April 2014 Current Affairs List

1-April


Current Affairs Global - 1 April 2014


1. France-s president Francois Hollande has named Socialist leader Manuel Valls as the new prime minister of the country. This move came after his party suffered big setback in the municipal elections held in March. Manuel Valls, who is France-s most popular Socialist leader, is considered to be part of the right-wing side of the party and is also relatively popular with French conservatives.


Current Affairs India - 1 April 2014


1. The Election Commission has given its approval to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for "in-principle" grant of licences for setting up new banks. Earlier RBI wanted to issue new bank licenses in March but it was not possible as the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came into force on 5th March when Election Commission announced the schedule of the upcoming General Election.


Now with this -in-principle- approval, RBI now can go ahead and issue new Bank licenses for which it has received more than  20 applications from different organizations including Reliance Capital, India Post, IFCI etc.


2. The search panel headed by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan is believed to be shortlisted S S Mundra as the new RBI Deputy Governor in place of K C Chakrabarty who had decided to leave before completing his full term. S S Mundra is now the chief of Bank of Baroda and he has been heading Bank of Baroda since January last year.


3. US ambassador to India Nancy Powell has resigned and will return to the United States, as per an embassy statement published yesterday. This move came after a diplomatic row related to Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade that strained relations between these two nations.


4. The Asian Development Bank has lowered India-s growth projection for the next financial year 2014-15 to 5.5% from its earlier estimate of 5.7%. It has also projected GDP growth at 4.9% for the current financial year 2013-14, as per its Asian Development Index, 2014 published yesterday.


5. India-s manufacturing sector growth slowed in March as the HSBC compiled Purchasing Manager Index (PMI), an important parameter to judge the performance of the sector, dropped marginally to 51.3 in March from 52.5 in February. Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth for the same sector.


6. Noel Naval Tata, brother-in-law of Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry, has taken over as the chairman of retail firm Trent. He will succeed FK Kavarana who retired from the Tata group companies this month. Noel Tata was vice chairman of the company and played the most important role in getting UK retail giant Tesco in India as a Joint venture partner.


7. Mining giant Vedanta Resources group firm Sesa Sterlite has appointed non-executive chairman Anil Agarwal as its new chairman emeritus with an additional role of chief mentor. His brother Navin Agarwal will be the new chairman of the board.


At the same time, Tom Albanese, a former head of multinational mining company Rio Tinto, will be new CEO of the company and a member of the board. He will replace MS Mehta who retired on March 31.


RBI kept key rates unchanged today; Projected 5.5% GDP growth for FY 14-15


The Reserve Bank of India has kept the key rates unchanged during its monetary policy review announcement today due to lower inflation numbers. The repo rate has been kept unchanged at 8% and reverse repo rate at 7%. The move was as per the expectations of most bankers and economists. The RBI has kept cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4.0% and SLR at 23%.


The RBI also reduced the overnight call money rate to 0.25% and increased the 7-day and 14-day repo limits to 0.75% from 0.50% in order to improve liquidity condition of the money market.


At the same time, RBI has projected GDP growth for the next financial year 2014-15 at 5.5% with retail inflation target of 8% by January 2015.


 


2-April


Current Affairs Global - 2 April 2014


1. The seventh World Autism Awareness Day 2014 was celebrated today (2nd April) across the world to raise awareness about autism. The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives.


Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life. The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high and it has a tremendous impact on children, their families, communities and societies.


2. Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Serik Akhmetov has resigned today. His resignation has been accepted by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. He has been Prime Minister of Kazakhstan since 2012


Current Affairs India - 2 April 2014


1. The Election Commission has roped in popular Bollywood actor Aamir Khan as its national icon for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. It has also recorded video and audio campaigns showing him urging people to vote ethically. With this, Amir joins the list of former President A P J Abdul Kalam, M S Dhoni, Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom who all have been roped in by Election Commission to raise awareness about voting ethically.


2. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted -in-principle- approvals to IDFC Ltd and Bandhan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd today to start new banks. The approval will be valid for 18 months within which they have to start banking services.


These two firms were recommended among more than 20 applications by the advisory committee set by the Reserve Bank of India and they will have to comply with rules stipulated by the RBI. The RBI also said that it will also consider the application of India Post but only after having proper consultation with the government.


3. The Sports Ministry has derecognized the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation, IABF with immediate effect after the sports body refused to comply with its instructions. The IABF had already been terminated by its international parent body, International Boxing Association, AIBA.


The Ministry had asked the IABF to hold fresh elections and make its constitution compliant with the National Sports Code which IABF failed to comply with.


4. India-s world champion chess player Viswanathan Anand ranked World number 3 in the rating list released by FIDE yesterday. Anand with the Victory at the Candidates Tournament held in Russia in March 2014 has moved five places ahead from 8 to 3 with 2785 Elo points. The No 1 rank is held by Norway-s Magnus Carlsen with Elo points 2881 followed by America-s Levon Aronian with Elo Points 2812 at 2md rank.


5. The Indian cricket team secured the No 1 rank in the ICC T20I rankings issued today after its strong unbeaten run in the World Twenty20 Championships so far. India gained seven ratings points after remaining unbeaten in their group engagements in Bangladesh to finish on 130, bringing them on par with Sri Lanka.


In the other change in the table, West Indies and Australia have swapped positions. West Indies are now ranked fifth with a gain of five ratings points and are now on 115 while Australia was moved to sixth place with 110 points.


 


3-April


Current Affairs India - 3 April 2014


1. ISRO is all set to send its second satellite, named as IRNSS 1B, for GPS from Sriharikota tomorrow, which would help put in place the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System. This will help ISRO build a regional navigational system equivalent to Global Positioning System of the US.


The second of the seven planned satellites for the system, IRNSS 1B, would be launched at 5.14 p.m. from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. IRNSS 1B has a mission life of 10 years from the date of launch.


2. Union Textiles Minister Kavuru Sambasiva Rao submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today over the issue of division of Andhra Pradesh. He represents Eluru constituency of Andhra Pradesh in the Lok Sabha. Elected to the Lower House for the first time in 1984, he is serving his fifth term.


3. The Reserve Bank of India adopted the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as the key measure of Inflation on 1st April while announcing its monetary policy for 2014-15. Urjit R Patel Committee has recommended the same to revise and strengthen the Monetary Policy Framework as CPI properly measures the inflation and reflects correct cost of living. As of now, RBI was using Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for its monetary policy reviews.


 


4-April


Current Affairs Global - 4 April 2014


1. New Zealand was ranked at No1 position among the 132 countries on the list of the Social Progress Index 2014 compiled by US-based non-profit group Social Progress Imperative. New Zealand was followed by Switzerland, Iceland and Netherlands. Last year the first Social Progress Index ranked 50 countries while its ranking includes 132 countries around the world this year.


2. The US economy added 192,000 new jobs in March which is same as expected by the economist. US unemployment rate stood steady at 6.7% in March.


3. The European Central Bank (ECB) has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at record low of 0.25% in spite of inflation falling to 5-year low in March. The ECB has kept the interest rate unchanged since November 2013.


Current Affairs India - 4 April 2014


1. India has been ranked at 102nd among the 132 countries on the list of the Social Progress Index 2014 compiled by US-based non-profit group Social Progress Imperative. This is a measure of human wellbeing that goes beyond traditional economic measures such as GDP or per capita income. India received low scores on shelter (39.77) in the basic human needs dimension, access to information (39.87) in the foundations of wellbeing dimensions.


Among the BRICS countries only India ranked lower than the 100th position; Brazil secured the highest rank of 46th and China secured 90th position.


2. India has successfully launched the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C24 carrying regional navigational satellite IRNSS 1B today from the Sriharikota space station. The launch vehicle injected the second Indian Regional navigational satellite after four stages, 19 minutes after take-off from Sriharikota. This is the 25th successful launch of the PSLV series by ISRO. With the launch of the satellite, India is close to join the select nations of US, Russia, China, Japan and European countries.


3. The Central government has appointed R Gandhi as deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India in place of Anand Sinha who retired in January 2014. His term will be for three years. He will take responsibility of banking operations and development, non-banking supervision, urban banks department, expenditure and budgetary control, information technology, legal and risk monitoring departments.


R Gandhi was executive director since March 2011. Earlier RBI had shortlisted three of its executive directors R Gandhi, P Vijaya Bhaskar and B Mahapatra to succeed Anand Sinha.


4. Central Government has appointed senior IPS officer D K Pathak as the new Director General of the country's largest border guarding force BSF. He is a 1979-batch officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, will lead India-s largest border guarding force. The post of the Border Security Force chief has been vacant for the last one month after Subhash Joshi retired on 28th February this year.


5. Indian PSU Company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has received the honour of the most efficient Navaratna award for the year 2013. It has notched-up the highest ever turnover of Rs 15,180 crores for the FY 2013-14. The award was given to the company for the measure it has taken on various fronts such as R&D, modernization, customer initiatives, quality and thrust given on indigenization.


