September 2013 Current Affairs List



1-Sep


Forex Reserves decreased by USD 1.085 billion to 277.722 billion


India-s Forex reserves were decreased by USD 1.085 billion to 277.722 billion for the week ended 23rd August as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. Total forex reserves dropped by USD 14.324 billion compared to end-march data as RBI struggles to stop continuous rupee depreciation.


This decrease was mainly due to decrease in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was decreased by USD 1.078 billion to 250.482 billion for the same week. The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were also decreased by USD 4.5 million and USD 2.2 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 20.747 billion for the same reporting week.


 


2-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 2 September 2013


1. China's factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than a year in August due to increased new orders. The purchasing managers' index (PMI), published by the National Bureau of Statistics, jumped to 51.0 in August compared to 50.3 in July. Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth in the sector. This data raises hope that growth is coming back for the world-s second largest economy.


Current Affairs India - 2 September 2013


1. India Air Force-s has formally inducted its biggest 70-tonne C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft into service at the Hindon Air Base today. Defence Minister A K Antony was present for the ceremony. It will increase India Air Force-s capability to swiftly move troops and tanks to battle fronts. The C-17 Globemaster III aircraft has been procured from the US under a deal expected to be over Rs 20,000 crore.  The C-17, with a capability to carry around 70 tonnes of load and around 150 fully geared troops, will replace the Russian IL-76 as the biggest aircraft in the IAF inventory till now.


2. Senior IAS officer G Mohan Kumar has been appointed as Secretary in Ministry of Steel. G Mohan Kumar, a 1979 batch IAS officer of Odisha cadre, is presently Special Secretary in Ministry of Water resources. He will succeed D R S Chaudhary who superannuated recently.


3. India and South Korea have decided to further expand and deepen the Strategic Partnership and agreed to step up cooperation in the spheres of maritime and cyber security. The decision came during the 3rd India - Republic of Korea Foreign Policy and Security Dialogue held in Seoul today.


4. Indian factory activity contracts in August due to prolonged slowdown, for the first time in more than 4 years. The HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for Manufacturing sector, compiled by Markit, dropped to 48.5 in August compared to 50.1 in July, the lowest reading since March 2009. Any reading lower than 50 indicates contraction in the sector.


5. Saina Nehwal-led Hyderabad Hotshots won the inaugural Indian Badminton League after defeating Awadhe Warriors by 3-1 in the finals at the NSCI Stadium on Saturday. Saina Nehwal helped Hyderabad hotshots on level terms after defeating PV Sindhu in straight games (21-15, 21-7) in 35 minutes after K Srikanth gave the Warriors an unexpected 1-0 lead by stunningtop-20 rival S Tanongsak in straight games, 21-12, 21-20.  Saina Nehwal was awarded as the player of the tournament, because of her undefeated feat in the complete tournament.


6. South Korea beat India 4-3 in the Asia Cup Hockey final at Ipoh, Malaysia yesterday to win the cup. From Asian continent, India, South Korea and Malaysia have qualified for the Hockey World Cup to be held at The Hague, Netherlands. Pakistan failed to qualify for the first time since the tournament's introduction in 1971 after they were defeated by South Korea in the semi-final even if they defeated Malaysia by 3-1 to win bronze in Asia Cup.


7. India's Bhuvana Kalva won her maiden 10000 US dollars ITF women singles title after defeating sixth-seeded Akari Inoue of Japan by 6-4, 7-5 in the final match at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association complex.


8. India has managed to retain their third spot among T20 teams as per the latest ICC T20 raking published yesterday. India-s Virat Kohli has held on to his sixth spot in the ICC rankings for Twenty20 batsmen, best by any Indian batsman. The ICC T20 Championship table is headed by Sri Lanka and followed by Pakistan.


India-s Core sector growth stood at 3.1% in July


The growth of eight core sector industries slowed down to 3.1% in July compared to 4.5% in the same month last year mainly due to contraction in crude oil and natural gas production. This growth rate came better than previous month when core sector grew by just 0.1%. Crude oil and natural gas production were contracted by 2.3% and 16.1% respectively in July which pulled down the overall core sector growth number.


Petroleum refinery production expanded by 5.1% in July compared to 26% growth in the same month last year. Steel, fertilizer and cement production grew by 7%, 0.4% and 0.8% respectively in July this year. The eight core sector industries have a weight of about 38% in the overall industrial production (IIP). This improvement in growth numbers compared to previous month will definitely improve the IIP number for July as well.


 


 


3-Sep


Verizon to acquire Vodafone's 45% stake in its US business for USD 130 billion; one of the largest deals in corporate history


US mobile giant Verizon Communications Inc agreed to acquire Vodafone Group Plc's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless in a USD 130 billion transaction deal. Post this deal, Verizon will get full control of the most profitable US mobile phone carrier. The deal, approved by both companies' boards, is one of the largest deals ever in the corporate history.


As a part of the deal, Verizon will pay Vodafone USD 58.9 billion in cash and will issue USD 60.2 billion in stock to Vodafone shareholders. This will be a win-win situation for both the companies. The acquisition ends a 14-year partnership and will let Verizon collect all the future profits from the business. Vodafone will also invest money in its business for high speed mobile phone networks and by 2017 it wants to launch 4G coverage in its main five European markets.


Microsoft to acquire Finish phone maker Nokia's mobile phone unit


Global tech giant Microsoft has agreed to acquire Finish mobile maker Nokia's mobile phone business for 5.4 billion euros or USD7.2 billion. Microsoft will pay 3.79 billion euros to purchase substantially all of Nokia-s Devices & Services business, and 1.65 billion euros to license Nokia-s patents.


As a part of this deal, Nokia will also license its patents and mapping services to Microsoft and Microsoft has also agreed a 10-year licensing arrangement with Nokia to use the Nokia brand on current mobile phone products. The purchase is set to be completed in early 2014, when about 32,000 Nokia employees will transfer to Microsoft.


Currently Nokia is the second largest mobile phone maker with market share of just 14% compared to 1st placed Samsung with nearly 25% market share. This deal is seen as very significant in the mobile market where Nokia continues to lose mobile market share and Microsoft yet to gain market share for its mobile operating system. Earlier Microsoft partnered with Nokia to launch its Lumia smart phones using Windows mobile operating system.


Current Affairs Global - 3 September 2013


1. Ronald Coase, the British-born US economist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1991, passed away yesterday in Chicago. He was 102. He was famed for his 1960 article, -The Problem of Social Cost,- was the basis for the famous Coase Theorem. He was also known for the Coase conjecture, which held that monopolists selling durable goods — products like cars and refrigerators that are not replaced often — compete with themselves over time and so must sell at a lower price.


Current Affairs India - 3 September 2013


1. Indian Parliament  gave its nod to the landmark Food Security Bill yesterday which seeks to provide highly subsidised foodgrains to the country's two-third population as a right. It was passed is Rajya Sabha and now needs only Presidential assent to become a historic law. The bill will guarantee 5 kg of rice, wheat and coarse cereals per month per person at Rs 3, 2, 1, respectively.


2. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is leaving tomorrow for St. Petersburg, Russia to attend the 8th G-20 Summit. The two-day summit will be held on Thursday and Friday in which ministers of finance and ministers of labour from G20 member states will meet along with G20 country leaders. The focal point of the summit could be on how to minimize the external impact when major developed countries gradually phase out fiscal stimulus causing volatile capital flows in emerging markets and putting pressures on their currencies.


3. Poet Haraprasad Das was conferred the Moortidevi Award for 2012 for 'Vamsha, a poetic recreation of the Mahabharata in contemporary idiom, which has been hailed as a post-modern masterpiece. Haraprasad Das, who has eleven works of poetry, four of prose, three translations and one piece of fiction to his credit, was given the award at Shastri Bhavan by the Moortidevi Award Selection Board, chaired by oil minister Veerappa Moily.


 


4-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 4 September 2013


1. Switzerland retained the no 1 rank for its competitiveness for fifth year in a row while Singapore and Finland remain in second and third positions respectively, as per the annual Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014. Germany moves up two places at 4th position and United States has reversed its four-year downward trend to occupy 5th position.  Two other Asian economies, Hong Kong SAR (7th) and Japan (9th), also feature in the top ten of the rankings of 148 economies in the same list.


2. Global tech giant Google said the next version of Android will be called -KitKat- in keeping with its penchant for giving tasty names to its mobile operating system software. The list of Android software names over the years includes Cupcake, Donut, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean.


3. The euro zone economy came out from its most prolonged recession during the second quarter of 2013 after it registered 0.3% GDP growth for the same quarter compared to previous quarter. The euro zone came back to growth path after six consecutive quarters of contraction due to strong export, higher spending and higher corporate investment.


Current Affairs India - 4 September 2013


1. Raghuram Rajan, a former chief economist with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who was economic advisor to the finance ministry, has joined as the new RBI Governor today. He succeeds Duvvuri Subbarao as the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He was also acclaimed for predicting the 2008 global financial crisis. In 2005, he had delivered a lecture critical of the financial sector, arguing that a financial disaster might be looming.


2. The Lok Sabha has passed the Pension Fund Regulatory and Develpment Authority Bill, 2011 today. During voting, 174 members voted in favour and 33 against the bill. Earlier replying to the debate, Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram said that the new Pension Scheme is mandatory for all Central Government employees who joined service on or after 1st January, 2004.


3. Shiromani Akali Dal (B) president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal was unanimously re-elected as party president consecutively for the second time yesterday. The chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was also once again unanimously chosen as patron of the party.


4. India has slipped to 60th position in terms of its competitiveness globally, while Switzerland has retained its top rank, as per the annual Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014. This is India's lowest ever rank in the competitive index which is 31 ranks lower than rank obtained by its neighbor China.


5. Indian services sector activityshrank in August at its quickest pace in last four years as new business dried up. The HSBC Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, dropped to 47.6 in August, the weakest since April 2009, compared to 47.9 in July.  Any reading lower than 50 indicates contraction in the sector. Services sector has more than 65% weight in India-s overall economic activity; any slowdown in services sector will severely affect GDP number for the current quarter.


6. Private sector insurer Bajaj Allianz has appointed Anuj Agarwal as the Managing Director and officiating Chief Executive Officer today. He succeeds V Philip, who is moving to an Allianz Group company. The appointment has been approved by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.


 


5-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 5 September 2013


1. The two-day summit of the Group of Twenty (G-20) has begun at St. Peters burg in Russia on Thursday (September 5). The summit will focus on issues pertaining to the economic growth throughout the developed world.


2. Indian Author Sushmita Banerjee, who became famous after her best seller book -Kabuliwalar Bangali Bou- (A Kabuliwala-s Bengali Wife) about her escape from the Taliban in 1995, was shot dead in Afganistan. She was killed outside her home in Paktika province. She was married to Afghan businessman Jaanbaz Khan and recently moved back to Afghanistan to live with him.


3. The European Central Bank (ECB) has improved its outlook for the euro zone economy this year. ECB now projects Euro zone economy to contract by 0.4% compared to earlier projection of 0.6% contraction. The ECB has also held interest rates at 0.5% despite tentative signs that the euro zone is recovering.


4. The Bank of England has kept interest rate unchanged at 0.5% during its monetary policy review today. It has kept interest rate at record low level since March 2009. It has also said that there will not be any change to the £ 375 billion of monetary stimulus it is providing through its quantitative easing (QE) programme.


