Friday, August 31, 2012

PEN Open Book award

Indian author Siddhartha Deb won PEN Open Book Award for “The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India”. This book is on India’s journey on the bumpy road to stardom as globalisation impacts the lives of its ordinary people. Siddhartha Deb is from Shillong, Meghalaya. This is his second novel while his first novel is “The Point of Return.” This US literary prize includes $5,000 cash award also. 

Sahara have to return Rs.17,400 crore to investors

Supreme Court of India asked Sahara group to return Rs.17,400 crore to investors in group's two companies Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation with 15 per cent interest. The court gave permission to SEBI, the investment regulator to attach properties and freeze bank accounts of the two companies if they did not comply with its order. 

GDP growth slows in first quarter

Economy grew by 5.5 per cent in the first(April-June) quarter, thanks to poor performance of manufacturing, mining and farm sectors. The gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 8 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2011-12. The previous quarter(January- March) saw the slowest growth in nine years. The higher inflation also creates problems for our economy, it prevents RBI from reducing the rates. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

'Father of radar research in India', passes away

The former Director of the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) under Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO), Dr. Ramdas P Shenoy passed away.  He is considered the father of Radar research in India who is also world famous in this field. Apart from radars used by Indian armed forces, he was responsible for developing many communication systems for the force. He was a Padma Shri award winner.

Emerge: SME platform of NSE

Emerge is a special platform of National Stock Exchange(NSE) for Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs). This platform will be useful for SMEs for fundraising while investors will benefit from low size high growth investment opportunities. SMEs play a very important role in the development of the economy. They have been a key engine of economic growth, job creation, wealth distribution and effective mobilization of resources (capital and skills).

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Complete ban on hiring children below 14

The Union Cabinet gave nod to a proposal for amending the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, to ban employment of children aged up to 14 in any form of industry. As per this act it will be an offence to employ children below 14 not only in factories or industries but also in homes or on farms, if their labour is of any commercial interest.

National Sample Survey Organisation(NSSO)'s figures show that this act would benefit 46 lakh children who  work in different industries. Another amendment also approved for banning employment of children in the age bracket 14-18 ( “adolescents”) in hazardous conditions. This decision is in line with the convention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This act will help in implementing Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or RTE which makes education fundamental right of a child aged 6-14.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No-frills demat account

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), introduces no-frills demat account for small investors. The annual maintenance charge will be slab based. SEBI asked all depository participants (DPs) to make available a Basic Services Demat Account (BSDA) with limited services and reduced costs for retail individual investors. This is for those investors whose holdings in demat account does not exceed Rs.2 lakh at any point of time.
The Annual Maintenance Charge(AMC) slab is as below:
   Up to Rs.50,000, AMC will be nil while it will be Rs.100 between Rs.50,001-200,000.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Apple - Samsung patent case

Apple Inc won over Samsung as a US jury found the Korean company had copied critical features of the popular iPhone and iPad and awarded the US company $1.049 billion in damages. This could lead to an outright ban on sales of key Samsung products which will benefit Apple product sales in US.  This decision firmed the position of Apple at the top of the list of highest ever market value company in the history of the world. The interesting fact is that even when the companies are rivals they  have a $5 billion-plus supply relationship in which Apple buys microprocessors and other parts central to Apple’s devices which makes Apple the biggest customer of Samsung.
According to experts this ruling will affect Google's Android platform the most. Now manufacturers will not be happy to go with Android as they will have to face risk of patent issue. Time only will tell about this...

For Basel III banks need Rs 1.75 lakh cr recapitalisation

Indian banking system need Rs 1.75 lakh crore recapitalisation for meeting Basel III norms, but according to RBI it is manageable though challenging. This view is from the recently released annual report for FY12. Out of this, 1.50  lakh crore is for public sector banks which control almost 70% of total operations while private sector banks will need Rs. 25,000 cr. Basel-III norms were formulated after the 2008 credit crisis and aimed to reduce the risk of financial collapse.  Indian banks will start to prepare to meet these norms from March 2013 and will achieve the target by March 2018.

India Under-19 Cricket team crowned 2012 world cup

India beat Australia to lift their third Under-19 Cricket world cup. Earlier India won the world cup in 2000 and 2008 under the leadership of Mohammed Kaif and Virat Kohli respectively. Unmukt Chand's unbeaten 111 helped India in passing 225 for 8 set by Australia with six wickets in hand. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

XVI NAM Summit

XVI NAM Summit will be held at Tehran, Iran. Ahead of this summit Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will engage in talks with  Iran’s supreme leader Ayotollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In this meeting the Prime Minister will raise all issues for India-Iran bilateral relations and issues of interest and concern to us, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said. Ahead of the summit there will be India, Iran and Afghanistan will hold a strategic trilateral meet. In this trilateral meeting the major focus will be the utilization of Iranian port for trade with Afghanistan. 

