December 2013 Current Affairs List

1-December


Forex Reserves increased by USD 2.691 billion to 286.263 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 2.691 billion to 286.263 billion for the week ended 22nd November as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to increase in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 2.760 billion to 258.664 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves.


The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) was increased by USD 9.1 million and the Reserve portion with IMF was decreased by USD 78.4 million in the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 21.227 billion for the same reporting week.


 


2-December


Current Affairs Global - 2 December 2013


1. World AIDS Day was observed yesterday (1st December) across the world to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. The theme for this year is -Getting to Zero-- means zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.


2. International Day for Abolition of Slavery is observed today (2nd December) across the world to create awareness about the prevention of human trafficking and the exploitation of human being. The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, and the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.


3. Eurozone factory orders jumped for a fifth consecutive month in November and manufacturing activity accelerated to its fastest pace for more than two years. The Markit compiled Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), an important parameter to judge the performance of the sector, increased to 51.6 in November compared to 51.3 in October. Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth in activity.


4. Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers, as per its Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. The drones, called Octocopters, could deliver packages weighing up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of them placing the order. This will definitely change the way ecommerce and online retail companies operate nowadays.


5. US actor Paul Walker, who starred in the Fast & Furious series of action films, passed away in a car crash in California. He was 40. He was a passenger in a Porsche sports car driven by a friend - who also died - when it crashed north of Los Angeles.


Current Affairs India - 2 December 2013


1. Finally the Mars Orbiter mission has ventured out of Earth's gravity to reach the moon's orbit, crossing a major milestone in India's space history and defeating neighbor country China in the race to reach moon. After the completion of this manoeuvre, the Earth orbiting phase of the spacecraft has ended, as per ISRO. Now it will travel for 300 days in to complete its journey and reach Moon-s orbit.


2. A Portuguese film Beatriz's War won the prestigious Golden Peacock award at the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on Saturday. Directed by Luigi Acquisto and Bety Reis, the film was unanimously chosen by the jury for the award, which comes with a Golden Peacock statuette, a certificate and Rs 40 lakh. The film deals with intimate relationships between men and women against the continuous violence in East Timor. The Bengali film Meghe Dhaka Tara, directed by Kamaleswar Mukherjee won the Silver Peacock award.


3. India's manufacturing sector activity expanded in November for the first time since July, driven by rising new domestic orders. The HSBC compiled India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the manufacturing industry, an important parameter to judge the performance of the manufacturing sector, jumped to 51.3 in November compared to 49.6 in October due to rebound in new orders and output. This is the highest PMI reading in seven months. Anything higher than 50 indicates growth and this data increases optimism about India-s economy.


4. India's current account deficit drops sharply to 1.2% of GDP during second quarter (July to September) of current financial year compared to CAD of 4.9% of GDP in the previous quarter. India-s CAD fell by more than a fourth to USD 5.2 billion in the same quarter compared to USD 21 billion in the same period last year. The government and the RBI have guided for long that a CAD of 2.5% is manageable in the present economic context. This is a very encouraging number from India-s macro-economic point of view and it is likely to strengthen the domestic currency, Indian Rupee.


5. India-s leading IT services Company, Wipro will acquire Opus Capital Markets Consultants for USD 75 million to increase its presence in mortgage processing segment. Opus CMC offers operational and loan level due diligence, valuation support, forensic analysis, and advisory services on all classes of mortgage products, residential and commercial, ranging from re-underwriting whole loans to collateral reviews of securitised pools. This acquisition will help Wipro to expand its business in mortgage sector.


6. Social networking giant Facebook is in talks to acquire Bangalore-based product start-up Little Eye Labs. Once completed, it will be Facebook's first acquisition of a product firm in India. It will also be a first for software product think-tank Indian Software Products Industry Roundtable (iSpirt), which has facilitated the deal through its M&A Connect programme, which helps Indian product companies find global buyers. Little Eye Labs, founded in May 2012 by four programmers in Bangalore, builds performance analysis and monitoring tools that identify and fix performance problems for Android app developers.


7. Eleven Indians including members from the Nilekani, Bajaj and Godrej families were honoured for their outstanding contribution towards the good of the society at Forbes India Philanthropy Awards. Rohini Nilekani, founder of Arghyam, and Nandan Nilekani, Infosys co-founder who presently heads the Unique Identification Authority of India, won the second Forbes India Philanthropy Award in Outstanding Philanthropist category for the year 2013. The Godrej and the Bajaj families won the awards in the Outstanding Corporate Foundation and the Distinguished Family categories.


Among other winners, Ramesh and Swati Ramanathan, founders, Janaagraha, won the Crossover Leader award that recognises a professional who has successfully made the transition from a thriving career in the corporate world to work for the social or not-for-profit sector. Romesh Wadhwani, founder, chairman and CEO of Symphony Technology Group won the -Distinguished Non-Resident philanthropist- award and Archana Raghuram, Director-Outreach at Cognizant Technology Solutions won the -Good Samaritan Award-. Narayana Health won -the Good Company- award; Anu Aga, Former chairperson, Thermax and Chairperson, Teach For India, won the Corporate Catalyst award and Amit Chandra, MD, Bain Capital, won the NextGen leader in Philanthropy award.


8. M.V. Tanksale, former Chairman and Managing Director of Central Bank of India, has been appointed as the Chief Executive of the Indian Banks- Association. Tanksale succeeds K. Ramakrishnan, who served as Chief Executive of IBA for five years up to 30th November. IBA, which has 176 members comprising public sector banks, private sector banks, foreign banks and urban co-operative banks, was established in 1946 to promote sound and progressive banking principles, practices and conventions in the country.


9. The Indian cricket team held its second ranking in the ICC Test rankings with R Ashwin topping the all-rounders' chart in the latest rank issued in Dubai this weekend. South Africa (131) leads the point table followed by India (119), England (116), Pakistan (102) and Australia (101).


10. India's badminton star PV Sindhu won the Women's Singles title at the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold Tournament this weekend. She defeated world No. 30 and seventh seed Li Michelle of Canada 21-15, 21-12 in the final match. With the victory Sindhu has bagged yet another Tier-III title this season, after her triumph at the Malaysia Open Grand Prix in May.


 


3-December


Current Affairs Global - 3 December 2013


1. International Day of People with Disability is observed today (December 3) across the world to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. This is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. Theme for 2013 is "Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all".


2. Brazil's economy fell into contraction in the third quarter of current year, as per the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica (IBGE). Brazil's economy was contracted by 0.5% in the quarter, compared to previous quarter. But economic growth stood at 2.2% compared to same quarter last year.


Current Affairs India - 3 December 2013


1. India successfully test-fired indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile today with a strike range of 350 km from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha as part of a user trial by defence forces. The surface-to-surface missile was test-fired at around 10:05 AM from a mobile launcher in salvo mode from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range. Inducted into India-s Strategic Forces Command in 2003, Prithvi, the first missile developed by DRDO under India-s prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program), is now a proven technology, said a defence official. Prithvi is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvering trajectory.


2. -Brahmaputra Cruises- by Assam Bengal Navigation Company has been recognised by CNN International as one of the top 10 Most Adventurous Cruises in the World for 2013. The -Brahmaputra Cruises (Jungle Book Tour/India)- has been ranked sixth among the cruises including the Amazon, the Antartica, the North Pole, Australia and Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Managing Director of Assam Bengal Navigation Company, Ashish Phookan. Recalling that Assam Bengal Navigation Company, an Indo-British joint venture, had pioneered long-distance river cruising in India in 2003, he said the company completes ten years of cruising on Brahmaputra river on the -ABN Charaidew- this year.


3. Directorate General of Foreign Trade-s e-BRC project won the 2013 eASIA Award under Trade Facilitation category. The award was announced by Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (AFACT) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on 29 November 2013. Electronic Bank Realization Certificate (e-BRC) project was launched in June 2012, to electronically transmit foreign exchange realization details on exports from the respective banks to Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).


4. India has decided to give USD 1 million to the trust of Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at The Hague for the destruction of Syria-s chemical weapons and related facilities, a move that will strengthen its case for inclusion in Geneva-II talks next month. Apart from the financial assistance, India has offered the services of its experts to help in the destruction of Damascus- chemical weapons arsenal and related facilities, as per Ministry of External Affairs statement.


5. Anurag Jain, Joint Secretary (Financial Inclusion & CVO), Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, was appointed as the acting Chairman and Managing Director of Export-Import Bank of India. Jain will be leading the public sector bank till such time as a regular incumbent is appointed by the Government. He succeeded T. C. A. Ranganathan, who superannuated on November 30 after serving as the chief executive of the bank since April 2010.


6. Singaporean lender DBS Bank has hired Rajesh Prabhu as Chief Financial Officer for its operations in India as the bank looks to expand its Indian footprint. Prabhu joins the bank from German lender Deutsche Bank, where his job entailed management of onshore financial reporting for the Bank and its subsidiary, it added. He has also had a stint with IDBI Bank as the financial controller for the state-run bank.


7. Federal Bank has appointed Abraham Koshy as its part time Chairman. Koshy joined the Board of the Bank in May 2007, as an Independent Director. He is a member of the Advisory Committee for Investor Protection and Education Fund of SEBI and the trustee member of the Consumer Education and Research Centre, Ahmedabad.


8. Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has won the 2013 ICC People's Choice Award. Dhoni is only the third cricketer to win the award after Sachin Tendulkar in 2010 and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara in 2011 and 2012. He defeated other nominees Australia's Michael Clarke, England's Alastair Cook, India's Virat Kohli and South Africa's AB de Villiers to win the award. The short list was nominated by an elite panel of cricket experts, which is headed by ICC Cricket Committee Chairman Anil Kumble.


9. 42 year old leg spinner Pravin Tambe was surprisingly included in the Mumbai Ranji Trophy team to take on Jharkhand in the four-day Group A match starting at the Wankhede Stadium on December 6. Lack of top quality spinners has apparently forced the Mumbai selectors to include Tambe, who made his mark in T20 cricket while playing for Rajasthan Royals in last season's IPL and Champions League but is yet to figure in first class cricket.


10. Indian Golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar won the 2013 edition of the Indonesia open at Jakarta on sunday. He finished 72 holes on the Pantai Indah Kapuk Course at Damai Indah Golf at 16-under-par 268.


11. Bhullar, who led the tournament from the outset with a 64 in his opening round, finished at 16-under, three shots ahead of Malaysian Nicholas Fung and Thailand's Chapchai Nirat at 13-under. Malaysia's Nicholas Fung (66) finished tied second along with Thailand's Chapchai Nirat (66).


India-s FDI dropped by 38% in September to USD 2.91 billion


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India dropped by 38% in September compared to same month last year to USD 2.91 billion. FDI inflow stood at USD 4.67 billion in September last year. During the April-September period of 2013-14 fiscal, cumulative FDI dropped by 11% to USD 11.37 billion, compared to USD 12.84 billion during the same period of previous financial year 2012-13.


