May 2014 Current Affairs List


2-May


Current Affairs Global - 2 May 2014


1. South Korea's Pohang University of Science and Technology topped the list for the third consecutive year while second position is retained by Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, as per the annual evaluation of the world's top 100 universities under 50 years of age. UK and Australia saw the most number of representatives with 14 institutions each followed by USA (8), Spain (7), France and Germany (6 each), Canada (5) and Taiwan (4).


2. The US Federal Reserve provided strong assessment of the US economy and announced another cut of USD 10 billion in its massive bond-buying stimulus. The Fed announced it would reduce its monthly bond purchases to $45 billion from $55 billion, which means its aggressive bond buying program will end in October this year. Fed is also expected to hike interest rates when US employment rate stabilizes below 6.5%.


3. The US economy created 288,000 jobs in April, which was much higher than expectations and was the strongest monthly job creation since January 2012. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% in April compared to 6.7% witnessed in the earlier month. It is the lowest unemployment rate since September 2008, when Lehman Brothers- collapsed.


4. US pharma major Pfizer-s third attempt to acquire AstraZeneca failed as AstraZeneca has rejected its offer of USD 106 billion today. This is the third time that AstraZeneca has rejected Pfizer-s offer and the second in less than a week. Pfizer had made an offer of USD 100 billion earlier before increasing the offer recently.


London-based AstraZeneca said the financial and other terms described in the proposal are inadequate and substantially undervalue the company. AstraZeneca-s products include drugs to treat cancer, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.


5. Ford Motor promoted Mark Fields to chief executive officer from chief operating officer effective from 1st July this year as current CEO Alan Mulally retires from the second-largest US automaker. Fields, who has been with the company for 25 years, will also replace Mulally on the board.


Alan Mulally, Current Chief Executive Officer of the Ford Motor Company since 2006, was credited with turning around the once-troubled automaker company. Ford returned to profitability under Mulally and was the only American major car manufacturer to avoid a bailout fund provided by the government.


Current Affairs India - 2 May 2014


1. The Supreme Court (SC) appointed Michael Hudson McHugh, former judge of the high court of Australia, as the third arbitrator to resolve the dispute between the Central Government and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd on KG basin. Hudson McHugh was named as the chairman of the arbitral tribunal as the apex court had withdrawn the appointment of James Spigelman on 2nd April.


RIL has nominated former justice Bharucha as its arbitrator while the Central Government has chosen justice Khare as its arbitrator. SC decided to appoint an international arbitrator as the chairman for adjudication of dispute between RIL and the government over recovery of cost for developing the country-s key natural gas field in KG basin.


2. President of India Pranab Mukherjee conferred gallantry awards on 55 defence personnel for their distinguished service and bravery today. The awards include three Kirti and nine Shaurya Chakras. Two Kirti Chakras were given posthumously to Constable Brighu Nandan Choudhary of 205 Cobra Battalion, CRPF and Inspector Lohit Sonowal of Assam Police for valiantly gunning down terrorists. Three Uttam Yudh Seva Medals were given to brave soldiers.


3. The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has ranked India at 3rd position among the list of top 10 countries for LEED outside of the United States. Canada tops the list followed by China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and Brazil, among others.


The list demonstrates the global reach of the movement that is transforming the built environment into healthy, high-performing structures that benefit the planet and its people. According to a statement, the list of the top 10 countries for LEED reflects the global adaptability of the world-s most widely used and recognised system guiding the design, construction, operations and maintenance of green buildings.


4. India-s state owned Airlines Company, Air India is all set to join the world-s largest airline grouping, Star Alliance, in July this year. This will make it the first airline from India to be part of a global chain of carriers which will bring immense benefits to Indian fliers from Day One as they will be able to earn-and burn miles, get access to lounges across the globe and enjoy seamless connectivity across the world on Star members.


Star Alliance CEO Mark F Schwab said CEOs of Stars member airlines will meet in London on June 22 or 23 to have an endorsement vote on AIs entry. Once all airlines endorse the move, AI should be in Star by July. Earlier Star had put AIs entry on hold three years back due to apprehensions expressed by other carriers.


5. Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati has been ranked at No 87 in the list of the world's top 100 university (under 50 years of age) rankings for the first time. IIT Guwahati is the only Indian educational institute in the 2014 league table of '100 Under 50' institutions published by the 'Times Higher Education' (THE) magazine in London on 30th April.


6. The deadline to change to new format bank cheques under the cheque truncation system (CTS) ended on 30th April as announced by the RBI earlier. Transactions with cheques deposited without CTS technology will be delayed from 1st May, with banks likely to take four days or more from the date of deposit to credit the amount.


The CTS system will take transactions online, with the bank where a deposit is made scanning cheque image data and making an instant electronic transmission of the money to the recipient. The system will reduce transaction time from a few days to a few minutes and, by taking the physical instrument out of the process, enhance security and reduce the cost of transferring and processing cheques.


7. India-s manufacturing sector growth remained stable in April as the HSBC India compiled Manufacturing sector-s Purchasing Managers- Index (PMI), a parameter to judge performance of the sector, stood at 51.3 in April, unchanged from 51.3 in previous month of March. Any PMI reading above 50 indicates growth.


The momentum in the manufacturing sector held broadly steady, with domestic demand countering a slowdown in export orders.


8. Interim CEO & Wholetime Director of Cairn India, P Elango, resigned from the post today. Ending an 18-year stint and less than two-year tenure as the chief of the company, Elango has decided to step down on -personal grounds-. Sudhir Mathur, CFO, has taken over the additional responsibility of leading the organization for the time being till Cairn India appoints a new full time CEO.


Earlier MD and CEO Rahul Dhir had decided to step down to pursue -entrepreneurial interests- following its acquisition by Vedanta Group and P Elango had been appointed as Interim CEO.


9. India-s famous trap shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu has jumped to third spot in the world rankings, after winning gold medal at the ISSF World Cup in Tucson, USA held in last month. Manavjit was earlier ranked 16th in the men's trap category. The 37-year-old has 1228 rating points and is behind Russian Alexey Alipov (with 1437 rating points) and Italian Giovanni Pellielo (with 1298 rating points).


10. India jumped by one position and regained its number one ranking in Twenty20 Internationals, as per the latest updated ICC rankings announced in Dubai yesterday. India is followed by Sri Lanka (2nd), Pakistan (3rd) and South Africa (4th) in the same ranking.  In another major move in the table, the West Indies have slipped two places to be at seventh position. This drop has helped Australia and New Zealand up by one place each to be at fifth and sixth spots, respectively.


11. India slipped to 5th position as per the latest ICC Test ranking while England and Pakistan have each gained a place, up to third and fourth respectively, as per the latest announcement in Dubai yesterday. Australia lead the table followed by South Africa. New Zealand now ranked sixth in Tests and Sri Lanka down to seventh, while West Indies, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh remain unchanged at the bottom of the table. Australia returned to the No. 1 Test ranking for the first time in nearly five years.


12. India secured 5th place in the ICC ODI annual ranking, announced yesterday in Dubai.  Australia lead the table followed by South Africa, England, Pakistan and India. It is the first time since December 2008 that Australia have been No. 1 in both the Test and ODI formats.


 


3-May


Current Affairs Global - 3 May 2014


1. Rwanda-s President Paul Kagame, President of South Korea Park Geun-hye and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim won the World Telecommunication and Information Society (WTIS) Award 2014 yesterday. They were honoured by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in recognition of their leadership and dedication towards promoting ICT (information, communication and technology) development and broadband connectivity as a means of achieving sustainable development.


The WTIS Award, which focuses on broadband connectivity for sustainable development, will be presented at a ceremony on 16th May 16 to mark the 149th anniversary of the establishment of ITU May 17, 1865.


2. A US court has ordered Samsung to pay USD 119.6 million to Apple for infringing two of its patents. Apple had earlier sought USD 2 billion at the trial from Samsung accusing it of violating patents rule.


Samsung denied any wrongdoing and sought USD 6 million after arguing Apple had infringed two of its smartphone patents related to camera use and video transmission.


3. Internet giant Google acquired Rangespan, a UK start-up that uses data science to help retailers determine which products to sell and when. Rangespan was founded by former Amazon employees in 2011. Post this deal, Google will take over its technology and Rangespan will no longer provide any more services to clients.


It is the third UK startup which was acquired by Google this year as Google plans to expand its Google Shopping web portal and e-commerce offerings.


Current Affairs India - 3 May 2014


1. Bandhan Financial Services plans to open nearly 600 branches which is more than what Yes Bank has currently. Bandhan will operate in the rural belt and in the unbanked areas of the country, unlike the YES Banks or Kotak Mahindra Banks which are essentially urban entities. It aims to begin banking operation sometime in April or May next year.


The Reserve Bank of India has earlier given in-principal approval to Bandhan and IDFC Ltd for setting up banks last month and given a timeframe of 18-month time to open bank.


2. Ravinder Dahiya, an Indian scientist in Britain, has been granted a prestigious fellowship worth 1,068,000 pounds by a top British agency which funds research in engineering and the physical sciences. Ravinder Dahiya, a senior lecturer at the University of Glasgow's electronic and nano scale engineering division, is among the eight leading academics from 10 British universities to be endowed with 'Engineering Fellowships for Growth' by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) aimed at maintaining Britain's research leadership in three areas identified as Great British Technologies, advanced materials, robotic and autonomous systems, and synthetic biology.


Dahiya has been awarded the fellowship to pursue research in robotics stream for the next five years.


