GK Power Capsule – September 2014 Current Affairs (The Hindu Review)

1. Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu was sworn-in as the 42nd Chief Justice of India on 28 September 2014. He succeeded Chief Justice RM Lodha.

2. AIADMK Treasurer O Panneerselvam was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He replaced the former AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa.

3. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was sworn in as president of Afghanistan.

4. Lalitha Kumaramangalam was appointed as chairperson of National Commission for Women.

5. Union Government declared 25 September as Antyodya Diwas. Antyodya diwas was observed to mark the 98th birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.   

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6. National Hindi Divas (Hindi Day) was observed on 14 September 2014.

7. The India-US Combined Military Training Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2014 concluded at Ranikhet in Uttarakhand. 

8. Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan left all key rates unchanged citing increased risks to inflation and difficult external situation especially on the geopolitical front. The RBI also retained the growth projection for the current fiscal at 5.5 per cent. The apex bank sees FY16 growth at 6.3 per cent.
1. Bank Rate – 9 % (Unchanged)
2. Cash Reserve Ratio – 4 % (Unchanged)
3. SLR – 22 % (Unchanged)
4. Repo Rate – 8 % (Unchanged)
5. Reverse Repo Rate – 7 % (Unchanged)
6. Marginal Standing Rate – 9 % (Unchanged)

9. President Pranab Mukherjee authorized Vigilance Commissioner Rajiv to act as chief of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) until the appointment of the Central Vigilance Commissioner. 

10. The Bangladesh govt appointed Syed Muazzem Ali as the new Bangladesh High Commissioner to India.

11. Suresh Prabhu was appointed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Sherpa for the Group of 20 annual Summit 2014. The G-20 annual summit will be held in Brisbane from 15 November to 16 November 2014. Sherpa is a senior official responsible for preparing the agenda for leaders to consider during the summit.

12. India TV chairman and Editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma was appointed as the new president of the News Broadcasting Association (NBA) for the year 2014-2015.

13. Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar was appointed as the new head of the Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

14. US President Barack Obama nominated Indian American Richard Rahul Verma as the next US Ambassador to India.

15. Meghalaya Governor, Dr. Krishan Kant Paul was sworn–in as the Governor of Manipur.
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16. Chinese President Xi Jinping appointed Le Yucheng as China's new Ambassador to India.

17. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio was appointed as United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change.

18. The International Economic Association appointed Kaushik Basu as president-elect of the association beginning September 2014. However, he will continue to serve as Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of World Bank.

19. Senior IAS officer Subhash Chandra Garg was appointed as the Executive Director (ED) of World Bank.

20. Former Chief Justice of India, Palaniswamy Sathasivam was appointed as the new Governor of Kerala.

21. Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden and Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian won Right Livelihood Award.

22. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh of Australia were selected as Bradman Honouree 2014.

23. Hindi-language feature film Liar's Dice was selected for India’s official entry in the 2015 Oscars Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film category. The film is directed by Geethu Mohandas. The 87th Oscar Awards event will take place in the US on 22 February 2015.

24. Govind Mishra, the renowned Hindi author was given the Saraswati Samman in New Delhi. He was given the Samman for his novel Dhool Paudhon Par that was published in 2008. 

25. The World Health Organisation honoured Bangladesh and Timor-Leste with South East Asia Regional Award for Excellence in Public Health. 

26. Court, an Indian movie written and directed by Indian writer Chaitanya Tamhane won the Lion of the Future – Luigi De Laurenti is award for a Debut Feature at the 71st Venice Film Festival.

27. South Africa denied visa to Dalai Lama for Nobel Summit. He was scheduled to attend the 14th world summit of Nobel peace laureates in Cape Town in October 2014. 

28. The President Pranab Mukherjee was on a visit to Vietnam from 14 to 17 September 2014. 

29. Legendary US comedian and talk-show host Joan Rivers died.

30. Former Attorney General of India Goolam Essaji Vahanvati died of a heart attack in Mumbai.

31. The Forbes India magazine released The 100 Richest Indian List 2014. As per the list, the top 100 richest tycoons in India are all billionaires for the first time. According to the Forbes India List, the Top 10 Richest people of India: 1.Mukesh Ambani; 2. Dilip Shanghvi; 3. Azim Premji; 4. Pallonji Mistry; 5. Lakshmi Mittal; 6. Hinduja brothers; 7. Shiv Nadar; 8. Godrej family; 9. Kumar Birla; 10. Sunil Mittal. 

