Current Affairs India - 10 December 2013

1. Social Activist Anna Hazare has started his indefinite hunger strike here to press the Government for immediate passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. Accusing the Congress of -betrayal-, he said time has come for the UPA Government to deliver on its promise or quit. He has chosen Yadav Baba temple in his native village Ralegan Siddi this time as his protest venue.

2. After delivering strong performance in Delhi Assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to concentrate on the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra. They will field candidates from the 36 Assembly seats in Mumbai but they have not decided about the number of Lok Sabha seats they want to contest.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also decided to contest all 90 seats in the Haryana Assembly polls next year. AAP state spokesman Rajiv Godara said that they will start preparing for the polls within a week, but will not ally with any party.

3. A report released by theWorld Food Project (WFP)for 2013 on 169 countries has said that India-s midday meal programme stands 12th among 35 lower middle income countries. However it noted that India has the largest school feeding programme in the world, catering to over 114 million children. It covers almost 79 per cent of its total number of school-going children. The report has been titled State of School Feeding Worldwide, 2013 has based its conclusions on a global survey conducted by the World Food Programme in2012. The report shows praise for India-s mid-day meal scheme as a good example of a mixed implementation approach.

4. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has appointed Sumit Bose, a 1976 batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer, as Finance Secretary. He will continue to hold the post of Revenue Secretary, but be designated as Finance Secretary. He succeeded former Finance Secretary Gujral who was superannuated recently.

5. Ranjan Mathai, former Foreign Secretary of India, took over as the country-s next High Commissioner to the UK yesterday. He succeeds Jaimini Bhagwati, who retired recently. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1974 after completing Post-Graduate studies in Political Science at the University of Poona. He served in Indian Missions in Vienna, Colombo, Washington, Tehran and Brussels. He was the Ambassador of India to Israel from February 1998 to June 2001 and to Qatar from August 2001 to July 2005.

6. India-s largest bank State Bank of India opened 27 all-women branches in Chandigarh today. The decision was taken after the appointment of the bank-s first woman chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, on her maiden visit to Chandigarh Local Head Office. The all-women branch initiative for SBI comes in less than a month-s time of the inuaguration of first bank for women Bharatiya Mahila Bank in November. India-s largest bank has initiated steps to ensure that at least one all-women branch is there for each district in the circle starting with the Chandigarh Circle.

7. State-run Indian Oil Corp has emerged as the country-s biggest company in terms of annual revenue, followed by private sector giant Reliance Industries at the second place, as per an annual list of Fortune 500 companies in India. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) was the biggest with annual revenue of Rs 4,75,867 crore, followed by Reliance Industries (RIL) with a full-year revenue of Rs 4,09,883 crore. This is followed by Bharat Petroleum (Rs 2,44,822 crore) at the third place and Hindustan Petroleum (Rs 2,17,771 crore) at fourth.

Other entities in the list are State Bank of India (5th rank), Tata Motors (6th), ONGC (7th), Tata Steel (8th), Essar Oil (9th) and Coal India (10th). Other companies in the list include Bharti Airtel (12th), ICICI Bank (14th), NTPC (15th), Tata Consultancy Services (18th) and Infosys (27th).