Current Affairs Current Affairs - 11 May 2015 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 11 May 2015

Arvind Kejriwal under attack over AAP govt's circular on 'defamatory' news
  • NEW DELHI: The opposition parties on Sunday came out strongly against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal over an AAP government's circular threatening action against media for any 'defamatory news'.

    The BJP and the Congress accused Kejriwal of being a "hypocrite" and "anti-democratic".

    "When there is criticism of the government, when the wrong doings of his government is exposed by the media, the chief minister is taking objection to that. This shows the anti-democratic attitude of the chief minister," Congress leader PC Chacko said.

    Voicing similar views, BJP said while Kejriwal talks about freedom of speech, he wants everyone else's "throat to be throttled".

    "He talks about unfettered freedom of speech but he wants everybody else's throat to be throttled. This is the height of hypocrisy," BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said.

    Ajay Maken, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president, said it was "weird" that Kejriwal is doing everything opposite of what he used to say before elections.

    Stressing that this was not happening for the first time, Maken said, "As soon as his party came to power, he had stopped media's entry in the building (Secretariat). He should not have a problem with the media as his party came to power with their help".

    Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja dubbed Kejriwal's defamation diktat on the media as a 'subtle attack' on the freedom of press.

    Raja added that t
    he Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief cannot issue a 'hidden threat' in the name of giving instructions to ministers and officials.

    "The Delhi Government cannot give instructions to ministers andofficials by issuing some kind of a hidden threat to the media or some kind of subtle attack on the freedom of the press," he said.

I&B minister Arun Jaitley gives Dadasaheb Phalke Award to veteran actor Shashi Kapoor at Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai
  • Image result for Actor-filmmaker Shashi KapoorActor-filmaker Shashi Kapoor has been presented the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley

    The veteron actor was unable to attend the award ceremony in Delhi because of his ill-health, therefore, he was handed over the award at a function at Prithvi Theatre in suburban Mumbai.

    Born in 1938, Kapoor hit the spotlight from the age of four acting in plays directed and produced by his father, while travelling with Prithvi Theatre. He started acting in films as a child in the late 1940s.

    His best known performances as child artist were in "Aag" (1948) and "Awaara" (1951), where he played the younger version of the character played by Raj Kapoor. Shashi Kapoor also worked as assistant director in the 1950s.
    Kapoor made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film "Dharmputra" and went on to appear in more than 116 films during 60s, 70s and until the mid 80s.
    Some of his memorable films include "Deewar", "Kabhie Kabhie", "Namak Halal", "Kaala Pathar" and others.
    The 77-year-old actor, who is wheelchair bound and has been ailing from kidney problems, is the third from his family to get the award, after father Prithvi Raj Kapoor and elder brother Raj Kapoor.
    He was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2011.

Centre, states should work as 'Team India': PM Modi
  • BURNPUR (WB): Reaching out to States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the Centre and states should work together as 'Team India' to solve national problems like they have worked to resolve issues like the Indo-Bangla Land Boundary Agreement.

    "If issues with foreign countries can be resolved through the spirit of 'Team India', solving domestic issues will be very easy," he said after inaugurating the modernised IISCO Steel Plant here.

    Observing that the bill to give effect to the Indo-Bangla accord was passed unanimously by Parliament, Modi said all political parties and states like West Bengal, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura worked "shoulder to shoulder with the Centre" to resolve this issue.

    Vowing to work with the states to "take India forward", the Prime Minister said it has been a "misfortune" that in the past there have been tensions between states and the Centre.

HDFC among world's top 10 list of consumer finance firms
  • NEW YORK: Mortgage lender HDFC has emerged as the only Indian company among the world's 10 biggest consumer financial services firms , after giants like American Express, Visa and Mastercard.

    HDFC is ranked 7th on the list, compiled by business magazine Forbes, where American Express is placed on the top, followed by Capital One Financial, Visa, Discover Financial Services and Orix in the top-five. Mastercard is ranked sixth.

    HDFC is followed by CIT Group of US at eighth position, Taiwan's Hua Nan Financial at 9th and China's Franshion Properties is at the 10th place.

    Others ranked lower include Samsung Card, Kaisa Group, Orient, Nelnet, Jabal Omar Development and KWG Property.

