Sep 23, 2014

GK Power Capsule – (The Hindu Review) August 2014

1. RBI has held policy rates at current levels. However RBI’s move to cut SLR by 50 bps to 22% could provide banks an additional liquidity of R44,000 crore. Current fiscal year is expected to go up to 5.5 per cent from 4.7 per cent in last financial year.
i. Bank Rate – 9 % (Unchanged)
ii. Cash Reserve Ratio – 4 % (Unchanged)
iii. Statutory Liquidity Ratio – 22 % (Decreased 0.5%)
iv. Repo Rate – 8 % (Unchanged)
v. Reverse Repo Rate – 7 % (Unchanged)
vi. Marginal Standing Rate – 9 % (Unchanged)

2. Union Government appointed chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) RN Ravi as Naga interlocutor. He was also appointment as Chief of the Joint Intelligence Committee. 

3. Turkey's ruling party named Finance Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as New Prime Minister of Turkey. 

4. Thailand coup leader, Army Chief Prayuth Chanocha was elected as The Prime Minister of Thailand.

5. Prof. V. K. Thomas was appointed as Chairman of Public Accounts Committee.

6. Rajni Razdan became the new Chairperson of the UPSC. She replaced Prof. D P Agrawal.

7. K V Chowdary appointed as new Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

8. Arvind Gupta was appointed as Deputy National Security Adviser.

9. US actor and singer Harry Belafonte was named for honorary Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar Award.

10. Renowned agriculture Scientist M.S. Swaminathan was conferred with an honorary degree of the Doctor of Science by the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad, Pakistan.

11. Muzaffar Ali, renowned filmmaker and poet, was presented the 22nd Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana award.

12. Delhi University professor Dr. Sunil Kumar received Global South Award given by International Political Science Association (IPSA).

13. Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd bagged the Core Banking System Initiative Award for the year 2014 at the Asian Banking and Finance - Retail Banking Awards 2014.

14. Shah Rukh Khan became the Ambassador of Turn Back Crime campaign of Interpol.

15. Russia granted a three-year residence permit to Edward Snowden, the Former US intelligence contractor turned whistleblower. 

16. President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards.
i. BJP leader Arun Jaitley received the award for the year 2010
ii. Congress Veteran Karan Singh received the award for the year 2011
iii. JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav received the award for the year for 2012

17. Nuri al-Maliki resigned as the Prime Minister of Iraq and accepted the candidacy of Dr. Haider alAbadi, who was nominated by the President of Iraq Fouad Masoum to form the new government.

18. Syrian Golan Heights was in news in the fifth week of August 2014 after forty-three UN Peacekeepers from Fiji were held as hostage by an armed group of rebels.

19. Indian Army discovered a tunnel in the Pallanwalla sector along the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir.

20. Bipan Chandra, famous historian, died.

21. Oscar-winning British filmmaker and actor Richard Attenborough died. Richard Attenborough was renowned for his critically-acclaimed biopic on Mahatma Gandhi.

22. UR Ananthamurthy, an eminent Kannada writer died.

23. World-renowned yoga guru B. K.S Iyengar died.

24. Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead at his home.

25. Pran Kumar Sharma, the eminent cartoonist who created the comic book character like Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu died.

26. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched a Plan Scheme of Mainstreaming Civil Defence in Disaster Risk Reduction at a function at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.

27. Survey of India the official mapping agency of the country alleged that Google continued to pollute the internet with the map results of India’s classified areas even after being warned against it.

28. The WHO called for a range of tough regulations that restricts the use of e-cigarettes. 

29. The WHO has declared Ebola as Global Health Emergency. The decision was taken after a two day emergency session held in Geneva.

30. President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma declared a public health emergency in Sierra Leone to curb the deadly Ebola outbreak.

31. Former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai authored a book titled Not Just an Accountant.  

32. A book titled Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi: An Inside Job? authored by Faraz Ahmad was released.

33. A book titled Gujarat’s success story in Water Management was released. This book was written by BJP’s National Convener of Water Management Cell, Sriram Vedire.
34. A book Strictly Personal, Manmohan and Gursharan written by Daman Singh was published. The book is the untold story of Manmohan Singh, India’s thirteenth Prime Minister, and his wife.

35. Sivaramakrishnan committee constituted by the Union Government to suggest the place to build the capital city of Andhra Pradesh submitted its report.

