March 2014 Current Affairs List

2-March


Current Affairs Global - 2 March 2014


1. South Africa won the ICC U-19 World Cup after defeating Pakistan by six wickets in a low-scoring final match on 1st March. Batting first, Pakistan was bowled out for a just 131 runs in 44.3 overs. South Africa chased down the target in 42.1 overs with Aiden Markram (66) and Greg Oldfield (40) being the key contributors.


Current Affairs India - 2 March 2014


1. Famous Gandhian environmentalist and social activist, Chandi Prasad Bhatt, won the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2013. He was one of the pioneers of the Chipko movement for which he was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1982. He was also awarded with Padma Bhushan in 2005.


The Chipko movement started in the early 1970s in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand with growing awareness towards rapid deforestation. The landmark event in this struggle took place on March 26, 1974, when a group of peasant women in Reni village acted to prevent the cutting of trees and reclaim their traditional forest rights that were threatened by the contractors assigned by the state Forest Department.


2. Saurabh Chandra took charge as Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas on 1st March. He succeeded Vivek Rae, who retired on 28th February. An IAS officer of 1978 UP batch, he was earlier Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.


3. Former BJP president Bangaru Laxman passed away at a hospital in Hyderabad on Saturday. He was 74. The first Dalit president of BJP, he had hit the headlines when he was caught on camera receiving money from a purported arms dealer in a sting operation by Tehelka in 2001.


 


3-March


Current Affairs Global - 3 March 2014


1. According to China-based research firm Hurun-s 2014 global rich list, Bill Gates was ranked as the richest person in the world with total fortune of USD 67 billion. He was followed by Berkshire Hathaway-s Warren Buffett (2nd) with a personal wealth of USD 64 billion and Amancio Ortega of Inditex at 3rd rank with USD 62 billion fortune. Carlos Slim Helu & family was ranked at 4th (USD 60 billion) while Oracle-s Larry Ellison was ranked at 5th position (USD 60 billion) in the same list.


2. The latest Markit's compiled Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dropped to 53.2 in February compared to 54.0 in January. Any reading higher than 50 indicates expansion. It shows that manufacturing growth in the Eurozone slowed to five month low in February. The biggest four economies of Germany, France, Spain and Italy witnessed strong growth in manufacturing activity which confirms steady recovery of the euro zone.


3. The 86th Annual Academy Oscar Awards 2014 was announced on 2 March 2014 with hi-tech space thriller Gravity winning a leading seven awards in the ceremony. Slave drama 12 Years a Slave won best picture award and Alfonso Cuaron won the Best director award for Gravity. Matthew McConaughey won the best actor award for -Dallas Buyers Club- while Cate Blanchett won the best actress award for -Blue Jasmine-. For detailed list of winners, check the below link


http://currentaffairs-businessnews.com/86th-annual-academy-awards-winners-list/


 


Current Affairs India - 3 March 2014


1. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Myanmar to attend the third Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, BIMSTEC Summit which is starting from today. He said the summit will explore ways to enhance connectivity, transport, trade, tourism and other linkages to all the northeastern states. BIMSTEC includes Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal and aims to create cooperation in multiple sectors including trade, investment and energy.


2. Union Cabinet cleared reservation for Jat community under the central list of OBC category in nine northern states on 2nd March. This move will benefit to about nine crore people of the community which have been fighting to get this reservation for a long time. This decision will help Jats to avail benefits of reservation in central government jobs and central education institutions as well.


3. Union Government raised the number of workdays under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005) from existing 100 days to 150 days which will be effective from April 2014. This step is expected to benefit 14 lakh families in India. Also tribal beneficiaries, who have received land rights under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 will be eligible for 50 days wage employment under the rural job scheme. The beneficiaries would be those who have completed 100 workdays in that particular financial year.


4. Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, who rejoined BJP yesterday, was appointed as its national vice president today. BJP President Rajnath Singh announced the appointment of Kalyan Singh as party-s vice president with immediate effect. Kalyan Singh was the Chief Minister when the Babri mosque was demolished in 1992. He was an MP from Etah constituency and has already resigned from the Lok Sabha.


5. Indian railways formally launched the SMS alert service for all passengers whose waitlisted tickets get confirmed today in order to benefit all the passengers. With this, passengers are no longer required to check website or call -139- to check the status of waitlisted tickets. The software for the SMS—based service has been developed by CRIS, the technological arm of railways.


6. RBI has extended the date for exchanging pre-2005 banknotes to 1st January 2015 compared to earlier timeline of 31st March 2014. RBI has advised banks to facilitate the exchange of these notes for full value and without causing any inconvenience to the public. The Reserve Bank has also clarified that people can use these notes freely for any transaction till the new timeline.


7. Corporation Bank won the awards for lending to MSE (micro and small enterprises) and to micro enterprises from the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for 2012-13. It the first rank based on performance in MSE lending and the second rank based on performance in lending to micro enterprises. S R Bansal, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank, received the awards from the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the national awards function in New Delhi on 1st March.


8. Indian Bank won the national award for excellence in lending to micro enterprises for 2012-2013. This is the second time the public sector bank has won the award. Loan disbursals to the micro, small and medium enterprises were up by 38.81% in the last fiscal against the target of 20% fixed by the government, the bank said in a statement. The bank has achieved 52.16% increase in number of Micro Enterprises accounts as compared to the government guidelines of 10%.


9. The HSBC compiled Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector, an important parameter to judge the performance of the sector, jumped a one-year high of 52.5 in February due to increased demand and higher number of orders. This was slightly better than PMI reading of 51.4 in January. Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth in the sector. This indicates strong recovery of Indian manufacturing sector after month-s long slowdown.


10. According to China-based research firm Hurun-s 2014 global rich list, Mukesh Ambani was ranked as India-s richest person with personal fortune of USD 18 billion and ranked at 41st in the global list. Lakshmi Mittal is ranked at 2nd (Globally 49th with total fortune of USD 17 billion) and both Dilip Sanghvi of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Wipro-s Azim Premji were ranked at 3rd position (globally 77th with total fortune of USD 13.5 billion) in the same list. Tata Sons- Pallonji Mistry ranked at 5th (Globally 93rd) with a personal wealth of $12 billion and SP Hinduja & family was ranked at 6th (globally 93rd) with a net worth of $12 billion in the same list.


11. Indian shuttler Arvind Bhat defeated Danish Hans-Kristian Vittinghus by 24-22, 19-21, 21-11 to win the men's singles title of the $120,000 German Open Grand Prix Gold on 2nd March. With this first ever Grand Prix crown, he reached a new high in his badminton career. Also he became the first Indian to win the title.


 


4-March


Current Affairs Global - 4 March 2014


1. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops participating in military exercises near Ukraine-s border to return to their bases, thus removing fear of another war for the time being. Though tensions remained high in the strategic area of Crimea with troops loyal to Moscow fired warning shots at protesting Ukrainian soldiers. The move came as Kerry was on his way to Kiev to meet with the new Ukrainian leadership to support the newly formed government after removing former Russian supporter President.


