July 2014 Current Affairs List


1-July


Current Affairs Global - 1 July 2014



  1.  The United States has named a mountain in Antarctica in honour of a famous Indian-American scientist Akhouri Sinha. US Geological Survey has named the mountain as Mt Sinha for his work he did to compile population studies of seals, whales and birds in the pack ice as an explorer of the US Coast Guard in 1971-72.


He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota and his pioneering biological research expedition has provided critical data about animal populations.



  1.  Global tech giant Google has announced that it will shut down its first social networking site, Orkut, on 30th September this year. Google launched its services 10 years ago.


Orkut, once very popular with its scaps and posts functionality, lost its user base to Facebook over the last couple of years. Currently it has maximum users in India and Brazil only and it had failed to grow in other countries, especially in USA.



  1.  Microblogging site Twitter acquired TapCommerce, a start-up specialized in advertising on smartphone apps and targeting consumers who have downloaded an app and trying to entice them to come back to it. Currently it is present on 50,000 apps. Twitter paid around USD 100 million for the mobile advertising start-up company based out of New York.


Twitter has recently acquired a series of companies specialized in social media ads, apps and media which includes SnappyTV in the US, Mesagraph of France and SecondSync in Britain. These acquisitions are made to boost its presence in Apps market and compete with other major players including Google and Apple.



  1.  New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent has been imposed with life ban for his his alleged involvement in match-fixing. Earlier he had accepted bribes for fixing games during the Indian Cricket League matches.


The International Cricket Council has also backed the life ban imposed on him. ICC CEO Dave Richardson told that the decisions should serve as a warning for other players. He told that the players should see how it can destroy their career.


Current Affairs India - 1 July 2014



  1.  India-s largest bank State Bank of India has launched six digital branches across the country as a part of its programme to offer next generation banking solutions to the mobile and internet-savvy customer base. These branches are located in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Ahmedabad. One of such branches in Delhi was inaugurated this morning by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.


Named as sbiINTOUCH, these branches will have digital banking capabilities, which include instant account opening with personalized debit cards, instant loan approvals for education, car and home and remote expert advisors available via video links. The new branches are equipped with interactive wall and table displays and multi-function kiosks.



  1.  Online restaurant search and discovery site Zomato has acquired Menumania.co.nz, a popular New Zealand-based restaurant discovery service for an undisclosed amount. This will help Zomato to increase presence in New Zealand as the combined entity will be the largest resource of restaurant information in New Zealand.


Zomato has been aggressively expanding its global presence with launches in Europe and Southeast Asia in the past six months though this is Zomato-s first global acquisition. Current the company is present in 41 cities across India, UK, UAE, South Africa, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Qatar.



  1.  Indian Oil Corporation has given AMK Sinha, the company-s Director for planning and business development, additional charge of the post of Chairman of the company. Sinha will also continue to discharge his function as Director, planning and business development in IOC and will take additional charge as chairman from 2nd July.


He has worked with IOC for 37 years and during his tenure he succeeded in establishing IOC as a petrochemical major with sales touching two million tonnes per annum.



  1.  India-s manufacturing sector has registered strongest growth in June since last five months, as per the Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) survey results published by HSBC. The Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) index, an important parameter to judge the performance of the sector, increased to 51.5 in June compared to 51.4 in May. Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth. The manufacturing output has increased for the eighth successive month and also growth of export orders has hit a three-month high.

  2.  After winning three medals in the ISSF World Cups in Munich and Slovenia recently, Indian shooter Jitu Rai achieved the world-s number one ranking in air pistol event as per the ranking published today. The 27-year-old army man is the seventh Indian shooter to have achieved this feat.


Earlier Indian shooters Anjali Bhagwat, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Gagan Narang, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Ronjon Sodhi and Heena Sidhu are the others to have claimed the number one position in their respective events.


 


2-July


Current Affairs Global - 2 July 2014



  1.  The eight quarterfinal berths of the 2014 FIFA World Cup have been decided after the round-of-16 ended last night. The teams advanced to quarter final round are Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, France, Belgium, Colombia and Costa Rica. The fight for the 4 semi-final berths will begin on Friday. The semi-finals will be played on the 8th and 9th of this month and the final match will be played on 13th July.


Current Affairs India - 2 July 2014



  1.  Governor of Madhya Pradesh Ram Naresh Yadav took over the additional charge of Chhattisgarh today following the resignation of former Governor Shekhar Dutt. He was administered the oath of office by Bilaspur High Court Chief Justice Yatindra Singh at Rajbhawan in Raipur.

  2.  Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Harsh Vardhan along with the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Smriti Zubin Irani inaugurate the "First Aid Post", at Shastri Bhawan, in New Delhi today. This unit will provide first aid services like blood pressure monitoring, dressing and other referral services to about 15000 employees of various Ministries posted at Shastri Bhawan and other nearby Government offices.


Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) is already running five such health posts in Delhi. These are located at Central Secretariat, Parliament House, Vitthal Bhai Patel House, Supreme Court and Nirman Bhawan premises. Many employees avail basic emergency health services from these first aid posts regularly.



  1.  Bank of Maharashtra has been awarded with the -Best Bank - Public Sector- award in BFSI Awards-2014 by World HRD Congress in recognition of its performance in Banking category. The award focuses on the best practices of the BFSI Industry based on the Strategy, Security, Customer Service and the Future Technology Challenges and Innovations.


Apart from Best Bank-Public Sector award, the bank has also won 4 other awards -- Bank with Most Admired Services; Bank with Best Customer Orientation; Bank with Best Technology Orientation; and Corporate Communication Award.



  1.  Kerala Government has appointed senior IAS officer A P M Mohammed Hanish as Nodal Officer for the matches likely to be held in Kochi during the 2017 FIFA under-17 world cup football. The appointment was made as per FIFA-s direction.


 


3-July


Current Affairs Global - 3 July 2014


1. The US economy added 288,000 jobs in June, as per the latest details published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.1% in June, this is the lowest unemployment rate since September 2008. This data increases optimism about the US economy in spite of 2.9% annualized decline in economic output during the first quarter of current year due to harsh winter.


Following this data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the key US stock index comprising of some of the biggest global companies, has hit 17,000 mark for the first time.



  1.  Social networking giant Facebook acquired LiveRail, an advertising technology company that helps its client companies to serve better ads in the videos that appear on their websites and apps.


LiveRail, founded in 2007, offers a comprehensive platform for online video publishers that help them find and serve the best ads possible. LiveRail is the leading publisher monetization platform for video with over 7 billion impressions delivered via our platform each month.


Current Affairs India - 3 July 2014



  1.  Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today while on official visit in India. They both have discussed ways in which the social networking platform can be used for e-Governance work and to connect the Government with people.


After the meeting Modi said, "Being an avid user of social media myself, I talked about ways through which a platform such as Facebook can be used for governance and better interaction between the people and governments. I also talked about how Facebook can be used to bring more tourists to India." He also wanted to know whether Facebook can assist India in remembering Mahatma Gandhi-s 150th birth anniversary with a special focus on cleanliness.



  1.  At least 660 rape crisis centres will be established across the country and named as Nirbhaya centres, as a tribute to the victim of 16th December, 2012 Delhi gang rape case. The centres will be set up in all the 640 districts and 20 additional locations in the country and the project will cost 477 crores approximately, as per the women and child development ministry officials.


The women and child development ministry has already prepared the concept note which has been approved by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) and has been sent to various stakeholders like ministry of law, finance, tribal affairs, health, social justice and empowerment and minority affairs seeking their suggestions.



  1.  India has now become the first country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty in order to facilitate access to published works for visually impaired persons. The Treaty was adopted by 79 member countries of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in June 2013, and India ratified it on June 24 this year.


India handed over the Instrument of Ratification to WIPO at the 28th session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights recently held in Geneva. The Marrakesh Treaty will come into force once 20 countries ratify it. The treaty requires signatories to adopt national law provisions that facilitate the availability of published works in formats like Braille that are accessible to the blind and visually impaired individuals.



  1.  An Indian passenger train set a new national speed record of 160 kms/hr today during its trail run between New Delhi and Agra. The train covered 200 Km distance within 90 minutes. The introduction of high-speed links and bullet trains were one of the key promises specified in the poll manifesto of BJP.


With 160 Kms/hr speed, it broke the earlier record of 150kms/hr set up by New Delhi-Bhopal Satabdi Express and this is now the fastest train in India.



  1.  Sardar Singh has been chosen as the Captain of the Indian Hockey team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games that will be held in Glasgow in July-August this year. Sreejesh Ravindran has been appointed as his deputy. The 16-member team was selected by HI selectors along with director high performance Roelant Oltmans and chief coach Terry Walsh on the basis of their performance during the selection trials conducted recently.


 


4-July


Current Affairs Global - 4 July 2014



  1.  The U.S. Navy has promoted Vice Admiral Michelle Howard to admiral post, which makes her the first female four-star officer in the USA Navy's 236-year old history. She was promoted to the highest rank of four-star admiral at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in US on 1st July.


Current Affairs India - 4 July 2014



  1.  All the 46 Indian nurses who were in the captivity of ISIS militants in Iraq for couple of days are now freed by the militants and will be flown back to country.


As per the external affairs ministry spokesman, the nurses are in touch with Indian Embassy officials in Baghdad and will be moved to Erbil tonight from where they will be flown back to India by an Air India plane. The plane has already taken off from New Delhi.



  1.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Katra-Udhampur train and 240MW Uri-II hydroelectric Project in Jammu and Kashmir today and dedicated them to the nation. The first Katra-Udhampur train, named as Shree Shakti Express, started from Katra today. This train will help millions of pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine.


The 240 MW Uri-II Hydroelectric Project is the second power project on the Jhelum river in Baramulla district. The Uri-II project is estimated to generate 1,124 million units of hydel energy annually from its four units of 60 MW each.



  1.  Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo has resigned today after being quizzed by a team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as witness in AgustaWestland Chopper deal scam recently. He is the second governor after M.K. Narayanan who resigned after being quizzed by CBI in this case.


5-July


 


6-July


Current Affairs Global - 6 July 2014



  1.  Host Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Netherlands are the teams which entered into the Semifinal round of the FIFA World Cup currently being held in Brazil. This is Germany-s fourth consecutive semifinal entry while Argentina entered into the Last-4 round after 24 years.


Brazil will play against Germany in the first semifinal match while Argentina will take Netherlands in the second one.



  1.  Sixth seed Petra Kvitova of Czech won her second women's singles Wimbledon title after defeating Canadian 13th seed Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets in the final match held yesterday. Kvitova, who also won Wimbledon Women-s single title in 2011, completely dominated the match to win by 6-3, 6-0 in only 55 minutes. This was also the first Grand Slam final for Bouchard.


Current Affairs India - 6 July 2014



  1.  Sharat Chander, an Indian Information Service (IIS) officer, has been appointed as Information Officer in Prime Minister's Office (PMO). He is a 1999 batch IIS officer and has been appointed on the personal staff of Prime Minister.

  2.  The Government of India has re-appointed Harun Rashid Khan as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for another two years on 3rd July. H R Khan had taken charge as the central bank deputy governor in July 2011 for three years.