3. Carrefour, France based the world-s second largest retailer, has started to work on an exit plan after talks to sell its five wholesale stores to Bharti Group failed and the company sees very little chance of the government allowing foreign chains to set up multi-brand outlets in the country. The company has five stores in India (Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, Meerut and Agra) which it will close.


The 76-billion-euro retail chain is the first foreign retailer to plan an exit after the government failed to convince states to open up the multi-brand segment to overseas players. With the BJP and several regional parties announcing their opposition to FDI in retail, overseas players are left with limited options.
BJP has announced in its manifesto that it will not allow FDI in multi-brand retail.


4. The top seeded Indo-Zimbabwean pair, Sania Mirza and Cara Black won their first title of the season after defeating Czech-Russian pair Eva Hrdinova and Valeria Solovyeva by 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the WTA Portugal Open today. Before this, Sania and Cara had ended runners-up at Indian Wells in March and at Stuttgart event, last week.


5. Indian cueist Kamal Chawla settled for a bronze medal after losing his semi-final match to Chuan Leong Thor of Malaysia in the Asian Snooker Championship held at Al Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. The Indian somehow managed to win two frames in the best of 11 semi-final but that was not enough for him to advance further. This is Chawla's first medal in Asian Championships.


 


4-May


Forex Reserves increased by USD 499.8 million to 309.913 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 499.8 million to 309.913 billion for the week ended 25th April 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 493.2 million to 282.029 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 4.6 million and USD 2.0 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 21.566 billion for the same reporting week.


 


5-May


Current Affairs Global - 5 May 2014


1. The opposition leader and Panama's vice-president Juan Carlos Varela won the Presidential election in Panama held recently. He secure nearly 40% of the votes while Jose Domingo Arias from ruling party got nearly 32% votes in the election. The ruling party has still never won re-election in Panama since 1989.


Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez has been Vice President of Panama since 2009. Along with President Ricardo Martinelli, he was elected on May 3, 2009 and sworn in on July 1, 2009.


2. Ahmed Maiteeg was elected as Libya-s new prime minister after receiving 121 votes in parliament on 4th May. He was sworn in and given two weeks to form a cabinet. He won against political analyst Omar al-Hassi.


His election came in the second session of the day as he failed to secure 120 votes in the first session of the day. He is a businessman born in the coastal city of Misurata who studied economics in London. He is supported by the Islamist bloc in parliament.


3. The European Commission has raised its growth forecast for the European Union consisting of 28 nations for current year 2014. The 28 nations of the EU are projected to grow by 1.6% for 2014 compared to 1.5% project 3 months back. Growth projection of 18-nation euro zone remained unchanged at 1.2%.


Europe's biggest economy, Germany is expected to grow by 1.8% in 2014 while France-s economic growth will be around 1%. Unemployment in the euro-area is expected to fall to 11.4%, from 11.8% in March.


Current Affairs India - 5 May 2014


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


 


 


6-May


Current Affairs Global - 6 May 2014


1. Nobel Laureate economist Gary Becker passed away due to illness in Chicago on 3rd May. He was 93. He was professor of economics and sociology at the University of Chicago. His works include The Economics of Discrimination (1957), Human Capital (1964) and A Treatise on the Family (1981).


He received the Nobel Prize in 1992 in economics for using economics to analyze human behavior and interaction topics such as crime (why people commit it), discrimination against minorities and family life. The other awards include the Presidential Medal of Honor in 2007 and the John Bates Clark Medal in 1967.


2. Former Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis has been appointed national coach for a period of two years. He will join the team in June. He had earlier served as bowling coach of the Pakistan side in 2006-07 and briefly in 2009, and also as a head coach in 2010-11 before resigning after losing Semifinal match to India.


After Dav Whatmore's contract with Pakistan ended in February, Moin Khan was named coach and was in charge until the World Twenty20 in April.


Current Affairs India - 6 May 2014


1. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act today, which mandates that 25% seats in all schools be reserved for the economically disadvantaged. A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha said that the Act will not apply to aided or unaided minority institutions.


On August 23, 2013, a three-judge Bench had referred the issue to a five-judge Bench because it involved a vital constitutional question of law relating to the rights of unaided private educational institutions. Before that in April, 2013, a two-judge Bench of the apex court had referred the matter to the three-judge Bench.


Federation of Public Schools, a conglomerate of over 350 private unaided schools, had contended that the law violates their right to run their schools without government interference.


2. Bharti Enterprises founder and chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal will co-chair this year-s edition of the World Economic Forum on Africa. Bharti Enterprises is one of India-s leading business groups with interests in telecom, retail, agri business and financial services. Bharti Airtel, the flagship company of Bharti Enterprises and the world-s fourth largest mobile operator, is the largest mobile operator in Africa in terms of geographical footprint.


The event, which is being held in Abuja (Nigeria) from 7th to 9th May this year with the theme of -Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs-. This event will be attended by over 900 leaders from business, government, civil society and academia.


3. Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi has been formally declared president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) as result of the election held in December last year was declared by a court observer in Jaipur today. According to a Supreme Court order , the votes, in a sealed envelope, were opened under court observation. Modi secured 24 out of 33 votes to win the election while his key opponent Rampal Sharma got just 5 votes.


In September 2013, the BCCI imposed a life-ban was on Modi accusing him of causing financial irregularities during his tenure as the IPL commissioner. Since then the BCCI had been opposing Modi's return to Indian cricket and moved to Supreme Court to challenge election of Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA). The Supreme Court also allowed the Board of Control for Cricket in India, BCCI, to take any action it wants in accordance with the rules, after declaration of results.


Just hours after Lalit Modi was declared the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association in Jaipur, the BCCI has indefinitely suspended RCA and appointed an ad-hoc body to run its cricket affairs. BCCI took this decision as per the constitution clause No. 32, sub-clause 7, where the president has the right to suspend an association, which doesn't conform to the rules and regulations of the BCCI.


4. Dipika Pallikal was ranked at No 10 position in the latest Women-s Squash Association (WSA) rankings published last week. She entered into the list of top 10 ranks after winning the Texas Open 2014. With this, she has become the highest ranked Indian in squash history to reach no 10 in the world. Dipika won Texas Open 2014 against Australia-s Rachel Grinham and it is her seventh Women's Squash Association title.


 


7-May


Current Affairs Global - 7 May 2014


1. The Constitutional Court in Thailand dismissed the Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and nine cabinet ministers from office after the court found her guilty of abuse of power for the benefit of her family. Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan has been appointed as the caretaker prime minister for the time being. 


2. German drug maker Bayer acquired Merck & Cos consumer care business in a USD 14.2-billion deal after outplaying rival bidders. The deal, the largest in the German healthcare industry since Bayer bought rival Schering in 2006, will make Bayer the second biggest over-the-counter drugs maker after Johnson & Johnson.


Recently global pharma companies have announced series of deals to restructure their business portfolio with Novartis and GlaxoSmith-Kline (GSK) closing a USD 20 billion deal last month and Astra-Zeneca and Pfizer are fighting off a USD 106-billion takeover bid by the later.


3. India-s star batsman Virat Kohli retained his rank at No 1 in the latest ICC ranking for batting category, released in Dubai today. Virat Kohli is followed by South Africa-s ABDevilliers at 2nd rank. India captain MS Dhoni is ranked at 6th position and Shikhar Dhawan is ranked at 8th


Among the bowlers, Saeed Ajmal leads the ranking list followed by Dale Steyn and Sunil Narin while Ravindra Jadeja is at 4th position in the ranking.


In the All-rounder-s list, Pakistan-s Mohammed Hafeez secured No 1 rank followed by Sri Lanka-s Angelo Mathews while India-s Ravindra Jadeja is ranked at 4th position in this list. 


4. English professional snooker player Mark Selby won his maiden World Snooker Championship title held at Sheffield, United Kingdom on 6th May. He defeated defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan 18-14 after having trailed 8-3 and 10-5 in the dramatic final match to win the title.


Current Affairs India - 7 May 2014


1. The department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) has described the Gujarat model of land Acquisition as the best in the country today. The report on Best Practices to Improve Business Environment across States/Union Territories in India has been prepared by consultancy firm Accenture on behalf of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.


The report said this model can be emulated by other states with some modifications to improve the business environment. The report said Gujarat has a very simplified land acquisition in the state with minimum direct government participation.


The study has selected six parameters, finance & tax, labour law, infrastructure and utilities-related approvals, land and building approvals, environment clearances and other business regulatory compliances in order to prepare its report. The report also specified the best practice followed by the top state in each category.


2. The Supreme Court overwhelmed the law passed by Kerala Assembly on the Mullaperiyar dam today and ruled that the water level of the dam can be raised to 142 feet. The apex court appointed a three-member Committee to supervise its safety aspects.


Earlier, Tamil Nadu questioned the law passed by Kerala in 2006 to restrict the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam at 136 feet and approached Supreme Court against this law. Tamil Nadu demanded to increase its water level to support its agricultural activity while Keral raised concern about safety of the century old dam. The Bench had appointed an empowered committee headed by former Chief Justice of India A.S. Anand to go into the safety aspects and the report was submitted in April 2012. The committee report favored Tamil Nadu.


3. The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the CBI can inquire into corruption charges against top bureaucrats without taking permission from Central Government. The Supreme Court ruled against the law which needed CBI to take approval from Central Government before investigating officers of the rank of joint secretary and above.


A five-judge constitution bench ruled that Section 6A in the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act was invalid as it seriously violated the fundamental right to equality before law guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution.


4. The Reserve Bank of India has directed all the banks not to levy any foreclosure charges for all floating rate loans with immediate effect. It said that banks will not be permitted to charge foreclosure charges or pre-payment penalties on all floating rate term loans which include housing, corporate, vehicle and personal loans etc. sanctioned to individual borrowers which will benefit all the loan borrowers.