 


5-April


Forex Reserves increased by USD 5.038 billion to 303.673 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 5.038 billion to 303.673 billion for the week ended 28th March as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to increase in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  India-s forex reserves jumped for the fifth consecutive weeks and crossed the USD 300 billion mark after 2 years.


The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 5.011 billion to 276.406 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets are expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves. Reserve portion with IMF was increased by USD 30 million and the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) was decreased by USD 3.6 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 20.978 billion for the same reporting week.


 


6-April


Current Affairs Global - 6 April 2014


1. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Anja Niedringhaus was shot dead by a policeman in Afghanistan on 4th April while she was covering the 2014 presidential election in Afghanistan. She was 48. Anja Niedringhaus was a German photojournalist working for the Associated Press. She was the only woman on a team of 11 AP photographers that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for coverage of the Iraq War.


2. Marie-Lousie Coleiro Preca was sworn-in as the President of Malta on 4th April. She replaced George Abela from Labour Party whose term was completed on 4th April. She is Malta's ninth President and the second female President.


3. USA President Barack Obama has nominated Sunil Sabharwal as the next US Alternate Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He is currently working as independent investor in the payments sector.


He has been an independent investor since 2006.  He was also the Chairman of the Board of Ogone, a European eCommerce payment services company from 2011 till 2013.


4. Africa-s most populous country and largest oil producer, Nigeria is set to emerge as the biggest economy of Africa when the results of an overdue rebasing of its gross domestic product are announced. Although United Nations statisticians recommend that countries rebase their GDP calculations every five years to reflect changes in the structure of production and consumption, Nigeria last carried out the exercise in 1990.


Following the adjustment, Nigeria-s economy is expected to increase by as much as 60%, taking it from USD 264 billion compared to South Africa-s USD 384 billion.


5. Sri Lanka won their maiden T20 World Cup today after defeating India by six wickets in the final match at Mirpur, Dhaka today. India managed to score only 130 in 20 overs, Sri Lanka achieved the target in the 18th over.


6. Australia has retained the ICC Women's World Twenty-20 for the third time in a row after defeating England by 6 wickets in the final match at Dhaka today. Australia-s Sarah Coyte was awarded with Player of the match award while England-s Anya Shrubsole was named player of the series.


Indian team failed to make it to the knock-out stage of this tournament but managed to secure place for the 2016 World Cup, beating Pakistan.


Current Affairs India - 6 April 2014


1. Polling for National Election will start from tomorrow with first phase of voting in Assam and Tripura.  Five constituencies in Assam and Tripura (West) in Tripura will go to the polls on Monday.


In order to ensure maximum voting in the Lok Sabha election, polling will be held for the first time from 7 AM to 6 PM. Everyone should cast their vote this time.


 


7-April


Current Affairs Global - 7 April 2014


1. World Health Day is celebrated today (7th April) across the world to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948.  In 1948, the WHO held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate 7th April of each year, with effect from 1950, as the World Health Day.


Each year a theme is selected that highlights a priority area of public health. The Theme for 2014 is vector-borne diseases. World Health Day 2014 will spotlight some of the most commonly known vectors - such as mosquitoes, sandflies, bugs, ticks and snails - responsible for transmitting a wide range of parasites and pathogens that attack humans or animals. Mosquitoes, for example, not only transmit malaria and dengue, but also lymphatic filariasis, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever.


2. Indian Cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was named captain of the 2014 ICC World Team of the Tournament today which also includes four players from Indian team. Opener Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin are the other two Indian players who feature in the team.


The team has two players from both South Africa and West Indies, and one representative each from Australia, the Netherlands and champions Sri Lanka. Chosen by a select group of experts, the team was aimed at being suited for Bangladesh conditions, on the basis of performances in the tournament only.


3. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes team secured the first place in the Bahrain Grand Prix held on 6th April in Bahrain. He was followed by Nico Rosberg of Mercedes, Sergio Perez of Force India, Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull and Nico Hulkenberg of Force India. Last year champion Sebastian Vettel secured sixth place in the same race.


Sahara Force India recorded their best result of the season as Mexican Sergio Perez secured only the second podium finish in the team's history while his teammate Nico Hulkenberg ended an impressive fifth in the same race.


4. Defending champion Lee Chong Wei retained the men's singles title with a straight-game victory over China-s Chen Long by 21-13, 21-17 in the finals of the India Super Series Badminton in New Delhi yesterday. In an all-Chinese women's singles final, Shixian Wang defeated Li Xuerui by 22-20, 21-19 to win women's singles title


China also clinched the women's doubles title with Yuanting Tang and Yang (F) Yu, after defeating Korean pair of Kyung Eun Jung and Ha Na Kim 21-10, 13-21, 21-16.


Current Affairs India - 7 April 2014


1. Indian cricket team lost its No 1 rank to Sri Lanka after being defeated in the World Twenty20 final yesterday in the latest Reliance ICC T20I Team Rankings Table published today.


India-s Virat Kohli secured his career best 2nd rank after Australia batsman Aaron Finch in the Batsmen category while spinner R Ashwin secured third rank in the Bowlers- category in the latest ICC rankings. Kohli, named player of the tournament, ended as the highest run getter of the tournament with 319 runs at an average of 106.33. Ashwin finished with 11 wickets in the tournament at an average of 11.27 and an economy rate of 5.35 runs per over. The bowlers- list is still headed by West Indies- Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine at first and second place respectively.


2. Defending Champion Punjab won the 4th Hockey India Junior Men National Championship 2014 (Division A) by defeating Odisha 6-2 in the finals at Chennai yesterday. At the same time, Haryana defeated the Sports Authority of India by 7-3 to win the third place in the tournament. Harjeet Singh of Punjab was awareded with the Man of the Tournament award.


3. Koyal Rana won the 51st edition of the FBB Femina Miss India 2014 crown after defeating 24 other contestants from across the country on 5th April. She was crowned by 2013 winner of Femina Miss India title Navneer Kaur Dhillion and Miss World 2013 Megan Young. She will represent India at the Miss World international beauty pageant this year. Jhataleka Malhotra was crowned as first runner-up and Gail Nicole Da-Silva was crowned as second runner-up


Sun Pharma to acquire Ranbaxy in USD 3.2 billion deal


Indian two pharma companies Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd announced a USD 3.2 billion deal today in which Sun Pharma will acquire 100% of Ranbaxy in an all-stock deal. Under the agreements, Ranbaxy shareholders will receive 0.8 share of Sun Pharma for each share of Ranbaxy, a premium of 18% to Ranbaxy-s 30-day volume-weighted average share price and a premium of 24.3% to Ranbaxy-s 60-day volume-weighted average share price, in each case, as of the close of business on April 4, 2014.


Post the merger; the combined entity will be the fifth-largest specialty generics company in the world and the largest pharmaceutical company in India. The combined entity will have operations in 65 countries, 47 manufacturing facilities across 5 continents with total revenue of USD 4.2 billion. The deal is expected to close by the end of the calendar year 2014. Once completed, current owner of Ranbaxy, Daiichi Sankyo will become a significant shareholder of Sun Pharma and will have the right to nominate one director to Sun Pharma-s board of directors.


Ranbaxy has a significant presence in the Indian pharma market and in the US where it offers a broad portfolio of ANDAs and first-to-file opportunities. In high-growth emerging markets, it provides a strong platform which is highly complementary to Sun Pharma-s strengths. The deal will have significant synergy for Sun Pharma as well.


 


8-April


Current Affairs Global - 8 April 2014


1. Indian American novelist Jhumpa Lahiri-s -Lowland- has been shortlisted for this year-s Baileys Prize, the UK-s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman. Earlier known as the Orange Prize, the winner will be announced on June 4 in London and presented with a cheque for USD 30,000. Earlier, the book was also shortlisted for Man Booker Prize.


The other five shortlisted books are -Americanah- by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria), -Burial Rites- by Hannah Kent (Australia), -The Undertaking- by Audrey Magee (Ireland), -A Girl is a Half-formed Thing- by Eimear McBride (Ireland) and -The Goldfinch- by Donna Tartt (the US).


2. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that the UK economy will be the fastest-growing among G7 countries in 2014. It has projected UK-s economic growth at 2.9% in 2014 and 2.5% in 2015.


The IMF also projected that the global economy will grow at the rate of 3.6% this year and 3.9% in 2015. World-s largest economy, US economy will grow at 2.8% in 2014 and 3% in 2015.


3. The Bank of Japan decided to maintain aggressive monetary-easing steps to boost the world-s third-largest economy amid years of deflation. The central bank introduced its monetary easing policy one year ago with the aim of achieving 2% inflation within about 2 years.


Current Affairs India - 8 April 2014


1. Itanagar, Capital of Arunachal Pradesh, was placed on India-s railway map with the launch of first passenger train today. The train with 10 passengers and two goods compartments, towed by a diesel engine, left Dekargaon at 7am and arrived here at 12.30pm, covering a distance of 181 km. Chief Minister Nabam Tuki during his road rally at Itanagar on Sunday had also announced that Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express would be introduced soon to link Arunachal to national capital Delhi.