New Science and Technology Minister

After the passing away of union Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Vayalar Ravi assigned the charge by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Currently Vayalar Ravi holds Urban Development, Earth Sciences, Overseas Indian Affairs, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in his portfolio. Vayalar Ravi is a congress MP from Kerala.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dronacharya Award 2012

Wrestling coach Yashvir Singh, Boxing Coach BI Fernandez, Athletics Coach Virender Poonia, Kabaddi Coach Sunil Davas, Parathletics Coach Dr. Satyapaul and Hockey Coach Harinder Singh are recommended for Dronacharya Award 2012. Dronacharya Award is given to those coaching personalities who excel in coaching different sports.  Boxing Coach BI Fernandez who is a Cuban national is the first foreign person to be recommended for this award.The awards will be presented on August 29, National Sports Day. The award consists of five lakh rupees and a citation.

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Australian Govt nod for GVK's $10 bn coal project

GVK Group’s $10 billion Alpha Coal project in Queensland gets green signal from Australian Govt. The approval is to construct and operate the Alpha Coal Mine and a railway line between the mine and the port at Abbot Point, near Bowen. Last year GVK acquired majority stake in Alpha Coal and Alpha West projects and a 100 per cent stake in the Kevin’s Corner project in Queensland. When these projects start full fledged working it will become one of the worlds largest coal blocks.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman elected

P.J. Kurien elected as the new Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman. He was elected unanimously by the opposition and ruling party members. He replaces K. Rahman Khan. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is also the leader of the House, proposed Mr. Kurien's name for the post. He was seconded by Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rs 2,000 crore Aadhaar contract for HCL Infosystems

HCL Infosystems Ltd has bagged the contract from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIAI), which runs the Aadhaar ID programme. It is the biggest ever contract from the UIAI. The contract is for seven years. HCL Infosystems will be the managed service provider to implement and manage the Central ID Repository for the Authority.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Syria: No more a member of OIC

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC),head quartered at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia suspends Syria's membership. This move aims at ending violence against its own citizens. Syria currently undergoes a civil war which saw the maximum amount of death in the history of Arab nations. This decision was taken neglecting Iran's strong opposition in this regard.
Earlier in 2011 Syria was suspended from Arab League also.

Cincinnati Masters

Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic 6-0, 7-6 (9-7) to win the Cincinnati Masters, an event he has now won a record five times. Currently Federer is the number one in rankings.

China’s Li Na won the women's title beating Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the final. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

National Sports Awards 2012

Shooter Vijay Kumar and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt (London Olympics 2012 medallists) have been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the nation’s highest honour for sportsmen for a specific achievement in a year.
This year the number of Arjuna Award recommendations is at record high at 25. The following are in the list.
Swimming:                              Sandeep Sejwal
Weightlifting:                           Soniya Chanu
Archery:                                 Bombayla Devi, Deepika Kumari
Badminton:                             Ashwini Ponnappa, P. Kashyap
Boxing:                                   Vikas Krishan
Shooting:                                Omkar Singh, Annuraj Singh, Joydeep Karmakar
Wrestling:                               Geeta, Narsingh Yadav, Ravinder Singh
Cricket:                                  Yuvraj Singh
Athletics:                                Sudha Singh, Kavita Raut
Hockey:                                 Sardar Singh
Paralympics:                           Deepa Malik, Ramkaran Singh
Squash:                                  Dipika Pallikal
Wushu:                                   Bimoljit Singh
Billiards:                                 Aditya Mehta
Judo:                                      Yashpal Solanki
Polo:                                      Samir Suhag
Kabaddi:                                Anup Kumar

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Miss China wins Miss World 2012 title

China’s Yu Wenxia won the Miss World 2012 title while her Indian counterpart, Vanya Mishra made it to the top seven spot. Wales’ Sophie Moulds became the first runner-up, while Australia’s Jessica Kahawaty the second runner-up. Last year the title winner was Venezuela’s Ivian Sarcos.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A different view of Indian growth from PMEAC

Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council(PMEAC) forecasts a better growth number compared to different rating agencies. “Economy will grow at 6.7 per cent in 2012-13,” PMEAC Chairman C. Rangarajan said while releasing ‘The Economic Outlook for 2012-13’. Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s growth target now stands at 6.5 per cent from 7.3 per cent estimated earlier.
This comes when other rating agencies like Crisil and Moody’s projecting a growth rate of 5.5 per cent.
PMEAC Chairman suggested the government should allow FDI in more sectors to improve the economy.