The Reserve Bank also asked banks yesterday not to charge penalties on customers who fails maintain a minimum balance in any dormant account, as part of its consumer protection initiative.


5. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued new guidelines to allow the minors of age above 10 years to independently open and operate savings bank accounts and use other facilities like ATM and cheque books. Before this guidelines, all children and teenagers below the age of 18 are considered minors under current rules and they are allowed by banks to operate bank accounts only along with a parent or a guardian.


But the Banks may fix limits in terms of age and amount up to which minors may be allowed to operate the deposit accounts independently in order to reduce their risk. Banks can also finalize on the minimum documents which are required for opening of accounts by minors.


6. India-s aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given approval to AirAsia India today to launch services in India, which marks born of India-s seventh airline. The airline's chief executive office Mittu Chandilya posted this update on his official Twitter page today announcing the approval from DGCA.


The airlines will now have to get its schedule cleared by the DGCA before it can open bookings to begin commercial operations. This venture will be India-s first greenfield airline with a FDI from a foreign investor. Also its investment was the first FDI proposal in a domestic airline to be cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board on March 6, 2013.


 


8-May


Current Affairs Global - 8 May 2014


1. Famous business magazine, Fortune published its annual list of the world-s 2000 largest and most powerful public companies yesterday. Forbes -Global 2000- is a comprehensive list of the world-s largest, most powerful public companies, as measured by revenues, profits, assets and market value.


US retains its dominant positions with 564 companies among the Global 2000 list followed by Japan with 225 companies. China has world-s top three biggest public companies and Chinese companies secured 5 places in the list of top 10.


2. China-s exports jumped by 0.9% to USD 188.54 billion in April compared to same month last year while imports increased by 0.8%. Strong rebound in exports and imports compared to previous month of March increases optimism about the world-s second largest economy. Exports dropped by 6.6% in the previous month.


3. The European Central Bank (ECB) has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at record low of 0.25% in spite of inflation falling to 5-year low in April. Low Inflation across euro zone has increased probability for rate cuts in order to reduce probable deflation risk. The ECB has kept the interest rate unchanged since November 2013.


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. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has increased UK-s growth projection to 3.2% in 2014 compared to earlier projection of 2.4%.


Current Affairs India - 8 May 2014


1. President Pranab Mukherjee launched India-s own payment gateway 'RuPay' today which is equivalent of Visa and Mastercard and it will work on ATMs and merchant outlets like other Visa and Mastercard. With this launch, India will be one of the few countries in the world to have its own card payment gateway.


RuPay, which works on three channels, ATMs, Point of Sales (POS) and online sales, is the seventh such payment gateway in the world. The RuPay platform is developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and is used by certain banks like ICICI, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank etc for clearing and settlement. The RuPay card is accepted at all ATMs (1.6 lakh plus), 95% of PoS terminals (9.45 lakh plus) and most of the eCommerce merchants (about 10,000) in the country.


2. India-s capital Delhi has been ranked as the most polluted city the world, as per a new study conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The air in the national capital is filled with dangerous small particles of pollution.


The international organisation has measured that Delhi has the highest concentration of PM2.5, particulate matters less than 2.5 microns, form of air pollution, which is considered most serious. Thirteen of the most polluted 20 cities are from India, the list included New Delhi, Patna, Gwalior and Raipur in the top four spots.


3. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police has arrested Jignesh Shah, promoter of Financial Technologies yesterday in connection with the Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) crisis. The EOW has also arrested Shreekant Javalgekar, former chief of Multi Commodities Exchange of India (MCX). Jignesh Shah is the Chairman and Group Chief Executive officer of Financial Technologies (India) Ltd (FTIL) and holds a 45.5% stake in the company along with his family. FTIL holds 26% in MCX and 99.99% in NSEL.


4. Total 54 Indian companies are included in Forbes- annual list of the world-s 2000 largest and most powerful public companies, as per the list published by the renowned business magazine today. The Forbes -Global 2000- is a comprehensive list of the world-s largest, most powerful public companies, as measured by revenues, profits, assets and market value.


Reliance Industries leads the list with 135th rank among the Indian companies in the list. It is followed by State Bank of India (155th), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (176th), ICICI Bank (304th), Tata Motors (332nd), Indian Oil (416th), HDFC Bank (422n), Coal India (428th), Larsen & Toubro (500th) among top 500 companies.


 


9-May


 


10-May


Current Affairs Global - 10 May 2014


1. South Africa-s ruling African National Congress (ANC) won the national election with a big margin held recently. The ANC got 62.5% of the vote, down from 65.9% votes it got in the 2009 elections. The main opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) received 22% votes compared to 16.7% votes received in 2009 election.


The ANC has governed South Africa since the country-s first democratic elections ended apartheid and swept Nelson Mandela to power 20 years ago. Mandela died in December.


2. China-s consumer price inflation slowed to 1.8%in April compared to same month last year. Inflation stood at 2.4% in previous month of March. The fall was mainly driven by slower growth in food prices, which climbed 2.3% in April compared to 4.1% increase in March. Food prices account for nearly one-third of China-s consumer price index.


Current Affairs India - 10 May 2014


1. In a big setback to TMC led-government in West Bengal, the Supreme Court ordered CBI inquiry into the multi-crore Saradha scam and similar cases in West Bengal. The court also asked the CBI to investigate chit fund-related scam cases in Orissa and other states including Tripura and Assam. Supreme Court has also raised concern about the money that the state police are not able to recover till now.


West Bengal State Government has been opposing to CBI inquiry till now. After this ruling, West Bengal government has welcomed this decision.


2. Indian stock market indexes Sensex and Nifty closed at record high on Friday (9th May) anticipating major win by BJP in the current election. The benchmark BSE Sensex closed at 22,994, up 650 points or 3% while the Nifty too closed at 6,859 mark, up 199 points or 3%.


Market jumped to record high as foreign investors feel a stable new government will be formed and will provide support to the economy. The election result will be announced on 16th May.


3. India-s largest spirits manufacturer, United Spirits (USL), has planned to sell its famous Scotch whisky Company Whyte & Mackay (W&M) for USD 725million to Philippines-based brandy maker Emperador.


The enterprise value is 19.3 times W&Ms ebitda. However, the sale price is about 30% lower than what USLs former owner Vijay Mallya paid for W&M in 2007. Mallya paid USD 1.18 billion in 2007.


 


11-May


Forex Reserves increased by USD 1.944 billion to 311.857 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 1.944 billion to 311.857 billion for the week ended 2nd May 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. With this, India-s forex reserves jumped for the seventh consecutive weeks now as RBI continues to buy US Dollars.


The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 2.541 billion to 284.571 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 3 million and USD 1.2 million respectively for the same week. Gold value was decreased by USD 601 million to USD 20.965 billion for the same reporting week.


India-s Exports up 5.26% at USD 25.63 billion in April


India's exports jumped by 5.26% to USD 25.63 billion in April as demand from western developed economies picked up while imports dropped by 15% to USD 35.72 billion in the same month. Trade deficit stood at USD 10 billion in the same month which is much lower compared to trade deficit of USD 17.67 billion seen in the same month last year.


Gold imports last month declined by 74.13% to USD 1.75 billion compared USD 6.78 billion in the same month last year, which is the main reason behind steep drop in total imports.


India missed its export target of USD 325 billion for 2013-14 by USD 13 billion after posting only a 3.98% increase in shipments. Imports dropped by 8.11% to USD 450.94 billion, narrowing the trade deficit to USD 138.5 billion from USD 190.3 billion in the previous fiscal year. Trade deficit dropped to three-year low in the same month.


 


12-May


Current Affairs Global - 12 May 2014


1. Caparo Group founded by leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has won the International Business of the Year award 2014 at the Asian Business Awards Midlands in Birmingham. Receiving the award on behalf of the company in London on 9th May, Lord Paul's daughter Anjli Paul dedicated it to her younger sister Ambika.


2. British football club Manchester City won their second English Premier League title with a 2-0 win over West Ham United on 11th May. With this Manchester City won its second title in last three years but only the fourth one in its 134-year history. Liverpool stood second in the second English Premier League.


3. Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix held on Sunday which made his four consecutive wins. He finished just 0.6 seconds ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. The win was Hamilton's fourth this year, his first in Spain and the 26th of his career.


Australian Daniel Ricciardo came home third for Red Bull while defending four time world champion German Sebastian Vettel stood fourth in the race.


Force India-s Sergio Perez finished in ninth place while his team mate Nico Hulkenberg finished at tenth. With this, Sahara Force India collected three points from the Spanish Grand Prix but slipped to fourth in the team championship.


4. Rafael Nadal won his fourth Madrid Masters title yesterday when Kei Nishikori was forced to quit their final match with a back injury. Japanese 10th seed Nishikori had taken the first set 6-2 and led 4-2 in the second before quitting the match due to back pain. This is Nadal-s 27th Masters title and 63rd career crown.


Russian Maria Sharapova defeated Romanian Simona Halep by 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the Madrid Open on Sunday to win her 31st career title on Sunday.


5. Ronnie O-Sullivan was crowned World Snooker-s Player of the Year at the sport's annual awards ceremony in London on 8th May, Three days after he finished runner-up to Mark Selby at the Dafabet World Championship. He was also voted Fans Player of the Year.


Junhui was named Snooker Writers Player of the Year after he equaled Stephen Hendry's record of five ranking titles in a season.


Current Affairs India - 12 May 2014


1. The Defence Ministry has appointed Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Dalbir Singh as the next Army Chief today after receiving go ahead from the Election Commission. The Defence Ministry sent its recommendation to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) which had only the name of 59-year-old Lt Gen Suhag, who is the senior-most among the Lt Generals.


Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh will retire on 31st July and as per the tradition, the appointment of next Chief is made two months before the retirement of the incumbent.


2. Famous Indian discus thrower Vikas Gowda won the silver medal in the IAAF Diamond League Series in Doha last week. He registered a throw of 63.23 metres, which is much below his personal best of 66.90 metres, the national record. Gowda finished behind Poland's Piotr Malachowski, who won the gold medal with a throw of 66.72 metres. Estonia's Gerd Kanter won bronze with a throw of 62.90 metres.


He had won the bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou as well as silver in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.


IIP contracted by 0.5% in March for the second time in a row


India-s Index of Industrial Production, the most important parameter to judge performance of industrial sector, contracted by 0.5% in March compared to 1.9% contraction in previous month of February, which is the second consecutive contraction in IIP number. This is much lower compared to 3.5% growth witnessed in same month last year.


For the last financial year 2013-14, IIP was contracted by 0.1% compared to 1.1% growth witnessed during the previous financial year. IIP contracted in February due to 1.2% contraction in manufacturing sector which 75.5% weightage in the IIP index. This IIP data dashed all hope for quick recovery and calls for immediate rate cut by the RBI in order to boost growth.


India-s retail inflation jumped to 3-month high of 8.59% in April


India-s Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, jumped to 3-month high of 8.59% in April compared to 8.31% in previous month of March due to costlier vegetables, milk and fruit prices. Food Inflation jumped to 9.66% in the same month compared to 9.1% in the previous month. Vegetables were costlier by 17.5% in April compared to 16.8% in the previous month.


In April, Retail inflation in rural areas jumped to 9.25% compared to revised 8.89% in March and in urban areas increased to 7.69% compared to 7.51% in March. Due to increase in Retail inflation, the Reserve Bank of India may not cut rates in next month.


 


13-May


Current Affairs India - 13 May 2014


1. Senior IPS Officer Archana Ramasundaram has been appointed as first Woman Additional Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 8th May after her appointment proposal was approved by the selection committee. She is the first woman to be elevated to the rank of an Additional Director of CBI


But after hours of her sworn-in, Tamil Nadu government suspended her for not following rules before joining the central probe agency. She failed to notify the state government about her new role in the CBI. The SC said prima facie there is a strong view that her selection was not done as per the procedure laid down and that she appeared to be a government choice, which was not approved by the selection committee.


2. Manipur women-s football team defeated champions Orissa by 3-1 in the final match of the 20th Women's National Championship yesterday. This is their 17th title which they last won in 2010.


 


14-May


 


15-May


Current Affairs Global - 15 May 2014


1. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Norwegian general Major Gen. Kristin Lund to command a United Nations peacekeeping force. With this, she will be the first woman to lead a UN peacekeeping force. She had served in Lebanon, the first Gulf War, Bosnia and Afghanistan.


She will replace Chinese Major General Chao Liu on Aug. 13 as commander of about 1,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Cyprus, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced on 12th May.  Cyprus has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south since 1974 and talks have resumed to reunite the Mediterranean island.


2. National University of Singapore tops the chart among 250 universities ranked by QS Asia Pacific University Rankings in 2014, followed by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and University of Hong Kong. The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and Mumbai were the only two institutions from India which are ranked at 38th and 41st respectively, only Indian entries in the top 50 in the Asia-Pacific region. Five other IITs feature in the top 100 while Delhi University is placed at the 81st position.


3. Eurozone economic growth stood unchanged at 0.2% in the first quarter (Jan-Mar) of 2014 compared to previous quarter. This growth rate was slightly lower than analysts- expectations and shows that euro zone economy lost its growth momentum.


Euro zone-s largest economy Germany witnessed GDP growth of 0.8% in the same quarter while French economic growth stood at 0% and Italy-s economy contracted by 0.1%. Spain's economy grew by 0.4% in the first quarter.


Current Affairs India - 15 May 2014


1. The Government has appointed Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag as the next Army chief. He will succeed incumbent Gen Bikram Singh when he retires on July 31. Dalbir Singh Suhag will be the 26th Army chief after the Appointments Committee of Cabinet cleared the recommendation of the Defence Ministry in spite of protests by BJP.


He had participated in the 1987 Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operation in Sri Lanka, is currently the Vice-Chief of Army Staff and the senior most among the Lieutenant Generals.


2. The Central Government has accepted the Sahoo panel report that reviewed the depository receipts scheme framed in the year 1993.The key recommendations of the committee include allowing issuance of depository receipts against any underlying securities such as equity or debt, by any issuer - listed or unlisted. The Sahoo Panel has recommended that depository receipts can be issued both for capital raising through new shares or against existing/secondary shares and the issuance may be either sponsored or unsponsored. It is also proposed that depository receipts will count as public shareholding if they have attached voting rights for holders.


The Finance Ministry had in September 2013 set up a Committee under the chairmanship of M.S. Sahoo, Secretary, Institute of Company Secretaries of India, to undertake a comprehensive review of the foreign currency convertible bonds and depository receipt mechanism scheme.


3. President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to Whistleblowers Protection Bill, 2011. The Bill has provisions for setting up a regular mechanism to encourage persons to disclose information on corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants, including Ministers.
The bill also ensures adequate protection to persons reporting corruption or wilful misuse of discretion which causes demonstrable loss to the government. The Bill was passed by the Parliament in the last winter session.


4. Justice B.S. Chauhan, Judge of the Supreme Court, has been appointed Chairman of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. The post of chairman has been lying vacant for the last two years after Justice N.P. Singh resigned on health grounds.


As the post was vacant since April 2012, the tribunal was unable to take clarification petitions filed by all parties to the Cauvery dispute against the Tribunal's final award, which was delivered in February 2007.


5. A panel set up by RBI with vision of uniform licence system for the banking sector has recommended a one-licence policy for all banks, irrespective of the ownership pattern. This will include all public sector, private sector (old and new) and foreign banks operating in India.


This uniform licence system will also involve uniform investment limits across investor categories, irrespective of ownership. Other than the Government-s own controlling stake, all other investment limits recommended for private sector banks should also thereby be applicable to public sector banks.This was first suggested by the banking regulator in a discussion paper in 2013.


6. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani-s residence -Antilia- in Mumbai is termed as the most expensive billionaire home in the world, according to a Forbes list which also includes Indian-origin steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal-s houses in London.


His 27-story, 400,000-square-foot skyscraper home Antilia named after a mythical island in the Atlantic. The house has six stories of underground parking, three helicopter pads, and reportedly requires a staff of 600 to keep it running.


Lakshmi Mittal-s residences in London-s Kensington Palace Gardens occupy the 5th and the 18th spot on the list of the 21 most expensive billionaire homes in the world.


7. Volvo Buses India has appointed VRV Sriprasad as Managing Director. He will take over from Manish Sahi, who has been appointed as the Director - International Business. He will report to Akash Passey, Senior Vice-President, Business Region, International, Volvo Bus Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Volvo Buses in India.


In India, Volvo Buses has a significant share in the high-performance inter-city luxury coaches that connect major cities, and low-floor air-conditioned city buses, which are operating in 15 cities.


India-s overall Inflation eases to of 5.2% in April; faces challenge of El Nino effect


India-s overall inflation, measured by the Wholesale price index, eased to 5.2% in April compared to 5.7% in March due to steep drop in fuel prices and easing of food inflation. Inflation in food articles, which has 14.34% share in the WPI basket, eased to 8.64% in April compared to 9.9% in March which pulled the overall inflation lower. Also Fuel inflation declined to 8.93% in the same month compared to 11.22% in the previous month.


This data will be a marginal relief for the new Government just a day before the Election results will be declared. Though overall inflation eased near to 5%, India faces challenge due to lower than average monsoon forecast by weather department for this season which will have adverse impact on Inflation data. There may be lower than normal monsoon rain this year due to a strong El Nino effect which could trigger lower production of summer crops such as rice, sugarcane and oilseeds and push inflation higher.


 


16-May


BJP secured majority of its own in Lok Sabha Election 2014; Modi to be new Prime Minister


Narendra Modi created history by leading the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a majority in the Lok Sabha election after securing 283 seats on its own which is higher than half-way mark of 272 seats. It gives BJP complete majority in the Parliament. BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) alliance secured 337 seats. This is the first time since Congress-s landslide victory in 1984, one single party has been able to get a majority.


The ruling Congress was able to win only 43 seats while its UPA alliance won only 58 seats. This is the worst ever performance of the party in the history. Modi wave along with development and corruption related issues are the main reason behind this humiliating defeat of the Congress Party.


Telangana Rashtra Samithi is set to form new government of the newly created state Telengana after securing majority in the assembly election held along with Lok Sabha Election. The party has won 63 seats out of total 119 seats in the yet-to-be formed new Assembly for Telangana. Its President K Chandrasekhara Rao is all set to be the first Chief Minister of the new state. The Telugu Desam-BJP alliance has won 21 seats and MIM seven.


At the same time, Telugu Desham Party won 92 seats out of total 175 seats in Andhra Pradesh assembly election held with the recently concluded Lok Sabha election. YSR Congress Party won 63 seats. TDP along with BJP is all set to form next government of Andhra Pradesh.


Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party won assembly election in Odisha by a huge a margin today. It won 112 seats out of total 147 seats. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will sworn in as the Chief Minister of Odisha for the fourth consecutive time.


 


17-May


 


18-May


Forex Reserves increased by USD 1.973 billion to 313.831 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 1.973 billion to 313.831 billion for the week ended 9th May 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. With this, India-s forex reserves jumped for the seventh consecutive weeks now as RBI continues to buy US Dollars.


