Sunday, March 1, 2015

Current Affairs - 1 March 2015 - Latest

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Sworn in as Chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir 

Peoples Democratic Party patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, was sworn as chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir on 1 March 2015 at a ceremony in the winter capital Jammu which was attended by the prime minister, Narendra Modi and senior BJP leaders.

Lawyer Kannan Ramesh appointed as Judicial Commissioner to Singapore's Supreme Court

49-year-old Indian-origin lawyer Kannan Ramesh has been appointed as a Judicial Commissioner to Singapore's Supreme Court bench for two years. Senior Counsel Kannan Ramesh will assume the position from 22 May 2015.

DAC Gives Nod to MCMV Project

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on 28 February 2015 gave approval for afresh Mine Counter Measure Vessel (MCMV) project worth over Rs 32,000 crore. MCMV project will built specialized vessels for the Indian Navy as per Make in India policy at Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in collaboration with a foreign manufacturer.

March 1 Observed as Zero Discrimination Day

March 1 is observed as Zero Discrimination Day to create awareness to people from all corners of the world, about the evil consequences of discrimination, to celebrate diversity, and to reject discrimination. The theme for 2015 Zero Discrimination Day is Open Up, Reach Out. 

Nirmal Singh Appointed J&K Deputy CM

Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra appointed BJP's Dr.Nirmal Singh as Deputy Chief Minister in the Mufti Mohmmad Sayeed government on 1 March 2015. Vohra on the advice of Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed appointed Nirmal Singh as Deputy Chief Minister.

Senior IAS Officer SN Sahai Appointed Interim Chief Secretary of Delhi 

SN Sahai, a senior IAS officer, has been appointed as 'interim' chief secretary of the Delhi government till a regular appoinment is made. Mr. Sahai, a 1986-batch Union Territory cadre officer, took charge from D.M. Spolia, who retired.

Arun K Singh To Be India's Next Ambassador To The US

Arun Kumar Singh, a 1979 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, has been named ambassador to the United States in place of S Jaishankar, who took over as foreign secretary on 28 January 2015. Arun Singh first assignment abroad was at the Indian Embassy Moscow from 1981-1982.

Government Announces New IIT, IIMs

The government has announced the setting up of an IIT in Karnataka along with IIMs in Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh. IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) will be setup in Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh.

Indian Stock Markets Best Performer after China

After China, Indian stock markets emerged as the best performer with a return of 30 percent to investors during April-December period of the current fiscal, according to Economic Survey for 2014-15.

PSU Oil Firms To Invest Rs.76,000 Crore On Project Expansion

Oil firms including Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will invest over Rs.76,565 crore in the project expansion during 2015-16, up 5 per cent over the previous fiscal. ONGC will see its capital expenditure rise to Rs.36,249.37 crore from Rs.34,813 crore in the current fiscal.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Current Affairs - 28 February 2015 - Latest

Martin Crowe 'Honoured' by ICC Hall of Fame Award

New Zealand legend and player of the 1992 cricket World Cup, Martin Crowe, was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame for his service to the game. Crowe became the third New Zealander, after Sir Richard Hadlee and Debbie Hockley, and the 79th overall to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

Durban on par to Host 2022 Commonwealth Games

The 2022 edition of Commonwealth Games (CWG) will be hosted by South African city Durban. South Africa has proposed a 12-day Games starting from July 18, birthday of late president Nelson Mandela.

Union Government blocked private email network for official work

Union Government blocked private email network like Yahoo and Gmail for official work. The aim of the move is to monitor staff's online activities. Union Government notified E-mail Policy of Government of India and Policy on use of Information Technology resources of Government of India on 18 February 2015.

Pidilite Industries appoints Bharat Puri as Managing Director

Pidilite Industries, which owns the Fevicol brand of adhesives, has gained as much as 4.5 per cent. Pidilite Industries appointed Bharat Puri as Managing Director for five years. Puri was the former head of Cadbury for South Asia.

Oxford dictionary adds words 'ride-share', 'unboxing', 'bioprinting' and 'vishing' in Word List

Recently Oxford dictionary has added words ride-share, unboxing, bioprinting and vishing related to Technology in the new list.

IRCTC partners with for online shopping

In order to provide convenient online shopping experience to customers, IRCTC has tied up with to sell various products. With this tie-up, IRCTC is going to offer its customers (especially Indian railways passengers) with seamless online shopping opportunities in addition to booking travel tickets and hotel accommodations.