CAG revises coalgate loss

The Comptroller and Auditor General's(CAG) report on coal, power and Delhi airport tabled on parliament. According to the revised CAG report on  non-transparent allocation of coal blocks revised down the estimate of loss  to Rs 1.86 lakh crore from Rs 10.67 lakh crore earlier. The reduction is based on the exclusion of allocation to government companies in the report. The 25 companies which are in the report include Hindalco, Tata Power, Jindal steel and Power, Essar Power and Tata steel.
The loss occurred because of the delay in introduction of the process of competitive bidding instead of allocation.  

SEBI announce measures to improve retail participation

Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) chairman U.K. Sinha announced measures to revamp the capital market by wider participation of retail investors in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) and mutual fund industry, including steps to improve the geographical reach of mutual funds and introducing electronic-IPO. SEBI allows  cash transactions in mutual funds up to Rs. 20,000 to help enhance the reach of mutual fund products among small investors, who may not be tax payers and may not have PAN or bank accounts. This move will benefit farmers, small traders/businessmen and workers. 
Electronic-IPO is introduced to attract more investors. Applications Supported by Blocked Amount(ASBA) is available with this mode. To facilitate this SEBI allows a nation wide network of brokers of stock exchanges at more than 1,000 locations in addition to the existing channels, for distributing IPOs in electronic form. 

What is ASBA?
ASBA is a facility in which applicants are allowed to apply in IPOs with the money in their accounts which will remain blocked until the issue gets completed. If he gets allotment the money will be transferred for IPO otherwise the money will be released.

Monday, August 13, 2012

PM will discuss Teesta pact

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will discuss Teesta pact and Tipaimukh Dam project will come in to discussion in the talks with former Bangladesh President Hussain Muhammad Ershad. Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai hosted a dinner for the visiting leader whose party is a part of Bangladesh's current government.  Ershad recently conducted a campaign demanding that the Teesta river water-sharing deal between the two countries be signed soon and a joint study be conducted to assess environmental and socio-economic impacts of the Tipaimukh Dam project on the region before its implementation. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sushil Kumar makes history

Sushil Kumar makes history by bagging medals in two Olympics in individual events. He wins the Silver medal in 66-kg freestyle wrestling at London. Sushil started beating defending Olympics champion which showed his intention. Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu of Japan won the gold medal.   This makes India's best ever medal collection in the history of Olympics with a total of six medals.

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Vedic Maths Shortcut Video 5 Finding cubes

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yogeshwar Dutt brings bronze

Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt wins the bronze in 60kg wrestling. He earlier lost in the pre-quarter match with Besik Kudukhov who reached the final which gave  Yogeshwar Dutt a second chance that is to fight in the repechage round in which he succeeded to secure a bronze.

‘No-frills’ to be replaced by basic savings a/c

The ‘no-frills’ accounts introduced in 2005 by Reserve Bank of India(RBI) to provide basic banking facilities to poor and promote financial inclusion will be replaced by basic savings a/c, RBI says. This is because the term 'no-frills' is not creates confusion among customers. RBI asked banks to provide the zero balance facility in the basic banking accounts along with ATM-cum-debit cards without any extra charge. The existing ‘no-frills’ accounts will also be converted into ‘Basic savings bank deposit accounts’. There will not be a limit on the number of times one can deposit in this account but can withdraw only four times a month including through ATMs.

Friday, August 10, 2012

UIDAI signs contract with HCL Infosystems

Unique Identification Authority of India(UIDAI) inks 7-year deal with HCL Infosystems to implement and manage the Central ID Repository (CIDR) for UIDAI. HCL Infosystems will be responsible for procurement and installation of the IT infrastructure, implementation of information security management systems and operations support and maintenance. They will also provide technical helpdesk, support services and database administration.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Chief Economic adviser appointed

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has cleared the appointment of Raghuram Rajan as the government's chief economic adviser. He will replace Kaushik Basu. He was selected by the PM's economic advisory council which is headed by C.Rangarajan. He will face a turbulent economy which has issues that needs to be fixed.

India Post on transformation mode

India Post is on a transformation mode which awarded a Rs 700 crore project of modernising its banking and insurance operations across 1,50,000 post offices in the country. This project aims to transform India Post into a hi-tech and autonomous market leader, by revolutionising its financial operations and end-user services. This project is part of ‘India Post 2012′ which aims at bringing transparency, agility, flexibility and scalability to India Post’s operations. This project also include installing 1000  ATMs for India Post.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

NSE on top of the world

The National Stock Exchange of India(NSE) is now the world's largest bourse in terms of the number of trades in equity segment for the first six months of 2012. This is an information from World Federation of Exchanges (WFE). According to them the second is NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX  at third. In the options segment NSE is the second largest exchange globally after Korea Exchange for index options. 