    The list is part of Forbes' annual compilation of 2,000 biggest and most powerful companies globally, which includes a total of 56 companies from India across various sectors.

    In the overall list, HDFC is ranked 485th, while Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries leads the pack of the Indian companies at 142nd overall position.

    Among other sector-specific lists, there is no Indian entity on the list of biggest major banks topped by China's ICBC.

    For the regional banks, China Construction Bank tops the chart, while India's SBI is ranked 22nd, ICICI Bank is at 29th place and HDFC Bank is at 40th position.

    For Oil and Gas sector, Reliance Industries is ranked 15th globally, while ExxonMobil is on the top.

    In Computer Services, Google tops the list and India's TCS is at 7th place, followed by Coginzant at 9th and Infosys at 10th position.

    The overall list is dominated by the companies from the US and China.

    India has added two companies to its last year's tally. Among Indian companies on the overall list, Reliance Industries is followed by SBI, ONGC, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, Indian Oil, HDFC Bank, NTPC, HDFC, TCS and Bharti Airtel, among others.

    Forbes said the list ranks the companies on the basis of a composite score of their revenues, profits, assets and market value.

Jayalalithaa verdict: AIADMK hopeful of relief, party men hold prayers
  • Jayalalithaa verdict: AIADMK hopeful of relief, party men hold prayersCHENNAI: AIADMK workers on Sunday organized "poojas" in temples and took out processions praying for a favourable judgement with the Karnataka high court all set to decide on Monday an appeal by party chief Jayalalithaa against her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.

    Women party workers took out traditional "milk pot spiritual procession" in many places, lamps were lighted in temples and coconuts offered as part of prayers "for the return of Jayalalithaa as chief minister". 

    Echoing similar sentiment and targeting arch rival DMK, AIADMK mouthpiece "Dr Namadhu MGR" on Sunday said "the time for our Puratchi Thai (Revolutionary Mother) to sit on the chariot of governance is coming here tomorrow (Monday). Till then, little foxes may howl." 

    Over 6,000 AIADMK women party in Tiruvarur carried milk pots on their heads and went in a procession which culminated at the ancient Thiagaraja Swamy temple where prayer sessions were held. 

    Also, at the Palani Dhandayuthapani Swami hill temple, a padyatra with "1006 theertha pots" was held. 

    In Tiruvannamalai district's Raattinamangalam village, 507 women cadres took out a milk pot procession to the Gangaiamman Temple.

    US university to offer Hindi language course
    • US university to offer Hindi language courseWASHINGTON: The University of Montana in the US is offering its students a chance to learn Hindi language during the next academic year and a Fulbright instructor from India will teach the subject. 

      Gaurav Mishr
      a, a Fulbright instructor, will teach the language under the University of Montana's South & Southeast Asian Studies programme during the 2015-16 academic year. 

      Mishra, from Uttar Pradesh, will arrive mid-August at the university to teach a two-course sequence of elementary Hindi, beginning in fall semester and finishing in the spring.

      "This is a rare honour and a big achievement because only four universities in the nation have been allotted Hindi instructors," UM liberal studies Professor Ruth Vanita said. 

      The university will also try to make Hindi language a regular academic subject. 

      Vanita said the South & Southeast Asian Studies programme plans to apply for a Fulbright instructor for the 2016-17 academic year to continue Hindi classes. 

      Hindi is an Indo-European language, connected through a common ancestor to European languages, including English. 

      The Hindi language is almost completely phonetic, which means it is written almost exactly as it is spoken. Every letter of the alphabet stands for just one sound.

    Cow who was issued admit card does not appear for examination
    • Cow who was issued admit card does not appear for examinationSRINAGAR: A Budgam resident, who managed to get hall ticket for his Brown Cow to write a professional entrance examination, on Sunday did not turn up with the bovine for the paper at the allocated centre here, saying he only wanted to convey a message about the "flaw" in the system. 

      "I only wanted to
       convey a message to the authorities about the flaw in the system. I never wanted to make a mockery of the system," Abdul Rashid Bhat, the owner of the now-famous cow, told PTI.

      Mediapersons had gathered outside the Government Degree College at Bemina here where the paper was scheduled to take place at 10.00 AM, but returned disappointed when Bhat and his cow did not turn up for the examination.