Cash reward for inter-caste marriage raised in Haryana

State Government of Haryana on 27 February 2015 announced its decision to increase the cash reward under the Inter-Caste Marriage Scheme from 50000 rupees to 1 lakh rupees.  The reward was constituted under Rule 16 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Highlights of Union Budget 2015-16

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented Union Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha on 28 February 2015.

* No change in personal Income Tax.
* Health Insurance Premium deduction hiked from Rs.15,000 to Rs.25,000; for senior citizens to Rs.30,000.
* Transport allowance exemption hiked to Rs.1,600, from Rs.800 per month.
* Additional 2% surcharge on people earning over Rs.1 cr; to fetch Rs.9,000 cr.
* Rs.50,000 deduction for contribution to New Pension Scheme.
* To lower Corporate Tax to 25% over next four years.
* GAAR implementation deferred by 2 years to April 2017.
* Service Tax rate hiked to 14%, from 12.36%.
* Tax free bonds for roads, railways, irrigation projects.
* 2015-16 growth between 8-8.5%, double digit growth feasible.
* Retail inflation close to 5% by March, room for monetary policy easing.
* To achieve fiscal deficit of 3% of GDP by 2017-18.
* Fiscal Deficit target 3.9% in 2015-16, 3.5% in 2016-17.
* Revenue Deficit to be 2.8% in 2015-16.
* Current Account Deficit for 2014-15 to be below 1.3% of GDP.
* To introduce comprehensive law to deal with black money.
* Benami property transaction bill to tackle black money transaction in real estate soon.
* 100% deduction for contribution to Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga projects.
* GST to be put in place by April 1, 2016.
* Internationally competitive direct tax regime to be put in place to incentivise saving.
* Incentivise use of credit, debit cards; disincentivise cash transaction to curb black money.

28 February observed as National Science Day

Every year February 28 is celebrated as the National Science Day i.e. Rashtriya Vigyan Diwas. In 2015, the theme of the day is "Science for Nation Building". This year's theme has been chosen for the purpose of raising public appreciation on scientific issues for the development of nation.

Ericsson is suing Apple for patent infringement

Swedish mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson is suing Apple Inc for patent infringement after Apple refused Ericsson's offer to have a court determine fair licensing terms. Ericsson filed two complaints with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and seven complaints in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Current Affairs - 27 February 2015 - Latest

SEBI Imposes Rs 26-cr Penalty on DLF

SEBI has imposed the penalty of Rs. 26 crore on realty giant DLF for fraudulent and unfair trade practices. It also imposed penalty of similar amount Rs. 26 crore which has to be paid collectively by seven persons. This is the biggest ever penalty imposed by SEBI in a single case.

Kshatrapati Shivaji takes over as new CMD of SIDBI

Kshatrapati Shivaji, a 1986 batch IAS officer, has taken over as the Chairman and Managing Director of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). Shivaji has been appointed on deputation basis for a period of three years from the date of his taking over the charge.

Justice Amitava Roy sworn in as Supreme Court Judge

Justice Amitava Roy has sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court (SC). He was administered the oath of office by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) H. L. Dattu and will have a tenure of three years. Prior to this appointment he was Chief Justice of Orissa High Court.

AB de Villiers shatters record for quickest ODI 150

AB de Villiers ripped up the record books with the fastest century in ODIs, off just 31 balls to beat the previous quickest set by Corey Anderson off 36 balls little more than a year ago, as South Africa beat their own record at the Wanderers and racked up 439, four shy of the world record total of 443.

Star Trek Actor Leonard Nimoy Dies Aged 83

Actor Leonard Nimoy, who won fans worldwide for his role as Mr Spock in the "Star Trek" television and film franchise, has died at age 83. Nimoy, who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, died on 27 february 2015 at his home in Los Angeles. His granddaughter Dani announced the death on Twitter.

Zoological Society of London and Gujarat Forest Department inks MoU for Asiatic Lion Conservation

Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Gujarat Forest Department on 26 Feb 2015 have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for conservation of Asiatic lion and its habitat. It will also help to manage Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagadh.

A person can be treated as SC even after re-conversion: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on 27 February 2015 held that a person can be accorded Scheduled Caste (SC) status even on re-conversion to Hinduism. The status can be accorded if the person is accepted by people of his caste and he proves that before converting either he or his forefathers previously belonged to SC caste.

Singapore Appoints Gopinath Pillai as Special Envoy to AP

The Singapore government has appointed its Ambassador-at-large Gopinath Pillai as Special Envoy to Andhra Pradesh to render advice on various issues relating to the building of the new capital, including tourism and bringing in capital from foreign companies.