Russia and India will conduct sixth joint INDRA-2012 anti-terrorism military exercises in the Siberian republic of Buryatia. The last INDRA was held in India in October 2010. 
Some 500 servicemen— about 250 on each side— will take part in the drills, which will be conducted using some 50 Russian combat vehicles.
The participants of the exercises will carry out a number of firing, tactical and driving drills until Aug 12.
The active phase of the exercises will begin Aug 13 and include reconnaissance, pursuit and elimination of “terrorist groups.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ansari elected again

Hamid Ansari re-elected as the vice-president of India beating opposition candidate  Jaswant Singh.  A total of 740 Members of Parliament(From both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) cast their vote in the Vice Presidential election today. Out of which Ansari got a huge share of votes.  With the total number of voting members reduced to 752 because of some parties abstaining from election and some medical reasons, the halfway mark for Ansari has become 377. He got 490 votes.

Orissa makes history

Orissa became the first state in the country to start e-payment facility for government employees.With the introduction of this system, salaries and pensions would be credited to their bank accounts without use of cheques and other procedures involved so far. This was facilitated through electronic payment portal of Reserve Bank of India. 
"Though we have been insisting on e-payment by all state governments, Orissa was the first state to do it,” said V Ramchandra Rao, regional director RBI.

Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana award announced

DR Mehta, will be awarded Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for this year  for his "outstanding contribution towards promotion of communal harmony, peace and goodwill".
He is also a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India. 
He is mainly associated with a charitable institution based in Jaipur that provides artificial legs to the poor.
Mother Teresa, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Sunil Dutt and Dilip Kumar are some of the earlier recipients of this award.

AEPC set a target of $18 b export this fiscal

The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has set a target of exporting readymade garments worth $18 billion this fiscal compared to $13.11 billion in the last fiscal.
With huge investment planned in the XII Plan, , the country could export $50 billion worth readymade garments. Investment made in this sector creates huge job opportunities also. Every $1 billion export creates one million direct jobs in this sector. Also the process of setting up 143 apparel training design centres across the country is also going on.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

India's Mars Mission gets one more step closer

The Union Cabinet gave the necessary clearance for Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) mission to Mars next year.
The mission that comes after the Chandrayaan mission to the moon, aims to put a spacecraft in the red planet’s orbit to study its atmosphere, with the help of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Now India joins the elite group of United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and China who also has similar projects. 
The mission is estimated to cost around Rs.4.50 Billion. An initial provision of Rs.1.25 billion was made in this year’s budget to initialize the process.

Base price for 2G spectrum auction fixed

The Union Cabinet took the decision to fix the reserve (minimum) price of Rs. 14,000 crore for 5 MHZ of pan-India 2G spectrum. This is Rs. 4,100 crore, less than the Rs 18,000-crore reserve price recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). 
The reserve price for 5 MHz of CDMA spectrum has been fixed at Rs. 18,200 crore, 1.3 times the price of GSM spectrum.
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's version of the decision: “This [the reserve price] is only the starting point of the auction. And I have absolutely no doubt that the auction itself will give us a much higher price.”

Saina gets bronze

In the match to determine the bronze winner Saina Nehwal declared winner as her Chinese opponent Xin Wang withdrew from the match because of injury. The first game was won by the Chinese opponent. This is India's third medal in this Olympics.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Silver for India in 25mtr rapid fire pistol

India's Vijayakumar got silver in 25mtr rapid fire pistol at Olympics today. In this event Cuba got gold and China got bronze. This is the second medal in this Olympics for India after Narang's bronze.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

RBI policy review

RBI in its monetary policy review kept the policy rates unchanged and Statutory Liquidity Ratio(SLR) cut by 1%. Now the SLR is 23% as against 24% earlier. This cut is expected to provide liquidity of around Rs.60,000 crore.

SLR is the percentage of total deposits that lenders need to invest in the government bonds. The reduction is aimed at ensuring free flow of credit growth through enough liquidity in the system.

Cash Reserve Ratio or CRR is the portion of total deposits that banks are required to keep with the central bank also remained unchanged.

Because of the lower than expected rain fall RBI lowered its growth forecast to  6.5% from 7.3% as predicted in the April policy.

At the same time they  raised the inflation forecast from 6.5 per cent to 7 per cent.

India allows Pak Investment

In a move to improve trust between two nuclear powered nations India allowed Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) from Pakistan in India. From now on Pakistani individuals and companies will be allowed to invest in all sectors apart from defence, space and atomic energy.
Pakistan was the only country in the negative list under the Foreign Exchange Management Act(FEMA), which prohibits investing in India. 

Cabinet re-shuffle

In a major cabinet re-shuffle, current Home Minister P. Chidambaram appointed as Finance Minister while he was replaced by Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in the Home Ministry. The charge of Power ministry is assigned to Veerappa Moily who currently has Law Ministry in his portfolio. This re-shuffle came after former Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee elected as the President. 

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