32. KPMG-FICCI study has ranked India among top three medical tourism destinations in Asia. The other two countries within Asia that receive maximum medical tourists are Thailand and Singapore. 

33. The World Bank Group approved 105 million US dollars grant for Ebola Emergency Response project to fight Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  

34. SRPF (Special Rhino Protection Force) is to be setup to protect Rhinos from poaching in Assam. It will be created in Assam with the help of Central funds.

35. UN Climate Change Summit 2014 was held at UN headquarters in New York on 23 September 2014 to put the planet on course towards reversing global warming. The purpose of the 2014 Climate Summit was to raise political momentum for a meaningful universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015.

36. The G-20 Labour and Employment Ministerial meet was held at Melbourne, Australia.

37. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott returned two stolen antique statues of Hindu deities to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One of the idols is a Nataraja, the dancing Shiva that belongs to the Chola dynasty of 11th-12th century. The other sculpture is of Ardhanariswara which represents Shiva in halffemale form. It belonged to the 10th century.

38. The revived Nalanda University started its first session with 15 students in its makeshift campus at the Buddhist pilgrim town of Rajgir, about 100 km from Patna.

39. Operation Megh Rahat – a rescue operation undertaken by Indian Army during Jammu and Kashmir floods Indian Army on 19 September 2014 completed rescue Operation Megh Rahat in Jammu and Kashmir.

40. Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah released his autobiography And then One Day: A Memoir.

41. 50 years of man in space was authoured by Garik Israelien, Brian May and David J Eicher. 

42. H Devaraj Committee reported that most of the deemed universities are not fit for being a university. It said that out of 41 C category deemed universities only 10 universities are found to be fit for being a university.

43. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley constituted H R Khan Panel to assess the amount of unclaimed deposits in the PPF accounts and Post Office saving schemes.

44. Bombay High Court set up V V Daga Committee to conduct forensic audit of NSEL and liquidate the assets of its defaulting borrowers in the over 5500 crore rupees payments scam.

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

46. Indian Air Force gifted a vintage Dakota aircraft from its museum to Bangladesh Air Force.

47. Strategic Force Command of India successfully test-fired nuclear weapons capable ballistic missile Agni-I with a range of 700 Km. The missile was launched from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island, Balasore off the Odisha Coast.
 
48. India's largest naval offshore patrol vessel INS Sumitra was commissioned into Indian Navy. 

49. Indo-Nepal joint military exercise Surya KiranVII concluded on 31 August 2014 at Pithoragarh.

50. The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced the organisation of the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo (RE-INVEST). The meet is scheduled to be held on 15 February 2015 in New Delhi. 

51. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the country's biggest-ever cleanliness drive that is expected to cost over Rs 62,000 crore, asserting that the "Swachh Bharat" mission is "beyond politics" and inspired by patriotism. The Cabinet had last month decided to merge the 'Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan', a campaign for rural sanitation with Swachh Bharat Mission.

52. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to ensure “universal coverage” under Aadhaar by June 2015. The current Aadhaar enrolment is about 68 crore, which means over 50 crore people will have to be brought under its ambit within the next eight months. Last month, the union cabinet set a target of 100 crore enrolment under Aadhaar by the end of next year.

53. Targeting a five-fold jump in Indo-US trade to USD 500 billion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama pledged to deepen economic cooperation and will set up a joint program to boost business investment.

54. US government welcomes India's offer for US industry to be the lead partner in developing smart cities in Ajmer (Rajasthan), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh).

55. US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to deepen USIndian cooperation on maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation in what amounts to a response to China's naval muscle-flexing in Asia.

56. India and the US decided to set up an interagency contact group to address liability and technical issues hindering installation of American-origin nuclear reactors in India.

57. India and the US agreed to extend their defence agreement for another 10 years which is expected to give a big boost to cooperation in this key area between the two countries.

58. The government announced setting up of four task forces to lay down the roadmap for developing four new regulatory agencies — Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA), Financial Sector Appellate Tribunal (FSAT), Financial Data Management Centre (FDMC) and Resolution Corporation (RC).