36.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi set up a Ramanujam committee to identify obsolete laws.

37. The Union Government decided to appoint former RBI governor Bimal Jalan as the head of the Expenditure Management Commission. He would be tasked to suggest ways for managing public finances by reducing food, fertiliser and oil subsidies to include fiscal deficit. 

38. Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan appointed a committee under the chairmanship of former home secretary RK Singh to review Parliament security.

39. The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development set up a four member committee to review the present status of Universities Grants Commission. The committee will be headed by former UGC chairman Hari Gautam.

40. Indian Air Force and Russian Federation Air Force started Indo-Russian Air Force Exercise, Avia Indra-2014 at Astrakhan region, near the Caspian Sea in Russia.

41. India’s first indigenously-built stealth AntiSubmarine Warfare INS Kamorta was commissioned in Indian Navy by Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley.

42. SEBI imposed a penalty of Rs.13 crore on Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) for non-disclosure of a key earnings ratio.

43. SBI reported a 3.3 per cent rise in its net profit at Rs.3,349 crore for the first quarter of 2014-15.

44. The Union Home Ministry has recommended the name of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand for the highest civilian honour of Bharat Ratna.

45. Salman Rushdie has received the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award.

46. BCCI has appointed former Test all-rounder Ravi Shastri Director of Cricket in the Indian team for the five-match ODI series against England.

47. T. M. Bhasin, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Bank, has been elected as the Chairman of Indian Banks’ Association.

48. President Pranab Mukherjee appointed Kalyan Singh, Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, Ch. Vidyasagar Rao and Mridula Sinha Governors of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa, respectively.

49. The Jan Dhan Yojana provides for a free zero balance bank account with a debit card, Rs 1 lakh accidental insurance policy and Rs 30,000 free medical insurance cover for those who enroll before January 26 2015. Depending on the performance of the accounts in the first six months, banks will later extend a Rs 5,000 overdraft facility, thereby turning the debit card into a kind of credit card. The debit card is being issued by RuPay of the National Payments Corporation of India. Accounts will opened with any one document including electricity/telephone bill, marriage/birth certificate for address proof and NREGA job card/ identity card of accredited institutions for identity proof. Having an Aadhaar card/number is not mandatory. These accounts can be linked to aadhaar numbers later.

50. Government plans to hike its stake in IFCI Ltd to 51 per cent by infusing Rs 60 crore in the country's oldest financial institution. At present the stake is nearly 48 per cent.

51. GDP grew by 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of the fiscal, marking the fastest growth since March 2012, according to data released by the CSO. The economy grew at 4.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of last fiscal.

52. Wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation dipped to a five-month low of 5.19 per cent in July.

53. State-owned banks are likely to hit the capital markets in November in a bid to meet Basel III capital adequacy norms, for which the requirement has been estimated at Rs.2.40 lakh crore over a five-year period.

54. Syndicate Bank Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) S.K. Jain was arrested by the CBI, along with his brother-in-law and four others, for allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs. 50 lakh.

55.  A Bill to further empower SEBI to check fraudulent investment schemes was introduced in the Lok Sabha.

56. RBI issued draft guidelines for the implementation of Bharat Bill Payment System. The RBI has invited comments from stakeholders by September 5. The objective of the BBPS is to implement an integrated bill payment system across the country and offer interoperable and accessible bill payment service to customers through a network of agents, enabling multiple payment modes and providing instant confirmation of payment.

57. Chaired by Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram G. Rajan the Sub-Committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) reviewed the domestic macro economy and potential risks facing the financial system.

58. SEBI approved the SEBI (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014, and SEBI (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014. The SEBI move will provide a framework for registration and regulation for setting up and listing of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) in
India. Once registered, the REIT will raise funds through an initial offer. Subsequent raising of funds would be through follow-on offer, rights issue and qualified institutional placement. The minimum subscription size for units of REIT will be Rs. 2 lakh.

59. On a Supreme Court directive, SEBI has issued a public notice asking those holding bonds issued by two Sahara Group companies to apply for refund by September 30.

60. RBI asked the State governments to be vigilant against unauthorised deposit mobilization activities in different parts of the country.

61. The Union Rural Development Ministry has suggested doubling the amount of financial assistance offered to villagers to build homes saying the current allocation of Rs 70,000 was "insufficient". A paper on National Gramin Awaas Mission (a rechristened version of Indira Awas Yojana) prepared by the ministry on housing said the amount should be Rs 1.5 lakh.