5. Yahoo has adopted a new logo for the first time since its founding 18 years ago. The redesigned look was unveiled late on Wednesday is part of a makeover that Yahoo Inc. has been undergoing since the it hired Google executive Marissa Mayer as its new CEO to turn around the former internet giant.



Current Affairs India - 5 September 2013


1. Today (5th September) is observed as the Teacher-s Day across India.  The day is celebrated on birthday of India-s first vice president and second President, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. On this day, the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee also presented the National Awards to meritorious teachers from all over India.


2. The Rajya Sabha has passed the constitutional amendment bill today that seeks to create a judicial appointments commission for making recommendations on appointments in the higher judiciary. The bill was passed after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies staged a walkout.


3. Mrs. Deepak Sandhu took over as the Chief Information Commissioner today and replaced Satyanand Mishra. She is the first woman Chief Information Commissioner of the country. She was administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapti Bhavan.


4. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appointed Rakesh Sood, India-s former Ambassador to Nepal, Afghanistan and France and the country-s first Ambassador in charge of Disarmament in Geneva, as his new Special Envoy for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.


5. The Union Health Ministry has announced former Indian cricket team captain Rahul Dravid as brand ambassador for its National Tobacco Control Campaign. India has been committed towards strengthening its national tobacco control efforts as well as contributes towards tobacco control and this is one step towards that.


6. Noted Indian homeopath Mukesh Batra has been honoured with Asia's "most promising leader" award at a recent function in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for pioneering work in healthcare, using natural medicine.


7. ICICI Bank, India-s largest private sector bank, launched its -Branch on Wheels- to offer basic banking services in remote areas which have so far been devoid of banking facilities. The mobile branch, which also has an ATM, will offer basic banking products and services such as savings accounts, loans, cash deposit/withdrawal, account balance enquiries, statement printing and funds transfer/DD/PO collection etc. The mobile branch will be operated at a specific time in pre-identified, unbanked villages through a van that will be stationed at specified locations.


8. Global ratings agency Moody-s Investors Service has downgraded the subordinated debt (subdebt) and junior subordinated debt ratings of 11 Indian banks. The 11 banks are State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Syndicate Bank, Union Bank of India and top three private banks ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank.


9. In a big setback for Indian athletes, the International Olympic Committee ( IOC) has decided to keep India Olympic Association (IOA) suspended from the international Olympic events. Indian athletes will not be able to compete under the tricolour in any Olympic-sponsored event until this ban is revoked. The IOC has made it very clear that they will revoke the ban only if IOA ensures that none who faces charges in a criminal or corruption can contest its elections. IOA-s secretary-general Lalit Bhanot faces corruption charges in a 2010 Commonwealth Games-related case and that-s the main reason IOC has banned IOA in December 2012.


6-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 6 September 2013


1. Famous Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie will receive an Honorary Oscar in recognition of her humanitarian work, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced yesterday. She was appointed as a special envoy to the United Nations- High Commissioner for Refugees in 2012 and has also travelled widely to promote other causes such as preventing violence against women. Honorary Oscars will also be presented to actress Angela Lansbury, comedian Steve Martin and Italian production designer Piero Tosi, in honour of their lifetime achievements at a ceremony on 16th November.


2. The US economy added 169,000 new jobs in August which is slightly lower than expected by analysts. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.3% in August from 7.4% in July, the lowest level since December 2008. Lower unemployment rate is a good sign for the world-s largest economy and is expected to boost consumer confidence and consumer


3. Leaders of the BRICS group of nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - have announced that they will set up a USD 100 billion fund to guard against financial shocks. This program will help the emerging economies when Federal Reserve of USA will withdraw its massive stimulus programs to boost economy.


Current Affairs India - 6 September 2013


1. India and Japan have decided to expand their currency swap arrangement from USD 15 billion to USD 50 billion to strengthen bilateral financial cooperation and stabilize the global financial markets. The decision to expand bilateral currency swap was taken during a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan and Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso on the sidelines of the G-20 summit. This will help India fight with the current domestic currency crisis.


2. India-s Gross direct taxes, which include personal income tax, corporate tax, securities transaction tax and wealth tax, collection grew by over 14% to Rs 1.88 lakh crore in the first five months (April-August) of this fiscal year 2013-14 compared to Rs 1.64 lakh crore in the same period last fiscal year. Corporate tax collection grew by 12% to Rs 1.08 lakh crore due to slowdown in economic activity and personal income tax collection jumped by 19% to Rs 78,187 lakh crore during the same period.


3. Indian Police Service (IPS) Sanjeev Dayal  has been appointed as head of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force. Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that his ministry had approved the appointment.


7-Sep


 


8-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 8 September 2013


1. International Literacy Day was observed today (8th September) across the world. International Literacy Day was designated by UNESCO in 1965 and this day was first celebrated on 8th September 1966. International Literacy day is observed every year on today-s date to raise people's awareness and concern for literacy issues in the world.


2. Tokyo won the right to host the Olympic Games in 2020 yesterday. This the second time Japan won the right to host the Olympic Games; overcoming fears about radiation from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Buenos Aires chose the Tokyo over Istanbul and Madrid.


3. Australia-s conservative leader Tony Abbott will form the government after securing 82 seats and absolute majority in the National elections held yesterday and he will be sworn in as the 28th prime minister of Australia. He defeated Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The Abbott-led Coalition is a formal alliance of broadly centre-right parties. Abbott is currently the Leader of the Opposition and the leader of the Liberal Party.


4. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won Italy Grand Prix held today. This is Vettel's sixth win of the year which helped him to extend his lead to 53 points. Ferrari-s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull-s Mark Webber stood second and third respectively in the same race.


Current Affairs India - 8 September 2013


1. Indian Parliament has passed the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill-2013 with the Rajya Sabha approving it by a voice vote. The Lok Sabha had passed it earlier. The Bill prohibits employment of manual scavengers, manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks without protective equipment and construction of insanitary latrines.


2. Parliament has passed the Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University Bill 2013 with the Rajya Sabha approving it by a voice vote today. The Lok Sabha had passed it yesterday.The bill is aimed at setting up the first-ever national aviation university in the country.


3. RBI has issued a notification saying that swap facility will be available to scheduled commercial banks for fresh foreign currency non-resident bank - FCNR(B) deposits mobilized for a minimum tenor of three years. Although the swap window will be operated on a daily basis on all working days in Mumbai, a particular bank can avail of the swap facility only once in a week.


4. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has cleared gold-loan company Muthoot Finance-s proposal to set up white-label ATMs in the country. Muthoot, which had received the RBI nod for the plan in June, is expected to set up its first batch of ATMs next month in one of the southern States.


5. Reliance Communications Ltd has appointed Deepak Khanna as CEO, India Enterprise. Khanna, an MBA from the Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Pune, has a varied experience of 25 years including 15 years of experience in Telecom Sector.


6. Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice-Chairman Vikram Kirloskar has been elected as the new President of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). At the same time, Ashok Leyland Managing Director Vinod Dasari has been elected as the new Vice-President.


 


Forex Reserves decreased by USD 2.23 billion to 275.491 billion


India-s Forex reserves were decreased by USD 2.23 billion to 275.491 billion for the week ended 23rd August as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. Total forex reserves dropped by USD 16.554 billion compared to end-march data as RBI continues to sell US Dollars to stop continuous rupee depreciation.


This decrease was mainly due to decrease in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was decreased by USD 3.08 billion to 247.4 billion for the same week. The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were also decreased by USD 14.9 million and USD 112.5 million respectively for the same week. However Gold values were increased by USD 977 million to USD 21.724 billion for the same reporting week.


 


9-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 9 September 2013


1. Indian American Kavita Shukla won INDEX design award for her innovative design, FreshPaper that helps keep food fresh for a longer period, last week. The 500,000 Euro award, recognising the best of innovations addressing problems facing the world, is given biennially in Copenhagen. Shukla is among the five winners in categories like Body, Home, Work, Play and Community; Her design won in the Home category and impressed the jury with its simplicity and cost-effectiveness.


2. World number one Serena Williams won her fifth US Open title, and second in a row, by defeating second-ranked Victoria Azarenka by 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1 yesterday. This was also her 17th career Grand Slam crown and this win puts her on a par with Roger Federer among contemporary players of both genders and brings her within one title of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, the fourth most successful women of all-time.


3. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that wrestling to be the part of Olympics in the 2020 and 2024 Games as an additional sport. With this the sport is back in the Olympics after seven months, earlier it was dropped by the IOC executive board in February this year.


4. As per the latest ICC ODI ranking, South Africa-s Hashim Amla retained the top position followed by AB Devilliers among the batsmen. India-s Virat Kohli is at number four while skipper Dhoni is at number seven. Among the bowlers, Ravindra Jadeja tops the list of ODI bowlers along with Sunil Narine and is followed by Pakistan-s Saedd Ajmal. In the All-rounders category, Ravindra Jadeja is placed third after Pakistan-s Mohammed Hafeez and Bangladesh-s Sakib ul Hassan.


Current Affairs India - 9 September 2013


1. Nitish Kumar (Indian Statistical Service - 2001) has been appointed as Director, Central Vigilance Commission. He is currently serving as Joint Director with Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. He will replace P K Chakraborty CSS who superannuated recently.


2. Leander Paes made history yesterday by becoming the oldest man, at 40, to win a Grand Slam event in the open era. He, partnering Radek Stepanek, won the US men's doubles title after defeating Number 2 seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares easily in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 in New York. The last over-40 player to win a major title was the legendary Martina Navratilova, who was 46 when she won the Australian and Wimbledon mixed doubles with Paes in 2003. This was his third US Open title; his previous two were with Martin Damm in 2006 and Lukas Dlouhy in 2009.


3. India retains top position in the latest ICC ODI rankings published by ICC yesterday in Dubai. Ravindra Jadeja maintained his career best number one ranking among bowlers and number three among All-rounders. Indian team leads the ICC ODI rankings with 123 rating points followed by Australia with 115 and England with 111 points.


 


10-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 10 September 2013


1. The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced the recipients of the USD 250,000 prestigious Lasker Awards for medical research and contributions to public health yesterday.  Two scientists who illuminated how brain cells communicate, three researchers who developed implants that let deaf people hear and philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates have won the award.


Professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia, Graeme Clark, Ingeborg Hochmair of the company MED-EL in Innsbruck, Austria and Blake Wilson of Duke University will be awarded for developing the modern cochlear implant. The Lasker award for basic medical research will be shared by Richard Scheller of the biotech company Genentech and Dr. Thomas Sudhof of Stanford University. They unravelled details of how brain cells release chemical messengers to communicate with each other. The awards will be presented on September 20 in New York City.


2. Italian director Gianfranco Rosi's documentary "Holy GRA", which looks into everyday life off a Rome ring road, won the Golden Lion for best movie at the Venice film festival last week. Greece's Themis Panou won the best actor prize for his role as father to a family which harbours a deep secret in Alexandros Avranas's "Miss Violence". Elena Cotta won the best actress award for her role in -Via Castellana Bandiera-.