In the first six months of last fiscal, the services sector had attracted USD 3.04 billion, telecom USD 43 million and metallurgical industries USD 685 million. The maximum FDI during the period came from Singapore, followed by Mauritius, the Netherlands, Germany and the US.


India has projected to require around USD 1 trillion FDI between 2012-13 and 2016-17, the 12th Five Year Plan period, to fund the infrastructure growth covering sectors such as ports, airports and highways. The government has also started exercise in allowing FDI in railways sector besides liberalising FDI norms for construction and housing sector. It has already relaxed FDI policy in 12 sectors, including telecom, tea and petroleum & natural gas. The aim is to boost FDI inflows in order to reduce current account deficit, fund hue infrastructure spend and support domestic currency.


India-s Core industries output contracted by 0.6% in October; Will affect IIP number


India-s core sector output, consisting of eight key sectors, contracted by 0.6% in October compared to same month last year due to lower output  in coal, crude oil natural gas and refinery products. This is much lower compared to 8% growth witnessed previous month and 7.8% growth witnessed in October last year. Coal, crude oil, natural gas, petroleum refinery production dropped by 3.9%, 0.8%, 13.6% and 4.8% in October this year compared to same month last year.


In April-October period of current financial year, the core industries- output grew 2.6%, lower than 6.8% growth recorded in same period last fiscal. The eight core industries have a weightage of about 38% in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). This data will affect the IIP numbers which will be published later this month.


 


4-December


Current Affairs Global - 4 December 2013


1. The European Commission has fined eight banks including RBS a total of 1.7 billion euros for forming illegal cartels to rig interest rates. The cartels operated in markets for financial derivatives, which are products used to manage the risk of interest rate movements. Two of the eight, Barclays and UBS, were excused their financial penalties for revealing the cartels' existence. A number of banks were engaged in the rigging of interest rate products intended to reflect the cost of interbank lending in euros, while another group fixed prices for products based on the Japanese yen.


2. In the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 released by Transparency International yesterday; Denmark and New Zealand tied for first place with scores of 91. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are the worst performers, scoring just 8 points each. Among BRIC countries, China secured 80th rank while South Africa and Brazil both are ranked at 72nd. Pakistan and Russia are placed far behind with 127th rank.


Current Affairs India - 4 December 2013


1. Assembly election was completed in Delhi today marking debut of new political party -Aam Admi Party- formed by Arvind Kejriwal. A record 66% Delhiites voted today in the fiercely fought assembly polls where Congress, BJP and debutant Aam Aadmi Party made it a tight triangular contest. While Congress was seeking another term under Sheila Dikshit, BJP and AAP were led by their chief ministerial candidates Harsh Vardhan and bureaucrat-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal respectively for the 70-member assembly.


2. India was ranked 94th out of 177 countries on Global Corruption Perception Index 2013, released by Transparency International yesterday. The Index ranks the public sector of 177 countries across the world according to perception of corruption. India has scored 36 points on a scale of 0-100where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means it is perceived as very clean.


3. After securing a clearance from anti-corruption body CVC, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) has appointed its current Finance Director P. Madhusudan as the Chairman and Managing Director of  the State-run steel maker-s from January 1, 2014. The Chief Vigilance Commission (CVC) granted Madhusudan the clearance earlier this week, nearly six months after the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) had recommended his name for the top post in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) in June this year after the post will fall vacant following the incumbent A. P. Choudhary-s superannuation on 31st December this year.


4. Cadbury India has roped in Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and South Indian actor Karthi as brand ambassadors for its biscuit brand Oreo in India. The two brand ambassadors will be introduced through a new campaign -Connect Playfully-.


5. Indian-American teenager Saumil Bandyopadhyay has been selected for the prestigious Ingenuity Award for revolutionizing nanotechnology that would upend industries ranging from automobiles to astronomy. He is among the 10 selected individuals, who were named recipients of the second annual American Ingenuity Awards last month. Bandyopadhyay, 18, who was presented the award last month, was selected for a unique, sensitive infrared radiation detector that promises to be inexpensive and has scientific, civilian and military applications.


 


5-December


Current Affairs Global - 5 December 2013


1. The International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development was observed today (5th December) across the world. The day, which is also known as International Volunteer Day (IVD), gives volunteers a chance to work together on projects and campaigns promoting their contributions to economic and social development at local, national and international levels. Theme for the year 2013 is: -YOUNG.GLOBAL.ACTIVE-.


2. Xavier Bettel sworn in as first openly gay prime minister of Luxembourg yesterday, this paves the way for the introduction of social reforms such as same-sex marriage. Bettel succeeds Jean-Claude Juncker, who was until yesterday the European Union's longest-serving head of government, with 19 years in power.


3. Forbes magazine has ranked Ireland as No 1 rank in its list of world's best countries for doing business as it maintains an extremely pro-business environment that has attracted investments by some of the world's biggest companies over the past decade. Ireland is followed by New Zealand, which slipped to the second position and Hong Kong at the third position for a second straight year, Denmark at 4th and Sweden at 5th Position.


4. The US economic growth was revised upward to 3.6% in the third quarter of the current year compared to earlier estimate of 2.8%. This is the fastest growth since first quarter of 2012. The upward revision was mainly driven by a big jump in businesses restocking their inventories. This upward revision increases optimism about the world-s largest economy.


5. The Bank of England has kept interest rates at a record low of 0.5%, despite signs that the UK economy is improving. It has kept the interest rate unchanged since March 2009.The Bank also left its quantitative easing (QE) programme of monetary stimulus unchanged at 375 billion pound. With the unemployment rate at 7.6% and inflation at much lower at 2.2% in October, the central bank does not need to increase rates immediately.


6. The European Central Bank (ECB) has kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.25% after a surprise cut from 0.5% in previous month. The euro zone economic growth stood at 0.1% in the third quarter of current year compared to 0.3% in the previous quarter and ECB needs to keep interest rate at record low in order to boost growth.


7. Brazuka, the official 2014 FIFA World Cup match ball was unveiled yesterday by manufacturers Adidas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The ball is called the 'Brazuca' after a public vote by more than one million football fans in the host nation Brazil. Brazuca is an informal local term which means "Brazilian", or relating to a Brazilian way of life. The ball, the successor to the Adidas Jabulani used at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, has already been tested in competitive international matches, at the Under-20s World Cup, with a different print design, and in the friendly between Sweden and Argentina in February 2014.


Current Affairs India - 5 December 2013


1. Forbes magazine has ranked India 98th in its list of world's best countries for doing business. The famous magazine has cited poverty, corruption and discrimination against girls among the challenges facing the country. According to the list, among the BRIC economies, Brazil was placed higher at the 80th position on the list, followed by Russia (91st), China (94th) and India (98th). In terms of trade freedom, India was ranked 128th and on monetary freedom basis it was placed at 132nd rank; property rights (55); innovation (39); technology (94); red tape (139); investor protection (32); corruption (86); personal freedom (58); tax burden (122); market performance (75).


2. Sushma Singh has been elected as the next Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of India and will succeed Deepak Sandhu, who is due to finish her term at the end of December this year. The decision was taken unanimously by a panel comprising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Law Minister Kapil Sibal. Sushma Singh will be the second woman to become the Chief Information Commissioner. She has earlier served as Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Panchayati Raj and also in the Ministry for the Development of the North Eastern Region (DONER).


3. Metro Cash & Carry India has bagged the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Award for Food Safety 2013. The award was conferred on Metro Cash & Carry at the CII-s 8th Food Safety and Quality Summit in New Delhi.


4. Wipro has been recognised by Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) with a Gold Award in the category -Marketing with Social and Digital Media-. Wipro received the award during the 20th ITSMA Annual Marketing Conference 2013 at Cambridge, Massachusetts. ITSMA is a leading marketing association for technology, communications, and professional services providers.


 


6-December


 


7-December


Forex Reserves increased by USD 5.037 billion to 291.3 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 5.037 billion to 291.3 billion for the week ended 29th November as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to increase in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 5.071 billion to 263.735 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves.


The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) was increased by USD 12.2 million and the Reserve portion with IMF was decreased by USD 46.2 million in the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 21.227 billion for the same reporting week.


Current Affairs Global - 7 December 2013


1. Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first elected black president and a global anti-apartheid icon passed away on early Friday, at his home in the suburb of Houghton in Johannesburg, following a lengthy illness. He was 95. He was the first black South African to hold the office of President from 1994 to 1999, and the first elected in a fully representative multiracial election. He was also known as Madiba in South Africa. He was the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his continuous fight to restore peace in South Africa. He was also the recipient of Bharat Ratna and Mahatma Gandhi peace award.


2. International Civil Aviation Day was observed today (7th December) across the world to highlight the importance of civil aviation for social and economic development around the world. The International Civil Aviation Day is aimed at promoting the safety and efficiency of air transportation and to create awareness about the role of International Civil Aviation Organization in air transport. The date marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation at Chicago on same date in1944.


3. The 9th WTO Ministerial Conference was concluded yesterday at Bali, Indonesia. The Ministerial Conference has agreed on the revised draft of Bali Package. This is the first such agreement since the WTO was set up way back in 1995. The trade facilitation agreement reached by the WTO members will help developing countries to reduce transaction cost and improve competitiveness of domestic industry. During the conference, the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed to allow countries to provide subsidy on staple food crops without any threat of punitive action.


4. Ambassador Ahmet Uzumcu has been re-appointed as the OPCW Director General at the 18th Session of the Conference of State Parties. This will be his second term in the office.  The Director-General called 2013 a truly historical year in his statement during the opening of the conference as the year has witnessed an unprecedented challenge for the OPCW in the form of eliminating Syria-s  chemical weapons in the midst of an active war. The Nobel Committee has also awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW for his continuous struggle in order to destroy chemical weapons across the world.


5. UN General Assembly elected Jordan to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member yesterday to replace Saudi Arabia. Earlier Saudi Arabia was elected in October 2013 to the Security Council as a non permanent member but it has rejected its seat in protest at the UN council's failure to end the war in Syria and act on other Middle East issues. Jordan will now join with Lithuania, Chile, Nigeria and Chad as new members of the council, replacing Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Pakistan, Morocco and Togo. The other five temporary council members that will remain next year are Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea and Rwanda.


6. Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai has been awarded the 2013 UN Human Rights Prize, an honour previously given to icons like late Nelson Mandela in recognition of outstanding achievement in human rights. The prize is awarded every five years and has previously been bestowed on Amnesty International and former US president Jimmy Carter.


7. The US unemployment rate dropped to 7% in November compared to 7.3% in October, as per the US Bureau of Labour Statistics. The jobless rate was the lowest since November 2008, when the US economy face the Wall Street meltdown and collapsing housing market, amid the worst recession in eight decades. The bureau-s separate survey of employers showed that payrolls grew by 203,000 jobs in November, led by hiring in the manufacturing and construction sectors.