2. Global Internet giant Google has launched a new tool as part of its elections portal offering -google.co.in/elections-, called -Know Your Candidates-. The new tool will allow citizens to access relevant information about political candidates contesting from their constituency and their incumbent Member of Parliament.


This tool integrates publicly available information sourced from Indian organisations such as the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), PRS Legislative Research and Liberty Institute India. The tool will provide valuable information for each sitting Lok Sabha MP and contesting candidates such as their disclosed educational background, financial details and social media presence (wherever available etc.


3. ERP giant SAP-s Indian arm, SAP India has appointed Ravi Chauhan as its managing director with immediate effect. He will be responsible for driving SAP India-s growth strategy and operations across the country and he will report directly to Adaire Fox-Martin, SAP Asia-Pacific Japan president.


4. India Infoline Asset Management Company has appointed Prashasta Seth as its Chief Executive Officer. Seth has over 14 years of experience and has been with the IIFL Group for the past six years.


5. Famous Indian shooter Heena Sindhu secured the World-s Number One spot in 10 meters air pistol event published yesterday. With this achievement, she became the first Indian pistol shooter to secure No 1 rank in the list.


She was placed at the first spot by replacing the world champion Serbia-s Zorana Arunovic with total pf 1699 rating points. Zorana is now placed at the second position in the list with 1514 points followed by China-s Wenjun Guo with 1190 points.


 


9-April


Current Affairs India - 9 April 2014


1. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected India-s economic growth rate at 5.4% for next financial year 2014-15 and 6.4% for 2015-16 due to global economic recovery and improved export competitiveness and implementation of recently approved investment projects.


The IMF said is its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) that overall growth is expected to firm up on policies supporting investment and a confidence boost from recent policy actions, but will remain below trend. IMF projections are based on market prices whereas estimation by the India-s statistics office is on the basis of 2004-05 prices.


2. India-s Software industry body Nasscom appointed Cognizant India Executive Vice-Chairman R Chandrasekaran as its Chairman for the year 2014-15. He succeeds Krishnakumar Natarajan, who is the CEO and MD of IT firm Mindtree. It has also appointed BVR Mohan Reddy, the founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Infotech Enterprises, as the Vice-Chairman for the year 2014-15.


3. Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has made it to the cover of the 151st edition of the Wisden Cricketers- Almanack. The 40-year-old cricketer is the first Indian to feature on the cover of the Almanack. He was earlier chosen to feature on the cover of the second edition of the Wisden India Almanack.


The yellow page shows Tendulkar walking out of the Wankhede stadium after playing his last innings against the West Indies in November last year. The photograph captured Tendulkar acknowledging the crowd with his bat raised. The Wisden said: -Tendulkar played Test matches in front of the most demanding fans in the world for 24 years.-


4. India's opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been named as one of the Five Cricketers of the Year, an honour dating back to 1889, by Wisden for his performance in 2013. The 28-year-old Dhawan was the highest run-scorer during India's triumph in the ICC Champions Trophy, scoring 363 runs in five ODIs at an average of 90.75. He was awarded Man of the Series for his performance that included centuries against South Africa and West Indies.


His performance during the tournament in England was acknowledged by Wisden, which also named Australian duo Chris Rogers and Ryan Harris, England batsman Joe Root and England women's captain Charlotte Edwards in the list.


 


10-April


Current Affairs India - 10 April 2014


1. Third phase of polling in 91 Lok Sabha constituencies across the country and 70 Assembly seats in Odisha were concluded today which set the pace of current Lok Sabha election. All the constituencies in Kerala, Haryana and Delhi and 6 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, 4 in Jharkhand, 9 in Madhya Pradesh, 10 each in Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh and 1 each in Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep went to the polls today. Moderate to heavy voting is reported in those constituencies with record voter turnout in Delhi and UP.


2. India-s largest lender State Bank of India has hit the overseas bond market with a dual tranche benchmark issue of 5-year and 10-year maturity to raise up to USD 1 billion. The bank has given an initial pricing of 240 bps over the US treasury for the 5-year money and 265 bps over the treasury for the 10-year bond. The US treasury is trading at around 2.75%.


3. The World Bank projected India-s economic growth rate of 5.7% in fiscal year 2015 due to more competitive exchange rate and many large investments going forward. The World Bank said in its latest edition of 'South Asia Economic Focus ' that bolstered by permanently more competitive exchange rate and progress towards clearance of important investment projects, India may see an acceleration of growth in FY 2014 to 4.8 per cent, further increase to 5.7% in FY 2015. The World Bank President Jim Young Kim also called for necessary reforms to create a better environment and spur growth.


11-April


 


12-April


Forex Reserves increased by USD 2.974 billion to 306.647 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 2.974 billion to 306.647 billion for the week ended 4th April as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to increase in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  India-s forex reserves jumped for the sixth consecutive weeks now as RBI continues to buy US Dollars.


The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 2.399 billion to 278.805 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets are expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves. However the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were decreased by USD 10.3 million and USD 4.3 million respectively for the same week. Gold values were increased by USD 588.8 million to USD 21.5668 billion for the same reporting week.


IIP contracted by 1.9% in February; Recovery is still far away


India-s Index of Industrial Production, the most important parameter to judge performance of industrial sector, contracted by 1.9% in February compared to 0.1% growth in previous month of January which dashed the recovery hopes. This data was much lower than 0.6% growth recorded in same month last year.


IIP contracted in February due to 3.7% contraction in manufacturing sector which 75.5% weightage in the IIP index. For the cumulative April-February period of current financial year 2013-14, IIP was contracted by 0.1% compared to 0.9% growth witnessed during the same period last financial year. This IIP data dashed all hope for quick recovery and calls for immediate rate cut by the RBI in order to boost growth.


India-s exports contracts by 3.15% in March; Missed last financial year target


India-s total exports contracted by 3.15% to USD 29.57 billion in March compared to same month last year while imports also dropped by 2.11% to USD 40 billion in March compared to the same period last year. With this, India-s trade deficit increased to a five-month high of USD 10.5 billion in the same month. The overall exports for financial year 2013-14 stood at USD 312.35 billion which fell short of the target of USD 325 billion fixed by the government for the period.


India's exports increased by just 3.98% to USD 312.35 billion in Financial Year 2013-14 while imports dropped by 8.11% to USD 450.94 billion during the same period. The trade deficit stood at USD 138.5 billion dollars in the last fiscal year compared to USD 190.3 billion in the previous financial year of 2012-13. The narrowing trade deficit should give more relief to the Government, which has been struggling to keep the current account deficit in check to avoid a foreign exchange crisis.


Current Affairs Global - 12 April 2014


1. Viktor Orban was re-elected as Prime Minister of Hungary for the second consecutive term for four years. The election was held last week in which his party won 135 of 199 parliament seats as per the total votes counted so far. The left alliance led by Attila Mesterhazy won 38 seats and Jobbik party won 23 seats. He has been the Prime Minister of Hungary since 2010, a post he also held from 1998 to 2002.


2. British-American physicist Stuart Parkin won Millennium Technology Prize 2014 for discoveries leading to a thousand-fold increase in digital data storage on magnetic disks. His discoveries facilitated the cloud services and online distribution of social networks, music and film. The Prize was announced by the Technology Academy Finland in Finland this week with a cash value of 1 million euro. The Millennium Technology Prize was initiated in 2004 by the Technology Academy Finland.


Current Affairs India - 12 April 2014


1. Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha has been appointed as the next Chief Justice of India and he will assume charge on 27th April when incumbent Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam retires. Justice Lodha (64) is the most senior judge of the Supreme Court after CJI P Sathasivam. He will have a brief tenure of five months as CJI as he is scheduled to retire on 27th September this year.


He was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Patna High Court on in May 2008 and elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on in December 2008.


2. The Interim President of BCCI-IPL Sunil Gavaskar has appointed HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh as his special advisor for the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League yesterday. He will be a special invitee during the IPL governing council meeting as his vast expertise in financial affairs will enable Gavaskar to ensure smooth functioning of IPL affairs for the next two months.


Earlier, former India opener Gavaskar was appointed the interim president of the BCCI-IPL following a direction from Supreme Court as N Srinivasan was asked to step aside from his post pending the completion of the IPL spot-fixing enquiry. Senior Vice President Shivlal Yadav was made interim President for non-IPL matters.


3. India successfully test fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Agni-I ballistic missile with strike range of 700 km from a test range off Odisha coast on yesterday night as part of a user trial by the Army. The key aim was to test its success at night.


The DRDO-developed medium-range ballistic missile from the production lot was launched as part of a regular training exercise by the Army. The Agni-I missile has a specialized navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision.


4. India lead list of counties in terms of global remittances in the year 2013 with USD 70 billion, including USD 65 billion which were earned from the software services exports, as per the data released by the World Bank reported. China stood second with USD 60 billion remittances.


In its latest issue of the Migration and Development Brief, the World Bank said remittance flows to developing countries will be an increase of 7.8% in 2014 compared to USD 404 billion in 2013 which will rise to USD 516 billion in 2016.