3. Rafael Nadal won his second US Open title and 13th Grand Slam title when he defeated world number one Novak Djokovic by 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in US Open Men-s singles final on Monday. With this win he is now just 1 behind of Pete Sampras and moves closer to Roger Federer's 17 Grand Slam win.


Current Affairs India - 10 September 2013


1. A Delhi court has convicted four persons in December 16 gangrape and murder case of 23-year-old paramedical student. The incident sent shock wave across the country and the entire country was united to give justice to the brave girl who died in Singapore 13 days later. Court held them guilty of 13 offences including gangrape, unnatural offence, murder, dacoity, conspiracy, kidnapping and destruction of evidence and it will announce quantum of sentence tomorrow.


2. Nagaland on Wednesday became the first state to use the high-tech voter recording system 'Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail' (VVPAT) with Electronic Voting Machines for the by-elections to Noksen Assembly constituency.


3. Chhattisgarh has bagged the National Literacy Award. This is for the first time that state has received awards in all the three categories- state, district and panchayat. State school education minister Brijmohan Agrawal received the award from President Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of International Literacy Day at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, on Sunday.


4. India's northeastern state of Tripura achieved the first position in literacy with 94.65% literacy rate, higher than Kerala-s (93.9%). Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar announced the same last Sunday.


5. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has lauded India's efforts in eradicating polio and other health care initiatives today. The WHO Director General, Margaret Chan said India has not reported a single case of polio in the last 30 months and that India was moving in a big way to promote better health to their women and children. Margaret Chan said India achieved the feat of eradicating polio even as 194 countries in the world were speculating whether it can interrupt the transmission of polio.


6. Japanese conglomerate Toshiba Corporation agreed to acquire major part of Hyderabad based Vijai Electricals Ltd.-s transmission and distribution (T&D) business for approximately USD 200 million. Post the deal, the $ 61-billion Toshiba will establish a new company that will absorb the acquired business, and also integrate Toshiba's design and manufacturing technologies for T&D systems.


7. India-s Domestic passenger car sales grew by 15.37% to 1,33,486 units in August this year compared to 1,15,705 units in the same month last year, as per the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Motorcycle sales grew by 3.82% to 7,95,378 units in last month compared to 7,66,127 units in the same month last year.  However total sales of commercial vehicles declined by 23.11% to 51,334 units in the same month.


India-s FDI jumped by 6% to USD 10.87 billion in first six months of 2013


India-s foreign direct investment (FDI) jumped by 6% to USD 10.87 billion during the first six months (January-June) of the current year 2013 compared to same duration last year, as per the data published by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). India had received USD 10.27 billion of FDI in January-June, 2012.


Sectors that received large FDI inflows include hotels and tourism, pharmaceuticals, services, chemicals and construction. Most of the inflows came from Singapore, Mauritius, the Netherlands and the US. Recent liberalization policies by Indian Government to open more sectors for FDI are giving some positive results. India now needs more FDI to reduce current account deficit and to support Indian Rupee which depreciated steeply in recent times to touch all time record low of Rs 68.85 per USD.


India-s Exports jump 12.97% to USD 26.14 billion in August; trade deficit drops to USD 10.9 billion


India-s exports jumped by 12.97% in August 2013 to USD 26.14 billion compared to same month last year. With this India-s export registered double digit growth for the second consecutive month. At the same time, Imports dropped by 0.68% to USD 37.05 billion in August to lower Gold imports, which lowered trade deficit to USD 10.9 billion. Gold imports dropped to just USD 0.65 billion in August compared to USD 2.20 billion in the previous month on July.


Total exports during April-August period of current financial year increased by 3.89% to USD 124.46 billion compared to USD 119.771 billion during same duration last year while total Imports grew by 1.72% to USD 197.79 billion. Trade deficit for April-August duration marginally declined to USD 73.36 billion compared to USD 74.67 billion during same period last year.


Indian Government and RBI have taken some measures to reduce Gold import in order to reduce trade deficit, which are the main reasons behind steep drop in gold imports. Also lower trade deficit is good for India which has been struggling with record high current account deficit. The CAD touched an all-time high of 4.8% of GDP, or USD 88.2 billion, in previous financial year 2012-13.


 


 


11-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 11 September 2013


1. Global tech giant Apple Inc introduced two new cheaper iPhones yesterday US time to increase market share in emerging markets like China and India. The new versions are named as iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5C will be available in five colors - green, blue, yellow, pink and white and it has a 4-inch Retina display and is powered by Apple's A6 chip. It also has an 8 megapixel camera, live photo filters and a rear cover that lights up. iPone 5C will be priced as low as USD 99 with a contract for its 16 GB model. The second model, the iPhone 5S, will come in silver, gold and "space gray" and will run on a new chip, the A7, which is up to twice as fast as the A6.


2. Former German lawyer and fencing Olympic gold medalist, Mr Thomas Bach has been elected as the new President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He replaced 71-year-old Jacques Rogge, who is standing down after 12 years in charge. He begins an eight-year term as president. He will be the ninth president in the 125-year history of the IOC.


3. The -Lowland-, the book of Jhumpa Lahiri was shortlisted among the six books for the Man Booker Prize 2013. Her first novel -The Interpreter of Maladies- won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The other books shortlisted are -We Need New Names- by NoViolet Bulawayo, -The Luminaries- by Eleanor Catton, -The Harvest- by Jim Crace, -A Tale for the Time Being-  by Ruth Ozeki and -The Testament of Mary- by Colm Tóibín.


Current Affairs India - 11 September 2013


1. India-s Vice President Dr.M.Haamid Ansari has suggested implementation of Venkatachelliah Commission's recommendations to ensure that elected representatives of Parliament and legislatures get at least 50% of the votes cast. If we consider both average voter turnout and percentage of votes received by a candidate then the overall percentage of votes received is less than 50% most of the time.


2. Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan was the guest of honour at a reception hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron-s wife, Samantha Cameron at their official residence for a charity initiative for diabetes. The reception, held behind the famous black door of 10, Downing Street which has been home to the British Prime Ministers for over 275 years, was to mark the sixth anniversary of the Leicester-based charity -Silver Star- which was launched in 2007. This is not the first time Bachchan has supported the charity. Last year, on the occasion of his 70th Birthday, Silver Star gave Amitabh a unique birthday present of a Mobile Diabetes Unit for the city of Mumbai.


3. Auto components manufacturers- apex body Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) has elected Harish Lakshman, Managing Director, Rane TRW Steering Systems, as its new President for the term 2013-14. Ramesh Suri, Chairman, Global Autotech, has been elected Vice-President for the term 2013-14. Working with the vehicle manufacturers, the Government and its various ministries and helping the component manufacturers improve their cost structures are its immediate focus areas.


4. Aditya Birla Group firm UltraTech Cement has announced that it would acquire Gujarat cement unit of 4.8 million tonnes per annum capacity from Jaypee Cement Corp for Rs 3,800 crore. Post this acquisition, UltraTech-s current capacity will increase to 59 million tonnes per annum.


5. Indian stock market  regained the trillion-dollar level after remaining out of this elite league for about a month today as Indian Rupee was up by 46 paise and ended at 63.38 against the US dollar during today-s trade. At the end of today-s trade, the total valuation of all listed companies in the country rose to USD 1.017 trillion (Rs 6,451,910.07 crore) on the back of continuous recover in the rupee as well as stock market.


6. India are among the five nations, who have placed their bids before the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to host the 2018 Hockey World Cup. The National Associations of Australia, England, Malaysia, and New Zealand have submitted bid to host the 2018 Hockey World Cup along with India.


7. Yuvraj Singh, who has not been a part of the Indian team since the ODIs against England earlier this year, was named the skipper of the India 'A' side for the unofficial three one-dayers and a Twenty20 game against the visiting West Indies 'A' to be played in September. Unmukt Chand, Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Jaydev Unadkat and Praveen Kumar will be part of India -A- side.


8. Veteran midfielder Ritu Rani will lead an 18-member Indian women's hockey team in the eighth Asia Cup to be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from September 21 to 27. Hockey India Selectors have selected the 18 players and 6 standbys during the trials conducted in Patiala on August 30 and 31. The 18-member squad will have another mid-fielder Chanchan Devi Thokchom (88 caps) as the vice-captain.


 


12-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 12 September 2013


1. IT outsourcing company iGate Corp has appointed former Infosys board member Ashok Vemuri as its chief executive officer (CEO), four months after sacking its CEO Phaneesh Murthy over an undisclosed relationship with a subordinate. He will also join iGate board. Ashok Vemuri was head of America business and global manufacturing business unit of India-s second largest company, Infosys Limited.


2. Afghanistan defeated Indian football team by by 2-0 at Dashrath Rangashala stadium in Kathmandu yesterday to win the South Asian Football Federations (SAFF) Championship 2013. This is Afghanistan-s first international trophy in Football. India won the championship six times earlier in years 1993, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2009, 2011 and this is the first time India was defeated by Afghanistan.


Current Affairs India - 12 September 2013


1. The delegates of 11 countries comprising of WHO-SEAR (World Health Organization's South-East Asia Region) region elected Indian nominee Poonam Khetarpal Singh, a former IAS officer as regional director at the 31st meeting of health ministers and 66th session of WHO regional committee for South-East Asia. With this, India on Thursday regained the position of regional director of World Health Organization's South-East Asia Region (SEAR) after a gap of 44 years. India had last occupied the post from 1948 to 1968 but has not held it since then. She will take over from Samlee Plianbangchang of Thailand, who has served as regional director for 10 years now.


2. India's first individual Olympic silver medallist shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore entered politics to change the perception about the "hated profession" by doing his bit for the nation. He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday.


3. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been honoured with the Global Diversity Award 2013 at the State Room of Britain's House of Commons in London. Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP presented the ornately sculpted glass Award to the 71-year-old actor describing him as "a Bollywood icon and the most famous Indian film star of all time."


4. India has recorded the largest increase in its Ultra-High Net worth Individual (HNIW) club among the BRICS nations in the last one year, with a total of 7,850 super rich people in the country, a report says. India has also the highest number of female millionaires in the world as the country boasts of over 1,250 UHNW women with a combined fortune of $95 billion.


5. Karur Vysya Bank has won Best Banker Growth-Mid Sized award in the second edition of The Sunday Standard Best Bankers- Awards 2013. K. Venkataraman, Chief Executive, KVB, received the award on behalf of the bank from Minister for Urban Development Mr Kamal Nath in New Delhi on Friday.


6. Religare Health Insurance today has signed a deal with Union Bank of India to market its product and service bouquet through the distribution network of Union Bank of India. With this, Union Bank becomes the first PSB to enter into a tie up for distribution of health insurance products of a standalone health insurer viz., Religare Health Insurance.


India-s retail inflation drops marginally to 9.52% in August


India-s Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, dropped marginally to 9.52% in August compared to 9.64% in previous month of July due to softening in prices of almost all commodities, except vegetables. The food inflation in August softened to 11.06% compared to 11.24% in the previous month.


In August, Retail inflation in rural areas dropped to 8.93% compared to 9.14% in July and urban areas jumped marginally to 10.32% compared to 10.26% in July. Decline in Retail inflation just before the Reserve Bank's mid-quarter monetary policy review on September 20 will help RBI to cut rates in order to boost economic growth.