The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 1.978 billion to 286.549 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 3.6 million and USD 1.7 million respectively for the same week. Gold value remained unchanged at USD 20.965 billion for the same reporting week.


Current Affairs India - 18 May 2014


1. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 17th May and submitted his resignation of his Council of Ministers. He has been India-s Prime Minister for last 10 years during UPA-I and UPA-II.


President Pranab Mukherjee dissolved the 15th Lok Sabha with immediate effect today, completing a formality before the constitution of the new House.


2. Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling won the assembly election in Sikkim held recently and he is set for a consecutive fifth term. With this he will beat the record set by Jyoti Basu in West Bengal. Chamling-s Sikkim Democratic Front won two thirds majority in the Assembly elections winning 22 of the 32 seats with a vote share of 55%.


He took over the reins of the State in December 1994 and completed 20 years as Chief Minister of the Himalayan State.


3. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kuamr has resigned yesterday after his party JDU faced massive defeat in the general elections. Addressing a press conference in Patna, Nitish Kumar said that he took the moral responsibility for his party-s poor performance in the elections and steps down from the post of chief minister.


He also maintained that the decision JDU took to break away from BJP was fully right. He said BJP only betrayed him but he had not. Janta Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav today said a new Chief Minister candidate in Bihar will be decided soon.


4. T.R. Zeliang will be the new Chief Minister of Nagaland after State Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio won the Lok Sabha seat from the state. Zeliang was formally declared as the new Leader of the Naga Peoples' Front led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland Legislature party in Kohima yesterday.


5. Indian men's basketball team defeated Maldives by 108-32 to win the third South Asian Basketball Association tournament at Kathmandu on 17th May. With this win, India finished an unbeaten 4-NIL in the tournament after defeating Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal in earlier games.


6. Former CEO and Chairman of Tata Steel and widely known as Management guru, Russy Mody passed away at his home in South Kolkata on Friday night. He was 97. He was known for his man management while he headed Tata Steel and was awarded Padma Bushan. He was associated with Tata Steel for nearly four decades and built foundation of the company.


He had to leave the company following differences in Opinion with Ratan Tata. Though they patched up later Mr. Mody said in a book -all was forgotten-.


7. Capt. C. P. Krishnan Nair, Founder Chairman of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, passed away on 17th May. He was 92. He was known as Captain due to his small stint in Indian Army. He built the famous hotel Chain Leela Palaces and was also awarded with Padma Bhushan award.


 


19-May


Current Affairs Global - 19 May 2014


1. US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc made another attempt to take over British competitor AstraZeneca Plc after increasing its bid offer. Pfizer has placed a new bid of USD 117 billion as the final offer after the previous offer was rejected by the AstraZeneca management. A previous offer of USD 106 billion was turned down by the AstraZeneca management last month.


2. US telecommunications giant AT&T is set to acquire satellite television provider DirecTV in a USD 48.5 billion deal. The deal is subjected to necessary regulatory approval. Once approved, the deal gives AT&T access to DirecTV's 40 million digital TV customers in the USA and Latin America.


Current Affairs India - 19 May 2014


1. Congress leader Nabam Tuki was sworn-in as the eighth Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh for the second consecutive term. Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma administered the oath yesterday.


2. Janata Dal (U) leader and former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar chose senior minister Jitan Ram Manjhi today to succeed him as Chief Minister of Bihar. Manjhi would stake claim to form the government. Mr. Manjhi, a dalit leader, was SC & ST minister in the Nitish Kumar government.


Earlier, the Janata Dal (U) legislators of Bihar have asked Nitish Kumar to choose the new chief minister. Earlier, Nitish Kumar stepped down as state Chief Minister following announcement of Lok Sabha election results this weekend.


3. Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister C Rangarajan has resigned following massive defeat of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in the general election held recently. Dr Rangarajan met Dr Manmohan Singh this morning and submitted his resignation letter.


The PMEAC also has Saumitra Chaudhuri, V.S. Vyas, Pulin B. Nayak and Dilip M. Nachane as members.


4. Australia has appointed prominent investment adviser Ashok Jacob as the Chair of Australia-India Council. His appointment would be effective from this year till 2019.


AIC was established in 1992 to promote people-to-people and institutional links between the two countries with a focus on education, science and technology, sport, public policy, heritage and arts sectors. Jacob is Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Ellerston Capital and also a director of Crown Ltd, Consolidated Press Holdings, Visy Australia, Thorney Opportunities Ltd, MRF Ltd (Chennai) and Malayala Manorama Newspaper Group (Kottayam).


5. Payment services company MasterCard announced today that it would acquire Pune-based electronic payment software firm ElectraCard Services (ECS for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition will help MasterCard to expand its product offerings.


MasterCard entered into an agreement with Opus Software Solutions to acquire its subsidiary, ElectraCard Services.


6. Veteran nuclear scientist and Padma Bhushan recipient, N Srinivasan passed away on Sunday due to cardiac arrest. He was 84. Srinivasan joined the Department of Atomic Energy in 1953 and was the design engineer for the plutonium plant at Trombay. He established the indigenous technology for reprocessing spent fuels from thermal reactors. He was awarded with Padma Bhushan in 2000.


7. Indian snooker and billiards player and Eight-time world champion Pankaj Advani won the billiards event at the CCI Classic billiards & snooker on 14th May after defeating two-time world runner-up Dhruv Sitwala 1425-447 in the final.


Pankaj Advani is an 8-time World Champion.He is the only Asian to have ever won both the Billiards and Snooker World Championships.


8. Indian recurve archers bagged two medals, a silver and a bronze, in the second World Cup held at Medellin, Columbia today. While India-s recurve -B- team comprising Atanu Das, Thupuvoyi and Sanjay Boro lost to Korea in the shoot-off to return with a silver medal, the mixed team of Atanu Das and Bombayla Devi Laishram pocketed a bronze by beating a Mexican combination.


 


20-May


Current Affairs Global - 20 May 2014


1. The Thai military has imposed martial law to preserve law and order across the country amid a political crisis. In response, the acting Prime Minister urged the army to act under the Constitution and with no violence. As a part of this, Soldiers have taken over TV and Radio Stations and blocked off roads in the capital, Bangkok.


2. Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse has pleaded guilty to the charges that it helped its American clients evade taxes and agreed to pay a penalty of USD 2.6 billion to avoid prosecution. As per US Attorney, Credit Suisse conspired to help US citizens hide assets in offshore accounts in order to evade paying taxes.


This is the largest bank to plead guilty in 20 years. The bank will pay a total of USD 1.8 billion in the form of a fine of over USD 1.13 billion and nearly USD 670 million in restitution to the IRS.


Current Affairs India - 20 May 2014


1. Narendra Modi was unanimously elected as the leader of the BJP parliamentary party and Prime Minister of the newly elected NDA alliance today. He was handed the appointment letter by the President Pranab Mukherjee after a meeting of the BJP parliamentary party today. The President also requested him to advise the names of members of the Council of Ministers. He will be sworn in as India-s 14th Prime Minister at 6 pm on May 26.


The BJP-s parliamentary party met at 12 noon in the Central Hall of Parliament where senior leader LK Advani proposed Modi-s name as leader of the party. His candidature was unanimously upheld by the BJP and endorsed by all the constituents of the NDA by loud thumping of desks and cheers by the newly-elected MPs.


2. All members of the Planning Commission submitted their resignations to the Prime Minister-s Office yesterday so that the Planning Commission can be reconstituted under newly elected NDA government. Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia along with other full time members of the Commission B K Chaturvedi, Saumitra Chaudhuri, Syeda Hameed, Narendra Jadhav, Abhijit Sen, Mihir Shah, K Kasturirangan and Arun Maira have submitted their resignation.


The Commission is headed by the Prime Minister. Dr. Ahluwalia and the rest of the members will continue as acting members till the Commission is reconstituted.


3. India-s gold demand declined by 26% to 190.3 tonnes during the January to March quarter of 2014 compared to 257.5 tonnes in the same period of 2013, as per the report compiled by the World Gold Council. In value terms, it translates into Rs 48,853 crore versus Rs 73,184 crore, a drop of 33%. The expectations for demand during 2014 stand at 900-1,000 tonnes, the report also said.


This steep drop in Gold demand due to impact of higher import duties and supply curbs imposed on the gold market by the Central government earlier in an order to reduce India-s overall current account deficit.


4. Indian batsman Virat Kohli has been rated second behind British Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton in the list of most marketable athletes by the UK magazine, 'SportsPro'. The list was based on value for money, age, home market, charisma, willingness to be marketed and crossover appeal.


Virat was the only Indian sportsperson to be featured in the June edition of the London-based magazine. Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen is the only cricketer other than Kohli to feature in the top-50 list at 35th rank. The list also includes Christiano Ronaldo (4) Usain Bolt (6), Neymar (7th), Lionel Messi (11), Novak Djokovic (15), Andy Murray (21), Rory McIlroy (24), Sebastian Vettel (27) and Victoria Azarenka (31).


 


21-May


Current Affairs Global - 21 May 2014


1. Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak today sentenced to three years in prison by a criminal court for misusing millions of dollars of public funds. The verdict came three years after he was toppled following a popular uprising.


Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades, is also facing trial for abuse of power and conspiring in the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising.


2. Russia and China have signed gas deal worth of USD 400 billion today. The gas deal was signed in Shanghai during the current visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.


Russia has huge energy reserves and China was looking for alternative energy source to reduce its dependence on Coal due to heavy pollution. This is a significant step for Russian economy which is now facing sanctions imposed by USA and European Union following Ukraine Crisis.


