Current Affairs India - 2 December 2013

1. Finally the Mars Orbiter mission has ventured out of Earth's gravity to reach the moon's orbit, crossing a major milestone in India's space history and defeating neighbor country China in the race to reach moon. After the completion of this manoeuvre, the Earth orbiting phase of the spacecraft has ended, as per ISRO. Now it will travel for 300 days in to complete its journey and reach Moon-s orbit.


2. A Portuguese film Beatriz's War won the prestigious Golden Peacock award at the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on Saturday. Directed by Luigi Acquisto and Bety Reis, the film was unanimously chosen by the jury for the award, which comes with a Golden Peacock statuette, a certificate and Rs 40 lakh. The film deals with intimate relationships between men and women against the continuous violence in East Timor. The Bengali film Meghe Dhaka Tara, directed by Kamaleswar Mukherjee won the Silver Peacock award.


3. India's manufacturing sector activity expanded in November for the first time since July, driven by rising new domestic orders. The HSBC compiled India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the manufacturing industry, an important parameter to judge the performance of the manufacturing sector, jumped to 51.3 in November compared to 49.6 in October due to rebound in new orders and output. This is the highest PMI reading in seven months. Anything higher than 50 indicates growth and this data increases optimism about India-s economy.


4. India's current account deficit drops sharply to 1.2% of GDP during second quarter (July to September) of current financial year compared to CAD of 4.9% of GDP in the previous quarter. India-s CAD fell by more than a fourth to USD 5.2 billion in the same quarter compared to USD 21 billion in the same period last year. The government and the RBI have guided for long that a CAD of 2.5% is manageable in the present economic context. This is a very encouraging number from India-s macro-economic point of view and it is likely to strengthen the domestic currency, Indian Rupee.


5. India-s leading IT services Company, Wipro will acquire Opus Capital Markets Consultants for USD 75 million to increase its presence in mortgage processing segment. Opus CMC offers operational and loan level due diligence, valuation support, forensic analysis, and advisory services on all classes of mortgage products, residential and commercial, ranging from re-underwriting whole loans to collateral reviews of securitised pools. This acquisition will help Wipro to expand its business in mortgage sector.


6. Social networking giant Facebook is in talks to acquire Bangalore-based product start-up Little Eye Labs. Once completed, it will be Facebook's first acquisition of a product firm in India. It will also be a first for software product think-tank Indian Software Products Industry Roundtable (iSpirt), which has facilitated the deal through its M&A Connect programme, which helps Indian product companies find global buyers. Little Eye Labs, founded in May 2012 by four programmers in Bangalore, builds performance analysis and monitoring tools that identify and fix performance problems for Android app developers.


7. Eleven Indians including members from the Nilekani, Bajaj and Godrej families were honoured for their outstanding contribution towards the good of the society at Forbes India Philanthropy Awards. Rohini Nilekani, founder of Arghyam, and Nandan Nilekani, Infosys co-founder who presently heads the Unique Identification Authority of India, won the second Forbes India Philanthropy Award in Outstanding Philanthropist category for the year 2013. The Godrej and the Bajaj families won the awards in the Outstanding Corporate Foundation and the Distinguished Family categories.


Among other winners, Ramesh and Swati Ramanathan, founders, Janaagraha, won the Crossover Leader award that recognises a professional who has successfully made the transition from a thriving career in the corporate world to work for the social or not-for-profit sector. Romesh Wadhwani, founder, chairman and CEO of Symphony Technology Group won the -Distinguished Non-Resident philanthropist- award and Archana Raghuram, Director-Outreach at Cognizant Technology Solutions won the -Good Samaritan Award-. Narayana Health won -the Good Company- award; Anu Aga, Former chairperson, Thermax and Chairperson, Teach For India, won the Corporate Catalyst award and Amit Chandra, MD, Bain Capital, won the NextGen leader in Philanthropy award.


8. M.V. Tanksale, former Chairman and Managing Director of Central Bank of India, has been appointed as the Chief Executive of the Indian Banks- Association. Tanksale succeeds K. Ramakrishnan, who served as Chief Executive of IBA for five years up to 30th November. IBA, which has 176 members comprising public sector banks, private sector banks, foreign banks and urban co-operative banks, was established in 1946 to promote sound and progressive banking principles, practices and conventions in the country.


9. The Indian cricket team held its second ranking in the ICC Test rankings with R Ashwin topping the all-rounders' chart in the latest rank issued in Dubai this weekend. South Africa (131) leads the point table followed by India (119), England (116), Pakistan (102) and Australia (101).


10. India's badminton star PV Sindhu won the Women's Singles title at the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold Tournament this weekend. She defeated world No. 30 and seventh seed Li Michelle of Canada 21-15, 21-12 in the final match. With the victory Sindhu has bagged yet another Tier-III title this season, after her triumph at the Malaysia Open Grand Prix in May.