India-s IIP grew by 2.6% in July; Increases optimism


India-s Index of Industrial Production (IIP), the most important indicator to judge the performance of industrial sector, grew by 2.6 % in July compared to 2.2% contraction in the previous month of June. The growth came after contraction in last two months. Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had contracted 0.1 per cent in July last year.


During April-July period of the current financial year, factory output contraction remained flat at 0.2%.


The manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75% of the overall index, grew by 3% in July compared to 2.2% contraction in the previous month. Power generation and capital good output increased by 5.2% lationwill be on RBI when it will announce its next monetary policy on 20th this month.


 


13-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 13 September 2013


1. UN Human Rights forum begins in Beijing. The two-day forum will focus on constructing an environment for sustainable human rights development. Its topics will cover rule of law, the internet and protection of human rights and international cooperation in human rights issues.


2. Social networking company, Twitter has confidentially submitted a document to the SEC with plans for an initial public offering of stock. With this IPO, Twitter will go public and this IPO is likely to be Silicon Valley's most anticipated debut since Facebook went public last year. Twitter has been valued at around USD 10 billion.


3. Michael Dell clinched shareholder approval for his USD 25 billion offer to buy and take Dell private, ending months of conflict with the company-s largest investors. Based on preliminary results, the buyout won their go-ahead and the deal is expected to close before the end of Dells fiscal third quarter.


4. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was conferred the Indira Gandhi peace prize, by President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday. Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first democratically elected woman head of state of any African country.


5. Ray Dolby, the American Engineer and the pioneer of noise reduction in audio recordings died on 12 September 2013. He was 80. He was the founder of Dolby Laboratories. He had been living with Alzheimer-s disease for several years and was diagnosed with acute leukaemia this summer. His works in noise reduction and surround sound has been appreciated across the world and have won. He held 50 US patents and won a number of notable awards for his life-s work, including several Emmys, two Oscars and a Grammy.


Current Affairs India - 13 September 2013


1. After a nine-month-long trial, a special court here awarded death sentence to all the four convicts in the December 16 Delhi gang-rape case today after terming the act under rarest of rare category. Gym instructor Vinay Sharma, bus cleaner Akshay Kumar Singh, fruit-seller Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh, who were found guilty in all 13 charges, including murder and rape, were given death sentence. Out of the six men arrested in the case, one Ram Singh committed suicide inside Tihar Jail. Another accused, who was 17 at the time of the crime, was sent to reform home for three years by a juvenile court.


The Indian Penal Code (IPC) was amended to provide death penalty in rape cases that cause death of the victim or leave her in a vegetative state. The Act also introduced several other new offences such as causing grievous hurt through acid attacks, sexual harassment, use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe, voyeurism and stalking.


2. BJP has formally announced Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha polls. The decision was taken at the party Parliamentary Board meeting in New Delhi today evening. Announcing it, party President Rajnath Singh said that the decision has been taken in view of mood of the people and sentiment of the party cadres and the leaders of all NDA allies have supported Modi's candidature. Modi met party senior leader L K Advani at his residence after the anointment.


3. Reserve Bank of India has formed an expert committee for examining its Current Monetary Policy Framework. The committee will be responsible to recommend the measures to revise and strengthen the Monetary Policy Framework, by making it more transparent and predictable. Dr. Urjit Patel, Deputy Governor of RBI, will head the Committee.


4. Prime Minister's key economic advisor C Rangarajan has lowered the growth forecast for the current fiscal to 5.3% from 6.4% projected earlier and listed out host of measures including further liberalisation of FDI norms to improve economic condition. The PMEAC had in April projected 6.4% growth for Indian economy for current financial year. In order to promote growth, Rangarajan suggested that the government should liberalise FDI investment norms, resolve tax concerns of the industry, fast track public sector investment and initiate measures to contain fiscal deficit.


5. Delhi has the highest par capital annual income in the country. The per capita annual income in the national capital has increased to Rs. 2.01 lakh in 2012-13 compared to Rs 1.73 lakh in the previous fiscal, which is three times the national average and highest in the country. The national average has been worked out at around Rs 61,564.


6. The Board of Control for Cricket in India- BCCI has imposed life bans on S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan for being involved in the IPL spot-fixing scam. It also handed out lesser punishments to some others involved in the match fixing scandal which rocked the IPL T20 tournament this year. Amit Singh was handed a five-year ban and Siddharth Trivedi was banned for one year. No action has been taken against Harmeet Singh in the absence of evidence against him. They have been debarred from playing any representative Cricket, or in any way being associated with the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates.


14-Sep


 


15-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 15 September 2013


1. The United Nations has formally accepted Syria-s application to join the chemical weapons convention yesterday. The move adds another piece to the diplomatic plan to end the threat of a US military strike on President Bashar al-Assad over the suspected use of chemical arms in the 30-month-old Syria conflict. Earlier, Syria applied to join the convention, which bans the production and stockpiling of chemical weapons and orders the destruction of existing stocks.


2. Japan has launched the first in a new generation of space rockets which will make space missions more affordableThe Epsilon rocket is about half the size of Japan's previous generation of space vehicles, and uses artificial intelligence to perform safety checks. Also the cost to develop this rocket will be nearly half compared to its predecessors.


Current Affairs India - 15 September 2013


1. Engineer's day is celebrated today (15th September) across the country. This day is celebrated in the honor of "Sir Dr. Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya" who was born on the same day in 1860. He was the chief designer of the flood protection system designed and built for the city of Hyderabad, as well as the chief engineer responsible for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mysore which created the largest reservoir in Asia at that time.


2. Hindi Diwas is being observed all over the country on Saturday (14th September). President Pranab Mukherjee gave away Official Language Awards for outstanding contributions made towards promotion of Hindi language. Hindi was adopted as a language for official transaction by the constituent assembly on 14th September 1949.


3. India successfully conducted a second test flight of its indigenously developed nuclear- capable 'Agni-V' long-range ballistic missile, which has a strike range of more than 5000 km, from the Wheeler Island off Odisha coast today. The surface-to-surface missile, which can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne, witnessed an -auto launch- and detail results of the trial will be known after thorough


4. BJP students' wing ABVP has won three out of the four top posts in Delhi University  Students Union elections.  ABVP candidate Aman Awana was elected President and Utkarsh Chaudhary, Raju Rawat were elected as vice-president and joint secretary respectively.


5. The Government has appointed M.K. Goel, who is also the Director (Commercial), as the Chairman and Managing Director of Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC). He succeeds Satnam Singh, whose term as Power Finance Corporation CMD ended on 31st July this year.


6. The government approved the proposal of Rs 700 crore capital infusion in Export-Import Bank of India to support future growth of the lender. This fund infusion in the current financial year will help EXIM bank to complaint with the latest regulatory norms related to capital adequacy ratio and also it will help to satisfy its credit requirements.


Forex Reserves decreased by USD 685.1 million to 274.806 billion


India-s Forex reserves were decreased by USD 685.1 million to 274.806 billion for the week ended 6th September as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. Total forex reserves were decreased by USD 17.24 billion compared to End-March-2013 data as RBI struggles to arrest continuous Rupee depreciation.


This decrease was mainly due to decrease in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was decreased by USD 656.5 million to 246.745 billion for the same week. The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were also decreased by USD 19.6 million and USD 9 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged at USD 21.724 billion for the same reporting week.


 


16-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 16 September 2013


1. International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer was observed today (16th September) across the world. This day is observed to bring awareness about the depletion of Ozone layer in the atmosphere. The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 for the first time on the same day. The theme for the year 2013 is -A healthy atmosphere, the Future We Want-.


2. Japan is to start the process of switching off its last working nuclear reactor on Sunday for a scheduled inspection with no restart in sight due to public hostility towards atomic power. The move will leave the world's third largest economy without atomic energy for the second time since the Fukushima crisis erupted in March 2011.


3. 24-year-old Nina Davuluri became the first contestant of Indian heritage to win the Miss America pageant after winning Miss New York title. Nina, who aspires to become a physician like her father, will earn at least 50,000 US Dollars in scholarships.


4. Novak Djokovic slightly increased his lead over US Open Champion Rafael Nadal in the latest men-s tennis ranking released by the ATP today. He tops the bill with 11,120 points while Nadal remains second with an unchanged 10,860 points, followed by Andy Murray with 7,075 points. Roger Federer dropped to sixth position with 4,515 6 points.


5. Serena Williams remained first in an unchanged top 10 of the women-s tennis rankings issued by the WTA today. She leads far ahead of the pack with 12,260 points and followed by Victoria Azarenka with 9,505 points, Maria Sharapova with 7,866 points, Agnieszka Radwanska with 6,335 5 points and Li Na with 5,565 6 points.


Current Affairs India - 16 September 2013


1. All India Students Association (AISA) has swept the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union elections, winning all the four top posts.  AISA's Akbar Chaudhary was elected President, defeating Democratic Students Federation candidate Ishan Anand Chowdhary. It also bagged the posts of Vice President, General Secretary and Joint Secretary.


2. Two Indian girls have scripted history by becoming the first twins ever to climb Mount Everest together. 21-year-old Tashi and Nancy Malik from Dehra Dun achieved this feat by successfully reaching the world's highest mountain peak at 8,848 meters yesterday morning.


3. P V Sindhu will lead the Indian team at the two lakh US Dollar Super Series Badminton tournament, starting in Tokyo tomorrow in the absence of senior shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap. While Saina decided to give a miss to the tournament after hectic Indian Badminton League, Kashyap will skip the Japan Open due to an ankle injury.


India-s headline inflation jumped to 6.1 % in August; RBI may not cut rates


India-s headline inflation, measured by the wholesale price index (WPI) jumped to 6.1% in August compared to 5.79% in July due to high prices of onions and vegetables. Inflation stood at 8.01% in August last year.


Food inflation jumped to 18.18% in August compared to 11.91% in July which is the main reason behind more than expected inflation data for August month. Onion prices jumped by 245% compared to same month last year and vegetable prices increased by 77.81% in August compared to last year. Fuel inflation increased marginally to 11.34% in August from 11.31% in July while inflation in primary articles category stood at 11.72% in August compared to 8.99% in July.


This sudden increase in overall inflation numbers will make RBI governor Raghuram Rajan-s job tougher when he will announce his first monetary policy steps on 20th September after taking over as RBI governor this month. He will have to take into account the rising inflation while announcing steps to boost sagging growth.


17-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 17 September 2013


1. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who survived an assassination attempt by a Taliban gunman last year, has been named as the recipient of Amnesty International-s highest award. She will receive Amnesty International-s Ambassador of Conscience Award along with American singer and human rights activist Harry Belafonte at ceremony Tuesday evening in Dublin, Ireland.


2. China opens the world-s highest airport in Daocheng.Yading airport in Daocheng county of Garzi Tibetan autonomous region of China stands at 4,411 metre above sea level. It pipped the Qamdo Bangda airport, which has an altitude of 4,334 metre, to become the highest airport in the world after its inauguration yesterday.


3. Google acquires popular smartphone apps -Bump- which is used to share smartphone files like contacts, pictures or other data. Bump Technologies co-founder and chief David Lieb did not disclose terms and value of the deal. The app, launched more than four years ago, was downloaded 125 million times as of now.