Highlights of Economic Survey 2014-15

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Economic Survey for 2014-15 in the Parliament on 27 February 2015.

* Economic growth at market prices is expected between 8.1 to 8.5% during 2015-16 (based on the new GDP calculation formula).
* Growth rate in 2014-15 is estimated at 7.5%.
* Union Government will stick to fiscal deficit target of 4.1% of GDP in 2014-15.
* Country needs to meet its medium-term fiscal deficit target of 3% of GDP.
* Current Account Deficit (CAD) to decline to about 1 per cent in 2015-16.
* Consumer inflation in 2015-16 likely to range between 5 to 5.5%.
* Inflation likely to be below RBI’s target by 0.5 to 1% point.
* Inflation shows declining trend in 2014-15.
* Decline in inflation by over 6% points since late 2013.
* Foodgrains production for 2014-15 estimated at 257.07 million tonnes; will exceed last 5-year average by 8.5 million tonnes.
* Food subsidy at Rs. 1,07,823.75 crore during 2014-15 (up to January 2015), an increase of 20% over previous year.

Royal Bank of Scotland to shut down its Banking Operations in India

Britain's largest state-owned bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has decided to shut down its banking operations in the country but will be retaining the back office. The balance sheet exposure of RBS’s India business has also almost halved in calendar year 2014.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Current Affairs - 26 February 2015 - Latest

Indian Railway Budget 2015: No fare hike, no new trains

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has presented his maiden Rail Budget today in the Parliament. This is the first full-fledged rail - budget of the NDA government. There has been no increase in the rail fares in the current budget.

Highlights of Railway Budget 2015-16

* No increase in railway passenger fares.
* Passengers can book tickets 120 days in advance instead of 60 days which was available till date
* ‘Operation 5 mins’, wherein passengers travellling unreserved can purchase a ticket in 5 minutes.
* Bio toilets and airplane-type vaccum toilets in trains.
* Surveillance cameras in select coaches and ladies compartments for women’s safety without compromising on privacy.
* The speed passenger trains across nine corridors will be increased to 160-200 km from 110 km
* Wi-fi will be available at 400 railway stations
* Facility of online booking of wheelchair for senior citizens.
* Satellite railway terminals in major cities.
* Centrally managed Rail Display Network is expected to be introduced in over 2K stations over the next 2 years.
* All india 24/7 helpline – 138 from March 2015 ; Toll free No.182 for security.
* 917 road under-bridges and over-bridges to be constructed to replace 3,438 railway crossings; at a cost of Rs. 6,581 crore.
* Four Railway Research Centres to start in four universities.
* 24 to 26 coaches in certain identified trains, more general class coaches, ladders to be replaced.
* 17000 more toilets to be replaced by bio-toilets.
* The facility of e-ticketing will help railways to go paper less.
* SMS alert services for passengers to inform them about arrival and departure of trains.
* Modern facilities for disabled citizens, senior citizens, patients through IRCTC.
* Rs 8.5 lakh crore will be invested in Railways in next 5 years.
* Cleanliness in Railways highest priority under Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat.
* Surveillance cameras on select mainline and ladies compartments.
* A1 category stations will be given the facility of Wi-Fi.
* Freight rate for cement, coal, others hiked by up to 10%
* More General class coaches to be added.
* On-board entertainment on select Shatabdi trains.
* A new department to keep stations, trains clean.
* Collision Avoidance System to be installed on select routes.

Tata Motors Ex-Chairman Ratan Tata honoured with Doctorate of Automotive Engineering

Ratan Tata was honoured on 26 February 2015 with an honorary Doctorate of Automotive Engineering by the Clemson University at the South Carolina Automotive Summit. He was awarded for his contributions to the global automotive industry.

Six Indians named to Forbes list of 50 'Power Businesswomen' in Asia

Six Indian women CEOs and managing directors have been recognized by Forbes’ annual list of Asia's Power Businesswomen, which honors 50 individuals "driving change across diverse industries."

Mumbai University Signs MOU With Indian Railway

Mumbai University has joined hands with the Indian Railways to set up a 'Rail Innovation and Technology Centre'. Calling the MoU as a landmark decision, Mumbai University Registrar M. A. Khan said that the upcoming centre will train students for expertise in Railway Engineering.

TRAI amended the MNP regulations, effective from May 3, 2015

Pan India Mobile number portability will be effective from May 3, 2015 which helps user or subscriber to retain the same mobile number on relocating to anywhere in India. TRAI amended the mobile number portability (MNP) regulations to allow users to change their service provider in any part of the country while retaining the number.

