Saturday, November 2, 2013

RBI policy rates and reserve ratios

Policy Rates

Bank Rate                                : 8.75%
Repo Rate                                : 7.75%
Reverse Repo Rate                   : 6.75%
Marginal Standing Facility Rate : 8.75%

Reserve Ratios

CRR     : 4%
SLR      : 23%

Nobel laureates 2013


François Englert;
Peter Higgs


Martin Karplus;
Michael Levitt;
Arieh Warshel

Physiology or Medicine

James E. Rothman;
Randy W. Schekman;
Thomas C. Südhof


Alice Munro


Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons


Eugene Fama;
Lars Peter Hansen;
Robert J. Shiller

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rogers Cup 2013

Rafael Nadal of Spain defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic  in the final of the men’s Rogers Cup 2013 in Montreal, Canada to win it for the third time. With this win Rafael Nadal moves to third rank in ATP(Association of Tennis Professionals) world rankings. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Companies Bill passed in RS: Key highlights

The New Companies Bill was finally passed in Rajya Sabha today, making it mandatory for profit making companies to spend on activities related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

With the new legislation, India would possibly become the first country to have Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) spending through a statutory provision.

The Bill, aimed at enhancing corporate governance, also contains provisions to strengthen regulations for corporates as well as auditing firms and promises  to ensure  an equitable and sustainable growth of the country.

Presenting the bill in Parliament, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot termed the passage of the Bill as a new era for corporate law and regulation in Indian economy and said this is a ‘historic moment for the country.”

Saturday, July 13, 2013

New Jharkhand CM

JMM leader Hemant Soren, son of party chief Shibu Soren, sworn in as the new chief minister of Jharkhand.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New NASSCOM President

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), has appointed R. Chandrasekhar , the former Secretary Department of Telecommunications (DoT), as its president.  Chandrashekhar will take over current Nasscom President Som Mittal, whose tenure ends in January 2014.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wimbledon 2013

Men's Singles: Andy Murray
Women Singles: Marion Bartoli
Men's Dobles: Bryan brothers(Bob and Mike Bryan)
Women's Doubles: Su-Wei Hsieh and Peng Shuai

German Grand Prix 2013

Three-time defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel surged ahead in his Red Bull at the start of the German Grand Prix on Sunday and held off a strong challenge from the two Lotus cars to win his first race on home soil.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Food Security Ordinance signed

President Pranab Mukherjee today signed Food Security Ordinance, paving way for implementation of the controversial Food Security Bill. Ordinance will give nation's two-third population the right to 5 kgs of foodgrain every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg.  At Rs 125,000 crore of government support, the food security programme will be the largest in the world.
"India is producing 214 million tonnes of food grain and what we need is 62 and we procure 30%. Last season we procured 82 million tonnes and as I speak now, storage is going to be 73-74 million, so we have enough food grains with us,"  Food minister K V Thomas said.
About 2.43 crore poorest of the poor families covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) scheme under PDS (Public Distribution System) would continue to get 35 kg of foodgrains per family per month but with legal entitlement.

First-ever IORARC meeting

Countries of the Indian Ocean region came together in picturesque Mauritius for their first-ever meeting aimed at exploring possibilities for trade and economic cooperation. Minister for Commerce and Industries Anand Sharma lead the Indian delegation at the Economic and Business Conference of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IORARC).
Mauritius is the headquarters of the association. The IORARC boasts 20 members, of which India and Australia have the largest economies.

For more details visit

Thursday, July 4, 2013

100% FDI in telecom

Inter-ministerial body Telecom Commission approved hiking foreign direct investment limit in the sector from 74 percent to 100 percent.

The Commission has approved raising FDI limit to 100 percent, 49 percent investment can be made through automatic route but Foreign Investment Permission Board(FIPB) approval is required to increase the level.

At present, FDI limit in the sector is 74 percent where 49 percent is done through automatic route and rest requires nod from FIPB.

The idea behind increasing FDI limit in telecom sector is to help industry get fresh funds to lower financial burden.

According to a presentation by GSM industry body The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) to DoT, the debt of telecom sector stood at Rs 1,85,720 crore at end of 2011-12. This included debt of Rs 93,594 crore from domestic sources and Rs 92,126 crore from external sources.

The Commission also discussed creation of Telecom Finance Corporation (TFC) to address the sector’s funding challenges and “sought a detailed project report on it”.

The TFC is proposed to be set up on the lines of sectoral finance bodies such as Power Finance Corporation and Tourism Finance Corporation of India.

