Current Affairs India - 20 May 2014

1. Narendra Modi was unanimously elected as the leader of the BJP parliamentary party and Prime Minister of the newly elected NDA alliance today. He was handed the appointment letter by the President Pranab Mukherjee after a meeting of the BJP parliamentary party today. The President also requested him to advise the names of members of the Council of Ministers. He will be sworn in as India-s 14th Prime Minister at 6 pm on May 26.

The BJP-s parliamentary party met at 12 noon in the Central Hall of Parliament where senior leader LK Advani proposed Modi-s name as leader of the party. His candidature was unanimously upheld by the BJP and endorsed by all the constituents of the NDA by loud thumping of desks and cheers by the newly-elected MPs.

2. All members of the Planning Commission submitted their resignations to the Prime Minister-s Office yesterday so that the Planning Commission can be reconstituted under newly elected NDA government. Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia along with other full time members of the Commission B K Chaturvedi, Saumitra Chaudhuri, Syeda Hameed, Narendra Jadhav, Abhijit Sen, Mihir Shah, K Kasturirangan and Arun Maira have submitted their resignation.

The Commission is headed by the Prime Minister. Dr. Ahluwalia and the rest of the members will continue as acting members till the Commission is reconstituted.

3. India-s gold demand declined by 26% to 190.3 tonnes during the January to March quarter of 2014 compared to 257.5 tonnes in the same period of 2013, as per the report compiled by the World Gold Council. In value terms, it translates into Rs 48,853 crore versus Rs 73,184 crore, a drop of 33%. The expectations for demand during 2014 stand at 900-1,000 tonnes, the report also said.

This steep drop in Gold demand due to impact of higher import duties and supply curbs imposed on the gold market by the Central government earlier in an order to reduce India-s overall current account deficit.

4. Indian batsman Virat Kohli has been rated second behind British Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton in the list of most marketable athletes by the UK magazine, 'SportsPro'. The list was based on value for money, age, home market, charisma, willingness to be marketed and crossover appeal.

Virat was the only Indian sportsperson to be featured in the June edition of the London-based magazine. Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen is the only cricketer other than Kohli to feature in the top-50 list at 35th rank. The list also includes Christiano Ronaldo (4) Usain Bolt (6), Neymar (7th), Lionel Messi (11), Novak Djokovic (15), Andy Murray (21), Rory McIlroy (24), Sebastian Vettel (27) and Victoria Azarenka (31).