2. Microsoft founder Bill Gates regained No 1 rank in the list of the world's richest persons, as per the annual ranking of global billionaires published by the Forbes magazine. His total net worth is estimated as USD 76 billion. He is followed by Carlos Slim (USD 72 billion) who dropped to second place. Amanico Ortega, Spanish clothing retailer is ranked 3rd (USD 64 billion)  for the second consecutive year followed by Warren Buffet (4) (USD 58.2 billion), Oracle founder Larry Ellison (5) (USD 48 billion), Koch Industries CEO Chalres Koch and David Koch (6) (USD 40 billion), Sheldon Adelson (8) (USD 38 billion), Christy Walton & family (9) (USD 36.7 billion) and Jim Walton (10) (USD 34.7 billion.


The world's largest economy, USA continues to have the highest number of billionaires, with 492. Europe secured second place with 468 followed by Asia with 444 billionaires. India has 56 billionaires, led by Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Amabani with a net worth of USD 18.6 billion.


3. Singapore topped the list of the world-s most expensive cities to live in 2014 which includes total 131 cities globally, as per the report published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Singapore replaces Tokyo, which topped the list in 2013 and followed by Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney, with Tokyo falling to sixth place.


Current Affairs India - 4 March 2014


1. The Central government decided to hike interest rates on fixed deposit schemes offered by post offices by up to 0.2% today. The interest rate on Public Provident fund, PPF has been kept unchanged at 8.7%. These new interest rates on small savings schemes will come into effect from April 1, 2014.


2. UAE Exchange India won the 2014 award for the -Best Use of CSR Practices- in the banking and finance sector in the third edition of the Global CSR Excellence and Leadership Awards given by the World CSR Congress and endorsed by Blue Dart World CSR Day. As per Managing Director and Head of UAE Exchange India, V George Antony, activities undertaken are done not merely as discharging an obligation but as a necessary ingredient in the ethos of the organisation. The company attempts to nurture in each employee an inclination to make a creative contribution towards the community.


3. KS Popli has taken over as the Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency. IREDA is Government-owned agency under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy that is mandated to promote, develop and extend financial assistance for renewable energy and energy efficiency.


4. Hockey India has been given the status of a National Sports Federation today which will enable the sports body to represent India in international events. Earlier, the Sports Ministry had derecognized it for not adhering to government guidelines. The Ministry said that the Hockey India will have to follow the guidelines of the government and National Sports Development Code to get assistance and continued recognition.


 


 


5-March


Current Affairs Global - 5 March 2014


1. Third BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Summit was held from 1st March to 4th March 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. The Third BIMSTEC summit was attended by the heads from six countries India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri lanka, Bhutan, Mayanmar and Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Thailand.


The leaders called for expediting the ratification for entry into force of the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking and also for the early signing of the BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. The members also recognized the threat that terrorism poses to peace, stability and economic progress and agreed for closer cooperation in combating all forms of terrorism and transnational crimes.


2. Global tech giant Apple announced that Peter Oppenheimer, the company's senior vice president and CFO, will retire at the end of September. Luca Maestri will succeed him as CFO and he will report to Tim Cook. Oppenheimer joined Apple in 1996 and he was one of the most recognizable faces among Apple's executive team. During his tenure as CFO, Apple's annual revenue grew from USD 8 billion to USD 171 billion in last decade.


3. China has projected its economic growth target at 7.5% for 2014 as the Chinese government looks to steer the world-s second largest economy. This is slightly lower than 7.7% growth achieved in 2013. It has also set its inflation goal at 3.5% for 2014. The new target was announced in the first work report by Premier Li Keqiang at the annual session of the National People-s Congress.


4. South African Test skipper Graeme Smith has announced that he would retire at the end of the Test against Australia in Cape Town. He began his international career in 2002. He led South Africa in more than 100 tests and led to a record 53 Test victories. Under his captaincy SA achieved the No.1 ranking which it has held for the past 19 months.


Current Affairs India - 5 March 2014


1. The Election Commission has announced a nine-day schedule for the general elections and assembly elections for Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim. The first date of polling will start on April 7 and other dates are 9, 10, 12, 17, 24 and 30 of April and 7 and 12 May. Counting will take place on May 16.


Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath also said the model code of conduct will come into force today. He said more than 81.4 crore voters will be eligible for voting and will be 9.3 lakh polling stations. All electronic voting machines will have 'none of the above' facility.


Regarding paid news, the election commission has asked the Centre to make it an electoral offence to curb its menace. VS Sampath said the Commission is already trying to curb its practice by monitoring the expenditure of candidates.


2. Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit will take over as governor of Kerala. She will succeed Nikhil Kumar who quit the post in order to contest the Lok Sabha election from Bihar. Nikhil, who met Lalu Prasad in Patna today, decided to contest for Lok Sabha Election as a Congress candidate.


3. Assam has become the first state in India to observe State Child Protection Day on 4th March. A central function was organized with the support of Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Marked by celebrations in all the districts of the state, a central function was held in the city under the aegis of the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR), in collaboration with Unicef. The Internationally Child Protection Day is observed on 19 November every year. It was launched by the   Women-s World Summit Foundation (WWSF) in 2000.


4. Indian Government has approved payment of 8.75% rate of interest on PF deposits in 2013-14 for over five crore subscribers of retirement fund body EPFO. The Finance Ministry has given its approval to the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's (EPFO) trustees' decision to provide 8.75% rate of interest to its members for the current fiscal. This is 25 bps higher compared to 8.5% rate of interest paid in previous financial year 2012-13.


5. India-s Current Account Deficit (CAD) for the third quarter of the current financial year 2013-2014 narrowed to USD 4.2 billion compared to USD 5.2 billion in the same quarter last financial year. The October to December CAD stands at 0.9% of GDP versus 1.2% quarter to quarter.  The CAD for the first nine months of the current financial year now stands at USD 31.1 billion (2.3% of GDP) compared to USD 69.8 billion last year (5.2% of GDP). This is a good news for Indian economy as lower CAD will help domestic currency and improve macro-economic condition.


6. US First Lady Michelle Obama presented the International Women of Courage Award to Indian acid attack victim Laxmi after she won the same for successfully leading the campaign against acid attacks on women in India. Obama and the large crowd at the State Department auditorium was moved and touched when Laxmi recited a poem recounting her experience on the occasion yesterday.


Laxmi was 16 when an acquaintance threw acid on her face while she waited at a bus stop in New Delhi-s busy Khan Market in 2005, disfiguring her permanently.


7. India-s Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has appointed R.Neelakantan as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on 4th March 2014 in a management re-org. He will replace Sam Isaac. Earlier Neelakantan had served as SpiceJet-s CFO from November 2010 to February 2013 and this change will mark his return to the low cost airlines again.


 


 


6-March


Current Affairs Global - 6 March 2014


1. Global Internet Company Yahoo acquired a startup company named -Vizify- that lets users create infographics and videos out of social data. It enables create interactive visualizations based on data involving what they share online, creating a type of Internet biography. Post this acquisition, a team of five employees from Vizify will join Yahoo-s media product organization in San Francisco.


