Current Affairs India - 3 June 2013

1. Sudha Sharma, 1976 batch IRS Officer, has been appointed as the new Chairperson of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). She replaces Poonam Kishore Saxena who retired on 31 May. She was serving as member (legislation and computerization) in CBDT. The CBDT is a part of Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance and it is a statutory authority functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963.

2. The government has appointed Thomas Mathew as the new chairman of Life Insurance Corp of India. He holds the position of managing director in LIC since 2006. Mathew has a nearly 30 years of professional experience in the life insurance sector  and is the senior most person in the government entity after D K Mehrotra, who retired on 31 May. After his elevation, the government has also appointed S K Roy as another managing director of LIC.

3. S. Ravind has been appointed as Director of the Bangalore-based Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), a unit of the Defence Research and Development Organization. He replaces Varadarajan who superannuated on May 31.

He started his career as a Junior Scientific Officer in the Defence Electronics Research Laboratory, Hyderabad, and later joined LRDE. According to a DRDO statement, Ravind was involved in the design and development of INDRA I and INDRA II radars, first phase Array Radar, Rajendra Radar and the Akash Weapon System.

4. The Congress Party has appointed Charan Das Mahant, the MP from Korba, as the new party chief in Chhattisgarh, days after its state president, Nand Kumar Patel, was killed in a Maoist attack during the party's "Partivartan Yatra" last month. Senior tribal leader Mahendra Karma, former legislator Uday Mudaliyar and many others were also killed in the attack.

5. P. Nanda Kumaran, Managing Director, State Bank of Travancore (SBT), retired from service last Friday. Sajeev Krishnan, Chief General Manager, will hold charge of the office of Managing Director for the time being.

6. The Reserve Bank has clarified some of the queries related to new bank licenses. It said in- principle approval for setting up of new banks will now be valid for 18 months, up from earlier proposed one year. The companies which would be eligible to apply must have a public shareholding of at least 51%.

It further said only non-financial services companies and non-operative financial holding companies in the promoter Group would be allowed to hold shares in the holding company. Those seeking to set up a bank will have to submit applications by July 1, 2013. The RBI will display names of applicants on its Website.

7. The Union government of India has increased the import tariff value of gold to USD 459 per 10 grams, while it was reduced to USD 737 per kg for silver imports. The tariff value of gold was at 440 dollars per 10 grams and silver at 761 dollars per kg in the previous month of May. This move has been taken to reduce overall Gold imports by India in order to tackle with rising current account deficits.