8. FIFA, the international football body, has awarded India the rights to host the Under-17 World Cup in 2017. The country beat stiff competition from Ireland, 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa and Uzbekistan to get the final nod from FIFAs executive committee at the resort town of Costa Do Sauipe in Brazil. The tournament will be played at six venues. Among the cities in the fray to host the games are Mumbai, New Delhi, Goa, Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata, Kochi and Guwahati.


Current Affairs India - 7 December 2013


1. The Union Cabinet has finally cleared the bill to create Telangana state. Sticking to the original resolution of the Congress Working Committee, the new state will have only the 10 districts of Telangana region. Rayalseema districts of Kurnool and Anantapur will continue to be part of the residue state. It has also decided to finalize the capital of the residuary state within 45 days, thus formally setting in motion the process for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.


2. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministers at Bali finally adopted the historic five-draft decision declaration and the 10-document full Bali package that addresses the Doha Development Agenda. This is the first such agreement since the WTO was set up way back in 1995.


The Indian government claimed major gains at the World Trade Organization (WTO) as members accepted its demand on food security that will protect India and other developing countries from penalties for breaching the domestic subsidy cap of 10% of value of production. In return, India agreed to a new agreement on trade facilitation, the first since the WTO was set up nearly two decades ago, that will ease controls at ports and airports and may provide a boost of up to $1 trillion to the global economy. WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation could boost India-s exports as well.


3. India is the seventh most economically confident country in the world, says a study by global research firm Ipsos. According to the study 'Ipsos Economic Pulse of the World', India's economic confidence revived substantially due to healthy farm output, a sharp boost in exports and narrowing of current account deficit.


4. Metro man E. Sreedharan is among six prominent Keralites have been selected for South Indian Bank-s excellence awards. The others are actor Innocent, cancer expert P.V. Gangadharan, industrialist Kochouseph Chittilappilly, singer P.Jayachandran and poet O.N.V. Kurup. The Rs 1 lakh award will be presented to them at a ceremony at Thrissur, marking the 85th anniversary of the bank on February 1.


5. The Central Government has modified the FDI policy to allow unlisted companies to directly list on stock exchanges abroad. The move will facilitate raising of funds for acquisitions or clearing overseas debts. It may help India in containing its high current account deficit. Presently, unlisted companies are not allowed to directly list in overseas markets without prior or subsequent listing in the Indian market.


6. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)-s out-of-the-box move to woo dollar deposits by protecting banks from currency risks has been a big hit. Banks have managed to mobilise USD 34 billion in foreign currency deposits since the special swap scheme was flagged off in September. This is much higher than the sums raised by the Resurgent India Bonds (RIBs) of 1998 (USD 4.2 billion) and the India Millennium Bonds (USD 5.5 billion). The inflows have given the rupee a much-needed breather from its steady slide over the past year.


7. The Reserve Bank of India will soon introduce cash-settled interest rate futures on 10-year government bonds and has also permitted exchanges to launch these derivatives in other smaller tenure securities in the future. The central bank has permitted exchanges to offer both physical and cash settled IRFs on the notional 10-year government securities. The RBI stated in a notification that the physically settled 10-year IRF would have a semi-annual coupon rate of 7%.


8. Indian IT Services Company Wipro has announced that it exited its PC manufacturing business, one of the very first IT businesses that promoter Azim Premji entered into,long before he entered the IT services business that Wipro is known around the world for today. Wipro will discontinue manufacturing SuperGenius line of desktops, EGO laptops and NetPower servers in a market where customer needs are changing rapidly.


 


8-December


Assembly Election Result - AAP makes dream debut; Victory for BJP in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh


Assembly election result of four states Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were declared today in which BJP had landslide victory in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. In Rajasthan, BJP has won 162 seats in the 199 constituencies that went to poll. Congress has won 21, National People's Party, NPP-4 and Bahujan Samaj Party -3. With this, BJP will return back to power in the state.


In Madhya Pradesh, BJP has won 161 seats in the 230 member house, crossing the mark of 153 for two third majority. Congress has won 58 seats and leading in two, Bahujan Samajwadi Party won four seats and others three. With this BJP-s Shivraj Singh Chouhan will become Chief Minister for the 3rd time. BJP also secured Chhattisgarh in a close fight and secured highest number of seats in Delhi.


But the biggest surprise of this year-s assembly election is Aam Admi Party-s (AAP) dream debut in spite of being a 1 year old party. The debutante Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) put up a spectacular show in the battle for the 70-member assembly. Three time Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit herself lost to AAP founder-leader Arvind Kejriwal in the prestigious New Delhi constituency. Kejriwal, who had claimed that he would defeat the three-time chief minister, won by 22,000 votes. The Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP)stunning show in Delhi pushed the Congress to a humiliating third spot, with the BJP emerging as the single-largest party with 31 seats. AAP got 28 seats while the Congress was reduced to 8.


This results will give set the tone for upcoming general election to be held in 2014. The below table shows the result as of now (taken from Election Commission website)


Chhattisgarh


Madhya Pradesh


Party


Lead


Won


Party


Lead


Won


INC


2


40


INC


2


58


BJP


4


44


BJP


2


161


BSP


0


1


BSP


0


4


OTH


0


1


OTH


0


3


Rajasthan


Delhi


Party


Lead


Won


Party


Lead


Won


INC


0


21


INC


0


8


BJP


0


162


BJP


0


31


NPP


0


4


AAP


1


27


OTH


0


12


OTH


0


3


 


 


9-December


Current Affairs Global - 9 December 2013


1. International Anti-Corruption Day is observed today (9th December) across the world to raise awareness about the menace of Corruption and what people can do to fight it. The theme for the year 2013 is -Act against Corruption Today-. The day is observed on 9th December each year to raise awareness about the corruption. The UN General Assembly by resolution of 58/4 of 31 October 2003 designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day. This decision aimed to raise people-s awareness of corruption and of the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in combating and preventing it.


2. Miss Venezuela Alyz Henrich was crowned with the pageant of Miss Earth 2013 at the Versailles Palace, Philippines. This was the 13th edition of the annual Miss Earth. Miss Korea Catharina Choi was chosen as Miss Earth Fire, Miss Thailand Punika Kulsoontornrut was chosen as Miss Earth Water and Miss Austria Katia Wagner was chosen as Miss Earth Air in the same event.


3. Inflation in China, measured by the Consumer price index, rose 3.0% in November compared to the same period last year. The inflation dropped compared to previous month figure of 3.2% in October. Lower inflation will give the central bank more room in order to cut rates to boost growth which fell to 7.8% last year, the slowest since 1999.


4. China's exports jumped more than expected by 12.7% in November compared to same month last year due to strong demand from western markets. This is higher than analysts- expectations and increases optimism about the Chinese economy.


5. Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis and ex-Australia wicketkepeer Adam Gilchrist will be inducted into the ICC's Hall of Fame next week. Waqar and Gilchrist become the 70th and 71st male members of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.


Waqar will join the exclusive club during the first Twenty20 International between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on December 11, while two days later in Perth, Gilchrist will be honoured during the tea interval of the third Ashes Test at the WACA. They will become the first two inductees of 2013-14, while two more names will be announced later this month.


Current Affairs India - 9 December 2013


1. After facing a debacle in four states, Congress received cheer in Mizoram where it stormed back to power for a second consecutive term capturing 22 of the 40 seats, while leading in four. Four times Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla won from both Serchhip and Hrangturzo seats he had contested. He will form the next government of Mijoram.


2. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with winning over 28 of the 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly elections on 8 December 2013 met the eligibility criteria of Election Commssion to become a State Party. The Aam Aadmi Party registered as a political party by the Election Commission in March 2013. To be recognized as a state party, A political party should secure at least six percent of the total valid votes polled during general election to a State Legislative Assembly and should, in addition, win at least two seats in that Assembly, or the party should win at least three percent of the total number of seats or three seats in the Legislative Assembly, whichever is more.


3. Three times Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, resigned from her post on 8 December 2013 after Congress party faced a defeat in the Delhi Assembly polls. She sent her resignation to the Lt Governor. Sheila Dikshit was defeated in her constituency in New Delhi from Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party by over 22,000 votes.


4. PepsiCo India has appointed former Nokia senior executive D. Shivakumar as new head of its India business. He has been appointed as the Chairman and CEO of India region with immediate effect. He will be responsible for deploying the Rs 33,000 crore investments in India that PepsiCo announced last month. He will succeeed Gautham Mukkavilli, current General Manager for PepsiCo India Beverages, who has been named the senior Vice-President , Business Transformation - AMEA at PepsiCo.


5. STAR India has now extended their relationship with BCCI by winning Team India's sponsorship rights today for next three years. The BCCI announced the sponsors after bids were opened in Chennai on Monday afternoon. STAR India won the rights after Sahara India's bid was found "ineligible." The rights are from January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017 and covers BCCI, International Cricket Council and Asian Cricket Council events


6. Kerala emerged as the champion state in the 29th Junior National Athletics Championships which concluded last weekend at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. Kerala ended the competition with a 585 score, way ahead of the second placed Tamil Nadu and third placed Haryana.


 


10-December


Current Affairs Global - 10 December 2013


1. Human Rights Day was observed today (10th December) across the world to bring to light the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 2013 Theme of the day is -20 Years Working for Your Rights-.  The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention -of the peoples of the world- the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. The United Nations General Assembly in December 1993 created the mandate of High Commissioner for the promotion and protection of all human rights. This year, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights marks 20 years since its establishment.


2. The World Innovation Summit for Health, WISH-2013 began in Qatar's capital Doha today with a call for practical, innovative and sustainable health solutions. More than 500 global health leaders, policy makers and analysts from 67 countries have gathered in Doha to discuss ways and means to improve the outreach of health care services to the people across the world. Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary Kesav Desiraju is representing India at the Conference.


Current Affairs India - 10 December 2013


1. Social Activist Anna Hazare has started his indefinite hunger strike here to press the Government for immediate passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. Accusing the Congress of -betrayal-, he said time has come for the UPA Government to deliver on its promise or quit. He has chosen Yadav Baba temple in his native village Ralegan Siddi this time as his protest venue.


2. After delivering strong performance in Delhi Assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to concentrate on the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra. They will field candidates from the 36 Assembly seats in Mumbai but they have not decided about the number of Lok Sabha seats they want to contest.


The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also decided to contest all 90 seats in the Haryana Assembly polls next year. AAP state spokesman Rajiv Godara said that they will start preparing for the polls within a week, but will not ally with any party.


3. A report released by the World Food Project (WFP) for 2013 on 169 countries has said that India-s midday meal programme stands 12th among 35 lower middle income countries. However it noted that India has the largest school feeding programme in the world, catering to over 114 million children. It covers almost 79 per cent of its total number of school-going children. The report has been titled State of School Feeding Worldwide, 2013 has based its conclusions on a global survey conducted by the World Food Programme in2012. The report shows praise for India-s mid-day meal scheme as a good example of a mixed implementation approach.


4. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has appointed Sumit Bose, a 1976 batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer, as Finance Secretary. He will continue to hold the post of Revenue Secretary, but be designated as Finance Secretary. He succeeded former Finance Secretary Gujral who was superannuated recently.


5. Ranjan Mathai, former Foreign Secretary of India, took over as the country-s next High Commissioner to the UK yesterday. He succeeds Jaimini Bhagwati, who retired recently. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1974 after completing Post-Graduate studies in Political Science at the University of Poona. He served in Indian Missions in Vienna, Colombo, Washington, Tehran and Brussels. He was the Ambassador of India to Israel from February 1998 to June 2001 and to Qatar from August 2001 to July 2005.


6. India-s largest bank State Bank of India opened 27 all-women branches in Chandigarh today. The decision was taken after the appointment of the bank-s first woman chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, on her maiden visit to Chandigarh Local Head Office. The all-women branch initiative for SBI comes in less than a month-s time of the inuaguration of first bank for women — Bharatiya Mahila Bank — in November. India-s largest bank has initiated steps to ensure that at least one all-women branch is there for each district in the circle starting with the Chandigarh Circle.


7. State-run Indian Oil Corp has emerged as the country-s biggest company in terms of annual revenue, followed by private sector giant Reliance Industries at the second place, as per an annual list of Fortune 500 companies in India. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) was the biggest with annual revenue of Rs 4,75,867 crore, followed by Reliance Industries (RIL) with a full-year revenue of Rs 4,09,883 crore. This is followed by Bharat Petroleum (Rs 2,44,822 crore) at the third place and Hindustan Petroleum (Rs 2,17,771 crore) at fourth.


Other entities in the list are State Bank of India (5th rank), Tata Motors (6th), ONGC (7th), Tata Steel (8th), Essar Oil (9th) and Coal India (10th). Other companies in the list include Bharti Airtel (12th), ICICI Bank (14th), NTPC (15th), Tata Consultancy Services (18th) and Infosys (27th).


 


11-December


Current Affairs Global - 11 December 2013


1. Pope Francis has been named Person of the Year by Time magazine. As permanaging editor Nancy Gibbs, during his nine months in office, the Pope had pulled "the papacy out of the palace and into the streets". NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was runner-up in the same list.


2. Global auto giant General Motors has named Mary Barra as its new chief executive, making her the first woman to lead a major car manufacturing company in the United States. She previously served as Senior Vice-President for global product development. She will replace current CEO Dan Akerson who is set to step down on January 15 next year.


3. Uruguay has become the first country in the world to legalise marijuana for recreational use with the state taking control of the trade. In this regard Uruguay senators gave the approval for government-sponsored bill. According to the new law-Registered Uruguayans over the age of 18 will be allowed to buy up to 40 grams of the drug a month. Tourists will be excluded. The government hopes it will help tackle drug cartels, but critics say it will expose more people to drugs.


Current Affairs India - 11 December 2013


1. The Supreme Court has ruled that homosexuality including gay sex is a criminal offence, a verdict that is a major setback for human rights in the world's biggest democracy. The top court set aside a Delhi High Court verdict from 2009 which had decriminalized homosexuality by  overturning a colonial-era law. The Supreme Court also said that statute - Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code - which outlaws sex "against the order of nature" is constitutionally valid. Conviction carries a fine and a maximum 10-year jail sentence.


2. Retired judge of the Gujarat High Court, Justice D.P Buch was administered the oath of Gujarat Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal at Raj Bhavan today. Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Assembly Speaker Vajubhai Vala attended the ceremony.


3. Amitabh Bachchan launched the biography of Olympics medallist, and boxer Mary Kom named as "Unbreakable". He spoke about Mary Kom and her book 'Unbreakable', "Mary Kom is already a legendary figure in the country, loved and admired by all. She has made innumerable contributions in breaking stereotypes about women, more so from the north-east.


4. Reliance Industries owned Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd signed a telecom infrastructure-sharing accord with Sunil Mittal-s Bharti Airtel Ltd, India-s biggest mobile phone services provider. The venture is expected to lead to the formation of the nation-s largest 4G-based wireless communications service next year. The significant tie up will also lead to cost savings to a large extent.


5. Wipro Chairman Azim Premji won the Economic Times Lifetime Achievement Award 2013 for his role in creating India's third-largest software exporter and also for the impressive scale of his philanthropy. The 2013 ET Awards for Corporate Excellence were given in Mumbai on 9 December 2013.


6. Dutch liquor giant Heineken has bought 35.5 lakh shares or 1.37% stake in United Breweries through a bulk deal yesterday for around Rs 772 Crore. With this it has now emerged as the largest shareholder in United Breweries with total stake at nearly 39%, surpassing its equal joint venture partner Vijay Mallya. Vijay Mallya-s stake now drops to 37.5%.


India-s export grew by 5.85% in November; Trade deficit at USD 9.22 billion


India's exports grew by 5.86% in November compared to same month last year to USD 24.6 billion, while imports dropped by 16.37% in the same month to USD 33.83 billion. This is the lowest imports in more than two and a half years. Trade deficit during the month stood at USD 9.22 billion compared to USD 17.2 billion in the same month last year.


Gold and silver imports in November 2013 dropped by around 80% to USD 1.05 billion compared to USD 5.4 billion in the same month last year. During April-November period of the current financial year 2013-14, total exports stood at USD 203.98 billion while total imports stood at USD 303.89 billion. Trade deficit for the same duration stood at USD 99.9 billion.


 


12-December


Current Affairs Global - 12 December 2013


1. Social networking website Facebook was added to the benchmark Standard & Poor-s 500 Index, in a move that could drive up its share price as index tracking funds will now have to buy the stock. Facebook, which went public in May 2012, replaced electronics company Teradyne on the widely quoted index. The company is now valued at USD 121 billion to rank as the 30th most valuable company on the S&P 500.


2. South Korea-s electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd lost its case to have certain products by Apple Inc banned in South Korea tpday when a Seoul court ruled the US manufacturer had not violated Samsung patents. Samsung had earlierfiled for damages and a sales ban on some iPhone and iPad models in March 2012, saying Apple had breached three patents on technology for handling and displaying text and messages from its flagship Galaxy product range.


3. Indian batsman Virat Kohli lost his top position to AB de Villiers in the latest ICC one-day rankings issued today after the 0-2 series loss to South Africa. India also dropped two ratings points but held on to the top spot with 120 ratings points despite the 0-2 loss in the three-match series, while South Africa continued to be in fifth place with 110 ratings points, with a gain of three points.


In the bowling charts, South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn has continued his upward move in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers and moved to second position followed by Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal. India-s Ravindra Jadeja was pushed to the 7th spot, a loss of four positions, while Ravichandran Ashwin ended up 17th after slipping three rungs


Current Affairs India - 12 December 2013


1. BJP leader Raman Singh has taken over as Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh for the third consecutive term. Governor Shekhar Dutt administered him the oath of office in Raipur today. With this, Raman Singh has become BJP-s second chief minister to be sworn in for the third consecutive term.


Top BJP leaders including party chief Rajnath Singh, senior leader Lal Krishna Advani, four chief ministers including Narendra Modi and Prakash Singh Badal, Shiv Sena leader Udhav Thakare and leaders of the opposition party Congress attended the glittering ceremony.


2. The indigenously developed light combat aircraft 'Tejas' would officially replace the MiG-21 FL fighter jet, Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said today. Indian Air Force has recently decommissioned all of its Mig-21 fighter planes. Defence Minister A K Antony would officially hand over initiation of acceptance of the Tejas into the force at its birthplace in Bengaluru on December 20, the IAF Chief said.


3. Following RBI notification, Banks might need to adopt Aadhaar as additional authentication or move to EMV (Euro pay MasterCard Visa) chip and pin technology to ensure security in card-based payment transactions. The RBI also said that all new card present infrastructures must be enabled with EMV chip and Pin technology as well as Aadhaar acceptance. The notification is based on working group's recommendation headed by Gowri Mukherjee.


4. Qatar based Doha Bank has been granted licence to commence banking operations in India and has been permitted to open a branch in Mumbai to provide full-scale banking services. This is line with the bank-s expansion strategy of expanding operations at the local, regional and international levels, the licence from the Reserve Bank of India to start operations in India is another milestone in that direction. After getting licence, it will soon start operations as a foreign bank branch in Mumbai and will offer wholesale banking, retail banking, treasury and trade finance services to all customers in India.


5. State-owned IFCI has appointed Malay Mukherjee as Managing Director and CEO of the financial institution. Prior to this, he was executive director of Central Bank of India. Also Achal Kumar Gupta has been appointed as Deputy Managing Director of the company.


6. India-s IT services Company Wipro has received the -2013 ESCAP-Sasakawa Award for Disability-Inclusive Business in Asia and the Pacific-, in the category -Disability-Inclusive Multinational Enterprise-. The award for Disability-Inclusive Business was established by ESCAP in cooperation with The Nippon Foundation (TNF) and the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) to recognise and honour companies that have made a significant breakthrough in engaging and hiring people with disabilities in their daily operations. The award is an initiative that views persons with disabilities as an untapped workforce.


7. Indian Kabaddi teams both in Men and Women-s team have stormed into the final of 4th World Cup Kabaddi Tournament at Bhatinda yesterday. Now Indian Men-s team will compete against Pakistan while Women-s team will compete against New Zealand for the world title.


8. Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal faced the prospect of an early exit after suffering a second consecutive defeat to Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China in a Group B match of the BWF World Super Series Finals today. This is a very bad year for the World number six player who did not win a single title this year.


9. International Olympics Committee (IOC) cleared the Indian athletes to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi in Russia yesterday. The decision came after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) amended its constitution on 8 December 2013 so as to comply with the IOC ethics rules. The ethics rule of IOC requires a complete ban on tainted persons from its elections. This saved India from becoming the first country in 40 years to have been expelled from the Olympics. However IOC has not yet cleared whether the Indian athletes can compete under the Indian flag or they would have to compete under the Olympic flag.


India-s retail inflation jumped to nine month high 11.74% in November due to higher food inflation


India-s Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, jumped to 11.74% in November compared to 10.09% in previous month of September due to Costlier fruits and vegetables such as onions and tomatoes. This is the highest Retail inflation number in last 9 months. Inflation in the food and beverages segment was 14.72% compared with 12.56% in the previous month. Vegetable, Pulses, cereal, milk products and protein-rich items prices rose by 61.6%, 1.2%, 12.07%, 9.06% and 11.96% in November.


In November, Retail inflation in rural areas jumped to 11.74% compared to 10.11% in October and in urban areas jumped to 10.5% compared to 10.2% in October. Double digit retail inflation may prompt RBI to hike rates again in order to fight with rising inflation.