The proposed TFC is targeting financing Rs 38,000 crore in five-year period.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Guidelines for new banking licence

The new guidelines makes entities both from private and public sector eligible to set up a bank through a wholly-owned non-operative financial holding company (NOFHC).
RBI guidelines says,"The NOFHC shall be wholly owned by the promoter / promoter group. The NOFHC shall hold the bank as well as all the other financial services entities of the group. Entities / groups should have a past record of sound credentials and integrity, be financially sound with a successful track record of 10 years. For this purpose, RBI may seek feedback from other regulators and enforcement and investigative agencies".
The groups should have a minimum paid up equity capital of Rs 500 crore. At the start of banking operations, NOFHC should hold a minimum of 40 per cent of the equity capital of the bank with a lock-in period of five years. Later, it has to be brought down to 15 percent within 12 year from that onwards.
The NOFHC will be registered as a non-banking finance company with the RBI while the bank will be governed by the prudential regulations by RBI.
Another condition is that 25% of its branches should be in unbanked rural areas with population upto 9,999.
For the first five years FDI is capped at 49%.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

What is SKEWPY?

Sher-e-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth (SKEWPY) is a initiative to address the unemployment problem in Jammu and Kashmir. A Collective, comprehensive and holistic endeavour is required to address this gigantic problem in a principled manner, Hence, the Government announces this State policy on Employment’ to simultaneously and comprehensively address all issues relating to the problem of unemployment in the State.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

January 2013: Current Affairs

Ranji Trophy
Mumbai won its 40th Ranji trophy after beating Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy finals at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Leprosy free Delhi
The incidence rate of leprosy has declined from 4.5 cases per 10,000 of population in 2001 to 0.8 cases at present in New Delhi. WHO guidelines says when the number of leprosy patients gets reduced to below 1 case per 10,000 populations, the disease is considered to have been eliminated as a public health problem.

Kirti Chakra
Major Abup J Manjali of the Rashtriya Rifles has been awarded the Kirti Chakra for the exhibition of exceptional valor in counter- terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Australian Open
Men's Singles Novak Djokovic (first ever to win 3 consecutive Australian Open men’s singles titles)
Women's Singles Victoria Azarenka
Men's Doubles Bob Bryan
                        Mike Bryan
Women's Doubles  Sara Errani
                              Roberta Vinci
Mixed Doubles  Jarmila Gajdošová
                         Matthew Ebden

Republic Day 
Bhutan king igme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was Republic Day parade chief guest.

MCX-SX joins UN's initiative 
read more

RBI to buy government securities to ease liquidity...
read more

Lok Sabha passes money laundering amendment Bill
read more

Padma Awards 2013

Padma Vibhushan

Raghunath Mohapatra, Art, Orissa

S Haider Raza, Art, Delhi

Prof. Yash Pal, Science and Engineering, Uttar Pradesh

Prof. Roddam Narasimha, Science and Engineering, Karnataka

to know more about other Padma award winners click here

Oldest Padma Award winner
Hindustani vocalist Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan (105) has become the oldest person to be chosen for this year’s Padma Shri award.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Govt debt stable in Jan-March quarter

Government debt remained almost same with a 0.4 percent growth to over Rs 40.83 lakh crore in the January-March period of 2012-13 fiscal, over the previous quarter.
“This (Rs 40,83,040 crore debt) represented a quarter-on-quarter increase of 0.4 per cent (provisional) compared with an increase of 4 per cent in the previous quarter (Q3 of FY13),” the Quarterly Report on Debt Management said today.
The internal debt constituted 91.1 percent of the public debt, compared to 90.7 percent in October-December quarter.
The RBI reduced CRR by 25 basis points to 4 percent, effective January 29, 2013 and purchased securities worth Rs 33,549 crore through Open Market Operations(OMO) auctions during the quarter. RBI also reduced repo rate to 7.50 percent during the quarter in two steps of 25 basis points each.

The net amount provided under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) operations remained consistently high during the quarter.
Total expenditure during April-February period at 85.2 percent of revised estimates (RE) was higher than 83.9 percent during the same period of previous fiscal.

As a result of higher expenditure, revenue deficit and fiscal deficit during April-February, at 101.2 percent and 97.4 percent of RE, were higher than 96.6 percent and 94.6 per cent respectively, in the year-ago period, it said.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New CAG sworn in

Shashi Kant Sharma was today sworn in as CAG by President Pranab Mukherjee in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He was holding the post of Defence Secretary prior to this new assignment. He is taking charge at a difficult time when CAG is under sharp attack from the government  for its reports on assessment of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss in allocation of 2G spectrum. These reports came out during the tenure of Vinod Rai, who superannuated yesterday after a five-and-a-half year eventful tenure as the head of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Key rates set by RBI

Key rates set by RBI like CRR, SLR, Repo, Reverse Repo, Bank Rate and MSF....