  3.  Following her Australian Open Super Series win, famous India shuttler Saina Nehwal moved up a place to be in seventh position in the latest world rankings published this weekend. Another Indian shuttler PV Sindhu dropped out of the top 10 and placed at 11th rank after a not-so good performance in the same tournament.  The first three positions of the women's singles table were held by China's Li Xuerui, Shixian Wang and Yihan Wang respectively. Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand was at fifth place followed by South Korea's Ji Hyun Sung.


In the men's ranking, Parupalli Kashyap dropped a place to 21st rank, the best-placed Indian shuttler. China-s Lee Chong Wei remained at No1 position in the men's singles ranking.


7-July


Current Affairs Global - 7 July 2014



  1.  US retail giant Wal-Mart topped the Fortune Global 500 list of the world's biggest companies based on total revenues published today. Wal-Mart Stores reported USD 476.3 billion in revenues for 2013 and it is followed by Royal Dutch Shell with total revenue of USD 459.6 billion.


Two Chinese energy companies Sinopec Group and China National Petroleum held the third and fourth spots, ahead of US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil at fifth position. 128 US companies, 95 Chinese companies and 150 European Companies are featured in the list of Fortune 500 list.



  1.  Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton won his second British Grand Prix held in UK yesterday. Williams-s V Bottas, Red Bull-s D Ricciardo, McLaren-s J Button stood at 2nd, 3rd and 4th position respectively in the same race. S Vettel and F Alonso secured 5th and 6th position respectively while Force India-s N Hulkenberg secured 8th position.

  2.  Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon Men-s single title after defeating Roger Federer in five close sets 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 in the closely fought final match yesterday. This was his second Men's Wimbledon title and seventh career Grand Slam. Two great players of current generation played their best to produce a Wimbledon final yesterday which will be remembered for a very long time.

  3.  Novak Djokovic-s Wimbledon victory earned him to the top position in the latest world rankings, released by the ATP today. He was followed by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at second and third rank respectively.


They were followed by Stan Wawrinkaof Switzerland, Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic, Milos Raonic of Canada, David Ferrer of Spain, Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Andy Murray of Britain in the top 10 rankings.



  1.  Serena Williams of the United States has retained top spot in the latest world rankings released by the WTA today. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova moved up to fourth. Serena Williams is followed by Li Na of China and Simona Halep of Romania at second and third place respectively.

  2.  Australia secured No 1 rank the latest ICC test rankings followed by South Africa, England with India in the first four places. The latest ICC test ranking was released in Dubai today.


South Africa-s A B Devilliers leads the batsmen list followed by Kumar Sangakkara. India-s Cheteshwar Pujara is at number seven and Virat Kohli at 10th rank. In the bowlers- list, Dale Steyn secured No 1 rank followed by Ryan Harris. South Africa-s Vernon Philander was ranked as the top All-rounders followed by India-s Ravichandran Ashwin.


Current Affairs India - 7 July 2014



  1.  A panel headed by former Economic Advisor, C Rangarajan sets poverty line at Rupees 32 per day in rural areas and Rupees 47 in Urban areas. The panel has dismissed the Suresh Tendulkar Committee report on estimating poverty, which had suggested persons spending below 33 Rupees per-day mark in Urban areas to be considered poor. 


The panel also said that the number of poor in India was much higher in 2011-12 at 29.5% of the population, which means that three out of 10 persons are poor. Poverty rate dropped from 38.2% in 2009-10.



  1.  Vakkom Purushothaman, the Mizoram Governor, has been appointed as Governor of Nagaland for the remainder of his term. Vakkom will continue to hold the additional charge of the office of the Governor of Tripura.


Governor of Gujarat, Kamla Beniwal was transferred and appointed as Governor of Mizoram for the remainder of her term. She will take over from Vakkom Purushothaman, the current Mizoram governor. Margaret Alva, the Governor of Rajasthan, was given the additional responsibility as Governor of Gujarat.


DY Patil, the Governor of Bihar has been given the additional charge of West Bengal as the acting Governor. He took over the charge of the office from MK Narayanan who resigned from the post last month.



  1.  Eight Indian companies, led by state-run IOC, have made it to the latest Fortune Global 500 list of world's biggest companies published today. Indian Oil Corporation is the top ranked Indian company with annual revenue of USD 81.32 billion in 2013.


There are five state-run and three private sector companies including two from Tata group (Tata Motors and Tata Steel). Reliance Industries is placed at 114th position, followed by Bharat Petroleum (242nd), Hindustan Petroleum (284th), Tata Motors (287th), State Bank of India (303rd), ONGC (424th) and Tata Steel (486th).



  1.  Indian tennis player Sania Mirza achieved a career-best rank of number five in the world as per the new WTA doubles chart released today. She entered the top-five for the first time in her career.


In the doubles, Indian player Leander Paes-s position remained unchanged at number 13 and he was highest ranked player from India. Another Indian player Rohan Bopanna dropped three places to secure 20th rank.


 


8-July


Current Affairs Global - 8 July 2014



  1.  Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani won Afghanistan's presidential election held last month with 56.4% votes in his favor. His opponent to ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah received only 43.5% of the total votes. He will succeed President Hamid Karzai. The official result is likely to be released on July 22.


Ghani left Afghanistan in 1977 and returned after 24 years to pursue his dream of rebuilding the country. He studied at New York-s Columbia University, before teaching in the US during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.



  1.  An eminent biographer of India's Constitution, Granville Austin passed away in Washington on Sunday. He was 87. He is author of two political histories of the Indian Constitution -- 'The Indian Constitution: A Cornerstone of A Nation' and 'Working A Democratic Republic: The Indian Experience'. He was awarded with a -Padma Shri-, the fourth highest civilian award, in 2011 by the Indian Government.


 


Current Affairs India - 8 July 2014



  1.  India successfully test-fired an advanced version of the 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Chandipur-on-Sea off Odisha coast today. The missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher of the Integrated Test Range (ITR). The missile is one of the fastest cruise missiles in the world with a top speed of Mach 2.8 and is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of 300 kg.


The induction of the first version of Brahmos system in the Indian Navy commenced from 2005 with the missile being deployed on-board warship INS Rajput, it is now fully operational with two regiments of the Army.



  1.  Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj has launched the Champions Tennis League (CTL) which will be conducted like IPL style with six franchisees. This will help to promote Tennis as a sport within India and increase awareness about the global sports.


Initially, CTL will feature six city based teams across India and it will have 13 matches to be played between 17th and 26th November this year. The prize money will be Rs 1 Crore for winning team while the runner-up team will get Rs 50 lakh.



  1.  Philips India has roped in Arjun Kapoor as its new brand ambassador for its -Male Grooming- business, which offers a range of grooming gadgets for men. With this, he will also play an important role to promote the brand across different communication platforms.


Union Railway Budget 2014-15 Highlights


Union Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda has presented Railway budget today. This is the first Railway budget presented by the newly elected NDA government under the leadership of Narendra Modi.


Key Highlights of the Railway budget 2014-15



  • Indian railways to become the largest freight carrier in the world.
    Social obligation of Railways in 2013-14 was Rs 20,000 crore.

  • Gross traffic receipts in 2013-14 was Rs 12,35,558 crore. Operating Ratio to be 92.5%, an improvement of 1% over 2013-14.

  • Indian Railways spent Rs 41,000 crore on laying of 3,700 km of new lines in last 10 years.

  • Fare revision will bring in Rs.8,000 crore; need another Rs.9,000 crore for golden quadrilateral project.

  • Spend 94 paisa of every rupee earned, leaving a surplus of only 6 paisa.
    With 12,500 trains, railways move 23 million passengers every day; equivalent to moving Australia's population

  • Originating passengers achieved less by 46 million; and passenger earnings short by Rs 968 cr over Revised Estimates

  • Plan Outlay under budgetary sources placed at Rs 47,650 cr which is higher by Rs 9,383 cr over 2013-14 - higher plan outlay goes to safety related works.

  • Railways expected to earn like a commercial enterprise but serve like a welfare organization

  • Recent fare and tariff hike to mop additional revenue of about Rs 8,000 cr.

  • Works to be re-prioritized with more focus on doubling and tripling to decongest the over-utilized network.

  • Prioritizing and setting timelines for completion of the ongoing projects.

  • Developing locomotives, coaches and wagon leasing Market

  • Provision of foot-over bridges, escalators, lifts, etc. at all major stations including through PPP route.

  • Provision of sufficient water supply, platform shelters and toilets at

  • Railway Stations.

  • Expanding scope of online booking of train, coaches, berth & chair car.

  • Introduction of Ready-to-eat meals of reputed brands in a phased manner

  • Setting up of Food Courts at major stations for providing regional cuisine while onboard through emails, SMS and Smart Phones, etc. Pilot project between New Delhi-Amritsar and New Delhi-Jammu Tawi sections.

  • Substantial increase of 40% in budget allocation for cleanliness

  • Extending use of CCTVs at stations to monitor cleanliness activities

  • Provision of Rs 1,785 crore for Road-over-bridges and Road-under bridges; speedy clearances, online design standardization and decentralized sanctioning powers.

  • Use of bio-diesel up to 5% of total diesel fuel consumption

  • Revamping Railway Reservation System into Next Generation e-

  • Ticketing System. E-ticketing to support 7200 tickets per minutes to allow 1,20,000 simultaneous users.

  • Per capita contribution to Staff Benefit Fund increased from Rs 500 to Rs 800.

  • Bullet train proposed on identified Mumbai-Ahemdabad sector

  • Setting up of Diamond Quadrilateral Network of High Speed Rail connecting major metros and growth centers of the country; Rs 100 cr provided for initiating the project

  • Office-on-Wheels: Wifi in A1 and A category stations and in select trains. Internet-based platform and unreserved tickets.

  • Mechanized laundry will be introduced

  • Dedicated freight corridor on Eastern and Western corridors

  • Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detection System (UBRD) to detect problem in track

  • Will develop 10 metro stations with state-of-the-art facilities

  • Outsourcing at 50 major stations; on board housekeeping to be extended to more trains; launching feedback service through IVRS on the quality

  • Special milk tanker trains to be introduced

  • Temperature-controlled storage for fruits and vegetable

  • Ready-to-eat meals to be introduced in phased manners

  • RO drinking water facilities to be installed at stations

  • Tourist trains to be introduced to link all major places of tourist interests across the country

  • Diamond Quadrilateral project of high speed trains to connect all major metros.

  • Separate housekeeping wing at 50 major stations

  • 5400 unmanned level crossing removed

  • 4,000 women constables to be recruited to ensure safety of women. 17,000 RPF constables to provide safety to passengers.
    Setting up of Railway University for technical and non-technical study

  • One ticket to reach from Delhi to Srinagar. Uddhampur to Banihal by bus and Banihal to Srinagar by train.

  • Mumbai local to get 860 new, state-of-the art coaches. 64 new EMUs to be introduced.

  • Train connectivity to Char Dham.

  • Increasing of speed of trains to 160-200 kmph in select 9 sectors.

  • 5 new Jansadharan trains to be introduced.

  • 5 Premium and 6 AC trains to be introduced.

  • 27 new Express trains to be introduced.

  • 8 new passenger services, 5 DEMU services and 2 MEMU services to be introduced and run of 11 trains to be extended.