      In an attempt to expose the loopholes in Jammu and Kashmir Board of Professional Entrance Examination's (BOPEE) online registration system, Bhat had managed to acquire an admit card for his cow to write the paper for admission to Diploma in polytechnical college. 

      The admit card was issued by the BOPEE in the name of Kachir Gaaw (Brown Cow) which is supposedly daughter of Gura Dand (Red Bull). 

      Bhat, after obtaining the hall ticket last week, had said it was his legal right to bring the bovine for writing the examination. 

      "Had I gone ahead with that, there would be no difference between me and an animal. I would become a two-legged animal then," he said. 

      Bhat, who hails from Chadoora area of central Kashmir's Budgam district, expressed hope that the prank he played would lead to change in the system and authorities would make it more efficient and fair for all candidates. 

      "There is a general perception that examinations are conducted for a formality as the admissions are finalised before the process is started. I hope things will improve and meritorious students only will get admissions to professional courses," he added. 

      The cow was alloted a seat at Government Degree College Bemina for writing the examination scheduled on Sunday. 

      The incident came to light on May 2 after opposition National Conference spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu uploaded a copy of the admit card on micro-blogging site Twitter. 

    Monsoon expected on time, may hit Kerala on June 1
    • Monsoon expected on time, may hit Kerala on June 1NEW DELHI: Monsoon is expected to arrive on time this year, hitting Kerala on June 1, but rainfall may remain below normal, prompting the government to put in place a contingency plan and push crop insurance for farmers. 

      The contingency plan would cover as many as 580 districts that may witness monsoon deficit, while the agriculture ministry is also mulling over steps to popularize crop insurance schemes among the farming community. 

      "The onset of monsoon looks normal. An error window of 2-3 days can be taken. As of now, there is no delay in arrival of rain. However, monsoon is expected to be below normal due to El Nino factor," a senior IMD official told PTI. 

      The timely onset of south-west monsoon is crucial for sowing of kharif (summer) crops like paddy and a deficit in rainfall may hit the rice output. 

      Last year, the country had received 12 per cent less rain, which hit production of grains, cotton and oilseeds. After a poor monsoon in 2014, the untimely rain during March-April this year have already put farmers in distress and there have been quite a few cases of farmer suicides. 

      Preparing for below-average rain, the agriculture ministry is working hard to minimize the impact of weak monsoon on kharif production especially rice and food inflation. 

      "The state governments have been asked to fully gear up to implement the contingency plan in 580 districts. In some districts, we are updating contingency measures as per the local needs," agriculture Secretary Siraj Husain said. 

      He further said a big push would be given to popularize crop insurance scheme among the farming community. 

      The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), which has earlier forecast below-average monsoon in 2015, is scheduled to announce on May 15 the likely date of monsoon onset and its progress thereafter. 

      Private weather forecaster Skymet will also release its update on monsoon around the same time. 

      "We are projecting normal monsoon, which is expected to land on time around June 1 with 2-3 days of error window," Skymet CEO Jatin Singh said. 

      As per IMD also, the normal date for monsoon onset on the southern coast is June 1. 

      Agriculture, which contributes only 15 per cent to India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but employs about 60 per cent of population, is heavily dependent on monsoon as only 40 per cent of the cultivable area is under irrigation.