2. Global mining giant Vedanta Resources has appointed Es Rio Tinto Chief Tom Albanese as its new chief Executive Officer executive from 1st April. He will replace Mahendra Singh Mehta who is retiring on 31st March. Anil Agarwal continues to be the executive chairman of the mining group.


3. The European Central Bank (ECB) has kept its benchmark interest rate at record low of 0.25% during its monetary policy review today. It has also increased growth projection of euro zone to 1.2% for 2014.


At the same time, Bank of England has also kept Interest rate unchanged at 0.5% during its monetary policy review today. The interest rate has been kept at record low since last 5 years. The Bank also kept its 375 billion pound quantitative easing (QE) programme unchanged.


4. Australian cricket team has replaced India at number two position in the ICC Test team rankings published today after defeating South Africa in the third and final Test in Cape Town yesterday. South Africa retained No 1 rank in the same ranking. With this, Australia will win a cash award of 370,000 US dollars while third-placed India will get 265,000 US dollars. South Africa will get 475,000 US dollars for being No1 test team.


Current Affairs India - 6 March 2014


1. Kellogg's has roped in famous bollywood actress Deepika Padukone for Special K campaign. The company said in a statement that the association with the coveted actor was well-timed as the wedding season was just around the corner. Women want to look their best while preparing for a wedding. Based on this insight, Kellogg-s Special K, along with Deepika, is presenting women with a Special K 2 Week Challenge as part of a healthy lifestyle to help them kick-start a weight management journey.


7-March


 


8-March


 


9-March


Current Affairs Global - 9 March 2014


1. International Women-s Day was celebrated yesterday (8th March) around the world yesterday. The UN theme for International Women's Day 2014 is "Equality for Women is Progress for All" Which emphasizes how gender equality, empowerment of women, women-s full enjoyment of human rights and the eradication of poverty are essential to economic and social development. It also stresses the vital role of women as agents of development.


2. The US economy added 175,000 new jobs in February which was slightly better than expected. But the unemployment rate increased slightly to 6.7% in February compared to 6.6% in January. USA Unemployment rate showed significant improvement of the US job market in recent times which confirms steady recovery of the USA economy. It has also prompted US Feb to cut its aggressive asset purchase program by USD 10 billion in January 2014 named as -Fed Tapering-.


3. The 2014 Winter Paralympics have been inaugurated by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 7th March. The Ukraine team has also confirmed that it would take part in the Games amid current political crisis in Ukraine. 575 athletes from 45 countries will compete for 72 gold medals in five sports over 10 days in the winter Olympic.


4. Sri Lanka regained the Asia Cup trophy with a comfortable five-wicket victory over defending champions Pakistan yesterday (8th March) at Mirpur, Bangladesh. The last time Sri Lanka won the regional championship was in 2008. It is also Sri Lanka-s fifth Asia Cup title, equaling India's five title wins.


Current Affairs India - 9 March 2014


1. Unique Identification Authority of India Chairman Nandan Nilekani formally joined Congress party in Bangalore on 9th March before of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President G Parameshwar welcomed him to the party. He will contest against five time MP and BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar from Bangalore South constituency.


2. The President of Indian has given Stree Shakti Puraskar to six persons for their distinguished services for the upliftment of women on International Women's Day yesterday.  The awards are named after six legendary women of India, Rani Lakshmibai, Rani Rudramma Devi, Kannagi, Rani Gaidinliu Zaliang, Rani Ahilyabai Holkar and Mata Jijabai.


3. Former Foreign Secretary Jagat Singh Mehta passed away in Udaipur following age-related ailments.  He was 90. He was India-s Foreign Secretary between 1976 and 1979 and also a recipient of Padma Bhushan in 2002.


4. Mizoram defeated Railways by 3-0 in the final match of the 68th National Football Championship to win the Santosh Trophy on 9th March. With this win, Mizoram won cash prize of Rs 5 lakh while runners-up Railways got Rs 3 lakh.


 


10-March


Current Affairs Global - 10 March 2014


1. William Clay Ford Sr., who led Ford Motor Co. for more than five decades and owned the National Football League-s Detroit Lions, has passed away. He was 88. He was the last surviving grandson of company founder Henry Ford.


Current Affairs India - 10 March 2014


1. Former Infosys chief financial officer V Balakrishnan has been figured in AAP-s fourth list of candidates for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He will fight for Bangalore Central seat. This news came one day after his former colleague in Infosys Nandan Nilekani formally joining Indian Congress Party to content Lok Sabha poll from Bangalore South seat.


2. Domestic passenger car sales increased by 1.39%to 1,60,718 units in February compared to 1,58,512 units sold in the same month last year, as per the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Motorcycle sales jumped by 5.39% to 8,43,307 units in February compared to 8,00,165 units sold in February last year. Recently Indian government has reduced excise duty on Four and Two wheelers which helped to boost sales volume.


3. The Indian stock markets jumped to new high today with Sensex crossing 22,000 mark for the first time due to sustained FII inflows. Nifty also managed to close at life time high of 6537. Indian stock markets witnessed strong buying due to improved macro-economic scenario in spite of Fed Tapering fear.


4. India has once again emerged as the largest non-oil trading partner of Dubai for financial year 2013-14, as per the latest report by the Dubai Department of Economic Development. It shows that the bilateral trade crossed USD 37 billion between these two nations.


5. Virat Kohli has reclaimed the No.1 position in the latest ICC ODI rankings released on 9th March after conclusion of the Asia Cup. He was followed by South African batsman AB de Villiers who is now trailing by nine points. Other Indian batsmen in the list include Shikhar Dhawan at 8th spot, Rohit Sharma at 22nd spot and Ravindra Jadeja at 50th spot.


 


11-March


Current Affairs Global - 11 March 2014


1. Bangladesh will host the ICC World Twenty20 championship which scheduled to be held from the 16th of March. The fifth ICC World Twenty20 championship will have 16 teams for the first time that all will compete for the title.


Current Affairs India - 11 March 2014


1. Akhilesh Gupta, head of the Climate Change Programme at the Department of Science and Technology, has been elected as President of the Indian Meteorological Society for 2014-16. He succeeds Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences.


His career includes a spell as Secretary to the University Grants Commission during 2012-13. He also served as Advisor to Kapil Sibal, when he was the Minister for Science and Technology.


2. Global aviation giant Airbus has opened an Indian subsidiary and restructured India operations in order to consolidate strengths and capture the growing market. It has created a fully owned subsidiary called Airbus India by grouping its activities in the country. Srinivasan Dwarakanath is the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Charles Champion is the Chairman of the new entity. Airbus India will manage the company-s Indian footprint spread across several sites. It will have customer facing centres in Delhi and Mumbai.


3. Max Life Insurance has tied up with Toyota Financial Services India Ltd to provide insurance cover to car loan customers. This alliance has been formed to provide insurance cover for car loan customers of Toyota Financial Services under a Max Life group product called Max Life Group Credit Life Secure. As per the agreement, Max Life Insurance will issue a Group Credit Life Secure policy, where Toyota Financial Services India will be the master (group) policyholder.