Export-Import Bank of India extends $55 million credit line to Congo

Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has, at the behest of the Indian government, extended a Line of Credit (LoC) of $55 million to the Republic of Congo government, for setting up a greenfield 600 tpd rotary kiln cement plant project in the Republic of Congo.

World's first 3D-printed jet engine invented in Australia

World's first 3D-printed jet engine, developed in Australia could pave the way for more fuel-efficient aircrafts, which are also lighter, cheaper. Researchers from Monash University, formulated this invention which opens future scope for research in lighter and more fuel-efficient jet engines.

Union Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers declared 2015 as Year of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

Union Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers on 25 February 2015 declared the year 2015 as the Year of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). It was declared by the Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers Ananth Kumar.

Zoomcar ties-up with Tata Motors Limited to expand its reach

Zoomcar, a self-drive car rental service on 25 February 2015 tied-up with automaker Tata Motors Limited to add 50 new Nano cars to its fleet. These new cars will be shared between Pune and Bengaluru.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Current Affairs - 25 February 2015 - Latest

Ravi Chaudhary Appointed As Executive Director at FAA

Indian-American Ravi Chaudhary was appointed as Executive Director for Regions and Centre Operations at Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Chaudhary will oversee aviation operations in nine different regions under this position. He will be responsible for executing a 288 million US dollars operating budget of FAA.

MP Governor, Ram Naresh Yadav resign

Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Narsh Yadav gave his resignation after his name was involved in Vyapam Scam in the state. Earlier government has asked to put his resignation as FIR was lodged against the governor in the forest guard recruitment examination.

D.K. Pandey appointed as Director General of Police of Jharkhand

DK Pandey was on 24 February 2015 appointed as the Director General of Police (DGP) of Jharkhand. He is a 1984 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. He succeeded Rajeev Kumar who was posted as the DGP (Training). Kumar is an IPS officer of 1981 batch.

Delhi Government launched mLiquorSaleCheck Mobile App to put cap on sale of illicit liquor

The mobile app will scan the unique barcode present on every liquor bottle to prove its authenticity to the consumer, apart from revealing other information like the brand name and size. It will help the authorities to better control the sale of illicit liquor in the city.

Congress leader A.B. Javarappa died

Veteran Gandhian and senior congress leader A.B. Javarappa passed away today in private hospital in Mysuru. He was 84 years old. He was the President of the Primary Land Development (PLD) bank, Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC).

Cabinet approves 15,000 MW solar projects by NTPC

The union cabinet on 25 February approved state-run power producer NTPC Ltd’s plans to set up 15,000 megawatt of grid-connected solar projects, which would be completed in three tranches. The rapidly falling cost of solar power has ignited interest in its potential in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Britain legalise creation of babies using DNA

House of Lords of the United Kingdom (UK) on 24 February 2015 passed a legislation allowing creation of babies using DNA of three people, which is also called mitochondria donation procedure. The House of Lords voted in favour of the Bill that amends the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (HFEA), 1990.

United states of America to allow work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders from May 2015

Currently, spouses of H-1B visa-holders are not eligible to work. However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to accept applications for work visas from H-1B spouses from 26 May 2015.

Building resilience for sustainable development of the sundarbans

World Bank in January 2014 released a strategy report titled Building Resilience for Sustainable Development of the Sundarbans in collaboration with the West Bengal government. The report states that the environmental damage in the Sundarbans is costing India a sum of 1290 crore rupees annually.

Union Cabinet gives approval for establishing New Development Bank & BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement

Union Cabinet on 25 February 2015 gave its approval for establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). This decision was taken in Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Current Affairs - 24 February 2015 - Latest

Government accepts recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission

14th Finance Commission, which was headed by former RBI Governor Y.V. Reddy, recommended that the share of states in the centre's tax revenue be increased from 32 percent to 42 percent. The recommendation is for the five-year period 2015-16 to 2019-20. 

Chris Gayle Hits First-Ever World Cup Double Hundred

West Indies cricketer, Chris Gayle  today creates a history in World Cup by smashing fastest double century against Zimbabwe at Manuka Oval, Canberra. He became the first batsman to hit double century in the history of Cricket World Cup.

R.K. Pachauri Resigns as IPCC Chief

Dr Rajendra K Pachauri has stepped down as Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with effect from 24 February. Pachauri is suspected to be involved in a sexual harassment case with a woman employee of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the environmental-think tank that he heads as its Director General.

