Current Affairs India - 3 January 2015

1. A suspicious fishing boat carrying explosives from Pakistan was intercepted by Indian Coast Guard in Arabian Sea on the New Year eve. The crew on the boat was expected to carry 26-November like attack on Indian land. But the crew set the boat on fire and it sank at the same spot.

The incident came a month after sixth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack. India-s intelligence unit received an input with information that a fishing boat from Karachi was planning some illicit transaction in Arabian Sea.

2. Famous economist Arvind Panagariya is likely to be appointed Vice Chairman of the new Planning Commission, which has now been named NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog. He will also be given cabinet rank. -NITI Ayog- will be headed by the prime minister and comprise a vice-chairperson, besides full-time and part-time members.

3. R Koteeswaran has taken over as the Chairman and Managing Director of PSU bank Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) this week. Before this, he was serving as Executive Director of Bank of India. He replaced M Narendra who has superannuated recently.

4. R.K Srivastava took over as the new chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI) on 2nd January. He succeeds Sudheer Raheja. He, a 1984-batch Jharkhand-cadre IAS officer, has been appointed for 5 years.

The post was lying vacant after the previous UPA government terminated midway the six-month extension to the then chairman V.P Aggarwal and gave additional charge to Alok Sinha, who was working as joint secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry at that time.

5. India-s manufacturing activity jumped to 2-year high in December as the HSBC compiled Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) jumped to a two-year high of 54.5 in December compared to 53.3 in previous month of November. Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth for the sector. Manufacturing activity increased in December due to new orders from the consumer sector in the same month. This data increases optimism about domestic Industrial sector along with core sector growth which jumped to 6.7% in November.

6. India-s foreign exchange (forex) reserves decreased by USD 287.5 million to USD 319.710 billion in the week ended 26th December, as per weekly report published by the RBI. The decrease was mainly due to decrease in foreign currency assets which was decreased by USD 271 million to USD 295.399 billion in the same week.

Special Drawing Rights and India-s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were also dropped by USD 13 million and USD 3.5 million respectively in the same week. Gold Reserves remained unchanged at USD 18.985 billion in the same week.