Friday, May 3, 2013

Key highlights of RBI policy

  • Repo rate cut by 25 basis points. RBI Governor D Subbarao noted that there is limited room to ease monetary policy further as headline inflation remains above comfort levels. The repo rate now stands at 7.25 percent.
  • Cash Reserve Ratio remained unchanged at 4 percent.
  • RBI pegs economic growth for current fiscal at 5.7 percent.
  • RBI says growth to remain subdued in first half of FY14. Economic activities expected to show only modest improvement. Industrial activity outlook remains subdued.
  • Headline inflation will remain range-bound around 5.5 percent level in 2013-14
  • *RBI said it will aim to reach 5 percent WPI inflation by March 2014
  • RBI investigations revealed need for better regulatory compliance by banks. Advise banks to ensure transparent pricing of loans.
  • RBI proposes doubling of priority sector lending limits to MSMEs to Rs 5 crore.
  • FY14 Bank credit growth projection at 15 percent
  • Biggest risk to economy stems from Current Account Deficit. Likelihood of capital flight due to growth concerns in advanced economies.
The biggest risk the central bank sees to the economy is the ballooning current account deficit (CAD) which remains well above the sustainable level of 2.5 percent of GDP. In fact, the central bank goes on to say that even if one accounted for the fact that the fiscal deficit is “programmed to decline,” the CAD was still high. “Large fiscal deficits can potentially spill over into the CAD and undermine its sustainability even further.A large CAD, appreciably above the sustainable level year after year, will put pressure on servicing of external liabilities,” the policy statement points out.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dadasaheb Phalke award 2012

Legendary actor Pran Krishan Sikand will receive the 2012 Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to cinema. Well known by his screen name Pran, he received the Padma Bhushan in 2001. One of the most respected actors in Bollywood, Pran established himself as a legendary villain in the course of an acting career that spanned over 50 years and is made up of more than 400 films.
Of his own films, Pran’s personal favourites include Halaku, Madhumati, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain, and Zanjeer. He retired from acting in the 1990s.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy

Gujarat today clinched the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 Championship beating Punjab in the finals. 

Electing to bat, Punjab suffered a top-order collapse to be reduced to 20 for four in the sixth over before they recovered a bit to score 122 for eight in their allotted 20 overs at the Holkar Stadium.

Gujarat chased down the target with 13 balls to spare.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is a Twenty20 cricket domestic championship in India, organized by Board of Control for Cricket in India, among the teams from Ranji Trophy. The 2008-09 season was the inaugural season for this trophy. It is named after a famous Indian cricketer, Syed Mushtaq Ali.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Q3 current account deficit at alarming levels...

India’s current account deficit (CAD) widened from 5.4 per cent in the July-September quarter to a record high of 6.7 per cent of GDP in the October-December quarter, driven mainly by huge trade deficit, said a release by the Reserve Bank of India.

A surge in capital flows helped finance the current account deficit.

"The pickup in capital flows was mainly due to foreign portfolio investment which rose to USD 8.6 billion during Q3 of 2012-13 from USD 1.8 billion in Q3 of previous year. While loans availed by banks and corporate sector amounted to USD 7.1 billion, net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) declined to USD 2.5 billion in Q3 of 2012-13 from USD 5 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2011-12," the RBI release said.

Exports growth during the third quarter was muted as compared with a 7.6 per cent growth in Q3 of 2011-12, the RBI release said.

Imports, however grew 9.4 per cent, spurred largely by oil and gold imports.This has resulted in the trade deficit widening to USD 59.6 billion in Q3, compared to USD 48.6 billion during the corresponding period of the previous year.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Union Budget 2013: Facts and figures

Budget Highlights

  • Fiscal deficit seen at 5.2 point of GDP in 2012/13 
  • Fiscal deficit seen at 4.8 point of GDP in 2013/14

Faced with huge fiscal deficit, India had no choice but to rationalize expenditure

Gross market borrowing seen at 6.29 trillion rupees in 2013/14
Net market borrowing seen at 4.84 trillion rupees in 2013/14
Short-term borrowing seen at 198.44 billion rupees in 2013/14
To buy back 500 billion rupees worth of bonds in 2013/14

  • 2013/14 major subsidies bill estimated at 2.48 trillion rupees from 1.82 trillion rupees

Petroleum subsidy seen at 650 billion rupees in 2013/14
Revised petroleum subsidy for 2012/13 at 968.8 billion rupees
Estimated 900 billion rupees spending on food subsidies in 2013/14
Revised food subsidies at 850 billion rupees in 2012/13
Revised 2012/13 fertiliser subsidy at 659.7 billion rupees

Duty free limit for Gold raised to Rs. 50,000 in case of a male passenger and Rs. 1 lakh for female passengers.
Tax Administration Reforms Commission to be set up to review tax laws