India-s IIP contracted by 1.8% in October; Nine month high retail inflation to worsen situation


India-s Index of Industrial production (IIP) growth, the most important parameter to judge factory output, contracted by 1.8% in October. IIP growth stood at 8.4% in the same month last year. Industrial output for April-October period of current financial year stood at flat compared to 1.2% growth in the same period of last financial year.


The manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75% of the index, declined by 2% in October compared to 9.9% growth a year ago. The mining sector, with a weight of about 14% in IIP, also saw a contraction of 3.5% in October compared to a contraction of 0.2% in the same month last fiscal. IIP contraction along with Retail inflation touching none month high worsens the macro economic situation. It will also make RBI and Government-s job very tough before general election next year.


 


13-December


Current Affairs India - 13 December 2013


1. Vasundhara Raje, who led BJP to a landslide victory in Rajasthan Assembly polls, was sworn in as the Chief Minister today for the second time. She was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Margaret Alva during a grand swearing-in ceremony today in presence of Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh,  Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other top party leaders.


2. The Supreme Court granted bail to Rashtriya Janata Dal Chief chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in fodder scam case today. Lalu was convicted in the fodder scam case and sentenced to five years. A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam granted bail after noting that several other similarly placed convicts have already been granted bail in the case. Lalu Prasad Yadav has already spent 12 months behind bars, including two months of his five-year sentence. Lalu had moved the apex court challenging the order of the Jharkhand High Court which had dismissed his bail plea.


3. The C Rangarajan panel recommended the guidelines prescribing bailout packages for developers of highway projects and the task of implementation lie with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). The panel recommended that 75% of the premium amount payable to the government will be restricted in the first three years of the contract. If the panel-s recommendations are accepted, It will lead to huge reduction in the premium payment in the first years. As a result, it will provide relief to the developers like GMR Infrastructure Ltd and GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd and 23 other road developers.


4. Devyani Khobragade, Deputy Consul General at the Indian Consulate was arrested today for allegedly presenting fraudulent documents in support of a visa application for an Indian national employed by her, Manhattan-s top federal prosecutor Preet Bharara said. Khobragade is currently employed as the Deputy Consul General for Political, Economic, Commercial and Women-s Affairs at the Consulate General of India in New York.


5. Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan has been named the 'most powerful celebrity of 2013' by Forbes India for the second time in a row. Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni moved up from the third spot last year to second spot this year with his immense popularity and endorsement deals. Salman khan slipped to third spot followed by Sachin Tendulkar (4th), Amitabh Bachchan (5th) and Akshay Kumar(6th). Katrina Kaif is the only women in the list of top 10 Indian celebrities.


6. The Indian Dairy Association has awarded D Tikku, Chairman, NDDB Dairy Services, with the 10th Dr Kurien Award in recognition of his contribution to the Indian dairy industry. IDA had instituted the biennial Dr Kurien Award. The award was presented in the 42nd dairy industry conference, held at Chennai recently.


7. S.B. Nayar has taken charge as the Chairman and Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL). He was the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of IFCI Ltd, took charge at IIFCL from December 12. Nayar is also the Chairman on the Board of Governors of Management Development Institute (MDI) and Institute of Leadership Development, and member of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute.


8. Eastern Army Command, Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh Suhag was designated as the Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCoAS). He will take over from Lieutenant General SK Singh as the Vice Chief of Army Staff retires on 31 December this year. He will be replaced by Lieutenant General MMS Rai at the Kolkata based Eastern Army Command. He is also expected to succeed as the Chief of the Indian Army Staff, after the retirement of General Bikram Singh on 31 July 2014 based on his seniority.


9. Wal-Mart India has appointed Krish Iyer as President and CEO of Walmart India, effective January 20, 2014. He will replace interim CEO Ramnik Narsey. He will report to Walmart Asia regional president and CEO Scott Price.


10. India won the women's Kabaddi World Cup championship for the third time in a row today after defeating New Zealand 49-21 in the final match in Jalandhar, Punjab. With this win, the Indian team took home a first-place prize of 1 crore rupees. Anu Rani was declared the best stopper and Ram Bateri was declared the best raider. Both received a Maruti Alto car each. Indian women-s team won the 2011, 2012, and 2013 editions of World cups earlier.


11. Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara won the 'Emerging Cricketer of the Year' trophy at the ICC Annual awards announced in Dubai today. This is his first ever ICC Award for Pujara who became the second fastest Indian to get 1000 Test runs during the course of his double hundred against Australia in March at Hyderabad. Another Indian to win ICC Annual award is Mahendra Singh Dhoni who gets LG People's Choice award.


Australian captain Michael Clarke clinched the top honours. He also won the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year and was also named as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year.


 


14-December


 


15-December


Forex Reserves increased by USD 4.408 billion to 295.709 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 4.408 billion to 295.709 billion for the week ended 6th December as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to increase in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  Forex reserves witnessed a growth of USD 9 billion in last two weeks.


The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 5.019 billion to 268.755 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves.


The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were increased by USD 8.9 million and USD 3.8 million respectively in the same week. Gold values were deceased by USD 624.2 million USD to USD 20.603 billion for the same reporting week.


Current Affairs India - 15 December 2013


1. Shivraj Singh Chouhan was sworn in as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister for third consecutive term yesterday, after leading BJP to a spectacular hat-trick in Assembly elections. He was administered the oath of office by Governor Ram Naresh Yadav. Senior BJP leaders including Narendra Modi, party chief Rajnath Singh, veteran L K Advani and senior leaders of its allies Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal attended the swearing in ceremony.


2. Lal Thanhawla was sworn in as Chief Minister of Mizoram by Governor Vakkom Purushothaman at the Raj Bhavan in Aizawl yesterday.  This is Mr. Thanhawla-s second consecutive term and the fifth overall term as chief minister.


3. The Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra passed the much-awaited Anti-Superstition Bill on 13th December. The Bill seeks to curb black magic and other inhuman practices arising out of superstition. It came after four months of the murder of the noted rationalist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar on in August this year in Pune, who fought for such a law for more than for one and a half decade. State Government of Maharashtra also has adopted an Anti-Black Magic and Superstition Ordinance in August this year just after his murder.


4. C.V.R. Rajendran has been appointed as the new Chairman and Managing Director in C.V.R. Rajendran of Andhra Bank. Before that Rajendran was executive director at Bank of Maharashtra. He will be Chairman and Managing Director of Andhra Bank for a period of five years or until superannuation, whichever is earlier.


5. India defeated Pakistan by 48-39 in the World Kabaddi Cup final to retain the title for fourth consecutive time yesterday at Guru Nanak Dev Stadium in Ludhiana, Punjab. Hardavinder Singh Dulla and Balbir Singh from India were named as the Best Raider and Best Stopper of the tournament, respectively.


6. Indian junior hockey team finished at 10th in Hero Junior Men's Hockey World Cup played at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi today. Pakistan defeated host India by 4-2 in the one-on-one penalty shoot-out after both the teams were locked at 1-1 at the regulation time. Pakistan finished ninth after beating India in the world cup tournament.


 


16-December


Current Affairs Global - 16 December 2013


1. Socialist Michelle Bachelet won Sunday-s presidential election in Chile with 62.2% of the vote, according to the first preliminary official results made public immediately after polling stations closed. Bachelet-s conservative rival Evelyn Matthei had only 37.8% of votes. Bachelet, 62, who served as President from 2006 to 2010, already won the first voting round on November 17 with 47% of the vote.


2. Oscar-winning actor Joan Fontaine has passed away at the age of 96. Fontaine won an Academy Award as a naive wife in Alfred Hitchcock-s thrillerSuspicion and also starred in Hitchcock-s Rebecca. Her other films included The Women, Jane Eyre and Born to be Bad.


3. The euro zone economy is recovering as the latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) compiled by the Markit, an important parameter to judge the performance of the sector, increased to 52.1 in December compared to 51.7 in previous month of November. Any reading higher than 50 indicates expansion. This is the best PMI reading in last two and half years and confirms steady recovery of euro zone economy.


4. Defending champions Germany won the Men's Junior Hockey World Cup for a record sixth time after defeating France by 5-2 in the final match yesterday night. For the Germans, Nilkas Wellen sounded the board thrice, with Jonas Gomoll and Christopher Ruhr being the other goal scorers. For France, Gaspard Baumgarten scored both the goals. In another match, the Netherlands beat Malaysia, 7-2 to finish third in the tournament. The Indian team finished at the 10th spot, after losing to Pakistan in penalties in the 9th-10th position match on Saturday.


5. UK Tennis star Andy Murray, the first British tennis player to win the Wimbledon in 77 years, was awarded with the 'BBC Sports Personality of the Year'. Wales and Lions rugby star Leigh Halfpenny was awarded with the runner-up trophy and champion jockey Tony McCoy finished third in the same list.


6. Ethiopian runner Atsedu Tsegay won the Men's Delhi Half Marathon (21.097 km) by creating a new race record yesterday. He clocked 59 minutes 10 seconds beating the previous record of 59 minutes 15 seconds held by Deriba Merga since 2008. Kenya-s Geoffrey Kipsang and Wilson Kiprop finished second and third respectively in the same race.


In women-s category Kenyan athlete Florence Kiplagat won the race at 1 hour 07 minutes and 58 seconds. Gladys Cherono and Lucy Kabuu finished second and third respectively in the same race.


Current Affairs India - 16 December 2013


1. The Lieutenant Governor, Najeeb Jung has recommended imposition of President-s rule in Delhi among other options as no party got absolute majority and none is ready to assume power. The Central rule with the Assembly being kept in suspended animation was one of the options listed by Jang in his report submitted to the President after having wide ranging consultations with BJP, the single largest party, followed by the Aam Aadmi Party.


2. Vijay Diwas was observed today (16th December) across the country to celebrate the India-s military victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war. Vijay Diwas honors the victory of the Indian Armed Forces and the Mukti Bahini in the Indo-Pak war which ended in the liberation war of Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, on 16th December 1971 after the historic surrender of over 93000 Pakistani soldiers to the Indian Armed Forces, which led by the then General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora.


3. The Centre has appointed Harsh Kumar Bhanwala as Chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard). He succeeded Prakash Bakshi, who retired as Nabard Chairman in September. Before this appointment, Bhanwala was an Executive Director at India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL), a state-owned infrastructure lender.


4. Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan won the best actor award for his brilliant performance in his film -The Lunchbox- at the 10th edition of Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). Ritesh Batra, the Writer-Director of the film The Lunchbox, got a special mention for screenplay for the film in the same category. The Dubai International Film Festival was held last week. The jury at the DIFF was headed by renowned filmmaker Shekhar Kapur.


5. Union Labour and Employment Minister Sis Ram Ola passed away at a Gurgaon hospital on Sunday after a prolonged illness. The 86-year-old Congress leader had been suffering from various ailments, sources in Medanta Medicity said. He represented the Jhunjhunu constituency of Rajasthan and was a member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly from 1957 to 1990, and from 1980 to 1990 he was a cabinet minister in the Government of Rajasthan.