4. India's Heena Sidhu and Chain Singh won Gold medals at the 7th Asian Shooting Championships held at Kuwait yesterday. Heena won the golf metal in the Women-s Air pistol event while Chain Singh won the Gold in the Men-s Air rifle event. India-s Pooja Ghatkar also won the gold in women-s air rifle category. Indian team won 3 Gold Medals in the Shooting Championships event.


India-s export contracted by 3.7% to USD 25.7 billion in February; to miss yearly target


India-s exports were contracted by 3.7% in February to USD 25.7 billion after witnessing growth for seven consecutive months. At the same time Imports dropped by 17.1% to USD 33.8 billion in February due to lower import Gold and Silver. Trade deficit dropped to 5-month low of USD 8.1 billion in the same month. The trade deficit was improved due to 71.4% drop in gold and silver imports to USD 1.6 billion dollars in February.


The drop in export was due to lower global demand and India losing benefits under the European Union-s 'Generalised System of Preferences- scheme under which a number of sectors could send their goods to Europe at lower duties.


For the April to February period of current financial year, total exports increased by 4.8% USD 283 billion dollars, while imports dropped by 8.7% to USD 411 billion. The trade deficit during this period stood at USD 128 billion. With this, total export is going to miss the overall target of USD 325 billion for the current financial year.


 


12-March


Current Affairs India - 12 March 2014


1. Two Indian CEOs have been named among America-s most powerful CEOs under the age of 40, who head publicly-traded companies with highest market values, in the Forbes magazine list published today. Website hosting company Endurance International Group CEO and founder Hari K Ravichandran (38) has been ranked 19th and asset management firm Altisource Asset Management (AAMC) CEO Ashish Pandey (38) is ranked 20th in the list.


The list is topped by Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page. The youngest CEO on the list is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who was placed at 2nd followed by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer who is also the only woman in this list.


2. Allahabad Bank has appointed Rakesh Sethi as its new Chairman and Managing Director. Before this he was an executive director at Punjab National Bank.


3. BCCI has announced today that Indian Premier League 2014 will be held in the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh and India between 16th April and 1st June. The IPL will begin in the UAE, move to Bangladesh and finally come to India for the final set of matches. This move was taken due to upcoming Lok Sabha poll while will be held during the same time.


India-s retail inflation eased 8.10 % in February; RBI may cut rates now


India-s Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, eased to 8.10% in February compared to 8.79% in January due to softening of food price rise. Food Inflation dropped to 8.57% in February compared to 9.9% in January which helped to ease overall retail inflation.


In February, Retail inflation in rural areas eased to 8.51% compared to 9.35% in January and in urban areas eased to 7.55% compared to 8.09% in January. The Reserve Bank will factor both retail inflation and IIP data in its next monetary policy meeting on 1st April in order to decide about possible interest rate cut.


IIP grew by 0.1% in January; Increases optimism


India-s Index of Industrial Production, the most important parameter to judge performance of industrial sector grew by 0.1% in January compared to 0.6% contraction in the previous month of December. IIP grew after three months of consecutive contraction and it will marginally improve optimism about Industrial growth.


The marginal improvement in the index of industrial production (IIP) was mainly on account of higher power generation (6.5% growth) and mining sector output (0.7% growth). Manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75% of the IIP index, was contracted by 0.7% in February.


For the cumulative April-January 2013 period of current financial year, IIP growth stood at 0% compared to 1% growth during the same period last financial year. Now RBI has to cut rates in order to boost industrial growth. Now RBI may cut interest rate during its next monetary policy review meeting in order to boost industrial growth.


 


 


13-March


Current Affairs India - 13 March 2014


1. Nandan Nilekani resigned as chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India today after formally joining Indian Congress Party to contest Lok Sabha Polls. This decision will leave a big question mark on the future of India's government's biggest exercise to issue a single identity card for each of its citizens for which it has already spent huge amount of money.


2. In a major relief to Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, a US court has dismissed criminal charges against her considering her full diplomatic immunity when the indictment was returned against her on January 9. The court also terminated Khobragade's bail conditions and exonerated her bond and withdrew any warrant of arrest issued against her in connection with the case.


3. The Delhi high court upheld the death sentence awarded to the four convicts in the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi on December 16, 2012 which shocked the entire country. A bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani confirmed the sentence of Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh, saying the offence committed by them falls in the category of rarest of the rare and upheld their conviction.


4. Soma Mondal has been appointed as the new Director (Commercial) of Navratna PSU National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO). Before this, she was serving the company as Executive Director (Marketing) at NALCO-s corporate office. She is also the first woman employee of the company to be elevated to the post of Director.


5. Amitabh Kant, CEO and Managing Director of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation, will take charge as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. He is a 1980 batch Kerala cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, will succeed Saurabh Chandra who moved to the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas Petroleum as Secretary this month.


6. India-s legendary batsman and Bharat Ratna Winner Sachin Tendulkar has been chosen among the three greats as the leading contenders for ESPNcricinfo's Cricketer of the Generation award. Australian spin legend Shane Warne and the recently-retired South African great Jacques Kallis are the other two cricketers to feature in the final list.


 


 


14-March


Current Affairs Global - 14 March 2014


1. The US has lifted a ban on oil and gas giant British Petroleum which was prevented from bidding for US government contracts after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst in US history. The ban was imposed post the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, caused by an explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon rig, which killed 11 people and adversely affected environment of huge area.


Current Affairs India - 14 March 2014


1. India-s largest bank State Bank of India has launched a payment intermediary christened as SBI ePay, which will facilitate e-commerce or m-commerce transactions among merchants, customers and various financial institutions. With this, SBI becomes the first lender in India to start its own online aggregator services.


2. Former Home Secretary G.K. Pillai resigned as Chairman of MCX Stock Exchange today. The resignation came hours ahead of a scheduled board meeting of MCX-SX, where former LIC Chairman Thomas Mathew T has been appointed as new Chairman.


SEBI is looking at ways to assuage the concerns of investors, trading members and other stakeholders in MCX-SX and Finance Minister P Chidambaram said he hopes that directors of MCX-SX would act in public interest and that there was an orderly resolution of the crisis.


India-s overall Inflation drops to 9-month low of 4.68% in February, RBI may cut rates


India-s overall inflation, measured by the Wholesale price index, declined to a 9-month low of 4.68% in February compared to 5.05% in January due to drop in food prices. Inflation in food articles, which has 14.34% share in the WPI basket, dropped to8.12% in February, from 8.8% in January which helped the overall inflation to ease. Inflation in Onion prices dropped to 20.06% in February, from 6.59% in January. Inflation in vegetables segment dropped to 3.99% in February from 16.6% in January. All these helped overall inflation to drop to 9-month low level.


Inflation in manufactured products, such as sugar and edible oils, stood flat at 2.76%. With the easing of Inflation, RBI should get more rooms to cut rates during its next monetary policy review meeting on 1st April to boost industrial as well as economic growth.