5. Famous Poet, Director and Lyricist Gulzar has been chosen for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2013.  He has spent over five decades in Hindi film industry and directed famous movies like including Aandhi, Maachis, Mausam, Koshish, Parichay etc.


He was earlier awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002 and the Padma Bhushan in 2004. He has won a number of National Film Awards and 20 Filmfare Awards. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Jai Ho" (shared with A.R.Rahman), for the film Slumdog Millionaire at the 81st Academy Awards and so won Grammy Award in the category of Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture for the same song.


6. The queen of Britain conferred the rank of Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) on former chairman of the Tata group, Ratan Tata on 10th April. This honour is one of the highest honours given by the queen to civilians.


Ratan Tata was given the honour for his services to UK-India relations, investment in the UK and his philanthropy services.


7. Global rating agency Fitch has reaffirmed India-s BBB- investment grade rating with a stable outlook due to India-s higher growth compared to other emerging economies except China. A policy push that includes structural and governance reforms, fiscal consolidation and efforts to rein in inflationary pressures would likely require a coherent coalition with a strong electoral mandate. Fitch also forecasts real GDP growth to rise from 4.7% in the fiscal year 2013-14 to 5.5% in FY2014-15 and 6% in FY2015-16.


8. Global Telecom giant Vodafone has announced that it now owns 100% of its Indian subsidiary, Vodafone India Limited ("VIL") after buying out stocks held by Analjit Singh, Neelu Analjit Singh and Piramal Enterprises Limited. Recently Vodafone acquired 10.97% of VIL from Piramal Enterprises Limited which completes full ownership of the Indian arm.


The Foreign Investment Promotion Board had earlier approved both acquisitions on in February 2014, after getting necessary approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.


9. State Bank of India (SBI) launched its Twitter handle account yesterday in order to increase its social media presence and improve digital marketing activities after launching accounts on Facebook and Youtube earlier. The Twitter handle for SBI is TheOfficialSBI. The bank expects this Twitter handle to connect better with the tech-savvy young generation.


10. Indian shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardee, won the gold in the trap event by defeating Australia's two-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Diamond at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup. Manavjit shot the scores of 121 and 13 in the qualification and finals, to win the Gold Medal. He also won the 2006 World Championships apart from winnings the gold at the 2010 World Cup in Mexico.


 


13-April


 


14-April


 


15-April


Current Affairs Global - 15 April 2014


1. The Washington Post and the British-based The Guardian newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize yesterday for public service for coverage of National Security Agency surveillance programmes, based on documents from US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.


The coverage, which sparked debates in the United States over the balance between national security and citizens- privacy, was led for the Guardian by Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and filmmaker Laura Poitras, while Barton Gellman reported for the Washington Post. All four journalists received the George Polk Journalism Award last week for their NSA coverage.


2. Google announced its acquisition of Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones which can be used to boost Internet access to remote areas. Titan-s drones are able to run for five years at an altitude of some 65,000 feet (19,812 meters). They can perform similar functions to geostationary satellites, but are less costly. Google is also developing Project Loon, which uses large balloons for transmitting Internet signals to regions that are not now connected.


Current Affairs India - 15 April 2014


1. In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court recognized transgenders as third category of gender today and directed the Centre and States to grant them all facilities including Voters ID, passport and driving licence. The Centre and States were also directed to take steps for bringing the community into the mainstream by providing adequate healthcare, education and employment.


The apex court also expressed concern over transgenders being harasssed and discriminated in the society and passed a slew of directions for their social welfare. It said that Section 377 of IPC is being misused by police and other authorities against them and their social and economic condition is far from satisfactory.


2. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had approved appointment of Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram as Finance Secretary. The post of Finance Secretary was lying vacant since 31st March when Sumit Bose retired.  He will continue to look after the Department of Economic Affairs. With his appointment, the Finance Ministry currently has five secretaries including him.


3. India-born poet Vijay Seshadri won the prestigious 2014 Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category for his collection of poems -3 Sections-. The 98th annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music were announced yesterday by Columbia University.


Seshadri-s -3 Sections- is a -compelling collection of poems that examine human consciousness, from birth to dementia, in a voice that is by turns witty and grave, compassionate and remorseless,- the announcement said. He would receive $10,000 reward.


4. Ogilvy Mumbai won two YoungGun awards in the YGA 2013 Awards. The agency is the only office in India to have won YoungGuns awards. YGA is now in its 12th year of recognizing young talent globally.


The agency-s CleftToSmile logo won the award in the general graphic design category. For their second award, the agency had rolled out a unique campaign for Akanksha, a non-government organisation, which needed teachers, but did not have funds for advertising.


5. The 2013 APRC champion Gaurav Gill won Whangarei Rally by a lead of 11.9 seconds on Sunday. It is his first title in New Zealand and sixth career victory in FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). European champion, Jan Kopecky (Czech Republic) obtained second position.


The Delhi driver has been a regular in the rallying circuit with three INRC titles to his name in 2007, 2009 and 2012. He has been competing in APRC since 2007 and managed to finish at second in 2010.


India-s retail inflation jumped to 8.31% in March; Rate cut hope dashed


India-s Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, jumped to 8.31% in March compared to 8.10% (revised 8.03%) in February due to jump in food price rise. Food Inflation jumped to 9.1% in the same month compared to 8.57% in the previous month.


In March, Retail inflation in rural areas jumped to 8.89% compared to revised 8.43% in February and in urban areas eased marginally to 7.51% compared to 7.55% in February. Due to increase in Retail inflation, the Reserve Bank of India may not cut rates in next month after keeping it unchanged only couple of days back.


India-s overall Inflation jumps to 3-month high of 5.7% in March


India-s overall inflation, measured by the Wholesale price index, jumped to a 3-month high of 5.7% in March compared to 4.68% in February due to jump in food prices. Inflation in food articles, which has 14.34% share in the WPI basket, jumped to 9.9% in March from 8.12% in February which pushed the overall inflation higher.


In March, the price rise in potato was 27.83% compared to 8.36% in the previous month while onion price rise dropped to just 1.92% compared to 20.06% in previous month. Inflation in vegetables segment jumped to 8.57% in March compared to 4% in February which is the main reason behind increase in food inflation numbers. Inflation in the fuel and power category jumped to 11.22% in March compared to 8.75% in February. RBI will have very limited scope available now for further rate cut due to increase in both Wholesale as well as Retail inflation numbers for March. Also a possible effect of El Nino this year could worsen the food inflation situation further which will be the biggest challenge for both RBI and new government.


 


16-April


Current Affairs Global - 16 April 2014


1. China's economy grew at 7.4% in the first quarter of current year 2014 which is the slowest growth rate in last 18 months. This growth rate is slightly lower compare to 7.7% growth rate in the previous quarter (Final quarter of 2013) and marginally lower than 2014 growth target of 7.5%. It was China's slowest annual growth since the third quarter of 2012, when growth was also 7.4% and this data dashed hopes for quicker recovery of the world-s second largest economy.


2. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued Final standards for measuring and controlling large exposures of banks to customers yesterday. These standards will take effect from 1 January 2019 as per its notification. These guidelines were aimed to minimize the all kind of banking risks through proper risk management processes that a bank can face. It has also issued tougher capital requirements and liquidity rules under Basel III norms so that banks will be able to handle any financial crisis like the recent recession witnessed amid sub prime crisis in the USA.


The developed countries have set their own target to implement Basel III guidelines for the banks operating in the country. USA is planning to implement first phase from 2015 itself.


3. US Inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in March compared to 0.1% in February, as per the data published by the Labor Department. Petrol prices fell 1.7% in March which helped the inflation be much lower below the Federal Reserve's 2% target. Lower inflation will help the Fed to slowly reduce its aggressive monetary stimulus programs to keep sufficient liquidity in the system to boost economic growth. Its bond-buying programme has been cut by USD 10 billion at the Fed's last three meetings which now stands at USD 55 billion a month compared to all time high figure of USD 85 billion.


Current Affairs India - 16 April 2014


1. Anand Gandhi-s debut film Ship of Theseus was named the best feature film at the 61st National Film Awards  and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was named as the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment. Jolly LLB was named the best Hindi film. Hansal Mehta was named the best director for Shahid, again a biopic on slain lawyer-activist Shahid Azmi.


The best actor award was shared by Rajkumar Rao for Hindi movie Shahid and Suraj Venjaramoodu for Malayalam movie Perariyathavar. Saurabh Shukla was named as the best supporting actor for Hindi movie Jolly LLB.


Geetanjali Thapa was named the best actress for Hindi film Liar-s Dice.  The best supporting actress award is shared by Amruta Subhas and Aida El-Kashef for Astu (Marathi) and Ship of Theseus (English-Hindi) respectively.


2. Vice Admiral Robin K Dhowan will most likely be the next chief of the Indian Navy as the defence ministry has recommended his name to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the post. The post has been lying vacant for nearly two months since DK Joshi resigned suddenly taking responsibility of a series of mishaps in the Navy. Vice Admiral Dhowan, who has been the acting Navy chief since Joshi's exit, was in contention for the top job along with Western Navy Commander Shekhar Sinha and Eastern Commander Anil Chopra.