 


9-July


Current Affairs Global - 9 July 2014



  1.  British Actress Emma Watson, popularly known for her role as Hermione in Harry Potter movie series, has been appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. Post her appointment, she will work for empowerment of young women and also as an advocate for UN Women-s campaign in promoting gender equality.


She was named after taking some humanitarian work for girls' education in countries like Bangladesh and Zambia.



  1.  Germany striker Miroslav Klose became the World Cup's all-time record scorer with his 16th goal during their semifinal match against Brazil yesterday. Klose broke Brazilian striker Ronaldo-s record of 15 goals in World Cup matches.


Germany smashed Brazil by 7-1 in the first semifinal match to reach final of the 2014 FIFA world Cup. This is also Brazil-s worst defeat in the history of world cup. Argentina will face Netherlands in the second semifinal match today.


Current Affairs India - 9 July 2014


1. India-s highest court, the Supreme Court, has appointed Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Rohington F Nariman as Supreme Court judges on 7th July 2014. The three judges were administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India, R M Lodha. With these three new appointments, total number of Supreme Court judges increased to 27, including Chief Justice R M Lodha.


Justice Mishra and Justice Goel were the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and the Orissa High Court, respectively. Justice Nariman was a senior advocate at the Supreme Court and has been elevated from the advocates bar.


2. The Bharatiya Janata Party's parliamentary board has elected BJP leader and close aid of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah as national president of the party. He succeeds outgoing BJP president and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.


Prior to the parliamentary board meeting, Rajnath had declared that Amit Shah will be the next BJP president. He is credited for the BJP's historical performance in Uttar Pradesh during General Elections where BJP won in 71 seats out of total 80 seats.


3. The Economic Survey 2013-14 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament today with the aim of moving towards a low and stable inflation regime through fiscal consolidation. The highlights are:



  • GDP growth seen at 5.4-5.9% in financial year 2014-15

  • Growth rate of 7-8% can occur after in financial year 2015-16

  • Government needs to move towards low and stable inflation through fiscal consolidation and need subsidy reforms for fiscal consolidation

  • Raise tax-to-GDP ratio for fiscal consolidation

  • Poor monsoon, external factors pose risk to growth

  • CAD to be contained at 2.1% of GDP in financial year 2014-15

  • Wholesale inflation expected to moderate by end-of 2014

  • Retail inflation showing signs of moderation

  • Reduce spillovers from food to non-food inflation by putting in place a formal monetary policy framework

  • Contain revenue shortfall via better mobilisation, reforms

  • Move towards simple tax regime, fewer exemptions, GST rate

  • Need DTC as clean modern replacement for existing I-T laws

  • Cutting capital expenditure not good for economy

  • Changes in tax administration required

  • RBI intervention in forex market behind accumulation of reserves -generally-. Rupee has stabilised, reflecting an overall sense of confidence in forex and capital markets

  • Exports still fragile; Iraq crisis a risk

  • Industrial growth expected to revive gradually over 2-yearr

  • Indian legislation governing business need thorough revamp

  • Improve business environment by shifting important decision making from inspectors to higher officers

  • Capital controls under FEMA do not support rapidly globalising economy.

  • Banking sector impacted by global and domestic slowdown

  • State APMC laws hurdle to modernisation of good economy; have created cartels of buyers who possess market power

  • Foodgrains production to go up to 264.4 MT in financial year 2013-14. Need to review nutrient—based fertiliser subsidy

  • Plan to add 88,537 MW power capacity over next 5 years

  • Allow private companies to mine coal commercially

  • Gold & silver imports dropped 40% to USD 33.4 billion in financial year 2013-14

  • India-s increase in share in world services exports from 0.6% in 1990 to 3.3% in 2013 faster than goods exports

  • Despite deceleration, services GDP growth at 6.8% was above the 4.7% overall GDP in financial year 2013-14

  • 3 milestones of financial year 2013-14: passage of PFRDA Act, shift of commodity futures trading into FinMin & presentation of FSLRC report

  • Poverty ratio declined from 37.2% in financial year 2004-05 to 21.9% in financial year 2011-12.


 


10-July


Current Affairs Global - 10 July 2014


1. The Bank of England has held UK interest rates at a record low of 0.5% during its monetary policy announcement today. Size if its economic stimulus programme, popularly known as Quantitative Easing, was also kept unchanged at 375 billion pound.


2. Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties yesterday to set up a third World Cup final against Germany. Argentinian goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved two penalty shoot outs to help his country reach World Cup final after 24 years. It was the first World Cup semi-final ever to end 0-0 after 120 minutes.


It will be a record third World Cup final between the two countries, with Argentina winning the title 3-2 in 1986 and the Germans 1-0 in 1990. Germany also eliminated Argentina in the quarter-finals of the last two World Cups.


3. World Football Federation, FIFA has suspended Nigeria from all international football amid allegations of government interference in its football federation. The ban means no Nigerian team including club sides can play internationally. Nigeria reached the second round of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil


FIFA had given the Nigerian government until Tuesday to reinstate the sacked Nigeria Football Federation, NFF executive committee. The NFF was dissolved by the government last week and replaced by a sole administrator.


Current Affairs India - 10 July 2014


1. India-s economy is now the 10th biggest economy in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), according to the latest report published by the World Bank. Indian economy grew at an average annual rate of just over 6% from 1980 to 2010. However India remains the poorest country among the G20, with per capita income at USD 1,499 compared to China-s USD 6,807.


India-s growth has been largely driven by the services sector which has more than 50% weight in overall economic output. The agricultural, manufacturing and the industrial sectors have slowed down recently due to lower investment and global slowdown leading to decade low GDP growth of 4.5% in the previous financial year.


2. During budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced to increase FDI limit in the defence sector up to 49% from 26% now. Also FDI limit for insurance sector would be increased to 49% from existing 26%. All these measures were taken in order to boost foreign inflow in the country.


3. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has allocated Rs 100 crores for the safety and welfare of women and for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana to generate awareness on the issues. An outlay of Rs 50 crore has been made for pilot testing of a scheme on safety for women on public road transport. Another 150 crore rupees have been allocated for a scheme to increase the safety of women in large cities.


4. Famous actress Zohra Sehgal passed away at 4:00pm in Delhi today. She was 102. A Padma Vibhushan awardee, Zohra Sehgal is an Indian actress and choreographer, who started her career as dancer with Uday Shankar in 1935 and worked with him for the next eight years. She has appeared in many Bollywood films as a character actor as well as in English language films and television series.


Union Budget 2014-15 Highlights


Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has presented first budget for the newly elected NDA government today. The key highlights are:


Fiscal/Economy Related



  • Fiscal deficit target retained at 4.1% of GDP for current fiscal year and 3.6% for 2015-16 and 3% for 2016-17

  • Revenue Deficit seen at 2.9% for Financial year 2014-15

  • Aim to achieve 7-8% economic growth rate in next 3-4 years

  • Committed to 4% growth in agriculture

  • Govt-s plan expenditure pegged at Rs. 5.75 lakh crore and non-Plan at Rs. 12.19 lakh crore.

  • Disinvestment target fixed at Rs. 58,425 crore

  • Gross borrowings pegged at Rs. 6 lakh crore


Taxation:



  • Govt expects Rs. 9.77 lakh crore revenue crore from taxes

  • Personal tax exemption limit raised to Rs 2.5 lakh from current Rs 2 lakh for taxpayers below 60 years

  • Senior citizens' tax exemption limit incresed from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh

  • No change in surcharge for corporates, individuals

  • Education Cess kept unchanged at current 3%

  • Investment limit under Section 80C hiked to Rs 1.5 lakh from current Rs 1 lakh

  • Exemption on housing loans interest on self-occupied property increased from Rs 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh

  • PPF ceiling upped from Rs 1 lakh to be Rs 1.5 lakh


Indirect Tax:



  • Basic customs duty on LED panel below 19 inch removed

  • Soaps and oil products to become cheaper

  • Excise duty on footwear reduced from 12% to 6%

  • Excise duty concessions to continue till 31st Dec

  • Mobile phones & online advertisements within tax net

  • Aerated drinks to be more expensive

  • Cigarettes to cost more, excise duty hiked from 11% to 72%

  • Personal computers, electronic goods to be cheaper

  • Proposal to make CRT TVs cheaper


Budget estimates:



  • Non-plan expenditure at Rs 12,19,892 crore

  • Non-tax revenue at Rs 2,12,544 crore

  • Revenue deficit pegged at 2.9 percent of GDP

  • Plan expenditure at over Rs 5.75 lakh crore

  • Net effect of direct tax proposals is revenue loss of Rs 22,200 cr

  • Long-term Capital Gains tax on MFs raised to 20% from 10%


Other highlights:



  • GST by end of the year (sets no firm deadline)

  • To encourage development of smart cities; FDI cap on minimum built up area reduced

  • Policy of NDA govt is to promote FDI in select sectors

  • GST will streamline tax administration and result in higher tax collection for Centre and states

  • FDI in defence and insurance sectors were increased  to 49% from existing 26%

  • Greater autonomy to banks

  • PSU 247,944 cr capex to create industrial cycle

  • Tourism: e-visas to be introduced at nine airports in the country in a phased manner

  • Real estate investment trusts - modified REITS is being announced for infrastructure projects to reduce pressure on banking system

  • Sanitation in every household by 2019

  • Shyama Prassad Mukherjee Rozgar mission to be launched

  • New scheme for agricultural irrigation


Other Allocations:



  • Smart cities: PM has vision of developing 100 new cities and Rs 7,060 cr fund for smart cities

  • Set aside Rs. 11,200 crore for PSU banks capitalisation

  • Rs 500 cr for rural electrification

  • Rs 200 cr for Sardar Vallabhbhai statue in Gujarat

  • Rs 50000 cr for SC/ST schemes

  • Social security: minimum pension of Rs 1000 per month for all subscribers of EPFO scheme

  • Rs 150 cr on new scheme to improve safety of women in big cities

  • 'Beti bacahao, beti padahao' scheme to be launched - Rs 100 cr allocation

  • Rural housing scheme: allocation increased to Rs 8000 cr

  • Watershed programme: New prog with outlay of Rs 2000 cr

  • Rs 3600 cr for national rural drinking water programme

  • New teachers training scheme is being launched: Rs 500 cr allocated

  • Rs 100 cr for virtual classrooms

  • National rural and tech mission is proposed - Rs 500 cr allocated

  • New plan to promote community radio - Rs 100 cr allocated

  • Urban renewal to get Rs 50000 cr

  • Urabn metro: govt will encourage metro system in PPP mode

  • Rs 100 cr for Lucknow and Ahmedabad metro projects

  • New mission for low cost affordable housing for urban poor - Rs 4000 cr allocated

  • Rs 100 cr for modernisation of madrasas

  • New scheme to provide soil health card to each farmer- Rs 100 cr allocated

  • Climate change is a reality which we have to face - national adaptation fund for climate change to be set up - Rs 100 allocated

  • Price stabilisation fund to be set up - Rs 500 cr allocated

  • RIDF target raised to 30000 cr

  • Warehousing: Rs 5000 cr allocated

  • Rs 5000 cr for STRC fund

  • Kisan Television will be launched this year - this will provide real time info to farmers on farming techniques - Rs 100 cr allocated