4. Chinese FDI was increased marginally by 0.62% in August to USD 8.38 billion compared to same month last year. The increase was down sharply from a 24.13% jump in July and 20.12% jump in June. In the first eight months of the year, China has received total FDI of USD 79.77 billion, up 6.37% from the same period last year.


5. Global mining giant Vedanta Resources has appointed Tom Albanese, former Chief Executive of Rio Tinto, as chairman of its subsidiary Vedanta Resources Holdings Ltd. In this role, he will be actively involved in continuing to develop the company-s strategy, policies and growth objectives, as per Vedanta. He had stepped down as the Chief Executive of the British-Australian Rio Tinto over a USD 14 billion write down by the mining giant in January owing to some bad deals.


Current Affairs India - 17 September 2013


1. IITs have agreed to get themselves accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), the premier accreditation body in the country. However considering their high academic standards, IITs have been given the freedom to carry out the review themselves and submit the report to the NBA. This will help IITs to reinforce their brand so that they can have better chances of making it to the prestigious QS Ranking of best institutions.


2. Kanoon Lugat, an Urdu law dictionary, a first of its kind in the country was released in Mumbai recently. The dictionary, encompassing 52000 legal terms, has been translated in Urdu for the first time. Supreme Court advocate Muhammad Irshad Hanif authored the translation of this dictionary. The Urdu legal dictionary has a foreword written by former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir.


3. P. Sudhakar took over as the Chairman & Managing Director of the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) yesterday. He has been working with ECIL since 1979 and was holding the Office of the Director (Technical) and acting CMD before this.


4. Seeking to keep the demand for gold under check, the Reserve Bank of India has tightened the norms for loans against gold jewellery. In order to standardise the valuation and make it more transparent to the borrower, RBI has notified that gold jewellery accepted as collateral will have to be valued at the average of the closing price of 22 carat gold for the preceding 30 days as quoted by the Bombay Bullion Association (BBA). Currently, there is no standard method for arriving at the value of gold accepted as collateral and the valuation is arbitrary and opaque.


5. The government has increased the import duty on gold and silver jewellery to 15% from current 10% to protect the domestic industry, although it would make ornaments more expensive for consumers. The import duty differential between jewellery and the primary metal is needed to protect millions of artisans who depend on the labour—intensive industry after the duty on gold was increased in stages to 10% on August 13. Gold jewellery imported during 2012—13 stood at USD 5.04 billion. In the April—June quarter of the current financial year, it was USD 112 million


6. YES Bank has become the first bank to raise funds overseas using the swap loan facility provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last week. It has raised USD 255 million ($180 million and 58 million) by way of dual currency, multi-tenor syndicated loan facility. RBI, on September 10, had announced that banks can raise funds overseas above 50 per cent of their Tier I capital with a minimum maturity of three years and swap these borrowings with the central bank at a concessional rate for one to three years.


7. Bollywood actor John Abraham was conferred the -Pride of the Nation award- for his attempt to raise the sensitive issue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination through his role as a RAW agent in Madras Café film. The award was presented by Anti Terrorist Front chairman Maninderjeet Singh in New Delhi.


8. Abhinav Shiv Tiwari's "OASS", a movie on human trafficking, was named the best film at the second edition of the Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF). It also won the best screenplay, and Divya Chhetri was awarded the best actress for the same movie.


9. Indian wrestler Amit Kumar won Silver Medal in 55 Kg Free Style category in the Senior World Wrestling Championship 2013 being held at Budapest, Hungary. In the semifinal round, he defeated Turkish Wrestler Sezar Akgul by 8-0 points but in the final, he was defeated by Iranian wrestler Rahimi Hassan Farma by 1-2 points.


10. India-s Ravindra Jadeja continues to jointly top the bowlers' list, while Virat Kohli was the highest-ranked Indian batsman at 4th in the latest ICC ODI rankings issued today. Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains unchanged at 7th position in the batsmen's list followed by Suresh Raina with 16th ranking. In the bowling chart, R Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar held on to their 18th and joint 20th position respectively.


18-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 18 September 2013


1. Tony Abbott was sworn in as Australia-s Prime Minister on Wednesday morning, promising to end immediately the previous Government-s carbon tax and other climate change measures. Abbott-s conservative coalition won the general election earlier this month with a solid majority in the lower house, but he will have to deal with a range of minor parties which will hold the balance in the Senate to get legislation through Parliament.


2. Former Toyota Motor Corp President and Chairman Eiji Toyoda, a key figure in firm-s rise to become one of the world-s biggest carmakers, passed away due to heart failure on Tuesday. He was 100.  A member of Toyota-s founding family, Toyoda served as President of the company from 1967 to 1982. He promoted the -Toyota Way,- a manufacturing method enabling high production efficiency, helping the firm catch up with US car giants such as Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co.


3. Bank of England has increase UK-s economic growth projection for third quarter to 0.7% from earlier projection of 0.5%. It has also decided to keep interest rates and quantitative easing (QE) on hold this month. At the same time, UK inflation measured by the consumer prices index (CPI) dropped to 2.7% in August, from 2.8% in July.


Current Affairs India - 18 September 2013


1. The board of National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) has appointed Saji Cherian as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer with effect from September 16, 2013. The post was lying vacant since Anjani Sinha, the former MD & CEO was sacked following a payment crisis at NSEL. Saji Cherian was previously heading Listing -Issuer Services at MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX). He had also worked with Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) as General Manager and at Madras Stock Exchange and Cochin Stock Exchange as Executive Director.


2. A day after teenager Amit Kumar won silver medal at the ongoing World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, India won a bronze medal with another 19 year old Bajrang winning bronze in the 60 kg freestyle category. This is the first time India has won two medals in the Men's events at the World Championship level in spite of the absence of the Olympic stars Sunil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, who are both injured but travelled with the team to Budapest. Ironically, Bajrang was the replacement for Yogeshwar Dutt.


FDI jumps by 12% in July; highest in last four months


India-s Foreign Direct Investment jumped by 12% in July compared to same month last year to USD 1.7 billion; this is the highest FDI inflow since April, as per the data published by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). FDI inflows stood at USD 1.47 billion in July last year.


During the April-July 2013 period of current financial year, cumulative FDI increased by 20% to USD 7.1 billion. The sectors that received the largest inflows during the first four months of the current fiscal include services and pharmaceuticals. Indian government has taken some measures recently to boost investors- confidence and attract more FDI in order to fight with rising current account deficit and continuously depreciating Indian Rupee.


19-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 19 September 2013


1. US Central Bank, the Federal Reserve has left its $85 billion a month stimulus programme in place, against broad expectations that it would reduce it as the economy grows. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said that although the economy appears to be holding up amid Government -sequester- spending cuts, it -decided to await more evidence that progress will be sustained before adjusting the pace of its purchases.- The decision has led to big rally in the worldwide stock markets with DowJones index touching lifetime high.


2. The Federal Reserve has also cut its US economic growth forecasts for this year and 2014 as it unexpectedly left unchanged its massive monetary stimulus. As per Fed, the US economy was expected to grow between 2.0% and 2.3% this year, instead of the 2.3%-2.6% range seen three months ago. For next year 2014, it has projected economic growth to be in the range of 2.9% to 3.1% compared to earlier projection of 3.0% to 3.5%.


Current Affairs India - 19 September 2013


1. The HRD ministry has "retired" political scientist Yogendra Yadav from membership of the University Grants Commission (UGC) with immediate effect yesterday. In an 11-page order, the ministry reiterated that after Yadav joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as an office-bearer "his antecedents and credentials, at the time of his appointment in July, 2011 and now stands substantially altered". It said his continuance may not only set "a dangerous precedent, it may even given scope for a future politicization of UGC and its academic decision making".


2. Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant, Judge of the High Court of Uttarakhand was appointed as the new Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court. He took over from Justice T.Nandakumar Singh, who is the Acting Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High court since March this year.


3. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee named the upcoming airport at Andal near Durgapur in Bardhman district as -Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport- today. Nazrul Islam, a Bengali poet is popularly known as -bidrohi kobi- (rebel poet). He was born in Churulia village in the same district (of Bardhaman).


4. India's industrialist and former chairman of Tata sons, Ratan Tata was nominated as a member of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace yesterday. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a foreign-policy think tank with centers in Washington, D.C., Moscow, Beirut, Beijing, and Brussels. Founded in 1910, the organization is dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States.


5. The Government has announced that it will infuse Rs 14,000 crore in public sector banks within next few days, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Takru said today. He also said that -Current non-performing situation does not make us happy but still there is no danger to our banks-.


6. Net direct tax collection jumped by 12.7% to Rs 2.38 lakh crore in first six months of the current fiscal year 2013-14 mainly on account of growth in personal income tax collection. The Advance Tax collection in the September quarter grew by 9.14% to over Rs 1.14 lakh crore. As regards the direct tax collection, corporate tax contributed Rs 1.46 lakh crore during the period, showing a growth of 7.97% while personal income tax collection increased by 21.08% to Rs 89,006 crore.


 


20-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 20 September 2013


1. Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola of Nigeria becomes World Muslimah 2013 during the third Annual Award of World Muslimah in Jakarta, Indonesia. Twenty finalists showed off Islamic fashions and worked to demonstrate religious values during the contest organized by the World Muslimah Foundation in Jakartha. The annual Muslim event was held exclusively for Muslim women, who are assessed not only for their appearance (in Islamic dress) but also for their piety, religious knowledge and understanding of the Quran.


2. Veteran Time magazine writer Nancy Gibbs has been appointed as the Managing Editor of Time Magazine. She succeeded Richard Stengel to become TIME-s 17th managing editor in the history of the well-known international magazine. She will also be the first woman to hold the position.


3. USA and British authorities have fined US investment bank JP Morgan a combined USD 920 million over the so-called London Whale scandal. The fines were for serious failings related to the bank-s chief investment office (CIO), Britain-s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said. The failings were in connection with USD 6.2 billion of trading losses in 2012, resulting from what became known as the -London Whale- trades.


4. Indian-American Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri is among 10 novelists shortlisted for the US National Book Award 2013 in the fiction category for her new work -The Lowland-. The National Book Foundation announced the long list for the award in fiction yesterday, nearly 10 days after she made it to this year-s Man Booker Prize shortlist for the same book.


5. WTO lowers growth projection for world trade in 2013 to 2.5% compared 3.3% projected in April and 4.3% earlier in the year. The main reasons behind this lower revision are dismal global economic outlook and lower economic growth in the developed economies.


6. Former Nintendo Company Limited President Hiroshi Yamauchi, who built the company into a video game giant from a maker of playing cards during, died on Thursday of pneumonia, the company said. He was 85.


Current Affairs India - 20 September 2013


1. Global credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings cut India's growth forecast for the current financial year to 4.8% as weak demand is a large drag on the economy. This is much lower compared to earlier growth projection of 5.7% published in June this year. Fitch said prospects of a swift economic turnaround have been further dented by a 20 percent fall in the domestic currency since the end of May due to increased concerns over the country's large current account deficit.


2. French cosmetics and beauty major L'Oreal has acquired Indian salon brand Cheryl's Cosmeceuticals for an undisclosed amount. This is L-Oreal-s first acquisition in the Indian market, which will help the company strengthen its position in the highly competitive Indian salon market which has players such as Lakme, Schwarzkopf , Wella and several other domestic brands such as Shahnaz Hussain. Cheryl's Cosmeceuticals, founded in 1986 by Oscar and Cheryl Pereira, has a distribution network spanning over 10,000 salons in India and a turnover of approximately Rs 20 crore.