3. The Supreme Court said that the suspended Chief of BCCI N. Srinivasan's name along with 12 cricketers were figured in the inquiry report submitted by the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee in February this year. The apex court said that Srinivasan cannot discharge any function inside BCCI if the enquiry was to be conducted by the BCCI itself on these allegations.


The Apex Court also said that Sundar Raman can continue as the Chief Operating Officer of the Indian Premier League as IPL 7 is starting from today. The interim BCCI president Sunil Gavaskar has recommended that Sundar Raman can continue, the court informed.


 


17-April


Current Affairs India - 17 April 2014


1. The Supreme Court has dismissed telecom operators' plea today against allowing the Comptroller & Auditor General to audit their revenues. The Supreme Court judgment allows CAG to audit telecom companies to determine whether the Government is getting its due share as they use the spectrum which is government property.


The Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India, representing the interest of CDMA players including Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices, had earlier said the High Court order was against the telecom licence conditions.


2. Admiral Robin K Dhowan took over as the Chief of Naval Staff today. The post was lying vacant for nearly two months since DK Joshi resigned suddenly in the wake of a series of accidents. He has been the acting Navy chief since Joshi-s exit. He will have a tenure of 25 months, retiring in May 2016.


He superseded Western Naval Commander Shekhar Sinha, who was the senior-most Vice Admiral, to get the post as majority of the 14 mishaps, including two major submarine accidents, took place under his command during the last 10 months.


 


18-April


 


19-April


 


20-April


Current Affairs Global - 20 April 2014


1. Nobel laureate Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away on 18th April. He was 87. He had been hospitalized in Mexico City for a lung and urinary infection. His epic 1967 novel One Hundred Years of Solitude sold over 50 million copies.


He was considered as the most popular Spanish-language writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century. His some famous books including "Chronicle of a Death Foretold", "Love in the Time of Cholera" and "Autumn of the Patriarch" - outsold everything published in Spanish except the Bible.


2. Abdelaziz Bouteflika of National Liberation Front party won the Presidential election for the fourth consecutive time on Friday (18th April). He secured 81% votes in the election while he won 90% votes in the earlier election in 2008. His main opponent Ali Benflis received only 12.18% votes.


Current Affairs India - 20 April 2014


1. SEBI came out with detailed corporate governance norms for listed companies this week to provide stricter disclosures and protection of investor rights, including equitable treatment for minority and foreign shareholders. The new rules, which would be effective from October 1, require companies to get shareholders' approval for related party transactions, establish whistle blower mechanism, elaborate disclosures on pay packages and have at least a woman director on their boards.


These new norms are aligned with the new Companies Act and is aimed to encourage companies to "adopt best practices on corporate governance". The capital market regulator has amended clauses 35B and 49 of the listing agreement. Now, under changed 35B norms, listed companies are required to provide the option of facility of e-voting to shareholders on all resolutions proposed to be passed at general meetings. Under clause 49, pertaining to corporate governance, listed entities have to get shareholders' nod for related party transactions. It would be effective prospectively from October 1 onwards.


The new norms excludes 'nominee directors' from the definition of independent directors. The watchdog has decided that the maximum number of boards an independent director can serve on listed companies be restricted to 7, while the directorship would be capped at three if the person is serving as a whole time director in any listed company. Apart from that, there would be expanded role of audit committee and enhanced disclosure of remuneration policies.


2. Randstad Awards for the year 2014 was announced this week to encourage best practices for talent attraction and to identify the best Employer Brand in the country based on perceived attractiveness of a company. Randstad have awarded the Global software giant Microsoft as the most attractive employer in India for the fourth consecutive time followed by Sony India as the 2nd position. The award was won by Microsoft for the fourth consecutive year. 


Special recognition awards were given to Larsen & Toubro as the most attractive employer in the infrastructure industry, State Bank of India in the banking sector, Taj Group in the hospitality and Tata Power in the energy sector.


Forex Reserves increased by USD 2.797 billion to 309.444 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 2.797 billion to 309.444 billion for the week ended 11th April as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to increase in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets. With this, India-s forex reserves jumped for the seventh consecutive weeks now as RBI continues to buy US Dollars.


The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 2.747 billion to 281.552 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets are expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves. The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were also increased by USD 35.9 million and USD 14.8 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 21.566 billion for the same reporting week.


 


21-April


Current Affairs Global - 21 April 2014


1. Mercedes- Lewis Hamilton won the Chinese F1 Grand Prix held on 20th April. With this win, he won three races in a row for the first time in his career. His Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari-s Fernando Alonso secured second and third place in the race. Force India-s Nico Hulkenberg finished at sixth.


2. Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Roger Federer by 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 to win the Monte Carlo Masters Tennis Men-s singles title. America's top seeded Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, won the Doubles after defeating third seeded Croatian-Brazilian team of Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo by 6-3, 3-6, 10-8.


Current Affairs India - 21 April 2014


1. Justice G Rohini has taken over as the first woman Chief Justice of Delhi High Court after she was administered the oath of office by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung in New Delhi today. Before that, Justice Rohini was the senior most judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. With her joining, the strength of women judges at the Delhi High Court has increased to 10.


She studied at Osmania University in Hyderabad and then at the College of Law under Andhra University in Visakhapatnam. She was enrolled as an advocate in December 1980 and later became chairman of the Andhra Pradesh State Bar Council.


2. The Central Government has appointed columnist and RBI Chair Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, Ila Patnaik, as Principal Economic Advisor. The post had been vacant since November 2013.


She succeeded Dipak Dasguptam, a former Lead Economist for India and South Asia at the World Bank, who held the post till November 2013.


3. BCCI has suggested to the Supreme Court to set up a three-member committee in order to probe the corruption case on the directives of the Supreme Court after its working committee meeting held in Mumbai today. The Working Committee of the Board decided to suggest names of former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri, former Calcutta High Court Chief Justice J N Patel and ex-CBI Director R K Raghavan as members of the probe committee.


Earlier, the SC has directed the BCCI in the last hearing of the case to suggest names of persons who will conduct a "fair probe" into the IPL VI spot-fixing and betting scandal.


4. Narendra Kothari, Chief Executive Officer of IISCO steel plant, Burnpur, under the Steel Authority of India Ltd, took over as the Chairman and Managing Director of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) today. Before he took over as the CEO of IISCO plant in October 2012, he was the executive director of chairman secretariat, coal import group, SAIL.


NMDC is India-s largest iron ore producer with a production capacity of 32 million tonnes from its mines in Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. It has set up a target of ramping up iron ore production to 40 million tonnes by 2014-15.


5. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) executive director G. Gopalakrishna took charge as director of Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning (CAFRAL). CAFRAL is a not-for-profit organization and is an independent body fully funded by the RBI.


He was appointed as Executive Director on October 26, 2007, and looked after banking supervision, financial stability and communication before seeking retirement from the RBI. He also had a stint as the Executive Director of the Deposit Insurance & Credit Guarantee Corporation.


6. Hockey India appointed former senior coach Harendra Singh as the coach of the junior men's team. His key aim will be to groom the junior team for the 2016 World Cup to be held in the country. He will join the training camp of the team on April 25.


Starting his coaching career in 1998, Harendra has played key roles in various cups including Sydney Olympic (2000), World Cup (2005-Jr, 2006 and 2010), Asian Games (2006 and 2010), Asia Cup (2004-Jr and 2009), Champion's Challenge (2009) and various other tournaments.


 


22-April


Current Affairs Global - 22 April 2014


1. World Earth Day is being observed today (22nd April) across the world in order to raise awareness and also to support environmental protection. Theme for Earth Day 2014 is -Green Cities-. Earth Day 2014 will focus on green cities, mobilizing a millions of people to create a sustainable, healthy environment by greening communities worldwide. Today, more than half of the world-s population lives in cities. As the urban population grows and the effects of climate change worsen, our cities have to evolve.


Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.


Current Affairs India - 22 April 2014


1. The Supreme Court revoked its 19-month-old ban on iron ore mining in Goa but restricted the extraction to 20 million tonnes per annum yesterday. The Apex court also said the expert panel will give a final recommendation on the annual cap on excavation of iron ore within six months. It said there cannot be a deemed renewal of lease after 2007 of the existing lease deeds emanating from 1962.


It said there will be no grant of lease for mining around one km of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The court directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to identify eco-sensitive areas around national parks within six months. It said the Goa Government will formulate a scheme within six months for utilising the funds generated by e-auction.


2. The Supreme Court has asked the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee to further investigate the IPL 2013 spot fixing and betting scandal, and in particular the 13 names mentioned in the sealed envelope. One of the names is that of suspended BCCI president, N. Srinivasan.


The Apex Court also asked Justice Mudgal to list the investigating agencies he needs help from. The Supreme Court had constituted a three-man panel under Retired Justice Mudgal in October last year, to investigate the scandal. On February 10, the Mudgal committee submitted a report to the court after a four-month probe.