15-March


 


16-March


 


17-March


Current Affairs Global - 17 March 2014


1. Crimea will formally apply to join Russia after its people vote to split from Ukraine. More than 97% of voters have supported leaving Ukraine to join Russia. At the same time, the referendum was widely condemned by Western leaders who were planning to discuss economic sanctions to punish Russia. The European Union also said the referendum was illegal and illegitimate and its outcome would not be recognised.


2. Tomas Halik, the Czech Czech public intellectual, Roman Catholic priest, and scholar, won the Templeton Prize for 2014. The award was announced by the John Templeton Foundation on 13th March and with total award value of 1.1 million Euro. His work is aimed at seekers, the segment of those asking questions about religious and spiritual issues but unaffiliated with religion or atheism.


3. Serena Williams continues to top the women-s tennis rankings released by the WTA today. The 32-year-old player has 12,660 points to retain a large advantage over second-placed Li Na of China who has 7,185. They were followed by Agnieszka Radwanska(3rd), Victoria Azarenka (4th) and Simona Halep (5th) in the same list.


Current Affairs India - 17 March 2014


1. In a fresh trouble for India-US relationship, US Grand Jury re-inducts Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade for visa fraud and making false statements, two days after a US judge dismissed a similar indictment because she had diplomatic immunity. This decision returns the case to where it was before its earlier dismissal.


2. India born Rajeev Suri, the head of Nokia's telecoms network equipment division, is likely to become the chief executive officer of Nokia. He currently heads Nokia-s telecom equipment business and he is the strongest candidate to succeed Stephen Elop who is due to move to Microsoft once the 5.4 billion euro handset deal is closed.


3. Sachin Tendulkar was voted Cricketer of the Generation as the most outstanding cricketer between the years 1993 and 2013 defeating Australia-s spin legend Shane Warne and South Africa-s all-rounder Jacques Kallis. The award is meant to honour the most outstanding cricketer between the years 1993 and 2013, and the occasion also marked the 20th anniversary celebrations for the cricket website.


 


18-March


Current Affairs Global - 18 March 2014


1. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that recognizes Crimea as a sovereign state and part of Russia on 17th March 2014. The signed decree said that Russia has taken into account the referendum of Crimea in which about 97% of the voters voted in favor of being part of Russia.


France-s Foreign Minister announced today that G8 leaders have suspended Russia-s participation in the iconic club of super power countries amid rising tensions over Ukraine and inclusion of Crimea with Russia. The other seven members of the group had already suspended preparations for a G8 summit that scheduled to be held in Russia in June. At the same time, the US and European Union announced fresh set of sanctions against Russia which may start another cold war between East and West.


2. Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer to win the BNP Paribas Open Final in Indian Wells ATP Tennis Masters in California 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) on 16th March. This is his first title of the year and his third at the BNP Paribas Open. Italy-s Flavia Pennetta won the BNP Paribas Open Women-s singles Final after defeating second seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-1.


Current Affairs India - 18 March 2014


1. Gyan Correa, the debutant director of Gujarati movie 'The Good Road', has been selected for the Gollapudi Srinivas National Award 2013. The film was selected from 20 nominations across many languages including Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. 'The Good Road' is the first ever Gujarati film which was selected to represent India at the Oscars last year.  The award has been instituted in memory of late Gollapudi Srinivasa, who died while directing his first film Prema Pustakam (Book of Love) in 1992.


2. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan presented the prestigious IAA Olive Crown Awards, Asia's only green award for communication, organized by the Indian chapter of International Advertising Association (IAA) for creative excellence in communicating sustainability in Mumbai.


Politician, animal rights activist and environmentalist Maneka Gandhi, was awarded "Green Crusader of the Year Award" for her contribution towards protection of animals. Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman & CEO McCann World Group India & president-South Asia received the "Green Agency of the Year award" and "Campaign of the Year Award" for its "Wake up, Clean up" project. 


3. Private sector lender ING Vysya Bank has appointed Uday Sareen as Deputy CEO, Head of Wholesale Banking and Strategy effectice from 1st April. He will head the Bangalore-based bank's Wholesale Banking, including Financial Markets business, and also steer the business strategy across the bank.


4. Karnataka completed a historic hat trick at domestic level after winning the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a four-wicket win over Railways at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on 17th March. This is Karnataka-s third title after Ranji and Irani trophy in the same year.


 


19-March


Current Affairs India - 19 March 2014


1. Gujarat has been ranked No 1 in terms of -economic freedom- in a list of India's 20 largest states, as per the 2013 'Economic Freedom of the States of India' report.This will BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi just before the Lok Sabha elections.


The index on -economic freedom- takes into account governance, growth, citizens- rights, and labour and business regulations. As per the report, Gujarat has widened its lead at the top of the economic freedom table, with an index score of 0.65 (on a scale from 0 to 1.0). Tamil Nadu remains in second position with a score of 0.54. Gujarat has also registered the fastest rate of improvement in the index (from 0.46 in 2005 to 0.65 in 2013).


2. The founder and Chairman of India-s leading pen manufacturers, Luxor Group, DK Jain, passed away today. He was 71. He was the Chairman and President of Luxor Group, the company which has brought internationally-renowned brands like Waterman, Parker and Pilot to India.


3. The government has launched an exchange-traded fund of central public sector enterprises in order to raise Rs 3,000 crore for its disinvestment plan. This is an open ended scheme, comprising of shares of 10 central PSEs including ONGC, GAIL India and COAL India. It tracks an index fund, but trades like a stock on the exchange.


 


20-March


Current Affairs Global - 20 March 2014


1. World Sparrow Day is observed today (20th March) across the world to create awareness about the House Sparrow and other common birds and the need for their protection. The theme for the year 2014 is -Rise for the Sparrow-. The First World Sparrow Day was celebrated in 2010.


2. The Federal Reserve has announced today that it has cut back its stimulus program by another USD10 billion despite the recent US economic slowdown. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) reduced stimulus spending to USD 55 billion a month as US economic recovery gained strength and unemployment rate dropped to 6.6% level. This is the third time in a row that the central bank has reduced its stimulus efforts, known as Feb Tapering.


New Fed Chair Janet Yellen also said that the Fed still doesn-t want to raise interest rate until next year, as long as unemployment remains too high and inflation is well-controlled. But the Feb may hike rates in early 2015.


Current Affairs India - 20 March 2014


1. The Indian Journalists' Association (IJA) in London has elected Aditi Khanna, London correspondent for Press Trust of India, as its first women President and general secretary for the first time in its 67-year history. Rupanjana Dutta, Associate Editor of Asian Business Publications Ltd., has been elected as its general secretary.


The IJA was set up in May 1947, with the active encouragement from V.K. Krishna Menon, who subsequently became the first High Commissioner of independent India in Britain.


2. UTI Mutual Fund has appointed Priya Ranjan as Group President and Head- HR of UTI Asset Management Company Ltd. Before this appointment, he was the Global HR Director — Life Insurance Business at AXA Paris.


3. Online travel company Ibibo Group, that owns portals such as Goibibo.com, redBus.in and Travelboutique has acquired 51% stake in online bus tracking and analytics platform YourBus.com. The deal value was not disclosed.  Ibibo, which is owned by South Africa based Naspers, had acquired RedBus for Rs 780 crore last year.