  • National Industrial Corridor with headquarters in Pune will be set up. Rs 100 crores alloted

  • Rs 100 cr for new coal based power generation technology

  • Big solar projects in Rajasthan, TN and Ladakh - Rs 400 cr allocated

  • Capital outlay of defence increased by Rs 5000 cr

  • New war memorial will be constructed at Princess Park - Rs 100 cr allocated

  • Small savings scheme to promote girl child, which will mature at the time of her marriage, higher education will be introduced

  • Renewed effort to link rivers, Rs 100 cr for detailed study on it

  • New scheme Namami Ganga for rejuvenation of River Ganga gets Rs 2,037 cr

  • Rs 990 crore for development of villages along the border

  • Rs 100 cr set aside for development of Technology Development Fund

  • National Police Memorial to be allocated Rs 50 cr

  • Allocation for defence Rs 2,29,000 crore

  • Budget proposes National Housing Banking programme; sets aside Rs 8,000

  • Rs 500 cr for five tourists circuits

  • Development of rail system in Northeast get Rs 1000 cr over and above what has been provided in interim budget

  • Rs 200 cr for upgradation of stadiums in J&K

  • Sports university to be set up in Manipur, Rs 100 allocated

  • Rs 100 cr for training for forthcoming Asian and Commonwealth Games

  • Young leaders prog for youth to be started, Rs 100 cr set aside

  • Displaced Kashmiri migrants rehabilitation gets Rs 500 cr

  • Rs 200 cr for power reforms and Rs 500 cr for water reforms in Delhi

  • Rs 150 cr for communication needs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

  • Rs 100 cr set aside for development of organic farming in Northeast region


Other Initiatives



  • National level institute for mental health to be set up

  • Currency notes with braille like signs to help the blind

  • Gender main-streaming: School curriculum to have a chapter on the issue

  • MNREGA will be made more productive; it will be linked to agriculture related activities

  • Women SHGs bank loan scheme to be extended to other districts

  • Backward region grant fund for 272 backward districts - BRGF will be restructured

  • Health for all: free drug and free diagnostic services

  • Four more AIIMS to be set up in AP, WB, Vidharbha and Purvanchal - Rs 500 cr allocation

  • 12 more Government Medical Colleges to be added

  • Government to provide toilet and drinking water in all girl schools

  • National Centre of Humanities would be set up in MP

  • Five more IITs and five more IIMs to be set up

  • Pan-India programme called Digital India would be launched - it will provide broadband connectivity to villages

  • 5 new IITs in Jammu, Chhattisgarh, Goa, AP & Kerala

  • 5 new IIMs in HP, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha & Maharashtra

  • Program for up gradation of skills and ancient arts for the minorities

  • Two more research institutes on farming to be set up in Assam and Jharkhand

  • New agricultural University in AP, Rajasthan

  • Horticulture University in Telangana and Haryana

  • Slum development to be included in Corporate Social Responsibility activities

  • Urban renewal will address drinking water, use of recycled water,solid waste management, digital connectivity; 500 habitats supported

  • 15 Model Rural Health Research centers to be set up for rural health issues

  • Anti-poverty programmes will be targeted well

  • Finance to 5 lakh joint farming groups through NABARD

  • State Government to be encouraged to set up farmers' markets in cities and town

  • Rs 8 lakh crore target for agriculture credit

  • 3% tax subvention for farmers who pay up on time

  • To set up 100 mobile soil testing labs across country

  • Apprentice Act to be suitably amended to strengthen the Apprentice Training Scheme

  • 6 more textile clusters to be set up at Bareily, Lucknow, Kutch, Mysore, Bhagalpur and TN

  • Hastkala academy to be set up in Delhi

  • Pashmina production program in J&K

  • To set up 7 new Industrial Smart Cities

  • Manufacturing units will be allowed to sell products through retail, e-commerce

  • Ganga inland navigation - Jal Marg from Allahabad to Haldia at the cost of Rs 4200 cr

  • NHAI and state highways get 37,000 cr which includes Rs 3000 cr for Northeast

  • New expressways to be developed in parallel to the development on industrial corridors

  • 6 new debt recovery tribunals to be set up

  • Small savings scheme to be revitalized

  • National sports academies to be set up in different parts of India

  • New 24x7 TV channel for Northeast

  • National Centre for Himalayan studies to be set up in Uttarakhand

  • National institute for customs and central excise to be set up in Karnataka


11-July


Current Affairs Global - 11 July 2014


1. World Population Day is observed today (11th July) across the world to raise awareness of global population issues. The theme for 2014 is "Investing in Young People." 


The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987 approximately the date on which the world's population reached five billion people.


Current Affairs India - 11 July 2014


1. Delhi has become the world-s second most populous city in 2014, as per the World Urbanisation Prospects report published by the UN yesterday. Population in Delhi jumped more than 100% since 1990 to nearly 25 million now. As per the report, India is projected to add the highest number of people to its urban population by 2050, ahead of China.


Tokyo leads the list of most populous cities in the world in 2014 with 38 million population. Its population is expected to decrease and touch 37 million in 2030 when Delhi is expected to overtake Tokyo as the most populous city in the world. Tokyo and New Delhi were followed by Shanghai with 23 million and Mexico City, Mumbai and Sao Paulo, each with around 21 million inhabitants in 2014.


2. Nagaland Governor Vakkom B Purushothaman resigned from the post after he was given a transfer order to move to Mizoram as Governor. In his resignation letter, he told that Governors had been treated in a manner which was -not fair- after the NDA Government assumed power.


3. India-s largest food products marketing organization, Amul, has announced its sponsorship of the Indian contingents to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Incheon, South Korea today by signing a MoU with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).


The brand had earlier sponsored the Netherlands cricket team in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011, the Switzerland-headquartered Sauber F1 team at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix as well as the Indian contingent at the London 2012 Olympic Games.


12-July


 


13-July


Forex Reserves increased by USD 614.6 million to 316.393 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 614.6 million to 316.393 billion for the week ended 4th July 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 760.6 million to 289.573 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets are 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 also increased by USD 6.9 million and USD 2.6 million respectively for the same week. Gold value was decreased by USD 155.5 million to USD 20.634 billion for the same reporting week.


Current Affairs Global - 13 July 2014


1. The Netherlands secured the third place in the 2014 World Cup after defeating host Brazil by 3-0 on yesterday night, adding to the hosts- miserable finale to the tournament. This is yet another humiliating defeat for the host team after their worst-ever World Cup defeat by a 7-1 against Germany in the semi-finals.


This is the first time that the Dutch have ended a World Cup in third place, having lost the 1974, 1978 and 2010 finals and in their only other battle for third place, against Croatia in 1998.


Current Affairs India - 13 July 2014


1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi left today for the 6th BRICS summit which scheduled to be held from 14th July to 16th July in Brazil. He will attend the five nation summit at Fortaleza, the north-eastern coastal city of Brazil. In his departure statement, Prime Minister said, India attaches high importance to the BRICS forum for promoting global economic growth.


He wants to use this summit as an opportunity to discuss with his BRICS partners about how to contribute to international efforts to address regional crises, address security threat and restore a climate of peace and stability in the world.


2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been elected as the leader of reconstituted BJP Parliamentary Party in both Houses of Parliament. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has been elected as the Deputy leader of the party in the Lok Sabha while Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be the Deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha.


3. The newly elected NDA government has sacked Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Virendra Kataria on Friday. Lt Gen (Retd) Ajay Kumar Singh, Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, has been given additional responsibility as LG of Puducherry


4. India-s state run airlines Air India formally joins Star Alliance, a club of 27 airlines. The Alliance operates over 18,500 flights a day in 192 countries. With this, Air India has become the only Indian airline to be a member of a global alliance.


To mark the induction into the Star Alliance, A320 in the livery of Star Alliance was unveiled at the Delhi Airport. The function of unveiling of aircraft at noon at Delhi airport was attended by the CEOs of Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air, Singapore Airlines and Austrian apart from Chairman of Air India.


IIP growth jumped to 4.7% in May; shows sign of recovery


India-s Index of Industrial Production, the most important parameter to judge performance of industrial sector, grew by 4.7% in May compared to 3.4% in April due to improved performance of manufacturing, mining and power sectors and higher output of capital goods. This growth increases hope of recovery of Indian Industrial sector. The IIP output had contracted by 2.5% in the same month of last year.


During the April-May period of the current fiscal year 2014-15, the IIP recorded a growth of 4%, as compared to contraction of 0.5% in the first two months of 2013-14.


Manufacturing, which constitutes over 75% of the index, grew by 4.8% in May compared to a growth of 3.2% a year earlier. Production of capital goods grew by 4.5% in May compared to contraction of 3.7% in same month last year. The mining sector grew by 2.7% in May compared to 5.9% drop a year earlier while Power generation increased by 6.3% in the same month. Overall, 16 of the 22 industry groups in manufacturing showed positive growth in May.


 


14-July


Current Affairs Global - 14 July 2014


1. Germany won the 2014 FIFA world cup after defeating Argentina by 1-0 in the final match held yesterday. With this Germany has become the first European team to win the World Cup in South America. Substitute Mario Goetze scored the winning and the only goal in the 113th minute of the match, securing the world cup for his team. This was Germany-s fourth World Cup triumph after winning in 1990 for the last time against Maradona-s Argentina.


Though Argentina Captain Lionel Messi failed to join the Ivy league of greats like Diego Maradona and Pele after losing the final match, he was was awarded with the Golden Ball award for best player in the world cup.


Arjen Robben of Holland and James Rodríguez of Colombia were awarded with the Golden Boot award as the tournament-s top scorer with six goals. Germany-s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was awarded with the Golden Glove award while France-s Paul Pogba was named as the tournament-s best young player and Colombia were given the fair play award.


2. Former Sri Lanka Skipper Mahela Jayawardene has announced his retirement from Test Cricket following the home series against South Africa and Pakistan this year. He will retire from Test Cricket after playing to tests against South Africa this month and two-match test series against Pakistan next month. He played 145 Tests and scored 11,493 runs with 33 centuries and 48 fifties.


He also confirmed that he would play in One-Day Internationals for now, which means he will be available for the next Cricket world cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.


Current Affairs India - 14 July 2014


1. The Central Government has announced five new governors today for Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Nagaland states. Senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Ram Naik will be the new Governor of Uttar Pradesh while former Punjab minister Balramji Dass Tandon will be the new Governor of Chhattisgarh. 


Former UP Assembly speaker Keshari Nath Tripathi has been appointed as the Governor of West Bengal and former Delhi BJP chief Om Prakash Kohli has been appoinyed as the new Governor of Gujarat. Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya as the new Governor of Nagaland. He has also been given additional charge of Tripura following resignation of former governor of Tripura, Vakkom Purushothaman.


2. The Central Government appointed IAS Officer Shankar Aggarwal as Secretary in the Ministry of Urban Development today. He is from IAS 1980 batch of Uttar Pradesh cadre and was previously the Secretary, Union Ministry of Women & Child Development.


In his 35 years of service, he has held several positions in the Governments of Uttar Pradesh and India, dealing with housing and urban development, IT, finance, energy, technical education, small-scale industries, transport and defence.