3. Indian Cities New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore were placed among the global cities with maximum shopping centre space under construction in 2014, according to the latest Global Viewpoint report from realty consultant CBRE. While New Delhi was ranked at 21st rank, Hyderabad stood at 23rd position and Bangalore stood at 31st place in the global ranking while Chennai was among the top 15 most active shopping centre development markets in the world in 2013.


4. Karnataka musician Mathangi Sathyamurthy was selected for M S Subbulakshmi Award 2014, announced by the M S Subbulakshmi Foundation last weekend. She will receive a cash award of 10001 rupees and a plaque.


5. India-s largest IT services Company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) joined the league of top 10 global IT services companies after posting robust revenue growth for FY2014. TCS moved from the 13th position in 2012 to the 10th spot in 2013, as per the data published by the HfS Research Survey on competitive landscape for IT Services in 2013.


According to the Survey, IBM leads the list and is followed by Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Accenture and NTT. India-based companies Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro and HCL are at the 15th, 18th, 20th and 25th positions, respectively, all of them rising by one to three spots compared to 2012.


6. India-s largest IT services Company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Mitsubishi Corporation, an integrated global business enterprise, announced a new joint venture, Nippon TCS Solution Center Limited, for the Japanese market, the second largest market for software services which is still untouched by Indian services companies.


The entity will offer a full-service suite of IT, BPO and infrastructure services to Japanese corporations. TCS Japan will have a 60% stake and Mitsubishi Corporation will hold remaining 40% stake. The new joint venture will also establish a nearshore delivery center in Japan.


7. Motorola Mobility, which was recently acquired by Google, has appointed Amit Boni as General Manager of India. He will lead the team across the country and be responsible for the Go-to-Market strategy. This is the senior most post for the company in India.


8. Bengaluru FC won the I-League for the first time after defeating Dempo Sports Club 4-2 at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. This is the biggest prize in Indian football. This is also Bengaluru FC-s debut season of I-League.


 


23-April


Current Affairs Global - 23 April 2014


1. World Book Dayor World Book and Copyright Day is being observed today (23rd April) across the world to raise importance of books and promote reading, publishing and copyright.  World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995.


23 April is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.


Port Harcourt (Nigeria) is chosen as the World Book Capital 2014. UNESCO and the international organizations of publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, effective 23 April each year.


2. IT Services Company Cognizant announced that it has entered into an agreement with itaas to acquire the company. Itaas is a US-based digital video solutions firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.


Interactive television and application solutions (itaas) was formed in 1999. It has played a unique, multifaceted role in development and delivery of interactive television (iTV). It helps the leading cable, telecommunications and technology companies to deliver a broad range of digital video services across traditional cable, broadcast and telecommunications network environments and on consumer devices such as set-tops, tablets and smart phones. It also enables live streaming and interactive digital video services on any device. This acquisition will help Cognizant to increase its capabilities and services offerings in media, communications and high-technology sectors.


3. Adidas has started a weekly series of online documentary-style films titled Brazuca around the World to for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil which will be held this year. The series of the film was launched by Adidas on its YouTube Channel yesterday to excite all the footballs across the world.


Current Affairs India - 23 April 2014


1. The Supreme Court has set up a committee for framing guidelines to prevent misuse of public funds by the Government and its authorities for advertisements in newspapers and television to get political mileage. The four-member committee comprising former Director of National Judicial Academy, Bhopal, NR Madhava Menon, former Lok Sabha Secretary TK Viswanathan, senior advocate Ranjit Kumar and Secretary of Information and Broadcasting Ministry and it will be headed by NR Madhava Menon. The apex court asked the committee to submit its report within three months.


2. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed the use of portable electronic devices, including cellphones, laptops, and smart phones in flight/airplane mode, during all phases of flight. The DGCA amended the rule today which bans the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) and allowing their usage in all phases of flight but on a non-transmitting or flight mode.


Flyers have to use these devices in offline mode without any network connectivity. They can now switch on their cellphones, tablets or laptops on -flight mode/offline- for work or entertainment purpose going forward.


3. India conducted developmental test of supersonic surface-to-air missile 'Akash' from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) launch complex at Chandipur today. The missile targeted a floating object supported by Pilot Less Target Aircraft (PTA) 'Lakshya' today afternoon, 15 minutes after the aircraft took off.


Akash is a medium range surface-to-air anti-aircraft defence system developed by the DRDO as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. It has a strike range of 25 km and can carry a warhead of 60 kilograms. It has the capability to target aircrafts up to 30 kms away and is packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously.


4. India's Chitra Magimairaj emerged champion in the senior category after defeating Alena Asmolova of Belarus 3-0 in the final at the World Snooker championship in Leeds, UK yesterday. Magimairaj defeated fellow-Indian Revanna Umadevi 2-0 in the semi final after getting past Carmelita Yumito (Brazil) 2-1 and Jenny Poulter (England) 2-1, in the previous rounds.


The former World Billiards champion Chitra has bagged three gold, three silver and three bronze medals in the WLBSA event so far.


Novartis acquires GlaxoSmithKline Plc-s (GSK-s) cancer-drug business; announced big business restructuring


Two of the world's top drugmakers Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline have struck a multi-billion-dollar deal to reshape their businesses. As per the deal, Global pharma giant Novartis AG agreed to acquire GlaxoSmithKline Plc-s (GSK-s) cancer-drug business for nearly USD 16 billion to form a consumer-health venture with GSK. It has also announced to sell its vaccines business, excluding the flu operations, to GSK for USD 7.1 billion in an overhaul of the Swiss drug maker.


Post this deal, GSK and Novartis-s consumer-health venture will have about USD 10.9 billion in revenue in which GSK will have majority control with an equity interest of 63.5%. It will help Novartis to concentrate on its key businesses.


In a separate deal, Novartis also announced to sell its animal-health operation to Eli Lilly and Co. for USD 5.4 billion. Post this, Lilly will become the second-largest animal health company by sales.


 


24-April


Current Affairs Global - 24 April 2014


1. Finland was placed in the first place, followed by Singapore and Sweden in the second and third spots among 148 economies in terms of leveraging information and communications technologies (ICT) for growth and wellbeing, as per the latest report published by the World Economic Forum. Other economies in the top ten include, the Netherlands (4th), Norway (5th) and Switzerland (6th), the United States (7th) Hong Kong SAR (8th) the United Kingdom (9th) and the Republic of Korea (10th). 


Current Affairs India - 24 April 2014


1. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today said that India may get below normal monsoon this year and there is a 60% possibility of El Nino during monsoon. The department will issue a second forecast on monsoon in June. The probability of a normal monsoon is 35%, while that of a below normal monsoon is 33%, the department said.


The Meteorological Department defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 cm for the entire season. This is a bad news for Indian economy as below normal monsoon will have adverse effect on agricultural sector out and inflation. New Government will have big challenge fighting with drought in most of the areas and Inflation if India faces below normal monsoon this year.


2. India dropped to 83rd spot among 148 economies in terms of leveraging information and communications technologies (ICT) for growth and wellbeing, as per the latest report published by the World Economic Forum. India was ranked at 68th place out of 144 countries. Among emerging market economies, China was placed on the 62nd position, Brazil (69th), Mexico (79th) and India (83rd). India is also the least performing of the BRICS economies and the drop in rankings can be traced back mainly to difficulties in improving historical limitations and keeping up with other emerging economies in several dimensions.


3. Union Ministry of External Affairs has appointed Suresh Kumar Reddy as India's first Ambassador to the separate Indian Mission to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) & East Asia Summit. He is currently working as the Ambassador of India to Iraq. With this India aims for a stronger relationship with the member countries of ASEAN which will help India in countering insurgencies in North-east of India. ASEAN and India have entered into a regional economic comprehensive partnership resulting in trade worth USD 80 billion to improve ties.


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a political and economic organisation of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.


4. Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and BJP leader Narendra Modi and were featured at first and second place respective in the list of the world's 100 most influential people, as per the list published Time magazine yesterday. Arvind Kejriwal has won the Time magazine's readers poll of 100 Most Influential People in the world with the highest percentage of 'yes' votes and pushed BJP-s PM candidate to second place.


Each year, Time publishes a list of the 100 most influential people in the world and ask all its readers to vote for the most influential people. The result was announced yesterday based on the online votes received from its readers.


 


25-April


Current Affairs Global - 25 April 2014


1. Global Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Russia's rating from 'BBB' to 'BBB-' which is just one notch above "junk" status. The move comes as foreign investors continue to pull out money from the country amid tensions over the Ukraine situation and new sanctions imposed by Western Economies including USA.


In the first three months of this year, foreign investors have withdrawn USD 63.7 billion from Russia, and economic growth has slowed significantly. Russia's central bank has again raised its key interest rate today from 7% to 7.5% as it sought to defend the value of the rouble.


2. Vivek Gundotra, chief of Google-s social networking venture -Google+-, has announced to quit Google. Gundotra, who was serving as Senior Vice-President (Social) at Google, announced his departure in a post on Google Plus, a social network that was created about three years ago.


Google describes Google+ as a -social layer- for enhancing many of its online properties and is not simply a social networking Web site. Although it has more than 500 million users, Google is still struggling to catch up with Facebook in social networking space which has nearly 1.3 billion users.