Founded in 2011, Yourbus is a GPS-based tracking platform, which solves problems for both bus travelers and bus operators. Bus travelers can access real time information regarding the location of a bus on their mobiles as well as online. Post this acquisition, IbiboGroup will integrate the YourBus platform with its existing online travel portals, redBus.in and Goibibo.com.


4. Famous Indian author and journalist Khushwant Singh passed away today in New Delhi. He was 99. He wrote dozens of novels and short story collections including books "Train to Pakistan", "I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale" and "Delhi". He also edited several magazines and newspapers in the 1970s and 80s. He also served a term as an MP and was awarded with the Padma Vibhushan by the government.


5. The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will start on April 16 and Abu Dhabi will host the opening match between defending champions Mumbai Indians and 2012 winners Kolkata Knight Riders. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will host the first leg of IPL 2014, while the playoffs and the final-leg will be played in India. First phse of IPL was shifted to foreign location due to upcoming Lok Sabha Election during that time.


 


21-March


Current Affairs Global - 21 March 2014


1. International Day of Forests is observed today (21st March) across the world by the United Nation. The theme of the International Forest Day was -Celebrating Forests for Sustainable Development-. International Day of Forests was observed for the first time on March 21, 2013 and it was established by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on November 28, 2012.


2. Global Fitch Ratings has affirmed US credit ratings at the top-notch -AAA- level but raised the outlook for to stable from negative. The step was taken as the US federal debt limit was suspended in February. As per Fitch Ratings, -The federal debt limit was suspended in mid-February in a timely manner and in a way that avoided casting uncertainty over the full faith and credit of the US, in contrast to the crises in August 2011 and October 2013-.


Current Affairs India - 21 March 2014


1. In a surprise move, Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor KC Chakrabarty has resigned three months ahead of completion of his term. He was appointed as Deputy Governor in June 2009 for a period of three years. In 2012, he got an extension of two years. Nine departments including Supervision, Financial Stability Unit, Urban Banks, Legal, Human Resources, Currency Management, Customer Service and Rural Planning and Credit were reporting to him.


2. British retail giant Tesco announced forming of an equal joint venture with Trent Ltd, a part of the Tata Group today. As a part of Joint Venture, it will pick up 50% stake in Trent Hypermarket Ltd for about 85 million pounds. It has also got approved approval from the Indian Foreign Investment Promotion Board to form a 50:50 Joint Venture in Trent Hypermarket Ltd (THL). THL operates the Star Bazaar retail business in India.


3. The Indian Government sold 9% stake held through SUUTI in Axis Bank through a block deal today. The Government is expected to garner over ?5,500 crore through this sale which will help the Government to meet its divestment target for the current financial year.


4. Physicist Prof. Rajesh Gopakumar has been selected for the 23rd G D Birla award for scientific research for the year 2013. He is presently working as a theoritical physicist at Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad and has made important contributions on topics in quantum field theory and string theory


5. Indian journalist Shubhranshu Choudhary for his continuous effort to use the internet and the mobile phone network to get voices of tribals from deep inside the forests of Chhattisgarh across to the world outside in the local Gondi language, was awarded a prestigious award for digital activism at the Barbican in London on 21st March.


The jury chooses from among the bravest of journalists, artists, campaigners and digital innovators, the world over and among the four categories only the Digital Activism Award is judged through public voting online. The other three nominees for the award were former US Whistleblower Edward Snowden and  two projects FreeWeibo from China and Tails listed as global.


22-March


 


23-March


Current Affairs Global - 23 March 2014


1. World Water Day was observed yesterday (22nd March) across the world in order to raise awareness about importance of water and preserve the same. The theme for 2014 was -Water and Energy- to raise awareness of the inter-linkages between water and energy.


World Water Day has been observed on 22 March since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared 22 March as "World Day for Water". This day was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


2. World Meteorological Day was observed today (23rd March) across the world to commemorate the entry into force in 1950 of the convention that created the World Meteorological Organization. The theme for 2014 is -Weather and climate: engaging youth." Today-s youth will benefit from the dramatic advances being made in our ability to understand and forecast the Earth-s weather and climate.


3. Maldives- President Abdulla Yameen's coalition won majority in parliament after bagging 54 out of the 85 seats today. Yameen's Progressive Party has won 34 seats while its partner party Jumhooree won 15 and Maldives Development Alliance won 5 seats. The opposition party, Maldives Democratic Party of former President Mohamed Nasheed was able to win in only 24 seats.


4. The largest TV in the world built by Panasonic, Big Hoss, was unveiled for the first time at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, US this week. Big Hoss was also recorded as world largest TV in the Guinness Book of World Records. The screen is of 218 feet wide by 94.6 feet tall with 20633.34 square feet of HD LED lights that broadcast 4.8 million pixels and trillion colors.


Current Affairs India - 23 March 2014


1. President Pranab Mukherjee gave away gallantry awards to defence personnel for their distinguished services this week. 15 personnel were conferred Param Vishist seva medals at a Defence Investiture Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.


Three Kirti Chakra awards were also given and the recipients are Lt Commander Abhilash Tomy, Major Mahesh Kumar and Wing Commander Darryl Castelino. Castelino was awarded posthumously for his role in operation Rahat in Uttarakhand where his chopper crashed with 20 personnel on board after he had helped in rescuing lives of more than 80 people. Mahesh Kumar of Punjab Regiment got the award for his gallant acts in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir where he killed 4 terrorists in three separate incidents. Caption Abhilash Tomy received the Kirti Chakra for completing world voyage on his sail ship non-stop and without any external support in 151 days.


India-s FDI increased by just 1.5% in January; Need Economic reform for more FDI


India-s foreign direct investment (FDI) grew by a just 1.5% to USD 2.18 billion in January, as per the data published by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. However, for the April-January period of the current financial year, foreign investment inflows dropped by 2% to USD 18.74 billion compared to USD19.1 billion during the same period of the previous fiscal year.


During the April-Jan of this financial year, the highest FDI came in services (USD 1.80 billion), followed by pharmaceuticals (USD1.26 billion), automobiles (USD1 billion) and construction development (USD 966 million). Maximum FDI came from Mauritius (USD 4.11 billion) followed by Singapore (USD 3.67 billion), UK (USD 3.18 billion) and the Netherlands (USD 1.7 billion) during the same period.


India needs much higher foreign direct investment now to regain its economic growth as well to support its huge investment push in infrastructure sector. India needs nearly USD 1 trillion investments for its infrastructure sector. Also higher FDI will help to support domestic currency and help to reduce current account deficit as well.


 


24-March


Current Affairs Global - 24 March 2014


1. World Tuberculosis Day is observed today (24th March) across the world to raise public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis and efforts to eliminate the disease. Today tuberculosis causes the deaths of about 1.7 million people each year, mostly in the Third World. Theme for 2014 is -Reach the three million A TB test, treatment and cure for all-. On this day of 24th March in 1882, Scientist Dr Robert Koch announced to a small group of scientists at the University of Berlin's Institute of Hygiene that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus.