6. India-s squash player Mahesh Mangaonkar became the first Indian squash player to win the IMET Open, in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava. The 19-year-old World No.98 from Mumbai defeated defending champion Greg Lobban, the No.2 seed from Scotland 7-11 11-8 11-4 6-11 11-7 to win the title.


7. Malaika Goel and Prakash Nanjappa won Gold in their respective categories at the 57th National Shooting Championship being held at Tughlakabad on 14thDecember 2013. Malaika won the Gold in women-s 10-meter air pistol whereas Prakash won Gold in 50-meter free pistol. The 16-year-old Malaika beat seasoned Harveen Srao by 5.3 points in the final to win the gold.


India-s headline Inflation jumped to 14-month high of 7.52% in November; RBI to hike rates again


India-s headline inflation, measured by the Wholesale Price Index, jumped to 14-month high of 7.52% in November compared to 7% in the previous month of October due to costly vegetables. Vegetable prices jumped by 95.25% in November as compared to 78.38% in the previous month.


Overall food inflation in jumped to 19.93% in November compared to 18.19% in October which pushed the overall inflation numbers. The rise in WPI comes after the retail or consumer price inflation jumped to 11.24%, published last week. Prices of Potato, Onion, protein items and milk were jumped by 26.71%, 190.34%, 15.19% and 625% respectively in November. Inflation in the fuel and power segment stood at 11.08% in the month compared to 10.33% in October and for manufactured products, Inflation increased slightly to 2.64% in November compared to 2.5% in October.


With this 14-month high inflation, RBI is going to increase rates again during its next monetary policy review on 18th December. It had hiked the key lending rate by 0.25% in each of its previous two policy reviews to fight with rising inflation.


 


17-December


Current Affairs Global - 17 December 2013


1. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been voted in for a third term as chancellor today. A third term is practically a given to her, who has been working since the September 22 election to negotiate an agreement between her centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD).


Once Merkel has accepted the parliamentary vote required to confirm her in office, she will be presented with a certificate of appointment by German President Joachim Gauck at Berlin-s Bellevue Palace — the president-s official residence.


2. The world-s largest private equity firm Blackstone Group, managing assets worth more than USD 240 billion, has appointed Mathew Cyriac and Amit Dixit as co-heads of the Indian private equity operations. Former Reliance Industries executive Akhil Gupta, who spearheaded Blackstone since its entry into India eight years ago, will remain as nonexecutive chairman. Blackstone manages USD 2.8 billion across 20 companies in India.


3. Australian Cricket team won the Ashes for the first time in seven years after completing a 150-run win against England in Perth to take 3-0 lead in the five-match series. England were all out for 353 on the final day at the WACA Ground to hand the home side an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.


4. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has suspended West Indies offspinner Shane Shillingford from bowling in international matches because of illegal action. Shillingford will be unable to bowl in international matches until such time that he has submitted to a fresh analysis, which concludes that he has remedied his bowling action. The ICC has also banned Shillingford's teammate and fellow-offspinner, Marlon Samuels, from bowling his quicker deliveries on similar grounds though he is allowed to bowl his normal off-break deliveries in international matches.


Current Affairs India - 17 December 2013


1. Taking a strong view of the US action against India-s Deputy Consul-General in New York, the Indian Government took some measures including asking all the US embassies and consulates to return their diplomatic ID cards. It has also withdrawn all airport passes for them. The Indian government is also seeking details of wages paid to Indians working in US embassy, consulates and American schools. Delhi Police has been asked for removal of barricades outside US embassy.


The Government has also asked the US to return the ID cards given to their consular officers posted in India. It is understood that the Government intends to review the immunity and benefits enjoyed by US diplomats. Significantly, the review comes after India reacted sharply to Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade being arrested and handcuffed in public in New York on visa fraud charges last week by summoning US Ambassador Nancy Powell and issuing a demarche in this regard.


Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today cancelled his meeting with a senior US Congressional delegation ostensibly as a mark of protest. Yesterday, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar had cancelled her meeting with a senior US Congressional delegation due to the same reason.


2. The Rajya Sabha passed the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 by a voice vote today after Samajwadi Party members staged a walkout saying that the proposed legislation is not in the interest of the country. Now, the Bill will be taken up in the Lok Sabha tomorrow. The bill provides for the setting up of a Lokpal at the Centre and will consist of a Chairperson and not more than eight members. The Chairperson may be either a serving or retired Chief Justice of India, or a Judge of the Supreme Court or an eminent person. Fifty per cent of the total members shall be from the higher judiciary.


3. The Union Cabinet has approved the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill 2013 yesterday. The bill aimed to prevent and tackle the communal violence in the country and punish the perpetrators of the violence. The Bill has been named as The Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013. The Bill has the provision of creating an institutional arrangement for speedy investigation, disposal of cases and for providing relief and rehabilitation to victims of communal violence.


4. Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes has been given additional charge of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, following death of Minister Sis Ram Ola. Earlier, President Pranab Mukherjee condoled the passing away of Ola, a veteran Congress leader from Rajasthan.


5. Over 2,200 youth from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) are getting trained under -Project Udaan- by 29 corporates across the country. The project, an initiative of the Prime Minister, the National Skills Development Corporation and the Ministry of Home Affairs and industry, was started with the aim of providing skills to 40,000 youth over a period of five years, according to an NSDC release.


6. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has appointed Sayee Srinivasan will serve as an acting Chief Economist of the US commodities market regulator. In his new role, Srinivasan will be responsible for leading the Commission-s efforts in drafting policy and rule-making, advising the Commission on industry practices and policy implications, among others.


7. The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) has appointed M. K. Goel as the new Chairman and Managing Director of Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC). Currently Goel is the Director (Commercial) and acting Chairman and Managing Director of the public sector finance company.


8. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved USA retail giant Walmart Stores Inc's proposal to acquire Bharti Group's nearly 50% stake in their Indian wholesale stores joint venture. Walmart and Bharti Group had started the joint venture in 2007 but Walmart Stores decided to acquire the entire stake in 2013.


9. Global pharma major GlaxoSmith-Kline Plc announced a USD1-billion open offer to increase its stake in its publicly listed pharma entity in the country GSK India from 50.7% to up to 75%. The potential total value of the transaction at the offer price is approximately Rs 6,400 crore. GSK had increased its stake in its listed consumer healthcare subsidiary, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare to 72.5% from 43.2% for USD 901 million in February this year.


 


18-December


Current Affairs Global - 18 December 2013


1. International Migrants Day was observed today (18th December) across the world to raise awareness of the issue. The number of international migrants has reached 232 million across the world in 2013. On December 18, 1990, the General Assembly adopted the international convention on the protection of the rights of migrant workers and members of their families. This day is observed in many countries, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations through the dissemination of information on human rights and fundamental political freedoms of migrants, and through sharing of experiences and the design of actions to ensure the protection of migrants.


2. Minorities Rights Day was observed today (18th December) across the world to create awareness on rights of minorities. The day is celebrated very year on 18th December to protect rights of the minority communities as well as bringing the better understanding among religious minorities in India.


In order to strengthen the cause of the minorities, the United Nations spread the -Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities- on 18th December 1992 stating -States shall protect the existence of the National or Ethnic, Cultural, Religious and Linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories and encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity.- The National Commission for Minorities has been observing the 18th December as a Minorities Rights Day every year.


3. Internet Company Yahoo acquired content delivery network provider PeerCDN to resolve its mail issues. PeerCDN's technology delivers site resources like images, videos and downloads via a peer-to-peer network of people currently visiting a website using WebRTC, real-time communication technology, instead of using an additional software, TechCrunch reports. This reduces some of the bandwidth costs of the website provider by letting visitors share the burden.


4. Social networking giant Facebook acquired SportStream, a start-up firm that analyses social media mentions of sport. SportStream enables users to aggregate, filter and display "real-time" data and this acquisition is expected to make it easier for Facebook's media partners to find posts about sport on its website and use them in their content.


Current Affairs India - 18 December 2013


1. Parliament passed the Lokpal bill with the Lok Sabha adopting the measure as amended by the Rajya Sabha after a short discussion today, passing the iconic bill after almost six decades. Members from Samajwadi Party and Shiv Sena, opposed the bill and staged a walkout in protest, as their counterparts from other parties, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, supported the measure.


Social Activist Anna Hazare broke his 9-day long fast today after hearing the news. He has been fighting for last 2 years to get Lokpal bill passed in the Parliament.


2. More than a year after allowing FDI in multi-brand retail segment, the government received the first application yesterday from UK based retail giant Tesco Plc in the sector. The UK-based retailer asked for approval to open retail stores in India with an investment of USD 110 million in joint venture with the Tata Group. Tesco has proposed an equal joint venture with its existing partner, Trent, a Tata group company, to open stores, initially in Maharashtra and Karnataka.


3. Eminent historian Bipan Chandra  was awarded Itihas Ratna from Asiatic Society Bihar on his 86th birthday. He was honoured by O.P. Jaiswal, the Secretary of the Asiatic Society of Bihar in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Campus, New Delhi. Bipan Chandra is the fourth historian to be honoured with the Itihas Ratna by the society.


4. India's first World Cup winning captain, Kapil Dev will be awarded with the Col. CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award for the year 2013. The Board of Control for Cricket in India, BCCI said that the award's committee, which includes BCCI President N. Srinivasan and Secretary Sanjay Patel, met in Chennai today to nominate a winner and unanimously selected the legendary all-rounder's name. He will receive the award at the BCCI Awards Ceremony for the year 2012-13.


Sunil Gavaskar won the award last year. Other cricketers to have bagged the coveted award include, Lala Amarnath, his son Mohinder Amarnath, Ajit Wadekar, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Syed Mushtaq Ali and Capt. Vijay Hazare.


6. Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar inaugurated south India's first high altitude cricket stadium at Krishnagiri in Wynad district yesterday evening. The picturesque stadium, spread over 4.4 hectares, is situated at about 2800 feet above sea level and it was constructed by the Kerala Cricket Association.


RBI kept key rates unchanged today in a surprise move; Will wait for Inflationary trend and Federal Reserve announcement


The Reserve Bank of India has kept the key rates unchanged during its announcement of December monetary policy review today. The repo rate is now unchanged at 7.75% and reverse repo at 6.75%. It was a surprise move by RBI governor Raghuram Rajan as everyone was expecting a rate increase after recent jump in overall and retail inflation numbers.


The RBI has kept cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4.0% and SLR at 23%. Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate are also kept unchanged at 8.75%. RBI said that it will take calibrated action in the future, based on inflationary trends and action by the US Federal Reserve. US Federal Reserves is expected to announce their stand of QE3 and continuous stimulus for US economy this month. Any decision or hint to withdraw stimulus measures will have adverse effects on all the stock markets across the world.