3. Nokia may appoint Rajeev Suri as its next CEO and outline its new strategy with a focus on its networks equipment business as it is all set to complete sale of its mobile phone business to Microsoft.


Rajeev Suri, born in India, has been widely considered as the key candidate for the CEO post as he has helped the network division Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) turn profitable in recent years with a drastic restructuring plan and by ditching unprofitable businesses.


Current Affairs India - 25 April 2014


1. The Supreme Court stayed Tamil Nadu government's decision to free seven convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and referred the matter to a Constitution Bench today. A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said that the convicts will remain in jail for now while ruling against the petition filed by the Centre, challenging the Tamil Nadu government's decision to remit the sentences.


It said that the Constitution Bench, which will take up the matter within three months, will also decide whether the sentence of a prisoner, whose death penalty has been commuted to life, can be remitted by the government.


2. Enforcement Directorate files charge sheet in Delhi court against former Telecom Minister A Raja and others in a money laundering case relating to 2G scam today. ED also named DMK MP Kanimozhi, M Karunanidhi-s wife Dayalu Ammal and Swan Telecom Promoter Shahid Balwa as accused in the charge sheet. Rs 200 crore was paid by promoters of Swan Telecom to DMK-run Kalaignar TV, ED told court.


3. Japan-s NTT Docomo has decided to sell its entire 26.5% stake in Indian mobile service provider Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) to exit from the Joint venture it entered five years ago. NTT Docomo decided to exit the venture as TTSL failed to achieve certain performance targets by March 31, 2014.


Docomo, TTSL and Tata Sons had entered into a shareholders' agreement in March 2009. Under the agreement, Docomo holds the right to acquire TTSL shares for 50% of the acquisition price, which amounts to Rs 7,250 crore or a fair market price, whichever is higher.


 


26-April


 


27-April


Forex Reserves decreased by USD 31.6 million to 309.413 billion


India-s Forex reserves were decreased by USD 31.6 million to 309.413 billion for the week ended 18th April as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to decrease in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets. With this, India-s forex reserves dropped after seven weeks of consecutive increase.


The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was decreased by USD 16.2 million to 281.536 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets are expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves. The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were also decreased by USD 105.9 million and USD 4.5 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 21.566 billion for the same reporting week.


India's FDI inflows jumped by 12% to USD 2 billion in February


India-s Foreign direct investment jumped by nearly 12% to USD 2.01 billion in February  which is the second consecutive increase. India-s FDI inflow stood at USD 1.79 billion in February last year. During the April-February period of last fiscal year, FDI inflows dropped by 0.6% to USD 20.76 billion, compared to USD 20.89 billion received during the same period last financial year.


The highest FDI came in services sector (USD 2.18 billion), followed by automobiles (USD 1.28 billion), pharmaceuticals (USD 1.27 billion) and construction development (USD 1.05 billion) in the April- February period of previous financial year 2013-14. Maximum FDI inflow came from Mauritius with USD 4.48 billion, followed by Singapore (USD 3.91 billion), the UK (USD 3.21 billion) and the Netherlands (USD 2.20 billion).


India needs huge foreign investment to help regain its growth momentum, to support its infrastructure push and to support its domestic currency. India is estimated to require about USD 1 trillion between 2012-13 and 2016-17, the 12th Five-Year Plan period, to fund infrastructure projects.


Current Affairs Global - 27 April 2014


1. World Malaria Day (WMD) was observed on 25 April 2014 across the world to raise awareness of the disease and strengthen the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. The theme for 2014 and 2015 is -Invest in the future. Defeat malaria.-


World Malaria Day was established in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly, WHO's decision-making body.


2. World Intellectual Property Day in order was observed yesterday (26th April) across the world to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property (IP) in encouraging innovation and creativity.


The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 to "raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life" and "to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe". April 26th was chosen as the date for World Intellectual Property Day because it coincides with the date on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force in 1970.


3. G7 countries have imposed a fresh set of sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis as tensions mounted amid fears of an imminent Russian invasion. When G7 countries tries to put pressure on Russia, the situation in Ukraine escalated with pro-Russian rebels kidnapping an international team of Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observers and accusing them of being North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) spies.


Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk also alleged that Russia wants to start World War III as it provokes Ukraine to start a war. It is going to have significant effect on Russia-s economic growth as foreign investors continue to pull out money out of the country. S&P has recently downgraded Russia-s credit rating to just one notch above of Junk status due to current situation.


4. South Korea-s Prime Minister Chung Hong-Won tendered his resignation today over the sinking of a passenger ferry that killed more than 300 people on board. He took full responsibility of the disaster and tendered his resignation. The Government faced severe criticism due to the disaster and handing of the rescue operation.


5. Global software major Microsoft has completed its purchase of Nokia's mobile phone business for USD 7.5 billion. The deal was delayed due to late regulatory approvals. Post this, Nokia mobile phone production unit will be merged with Microsoft and it will end an era of Nokia brand. Nokia-s Chennai plant has been kept out of this deal as its assets were frozen by Indian tax authorities due to tax dispute.


Nokia will now focus on networks, mapping services and technology development and licenses.


Current Affairs India - 27 April 2014


1. Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court, was sworn in as the 41st Chief Justice of India (CJI) by President Pranab Mukherjee today. He took over from Justice (retd) P Sathasivam who demitted office yesterday after nine months as Chief Justice of India.


Justice Lodha will have a brief tenure of five months as CJI and is due to retire on September 27, this year. He is heading the Bench which is monitoring CBI-s probe into coal blocks allocation scam. He was also instrumental in passing orders making CBI free from any political interference.


2. India today successfully test-fired a new interceptor missile capable of neutralising any incoming long-range missile at higher altitude. The interceptor, positioned at launch pad-IV of the Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here, roared into the sky at about 9.10 am to hit its target. The target, mimicking an incoming enemy missile, was first test fired from a naval ship at 9.06 am and after getting signals from the radars, the interceptor went into action.


Earlier Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had successfully tested six interceptor missiles developed by it, both in the endo-atmosphere (within 30 km altitude above sea level and exo-atmosphere stage (above 30 km altitude).


3. The Reserve Bank of India has promoted NS Vishwanathan, US Paliwal and Chandan Sinha as Executive Directors from the post of Principal Chief General Managers.


As PCGM, Vishwanathan was heading the Department of Non-banking Supervision, US Paliwal (Human Resources Department) and Chandan Sinha (Department of Banking Operations and Development). Post these new appointments, the central bank now has nine Executive Directors.


4. Indian Grandmaster B Adhiban won a silver medal in the Asian Continental Chess Championships after ending up with six and half points out of a possible nine at Sharjah yesterday. The silver medal gives the Indian an entry in the 2015 World Chess Cup to be held at Baku, Azerbaijan. World junior champion Yu Yangyi of China emerged as the winner for the gold medal, ending with seven points.


5. Indian badminton player P V Sindhu settled with Bronze in Asian Championship after being defeated by top seed Shixian Wang of China in the semifinal match held yesterday. She fought hard for more than an hour and lost the game by 21-15 20-22 12-21.


At the same time, world No. 41 Indian pair of Ashwini-Jwala was defeated by world No.10 Chinese Luo-Luo pair by 21-12, 21-7 in just 33 minutes in the Women-s Doubles Semifinal match. They also settled with Bronze.


 


28-April


Current Affairs Global - 28 April 2014


1. Six environmental advocates from India, Peru, Russia and three other countries have won this year-s Goldman Prize, which is awarded for grass-roots activism. Peru-s Ruth Buendia was recognised for helping to prevent two dams in the Peruvian Amazon, while Russian zoologist Suren Gazaryan won for defending protected areas from Olympic development in Sochi.


American lawyer Helen Slottje was selected for helping to shut down fracking in New York State, South Africa-s Desmond D-Sa for closing a toxic dump site in Durban, and Indonesian biologist Rudi Putra for shutting illegal palm oil plantations in Sumatra. The winners of the prestigious prize will each receive USD 175,000.


2. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been named as the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year at an awards ceremony in London yesterday. He is the Premier League's top scorer this season with 30 goals, despite missing six games at the start of the season. Chelsea's Eden Hazard was voted Young Player of the Year.


Liverpool made it a clean sweep when Lucy Bronze was named the Women's Players' Player of the Year and her team mate Martha Harris was voted the Young Player of the Year.


Current Affairs India - 28 April 2014


1. The 28-member European Union has temporarily banned the import of Alphonso mangoes, the king of fruits, and four vegetables (eggplant, the taro plant, bitter gourd and snake gourd) from India from 1st May onwards which brought protests from the Indian community, lawmakers and traders. The recent decision by the grouping-s Standing Committee on Plant Health came after 207 consignments of fruits and vegetables from India imported into the EU in 2013 were found to be contaminated by pests such as fruit flies and other quarantine pests.


The UK itself imports nearly 16 million mangoes from India and the market for the fruit is worth nearly 6 million pounds a year. This ban will have significant impact on farmers and exporters as they claimed that they will lose hundreds of thousands of pounds due to the ban. A revision of the ban will take place before December 31, 2015.