Current Affairs India - 24 March 2014


1. The Supreme Court has directed the Government of India today to withdraw all orders which makes Aadhaar Card mandatory for availing any service including government services and subsidy. The court has also directed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) not to share any information pertaining to an Aadhaar card holder with any government agency without the prior permission of the card holder. This gives a big setback for the UIDAI project on which Government has already spent more than Rs 10,000 crore in order to create unique ID for all Indian citizen and streamline payment of subsidies.


2. Report of the -Committee, headed by Aditya Puri, Chairman of HDFC Bank, to recommend Data Format for Furnishing of Credit Information to Credit Information Companies (CICs)- has been put up on RBI-s website for comments yesterday. The report said that Customers should be given a free copy of their credit profile as it would help in promoting financial discipline among loan seekers.


The committee has also made wide ranging recommendations on issues relating to credit information, such as, increasing its coverage, format of reports and best practices to be followed by credit institutions, credit information companies (CICs) and the RBI. The panel also recommended use of common data formats and a common data quality index that could assist credit institutions in determining the gaps in data.


 


25-March


Current Affairs Global - 25 March 2014


1. The US, other western economies, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission have cancelled the G8 Summit scheduled to be held in Russia in June to build pressure on Russia against its military action in Ukraine. The G8 meeting will be replaced by a G7 meeting in Brussels, without Russian involvement. They have also said that they will suspend G8 summit until Russia changes its action related to Ukraine.


Current Affairs India - 25 March 2014


1. The Supreme Court has asked BCCI President N. Srinivasan to step down from the post as BCCI President so that a fair probe of the Indian Premier League Fixing and betting scandal can be conducted. The Apex Court also warned Srinivasan that if he fails to step down, then it will pass an order. The court has given the order while taking up the Justice Mukul Mudgal led Committee report on IPL fixing scandal.


2. Famous Hindi author Govind Mishra has been chosen for the Sarawasti Samman for the year 2013 for his book Dhool Paudho Par which was published in 2008. With this he will be the second Hindi author only to receive the honour after Harivansh Rai Bachchan who received the award in 1991.


Saraswati Samman is an annual award which is given in recognition of outstanding prose or poetry literary works in Indian languages that are listed in Schedule VII of the constitution of India.


3. Corporation Bank has bagged -Skoch achiever award for outstanding performance in SME enablement during 2014- instituted by Skoch Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd. SR Bansal, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank, received the award from Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, in New Delhi.


4. Bank of India launched Instant Money Transfer (IMT) scheme in Mumbai yesterday. This scheme allows customers to withdraw cash without using either debt card or credit card at the ban-s ATMS which are enabled with IMT facility. It allows the customer to send money to another person by using the person-s mobile number only through the bank-s ATM and retail internet banking facility. This will be valid only for 14 days after which the money will be credited back to the sender-s account.


5. Rajiv Takru, a 1979 batch IAS officer, has been appointed as the new Revenue Secretary. He will succeed Sumit Bose, who retires on 31st March. At the same time, G S Sandhu, a 1980 batch IAS officer, has been appointed as the Financial Services Secretary. He will replace Takru, who is looking after the Financial Services Department under the Finance Ministry.


6. Saugata Gupta has been appointed as the Managing Director and CEO of Merico Ltd, a leading FMCG company in the country. He will take charge on 1st April. He will succeed Harsh Mariwala who will continue as Chairman, Marico Ltd.


7. Famous Bollywood actress Nanda passed away following a massive heart attack in Mumbai today. She was 75. She was known for her stellar performances in films like -Hum Dono-, -Ittefaq- and -Gumnaam-. Nanda was the daughter of Master Vinayak, a Marathi actor-director. She worked as a child artist in early fifties' films like -Jaggu- and -Angaarey-.


8. Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) defeated defending Champions Haryana by 4-0 to win the 4th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship (Division A) in Bhopal on 23rd March. At the same time, Jharkhand defeated Punjab to secured third position in the same championship.


 


26-March


Current Affairs Global - 26 March 2014


1. Global social networking giant Facebook acquired virtual reality gaming startup Oculus VR Inc for USD 2 billion. The deal includes USD 400 million in cash and about USD 1.6 billion in shares of Facebook common stock.


Oculus- virtual reality head set, the Oculus Rift, has already received 75,000 orders, according to the website. The headset is expected to be out in mid-2014. Last month Facebook acquired the instant messenger WhatsApp for about $19 billion.


Current Affairs India - 26 March 2014


1. India-born former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta was sentenced to two years in prison after an US court upheld his conviction on Insider Trading charges. He was found guilty in June 2012 of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.


He was charged with passing confidential boardroom information about Goldman Sachs to now jailed hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam. This information included information on Goldman-s financial results, as well as a crucial $5-billion investment by Warren Buffett-s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.


2. Vinita Bali has stepped down as the managing director of Britannia Industries after nine years at the helm. Varun Berry, current chief operating officer will succeed her. A company statement said Bali, 58, will retire at the end of this fiscal year to pursue a variety of roles in the corporate and development sectors. She will continue to serve on the boards of the other


3. The acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Jet Airways, Ravishankar Gopalakrishnan, has resigned and he will leave the company at the end of next month. Gopalakrishnan took over as acting CEO in January after Garry Kenneth Toomey resigned as Jet Airways- Chief Executive Officer. Toomey had resigned only after six months of taking charge as CEO of the Indian Airlines company.


4. Bollywood Megastar Amitabh Bachchan was awarded with the India's Global Icon of the Year award at the NRI of the Year awards in Mumbai. The 71-year-old, who has been ruling the film industry for over four decades now, dedicated the award to the younger generation of actors in the film industry. The award was presented by Times Now in association with ICICI Bank. The award is given to the achievers who have made their mark internationally.


 


 


27-March


Current Affairs Global - 27 March 2014


1. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, world's most prestigious architecture award, for the year 2014. He won the award for his creative and inexpensive designs for disaster relief shelters.


He is known for creating structures/houses using discarded plastic crates and inexpensive tree trunk-sized recycled paper tubes mainly for disaster victims. With this this prize has recognized an architect for his contribution in the area of housing disaster victims for the first time in its history.  He is also the seventh architect from Japan to win a Pritzker.


Current Affairs India - 27 March 2014


1. Eleven countries, including India, was certified polio-free by an independent commission of the World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday with no case of the disease being reported in the country for three years. The WHO-s South-East Asia Region comprises Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People-s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste. All 11 countries were declared polio-free.


In 2009, India-s 741 polio infections accounted for nearly half the world-s total. But a public immunization campaign made 2010 a turning point with only 42 cases.


2. West Zone won the Deodhar Trophy in cricket for the year 2013-14 after defeating North Zone by 133 runs. North Zone scored 282 runs while batting first, West Zone were all out 148 in 37.1 overs.