Current Affairs India - 21 May 2014


1. Gujarat Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel was elected leader of the BJP Legislature Party Leader today. She will be the next Chief Minister of Gujarat and will succeed PM-designate Narendra Modi. Before that, she was the minister of Revenue and Urban Development in the Modi government. She will be the first woman chief minister of Gujarat.


Narendra Modi resigned today as the Chief Minister of Gujarat as he was elected as the new Prime Minister of India yesterday. Modi will take oath as the prime minister on 26 May. He was the longest serving Chief Minister of Gujarat who has been at the helm for 14 years.


2. Naveen Patnaik was sworn in as Chief Minister for fourth consecutive term today after BJD-s landslide victory in the Odisha Assembly elections held along with Lok sabha election.


Patnaik and 21 ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor S C Jamir at the Raj Bhavan.


3. Aam Aadmi Party leader and former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested and sent to Tihar Jail today by a Delhi court after he refused to furnish bail bond in a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by BJP leader and former President of BJP Nitin Gadkari. He will be in Jail till Friday.


Gadkari had alleged that he was defamed by Kejriwal who had included his name in AAP's list of India's most corrupt. Delhi Court ordered to take him into custody after he refused to furnish a personal bail bond of 10,000 rupees and a surety of same amount.


4. Narendra Kumar Verma has been elected as the new Managing Director of ONGC Videsh Ltd, India-s flagship overseas oil and gas assets acquisition firm. He is currently Director for Exploration in OVL-s parent company, ONGC.


The post fell vacant after Dinesh K Sarraf was elevated as Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC. OVL has interests in 33 oil and gas assets in 17 countries and contributes to 12% and 7% of India-s oil and natural gas production, respectively. In terms of reserves and production, OVL is the second—largest petroleum company of India, next only to parent ONGC.


5. India-s largest online retailer, Flipkart.com, has acquired fashion e-retailer Myntra.com for approximately USD 300 million. This is widely seen as consolidation phase of India-s e-commerce market after aggressive push by global e-commerce giant Amazon. However, it is not yet clear whether Flipkart will acquire only the Myntra brand or its overall operations.


Competition in India-s e-commerce industry has intensified recently following entry of Amazon last year. This acquisition will help Flipkart to increase its presence in online market of apparel and fashion accessories.


6. Low-cost carrier IndiGo retained the top position in the domestic passenger aviation market in April after securing 31.6% market share. The airline also carried 11% more passengers in April at 16.8 lakh compared to 15.1 lakh in the same month last year.


Indigo is followed by Jet Airways with 21.8% market share (including JetLite), Air India with 18.3% market share and Spice Jet with 17.9% market share.


7. Two-time champions Churchill Brothers were thrown out of the I-League along with three other teams for failing to fulfill the AIFF's club licensing criteria. The All India Football Federation's Club Licensing Committee took the decision after its meeting today.


Two Kolkata clubs -- United SC and Mohammedan Sporting -- and Rangdajied United of Shillong were the other three teams which failed to clear the licensing criteria. All the four clubs will be out of the I-League for at least a year. Under the AIFF's Club Licensing Regulations, the clubs are expected to meet several legal, administrative, sporting, infrastructure and financial criteria.


 


 


22-May


Current Affairs India - 22 May 2014


1. Former IB chief Rajiv Mathur took over as the new Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission today. He was administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan.


His name was recommended by a three-member selection panel headed by outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He succeeds Sushma Singh, who demitted office yesterday. He will have a tenure till August 23, when he attains 65 years of age. According to rules, CIC is appointed either for a maximum of five-year term or till 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.


2. The Reserve Bank of India directed banks to make all new ATMs installed from July 1, 2014 as -talking ATMs- with Braille keypads. Also banks should lay down a roadmap for converting all existing ATMs as talking ATMs with Braille keypads. This will also be reviewed from time to time by the Customer Service Committee of the Board.


Apart from that, The RBI has also directed banks to provide magnifying glasses in all bank branches for the use of persons with low vision. The branches should display at a prominent place notice about the availability of magnifying glasses and other facilities available for persons with disabilities.


3. India-s first all women bank, Bharatiya Mahila Bank, has been included in the second schedule to the RBI Act. RBI issued a notification issued in Mumbai yesterday indicating the inclusion of the BMB in the second schedule.


With the inclusion of BMB, total number of scheduled commercial banks in India now stands at 90. Post inclusion in the second schedule or commercial bank category, it will become eligible for loans from RBI on bank rate and also acquires membership of clearing houses.


4. Foreign direct investment into India grew by 8% year-on-year to USD 24.3 billion in 2013-14, compared to USD 22.4 billion witnessed in previous financial year 2012-13. Foreign investment inflows more than doubled to USD 3.53 billion in March this year from USD 1.52 in the same month last year.


The highest FDI came in services (USD 2.22 billion), followed by automobiles (USD 1.51 billion), telecommunications ($1.3 billion), pharmaceuticals USD 1.27 billion) and construction development (USD 1.22 billion) in 2013-14. Singapore led the FDI inflows into India with USD 5.98 billion, followed by Mauritius (USD 4.85 billion), the UK (USD 3.21 billion) and the Netherlands (USD 2.27 billion).


Current Affairs Global - 22 May 2014


1. Thailand-s Army seized power in a bloodless coup and it suspended the Constitution and declared night curfew across the country after month-s long anti-government protests. The Army also ordered all television and radio stations to suspend their usual programmes and replace with the army's statements.


Army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha addressed in a national television saying the coup was necessary to restore stability and order after six months of political deadlock and turmoil.


2. Business activity in the euro zone maintained its growth momentum in May as the latest Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) compiled by Markit dipped to 53.9 compared to 54.0 in April. Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth.


At the same time, the HSBC compiled China Manufacturing PMI increased to 49.7 in May compared to 48.1 in April. Any reading lower than 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector.


 


23-May


 


24-May


 


25-May


Forex Reserves increased by USD 1.093 billion to 314.925 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 1.093 billion to 314.925 billion for the week ended 16th May 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. With this, India-s forex reserves jumped for the seventh consecutive weeks now as RBI continues to buy US Dollars.


The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 1.266 billion to 287.816 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 14.5 million and USD 158.1 million respectively for the same week. Gold value remained unchanged at USD 20.965 billion for the same reporting week.


Foreign exchange reserves surged by USD 15.5 billion in the financial year ended March 2014, as per latest RBI release. The RBI also released the sources of variation in foreign exchange reserves during 2013-14. The reserves in nominal terms, which includes the valuation effects, increased by USD 12.2 billion in FY14 as against a decline of USD 2.4 billion in the same period of the preceding year.


Current Affairs Global - 25 May 2014


1. Jacob Zuma was sworn in as South African President for a second term by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng yesterday in Pretoria. His party, African National Congress won the national election held in this month with 62% of votes.


2. Indian-American student Akhil Rekulapelli won the National Geographic Bee championship in Washington, USA on 21st May. Ameya Mujumdar from Florida stood second, while California-s Tuvya Bergson-Michelson stood third place in the same competition. Akhil won the 50000 US dollar college scholarship given to the winner of the National Geographic Bee Championship.


3. Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid, 4-1 in extra time at Lisbon yesterday night to win their 10th UEFA Champions League title. This is the first title since 2002.


Atletico scored the first goal to get the lead in the first half but Real-s Sergio Ramos managed to score a goal just seconds left in regulation, to send the match into extra time. In extra time, Real scored 3 goals to win the title.


Current Affairs India - 25 May 2014


1. T R Zeliang was sworn in as the 16th chief minister of Nagaland yesterday. He succeeded Neiphiu Rio who resigned from the post following his win in the Lok Sabha elections. Governor Ashwani Kumar administered the oath of office and secrecy to Zeliang and 11 other cabinet ministers at Raj Bhavan.


2. In a major setback to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a key founder member Shazia Ilmi and Capt. G.R Gopinath quit the party this week. Shazia Ilmi quit the party citing -lack of inner party democracy- while Capt. G.R Gopinath also made an announcement to quit the Aam Aadmi Party.


Shazia Ilmi, who contested and lost the Delhi Assembly election as well as the recent Lok Sabha election from Ghaziabad, blamed a -clique that had encircled Kejriwal- for her decision to quit.


3. Kathleen Stephens has been named the new interim US Ambassador to India after retirement of previous US Ambassador Nancy Powell as President Barack Obama is yet to nominate a diplomat for this important post. He will serve as the charge until a new permanent ambassador is nominated and confirmed by the US Senate


4. A 14-year old girl from Andhra Pradesh, Poorna has become the youngest woman to climb Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. She was accompanied by Anand and they carried photographs of BR Ambedkar and former IAS officer SR Sankaran to the top of the world.


In November last year, Poorna and Anand were among a dozen teenagers, who became the youngest group to climb Mount Renock.


5. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) eased the gold import norms under the 20: 80 Scheme this week. Under the 20:80 Scheme, Star trading houses and premier trading houses, which are registered as nominated agencies by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) now can import gold.


This move will increase the number of institutions which imports gold will increase supply of gold in the domestic market which will also help to reduce price. Earlier it had imposed several measures to curb gold import in order to improve current account deficit.


6. Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) Chairman C S Verma has been awarded with the -CEO of the Year- at the 2014 Platts Global Metals Awards. The award was presented to him in recognition of a comprehensive leadership style demonstrated by him to place SAIL on the path of robust growth in spite of price volatility and increased competition.


Verma received the award in London on 21st May. He became SAIL-s Chairman in 2010, he has displayed visionary, passionate and tenacious leadership in steering the company of over one lakh employees.


