Current Affairs India - 5 May 2014

1. India has successfully test-fired its first indigenously-developed air-to-air missile -Astra- from a Su-30 combat aircraft. DRDO said that the Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile was successfully test fired by the Air Force from a naval range in the western sector. Astra is designed and developed by DRDO and is an all-weather weapon system.

2. India-s current account deficit (CAD) is likely to be around 2% of GDP in the coming few years due to slackening of gold imports, Prime Minister-s Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan said today. As per him, -with inflation showing signs of decline and gold prices also not rising, the attraction of gold as an asset is coming down. And as we go ahead, we should find the demand for gold falling. There are also other factors contributing to improvement in exports-.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram has recently said that CAD was brought down significantly to USD 32 billion in 2013-14 compared to USD 88 billion during 2012-13 and fiscal deficit contained within the target during last fiscal. In 2012-13, CAD was at 4.7% of GDP and in 2013-14, it will be only 1.7%, the Finance Minister had also added.

3. India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), the trade body representing the Indian Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) industry, has appointed M N Vidyashankar as its new President. Vidyashankar has earlier served as Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Commerce & Industries, and Principal Secretary, Department of IT, BT and Science &Technology, Government of Karnataka.

4. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has appointed R.V. Verma as a new whole time member. He has been appointed as Wholetime Member (Finance) for a period of five years or till attaining the age of 62, whichever is earlier. He is currently Chairman & Managing Director of National Housing Bank.

5. ING Vysya Life Insurance Company has changed its name to Exide Life Insurance after Exide Industries acquired 100% ownership of the insurance company. Members of the board of directors and senior management will also remain the same and new company name or brand identity will not have any impact on the operations of the company.

6. Ankush Arora, Tata Motors- Senior Vice-President (Commercial) of the Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, has resigned when the company plans to launch two important cars in order to gain lost market share.

He had met media barely a week ago and then told Business Line that the 'Bolt' hatchback and 'Zest' sedan would mark a -dramatic perception change- of Tata Motors. Arora joined Tata Motors early last year to become part of the late Managing Director, Karl Slym-s core team. The two had worked together in General Motors India prior to this.