3. The former Chairman and Managing Director of Vijaya Bank, H S Upendra Kamath, has taken over as the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd (TMB). He succeeds K B Nagendra Murthy, who retired from service on July 2.


4. Legendary Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar's ancestral home in Pakistan has been declared as a national heritage and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered authorities to acquire the property. After acquiring his home the Pakistan Government is planning to convert it into a museum.


His 130 square metre home is located in Peshawar's famous Qisa Khawani Bazaar area and is in a shabby condition.


India-s retail inflation eased to 7.31% in June compared to 8.28% in May


India-s Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, dropped sharply to 7.31% in June from 8.28% in May. This is much lower compared to Retail inflation of 9.87% in the same month last year.


Retail inflation in rural areas eased to 7.72% in June compared to 8.86% in May and in urban areas eased to 6.82% in June compared to 7.55% in May. Drop in retail inflation along with high IIP growth numbers should bring good news for the RBI and will provide room to the Central Bank to cut interest rates during its next monetary policy meet.


India-s overall inflation drops to 5.43% in June; Food Inflation may still be a concern for the Government


India-s overall inflation, measured by the wholesale price index, dropped to 5.43% in June compared to 6.01% in May due to drop in food prices and vegetables prices. Overall Inflation stood at 5.16% in the same month last year.


Prices of vegetables as a category declined by 5.89% during the month, while that of potato and onion jumped by 42.51% and 10.70% respectively in the wholesale market. The prices of sugar and edible oils fell by 2.09% and 0.75% respectively during June. Food inflation which has nearly 14.34% weight in overall inflation number, stood at 8.14% in the same month compared to 9.50% in the previous month. This high food inflation number may be a concern for the Government due to lower than normal Monsoon in the current year. Lower than normal Monsoon is expected to hit overall agricultural production and may affect inflation numbers adversely in the coming months.


Manufactured products inflation jumped to 3.61% in June from 3.55% in May while fuel and power group inflation eased to 9.04% in the same month from 10.53% in May.


 


15-July


Current Affairs Global - 15 July 2014


1. South African Nobel Prize-winning writer and anti-apartheid activist Nadine Gordimer passed away at her home in Johannesburg yesterday. She was 90. She became an icon through her unique insights into the country-s social agonies for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 and was also awarded with the Booker Prize in 1974.


Through 15 novels, several short stories, non-fiction and other works published in 40 languages around the world, Gordimer eviscerated white-minority rule under the apartheid system and its aftershocks once democracy had been achieved in 1994. Gordimer-s reputation rests on a series of novels including A Guest of Honour, The Conservationist,Burger-s Daughter, July-s People and A Sport of Nature, which the Nobel committee called -magnificent epic writing-.


2. China received USD 63.33 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first six months of current year 2014, which is a 2.2% increase compared to the same period last year. FDI dropped by 0.2% to USD 14.42 billion in June compared to same month last year.


Total FDI in the services sector jumped by 14.8% year-on-year to USD 35.2 billion, accounting for 56% of the total FDI in the first 6 months of 2014 while for the manufacturing sector total FDI dropped by 13.9% to USD 22.8 billion or 36% of the total FDI.


3. Global banking giant Citigroup has announced that it will pay USD 7 billion to settle an investigation into its sale of residential mortgage-backed securities prior to the financial crisis and global recession that started in 2008, as per the data published by the company and the US Justice Department (DOJ).


The settlement includes a USD 4-billion civil penalty, which the DOJ said was the largest to date under a reform of the banking sector that followed the crisis. Citigroup will also pay USD 500 million to the federal government. The remaining USD 2.5 billion will be paid in various forms of consumer relief and will be distributed by the end of 2018.


Current Affairs India - 15 July 2014


1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of BRICS Summit at Fortaleza in Brazil yesterday. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the meeting was very warm and cordial and both of them discussed bilateral as well as regional and international issues at the meeting. Prime Minister is now in Brazil to attend the BRICS summit.


2. In a relief to whistleblower IAS officer Ashok Khemka from Haryana state service, the Civil Services Board approved his request for a central deputation today after the intervention of the PMO. The Cabinet Secretary had recommended to the PMO that Khemka should be transferred on central deputation. He is now awaiting posting orders from the central government.


The 1991-batch IAS officer had annoyed the Haryana government by cancelling the mutation Robert Vadra's land deal with realty major DLF in 2012. The state government had also chargesheeted him for "wrongly" cancelling the mutation of the deal in 2013, apart from ordering various inquiries against him in different cases.


3. Environmentalist and social activist Chandi Prasad Bhatt has been awarded the prestigious Gandhi Peace prize for 2013 today at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Pranab Mukherjee presented the award to him at a function held today in Rashtrapati Bhavan.


The annual award was instituted by the government in 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi to facilitate individuals and institutions for their contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods. It carries a plaque, citation and a cash prize of one crore rupees.


4. Capital market regulator SEBI has barred famous Satyam Computer-s founder B Ramalinga Raju and four others from markets for 14 years today and asked them to return Rs 1,849 crore worth of unlawful gains with interest of 12% per annum with effect from 7th January, 2009 when the scam came into light. The money needs to be deposited with SEBI within 45 days. On 7th January 2009, B Ramalinga Raju, chairman of Satyam Computer had sent an email to SEBI admitting all the scams to inflate cash and bank balances of the company.


The others facing the prohibitory orders include Raju-s brother B Rama Raju (then Managing Director of Satyam), Vadlamani Srinivas (ex-CFO), G Ramakrishna (ex-vice president) and VS Prabhakara Gupta (Ex-Head of Internal Audit).


5. The central government has slapped an additional penalty of USD 579 million on Reliance Industries for producing less than targeted natural gas from its KG-D6 block. With this, the total penalty on RIL for missing the target in four fiscal years beginning 1st April 2010 now stands at a cumulative USD 2.376 billion, the Oil and Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan informed the Lok Sabha yesterday.


The penalty is in the form of disallowing costs incurred. The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) allows RIL and its partners BP Plc and Niko Resources to deduct all capital and operating expenses from the sale of gas before sharing profit with the government.


 


16-July


Current Affairs Global - 16 July 2014


1. BRICS Summit 2014 is being held at Fortaleza, Brazil which is attended by leaders of these five developing nations. Participant leaders of the five nations are Brazil-s President Dilma Rousseff, Russia-s President Vladimir Putin, India-s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, China-s President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma. All these leaders discussed about different issues and steps to boost ties among the five nations and boost growth in emerging economies.


BRICS leaders have also announced to set up a new development bank with initial capital of USD 100 billion like IMF to invest in different infrastructure projects in emerging nations. The head quarter of the new BRICS development bank will be in Shanghai, China and the first President of the bank will be from India. The bank will begin with a subscribed capital of USD 50 billion divided equally between its five founders, with an initial total of USD 10 billion in cash put in over seven years and USD 40 billion in guarantees.


2. Syria's President Bashar al-Assad was sworn in for a new seven-year term in Damascus today. He was reelected after an election held in last month. Syria is now struggling with its worst ever civil war in his history with more than 170,000 people were killed across the country.


3. China's economic growth stood at 7.5% in the second quarter (April-June) of the current year compared to same quarter last year as the recent government stimulus measures boost growth of the world-s second largest economy, as per the official data published today. This growth rate is marginally better than 7.4% economic growth seen in the last quarter. Economic growth


Chinese economic growth stood at 7.4% in the first half of the current year 2014 compared to same period last year. The data confirms that the domestic and international economic environment is still complicated and the national economy still faces many challenges.


4. US media major Time Warner has rejected an initial takeover approach of around USD 80 billion from its biggest rival 21st Century Fox. The takeover approach by 21st Century Fox was made last month to acquire Time Warner.


5. Tech majors Apple and IBM have announced a business partnership which will help them to co-develop business-centric apps for iPhones and iPads. Post this deal, IBM will also be able to sell iPhones and iPads directly to business clients with pre-installed apps developed by IBM.


Current Affairs India - 16 July 2014


1. State Government of Delhi decided to set up 320 Mahila Suraksha Dals (MSDs) across the national capital to ensure women safety at public places. As per the plan, the MSDs will be made functional in the 80 Gender Resource Centers and one MSD will be created in all 11 Districts of the city on the day of Raksha Bandhan as a pilot program.


The Mahila Suraksha Dals (MSDs) will comprise of retired army personnel, representatives from the local community (both men and women) and local NGO representatives. Each team will consist of 20 community members and three ex- servicemen.


2. Indian pharma major Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has acquired US-based Pharmalucence Inc for an undisclosed amount. Pharmalucence, which has a sterile injectable capacity in the US, has been acquired by one of the subsidiaries of Sun Pharma. This is Sun Pharma-s important acquisition after it had acquired India-s pharma major Ranbaxy Laboratories for nearly USD 3.2 billion earlier this year.


3. Former India cricket captain Rahul Dravid has been elected as the newest member of Laureus World Sports Academy. With this he will become the 47th member of the panel. Dravid, the fourth-highest run scorer in Test cricket, was at a school today in London's East End, meeting young coaches who have been trained with support from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.


4. India-s boxing coaches at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games have been barred from occupying ringside seats during bouts due to the country-s termination from the International Boxing Association (AIBA). A communication to this effect from the competition organisers was received by the Indian Olympic Association yesterday.


AIBA suspended IBF first in 2012 and then terminated it in March this year stating that the then set of office bearers were -damaging the image, reputation and interest- of the sport.


India-s exports jumped by 10.22% to USD 26.47 billion in June, Trade deficit jumped to USD 11.77 billion


India-s total exports grew by 10.22% in June compared to same month last year to USD 26.47 billion even as trade deficit jumped to USD 11.77 billion. With this, Indian exports witnessed double digit growth for the second consecutive month. Total Imports grew by 8.33% in June compared to same month last year to USD 38.24 billion. The trade deficit stood at USD 11.7 billion in the same month. Oil imports increased by 10.9% to USD 13.3 billion, while non-oil imports increased by 7% to USD 24.9 billion in June which pushed total imports number higher.


Total exports grew by 9.3% to USD 80.1 billion during the first quarter (April-June) of the current fiscal year 2014-15 while total imports contracted by 6.9% to USD 113.2 billion, leaving behind a trade deficit of USD 33.1 billion.


The Commerce Ministry released data for services exports for the first time based on data collated by the RBI. Services exports stood at USD 13.92 billion in May while total Services imports stood at USD 8.02 billion in the same month, leaving trade surplus of USD 5.89 billion in services.


 


17-July


Current Affairs Global - 17 July 2014


1. The 7th BRICS Summit in 2015 will be held at Ufa in Russia after successful conclusion of this year-s BRICS summit in Brazil. Ufa is the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia and the industrial, economic, scientific and cultural centre of the country.


2. The US and EU have slapped fresh sanctions on Russia on Ukraine issue, hitting its finance, military and energy sectors. The US Department of the Treasury imposed a broadbased package of sanctions yesterday on entities in the financial services, energy and arms or related materiel sectors of Russia as well as on those undermining Ukraine-s sovereignty or misappropriating Ukrainian property.


3. After winning the FIFA world cup, Germany has been ranked at No 1 in the latest FIFA ranking published today. This is the first time Germany secured No 1 rank in last 20 years. World Cup runners up Argentina secured second rank followed by Netherlands, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland and France respectively in first 10 places.


