1. Indian author Amitav Ghosh has been shortlisted among a group of award-winning writers and poets to make the longlist of Warwick Prize for writing today which carries 25,000 pounds as cash rewards. The prize run by Britain’s University of Warwick is an international, cross-disciplinary award open to substantial pieces of writing in the English language in any genre or form.
Kolkata-born Ghosh has been nominated for River of Smoke, alongside other fiction writers such as Australian Booker-prize winner Thomas Keneally for The Daughters of Mars and Israeli writer Etgar Keret for Suddenly, a Knock on the Door.
2. India has not only retained No 1 rank in the ICC ODI Championship Table published by ICC on 17th June and but it has also increased its lead over other teams due to its unbeaten performance in the current ICC Champions league. India now have 121 rating (4986 points) compared to second placed England with 113 rating (4416 points) and third placed Australia with also has 113 rating (4406 points) as per the latest ranking table.
3. The Cycling Coach of Indian national team, Ruma Chatterjee died in a road accident near Nalgadha village on Noida Expressway in Uttar Pradesh yesterday. She died while training 20 junior team members on the expressway when she was hit by a speeding car from behind. She was attending the national camp ahead of the Indian team’s visit to International Cycling Union (UCI) Academy, Switzerland for training.
Ruma was a former International Cyclist from India and she represented India three times in international competitions. She has also served as coach of the national team in Asian Games, Asian Championships and Commonwealth Games.
1. Famous English professional golfer Justin Rose won the US Open after overhauling 54-hole leader Phil Mickelson in the final round on Sunday. Rose closed with a level-par 70 in difficult scoring conditions at Merion Golf Club, posting a one-over total of 281 to become the first Englishman to win the US Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970.
GK Quiz – 19 June 2013
|3871||Who has been Re-elected as the President of Italy in April 2013?|
|A) Mario Monti|
|B) Giorgio Napolitano|
|C) Enrico Letta|
|D) Giuliano Amato|
|3872||Which Indian-Origin Economist Won John Bates Clark Medal For 2013 announced in April 2013?|
|A) Jonathan Levin|
|B) Amy Finkelstein|
|C) Raj Chetty|
|D) Esther Duflo Read more|
1. A government panel has proposed to raise foreign investment limits in sectors like defence, multi-brand retail and telecommunications etc. today to increase investment in the country in order to tackle problem of rising Current Account Deficit. The committee was set up by Finance Minister P Chidambaram to review the sectoral caps, which has suggested that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) ceiling in the defence sector be raised to 49% under the government approval route from 26% at present and FDI cap for multi brand retail will be raised to 74% under the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) route from 51%.
2. India’s Telecom Regulator TRAI has asked telecom operators to reduce national roaming rates from next month and with this national roaming is set to get cheaper from next month. TRAI has directed telecom operators to cut call charges by up to 57%, while also capping the SMS tariff. However it has ruled out free national roaming, saying the move will result in local calls getting more expensive as a majority of mobile users will end up cross-subsidizing a small proportion of the user base that uses the roaming facility.
3. India has signed loan agreement of USD 255 Million with World Bank today for National AIDS Control Project-IV. The agreement was signed by the Joint Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs Nilaya Mitash and Mr. Onno Ruhl, Country Director of World Bank in New Delhi. The Objective of the project is to increase safe behaviors among high risk groups in order to contribute to India’s national goal of reversal of the HIV epidemic by 2017.
1. China has developed the world’s fastest super computer as the Tianhe-2 super computer developed by its National University of Defense Technology works double the speed of the U.S. Energy Department’s Titan machine. The achievement proves China’s rise as a science and technology powerhouse. The semi-annual TOP 500 listing of the world’s fastest supercomputers released yesterday says the Tianhe-2 super computer is capable of sustained computing of 33.86 petaflops per second. That’s the equivalent of 33,860 trillion calculations per second. The U.S. Energy Department’s Titan machine had achieved 17.59 petaflops per second earlier.
GK Quiz – 18 June 2013
|3866||Who has been elected As the President of Editors Guild of India in April 2013?|
|A) Aroon Purie|
|B) T.N. Ninan|
|C) Alok Mehta|
|D) Narasimhan Ravi|
|3867||Who has been recently awarded with Pandit Hridyanath Lifetime Achievement Award in April 2013?|
|A) Asha Bhosle|
|B) Lata Mangeshkar|
|C) Usha Utthup|
|D) Usha Mangeshkar Read more|
The Reserve Bank of India has kept the key interest rates unchanged today during its monetary policy review due to rising food inflation, rupee depreciation and uncertainty over foreign fund inflows. The repo rate has been kept unchanged at 7.25% while reverse repo rate kept unchanged at 6.25% while the cash reserve ratio retained at 4%. SLR and bank rates have been kept unchanged at 23% and 8.25% respectively. The RBI had reduced key policy rate (repo rate) by 0.75% during the last three monetary policy announcements.
