of India imposed a monetary penalty on 12 banks for violating central bank rules in the case of Deccan Chronicle Holdings. The central bank has imposed a penalty of Rs.40 lakh on ICICI Bank and Rs.15 lakh each on Axis Bank and IDBI Bank.

112. The Central Bureau of Investigation has instituted a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Google for purported violations committed while organising Mapathon 2013, a nationwide competition during which securitysensitive installations were allegedly mapped without prior permission.

113. Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Power said it had signed an initial agreement to acquire all the three hydroelectric power plants of Jaiprakash Associates Ltd.

114. Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has announced that Nirbhaya Centres or OneStop Crisis Centres (OSCC) will be set up in all districts. Each will have paramedical staff, ambulance service, a retired police officer to help lodge the FIR, counsellors, lawyers, shortstay shelter with food and clothing, and video conferencing facility.

115. NDA government has mooted a proposal to merge two financial institutions aimed at women's empowerment. Set up in the final months of UPA government, the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with an initial corpus of Rs 1,000 crores, and the Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK), which was established way back in 1993 to provide microloans to women, may be merged, the Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said.

116. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) relaxed the limit of loan that banks can sanction against the pledging of gold ornaments and jewellery. On December 30, banks had restricted the loans of up to Rs 1 lakh against pledge of gold ornaments and jewellery.

117. The Reserve Bank has allowed raising foreign investment limit under portfolio investment in private sector Kotak Mahindra Bank to 40 per cent.

118. Infrastructure bonds issued by banks will have a minimum maturity period of seven years and will not be considered part of the their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL), RBI said.

119. The government will retain a majority holding in the public sector banks (PSBs), but will allow them to raise money by selling shares to small investors. The PSBs need a capital infusion of R2.4 lakh crore by 2018 to meet the BaselIII requirements.

120. ICICI Bank in association with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launched cobranded card with host of benefits for metro riders. Unifare Card combines the benefits of a debit/credit card along with a Delhi Metro Smart Card and has the added facility of auto topup of fare balance.
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