3. Former India captain and Olympian Jude Felix has been appointed as coach of the senior men's national hockey team and he will work under Chief Coach Terry Walsh, Hockey India (HI) said yesterday. Felix will join the training camp of the senior men hockey team tomorrow at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here for preparations of the FIH Men's World Cup 2014 to be held at The Hague, Netherlands from May 31 to June 15.


 


28-March


Current Affairs India - 28 March 2014


1. The Supreme Court has appointed former Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar as the interim President of BCCI till the probe related to IPL spot fixing of last year is completed. The Court also directed that the senior most Vice-President of the Board, Shivlal Yadav, will be looking after the affairs of BCCI.


The apex court has also allowed IPL 7 for the current year and did not ban Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from participating in the tournament. It will be a big relief for the Teams, advertisers and sponsors who have already invested huge amount of money in this.


2. India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi II missile with a range of 350 km, from a test range at Chandipur, near Balashore in Odissa. The missile is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kg of warheads.


Defence sources said the training launch of Prithvi II, which was inducted into Strategic Force Command (SFC) in 2003, clearly indicate the country-s operational readiness to meet any eventuality besides establishing the reliability of this deterrent component of India-s strategic arsenal.


3. In a major relief to all the Indian banks, the Reserve Bank of India has extended the deadline for implementation of Basel III norms by one year to March 2019. The norm requires all the banks to raise huge amount of capital in order to satisfy the capital requirements.


Indian banks will need approximately Rs 2.6 lakh crore by March 2018 to meet Basel III capital requirement norms. The RBI said also said that it would align with implementation of Basel III in India closer to the internationally agreed date of January 1, 2019.


4. The Reserve Bank eased stand-alone primary dealers' exposure ceiling to a qualified central counter party by keeping the limit outside the existing 25% of net-owned funds today in order to promote centralized clearing of OTC derivative products. The new norms would be effective from 1st April 2014.


Clearing exposure to a qualified central counter party will be kept outside of the exposure ceiling of 25% of its NOF applicable to a single counter party. The ceilings on single or group exposure limit would not be applicable where principal and interest are fully guaranteed by the government.


The guidelines has also asked PDs (primary dealers) to include credit risk exposures to all other categories of non-government securities, including investments in MFs, commercial papers, certificate of deposits, positions in OTC derivatives not settled through QCCP, to compute the extent of credit exposure.


5. Ajay S. Shriram, Chairman and Sr. Managing Director of DCM Shriram Ltd, has been elected as the President of CII for 2014-15. He succeeds S Gopalakrishnan of Infosys.


Sumit Mazumder, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of TIL Ltd. was elected as the President-Designate of CII for 2014-15 while Naushad Forbes, Director, Forbes Marshall, has been elected as the Vice-President for 2014-15.


6. Veteran director P Ramdas, who introduced the neo-realistic wave in Malayalam cinema during the 1950s through his path breaking movie Newspaper Boy, has passed away today due to age related illness. He was 83. The Kerala Government had honoured him by presenting him with the prestigious -JC Daniel Award- in 2007.


 


29-March


Current Affairs Global - 29 March 2014


1. Norway's ex-PM Jens Stoltenberg has been appointed as next secretary general of NATO, the 28-nation military alliance. He will replace Denmark's Anders Fogh Rasmussen and will take over in October. Mr Rasmussen steps down after a Nato summit in Wales after holding the post for 5 years.


He served as the Norway-s prime minister first in 2000-01 and again for the second time from 2005 to 2013.


2. Abdullah, the king of Saudi Arabia has appointed his half-brother Moqren, also the second deputy Prime Minister, as the next heir to the throne. With this, Moqren will become a future king of the world-s largest exporter of crude oil. King Abdullah (90-year old) announced his decision in a royal decree to make Moqren as the next crown prince.


As per the rules, power passes from brother to brother in Saudi Arabia under a right of primogeniture among the Sons of Abdul Aziz Saud, the person who is the founder of the kingdom. According to the law in case the posts of crown prince and king become vacant then the Prince Moqren will be proclaimed sovereign. This royal decree is an irrevocable decision cannot be changed in any circumstances.


3. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has congratulated Afghanistan Cricket Board for winning the prestigious Laureus Sports Award. Dr. Noor Mohammad Murad, CEO of the Afghanistan Cricket Board received the award on behalf of the team in a function in Kualalampur on 26th March.


Current Affairs India - 29 March 2014


1. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Capital market regulator, has got back the power to act against ponzi schemes, illegal deposit schemes and assess call data records in securities-related offences, besides others. The Finance Ministry managed to get the nod of the Election Commission and Cabinet on re-promulgation of the SEBI Ordinance and finally from the President.


This Ordinance lapsed on January 17 after the Government failed in getting the Securities (laws) Amendment Bill passed in the monsoon, winter and extended winter session of the 15th Lok Sabha, which was adjourned sine die on February 21 and finally prorogued.


Forex Reserves increased by USD 1.348 billion to 298.635 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 1.348 billion to 298.635 billion for the week ended 21st March 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 1.580 billion to 271.394 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.


However the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were decreased by USD 16.9 million and USD 214.7 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 20.978 billion for the same reporting week.


 


30-March


 


31-March


Current Affairs Global - 31 March 2014


1. Inflation of 18-nation euro zone dropped to 0.5% in March compared to 0.7% in February. This is the lowest rate since November 2009 also much lower than inflation target of 2% set the European Central Bank. This lower inflation may increase concern about deflation for the enite zone and the central bank should act properly.


2. UK-s Lewis Hamilton won the Malaysian Grand Prix held in Malaysia-s Sepang on 30 March 2014 while his teammate Nico Rosberg secured second position. This was his 23rd victory in Formula One and first in Malaysia.


Red Bull-s Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari-s Fernando Alonso and Force India-s Nico Hulkenberg secured third, fourth and fifth position respectively in the same race.


3. Indonesian player Simon Santoso won the Malaysia Grand Prix gold after defeating India-s Sourabh Varma by 21-15, 16-21, 19-21 in Men-s Single at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Stadium in Malaysia yesterday. This is Simon-s second win over Sourabh Varma, last time he defeated Sourabh at Indonesia Open in 2012.


Current Affairs India - 31 March 2014


1. World number two air pistol shooter Heena Sidhu won a silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Fort Benning, USA. The Indian shooter shot an impressive 386 with rounds of 98, 96, 96, 96. Heena shot a good 200.8 in the finals to clinch the silver. She now has the maximum medals in a World Cup by any Indian pistol shooter. Presently ranked at 2nd in the world, this victory can take her to the World No. 1 spot.


India-s Core sector grew by 4.5% in February


India-s core sector, consisting of key eight sectors - Coal, Cement, Steel, Fertilisers, Electricity, Crude oil, Petroleum refinery products and Natural gas, grew by 4.5% in February due to healthy output of electricity, coal and crude oil. This growth is much higher compared to 1.6% growth in the previous month of January.


For the first 10 months (April-February) of this financial year 2013-14, combined core sector growth slowed down to 2.6% compared to 6.4% growth in the same period last financial year.


The eight core industries have a combined weight of about 38% in the Index of Industrial Production. This higher growth in core sector output will boost IIP number for February.


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