       Air India formally joined the airline group Star Alliance. With this, Air India became the first Indian airline to become a member of 27 airlines club.
       Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd (APSEZ) on 4 July 2014 formed a joint venture (JV) with French shipping company CMA CGM
       ADB announced to provide 50 million US dollars of equity investment into Indian company, ReNew Power.
       Google on 25 June 2014 launched Project Android One to build ultra cheap Smartphone at Google I/O 2014 in San Francisco.
       HSBC sold its Swiss private banking assets to Liechtenstein’s LGT Bank. This deal could have bearing on India’s fight against black money.
       The Indian Patent Office on 23 June 2014 refused to grant a patent on anticancer drug Abraxane of US firm Abraxis BioSciences.
       Air India has joined the global airlines group, Star Alliance. The decision to admit into the Alliance was taken on 23 June 2014 in London.
       Nivea, the global skin care brand, on 23 June 2014 announced to set up its first manufacturing plant in India in Sanand, Gujarat.
       Indian infrastructure giant, GMR has won the arbitration award against Maldivian government for wrongful termination of Airport project contract.
       Nita Ambani on 18 June 2014 was appointed as the Director of Reliance Industries.
       Nadathur Sarangapani Raghavan, co-founder of Infosys on 17 June 2014 acquired Paladion Networks.
       DLF Home Developers Ltd received internationally recognised ISO Quality Certification.
       BHEL on 13 June 2014 commissioned 68 MW Unit at the Rampur Hydro Electric Project in Himachal Pradesh.
       Canara Bank opened its seventh overseas branch in New York, USA after London, Leicester (UK), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bahrain and Johannesburg.
       Meiji Holdings Ltd of Japan had acquired pharmaceutical firm Medreich for 290 million US dollar.
       Google on 10 June 2014 confirmed the purchase of Satellite Firm Skybox Imaging for 500 million US dollar.
       Sunil Dutt was appointed as President of Reliance Jio Infocomm
       Ban imposed on export of drugs produced in Ranbaxy’s Toansa plant was lifted by the European health regulator.
       Central Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory of RGCA became India’s first aquaculture pathology laboratory to be accredited by NABL.
       Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced on 29 May 2014 to buy 78 percent stake in Network18 Media and Investments for 4000 crore rupees.
       For Europeans, Google has launched a new service named right to be forgotten in which they can request the web pages to removal of links about them.
       The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on 28 May 2014 approved Tesco’s plan to purchase 50% stake in Tata Group firm Trent Hypermarket
       Domestic e-retailer Flipkart on 21 May 2014 announced that it has acquired rival and leading fashion e-tailer for 300 million US dollar.
       Hindustan Motors halted the production of India’s iconic car Ambassador on 25 May 2014.
       ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and gas producer Rosneft signed a deal on 25 May 2014 to jointly explore hydrocarbons in the offshore Arctic.
       DGCA for the first time issued the Standards of Services Document enlisting services and transactions offered by it to the public, operators and others.
       UK based Marks & Spencer announced that the company will open 100 stores in India by 2016.
       Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) upheld a penalty of 630 crore rupees imposed on real estate firm DLF slapped by CCI.
       Asia's biggest milk brand Amul on 14 May 2014 announced to set up a dairy processing plant in Varanasi.
       Mobile phone industry giants Apple and Google on 16 May 2014 agreed to settle Smartphone Patent war.
       Sundaram BNP Paribas Fund Services received ISAE Type II certification for maintaining high quality operating model and having effective control systems.
       MTS announced on 14 May 2014 that it will provide free Wi-Fi in Gurgaon Rapid Metro Rail for six months.
       Indian Pharma major Cipla Limited on 11 May 2014 announced to invest in US based Chase Pharmaceuticals to develop Alzheimer's drug.
       SEBI exempted Etihad Airways from making open offer in the Jet deal as purchase of 24% stake of Jet Airlines doesn’t amount to change in ownership.
       Punj Lloyd, Indian construction major won a 1270 crore rupees expressway project in Yemen.
       BHEL successfully commissioned 126 MW Gas Turbine Generating unit at Qarn Alam-3 power project of Petroleum Development Oman.
       Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on 7 May 2014 approved the flying license of AirAsia India Private Limited (AAIPL).
       Kuwait has renewed two crude oil supply contracts with India’s BPCL and BORL of worth up to 3.7 billion dollars a year.
       SAIL bagged contracts to supply over 1.17 lakh tonnes of rails for two global tenders for major upcoming passenger rail line projects in India.
       Cadbury India Limited on 22 April 2014 announced to change its name to Mondelez India Foods Limited.
       The largest IT services provider of India, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), on 21 April 2014 joined the league of top 10 global IT services companies.
       Hero MotoCorp will enter the market of Bangladesh through a joint venture of 5:45 with Bangladesh’s Nitol Niloy.