3. Tata Sons have signed an agreement with Singapore Airlines and applied for necessary regulatory approval to set up a new airline in Indiawith this Tata Sons is all set to re-enter into the country-s aviation industry. Tata sons will hold 51% stake in the proposed JV while Singapore Airlines will own rest 49%. Earlier it owned Tata Airlines which was later nationalized as Air India. Prasad Menon will be the Chairman-nominee of the proposed joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.


4. India-s IT Services Company, Infosys has launched Finacle 11E, latest version of its core banking solution. It will be an advanced universal banking solution that simplifies banking operations. Finacle 11E is designed to help the banks of all sizes to rapidly modernize their operations, in a phased manner while minimizing risk. At the same time it enhances the efficiency of a bank-s operations and increases the customer satisfaction level across all channels.


5. Tata Steel Ltd has appointed TV Narendran as managing director-designate, India and South East Asia and inducted him as additional director on the board. He will succeed HM Nerurkar who retires on 31st October 2013. The board has also appointed group CFO Koushik Chatterjee as the group Executive Director, finance and corporate.


6. Rapid Metro would be the country's first metro rail system developed in the public-private partnership mode, at a cost of about Rs 1,100 crore. Situated in Gurgaon, the first phase of the Rapid Metro covers 5.1 km long track, with six stations: DLF phase-II, Belvedere Towers, Gateway Towers, Moulsari Avenue, DLF Phase-III and Sikanderpur.


7. Former BCCI Secretary Jaywant Lele passed away yesterday in Vadodara after he sufferred a heart attack. He was 75. Jaywant Lele was the BCCI secretary from 1996 to 2001. He was also in charge when the match-fixing scandal broke out in 2000.


8. Mohemmadan Sporting won the 126th Durand Cup Football tournament after defeating ONCG in the final match today held at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. The Mohemmadan Sporting lifted the cup after 73 years. The club won the the Durand Cup, back in 1940.


9. Indian wrestlers earned a maiden World Cup berth after the team's best-ever sixth-place finish in men's free-style at the World Championships in Budapest. The freestyle wrestlers produced India's best-ever show at the World Championship in a span of two days. India finished the tournament in the men's freestyle category with 23 points, which has catapulted the country to sixth in rankings behind Iran, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine and USA. As per the rules, the top eight teams in the World Championship automatically qualify for the World Cup.


RBI hikes repo rate by 25 bps to tackle inflation; surprises market


In a surprise move today, the Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan hiked the key repo rate by 25 bps (0.25%) to 7.5%. It has also raised the reverse repo rate by 25 bps to 6.5%. This was current RBI governor Dr. Raghuram Rajan-s first Policy review and he proved that he wants to walk on the path set by former RBI governor Subbarao. The unexpected move sent shockwaves among investors which led to sharp sell-off in the equity market. The cheer after Fed announcement yesterday to continue with the planned stimulus package for now is over within 24 hours as RBI gives more importance to Inflation rather than economic growth.


In its mid-quarter review of monetary policy for 2013-14, the RBI decreased the marginal standing facility, MSF, by 0.75% to 9.5% with immediate effect. It has also reduced minimum daily maintenance of the Cash Reserve Ratio, CRR, from 99% of the requirement to 95%, effective from the fortnight beginning the 21st September 2013. These measures will infuse more liquidity in the financial system. The RBI has, however, kept the CRR unchanged at 4% and SLR unchanged at 23%.


Next monetary policy review meeting will be held on 29th October 2013. The inflation numbers for September will define the stance of RBI for that monetary policy review meeting.


 


21-Sep


 


22-Sep


Forex Reserves increased by USD 544.7 million to 275.351 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 544.7 million to 275.351 billion for the week ended 13th September as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. Forex Reserves were increased after three weeks of continuous decline.


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 500.5 million to 257.246 billion for the same week. The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were also increased by USD 30.3 million and USD 13.9 million respectively for the same week. Gold values were remained unchanged at USD 21.724 billion for the same reporting week.


Current Affairs Global - 22 September 2013


1. The International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day, is observed yesterday (21th September) across the world. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in acombat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1982.


2. Top Chinese Communist Party leader Bo Xilai was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Chinese court which upheld the charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power against him. The court sentenced Bo Xilai to life in prison on the bribery charges, 15 years for embezzlement and seven years for abuse of power. It has also stripped Bo of all political rights and ordered the confiscation of his property. Bo, 64, was sacked as the head of the Chongqing city last year and removed from the ruling party following allegations of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power against him.


3. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel cruised to a third straight Singapore Grand Prix victory today and extended his lead over others to win world championship again. Ferrari-s Fernando Alonso and Lotus-s Kimi Raikkonen stood second and third respectively in the same race.


Current Affairs India - 22 September 2013


1. The Uttar Pradesh government revoked the suspension of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Durga Shakti Nagpal today, a day after she met chief minister Akhilesh Yadav along with her husband and fellow IAS officer Abhishek Singh. The 2010-batch IAS officer was suspended on July 27 which attracted widespread criticism over her suspension amid suspicion that she was punished for her crackdown on the sand mafia operating along the Hindon and Yamuna rivers in the area.


2. The Mumbai Police has filed a chargesheet in the IPL betting scandal. The 11,500-page chargesheet names 22 accused including Chennai Super Kings' former CEO Gurunath Meiyappan, actor Vindoo Dara Singh, and some bookies involved in the case. Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf also named in the chargesheet as wanted accused. Gurunath Meiyappan has been charged for betting and cheating.


3. Assam government launched 'Swavalamban Pension Scheme'. As per the scheme named 'Swavalamban Pension Scheme', a person with a minimum contribution of Rs 1,000 per year will get an equal amount of contribution from the govt. The aggregator for the scheme in the state will be Assam Gramin Vikash Bank and Alankit Assignment, while the fund managers are SBI Pension Fund, LIC and UTI.


4. Justice Darmar Murugesan, the former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, has been appointed as member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for a five-year term yesterday.


5. Jawaid Akhtar, the Chairman of Coffee Board of India, was elected as the Chairperson of the International Coffee Council at the meetings of the International Coffee Organization which took place on 9 September 2013 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. At the same time, Conradin Rasi of Switzerland was elected as the Vice-Chairperson of the International Coffee Council. The Council also appointed Juan Esteban Orduz of Colombia as the Chairperson of the Consultative Forum.


6. Actor Aamir Khan has been selected for a U.S. award for his television show -Satyamev Jayate- along with eminent American director Kathryn Bigelow and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). They will be honoured at the inaugural awards dinner by the America Abroad Media (AAM) in Washington DC on October 28.


7. National award-winning Gujarati film -The Good Road-, a lost-and-found story of a small boy, nominated to represent India in the Best Foreign Film category at next year-s Oscars. Produced by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and directed by first-timer Gyan Correa, The Good Road won the National Award for Best Gujarati Film. The film defeated other widely appreciated film -The Lunchbox-, -Bhaag Milkha Bhaag-, -English Vinglish- and -Vishwaroopam- to make into the final one.


8. India will build the world's largest solar plant to generate 4,000 mw from sunlight near the Sambhar lake in Rajasthan, cabinet has approved the investment. After being operational, it will sell electricity at an estimated rate of Rs 5.50 per unit. The proposed solar project's capacity is about three times India's total solar power capacity and will change India-s position in Clean energy area.


23-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 23 September 2013


1. World Rose Day, i.e. Cancer prevention day was observed yesterday (22nd September 2013) across the world. It-s the day to bring happiness and awareness among cancer patients that they can fight the disease. Every year, September 22 is observed as Rose Day for supporting people across the world fighting cancer.


2. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has secured a third term in office, with her party the Christian Democrats winning 41.5% of the vote in federal elections. It-s the party's strongest showings since German reunification in 1990. Voters have chosen Merkel, often called the world-s most powerful woman, with another four years due to her leadership and ability to steer Europe-s largest economy during the euro zone crisis.


3. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) swept to victory in the historic Northern Provincial Council elections in Sri Lanka securing a two thirds majority on Sunday, signifying the beginning of a credible opposition in the island nation-s politics. The TNA won 30 out of 38 seats (28 direct and 2 bonus seats),while the UPFA got seven seats and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) won one seat. President Mahinda Rajapaksa-ss ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance won 36 seats in the 58-member Central Province and 34 seats in the 52-member North Western Province.


4. Eurozone business activity grew at its fastest pace in more than two years in September. The Markit compiled Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), an effective indicator to judge the performance of the sector, jumped to 52.1 compared 51.5 in August. Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth in the sector.


5. China's manufacturing activity improved in September, which increases optimism regarding the economy. The HSBC compiled Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), an effective indicator to judge the performance of the sector, increased to 51.2 compared 50.1 in August. Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth in the sector.


Current Affairs India - 23 September 2013


1. -Seekho Aur Kamao- (Learn and Earn) Progrmme Launched by Union Government of India. Union Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India launched a central sector scheme for Skill Development of Minorities today. Main objective of the scheme is to bring down unemployment rate of minorities during 12th Plan period (2012-17).


2. The Reserve Bank today announced a 13-member committee, including former Citibank CEO Vikram Pandit and Axis Bank chief Shikha Sharma, to frame a -clear and detailed- vision for financial inclusion/deepening across the country. The -Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households- has been tasked to develop a comprehensive monitoring framework to track the progress of financial inclusion and deepening efforts on a nationwide basis. The committee is headed by Nachiket Mor, member on the RBI-s Central Board of Directors.


3. Deutsche Bank has become the first bank in India to use the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)-s window to swap fresh foreign currency non-resident (bank), or FCNR (B), dollar funds. Deutsche Bank has raised about $450 million FCNR (B) deposits from about 10 non-resident Indians and swapped it with the central bank.


4. PepsiCo Inc. has appointed Sanjeev Chadha to the position of Chief Executive Officer, Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA). In this role, he will report to Chairman and CEO, Indra K. Nooyi, and oversee all aspects of PepsiCo-s AMEA business. Chadha most recently served as President, PepsiCo, Middle East and Africa.


5. India's Deepika Kumari has settled for a silver medal at the Archery World Cup in Paris, France. In the finals, Deepika lost to the Korean Olympic champion Ok-Hee Yun, 6-4, and had to settle for a Silver medal. This was Deepika's third successive silver in the World Cup.


6. Grappler Sandeep Tulsi Yadav has created history by winning India's first-ever medal in the 66kg Greco-Roman category at the Senior World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Sandeep defeated Serbia's Aleksandar Maksimovic, 4-0 to bag the bronze medal. This is India's best-ever show at the World Championships with three medals, Amit Kumar Dahiya and Bajrang Kumar had won a silver and a bronze medal earlier in respective categories.


7. Indian cricketer Virat Kohli was appointed as the brand ambassador of the Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday. BSF is the second largest paramilitary force of India that guards two crucial Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh. Virat Kohli was roped in for bolstering the appeal of 2.5 lakh personnel capable strong BSF.


8. India-s top singles player Somdev Devvarman returned to top-100 after a gap of one year and nine months as he jumped three places to 98 in the latest ATP singles rankings, issued today. Somdev had achieved a career-best rank of 62 in 2011 but struggled after that as a shoulder injury halted his progress. In the doubles, US Open champion Leander Paes (5), Rohan Bopanna (7) and Mahesh Bhupathi (10) remained unchanged in top-10.