Current Affairs India - 17 July 2014


1. India has the third-highest number of HIV infected people in the world, as per the UN report. Total 2.1 million Indians are infected with the deadly virus. The report by UNAIDS, the United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS, said that 19 million of the 35 million people living with the virus globally do not know their HIV-positive status and so ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 will require smart scale-up to close the gap.


The first ever UNAIDS -Gap Report- said after sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the largest number of people living with HIV is Asia. At the end of 2013, there were an estimated 4.8 million people living with HIV across the region.


2. Om Prakash Kohli on Wednesday took oath as the new governor of Gujarat today. Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya administered the oath of office. He succeeds Kamla Beniwal who has been transferred to Mizoram recently.


3. Famous Malayalam filmmaker J. Sasikumar passed away yesterday in Kochi. He was 86. He holds the record of making 141 films in his career spanning over three decades and also holds records of making the highest number of films with the same lead actor and same lead team, and the highest number of films in a year. He won the Kerala State government-s J.C.Daniel award for lifetime achievement in cinema for the year 2012.


4. In its recently released draft guideline, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set a minimum paid-up capital of Rs.100 crore for those who wants to set up payments and small banks. The RBI has also said that the promoters will have to invest an initial minimum capital of at least 40%. It has prescribed a lock-in period of five years for promoters- holding.


In case the promoters- stake is in excess of 40%, it will have to be brought down to 40% within three years from the date of commencement of business of the bank. This has to be brought down to 30% within 10 years, and further to 26% within 12 years from the date of commencement of business. The central bank seeks suggestions and comments on the draft guidelines by August 28.


5. The foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into India jumped by more than 100% to USD 3.60 billion in May, which is the highest FDI inflow in the last eight months. India-s FDI inflow stood at USD 1.63 billion in the same month last year. During April-May period of the current fiscal year 2013-14, the foreign inflows grew by 34% to USD 5.30 billion as compared to USD 3.95 billion received in the same period last fiscal year, according to the data published by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.


Amongst the top 10 sectors, telecommunications received the maximum FDI in May at USD 1.51 billion followed by pharmaceuticals (USD 680 million), services (USD 574 million) and construction (USD 221 million).  India received maximum FDI from Mauritius at USD 2.28 billion, followed by Singapore (USD 982 million), UK (USD 545 million), Japan (USD 319 million) and the US (USD 154 million).


6. Financial technology company Polaris won the -Best Implementation of Green IT Award- at the National IT Leadership and Excellence award ceremony held at Mumbai. Polaris has received the award recently for its consistent efforts on direct power reduction and for reducing carbon emission amounting to over 3,517 tonnes, which equates to the effort of planting 17,585 trees per annum.


 


18-July


Current Affairs Global - 18 July 2014


1. Barely couple of months after Malaysian Airlines plane MH370 disappeared mysteriously in the Indian Ocean, another Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane MH17 was shot down over Ukraine sky yesterday killing all the 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board.


This is really a tragic incident when a civilian plane with 295 person on board was shot down near the Russia-Ukraine border by suspected rebel militants. Black box of the plane was recovered today and the monitor team reached the spot to investigate is further.


2. Indian born Google-s Chief Business Officer, Nikesh Arora resigned from the global internet giant after spending 10 years in the company. He will join Japan-s SoftBank Corp as vice chairman, as per a post published by Google CEO Larry Page on his social network site.


3. Germany football team captain Philipp Lahm announced his retirement from international football just five days after leading his country win FIFA world cup held in Brazil. He played 113 international games for Germany.


Current Affairs India - 18 July 2014


1. The Reserve Bank has allowed Kotak Mahindra Bank to raise foreign investment limit under portfolio investment to 40%. The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) approval is on the condition that aggregate foreign investment will not exceed composite sectoral cap of 74%.


Kotak Mahindra Bank has passed a resolution at board meeting and AGM for purchase of equity shares by FIIs/FPIs/QFIs up to 40% of their paid-up capital. Equity shares of the bank can now be purchased through primary market and stock exchanges provided purchase by a single FII or Sebi approved sub-account does not exceed 10% of the paid-up equity capital of bank.


2. The Central Government has appointed B Sriram and VG Kannan as the Managing Directors of the State Bank of India, India-s largest bank. Sriram, who was earlier the Managing Director of the State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, will head International Banking. Kannan, who was earlier the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of SBI Capital Markets Ltd, will now head Associates & Subsidiaries. With these appointments, SBI now has four MDs.


3. The Supreme Court relieved Sunil Gavaskar as BCCI interim President today and allowed him to take other responsibilities. The apex court has also allowed him to claim compensation from BCCI for the work done by him to conduct IPL season 7 smoothly. Earlier he was appointed as the interim president to conduct season 7 of IPL by the apex court.


4. India-s largest two wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp Ltd was named as the title sponsor of the Indian Super League, the first IPL type franchise-based football league in the country. With this deal, the super leagues will be termed as the -Hero Indian Super League-


Backed by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the Hero Indian Super League will help to make the game more popular in India. Each team at the Hero ISL will have minimum squad strength of 22 players, including one famous player, seven internationals and 14 Indian talents. The eight clubs participating in the inaugural Hero ISL are Atletico de Kolkata, Delhi Dynamos FC, NorthEast United FC, Kerala Blasters FC, Team Goa, Team Pune, Team Mumbai and Team Bangalore.


5. Famous Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow scheduled to start from next week after failing to recover from leg injuries sustained during the Australian Open Super Series held last month. With her pull put, India's hopes of winning five badminton medals at the Commonwealth Games suffered a massive setback.


Saina had to take the tough decision to remain fit for the remaining season which will include important tournaments like the World Championship and the Asian Games.


19-July


 


20-July


Current Affairs India - 20 July 2014


1. India has been ranked as the worst performer among BRICS nation as per the annual GII survey published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization. India is now placed at 76th position compared to 66th position last year while other BRICS countries saw gain in their rankings.


Switzerland has been ranked at No1 position based on the Global Innovation Index for the fourth-straight year, as per the annual GII survey published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization. As per the report, Switzerland, Britain, Sweden and Finland secured the top ranks as they all have strong support systems to boost creativity and innovation.


2. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has upgraded India's economic growth forecast to 6.3% in next financial year 2015-16 on hopes of speedy reform process. At the same time, it has retained India-s economic growth forecast at 5.5% for the current financial year 2013-14.


3. India-s IT services company Wipro has acquired Atco I-Tek, the IT services arm of Canadian logistics and utilities provider Atco, for USD 195 million which is Wipro-s second biggest acquisition ever. Atco I-Tek has large operations in Western Canada and it offers end-to-end IT Services in infrastructure space.


The acquisition also comes with a 10-year, USD 1.12 billion IT outsourcing deal from the Canadian company, the largest contract in Wipro's history. As a part of the deal, Wipro will also take over 500 employees in Canada and 50 employees in Australia.


4. India-s largest private company, Reliance Industries Limited has become the first private company to post USD 1 billion quarterly profit as it announced its first quarter result on Saturday. Product jumped to nearly USD 1 billion due to higher refining margins, better petro hem earnings and surge in US shale gas business.


 


21-July


Current Affairs Global - 21 July 2014


1. Largest retailer in UK Tesco has announced that current CEO Philip Clarke will step down as the CEO of the company and Unilever-s chief of personal care, Dave Lewis will replace him as the new Chief Executive Officer of Tesco with effective from 1st October.


Clarke will continue to be available to support the transition until the end of January 2015. He will also remain chairman of the company's joint venture with CRE in China until that date.


2. The 20th Commonwealth Games will be held in Glasgow, Scotland from Wednesday and it will see more than 4,000 athletes competing in 17 sports and 261 medal events. A record 22 para-sport events will be contested in five different sports, with para-track cycling set to be held for the first time. India is fielding their second largest ever contingent of 215 athletes.


3. Mercedes' Nico Rosberg won his first home German Grand Prix win at Hockenheim on Sunday to extend his lead over teammate Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One championship. Williams- Valtteri Bottas secured 2nd place in the race followed by Mercedes- Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull-s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari-s Fernando Alonso. Valtteri Bottas was 20.789 seconds behind while ahead of just 1.8 seconds from Hamilton.


Sahara Force India also had a decent outing at the German Grand Prix as Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh and Sergio Perez finished 10th in a double points-finish for the team on Sunday.


4. The Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy won his first Open Championship, the British Golf Open Championship 2014, held at Royal Liverpool Golf course in Holyake. He defeated Spain's Sergio Garcia (L) and US golfer Rickie Fowler to win the title. With this victory, he has joined Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win three of golf's modern majors by the age of 25. He is now just has the Masters left to complete a career Grand Slam.


5. England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international football career. The Liverpool midfielder made his debut in 2000 and won 114 caps for his country.


Gerrard's appearance at the World Cup in Brazil last month was the sixth time he had represented England at a major tournament, but it ended in failure as his side failed to cross the group stage.


Current Affairs India - 21 July 2014


1. Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti has announced in the Lok Sabha today that 2015-16 would be observed as the Year of Water Conservation. She assured the House that the concerns of the States will be taken into consideration while implementing the projects.


2. IFS officer Sanjeev Kumar Singla has been appointed as Private Secretary (PS) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. He will succeed Vikram Misri who has been appointed as the Ambassador of Spain. Mr. Singla, a 1997 batch officer, is returning home to serve in the PMO, after a posting in Indian Embassy in Israel-s Tel Aviv.


Mr. Misri, who was appointed as Ambassador to Spain in April, served as Private Secretary to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.


3. India won their first Test match at the historic Lord's after 28 years after Ishant Sharma delivered a magical spell today which helped Indian team to secure a win by 95 runs. While chasing a target of 319 runs, England team was all out at 223.


Ishant Sharma was declared Man of the Match after getting 7 wickets for 74 runs. It took 28 long years for India to win a Test match at the 'Home of Cricket' after 'Kapil Dev's team achieved the feat back in June 1986 winning by five wickets.


 


22-July


Current Affairs Global - 22 July 2014


1. US based internet giant Yahoo has acquired an app analytics firm, Flurry for nearly USD 200 million to boost its advertising revenue from smartphones. Flurry app helps app developers analyze data about their users and deliver more personalized ads to them. This is Yahoo-s biggest acquisitions since its acquisition of Tumblr in 2012.


Current Affairs India - 22 July 2014


1. Yellapragada Sudharshan Rao has been appointed as Chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). He would serve the council for a term of three years. He suceeded Basudev Chatterjee.


Yellapragada Sudharshan Rataught at Department of History, Kakatiya University. He had worked at Kakatiya University for about 40 years. He guided eight PhD and 15 MPhil students and has about 40 research papers published in various national and international journals to his credit.


2. The Central Government has appointed David Rasquinha and Debasish Mallick as Deputy Managing Directors of the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank). Before that, Rasquinha was an Executive Director of Exim Bank and Mallick was the Managing Director and CEO of IDBI Asset Management Company Ltd.


3. The Chief Minister of Telangana K. Chandrasekhara Rao has announced India-s tennis star Sania Mirza as the Brand Ambassadorship of the new in Hyderabad today. She will promote the new state Telengana-s interests in India and abroad.