Ex-Pakistan Chief Justice Bhagwandas Died

On 23rd February 2015, Rana Bhagwandas, the former acting Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan died in Karachi, Pakistan at the age of 72. He was the first Hindu and second non-Muslim to head the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Alvin Robert Cornelius (a Christian) was the first non-Muslim Chief Justice.

TRAI issued Regulation on domestic carriage charges

The telecom Regulatory Authority of India on 24 February 2015 issued the regulation on Telecommunication interconnection usage charges. The regulation prescribed a revised domestic carriage charges. The regulation will particularly benefit users of fixed-line phones.

SBI inked an agreement with Indian Army on Defence Salary Package

The agreement is tailor-made to suit the requirements of serving soldiers, pensioners and families. Earlier SBi has signed an agreement with Indian Army in 2011, which was valid for a three years.

Ranchi Rays lifted Hero Hockey India League trophy 2015

Ranchi Rays emerged the Champions of Hero Hockey India League 2015. Ranchi Rays defeated Jaypee Punjab Warriors by 3-2 in the final at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi. Ranchi Rays, which was earlier called Ranchi Rhinos was also lifted the inaugural title in 2013.

Hitachi to buy Italian railways firms for over $2 billion

Hitachi Limited on 23 February 2015 announced to acquire Finmeccanica Rail Businesses for 2 billion US dollar. An Italy based company Finmeccanica has agreed to sold its rail car unit AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS to the vast Japanese conglomerate.  It holds a roughly 40 percent stake in Ansaldo STS.

Mysuru Royal family adopts Yaduveer Gopal Raj Urs as new heir

Yaduveer Gopal Raj Urs was formally adopted as the heir to the Mysuru royal family in Mysuru. Yaduveer is the grandson of Princess Gayatri Devi, the eldest daughter of the last Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar.

National Green Tribunal banned plying of Vintage cars on Delhi roads

National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 23 February 2015 directed that no Vintage cars will be permitted to ply on the roads of Delhi. This order was issued by bench of NGT headed by Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Current Affairs - 23 February 2015 - Latest

Tamil director R.C Sakthi dies at 75

Popular Tamil director R.C Sakthi, who launched Kamal Haasan in a lead role, breathed his last at a private hospital in Chennai on 23 February 2015. He was 75. He began his directorial career as an assistant director for the Tamil films Porsilai (1969) and Annai Velankanni (1970).

Union Ministry of Youth Affairs revised the National Sports Awards Schemes

The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on 23 February 2015 revised the National Sports Awards Schemes. The ministry revamped the Schemes of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award and Dronacharya Awards.

AAP's Ram Niwas Goyal appointed Delhi Assembly Speaker

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Ram Niwas Goel was unanimously elected Speaker of the Delhi Assembly on the first day of the two-day session of the House. It was announced by pro-tem Speaker Fateh Singh who presided the session of assembly for electing Speaker and Deputy Speaker of House.

Tata Power signs MoU with Siberian Coal Energy Company

India's second largest private power producer Tata Power has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russia's largest coal producer Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK).

Takahiro Hachigo appointed as President and CEO of Honda Motor Co Limited

Takahiro Hachigo was on 23 February 2015 appointed as the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. Limited with effect from June 2015.

Adya Sharma, a cultural icon and an eminent pioneer of mobile theatre in Assam passes away

Adya Sharma a cultural icon and an eminent pioneer of mobile theatre in Assam passed away on February 22, 2015 at an age of 86. He breathed his last in a private hospital situated in Nalbari town.

Anirban Lahiri Wins Second European Tour Title At The Indian Open

Local favourite Anirban Lahiri won a playoff against compatriot SSP Chawrasia to claim his second European Tour title in two weeks at the Indian Open on February 22, 2015. Chawrasia slumped to a 76 and watched helplessly as Lahiri denied him his third European Tour title by rolling in a 15-foot birdie to clinch the playoff.

Somdev Devvarman retains title with win over Yuki Bhambri

Somdev Devvarman on 22 February 2015 retained the Delhi Open title of tennis. The Delhi Open was held in New Delhi. He won the title by defeating Yuki Bhambri by 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. With this, he won the 100000 US dollar ATP Challenger Delhi Open title for second time in a row.

Centre for Science and Environment released a report titled Heat on Power

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on 22 February 2015 released a report titled Heat on Power. The report claims that Indian coal-based thermal power plants are one of the most inefficient in the world.

10th Aero India show concluded in Bengaluru

10th Aero India show concluded on 22 February 2015 at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The five-day long show had started on 18 February 2015 and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.