7. India-s 2nd largest smartphone player, Micromax has appointed Vineet Taneja as its new Chief Executive Officer. He was the Country Head for IT & Mobile businesses of Samsung India till recently. The step matches with the vision and commitment of Micromax Co-founders to bring in the best talent from the industry to lead the company in order to build a strong organization.


8. Micromax said that Vineet will focus on consolidating Micromax-s strong presence in the market, driving global partnerships and strategic alliances while strengthening the organizational capabilities within Micromax.


9. Production of India-s first homemade car, Ambassador, has been halted by Hindustan Motors at its plant in Kolkata due to weak demand and financing problems. Modelled on the Morris Oxford it went into production in 1957.


It was once the only car driven by politicians and government officials. But the company managed to sell only 2200 Ambassadors in last financial year 2013-14. The suspension of work will help the company to restructure its increasing liabilities and finances though analysts are not optimistic about the car's future. It may be the end of the iconic brand.


10. Ace shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu had to settle with Bronze medal at the World Women's Team Championship for the Uber Cup after they were defeated 2-3 by five-time champions Japan in its maiden semifinals appearance in the Uber Cup in New Delhi. With this Indian women's badminton team created history by ensuring a bronze medal finish at the World Women's Team Championship for the Uber Cup.


 


26-May


Current Affairs Global - 26 May 2014


1. Nico Rosberg of Mercedes won the Monaco Grand Prix held yesterday for the second consecutive time. This is his second win of the 2014 season and the fifth win of his career. His team mate Lewis Hamilton secured 2nd spot while Red Bull-s Daniel Ricciardo secured third sport. Fernando Alonso finished fourth for Ferrari ahead of Nico Hulkenberg of Force India and Jenson Button who finished sixth for McLaren.


2. Japan defeated Malaysia by 3-2 in the final match at the Siri Fort Complex in New Delhi yesterday to win their maiden Thomas Cup badminton title. Japan lost the opening Singles, bounced back in the next two games, lost the fourth, and eventually edged past Malaysia the final Singles to bag the title. India earned the bronze in Uber Cup and France made it to the Thomas Cup quarters at the weeklong shuttle festival at the Siri Fort Complex.


Current Affairs India - 26 May 2014


1. India-s balance of payment (BoP) sharply jumped to USD 7.057 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013—14 compared to USD 2.68 billion in the same period in 2012—13, as per RBI data published today. However it decreased steeply from USD 19.1 billion in the previous quarter. For the full year, the BoP stood at USD 15.459 billion.


The current account deficit dropped sharply to USD 1.2 billion or 0.2% of GDP in fourth quarter of FY14 from USD 18.1 billion or 3.6% of GDP in the same quarter last year. In the previous quarter (third quarter of FY14), CAD stood at USD 4.2 billion or 0.9% of GDP. The lower CAD was primarily on account of a decline in the trade deficit as decline in imports was sharper than that in exports. In FY14, current account deficit dropped to 1.7% of GDP, or USD 32.4 billion, from 4.7% of GDP or USD 87.8 billion in the previous fiscal year FY13.


2. Indian rupee jumped to 11-month high today which has made it the best performing currency against the US dollar in the Asia-Pacific region so far this year. Indian rupee jumped to 11- month high due to increase foreign capital inflow after recent election result which ensures stable government for next 5 year with BJP getting absolute majority.


3. Singapore became the top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India after replacing Mauritius, as per the latest data published by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). India attracted USD 5.98 billion FDI from Singapore in financial year 2013-14 compared to USD 4.85 billion invested from Mauritius. The total FDI flows from Singapore accounted for about 25% of FDI inflows in 2013-14.


Mauritius has been the top source of FDI in India for a very long time, but FDI dried up recently on fears of the impact of General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) and possible re-negotiation of the tax avoidance treaty.


4. Network18 has appointed Avinash Kaul as CEO of IBN18 Network today. He will be responsible for the day-to-day operational, strategic and financial management of the general news network. He has been given the mandate for the TV18-s consolidation and diversification.


Narendra Modi sworn in as 15th Prime Minister today


Narendra Modi was sworn as the 15th Prime Minister of India today along with his 45-member coalition government. He was sworn in by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in presence of leaders from other neighbor countries, corporate leaders and celebrities. More than 3000 people attended the event which is the largest gathering ever at the swearing in of new government. The swearing-in ceremony was attended by several world leaders including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.


Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Uma Bharti, Maneka Gandhi, Ananth Kumar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani and Harsh Vardhan were among those who were sworn in as Cabinet ministers. Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Akali Dal), Anant Geete (Shiv Sena) and Ashok Gajapathi Raju (TDP) were those from allied parties who took the oath today.


The list of Cabinet Ministers who took oath along with Modi are:



  • Rajnath Singh — Minister for home affairs
    Arun Jaitley — Finance ministry and additional charge of the defence ministry

  • Sushma Swaraj — Ministry of external affairs

  • Nitin Gadkari — Surface transport ministry and shipping ministry

  • Ravi Shankar Prasad — Telecom ministry, law and justice ministry

  • Smriti Irani - Human resource development ministry

  • Ananth Kumar — Parliamentary affairs and additional charge of chemicals and fertilizers

  • Sadanand Gowda — Railways ministry

  • Venkaiah Naidu — Urban development ministry and parliamentary affairs

  • Maneka Gandhi — Women and child development ministry

  • Najma Heptulla — Ministry of minorities

  • Radha Mohan Singh — Agriculture ministry

  • Nirmala Sitharaman — Ministry of state for commerce

  • Piyush Goel - Minister of state power (independent)

  • Prakash Javadekar — Minister of state information & broadcasting

  • Ram Vilas Paswan — Food and civil supplies ministry

  • Uma Bharati — Union minister for water resources and Ganga

  • Jual Oram — Cabinet minister for tribal affair


 


27-May


 


28-May


Current Affairs Global - 28 May 2014


1. Ahmed Maitiq was sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Libiya this week. He took oath of his office before Nuri Abu Sahmain, the President of the General National Congress. He became the Prime Minister after winning the confidence vote in the Parliament after receiving 83 votes in favour out of total 93 votes. He is the youngest and the fifth Prime Minister of Libya since Dictator Moammar Gadhafi was removed and killed in a 2011 revolution.


2. The list of Forbes' 100 most powerful women was topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel is followed by Chair of the US Federal Reserve Janet Yellen (2), philanthropist Melinda Gates (3), former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (6), General Motors' first woman CEO Mary Barra (7), First Lady Michelle Obama (8) and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (9). PepsiCo's Chief Indra Nooyi is ranked at 13th and Cisco's Chief Technology and Strategy Officer Padmasree Warrior is ranked at 71st in the same list.


3. The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah passed away in Kuala Lumpur. He was 86. Sultan Azlan Shah was known as the Father of Malaysian Hockey for his colossal contribution to the sport for over 41 years, both as a player and an administrator.


Under his stewardship, Malaysia hosted two hockey World Cups, 1975 and 2002 editions. In 1997, Sultan Azlan Shah was elected as the president of the Asian Hockey Federation and he held the post until his demise.


Current Affairs India - 28 May 2014


1. Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan was given additional charge of the proposed state of Telangana today. The order comes a week before 2nd June when Telangana will be born as the 29th state of the country.


2. The Narendra Modi Cabinet at its very first meeting announced to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) yesterday to unearth black money as ordered by the Supreme Court earlier. Former Supreme Court judge Justice MB Shah, will head the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the black money issue.


He said that he will try to -finish the work as early as possible-. He was the Chairman of a Commission on illegal mining of iron ore (in Odisha and Goa) and he submitted the first interim report within two months (of starting probe).


3. The Modi-led Government has appointed senior Supreme Court advocate Mukul Rohatgi as the new Attorney General of India, the top law officer of the country. He had served as Additional Solicitor General in the earlier NDA regime. He will be the 14th Attorney General of India.


He succeeded former Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati who resigned recently. Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran also resigned recently as there was a change of Central Government. As per convention, the Attorney General and Solicitor General resign once there is a change of Government at the Centre.


4. Retired IAS officer and former Chairman of the Telecom Regularoty Authority of India Nripendra Misra has been appointed as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is a 1967 batch IAS officer and he has served in various ministries including telecom, commerce and fertilizers, before retiring as TRAI Chairman in 2009.


5. State Bank of India Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya and ICICI Bank Managing Director Chanda Kochhar are among the five women from India who are featured in Forbes' 100 most powerful women in the world. Bhattacharya is ranked 36th on the power list, while Kochhar is 43rd. Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is ranked 92nd on the list. 


6. Infosys Ltd President, widely considered to be the next CEO to succeed S D Shibulal when he retires in January 2015, has resigned from the Company. IT major Infosys Ltd announced to the stock exchanges today that its company president and board member B.G. Srinivas has resigned.


This is the 10 high profile exit since Founder N R Narayana Murthy came back to the company in order to revive fortune of company. Infosys Ltd has been lagging its peers and posting lower than Industry average growth rate for more than 3 years now.


7. In the Indian Premier League first Qualifier, Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Punjab XI by 28 runs at Eden Gardens in Kolkata today. Kings XI Punjab was out 135 for 8 wickets in 20 overs while chasing 163 runs scored by Kolkata Knight Riders.


The Kings XI Punjab will have another chance of making to the finals. It will face winner of the Eliminator between Chennai Super Kings and defending champions Mumbai Indians.


8. Suresh Raina will be the Captain of the Indian Cricket team for the One Day series (ODI) in Bangladesh which will be held from 15th June. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli will miss Bangladesh Tour due to minor injuries. The top run-scorer in IPL Robin Uththappa was included in the One day team and Wriddhiman Saha was chosen as wicketkeeper for ODI and Test team.


