Current Affairs – 15 October 2015

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·       After last week, PM has again criticized the incident of protesting against the Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai. Making a reference to the Dari killing, he termed it unfortunate and undesirable

·       In a bid to push the entrepreneurial ventures in India, the government has decided to go ahead with the “Startup India, Stand up India” initiative. The plan is backed by tax breaks, incubation centres, and easier approval process for startup companies among others

·       In a relief to the social activist Teesta Setalvad, the Supreme Court has extended her interim bail plea till December 8 and asked al;l the state agencies not to arrest her or her husband, Javed Anand

·       Vodafone Global CEO Vittorio Colao was in for some tough talks when he met the government functionaries today. The FM made no effort to hide his displeasure over the call drop cases in the country and asked the telecom czar address these issues at the earliest

·       Showing a dismal record for our state High Courts, it has been found that around 45 lakh cases are pending with 24 High Courts in the country with an average of almost 2 lakh cases per court

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Banking and Finance

·         India has climbed 16 places in a single year in the Global Competitiveness Index to 55th position this year from 71st posistin last year. The index is prepared by World Economic Forum and is topped by Switzerland for yet another year on a row

·         In a boost to the investment portfolio of the country, India has been found the most attractive destination for investment globally. The survey has been done by EY, in which 505 international decision-makers were interviewed. As the reason for this, political stability, macroeconomic conditions, FDI Policy, ease of doing business are shown in the survey

·         Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been chosen as the “Finance Minister of the Year” by the Emerging Market Magazine for the year 2014-15. Atiur Rahaman, the governor of the Central Bank of Bangladesh, has been chosen as the Governor of the Year in Asia in 2015

·         After the Amtek Auto fiasco, lenders have become more cautious in terms of investments in debt schemes. As a result, SBI has recently sent a questionnaire to the mutual fund companies regarding their investment portfolio. The exposure of the bank to debt schemes is about 8000-10000 crores

·         N Venugopala rao, a veteran in project financing, project management, has been appointed the new CEO of Reliance Power after serving as the CEO of the Sasan Power Projects Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Power

·         Wholesale Price Index (WPI) fell for the 11th month in a row in September as the data show a decline of 4.54% in the wholesale prices in the last month

·         United Spirits, formerly owned by Vijay Mallya, is entering into the regional movie production business to promote Bagpiper brand. It has recently signed a deal with Eros International to co-produce a Marathi Movie

·         Accepting the demands of the trade unions, the labour ministry is all set to amend the Industrial Relations Code Bill and it is going to allow a joint council for bargaining in case there is a dispute between the management and the workers

·         Carmaker Nissan has recently signed a 8-year contract with the International Cricket Council to strengthen the ties between the company and ICC. This is a step towards the company’s effort to enter the territory of gentleman’s game. The agreement which is valid till 2023, will sponsor international events like ICC World Cup, ICC World T20, Champions Trophy, Women’s World Cup etc

·       Even after the rate cut by RBI, the banks have failed to utilize it and the credit growth has only increased 9.45% as of October 2 this year compared to data from the same period last year. Deposit growth increased at a pace of 11.2% in the same period

·       Finance minister Arun Jaitley is all set to launch the first Arab India Economic Forum next month in order to showcase the potential in the country and also to understand the ways in which investor problems can be sorted out

·       Claiming tax refund for serious ailments like thalassaemia, cancer, AIDS etc under Section 80DDB of the IT Act 1961, is going to be easier with the Income tax department doing away with the requirement of obtaining a certificate from a government hospital to claim the refund from the tax authorities

·       In a major relief to the highway sector in India, the government has decided to provide one-time financial assistance to developers where half the construction work has already been done till November 2014

·       In a decision to boost the fertilizer companies, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has decided to release 7000 crore towards realization of outstanding urea subsidy bills of the fertilizer companies for the year 2014-15

·       Apple may have to cough up a fine to the tune of $860 million dollar after it was proved that the company used technology owned by University of Wisconsin’s licensing arm without permission

GK and World Affairs

·         In a setback to the efforts of the government, Pakistan has decided to abstain from joining the International Fleet Review early next year in India. Even China has agreed but Pakistan is adamant not to be a part of it

·         Vikalp, a scheme for providing the passengers seats in the next train against their waitlisted tickets, is going to come into effect from November 1

·         According to the latest reports, at least 16 Indian expats have joined the dreaded ISIS in West Asia. The information is based on inputs from R&AW and its counterparts in other countries

·         After a request from the Union HRD ministry, University Grants Commission is in the process of publishing “An Anthology of Thoughts on Education” very soon. It will publish the thoughts of personalities like Ashutosh Mukherjee, K M Munshi, JC Bose, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Lokmanya Tilak etc

·         As an aftermath of the blast in the boat in Maldives last month, the President has removed the defense minister of the country, Moosa Ali Jaleel from his post

·         In  an effort to encourage fair trade practices, the Delhi Government has launched “Bill Banvao, Inaam Pao” scheme under which the purchaser can win a cash reward of upto a maximum limit of Rs 50000/-. The scheme is applicable for purchases made from a registered dealer in Delhi and the minimum invoice should be 100 rupees to be eligible for the award

·         Despite India raising concerns regarding the disruption of flow of water towards the Indian side from the river, China has commissioned Zam Hydropower Electric Station on Brahmaputra River in Tibet.  This is the largest of its kind and is expected to generate 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity

·         The Union Women and Child Development Ministry has revised the guidelines for adoption of children in the country. The new IT-enabled adoption system CARINGS offer a transparent way of dealing with adoption procedures

·         According to the announcement made by PM Narendra Modi regarding declassification of Netaji Files, the government will start decalssify them from 23rd January 2016

Sports and Technology

·       Real Madrid star Christiano Ronaldo won his fourth golden boot for being the top scorer in the Eurpoe with 48 goals from 35 matches. Lionel Messi came a close second with 43 goals

·         After 3 losses in a row, India has finally found a remedy for the mighty South Africans as the Men in Blue defeated SA by 22 runs in the second ODI in Holkar Stadium in MP.

·         After making his comeback to the national test squad, former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik showed his class by scoring 245 in the first innings of the test against England in Abu Dhabi

·         Delhi Dyanamos handed Pune City FC their first defeat in the Indian Super League 2015, when they beat the Pune team 2-1

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