24-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 24 September 2013


1. India environmentalist Bunker Roy and Pakistan's teenage education activist Malala Yousafzai won the -Clinton Global Citizens Awards- for the year 2013. Bunker Roy is the founder of the Barefoot College, which has been providing solutions to problems in rural communities for more than 40 years. As a result of Barefoot's work, one million litres of rainwater have been harvested to provide clean drinking water to over 239000 school children in more than 1300 communities worldwide. Roy has been named one of the 50 environmentalists who could save the planet by the Guardian and one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine.


2. Hun Sen, 61, who has been in power for 28 years, was sworn as Cambodian prime minister for another five-year term today. The Parliament of Cambodia earlier re-elected him as the prime minister amid a boycott by the opposition party.


Current Affairs India - 24 September 2013


1. The Union Cabinet has passed an ordinance today to protect convicted MPs and MLAs from facing immediate disqualification, in effect negating an order of the Supreme Court. Government decided to bring the ordinance after failing to get a Bill to this effect passed in Parliament during the recent monsoon session, sources said. The Supreme Court had ruled that an MP or an MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more.


2. Government of India has appointed Justice Vangala Eswaraiah, former Acting Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court, as the Chairperson of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) yesterday. The commission's last chairperson was Justice MN Rao, a retired chief justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court.


3. Global credit rating agency, Moody-s has lowered its outlook for India's GDP growth to 4.5% for current financial year 2013-14 from earlier projection of 5.5%. This reflects the recent depreciation of the rupee, which will exacerbate inflationary pressures, keep domestic interest rates relatively high.


4. United Spirits Ltd (USL) has appointed Anand Kripalu as CEO-Designate with effect from 1st October this year and he will assume charge as MD and CEO on 1st May, 2014. He will succeed Ashok Capoor. Ashok Capoor will continue his tenure as President and Managing Director of USL until April 30, 2014.


BlackBerry to go private; will be acquired by Fairfax consortium in USD 4.7 billion takeover deal


Canadian Smartphone maker BlackBerry has agreed to become a private company in a USD 4.7 billion deal led by its biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. This will help the struggling smart phone maker to avoid any public scrutiny in future. Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd has offered USD 9 per share to buy back its shares from the shareholders.


As an investor, Fairfax Chief Executive Prem Watsa is often described as the Canadian Warren Buffett because he also takes the long view. Blackberry shares peaked above USD 148 in June 2008. After that it has been losing market share continuously to Apple-s iPhone and Google-s android mobile operating system. It sole only 3.7 million phones in the second quarter compared to 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models sold by Apple within three days after their launch. Both Nokia and Blackberry have lost market share to Samsung and Apple and both of them are acquired by other companies within a month. Earlier this month, Nokia was acquired by Tech giant Microsoft.


25-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 25 September 2013


1. The annual UN General Assembly started in New York yesterday. The conflict in Syria and Iran's relations with the West are expected to dominate talks on the sidelines. Earlier this month, Russia and the US agreed a deal under the terms of which Syria's chemical weapons arsenal must be eliminated by mid-2014.


2. Former South Africa president Nelson Mandela was honoured with the Humanitarian Achievement Award 2013 for his contribution to South-South cooperation and sustainable development. Mr. Mandela-s wife, Graca Machel, was also recognised for her humanitarian work advocating for culture, children, and women.


3. Australia has unveiled its most powerful super computer, Raijin today in Canberra. Raijin, named after the Japanese God of thunder and rain, has cost USD 45.2 million to build and will cost USD 10.85 million a year to run, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.


4. Chinese paddler Liu Shiwen won women-s table tennis World Cup after defeating teammate Wu Yang in four sets 11-3, 11-7, 11-7, 11-2 yesterday at the tournament, held in Kobe, Japan.  Liu Shiwen is presently ranked world number 1. This is her third world cup win; she earlier won the world cup in 2009 and 2012.


Current Affairs India - 25 September 2013


1. The government has announced setting up of the Seventh Central Pay Commission today before Parliament election next year. The Prime Minister approved the constitution of the commission, whose recommendations are to be implemented from the 1st of January, 2016. The names of the chairperson and members as well as terms of reference of the pay commission will be finalized and announced shortly after consultations with major stakeholders.


2. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended implementation of full Mobile Number Portability (MNP) by the telecom service providers within six months. The facility will allow subscribers to retain their numbers even when they shift from one service area to another. Currently, MNP is available only within the subscribers' service area. The facility of pan-India portability will allow a mobile subscriber to change his license service area without changing the number even he moves to other part of India.


3. Finance Ministry has selected Arundhati Bhattacharya as the next SBI Chairperson after days of speculation. Arundhati is the current CFO at SBI and she will assume charges from next month. The current chairman of India's largest bank, Pratip Chaudhuri, is due to retire at the end of this month.


4. Gireesh Pradhan, a former secretary with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, has been selected as the next chairman of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, India's apex power sector regulator. He had served the Power Ministry as Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary before his superannuation in 2012. The post of CERC Chairperson has been vacant since Pramod Deo retired on June 9. The tenure of a Chairperson is for five years or till the individual attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.


5. Ruchira Kamboj, currently the Chief of Protocol, has been appointed as the next Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO, Paris, with the rank of Ambassador. The 1987-batch IFS officer, Kamboj will succeed V S Oberoi.


6. In order to protect consumer interest, RBI has banned 0% interest rate scheme for purchase of consumer goods. RBI has issued a notification saying that the very concept of 0% interest is non-existent and such schemes only serve the purpose of alluring and exploiting vulnerable customers. RBI said that banks should neither resort to any practice that would distort the interest rate structure of a product nor hide any processing fees.


7. A high-level panel, headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram, on Monday submitted to Finance Minister P. Chidambaram its report on the alleged irregularities at the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL). NSEL is currently facing a crisis in settling dues worth Rs 5,600 crore.


8. Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) has an interim Chairman in R.M. Premkumar, a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. He will hold this post till the reconstitution of the board in accordance with the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) guidelines on board composition. Premkumar is FMC-appointed independent director on the board of MCX.


9. The Board of Cricket Control of India, BCCI, has imposed a life ban on former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi from participating in any of its activities. The decision to this effect was taken at the special general meeting under the chairmanship of BCCI President N. Srinivasan at Chennai today. Earlier the disciplinary committee has found Modi guilty on eight charges including financial irregularities, indiscipline and misconduct.


10. India defeated hosts Malaysia 2-0 to qualify for the semi-finals of the eighth women's Asia Cup hockey tournament yesterday. The women's Asia Cup hockey tournament is going on in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. India will now face Pool B toppers Korea in the first semi-final and China will take on Japan in the other semifinal match.


26-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 26 September 2013


1. Four men from Congo, Palestine, Switzerland and the US were have been awarded with the 2013 Right Livelihood Award over working for human rights, improving food security and combating chemical weapons. The award, often called the -Alternative Nobel,- was announced by the Stockholm-based Right Livelihood Award Foundation. Each winner was to receive 500,000 kronor ($78,000).


2. Online commerce major eBay Inc has agreed to acquire payment platform Braintree for about USD 800 million in cash in order to strengthen its PayPal business. Braintree will continue to operate as a separate service within PayPal under the continued leadership of Braintree CEO Bill Ready.  PayPal is eBay-s payment platform that enables global commerce, processing more than 7.7 million payments every day.


3. Finland capital Helsinki bagged the top spot for the world's most honest city in the survey. India's financial capital Mumbai has been named the world's second-most honest city, according to a survey of 16 cities worldwide. The survey put hundreds of people to test in four continents to find out just how honest they were by dropping wallets and seeing how many would be returned.


Current Affairs India - 26 September 2013


1. The Raghuram Rajan panel report has made a case for ending the 'special category' criteria for providing additional assistance to poorer states, as it ranked Goa and Kerala as the most advanced state and Odisha and Bihar the least. The committee, headed by the then Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram Rajan (now RBI governor) which was set up by the government amid demand for "special category" status by Bihar, suggested a new methodology for devolving funds on states based on a 'Multi Dimensional Index (MDI)'.  The committee has suggested that the 28 states be split into three categories -- least developed, less developed and relatively developed -- depending upon their MDI scores.


Based on the MDI scores, the 10 least developed states are Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.  The 7 most developed status are Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttrakhand and Haryana.


2. The prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards for 2013, recognising achievements of young scientists and engineers, were announced today. The prize, given by Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will be awarded to eight scientists from seven disciplines. This year's awardees include Dr Sathees Chukkurumbal Raghavan (Biological Sciences) from IISc Bangalore, Dr Yamuna Krishnan (Chemical Science) from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Mumbai, Dr Bikramjit Basu from IISc and Dr Suman Chakraborty from IIT Kharagpur (both from Engineering Sciences), Dr Eknath Ghate (Mathematical Science) from TIFR, Dr Amol Dighe from TIFR and Dr Vijay Balakrishna Shenoy from IISc (Physical Science).


However, there is no recipient in the category of Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean & Planetary Sciences. The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize is the most coveted national recognition for young scientists and engineers for their research and development work done in India.


3. The Finance Ministry has notified the much awaited the General Anti-avoidance rules (GAAR) that are intended to check tax avoidance without ruffling the feathers of the foreign investors. The rules, which will come into force from April 1, 2016, are in keeping with the assurance given by the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in January. Non-resident investors in Foreign institutional investors (FII) have been kept out of GAAR. Also, the GAAR rules will not apply to FIIs that choose not to take any treaty benefits under the income tax law.


4. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has given its no objection certification (NOC) to AirAsia India to start a low-cost carrier today. The next step for AirAsia will be to get an Air Operating Permit and prepare to kick-start its operations in India. AirAsia now needs to get its various operations manual, including the airline operations manual and airport manual cleared by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation before the AOP is given.


27-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 27 September 2013


1. World Tourism Day is celebrated today (27 September 2013) across the globe. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide. The 2013 theme for World Tourism Day is -Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future-.


2. Trailblazer Sri Srinivasan was today sworn in as judge of the second most powerful court of the United States, making him the first Indian American to be on the bench of the US Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was sworn in the oath of office in an overflowing court room of US Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, in presence of legal luminaries, friends and families.


3. US anti-chemical weapons campaigner Paul Walker, 67, was jointly awarded the Swedish Right Livelihood Award. The award is given to those who work to improve the lives of others. Walker, from the environmental group Green Cross, shares the prize with three other activists, Palestinian human rights activist Raji Sourani, Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege and Swiss food security expert Hans Herren.


4. Google has celebrated its 15th birthday with a surprise doodle today. A children's favourite and a must at every birthday party; today's doodle is a swinging piñata that needs to be hit to score candies. September 27 is celebrated as Google's birth date, even though the company was incorporated a few weeks ago. It was founded at a garage in Menlo Park, California by Larry Page and Sergey Bin.


The US-based search engine has already announced that it has updated its search algorithm in order to make it more responsive. The new algorithm is known as "Hummingbird" algorithm. "Hummingbird", designed to handle complex queries, is the company's effort to match the meaning of queries with that of documents on the Internet.


