Current Affairs India - 30 August 2013

1. Indian parliament has passed the land acquisition bill which protects consent of landowners and steep hikes in compensation amid land acquisition related issues across the country. All the political parties joined hands to pass the popular bill before upcoming election next year.  The key features of the bill include consent of landowners for acquiring land for private and PPP projects and compensation norms set at 4 and 2 times the market rate for rural and urban land respectively. Industry body criticized the bill saying that it will increase land acquisition and rehabilitation cost by 3-5 times and it will hurt industry growth in India.

2. India's first exclusive defence satellite GSAT-7 was successfully launched by European space consortium Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on Friday. This will be used by Indian Navy for maritime security and intelligence gathering in a wide swath of the Indian Ocean region.

3. The government has set up a 7-member Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC) to revisit tax laws and suggest measures for putting in place a stable and non-adversarial tax administration. This commission will be headed by Parthasarathi Shome. The committee will also review the current mechanism of dispute resolution covering time and compliance cost and recommend steps for strengthening them for both domestic and international taxation and suggest a system to enforce better tax compliance.

4. ONGC Videsh Ltd Managing Director, D.K. Sarraf, has been appointed as the Chairman & Managing Director of ONGC, India-s largest Oil and Gas PSU. He will succeed Sudhir Vasudeva, the current Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC, who retires on February 28, 2014. Sarraf was selected out of the four candidates interviewed by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB).

5. Kapil Parakh, an Indian-origin cardiologist working in Washington area, is among a dozen people chosen by the White House for its prestigious fellowship programme for 2013-14.

6. PV Sindhu-s Awadhe Warriors entered into the final of inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL) yesterday after defeating Mumbai Masters by 3-2 in semifinal match. In the final, it will face Saina Nehwal-s Hyderabad Hotshots to win the first edition of IBL cup. Earlier Saina Nehwal defeated Juliane Schenk in a hard-fought match to secure final berth for Hyderabad Hotshots.

7. Indian hockey team reached the final of ninth Asia Cup after beating Malaysia 2-0 in the second semifinal today. VR Raghunath and Mandeep Singh scored the goals for India. With this win, India were assured of a berth in next year's World Cup as well.