 


19-December


Current Affairs Global - 19 December 2013


1. Europe has launched the Gaia satellite - one of the most ambitious space missions in history. The observatory lifted off from the Sinnamary complex in French Guiana at 06:12 local time. Gaia is going to map the precise positions and distances to more than a billion stars. This should give the first realistic picture of how our Milky Way galaxy is constructed. Gaia's remarkable sensitivity will lead also to the detection of many thousands of previously unseen objects, including new planets and asteroids.


2. The US Federal Reserve announced to start with tapering its monetary policy of quantitative easing in January as expected. It announced that it would reduce purchases of Government-backed bonds by $10 billion to $75 billion dollars a month. At the same time, the Fed expects to maintain current interest rates, which is at near zero level since December 2008, at least until unemployment falls below 6.5%, as long as inflation does not exceed 2.5 per cent and longer-term inflation expectations are -well anchored.-  US Federal Reserve's commitment to keep interest rates low will give some cushion to the impact of its decision to scale back its stimulus program.


Current Affairs India - 19 December 2013


1.    India-s indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas is set to get Initial Operational Clearance (IOC II) tomorrow. The aircraft indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by the defence public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is being inducted into IAF squadrons shortly. Tejas is a single engine, light weight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter. It has quadruplex digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System (FCS) with associated advanced flight control laws. Extensive use of advanced composites in the air-frame gives a high strength to weight ratio, long fatigue life and low radar signatures.


2. India-s deputy consul in New York, Devyani Khobragade has been transferred to India-s Permanent Mission in United Nations in New York yesterday to provide her complete diplomatic immunity. Earlier, Devyani Khobragade was charged with criminal offences by US. She was moved to UN because of the fear that she might be detained again, as she was arrested in the second week of December 2013 by US. She will have a complete diplomatic immunity as an official of UN, which was not available to her as an official consulate.


3.  United Nations has lowered India-s economic growth forecast for 2013 to 4.8%, down by 1.3% from its earlier projection. It has also warned that emerging markets should be prepared to deal with the impact of US Federal Reserve-s quantitative easing program. It has also lowered the growth projection for 2014 to 5.3%, down 1.2% from earlier forecast. The UN projects Indian economy to grow by 5.7% in 2015.


4. Indian ace shutter and Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal dropped two places to No. 8 in the women-s singles rankings released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) today. Failure to reach the semifinals of BWF Superseries Finals took a toll on her ranking as she was overtaken by South Korean Yeon Ju Bae and Chinese Taipei-s Tai Tzu Ying. At the same time, Another Indian Shuttler P. V. Sindhu maintained her position at No. 11.


5. India won the boy-s and girls- team titles in the Asia-Pacific junior golf championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) concluded yesterday. It was India-s first ever victory in the Asia Pacific Junior Golf Championship. In the boy-s category, the team of Viraj Madappa and Manu Gandas took India -A- to win the team title. While in the girl-s category, the team of Aditi and Ridhima Dilawari fashioned India -B- to win the team title. Aditi Ashok won the individual title in the Girls category in a thrilling play-off with the second placed Min-Jou Chen of Chinese Taipei.


 


20-December


 


21-December


Forex Reserves decreased by USD 192.8 million to 295.516 billion


India-s Forex reserves were decreased by USD 192.8 million to 295.516 billion for the week ended 13th December as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. Forex reserves were decreased after five weeks of continuous increase of nearly USD 14 billion.


This decrease was mainly due to decrease in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was decreased by USD 191.1 million to 268.564 billion for the same week. The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were also decreased by USD 1.2 million and USD 0.5 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 20.603 billion for the same reporting week.


Current Affairs Global - 21 December 2013


1. Pakistan-s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has cleared the appointment of career diplomat Aizaz Chaudhry as Pakistan-s new Foreign Secretary. He had earlier served as Foreign Office spokesman and Additional Foreign Secretary. He is one of the key officials who handled the fallout of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.


2. US GDP grew at an annualized rate of 4.1% in the third quarter (July and September) compared to previous estimate of 3.6%. Stronger consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the economy, was the main reason for the upward revision. Earlier the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, announced it would start to slow its economic stimulus program because of the improving economy and falling unemployment rate.


3. Spain secured the No 1 rank in the FIFA rankings for the sixth consecutive year. The 2010 World Cup winner is followed by Germany, Argentina and Colombia, Portugal, Uruguay, Italy Switzerland, Netherlands and Brazil in top 10. The United States remains the best-placed CONCACAF team at No. 15.


Current Affairs India - 21 December 2013


1. Congress leader Jayanthi Natarajan resigned as minister of state for environment and forest, as she now wants to play a key role for the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year. Petroleum minister Veerappa Moily has been given additional charge of the environment ministry. The Congress was routed in assembly elections held in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.


2. Gyan Correa-s Gujarati film 'The Good Road' is out of the best foreign film Oscar race after it failed to qualify in the Academy-s latest shortlist. Nine films will advance to the next round of voting in the category for the 86th Academy Awards out of 76 films that had qualified in the category. The movie-s selection to represent India at the Oscars had created a lot of controversy as it was chosen over popular titles like 'The Lunchbox', 'Ship of Theseus' and 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'.


3. India's indigeneously-designed Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas has got initial operation clearance (IOC-II) yesterday. Defence minister AK Antony handed over release to service document (RTS) to Indian Air Force chief NAK Browne. This clearance will help for the induction of Tejas into the Indian Air Force which is expected to replace its old Mig-21 models.


4. The Reserve Bank of India, RBI, has tightened norms for credit card holders. In a notification on Friday, the RBI advised banks to treat a credit card account as a non-performing asset if the customer fails to pay the minimum due amount within a stipulated 90-day period. The RBI said it has observed that banks follow different practices with regard to the asset classification status of credit card accounts if the minimum amount is not paid on the due date.


5. Sushma Singh takes oath as New Chief Information Commissioner of India.  She is the second woman to become CIC after Deepak Sandhu, whose term comes to an end later this month. A panel comprising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, and Law Minister Kapil Sibal appointed Ms. Singh. The CIC is mandated to resolve appeals and complaints filed by information seekers, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, against government departments or public authorities.


6. Usha Sangwan has been appointed as the first woman managing director of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) by the Central Government. With this appointment, she is the first woman director of LIC. She joined LIC in 1981 as a direct recruit.


7. Senior advocate P.H. Parekh has been appointed as the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for 2013-14. This is Mr. Parekh-s sixth term as SCBA President. The Bar Council of India is a statutory body that regulates and represents the Indian bar. It was created by Parliament under the Advocates Act, 1961.


It provides the code of conduct in professional manner, etiquettes and exercises disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar. It also sets standards for legal education and grants recognition to Universities whose degree in law will serve as a qualification for students to enroll themselves as advocates upon graduation.


8. The Public Enterprise Selection Board has shorlisted Anupam Shrivastava for the post of Chairman and Managing Director of state-run telecom firm BSNL. Shrivastava is a 1981 batch ITS officer and he has been BSNL-s Director for Consumer Mobility division since May this year.  Shrivastava will have challenge to turn BSNL profitable by 2018 under the planned chalked out under present CMD R.K Upadhyay.


9. S.B. Nayar was appointed as chairman and managing director (CMD) of India Infrastructure Finance Co. Ltd (IIFCL). IIFCL is a state-owned firm that funds infrastructure projects. He presently works as head of Industrial Finance Corporation of India Limited (IFCIL), another state-owned financier. India Infrastructure Finance Corporation Ltd (IIFCL) was incorporated in 2006 as a wholly-owned Government of India company.


10. The Petroleum Ministry has been awarded the National E-governance Award by Computer Society of India for implementing project -Lakshya- which is aimed at improving LPG distribution. The prestigious CSI Nihilent National e-Governance Award 2012-13 was awarded to the Project Lakshya — Empowering Consumers: Transparent Supply Chain and Efficient Subsidy Administration at Vishakhapatnam as part of 48th Annual Convention of Computer Society of India (CSI-2013. The award was received by Neeraj Mittal, Joint Secretary, Marketing, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, at the ceremony along with a team of officers from oil marketing companies.


11. Poetry writers dominated the Sahitya Akademi awards for 2013 announced this week. Subodh Sarkar (Bengali), Anil Boro (Bodo), Sitaram Sapolia (Dogri), Ambika Dutt (Rajasthani), Radhakant Thakur (Sanskrit), Arjun Charan Hembram (Santali), Namdev Tarachandani (Sindhi) and Javed Akhtar (Urdu) are the winners of the award. The novelists who won awards are Mridula Garg for Miljul Man in Hindi, Manmohan for Nirvaan in Punjabi and R.N. Joe D- Cruz for Korkai in Tamil. The only playwright who has won the award is Bijoy Misra for Banaprastha in Odia.


The award for autobiography has been won by Malayalam writer M N Paloor for Kathayillathavante Katha. Sureshwar Jha has bagged an award for his memoirs Sangharsh Aa Sehanta in Maithili. In the category of short stories, the award has gone to Mohi-ud-din Reshi for Aina Aatash in Kashmiri and Temsula Ao for -Laburnum for My Head- in English.


 


22-December


 


23-December


Current Affairs Global - 23 December 2013


1. Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed will be the new Prime Minister of Somalia after it was approved by the by Somalian Parliament. He replaced outgoing Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon. Abdi was ousted by the Parliament following a rift with the Somali President over policy differences last month. In the recent voting, 239 votes out of total 243 votes were put in favour of Abdiweli.


2. England spinner Graeme Swann announced his retirement from international and first-class cricket with immediate effect in Melbourne today shocking everyone midway through the Ashes tour. His shock decision comes a week after England lost the Ashes to Australia. The 34-year Off-spinner is widely regarded as world cricket's premier spinner, with 255 wickets in 60 Tests.


Current Affairs India - 23 December 2013


1. The Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal met Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung today and staked claim to form a government in New Delhi. Mr. Kejriwal handed over a formal letter to the Lt. Governor saying a majority of the people are in favour of Aam Aadmi Party forming a government in New Delhi. The swearing in ceremony of Aam Admi party will take place at the Ramleela Maidan. Arvind Kejriwal will be the youngest Chief Minister of Delhi.


2. Kisan Diwas Kisan Diwas is observed today (23th December) across the country to celebrate the birthday of Chaudhary Charan Singh. Farmer seminars were organised at the divisional, district and block levels on this day.  Indian Government had decided to observe 23 December every year as Kisan Diwas (Farmers Day) which is birth anniversary of India-s fifth Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh.


3. HDFC Mutual Fund acquired its smaller rival Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund running a total of eight schemes with assets worth Rs 3,290 crore today, in a major consolidation exercise in the highly-dispersed sector. The deal comes at a time when market regulator SEBI has been favoring a consolidation in the mutual fund sector which has been struggling for a long time due to low investors- interest in mutual funds- investments and issues with distribution.