Current Affairs India - 27 September 2013


1. In a landmark verdict today, the Supreme Court announced today that citizens have right to cast negative vote rejecting all candidates contesting polls, a decision which would encourage people not satisfied with contestants to turn up for voting. Hearing a petition filed by the People's Union for Civil Liberties, an NGO, the apex court directed the Election Commission to provide 'None of the above options' at the end of the list of candidates in electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers to allow voters to reject those contesting polls.


2. The Kirit Parikh panel on fuel pricing has suggested that the diesel prices should be increased by Rs 1-1.50 a litre every month as against the 45-50 paise monthly hike followed currently. This is expected to help the public sector oil marketing companies sell diesel at market rate in two years- time. The proposal in the draft report of the panel will now be discussed among the stakeholders before the panel submits a final report.


3. Sanjay Govind Dhande, former director of IIT Kanpur, has been appointed as a member of UGC for a term of three years. Earlier, the Union Government had removed social scientist Yogendra Yadav from the membership of the University Grants Commission (UGC) for joining the Aam Admi Party.


4. Anupam Shah has taken over as the new Chairman of the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC). Prior to this, he was the Senior Vice-Chairman of EEPC and has also been the past president of the Merchant Chamber, Kolkata. He succeeds Aman Chadha.


5. The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) has appointed Sundeep Sikka, Reliance MF President and Chief Executive, as its Chairman yesterday. Sandesh Kirkire, Chief Executive Officer of Kotak Asset Management Company has been elected as the vice-chairman.


6. The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has elected Ravindra Kumar, Editor of -The Statesman- newspaper as its president for the year 2013-14. He succeeds K N Tilak Kumar of Deccan Herald and Prajavani. Kiran B Vadodaria (Sambhaav Metro) has been elected as Deputy President and P V Chandran of -Grihalakshmi- has been as Vice President.


7. RBI governor Raghuram G Rajan has been awarded the Fifth Deutsche Bank Prize for Financial Economics 2013, in recognition of his ground-breaking research work which influenced financial and macro-economic policies around the world. The academic prize is sponsored by the Deutsche Bank Donation Fund and carries an endowment of euro 50,000.


8. The University of British Columbia-s Faculty of Law has presented Anna Hazare with the inaugural Allard Prize for International Integrity at Vancouver, Canada. The Allard prize, established in October 2012 by UBC Law alumnus Peter A. Allard, is one of the world-s largest awards recognizing efforts to combat corruption and to promote human rights.


9. Pond's Femina Miss India World 2013 Navneet Kaur Dhillon won the Multimedia Award at the Miss World 2013 in Indonesia today. The Multimedia Award is given on the basis that how contestants presented their web section of the Miss World website and a Facebook page wherein they interact with fans through status updates, photos and videos. India won this award for the second time in a row. The award was first introduced by the Miss World Organization in 2012 and India's Vanya Mishra was its first winner.


10. The Supreme Court has restrained N. Srinivasan from assuming the charge of BCCI President, if elected to the post, but allowed the board to hold its proposed Annual General Meeting scheduled for Sunday. The Bench took strong exception to Srinivasan still holding the charge of Board of Control for Cricket in India when his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan has been charge-sheeted in connection with the IPL spot-fixing case.


11. Former Under-14 World Champion and Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi won bronze medal at the World Junior Chess Championship after settling with a draw with winner Yu Yangyi of China in the 13th and final round, held at Kocaeli in Turkey.


12. India beat China in the 8th Asia Cup Women hockey tournament at Kuala Lumpur to win the Bronze. Indian team defeated China 3-2 via penalty shootout. Both the teams were locked 2-2 at regulation time. India had to win this tournament to qualify for the next year's World Cup at The Hague, Holland. However, it came at the third place. Japan beat Korea 2-1 to take gold and get qualified for the next year World Cup.


28-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 28 September 2013


1. World Rabies Day is observed today (28th September 2013) across the globe to raise awareness about the impact of rabies disease. The theme for 2013 is -Rabies: Understand it to defeat it.- The World Rabies Day is observed each year on 28th September- on the death anniversary of Louis Pasteur who developed the first rabies vaccine.


2. Malala Yousafzai, Pakinstani education rights campaigner, was presented with the 2013 Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award (Harvard Humanitarian of the year) by Harvard University. She received the award by Dr Allen Counter, Director of the Harvard Foundation for her contribution in promoting the education among girls.


3. The UN Security Council voted unanimously to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, a landmark decision aimed at taking poison gas off the battlefield in the escalating 2 1/2-year conflict.


4. Misss Philippines Megan Young was crowned Miss World 2013 at the Bali Nasa Dua Convention Center in Bali, Indonesia today. Miss France, Marine Lorphelin finished as the first runner-up and Miss Ghana Carranzar Naa Okailey Shooter was the second runner up. Megan Young was crowned by last year's winner, Miss World 2012 Yu Wenxia of China PR. She beat 127 contestants from all across the world to emerge victorious.


5. Tiger Woods was named U.S. PGA Tour player of the year for the 11th time on the strength of his five big wins and return to No. 1 in the world. It was the third time Woods won the Jack Nicklaus Award despite not winning a major.


Current Affairs India - 28 September 2013


1. The Nation is celebrating the 106th birth anniversary of the great son of the soil, Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, today. People from all walks of life are paying tribute at his statue erected in the museum situated at his ancestral village Khatkar Kalan of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in Punjab. Many NGOs and other institutions have organised functions to remember the Martyr.


2. B S Rama Rao has taken charge as second executive director of Vijaya Bank. Before that, He was General Manager in Andhra Bank. A professional banker for 35 years, Rao is M.A. (Economics) from Osmania University and JAIIB and joined Andhra Bank in the year 1978 as probationary officer.


3. In a historic decision, the Church of South India (CSI) appointed its first woman Bishop, who is from a small village in Andhra Pradeshs Kurnool district. With this appointment, Rev E Pushpalalitha (57) becomes the first woman bishop of the Anglican family churches in South Asia. She will formally assume charge as the bishop of Nandyal diocese on September 29 at a consecration ceremony to be held at the historic Anglican cathedral in Nandyal.


4. Five years after India and the US signed a landmark civil nuclear deal, the two countries have clinched the first commercial agreement on civilian nuclear power cooperation that was stalled over India's nuclear liability law. President Barack Obama announced the agreement yesterday after his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House Oval Office.


5. The government announced yesterday that it allow unlisted Indian companies to list directly and raise capital overseas to retire debt or for acquisitions or operational needs abroad. The move comes at a time when the government is battling to trim the current account deficit and attract dollar inflows. At present, unlisted companies that are incorporated in India are not allowed to directly list in overseas markets without prior or simultaneous listing in Indian markets.


6. Sania Mirza won her fourth title of the season and 18th overall after she defeated Liezel Huber and Hao Ching Chan along with her partner Zimbabwe-s Cara Black to lift the Pan Pacific Open trophy in Tokyo today.


 


29-Sep


Forex Reserves increased by USD 2.03 billion to 277.381 billion


India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 2.03 billion to 277.381 billion for the week ended 20th September as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to increase in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets.  The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 1.974 billion to 249.22 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves.


The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were increased by USD 38.3 million and USD 17.4 million respectively for the same week. Gold values stood unchanged at USD 21.724 billion for the same reporting week.


30-Sep


Current Affairs Global - 30 September 2013


1. Yesterday (29th September) was celebrated as the World Heart Day across the world. This year-s theme addresses the importance of a life-course approach to the prevention and control of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with a focus on women and children. World Heart Day is observed every year on the last Sunday in September which is organized by the World Heart Federation and has been celebrated annually since 1999.


2. Eurozone inflation dropped to its lowest rate in more than three years. Consumer price inflation dropped to an annual rate of 1.1% in September compared to 1.3% in August due to drop in energy prices, as per Europe's statistics agency Eurostat. Steep drop in inflation numbers will give more room to the European Central Bank (ECB) to cut rates in order to boost economic growth in the region.


Current Affairs India - 30 September 2013


1. A Special CBI Court in Ranchi has held RJD Supremo and MP Lalu Prasad guilty in a case related to the fodder scam. 44 others found guilty in the case include former Chief Minister of Bihar Dr. Jaganath Mishra. The quantum of punishment would be pronounced on 3rd October. Lalu Prasad Yadav may lose his MP seat after being convicted in the scam.


2. BJP Party President Rajnath Singh has been appointed the BJP Campaign Committee Chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha Polls after Narendra Modi was selected as PM candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha election. He was appointed as the campaign committee chief after the parliamentary board meeting of BJP.


3. Ruchira Kamboj was appointed as the Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO, Paris with the rank of Ambassador. She will succeed VS Oberoi. Currently she is joint secretary in Ministry of External Affairs.


4. Rafiq Kathwari, an Indian-American poet has been selected for 2013 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award for the collection of his debut poems. Rafiq Kathwari is the first non-Irish person to win the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award.


5. The current account deficit came as narrower than expected at USD 21.8 billion, or 4.9% of gross domestic product in the first quarter (April-June) of current financial year. This is much higher than current account deficit of USD 18.17 billion or 3.6% of GDP witnessed during previous quarter. The CAD is expected to reduce in the coming quarters as government steps to increase the import duty on gold have constricted imports of the metal.


6. India-s external debt at the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal declined by 0.9% on sequential basis to USD 388.5 billion due to strengthening of the US dollar against rupee. In absolute terms, the decline was of USD3.6 billion, as per the data released by the RBI. The share of ECBs continued to be the highest at 30.7% of total external debt, followed by short term debt (24.9%) and NRI deposits (18.3%).


7. BCCI President, N Srinivasan was elected unopposed as BCCI President for a third year during the Board's AGM here yesterday even though he will not take charge till further orders from the Supreme Court.  Srinivasan was the lone Presidential candidate put forward by the South Zone, from where he got the proposer and the seconder. The AGM asserted Srinivasan's supremacy in India's richest sporting body with not even a single voice of dissent being heard during the proceedings of the day.


8. A witness to some of India's most memorable triumphs in recent years, long-serving team manager Ranjib Biswal was on Sunday appointed chairman of the IPL in the Cricket Board's AGM in Chennai. Biswal has been with the Indian cricket team through some of its most memorable triumphs, including the 2011 50-over World Cup win at home. He succeeds Rajiv Shukla, who resigned after match fixing scandal broke out during this year IPL tournament.


9. All-rounder Yuvraj Singh has made a return to the limited over Indian cricket squad for the upcoming T20 and ODI series against Australia. He was seen in top form in List-A cricket recently which helped him to come back to Indian Cricket team again. At the same time, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Shewag failed to make it in the final list.


10. India beat Malaysia 3-0 in the final match held at Taman Daya Stadium in Malaysia yesterday to win the Sultan of Johor Cup U21 hockey tournament. Amon Mirash Tirkey (22nd), Affan Yusof (52) and Manprret (64th) were the goal-scorers for India who made up for last year's defeat in the final against Germany.


11. Former Junior World Champion Nikhat Zareen (54kg) won silver in the AIBA World Youth Boxing Championship held in Albena, Bulgaria this weekend. He lost to Yunzi Yuan of China. At the age of 15, Nikhat Zareen won the gold medal in flyweight division at the inaugural edition of the AIBA Women's Junior & Youth World Boxing Championship in 2011.