The main reasons behind this decision are rising food inflation, depreciated rupee and rising current account deficit. Though the headline inflation has come down significantly, food inflation is still at near double digit level. Indian Rupee has declined by 5.8% January 1 and touched a record low of 58.96 to a dollar last week. Depreciating rupee and rising Current account deficit are the biggest concerns for RBI now.
From economy point of view, RBI has said that global economic activity has slowed and risks remain elevated. On the domestic front, macroeconomic conditions remain weak, hurt by infrastructure bottlenecks, supply constraints, lackluster domestic demand and subdued investment sentiment. RBI has projected the GDP growth for 2013-14 at 5.7% compared to previous year GDP growth of 5%.
After growing for four consecutive months, India’s exports dropped by 1.1% in May compared to same month last year to USD 24.5 billion. Exports in May 2012 stood at USD 24.77 billion. At the same time, Imports jumped by 6.99% in May compared to same month last year to USD 44.65 billion due to rising imports of costly metals. Trade deficit stood jumped to USD 20.1 billion in May compared to USD 17.8 billion in April.
Gold and silver imports, during the month under review, grew by 89% to USD 8.39 billion in spite of government efforts to curb bullion imports. Rising trade deficit and current account deficit has become the biggest concern for the Indian government now.
Last month, the RBI had imposed curbs on import of the yellow metal by banks. Besides, it has also put restrictions on banks and NBFCs for providing loans against gold coins as well as units of gold ETFs. RBI and government have taken all these measures to reduce trade deficit, but those are yet to show any desirable result.
1. The Union Council of Ministers was expanded today with the induction of four cabinet ministers and four Ministers of State (MOS). The ministers who were inducted as Cabinet Ministers are Sisram Ola, Oscar Fernandes, Girija Vyas and Dr K S Rao. Mr. Fernandes has been given the charge of Road and Highways Ministry, Girija Vyas got Housing and Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Sis Ram Ola Labour and Employment Ministry and K S Rao, Textiles Ministry. Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge will be the new Minister for Railways.
Manikrao Gavit has been made Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Santosh Chowdhury, MoS Health and Family Welfare, J D Seelam,MoS Finance and E M S Natchiappan Commerce and Industry. The newly inducted Ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Pranab Mukherjee at a function in Rashtrpati Bhawan this evening.
2. Within a day of getting Ratan Tata as chief adviser of AirAsia India, Air Asia India has appointed former TCS CEO S. Ramadorai as its Chairman. With this it ends months-long suspense to appoint the entire top management team including chief adviser, Chairman and CEO.
3. Former Research and Analysis Wing head Bahukutumbi Raman passed away today after a long battle with cancer. He was 77. The former intelligence expert was Director of Institute of Topical Studies, Chennai. Raman was previously Additional Secretary in the Union Cabinet. Raman was also a regular columnist of Business line. He has written a memoir on his RAW days titled ‘Kaoboys of R&AW – Down memory lane.’
1. ‘World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought’ is observed today (17th June) across the world. The World Day to Combat Desertification has been observed since 1995 to promote public awareness relating to international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought.
This year’s slogan, “Don’t let our future dry up” calls for everyone to take action to promote preparedness and resilience to water scarcity, desertification and drought. The theme of the 2013 World Day to Combat Desertification is drought and water scarcity. The goal of the 2013 World Day to Combat Desertification is to create awareness about the risks of drought and water scarcity in the dry lands and beyond, calling attention to the importance of sustaining healthy soils as part of post Rio+20 agenda, as well as the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
2. The novel “The Garden of Evening Mists” written by the Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng won the Walter Scott Prize 2013. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng is a novel about traumatic aftermath of the Japanese occupation of Malaya. It also covers the post-war insurgency against British rule. This novel had also won the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize announced in March 2013 and with this he became the first Malaysian author to win the most prestigious literary prize of Asia for the same.
3. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic maintained first place in the men’s tennis rankings issued today by the ATP. Djokovic has 11,830 points. Murray has 8,560 points and Federer has 7,740 points. ATP top 5 as of June 17 1st – Novak Djokovic, Serbia, 11,830 points 2nd – Andy Murray, Britain, 8,560 3rd – Roger Federer, Switzerland, 7,740 4th – David Ferrer, Spain, 7,220 5th – Rafael Nadal, Spain, 6,895