4. Famous Kannada poet, Rashtrakavi Dr. G. S. Shivarudrappa passed away today in Bangalore. He was 87. He is known as the new age poet of Kannada in literary circles and his poems were acclaimed for its balancing of images and emotions. He was a recipient of many National & State literary awards.


5. Zaheer Khan became the fourth Indian bowler to claim 300 wickets in Test cricket when he dismissed Jacques Kallis on the fifth and final day of the opening cricket Test against South Africa in Johannesburg yesterday. He made his Test debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka in November 2000. He is the fourth Indian bowler to achieve this milestone after Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.


 


24-December


 


25-December


Current Affairs Global - 25 December 2013


1. Egypt-s Muslim Brotherhood was declared a -terrorist organisation- yesterday, hours after a car bomb targeted a police building that left at least 14 people dead and over 100 injured. The condemnation of the Muslim Brotherhood — considered the largest and best-organised political force in Egypt, came weeks ahead of a referendum on a new constitution that is described as a major step towards returning to democracy since the military removed President Mohammed Morsi in July. Since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood leader Morsi — the country-s first freely elected president — his supporters have been staging rallies demanding his reinstatement.


2. Mikhail Kalashnikov, known as the inventor of the world-s most popular firearm AK-47, passed away on Monday. He was 94. AK-47's name stands for "Kalashnikov's Automatic" and 47 came from the year it was designed, 1947. Kalashnikov designed a weapon that became synonymous with killing on a sometimes indiscriminate scale but was seen in the Soviet Union as a national hero and symbol of Moscow's proud military past.


3. South Africa's legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis has announced his retirement from Test cricket after the second Test against India starting at Kingsmead on Thursday. Kallis, 38, however, will be available for the shorter formats of the game. He made his debut at the age of 20 years and finishes his Test career of 18 years as one of the greatest cricketers to have played the game. He is considered as the World-s best all-rounder ever played in the history of Cricket.


4. India has retained its second position in the latest ICC Test rankings while South Africa retained the No 1 position and England at 3rd Position in the latest ICC ranking released in Dubai. South Africa-s A.B.Devilliers is the top batsman followed by fellow countryman Hashim Amla. India-s Cheteshwar Pujara is at 7th while Virat Kohli is at the 11th position in the list.


Among the bowlers, Vernon Philander overtook his teammate Dale Steyn to the post to emerge as the number one. India-s off spinner R Ashwin is at number seven while Pragyan Ojha is at number eight in the latest ranking. Ashwin is the world-s number one test all rounder followed by Bangladesh-s Shakib Al Hasan.


Current Affairs India - 25 December 2013


1. Vinod Kumar Duggal, the former Home Secretary has been appointed the new Governor of Manipur on Monday. His appointment will come into effect from the date on which, he will assume the charge of the office. He will replace the present Governor of the state, Ashwani Kumar, who was handling charge of Manipur along with his own state Nagaland.


2. HDFC Bank has elevated its current Executive Director, Paresh Sukthankar to the position of Deputy Managing Director in order to make the possible successor of MD Aditya Puri. Sukthankar has been with the bank since its inception in 1994. He has direct or supervisory responsibilities for the bank-s credit and risk management, finance and human resources functions and for various strategic initiatives of the bank.


3. Sidharth Birla, Chairman of Xpro India Limited took the charge as the President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) last week. He succeeded the HSBC India Country Head Naina Lal Kidwai. Chairperson and Managing Director of Bharat Hotels, Joytsna Suri elected as Senior Vice-President of FICCI and Chairman of Ambuja Neotia group, Harshavardhan Neotia as Vice-President of FICCI.


4. President Barack Obama has named two Indian-Americans among 102 scientists as recipients of a presidential award. It is the highest honour bestowed by the US on young science and engineering professionals. The winners, including Karunesh Ganguly of San Francisco VA Medical Center and Hardeep Singh of Houston VA Medical Center, will receive the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers at a ceremony in Washington next year.


5. Ace shooter Ronjan Sodhi won gold in double trap in the 57th National Shooting Championship at Dr Karni Singh Range in New Delhi on Monday. This is his first gold at any National Championship. Ronjan Shot 27 out of possible 30 against silver medallist Ajay Mittal's score of 25-30. Mohammed Asab of Uttar Pradesh won the bronze.


 


26-December


Current Affairs India - 26 December 2013


1. In a big relief to BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, an Ahmedabad court rejected a petition filed by Zakia Jafri against the closure report of Special Investigation Team (SIT) which gave a clean chit to the Gujarat Chief Minister in connection with the 2002 post-Godhra riots case. Zakia Jafri is the wife of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was among 69 people killed in the Gulberg Society massacre in Ahmedabad in February 2002. In her petition, Jafri had contended that Gulberg massacre was cold-blooded conspiracy by Modi and others to facilitate state-wide communal violence. She also claimed her husband made frantic calls to the police and even to Narendra Modi, who refused to send help.


2. The Union Cabinet has approved granting of constitutional status to proposed Judicial Appointments Commission, JAC, for appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary today. The status would ensure that composition of the commission cannot be altered through an ordinary legislation.


3. Ashok Lavasa, a 1980 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, was appointed as Civil Aviation Secretary. He is currently Special Secretary in Ministry of Power. He will succeed K N Srivastava, a 1978 batch IAS officer of Karnataka cadre, who will retire this month end.


4. Senior IPS officer Arvind Ranjan who will take over as the full-time chief of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in place of J N Choudhury. Mr. Ranjan, a 1977-batch officer of Kerala cadre with a wide experience in central paramilitary forces, took over the full charge of the 1.47-lakh strong CISF on Thursday at its headquarters here. The CISF guards vital government installations including airports and nuclear and aerospace facilities in the country.


5. At the same time, Senior IPS officer J N Choudhury has been appointed as head of National Security Guard (NSG). He will succeed Arvind Ranjan who will take over as the full-time chief of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). The NSG has specific tasks of undertaking special counter-terror and counter-hijack operations.


6. The Central Government has appointed Arun Tiwari as Chairman & Managing Director of Union Bank of India. Prior to this, He was an executive director at Allahabad Bank.


7. Couple of bitcoin operators in India have begun suspending their business after RBI's warning against use of such virtual currencies due to potential money laundering and cyber security risks.  While RBI is yet to come out with a clear regulatory framework for bitcoins, which have been gaining currency across the world over the past few months, it has issued an advisory cautioning general public against use of bitcoins and other virtual currencies.


8. India-s top ranked women recurve archer Deepika Kumari has created a national record in women's 50 metre round in the 34th Senior National Archery Championship in Jamshedpur. She shot 346 points breaking the previous record of 333 points held by Olympian L Bombayla Devi. Former Olympian V Praneetha finished second in the event with 332 points while Reena Kumari scored 322 to win the bronze. In the Men's category, Atanau Das emerged winner in the individual Olympic round. Olympian pair of Jayanta Talukdar and Deepika Kumari won the recurve mixed team event.


 


27-December


 


28-December


Current Affairs India - 28 December 2013


1. Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in as the seventh and youngest Chief Minister of Delhi today at a function in Ramlila Maidan. Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung administered the oath of office and secrecy to Kejriwal. Apart from Kejriwal, six other MLAs of Aam Aadmi Party Manish Sisodia, Somnath Bharti, Saurabh Bhrdwaj, Rakhi Birla, Satyendra Kumar Jain and Girish Soni also took oath as Cabinet Ministers.


Kejriwal will take charge of Home, Finance, Vigilance, Power, Planning and Services departments. Manish Sisodia will take charge of Education PWD, Urban Development, Local Bodies, Land and Building departments ministry Somnath Bharti took charge of Administrative Reforms, Law, Tourism and Culture ministry. Rakhi Birla, the only woman in the seven-member Cabinet, got Social Welfare and Women and Child Development departments. Girish Soni will take charge of Labour and SC, ST departments and Satyendra Jain will have Health and Industries departments.


2. Union Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor has been awarded with the "Person of the Year" award by animal rights campaigner PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for initiating steps for animal protection. Tharoor used the power and prestige of his office to advocate for the protection of animals, as per PETA release. Earlier, Hema Malini and R Madhavan won the PETA India's Person of the Year Award.


3. Veteran Hindi actor Farooq Sheikh, who is best remembered for his performances in films like 'Garm Hava', 'Shatranj Ke Khiladi', 'Chashme Buddoor' and 'Kissi Se Na Kehna', passed away yesterday after suffering a heart attack in Dubai. He was 65. Farooq Sheikh was in Dubai apparently for a concert when he suffered the heart attack on Friday night. He worked with Directors like Satyajit Ray, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Muzaffar Ali.


 


29-December


Forex Reserves decreased by USD 12.6 million to 295.503 billion


India-s Forex reserves were decreased by USD 12.6 million to 295.503 billion for the week ended 20th December as per the recent weekly data released by RBI.


This decrease was mainly due to decrease in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was decreased by USD 94.7 million to 268.469 billion for the same week. The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) was decreased by USD 9.1 million and Reserve portion with IMF was increased by USD 91.2 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 20.603 billion for the same reporting week.


 


30-December


Current Affairs Global - 30 December 2013


1. South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis surpassed Rahul Dravid (13288 runs) as the third highest run-getter in Test cricket after a 115-run knock against India in his last test match yesterday. South Africa won the test match by 10 wickets to give a perfect farewell to the best all-rounder. He now has 13,289 runs in the Test Cricket format after Sachin Tendulkar (15921 runs) and Ricky Ponting (13378 runs).


Current Affairs India - 30 December 2013


1. The Reserve Bank has ruled out any major impact on domestic markets by the US Fed's tapering its monthly bond-buying programme from later this week. The apex bank said that India's external sector has improved with reduction in Current Account Defecit, CAD and a pick up in exports.


In its 8th Financial Stability Report released today, it said that the external sector risks have been reduced considerably and the effect of the tapering on the economy is expected to be limited and short-lived. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan warned on the high inflation as a hurdle for easy money policy and has also warned against the rising tide of bad loans saying risks to the banking system have increased since June this year.


2. Delhi Jal Board will provide 20 kilo litres water per month free of cost to every household in the city from 1st January 2014. A decision in this regard was taken at the Board meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejrwial in Koshambi, Ghaziabad this evening. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Jal Board CEO, Vijay Kumar said that the benefit will be provided to the people who have functional water meter. He, however, said that the household using more than 20 kilo litres water per month will be charged for the entire consumption.


3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up a panel to review the current system of data collection, dissemination and data management processes in the central bank and improve the existing mechanism. The 15-member committee will be headed by the executive director Deepak Mohanty and it will review the availability, coverage, frequency, timeliness and quality of the existing data/surveys/information used for monetary policy, macro-financial policy and supervision.


4. P Pradeep Kumar was appointed as the Managing Director (Corporate Banking) of State Bank of India (SBI) yesterday. As one of the four managing Directors, he will look after the corporate banking portfolio of the bank till the end of October 2015.