 


23-July


Current Affairs Global - 23 July 2014


1. Joko Widodo won the Presidential election held recently in Indonesia and has been named the nation-s next president. Widodo, also known as Jokowi, won 53.15% of total votes while his opponent Prabowo Subianto won 46.85% of the total votes, as per the election commission data published yesterday. Prabowo called the voting undemocratic and pulled his witnesses from the counting process just hours before the final result was announced. Indonesia-s rupiah jumped to a two-month high and stocks advanced after this favorable election result.


2. Global Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar will play a special part in today's opening ceremony of the 20th Commonwealth Games which will be held at Glasgow, Scotland. Tendulkar will form part of the ceremony in his capacity as UNICEF's Global Goodwill Ambassador.


Lord David Puttnam, UNICEF UK Ambassador, told that there will be something special from Tendulkar, but he has not revealed any details. UNICEF has partnered with the Glasgow CWG organizers to spread awareness about problems facing children all over the world.


Current Affairs India - 23 July 2014


1. The Reserve Bank of India has set out a framework today for identifying and dealing with large banks, termed domestic systemically important banks or D-SIBs. A size beyond 2% of GDP will be one of the criteria for identifying a bank as a D-SIB and it will be subject to higher capital requirements, as per the Reserve Bank of India. The other three criteria for designating a bank as a D-SIB are: interconnectedness; lack of readily available substitutes or financial institution infrastructure; and complexity.


D-SIBs are perceived as banks that are -Too Big To Fail-. This perception creates an expectation of government support for these banks at the time of distress, So RBI wants to impose additional policy measures for these SIBs to deal with the systemic risks and possible crisis that may arise.


For this purpose, these banks will be categorized into five buckets based on their systemic importance scores and additional policy measures including higher capital charge will be applied to them. These additional policy measures will be applicable from 1st April 2016 in a phased manner and will be fully effective from 1st April 2019.


2. Consumer confidence level in India jumped by seven points to 128 in second quarter of the current year compared to 121 in the previous quarter, according to a global consumer confidence index study by Nielsen. India is now ranked as the most optimistic country followed by Indonesia and the Philippines which is better than second rank in the previous quarter. Newly elected central government with absolute majority is the main reason for this improvement.


3. The Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Dr Mukul Sangma launched a mass enrolment drive under the Chief Minister's Social Assistance (CMSA) Scheme today for widows and persons with disabilities at Patharkhmah in Ri Bhoi District in Meghalaya. Each beneficiary shall be given a financial assistance of 500 rupees per month under the scheme.


The Chief Minister's Social Assistance (CMSA) Scheme was launched in Asanang in West Garo Hills in the year 2012. Financial aid of 500 rupees per month is given to the beneficiaries of the scheme. There is no age bar for persons with disabilities, but for widow the age bar is 58 years while for man it is 60 years.


4. Arijit Basu, currently the Deputy Managing Director of State Bank of India, has been appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SBI Life Insurance. He will succeed Atanu Sen who is due to retire on 31st July and take over charge in August.


5. Santanu Mukherjee has been appointed the Managing Director of State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH). He joined State Bank of Hyderabad as a Probationary Officer and served the Bank in various capacities and also held various important assignments (domestic as well as foreign) in the SBI group.


6. India-s largest IT services company Tata Consultancy Services has become the first Indian company to touch market capitalisation of Rs. 5 lakh crore. Shares of TCS jumped by 2.21% today to close at its 52-week high value of Rs.2,586.9. At the closing price, TCS- market capitalization stood at to Rs. 5,06,703 crore. TCS is followed by ONGC (Rs 3.5 lakh crore) and Reliance Industries (Rs 3.3 lakh crore).


Among IT companies, TCS' market cap is more than the combined market cap of the next four largest Indian companies -- Infosys (Rs 1.90 lakh crore), Wipro (Rs 1.39 lakh crore) and HCL Tech (Rs 1.07 lakh crore) and Tech Mahindra (Rs 45,000 crore.


 


24-July


Current Affairs Global - 24 July 2014


1. India along with BRICS countries has voted in support of a UN Human Rights Council resolution to launch a probe into Israel-s offensive on Gaza today. India joined other BRIC countries Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa to vote for a Palestinian-drafted resolution on -Ensuring Respect for international law in The Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jersusalem-.


In the 47-member council, 29 countries voted in support of the resolution while 17 nations abstained. The U.S. was the only nation to vote against the resolution while European countries abstained.


2. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered global economic projection to 3.4% for the current year compared to current growth projection of 3.7%, as published today. The reduction was due to lower than expected economic growth in some developed nations including the USA.


IMF has kept global economic growth projection unchanged at 4% for next year 2015.


3. The 20th Commonwealth Games began in Glasgow with a spectacular opening ceremony yesterday night at Glasgow in Scotland. As per convention, the head of Commonwealth countries Queen Elizabeth II declared the Games Open last night. The 11 daylong event will witness 4,929 athletes from 71 nations and territories competing for medals.


Olympic silver medalist shooter Vijay Kumar was the flag bearer of the Indian team and he led the Parade of Nations, by virtue of being hosts in 2010 Delhi edition.


4. Argentina-s world No. 46 Leonardo Mayer captured his first ATP title on Sunday when defeated top-seeded Spain-s David Ferrer by 6-7(3), 6-1, 7-6(4) in the Open final match. With this he became the lowest-ranked winner of an ATP World Tour 500 tournament since number 54 Radek Stepanek won the Washington title in 2011.


Current Affairs India - 24 July 2014


1. India has been ranked at 135 out of 187 countries in 2013 as per the Human Development Index (HDI) published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). India-s ranked was unchanged from 135th rank in previous year 2012. India-s HDI value for 2013 is 0.586 which falls in the medium human development category. Between 1980 and 2013, India-s HDI value increased from 0.369 to 0.586, as per the UNDP report. However, India-s 2013 HDI of 0.586 was below the average of 0.614 for countries in the medium human development group.


The report also said that none of the BRICS countries was in the high human development category and India remained at the bottom with lowest HDI value among them. Among the BRICS countries, Russia secured the highest rank at 57, followed by Brazil at 79, China at 91 and South Africa at 118, all are better than India-s rank. The HDI reflects long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human lives - a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. In 2013, the study covered 187 countries, the same as in 2012 and 2011.


At the same time, India has been ranked at 127th out of 152 countries on Gender Inequality Index based on reproductive health, empowerment and economic activity. India has a GII value of 0.563 in 2013. In India, 10.9% of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 26.6% of adult women have reached at least some secondary education compared to 50.4 per cent of their male counterparts.


2. The Union Cabinet has approved introduction of the Bill to increase FDI limit in insurance and to empower capital market regulator SEBI to act against illegal deposit and ponzi schemes. The Government will introduce both these Bills during the ongoing session of Parliament for final approval.


There will not be any rider in the Insurance Bill for foreign investor who can now invest up to 49% from the existing FDI investment limit of 26%. This will help the Insurance sector to attract nearly USD 7 billion of FDI in coming years.


The Cabinet has also approved the Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill. This will replace the ordinance promulgated thrice. This will empower the Securities and Exchange Board of India to act against ponzi schemes and making mandatory registration for money pooling scheme above Rs. 100 crore.


3. Former Speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Keshari Nath Tripathy was sworn in as the Govenor of West Bengal today. He was administered oath by the acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court Mr. Asim Kumar Banerjee at a function in Raj Bhavan in Kolkata today.


4. A reality show based on classical music aired by Doordarshan will feature in the Limca Book of Records. The show 'Naad Bhed-The Mystery of Sound', the first ever reality show on classical music, has been selected by the Limca Book of Records and will be featured in its next edition under Television chapter: for being the First ever National- level Reality show on Classical Music, as per a statement issued by Doordarshan today.


Officials said that 'Naad Bhed' is a first of its kind national-level reality television show in the country and possibly the world, on classical music.


 


25-July


Current Affairs Global - 25 July 2014


1. Ukraine-s prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, resigned yesterday as Ukraine parliament failed to pass legislation to take control over the country-s increasingly precarious energy situation and to increase army financing. His resignation will worsen the current situation in Ukraine when it is struggling to fund a war with pro-Russian rebels in the war conflict zone of East Ukraine.


2. The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the second quarter of the current year. On Annual basis GDP grew by 3.1%. Recently IMF has forecasted UK economy to grow at the fastest pace among the G7 developed nations with growth rate of 3.2% in 2014.


Current Affairs India - 25 July 2014


1. Indian Weightlifter Khumukcham Sanjita wins India's first gold at Commonwealth Games. Khumukcham Sanjita and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu bagged a gold and silver, respectively, in women's 48kg weightlifting yesterday.


Sanjita won with a total lift of 173kg (77+96) while Mirabai grabbed the silver with a cumulative effort of 170 kg (75+95). Sanjita's total of 173kg missed the Games record, held the name of 2010 CWG gold winner Augustina Nkem Nwaokolo (175kg effort) by two kilograms.


Sukhen Dey won gold in the 58 kg men's category in weightlifting. The 25-year-old Dey lifted a total of 248kg after trailing at the halfway snatch stage, but came back strongly in clean and jerk to win the gold. With this India won 2 Gold 3 Silver and 2 Bronze at Commonwealth Games yesterday.


 


26-July


 


27-July


Current Affairs India - 27 July 2014


1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an interactive website MyGov that aims to engage all the youth of the country in the nation's development and ideas from all the volunteers. Various people as well as experts can now discuss and share thoughts about different topics related India-s development. This will also empower the people to contribute towards good governance through various tasks and discussions.


The platform is not intended to be a grievance redressal mechanism, but an initiative that will help government to engage all the people and get their ideas.


2. The 15th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas was celebrated yesterday (26th July) across the nation. The day is celebrated every year to remember the Kargil war heroes and to honour them. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, Army chief Bikram Singh,Navy chief Robin Dhowan and Air Force chief Arup Raha paid tribute to martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate in New Delhi.


3. The Comptroller & Auditor General of India, Shashi Kant Sharma took chanrge as Member of the United Nations Board of Auditors for a term of six year. This will make the CAG responsible for auditing UN organizations, including the UN headquarters. Shashi Kant Sharma took over the charge from Liu Jiayi, the Auditor General of the People-s Republic of China at the United Nations Headquarters at New York.


With his appointment, India replaces China in the United Nations Board of Auditors which has three auditors from member countries. The other two members of the board are Amyas Morse, CAG of UK, and Ludovick Utouh, CAG of Tanzania.


4. Veteran BJP leader Kaptan Singh Solanki has been appointed as the new Governor of Haryana by President Pranab Mukhejee this week. He will succeed Jagannath Pahadia who completed his tenure on 26th July 2014.


5. Famous Journalist and former World Bank official, Sundaram Sankaran passed away at his residence in Kensington, Maryland in the United States. He was 87.He served the World Bank for more than 25 years in Washington D.C, during which he played an important role in finalizing the Bank-s policy and in developing countries.


He began his journalistic career with the Press Trust of India (PTI) in 1950 and then worked forThe Statesman in Mumbai. He was also presented the -Indira Gandhi Media Award- by the Indian community in the USA.


6. India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 813.2 million to 317.849 billion for the week ended 18th July 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 829.1 million to 291.051 billion for the same week. However, the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were decreased by USD 11.5 million and USD 4.4 million respectively for the same week. Gold value remained unchanged at USD 20.634 billion for the same reporting week.


7. Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra won Gold medal the 10m Air Rifle category in his last Commonwealth Games while other Indian teen Malaika Goel won Silver in 10m air pistol event.


India continued its good show at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014, winning 17 medals in first three days including 5 Gold.


 


28-July


Current Affairs Global - 28 July 2014


1. World Hepatitis Day is being observed today (28th July) across the world to generate mass awareness about the deadly disease. The theme of 2014 Hepatitis day is 'It's closer than you think.' With about one million people worldwide dying due to hepatitis - and millions suffering immediate sickness or developing chronic illness - the theme reflects the lurking dangers of the disease.


Established by the World Health Assembly in 2010, this is the fourth celebration of the annual day.


2. Italian Vincenzo Nibali won the 101st edition of the Tour de France in cycling as he finished the final stage on the Champs Elysees in Paris. With this win, he has become the sixth man to win all three Grand Tours, the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana. Nibali is the first Italian winner of the race since Marco Pantani in 1998.


Current Affairs India - 28 July 2014


1. Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Power acquired the the entire hydro power portfolio of Jaiprakash Power for an estimated Rs 12,000 crore after Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) pulled out from the company. Reliance Power pipped Adani Power's Rs 11,700 crore offer to complete the acquisition to build a hydroelectric power house of the country.


Jaiprakash Power Ventures- hydroelectric power portfolio comprises two plants at Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, and a third Vishnu-one in Uttarakhand. These three plants have an aggregate capacity of around 1,800 megawatt with an asset life of 50 years. With this, Reliance Power-s total capacity will be 5000 MW under development and this makes the deal as the largest M&A deal in India's infrastructure and power sector.


2. The Reserve Bank has cancelled the licenses of six Delhi-based non-banking financial companies after which they will not be able to conduct business. These NDFCs are GE Strategic Investments India, Profound Exports, Two Brothers Holding, Swank Services Private Ltd, Praxis Consulting and Information Services and Credible Microfinance Ltd.


The licenses of these companies were cancelled on various dates in April, May and June 2014. Post license cancellation, these companies will not be able to transact the business as NBFC.


3. India-s mid-tier IT services Company Hexaware Technologies has appointed R Srikrishna as Chief Executive officer, effective today. Prior to joining Hexaware, Srikrishna was President of Infrastructure and Life Sciences Businesses at HCL Technologies, India-s fourth largest IT services company.


4. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been appointed as the horticulture ambassador of Maharashtra. He will promote the horticulture sector in Maharashtra which is India's largest fruit producing state with around two million hectares area covered in fruit orchards. The 71-year-old megastar is also the face of Gujarat tourism as well as the polio eradication campaign.


5. Indian shooter Jitu rai wo Gold Medal in the 50m pistol event today at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games while his countryman Gurpal Singh won the silver medal. Jitu Rai had entered the finals by creating Games Record and he also created the game-s final record. In the finals he shot 194.1 points for the medal.


In Latest medal tally India has jumped to fourth position overtaking Canada. India now has 7 Gold, 10 Silver and 7 Bronze medals.


 


29-July


 


30-July


Current Affairs Global - 30 July 2014


 1. The International Tiger Day was observed yesterday (30th July) across the world in order to promote protection and expansion of the wild animal and to increase awareness for tiger conservation.


Currently the number of wild tigers is at its lowest. In last 100 years, around 97% of the total tigers population have been lost. As per estimates, India in 2010 had 1706 wild tigers, with this India has the highest number of tiger population.


2. Muhammad Fuad Masum of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party was elected as the seventh President of Iraq. He was elected with overwhelming majority by the Council of Representatives of Iraq (Iraqi Parliament) in Baghdad as he won 211 votes in favor compared to 17 votes in against in the second round of voting. His opponent Judge Hussein al-Musawi won 17 votes only.


Masum is the second non-Arab President of Iraq after Jalal Talabani who founded the PUK party and is the incumbent President of Iraq. His appointment will also help Iraq to aver the current crisis it is facing now due to some parts of the country captured by rebel militant group.


3. The novel -The Lives of Others- written by Kolkata-born British Indian writer Neel Mukherjee was shortlisted for Man Booker Prize 2014. This is his second novel. The novel is set in 1960s Bengal and revolves around a man's extremist political activism during troubled times.


His first novel was Past Continuous which was joint winner of the Vodafone-Crossword Award, India's premier literary award for writing in English for best novel of 2008.


4. The US economy, the largest economy in the world, grew at an annual rate of 4% during the second quarter (April-June) of the current year. On quarterly basis, the GDP growth stood at 1%. This growth rate was much higher compared to 2.1% contraction in the previous quarter.


Consumer spending, which has more than two-third weight in overall economic activity increased by 2.5% in the same period while total business spending jumped by 14%.


5. South Africa-s Tim Clark won his second PGA Tour title when he sank a six-foot par putt to beat American Jim Furyk by one stroke at the Canadian Open last weekend. He finished at 17-under 263, while Furyk shot a 69 for second place on 16-under.


Current Affairs India - 30 July 2014


1. IAF chief Arup Raha, took over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staffs Committee, from incumbent Gen Bikram Singh who is retiring on 31st July. The Chairman, Chiefs of Staffs Committee is the senior-most military officer in the country.


He will hold the office for a period of 29 months and would probably be the longest-serving officer in the chair. Raha will continue in office till December 2016 and is expected to push for increasing jointmanship among the three services as the CoSC.


2. Senior IRS officer K.V. Chowdary is all set to be appointed as the new Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex authority of the Income Tax department. He is presently working as the Member (Investigations) in the CBDT and is expected to take over the new charge from 1st August after incumbent Chairman R.K. Tewari retires on 31st July.


The CBDT has six members apart from the Chairman and is the apex body for framing policy and administrative issues related to direct taxes and the Income Tax department.


3. Bank of Baroda chairman and managing director S S Mundra is set to take over as the fourth deputy governor of the Reserve bank of India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved his appointment days before he is due to retire. Mundra was the junior most among the nine candidates interviewed for the job several months ago but his appointment was delayed due change in central government.


At present, RBI has three deputy governors; H R Khan, Urijit Patel and R Gandhi. While Khan and Gandhi are career regulators, Patel is an economist.


4. Deputy General Manager of State Bank of India, V Narsi Reddy has been appointed Chairman of Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank (APGVB), Warangal. He joined SBI as probationary officer in 1985. He had earlier worked in different parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in various capacities.


5. Bharti Airtel announced that it has crossed 300-million subscriber mark across its mobile, fixed line, DSL and DTH services which is a new milestone for the largest telecom company in India. The Company, which began operations in 1995, had crossed the 100 million mark in 2009 and 200 million in 2012. Bharti Airtel has operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.


6. Indian Multiplex company Inox Leisure has announced that it will acquire New Delhi based Satyam Cineplexes Ltd (Satyam) as it will buy 100% stake of Satyam-s equity share capital from its shareholders for Rs 182 crore. The deal will help Inox to increase its footprint across North India. Post the deal, Inox will have total will have total 91 multiplexes and 358 screens in 50 cities.


7. Famous Indian classical singer Sushilarani Patel passed away in Mumbai on 24th July due to heart attack. She was 96. She became a Sangeet Natak Academy laureate in 2002.


She was a widow of Baburao Patel who ran India-s first Bollywood trade journal FilmIndia. She was awarded with Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award, Sangeet Natak Akademi award and Maharashtra Rajya Sanskritik Puraskar for her contribution towards Indian music.


 


31-July


Current Affairs Global - 31 July 2014


1. The Central bank of USA, Federal Reserve reduced its monthly purchases of Government-linked bonds by another USD 10 billion to USD 25 billion during its meeting yesterday. This cut is as per the policy launched in January this year to reduce the stimulus programme by USD 10 billion every month from all time high of USD 85 billion which the central bank has started in September 2012.


The US economy grew at an annual rate of 4% in the second quarter of current year and also job market improved significantly. The Fed may increase rates mid of next year if US economic growth and job market continues to improve. The Fed left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the unprecedented, near-zero level since December 2008 post the subprime crisis.


2. Eurozone inflation dropped to 0.4% in July from 0.5% in June which is the lowest level since the recent financial crisis. This is much lower than the European Central Bank-s (ECB) comfort level of 1% and poses significant risk for deflation.


Also Euro zone unemployment rate dropped marginally to 11.5% in June compared to 11.6% in May.


3. South African Cricketer Jacques Kallis, also considered one of the greatest all-rounders of all times, announced his retirement from all formats of international cricket yesterday. He has announced his retirement from all form of International cricket but he will continue to play for IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders.


Current Affairs India - 31 July 2014


1. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is currently on a 3-day visit to India in order to improve bi-lateral ties between two countries. He and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj co-chaired fifth Indo-US Strategic Dialogue today during which both the sides discussed about different initiatives in key areas of security and energy.


Mr. Kerry along with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker also met Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley. He will also try to convince India to agree to the WTO deal before the deadline to end the deadlock caused by India-s U-turn recently raising food security concern regarding the WTO deal it agreed last year.


2. Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag took over as the head of the 1.3 million strong Indian army today. He succeeded Gen Bikram Singh who retired. Gen Suhag assumed charge after his predecessor handed over to him the Chief of Army Staff baton in his South Block office here.


He will have a tenure of 30 months as the 26th Army Chief. Suhag was made the Vice-Chief of Army Staff in December last year.


3. Defence scientist Avinash Chander has been chosen for the prestigious Lokmanya Tilak award for this year. He will receive the same on 1st August. He is the chief architect of the long-range ballistic missiles in the country covering a range of about 300 km to 5,000 km.


This is also the 32nd year of the award, which carries a gold medal, memento, citation and cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.


4. Global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has retained the 'BBB-' sovereign rating, the lowest investment grade, on India today and said that a revision will depend on the new government's efforts to push bold reforms in order to improve both economic growth and financial health. The global credit rating agency has also retained 'stable' outlook for India-s ratings.


Fitch said the Budget 2014-15 announced by the new government is positive of credit-ratings and further revision will depend on actual steps taken by the new government. Apart from Fitch, Moody's also holds a stable outlook on the country's sovereign ratings. The present 'BBB-' rating is the lowest investment grade rating.


Fitch also projected India-s real GDP growth at 5.5% in the current fiscal year FY2014-15 and 6.5% GDP growth in the next fiscal year FY2015-16. The government has kept the fiscal deficit target at 4.1% of GDP for the current fiscal year and sets target of 3% by FY2017.


5. India-s eight core sector, consisting of Crude Oil, Coal, Steel, Electricity, Natural Gas, Fertilizers, Cement and Petroleum sectors, grew by 7.3% in June due to strong growth in Coal, Crude Oil, Cement and Electricity sectors. This is much higher compared to 12% growth in the same month last year. These eight core sectors have 38% weight in overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP).


Coal, crude oil, cement and electricity recorded a growth of 8.1%, 0.1%, 13.6% and 15.7% respectively in June while Natural gas and fertilizer output recorded a negative growth of 1.7% and 1% respectively. During April-June period of current financial year, core sector growth stood at 4.6% compared to 3.7% growth in the same period last year.