  • Total budget expenditure seen at 16.65 trillion rupees in 2013/14

Non-plan expenditure estimated at about 11.1 trillion rupees in 2013/14
India's 2013/14 plan expenditure seen at 5.55 trillion rupees
Revised estimate for total expenditure is 14.3 trillion rupees in 2012/13, which is 96 point of budget estimate
Set aside 100 billion rupees towards spending on food subsidies in 2013/14
Expect 133 billion rupees through direct tax proposals in 2013/14
Expect 47 billion rupees through indirect tax proposals in 2013/14
Target 558.14 billion rupees from stake sales in state-run firms in 2013/14
Expect revenue of 408.5 bln rupees from airwave surcharges, auction of telecom spectrum, licence fees in 2013/14

  • Rs. 1000-crore Nirbhaya Fund announced for the empowerment of women

National Housing Bank (NHB) to set up urban housing bank fund and Rs. 2,000 crore will be allocated in this regard

  • Rs. 14,000 crore capital infusion into public sector banks in 2013-14

PSU banks to have ATMs at all their branches by March 31, 2014
Rs. 6,000 crore to be allocated for rural housing fund in 2013-14

  • Defence allocation increased to Rs. 2.03 lakh crore

Rs. 6,275 crore to ministry of science and technology, Rs. 5,880 crore to Department of Atomic Energy
Tax-free infrastructure bonds of Rs.50,000 crore to be issued
Foodgrain production during 2013-13 estimated at 250 million tonnes
Person taking a home loan for his first home during the period 2013-14 will be entitled to an additional deduction of Rs. 1 lakh
Re-financing capacity of SIDBI increased to Rs. 10,000 crore from Rs. 5,000 crore for Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises
Rs. 27,049 crore allocation to the Agriculture Ministry in 2013-14

  • Rs. 7 lakh crore target fixed for agriculture credit for 2013-14 compared to Rs. 5.75 lakh crore in the current year.

Eastern Indian states to get Rs. 1,000 crore allocation for improving agricultural production

  • Govt committed to food security bill. 10,000 crores set apart for expenditure likely under the act

Rs. 37,330 crore allocated for Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

Rs. 3511 crore allocated to Minority Affairs Ministry which is 60 per cent of the revised estimates
Additional sum of Rs. 200 crore to Women and Child Welfare
Rs. 37,330 crore allocated for Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to boost Indian growth rate

Bringing down FDI barriers and reducing regulatory uncertainty to attract more private investments will help boost India’s economic growth, according to a recent report by OECD, a Paris-based body.
The report also talks about promoting entry of new private banks and establishing a plan to phase out priority lending.
The report adds the government has to “allow greater participation by foreign investors in the financial services sector and promote the entry of new private banks”.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a grouping of mostly rich countries. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Australia wins Women's Cricket world cup

Australia avenged their Super Six defeat against West Indies by beating them in the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup by 114 runs to lift their sixth World Cup title. 
Ellyse Perry who  scored a quickfire 25 off 22 balls (2×4, 1×6) as the Kangaroos put up a total of 259-7 in their 50 overs. She followed that up with magnificent figures of 3/15 in her 10 overs (three maidens), skittling out West Indies for just 145 runs in the process.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

American, US Airways announces merger

 American Airlines and US Airways decided to merge which is a $11 billion deal. The resulting entity will be the world's biggest airline.

The combined entity will be known as American Airlines.

The merger would reduce the number of major U.S. airlines to four — the new American, United, Delta and Southwest.

The new American would have more than 900 planes, 3,200 daily flights and about 95,000 employees, not counting regional affiliates. It will be slightly bigger than United Airlines by passenger traffic, not counting regional affiliate airlines.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Widening CAD: A real threat

D. Subbarao, the Reserve Bank of India Governor warned about the widening Current Account Deficit(CAD) which will most likely be higher than last year. “Today, the external sector is vulnerable. Last year, the CAD was 4.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). This year, in 2012-13, we expect the CAD to be significantly higher than that, historically, the highest CAD measured as a proportion of the GDP,” said Dr. Subbarao.
He warned about financing the CAD through volatile flows instead of getting much of foreign direct investment (FDI).

No recovery in Industrial production

 Continuing the sluggishness in the economy, the recent industrial output figure contracted to 0.6 per cent in December which is caused by poor performance of manufacturing and mining sectors and decline in production of capital as well as consumer goods.

The industrial output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had grown by 2.7 per cent in December, 2011.

Industrial production growth stood at 0.7 per cent during April-December period of this fiscal, down from 3.7 per cent in the same period of 2011-12, according to official data released here on Tuesday.

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