Current Affairs India - 23 February 2015

1. JDU leader Nitish Kumar took oath as a Bihar Chief Minister yesterday to become the Chief Minister of the state for the fourth time. Earlier he had resigned from the post last year in May 2014 over JD(U)'s debacle in the Lok Sabha election. 22 ministers were also administered the oath of office along with him.

2. Himachal Pradesh is set to become the India-s first state to present a paperless budget on 11th March. Since the state already has the country's first green assembly, all documents related to budget estimates would be made available online and only around 10 budget copies would be printed for record.

3. Bank trade unions finally managed to get a good deal of a 15% hike in wages coupled with second and fourth Saturday off from PSU bank managements after long negotiations period of more than 2 years. Though bank employees have got second and fourth Saturday off, they will have to work full day on the first and third Saturdays.

The wage hike is effective from November 2012 and will be applicable to nearly 10 lakh employees in public sector banks, old generation private sector banks and some foreign banks. With this decision, the Indian Banks' Association has called off their planned four-day strike starting from 25th February.

4. India-s Foreign direct investment (FDI) jumped by more than 100% to USD 2.16 billion in December 2014 compared to USD 1.10 billion in the same month of 2013.During the April-December period of current fiscal year 2014-15, total FDI increased by 27% to USD 21.04 billion compared to USD 16.56 billion received in the same period last fiscal year.

Amongst the top 10 sectors, telecom received the maximum FDI of USD 2.67 billion in the same period, followed by services (USD 2.29 billion), automobile (USD 1.58 billion), pharmaceuticals (USD 1.21 billion) and computer software and hardware (USD 971 million). During the period, India received maximum FDI from Mauritius at USD 5.89 billion, followed by Singapore (USD 4.31 billion), the Netherlands (USD 2.57 billion), the US (USD 1.48 billion) and Japan (USD 1.42 billion).

5. Global credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has warned today of losing credit rating if proper reform steps are not taken by the NDA government. As per S&P, India must boost growth, cut its fiscal deficit and fulfil promises of financial and fiscal reforms in order to justify an upgrade in a credit rating.

S&P raised India's credit rating outlook to 'stable' from 'negative' with 'BBB-minus' rating in September last year after a stable government and chances of more reforms.