59. PM Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama issued an India and the US vision statement "Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go" promising that their "strategic partnership" would work to combat terror threats and prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. 

60. The next Parvasi diwas will be held in Ahmedabad in January 8-9 next year. The Pravasi Diwas will coincide with the 100 years of coming back of Mahatma Gandhi next year.

61. Standard & Poor’s improved its rating outlook for India to “stable” from “negative even as it retained the credit rating at “BBB-”. Among the other major rating firms, Moody’s maintainsBaa3 rating for India with stable outlook while Fitch rates the country’s creditworthiness at BBB- with a stable outlook.

62. Standard and Poor's warned that it could downgrade rating of crisis ridden Syndicate Bank if its asset quality deteriorates. It has raised the rating outlooks on 11 Indian banks and financial institutions to stable from negative.
These include, Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Bank, IDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Kotak Mahindra Prime, State Bank of India and Union Bank of India.

63. Revising India's GDP upwards by 0.3 per cent to 6.3 per cent in 2015, Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said the economy shows a new promise of turnaround after the election brought a stable government in May.

64. In a bid to make the country a manufacturing hub, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised easy an effective governance to enable ease of doing business as he launched the 'Make in India' campaign.

65. Mumbai has emerged as the least expensive city in the world to live and work in, according to a latest real estate analysis. British capital London has overtaken Hong Kong as the most expensive city to rent living and working space.
66. The Union government said the proposed Goods and Services Tax could become a reality from April 1, 2016. The finance ministry is set to introduce the Constitution (115th Amendment) Bill in the winter session.

67. India and China inked 12 pacts in a range of areas including railways and outer space as Beijing pledged investments of USD 20 billion over five years in a bid to boost economic ties and address India's concerns over trade deficit.

68. The Indian Railways will get assistance from its counterpart in China for semi-high speed corridors, which allow trains to run at a speed of up to 200 km per hour.

69. PSU oil marketers not only wiped out their “under-recovery” on diesel in the fortnight ended September 15 but also reported a marginal over-recovery of 35 paise a litre on its sales. The development, mainly due to monthly price hikes since January 2013 and also helped hugely by a relatively low global crude oil price.

70. Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority has set up a panel of experts, headed by former Sebi chief GN Bajpai, to review investment norms for National Pension System (NPS) schemes for the private sector.

71. Industrial and infrastructure project proposals will get security clearance within 12 weeks as the Home Ministry has streamlined the process by issuing a detailed guideline in this regard. 

72. To sort out the liability issue plaguing Indian nuclear reactors, the Centre has asked General Insurance Company (GIC) to work on a model that could be applied to insure such facilities in the country.

73. A new index Creative Productivity Index (CPI) ranks Japan as the most efficient among Asian countries while Myanmar, Pakistan and Cambodia are least efficient. India is at 14th rank. The Asian Development Bank said it developed the index with the Economist Intelligence Unit to give policymakers a tool to assess how best to foster innovation and creativity in Asian economies.

75. With the target of providing houses for all by 2022, a new integrated National Housing Mission will be launched soon by merging some of UPA's flagship schemes like JNNURM and Rajiv Awas Yojana.

76. Boeing has delivered the fifth maritime patrol aircraft P-8I to India as part of a deal for eight aircraft to support the Indian Navy's maritime patrol requirements.

77. Finance minister Arun Jaitley is not going to attend the G-20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs’ meeting in Cairns, Australia, on September 20 and 21, as he is recovering from a diabetes management surgery. Minister of state (finance and commerce) Nirmala Sitharaman will attend the meeting instead.

78. The Expenditure Management Commission headed by Bimal Jalan will submit its interim report by January, in time for its recommendations to be incorporated in the FY16 Budget.

79. Rating agency Moody's said prospects have brightened with growth rate expected to accelerate to 5.2 per cent in 2014 and 6.5 percent by end of 2015.

80. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has cleared sale of government's 11.36 per cent in NHPC. The government also gave a go- ahead to the much-awaited 10 per cent stake sale in Coal India Ltd, which could fetch over Rs 23,000 crore to the exchequer. Government also cleared 5 per cent disinvestment in oil major ONGC, which may fetch the exchequer about Rs 18,000 crore.

81. Seven years after the then Australian Prime Minister John Howard decided to sell uranium to India. India and Australia signed the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.

