1. The Lok Sabha passed the food security bill yesterday, just eight months ahead of the 2014 election which was termed as a game-changer by UPA-II. As per the deal, It provides 5kg of rice, wheat or coarse grain per person, per month and it proposes to cover 67% of India’s population or 82 crore people. The cost will be approximately Rs 1.3 lakh crore for the Indian Government.
2. The Rajya Sabha has passed The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 by voice vote yesterday. The bill seeks to amend the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and the Special Marriages Act, 1954 which provides for irretrievable breakdown on marriage as a ground for divorce as well as grants women the right to a share in the property of their husbands. Also a provision has been made to restrict the grant of decree of divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage under the new bill, if the court is satisfied that adequate provision for the maintenance of children born out of the marriage has not been made consistently with the financial capacities of the parents.
3. L C Goyal (IAS – Kerala, 1979) has been appointed as the new Secretary in the ministry of Rural Development. Goyal is currently serving as Special Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat. He will succeed Subrahmanyam Vijay Kumar (IAS – Himachal Pradesh, 1976), who will superannuate on the last day of September.
4. Famous Kannada actress Ramya, who was elected to Lok Sabha from Mandya constituency in Karnataka last week, will be the first female actor from the state to enter parliament as Loksabha MP.Contesting for Indian National Congress party, she defeated C. S. Puttaraju of Janata Dal-Secular in the bypoll held on 21st August this year.
5. Bollywood actor and UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) Goodwill Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan has joined the UN and its humanitarian partners to promote The World Needs More global campaign last week. Besides Amitabh Bachchan, international celebrities who have supported the campaign includes Beyonce, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Geena Davis, Trey Songz and Christina Applegate.
6. Indian rupee dropped by record 194 paise today during intraday trading due to string USD demand of the Oil importing companies. This is Indian Rupee’s biggest ever single-day fall; it touched a lifetime closing low of 66.24 against the dollar.
7. India’s biggest oil explorer at foreign lands, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) has agreed to acquire 10% stake in an offshore gas field in Mozambique from US firm Anadarko Petroleum for USD 2.6 billion. OVL has been keen to secure supplies in an attempt to meet growing domestic demand for fuel and securer energy security for India.
8. India’s IT major Wipro will enter the National Stock Exchange’s 50-share Nifty index with effect from September 27, while Reliance Infrastructure would exit the index. The decision was announced by the India Index Services & Products Ltd today which manages the various indices at the exchange. Earlier, Wipro was dropped from the CNX Nifty index from April 1 as its non-IT businesses were hived off into a separate unit.
9. National Sports Day will be celebrated across India on Thursday (29th August) to commemorate the birth anniversary of Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand. Government has approved the programme to spread sports to every corner of the country by creating a nationwide awareness about the fruitful side of sports.
10. Indian tennis player Sania Mirza won the women’s doubles trophy at the WTA New Haven Open along with her partner Jie Zheng of China last week. Third seeded Sania and Jie defeated the second-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues and Katarina Srebotnik by 6-3, 6-4 in the final match to win the trophy.