62. India has decided to acquire US Boeing's Chinook and Apache helicopters, an Indian defence ministry official said, in a deal valued at $2.5 billion. The deal topped the agenda during a visit by U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel in August.

63. The much-awaited minimum monthly pension of Rs 1,000 and a higher wage ceiling of Rs 15,000 for social security schemes run by retirement fund manager EPFO will be implemented from September 1.

64. Govt lifted the restriction of supply of only one subsidised cooking gas LPG cylinder to a household in a month, saying consumers can avail their quota of 12 bottles at anytime of the year.

65. India has banned Finmeccanica group of companies from bidding in contracts, a defence ministry source said. In January, India cancelled a 560-million-euro ($751 million) order with Finmeccanica’s unit Agusta Westland for 12 topend helicopters after Italian prosecutors alleged the defence group had paid bribes to Indian officials to win the contract.

66. Asian Development Bank said it will provide up to 7-9 billion loan to the country over the next three years.

67. The government notified the hike in foreign investment limit in defence production to 49% from 26% approved by the cabinet recently. It said even beyond the new limit of 49%, foreign investment would be considered on case to case basis by the Cabinet Committee on Security.

68. The government will spend Rs 20,000 crore to provide mobile connectivity in 55,000 villages, which are still untouched by wireless telephony, in the next five years.

69. Gujarat has grabbed a lion's share, 45 percent, of the country's total exports that were made from Special Economic Zones or SEZs during the year 2013-14.

70. Government has started the process for setting up four new ultra mega power projects in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha, which will together add 16,000 MW capacity to the country's power generation. UMPP is a thermal power project of at least 4,000 MW capacity, with an approximate investment of Rs 25,000 crore. So far, four UMPPs have been awarded. Of this, Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand) have been bagged by Reliance Power. Tata Power is operating the Mundra UMPP in Gujarat.

71. Government hiked the import duty on both raw and refined sugar to 25 per cent from the existing 15 per cent.

72. Delhi has been ranked a dismal 111th out of 140 world cities in a latest global live ability study, pointing to the lack of urban planning across India's polluted and chaotic cities. 

73. Gujarat followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka are the leading states attracting significant investment in India’s hotels and tourism industry.

74. India ranked fifth amongst top ten wind power producers in the world by adding 1,700 MW capacity in 2013, a report said. "China was the leading wind power producer by adding 16,100 MW capacity in 2013, followed by USA, Germany and Spain," Renewable 2014 Global Status Report said.

75. The Defence Ministry has decided against blacklisting British aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce and allowed the armed forces to do business related to essential requirements with the firm, which is facing a CBI investigation for allegedly paying commissions and employing middlemen in contracts with HAL.

75. Tata-SIA Airlines Limited announced that the much-anticipated brand name of its new airline will be Vistara or limitless in Sanskrit with aubergine and gold its colours.

76. Prime Minister Narendra Modi waived off Jammu and Kashmir’s Rs. 60-crore liability towards the Food Corporation of India and announced Central assistance of Rs. 8,000 crore for four major road projects.

77. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the setting up of a new institution to replace the Planning Commission.

78. India and Singapore decided to scale up ties in key areas of investment and trade which has witnessed a huge surge from USD 4.2 billion to about USD 19.4 billion in the last one decade. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Singapore.

79. China inaugurated its second railway line in Tibet, built at a cost of USD 2.16 billion, close to Indian border in Sikkim, enhancing mobility of its military in the remote and strategic Himalayan region.

80. NASA’s Mars rover, Opportunity, which landed on the ‘Red Planet’ in 2004, is now the record holder of the off-Earth roving distance after accruing 40 kilometres of driving, the American space agency said.

81. After the World Trade Organisation (WTO) failed to agree on a Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) or global customs rules following Indian opposition India has refused to agree on a TFA because it wants the WTO to decide simultaneously on a higher limit on stockpiling of agriculture produce to feed the poor.

82. Doordarshan programmes will soon be available across Asia, Europe, North Africa and Australia, courtesy a memorandum of understanding signed by Prasar Bharati with German public service broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

83. The two-day 18th BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) Ministerial Meeting held in New Delhi.

84. Manjul Bhargava and Subhash Khot, mathematicians of Indian origin, are among eight winners of the International Mathematical Union awards, announced in Seoul.
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