       Trends in Vogue on 19 April 2014 entered into an agreement with Bhartiya Mahila Bank (BMB) to promote women Entrepreneurship.
       Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank set World record for Blood collection in a single day.
       Piramal Enterprises Ltd acquired 20 percent stake in Shriram Capital Ltd for 20.14 billion rupees.
       Google has acquired the maker of high-altitude solar powered drones, Titan Aerospace to bring deliver internet in the remotest corners of the world.
       State Bank of India (SBI) on 15 April 2014 launched a financing scheme for women fashion boutique owners.
       Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) reduced its stake in Infosys by 3.25% by selling its shares worth 850 crore rupees.
       Mahindra ShubhLabh Services and Belgium-based Univeg signed a JV to supply fresh fruits.
       Piramal Enterprises announced on 10 April 2014 to sold its equity stake to Vodafone India for 8900 crore rupees.
       Symphony Teleca Corp (STC) a U.S. based company acquired Bangalore based Aditi Technologies.
       Sun Pharma announced to acquire Ranbaxy Laboratories for 3.2 billion dollars
       US Food and Drug Administration on 2 April banned imports of Apotex Inc’s manufacturing plant in India.
       Qatar based Doha Bank announced that it will be open its first branch in Mumbai in India.
       Amazon launched an internet-connected TV set-top box or video streaming device called Fire TV on 2 April 2014.
       Ministry of Civil Aviation approved a new airline of Tata and Singapore Airlines (SIA).
       The Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed a fine of 1 crore rupees on Google
       Tata Teleservices limited (TTL) on 27 March 2014 launched new Wi-Fi business in Chennai.
       Facebook on 26 March 2014 decided to acquire two year old virtual reality technology firm Oculus VR for 2 billion dollar
       Maharatna PSU Coal India limited (CIL) on 17 March 2014 introduced a voluntary retirement scheme for non-technical female workers.
       Indian Oil Corp (IOC) on 17 March 2014 announced to set up 30000 crore rupees refinery at Mundra in Gujarat with 15 million tones capacity.
       NTPC has approved an investment of 14366.58 crore rupees for its Karanpura thermal power project in Jharkhand.
       Spice Jet and Boeing Company signed a deal worth 4.4 billion dollar.
       SBI Life Insurance Company on 12 March 2014 announced that it will appeal against the order of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA)
       Mercedes Benz, the German luxury car maker announced that it has commenced the local assembly of the S-Class sedan in India at Chakan, Pune.
       The French company Airbus launched its wholly owned subsidiary in India called Airbus India on 11 March 2014.
       Public sector general insurer New India Assurance announced an exclusive health insurance cover New India Asha Kiran for girl child on 7 March 2014.
       Tom Albanese was appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vedanta Resources.
       Bill Gates is the World’s top richest Billionaire according to Forbes magazine’s annual World billionaires list
       TAQA led consortium, the international energy and Water Company decided to acquire two hydroelectric power plants for about 1.6 billion US dollar
       New rules for Corporate Social Responsibility rules notified to be effective from 1 April 2014.
       Sun Edison, a solar energy announced to set up a solar park in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu.
       US firm Hennessey’s engineers have developed the world’s fastest car Venom GT with a top speed of a speed of 435 km per hour.
       Low-cost air carrier Spicejet triggered a third round of airfare war by slashing ticket prices by 75 percent during Super Summer Sale for customers.
       Essar Energy rejected a 1.5-billion dollar takeover bid by the Ruia brothers on 25 February 2014.
       Coca-Cola announced to set up its Accelerator Programme TARGET in India on 23 February 2014.
       Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) signed Pact with New India Assurance Company on 21 February 2014.
       Social media giant Facebook Inc acquired WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars in a cash and stock deal on 19 February 2014.
       ONGC Videsh Limited signed a Production Sharing Contract for exploration and extraction in shallow water in the Bay of Bengal of Bangladesh.
       The Bombay Stock Exchange launched an institutional trading platform (ITP) for small and medium enterprises on 12 February 2014.
       Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg became the youngest and the most generous philanthropist of America in 2013.
       CCEA approved Vodafone to buy out minority shareholders in its Indian branch for 10141 crore rupees.
       Six Public Sector Units (PSUs) signed memorandum of understanding to set up World’s largest 4000 MW ultra solar power project
       Google acquired Bengaluru based Impermium for 9 million dollar on 20 January 2014.
       Wal-Mart registered a new Company called Wal-Mart India Private Ltd in India
       RBI has allowed foreign investors to buy shares of South Indian Bank as foreign shareholding in the bank has gone below the prescribed limit.
       Facebook acquired Bengaluru-based Little Eye Labs for 90 crore rupees on 7 January 2014
       Bajaj Allianz General Insurance launched an all women branch in Pune.

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