Current Affairs India - 2 March 2015

1. PDP (People-s Democratic Party) party leader Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir on 1st March. He is leading a historic alliance with the BJP, which has become part of a government in the state for the first time.

2. Jagmohan Dalmiya has been elected as the new President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. He was elected unopposed at the board's 85th annual General Meeting held in Mumbai today. He will head the board for next three years.

At the same time, Anurag Thakur was elected as Secretary, Amitabh Choudhary was elected as Joint Secretary and Anirudh Chaudhry was elected as Treasurer of the richest cricket board in the world. The Vice-Presidents elected were ML Nehru (representing north zone), G Ganga Raju (south), ?Gautam Roy (east), TC Mathew (west) and CK Khanna (central).

3. Central Government has appointed Arun Singh, currently its Ambassador to France, as its next ambassador to the US. Arun Singh, a 1979-batch IFS officer, will succeed S Jaishankar, who was appointed as Foreign Secretary on January this year. Earlier, he had served as ambassador to Israel (2005-2008) and served as deputy chief of mission in Washington (2008-2013).

4. FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) has appointed famous economist Arvind Virmani as the new Economic mentor for Ficci-s public policy and economic work. Earlier he served as the country-s Chief Economic Advisor and Principal Advisor in the Planning Commission.

5. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has given Executive Director of Bank of Baroda Ranjan Dhawan additional charge of the Managing Director & CEO of Bank of Baroda for a period of three months. Gauri Shankar, Executive Director, was given the additional charge of Managing Director & CEO of Punjab National Bank for a period for three months last month.

Previous MD of Bank of Baroda SS Mundra became the Reserve Bank of India Governor on July 31, 2014 and former MD of Punjab National Bank KR Kamath demitted the office with effect from October 28, 2014 on completion of his tenure of five years.

6. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit in the insurance sector has been increased to 49% from existing limit of 26%, as per the Commerce and Industry Ministry. This follows the approval given by the Union Cabinet for the promulgation of an ordinance hiking the FDI limit in the insurance sector to 49% in December last year after it failed to get approval in the Parliament.

7. India-s core sector growth, consisting of eight core sectors, coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity, grew by 1.8% in January due to negative growth in Crude Oil and natural gas sectors. This is the lowest core sector growth in at least 13 months. Core sector growth stood at 3.7% in January last year and 2.4% in previous month of December 2014.

During April-January period of current financial year, the eight sectors grew by 4.1% compared to 4% growth in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

8. India-s manufacturing activity grew at its slowest pace in five months in February due to slowdown in factory orders. The HSBC- Markit compiled Purchasing Managers- Index for manufacturing sector fell for the second consecutive month to 51.2 in February compared to 52.9 in January. A reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

9. Online cab booking company Ola has acquired its competitor TaxiForSure for USD 200 million in a cash and equity deal. Post this deal, both the companies will continue to operate as separate companies. The founders of TaxiForSure, Aprameya Radhakrishna and Raghunandan G will contribute in an advisory role for a certain period.

TaxiForSure currently operates in 47 cities with over 15,000 vehicles registered on its platform. Ola which is already the market leader in the personal transportation space has over 1-lakh vehicles on its platform.