82. RBI said guarantors, group firms and management can also be classified as willful defaulters by lenders. If the guarantor refuses to comply with the demand made by the banker despite having sufficient means to make payment of the dues, such guarantor would also be treated as a wilful defaulter.

83. Indian government has decided to start negotiations for a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Peru.

84. India has signed the free trade agreement (FTA) in services and investments with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

85. Declaring the Jammu and Kashmir floods as "national level disaster", Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs 1,000 crore as special assistance for rehabilitation.

86. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced that the new capital of the state would be located "around Vijayawada".

87. India will get $35 billion from Japan over the next five years for development projects, including building of smart cities and next generation infrastructure.

88. Japan offered to provide financial, technical and operational support to India for introduction of bullet trains. The two Prime Ministers look forward to the completion of the Joint Feasibility Study on High Speed Railway system on
Ahmedabad – Mumbai route.

89. Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to turn Varanasi into a ‘smart city’ with help from Kyoto.

90. 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 Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will be implemented from September 1.

91. Ms. Mridula Sinha will be administered oath of office as the Governor of Goa.

92. Ch. Vidyasagar Rao was sworn in as Maharashtra Governor.

93. A four-member high-level committee has been set up under the former Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramanian to examine five laws administered by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change.

94. Iran unveiled a new surface-to-air Talash-3 (Effort-3, in Persian) missile and two radar systems Arash-2 and Kayhan.

95. The Department of Personnel and Training has notified amendments giving autonomy to the Lokpal search committee to shortlist and recommend names independently for selection of Chairman and members of the anti-corruption body.

96. Mumbai’s Esplanade House, once the residence of Jamsetji Tata, founder of the Tata Empire, and the Shri Sakhargad Nivasini Devi Temple Complex in Satara are among the 14 projects from 10 countries that bagged the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards that were announced in Bangkok.

97. India and Bangladesh have reached a decision on ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) and ensure zero border killings.

98. China will set up two industrial parks in India, one each in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

99. Tata Consultancy Services has reappointed N Chandrasekaran as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director for a five year term.

100. Bihar is the fastest growing State while Tamil Nadu is the worst performer, the latest data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has revealed. Bihar’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) grew 10.73 per cent during 2012-13. The second-best performing State is Madhya Pradesh, which grew at 9.89 per cent. Delhi is third with a growth rate of 9.33 per cent.

101. Kolkata-born British author Neel Mukherjee’s latest novel The Lives of Others has been shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize 2014.

102. ICICI Bank launched Instant Money Transfer. In which customer can now transfer money from their account to anyone in India with a mobile number.

103. Meghalaya Governor Krishan Kant Paul has been given additional charge of Manipur and Mizoram.

104. The European Union (EU) decided to slap new economic sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

105. PayPal will start accepting bitcoin payments through its subsidiary, Braintree, the company has announced. 

106. Haryana and Maharashtra will hold elections on October 15, with counting of votes on October 19, as per the schedule announced by the Election Commission.

107. China will be the focus country for the 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2014, scheduled to be held in Goa between November 20 and 30.

108. India and Vietnam signed seven agreements, including one for enhanced cooperation in the oil sector. ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and Vietnam Oil signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for jointly exploring two more blocks.

109. India has warmed to the idea of the BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar) corridor that could prove to be a game-changer in regional linkages among the four countries. The BCIM corridor, long promoted by China, is intended to link Kunming to Kolkata, Mandalay (Myanmar), Dhaka and Chittagong.

110. Chinese President Xi Jinping made a special announcement on opening a new route for pilgrims to Kailash-Mansarovar in the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

111. The Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) and the China Development Bank Corporation (CDB) signed various agreements with SBI, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank.

112. Public sector banks (PSBs) in India will need to raise up to $37 billion over the next 4-5 years to meet Basel III compliance norms, credit rating agency Moody’s said.

113. The government has set up a high-level committee headed by Bibek Debroy to reconfigure the Railway Board as well as to suggest steps for resource mobilisation for major projects.

114. Bamiyan has been selected to be the SAARC cultural capital for a year beginning April 2015. Dhaka will be the SAARC cultural capital in 2016-17. The year 2016-17 will also be declared the SAARC Year of Cultural Heritage.

115. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan resigned from his post; a day after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) withdrew support to his government and reduced it to a minority.

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