 


29-May


Current Affairs Global - 29 May 2014


1. Global tech giant Apple Inc announced that it will buy Beats for about USD 3 billion. It will help Apple to expand into the fast-growing music-subscription market. Post the acquisition, the iPhone maker also gains a line of high-end headphones popular with a young and urban demographic.


2. US economy contracted by 1% in the first quarter of the current year 2014 due to unusually cold and disruptive winter during the same period. This is much lower compared to initial estimate of 0.1% growth. It is the worst economic performance since the first quarter of 2011. Its GDP grew at an annualized 2.6% rate in the fourth quarter of previous year 2013.


Current Affairs India - 29 May 2014


1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi quit his Vadodara Lok Sabha seat and chose to retain Varanasi seat in Uttar Pradesh. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has quit from Mainpuri sit and has retained Azamgarh. As per rule, a member who has been elected from two Lok Sabha constituencies, has to vacate one of the seats within 14 days of the declaration of result.


The Prime Minister had won Vadodara with a near record margin of 5.7 lakh, which was the biggest in this Lok Sabha polls. BJP has won all the 26 seats in Gujarat.


2. The first session of the 16th Lok Sabha will be held from 4th June to 11th June after the decision was taken by the Union Cabinet at a meeting in New Delhi today. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said, on the first two-days of the session, newly-elected MPs will be sworn-in and on the 6th, Lok Sabha Speaker will be elected. Mr Naidu said, President Pranab Mukherjee will address a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on 9th June.


3. India-s indigenously developed Pinaka rockets were successfully test-fired thrice today from a multi-barrel rocket launcher at an armament base in Chandipur. Pinaka, which has undergone several tough tests since 1995, has been inducted into the armed forces and the present trials were conducted with some improvements in the system.


The rockets with a range of 40 km and capable of acting as a force-multiplier, were developed to supplement artillery guns.


4. India-s largest private company, RIL announced that it will acquire control of Network 18 Media and Investments Ltd, including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd for Rs 4,000 crore. Once completed, this will be the biggest ever deal in the Indian media sector.


NW18 is the owner of a suite of premier digital internet properties, e-commerce businesses and differentiated broadcast content. This suite includes In.com, IBNLive.com, Moneycontrol.com, Firstpost.com, Cricketnext.in, Homeshop18.com, Bookmyshow.com; the broadcast channels include Colors, CNNIBN, CNBC TV18, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz.


 


 


30-May


 


31-May


India-s Quarterly GDP Growth (FY13 and FY14)


India-s Quarterly GDP Growth (at 2004-05 prices)


Item


2012-13


2013-14

 

Q1


Q2


Q3


Q4


Q1


Q2


Q3


Q4


Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing


1.8


1.8


0.8


1.6


4


5


3.7


6.3


Mining & Quarrying


-1.1


-0.1


-2


-4.8


-3.9


0


-1.2


-0.4


Manufacturing


-1.1


0


2.5


3


-1.2


1.3


-1.5


-1.4


Electricity, Gas & Water Supply


4.2


1.3


2.6


0.9


3.8


7.8


5


7.2

        

 


Construction


2.8


-1.9


1


2.4


1.1


4.4


0.6


0.7


Trade, Hotels, Transport & Commn.


4


5.6


5.9


4.8


1.6


3.6


2.9


3.9


Financing, Ins., Real Est. & Bus. Servs.


11.7


10.6


10.2


11.2


12.9


12.1


14.1


12.4


Community, Social & Personal Servs.


7.6


7.4


4


2.8


10.6


3.6


5.7


3.3


GDP At Factor Cost


4.5


4.6


4.4


4.4


4.7


5.2


4.6


4.6


Overall yearly GDP Growth


4.5


4.7



Source: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (31st May 2014)


Current Affairs Global - 31 May 2014


1. World No Tobacco Day is observed today (31st May) across the world to raise awareness of the adverse effects and negative health effects of tobacco use, which currently lead to 5.4 million deaths worldwide every year.


The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987. For World No Tobacco Day 2014, WHO and partners call on countries to raise taxes on tobacco. Under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), countries should implement tax and price policies on tobacco products as a way to reduce tobacco consumption.


2. Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil El-Sisi is the President-elect of Egypt and will be the new President of Egypt. He was an Egyptian military commander who was Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, as well as Minister of Defence, from 12th August 2012 till 26th March 2014. Al-Sisi has received 96.88% of the vote and defeated Nasserist Hamdeen Sabahy.


3. Peter Mutharika, the brother of Malawi's former leader and leader of opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has emerged winner of Malawi's presidential election yesterday after getting 36.4% of the total votes. He defeated Lazarus Chakwera who got 27.8% of the votes and outgoing president Joyce Banda who won 20.2% of the votes. After winning election, Peter Mutharika has been sworn in as Malawi's president today.


4. Japanese Hiroshi Naka has been appointed as the Vice President and Auditor General of World Bank. The appointment was announced by the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. He will be responsible for providing leadership on evaluating and improving the effectiveness of the bank's risk management, control and governance processes.


Hiroshi Naka has worked for more than 25 years with the Japanese Ministry of Finance and multilateral organizations. He is specialized in issues such as economic sanctions, anti-money laundering and supervision of financial institutions.


5. Brazil's economy grew by just 0.2% in the first quarter of 2014, as per the data published by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. It has also revised down economic growth in the last quarter of 2013 to 0.4%.


President Dilma Rousseff announced that growth will pick up this quarter due to Football world cup scheduled to start from June. But Brazilian economy is struggling with high inflation and low business investment. Brazil recently witnessed protests by its citizens due to high expense for the world cup preparation amid lower growth.


Current Affairs India - 31 May 2014


1. Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath has been appointed as the Protem Speaker in the new Lok Sabha. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Kamal Nath to perform the duties of Protem Speaker from the commencement of the 16th Lok Sabha session till the election of the new Speaker. The new government had recently recommended to the President to appoint Kamal Nath, who is the senior most member of the Lok Sabha, as Protem Speaker.


2. Senior police officer and former Intelligence Bureau Chief Ajit Doval, considered one of the finest operational brains, was appointed as the National Security Adviser. This is the second key appointment made after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed charge earlier this week after appointing Nripendra Misra as Modi's Principal Secretary. He had met Modi at Gujarat Bhavan and gave him a brief on security challenges facing the country.


A 1968-batch IPS officer, Doval, is known as one of the best operational brains within intelligence circles. He was also India's main negotiator with the hijackers of Indian Airlines plane IC-814 taken to Kandahar in 1999.


3. The logo of Telangana, India's 29th State, was formally announced and will be launched on 2nd June. It is designed by the 50-year-old, native artist Laxman Aelay, who captures the essence of India, Telangana culture and Hyderabadi tehzeeb with local ethos in pleasing colours.


At the top of the logo is the Lion Capitol of Ashoka with the four lions back to back representing the national spirit. It is perched atop the richly decorated Gateway from the 11-12th Century Kakatiya dynasty that ruled the Telangana region. K Chandrasekhara Rao, the first Chief Minister designate of Telangana, has also approved the logo.



4. Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar was selected as the goodwill ambassador of 35th National Games that is scheduled to be held in Kerala in January-February 2015. The games will be held in seven cities of the state. Sachin was selected as the ambassador during his meeting with Oommen Chandy, the Chief Minister of Kerala.


5. India's Fiscal deficit dropped to 4.5% of GDP in the last financial year 2013-14 due to steep fall in plan expenditure. This was much lower compared with 4.9% initially estimated in the 2013-14 budget and slightly lower compared with the revised 4.6% of GDP announced with the interim budget for 2014-15 in February.


6. Famous Hindi writer Vishwanath Tripathi received the prestigious Vyas Samman for the year 2013. The literary prize carries a citation and a cash amount of 2.5 lakh rupees and memento. He received the award for his work Vyomkesh Darvesh at 23rd edition of the annual ceremony.


The award was instituted in 1991 by the K K Birla Foundation. The award is presented for an outstanding literary work in Hindi published during the last 10 years.


Indian GDP grew at 4.6% in last quarter of FY14, Overall GDP growth at 4.7% in FY14


India-s economy grew by 4.6% in the last quarter (January-March) of the financial year 2013-14 due to high inflation, lower industrial growth and global slowdown, as per the data published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Economic growth stood at 4.7% for the entire financial year 2013-14 which is slightly better than 4.5% growth witnessed in the previous financial year but this is the second successive year of sub 5% growth which is the worst performance of Indian economy in last 25 years. This was mainly because of global slowdown and policy paralysis of the Central Government under UPA-II rule.


Farm sector posted 4.7% growth in FY 2013-14 compared to 1.4% in FY 2012-13 which helped to push the overall GDP growth higher for the previous financial year. Electricity sector saw 5.9% growth in FY14 compared to 2.3% in FY13 while manufacturing sector was contracted by 0.7% in FY14 compared to 1.1% growth in FY12. Agricultural and electricity sector growth improved in last quarter while services sector growth slowed down marginally.


Indian economy now needs aggressive fiscal reforms and new investments in key sectors (especially Coal, Power, Manufacturing etc.) to get back its older growth rate of more than 8%. Economists and Indian Corporate leaders have high expectations from the new stable government under Modi that it will start all the stalled projects and bring back new economic and fiscal reforms to boost economic growth. Economists also believe that this is the worst for Indian economy and it will now see economic recovery.


Use the link below to check sector wise GDP growth in last quarter.


http://currentaffairs-businessnews.com/indias-quarterly-gdp-growth-fy13-and-fy14/