2. Infosys Executive Chairman NR Narayana Murthy was honored with with the 2014 -Canada India Foundation Chanchalani Global Indian Award- in Toronto yesterday for his remarkable vision and leadership in the IT sector. The award, which carries a trophy and a cash prize worth $50,000, was presented to Murthy by Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver at the Canada India Foundation (CIF) annual award gala dinner.


3. Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra has been appointed on the Board of US-India Business Council (USIBC). As a member of the board, Mahindra will help promote the policy advocacy priorities of USIBC and advice members and senior USIBC staff on a wide range of topics.


The appointment was announced following the USIBC-s annual spring meeting. He joins a prestigious list of Chief Executive Officers and executives such as Ellen Lord, President & CEO, Textron Systems and Banmali Agrawala, President & CEO, South Asia, General Electric. Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, USIBC is a premier business advocacy organisation advancing commercial ties between the two countries.


4. Six environmental advocates from India, Peru, Russia and three other countries have won this year-s Goldman Prize, which is awarded for grass-roots activism. India-s Ramesh Agrawal received the prize for helping villagers fight coal mining in Chhattisgarh and succeeded in shutting down one of the largest planned coal mines in the area. He will receive USD 175,000 as cash prize.


5. Famous Hollywood actor John Travolta was awarded with the Most Popular All Time International Star in India at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards held in Tampa Bay, Florida last week. He acted in several blockbusters films such as Saturday Night Fever, Pulp Fiction, Grease, Swordfish, Face Off, Broken Arrow and Ladder49. IIFA awards were first held in London in 2000. The awards are presented annually by the International Indian Film Academy to both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in Bollywood.


Farhan Akhtar-s 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag', a biopic on legendary athlete Milkha Singh, won five major awards including best actor, best director for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and best picture at the 15th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards.


6. Indian Golfer Anirban Lahiri won his fourth Asian Tour title and the first outside India at the CIMB Indonesian Masters golf on 27th April. He fought back from a double bogey on 13th as he leapfrogged from second place to go past clubhouse leader Baek Seuk-Hyun of Korea (65), who finished at 16-under.


He is currently the top Indian in the world rankings and will also move to the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit.


 


 


29-April


Current Affairs Global - 29 April 2014


1. Russia has assured America that it will not invade Ukraine amid US warning that any more aggression would result in more diplomatic and economic pressure.


US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who made a call to his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoygu yesterday, also emphasized that any diplomatic engagement must include the government of Ukraine.


2. An Egyptian court sentenced the leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and 682 supporters to death yesterday which could trigger more protest and political violence just before scheduled election next month.  


The death sentence passed on Monday against Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhoods general guide, will annoy members of the group which has been the target of raids, arrests and bans since the army forced then President Mohammed Morsi from power in July.


3. Finnish telecommunications equipment maker Nokia has appointed India-born Rajeev Suri as its President and CEO. Before that, he was leading Nokia Solutions and Networks, the smaller network equipment unit of Nokia before the company sold its handset business to software giant Microsoft in a USD 7.2 billion deal.


He replaced Stephen Elop, who has returned to Microsoft as the executive vice president of its devices group. Suri joined Nokia in 1995 and headed the Asia Pacific region for NSN since 2007. He has been credited for -presiding over consistently improving results leading to the successful turnaround and restructuring of the company.-


4. The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to previous quarter, as per the latest data published. This is its fifth consecutive quarterly growth for the UK economy.


Current Affairs India - 29 April 2014


1. The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) ruled in favour of private telecom operators and said that 3G intra-circle-roaming (ICR) used by them does not violate any condition of licence agreement. A TDSAT bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam quashed all penalties imposed by Dept of Telecom on Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone for providing the 3G facilities through ICR agreements under which they had agreed to acquire customers in area where they did not win spectrum.


Earlier, DoT had issued notice to these telecom operators asking them to stop 3G ICR service and imposed penalty of total Rs 1,200 crore. Telecom operators moved the Supreme Court against the High Court order which was ruled in favor of DoT and sought that the case be transferred to TDSAT. The Apex court allowed them to move their case to TDSAT in September 2013.


2. Retired Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne has been appointed as India-s next Ambassador to Norway as per announcement made by the Ministry of External Affairs.  He had recently retired and succeeded by present Air Chief Arup Raha.


3. Volvo India has appointed Kamal Bali as managing director with immediate effect. She will report at the Volvo Group level to Niklas Gustavsson, EVP, Corporate Sustainability and Public Affairs, and Chairman of the Board of Volvo India, and operationally to Philippe Divry, President VIPL. Prior to joining Volvo India, Bali was working as the President and CEO of LeeBoy India Construction Equipment Private Limited.


 


30-April


 


Current Affairs Global - 30 April 2014


1. Switzerland and Norway are placed as the world's most expensive economies as per the latest report published by the World Bank. They are followed by Bermuda, Australia and Denmark in the same list. The richest countries with the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita on a purchasing power parity basis, are Qatar, Macao, Luxembourg, Kuwait, and Brunei.


The economies with the lowest prices are Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Laos, according to a review of economic data which seeks to compensate for exchange rate effects and measure spending power across countries.


The United States, the world's largest economy, was in relatively affordable 25th place. As per the World Bank report, almost half the world's $90.6 trillion in total economic output in 2011 came from low- and middle-income countries.


2. US economic growth dropped sharply to 0.1% in the first quarter of the current year compared to same quarter of last year. This growth rate was much lower compared to previous quarter growth rate of 2.6%. Consumer spending which drives 70% of growth in the US economy grew by 3% in the same quarter.


At the same time, Fed Tapering is going to continue as Unemployment rate is expected to drop to 6.2% by the end of this year from 6.7% in March.


3. Japan-s central bank downgrades its economic growth forecast for the current financial year. The central bank projected the world-s third-largest economy to grow by 1.1% for the year through March 2015, compared to earlier projection of 1.4% growth published in January. The bank also predicts the consumer prices to jump to 1.3% in the current financial year.


4. Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo broke the record for the most goals in a European Cup or Champions League season in his side's 4-0 semifinal second-leg victory over Bayern Munich yesterday. The Portuguese forward's two goals helped him overtake the previous best of 14 goals in a season registered by Barcelona's Lionel Messi in 2011-12 and Jose Altafini of AC Milan in 1962-63.


He has now scored 66 Champions League goals and is closing in on former Real Madrid striker Raul's overall record for the most goals in the competition of 71.


Current Affairs India - 30 April 2014


1. India has displaced Japan to become the world's third biggest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), as per the latest report published by the World Bank report on 29th April. The 2011 round of the bank's International Comparison Program (ICP) ranked India after the US and China. The last survey in 2005 had placed the country on 10th place.


PPP is used to compare economies and incomes of people by adjusting for differences in prices in different countries to make a meaningful comparison. India's share in World GDP in terms of PPP was 6.4% in 2011 compared with China's 14.9% and the US' 17.1%, the latest ICP showed. But In terms of per capita GDP, even in PPP terms, India ranks very low at 127 in the 199-country ranking.


2. India-s eight core industries- consisting of coal, crude oil, petroleum refinery products, natural gas, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity sectors output grew 2.5% in March 2014 compared to 7% growth seen in same month last year. This growth data was much lower compared to 4.5% growth witnessed in the previous month. For the entire fiscal year 2013-14, the eight core industries- output grew by 2.6% which is also much lower compared 6.5% growth seen in the previous financial year 2012-13.


The eight core industries have a combined weight of 37.90% in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). This dismal growth in March will affect IIP data as well for the same month.


3. Liquor firm United Spirits Ltd has appointed Anand Kripalu as the Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1st May. Kripalu has been CEO-Designate of the company since 1st October 2013.


United Spirits- was recently taken over by Diageo Plc and now it is seeking to purchase an additional 26% stake in the company. On April 15, Diageo made an open offer worth Rs 11,448.91 crore to acquire an additional 26% stake in United Spirits. UK-based Diageo is the world-s largest producer of spirits. In terms of volume, United Spirits is the second largest spirits company in the world.


4. Famous theatre personality Khaled Chowdhury passed away in Kolkata today morning after a prolonged illness. He was 95. Khaled Chowdhury was known for brilliant stage craft in Bengali theatre.


He worked for various directors of both Bengali and Hindi plays, including Sombhu Mitra, Tripti Mitra, and Shyamanand Jalan in various capacities - creating the Stage, sets and costumes and later as Music Director. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to theatre in India's Republic Day Honours List on 26 January 2012.


5. Famous India Paralympic swimmer Sharath Gayakwad won two Bronze and one Silver at the IDM Berlin 2014. He won Bronze Medals in the 200m Individual Medley (2:44.06 seconds) and the 100m Butterfly (1:09.67 seconds) and won the Silver Medal in the 100m Breaststroke.


 


Check all GKs published in 2014 - http://currentaffairs-businessnews.com/category/general-knowledgeawareness/gk-ga-2014/


Check all GKs published in 2013 - http://currentaffairs-businessnews.com/category/general-knowledgeawareness/gk-ga-2013/