Current Affairs Current Affairs - 16 July 2015 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 16 July 2015

Indian among group of tourists arrested in China for suspected 'terror videos'
  • Indian among group of tourists arrested in China for suspected 'terror videos'BEIJING : A group of 20 foreign tourists including Britons, South Africans and an Indian national, have been arrested in northern China, according to reports by Britain's Foreign Office and a South African charity, on suspicion some had ties to a "terror group".

    China has agreed to release 11 of the tourists, but the rest will continue to be held without charge at a detention center in Inner Mongolia, the South African charity, Gift of the Givers Foundation, said.

    Chinese authorities said some of those arrested had been watching propaganda videos from a banned group in their hotel room, the charity added in its statement.

    Five South Africans, three Britons and one Indian national make up the nine being held, it said.

    "Consular staff have visited the group to provide assistance and we are liaising with Chinese authorities," a British foreign office spokesman told Reuters.

    The Chinese foreign ministry and the South African embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An Indian embassy spokesman told Reuters he had no information on the matter.

    Chinese law enforcement authorities could not be immediately reached for comment.

    The group was on a 47-day tour of the country when they were detained at an airport in the Inner Mongolian city of Erdos. Their tour operator realized something had gone "horribly wrong" on Sunday, two days later, the foundation said, when he hadn't heard from them.

    "These individuals have no terror links, no criminal record in their country," said Gift of the Givers, which has negotiated hostage releases.

    "The families thank the South African government for their unwavering support and call upon the Chinese government to release the detainees immediately."

    Several of those detained are relatives of Shameel Joosub, chief executive of telecoms company Vodacom Group Ltd., the charity added.

Some states keen to bring own land acquisition laws: Arun Jaitley
  • NEW DELHI: With the government's pet land acquisition bill stuck for consensus, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said some states are keen to bring their own legislations to make it easier to acquire land as they cannot indefinitely wait for a consensus on the central legislation.

    At the meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, which saw chief ministers of nine Congress-ruled states as well as those of non-BJP states like Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha abstaining, "an overwhelming section" of states said they cannot "indefinitely wait for consensus" on amendment to the land acquisition bill, he said.

    BJP-led NDA government at the Centre wants to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act of 2013 to make it easier for certain sectors including industrial corridors, to acquire farm land but has faced strong political opposition, stalling the amendment in Parliament.

    "An important suggestion that came was that Centre should endeavour to create a consensus but states cannot indefinitely wait for that consensus. "If Centre fails to approve this (bill) with consensus, then it should be left to the states. Those states which want to develop fast...can suggest their own state legislations and Centre (would) approve that state legislation. An overwhelming section gave this kind of suggestion," he said.

    Jaitley neither named the states that wanted their own legislations nor give a break-up of BJP and non-BJP ruled states demanding such a move. The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was attended by 16 chief ministers.

    "Those who could not come because of pre-occupation, many of them spoke to the Prime Minister which is understandable. Those who chose to boycott must introspect whether not attending the NITI Aayog meeting is in consonance with the spirit of cooperative federalism. You can always come and express an alternative opinion," Jaitley said.

At Niti Aayog meet, Modi pitches for land bill; many CMs skip event
  • NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a meeting of NITI Aayog's governing council in New Delhi. The council held consultations on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act.

    In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister said the Centre and states must move together to end poverty. Pitching for his government's land acquisition bill, he said the political deadlock over land acquisition is seriously impacting rural development, including the creation of schools, hospitals, roads and irrigation projects.

    Modi reiterated that as far as paying enhanced compensation is concerned, there are no differences in the stands of the Centre and states.

    Chief ministers of nine Congress-ruled states as well as those of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha kept away from the meet.

    The meeting was, however, attended by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar, besides those from NDA-ruled states.

    Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was also among those who attended the meeting. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu's J Jayalalithaa, Odisha's Naveen Patnaik and Uttar Pradesh's Akhilesh Yadav were among those who skipped the meet.

    The governing council, which comprises all chief ministers and lt governors of Union Territories, is headed by the Prime Minister.

    He added that the ordinance was brought about in response to these development concerns of the states, and also to ensure that farmers continue to receive their legitimate due.

Hindu migrants from Pakistan may soon get banking & property rights
  • Hindu migrants from Pakistan may soon get banking & property rights
    NEW DELHI: "We have a responsibility toward Hindus who are harassed and suffer in other countries ...India is the only place for them" — that was prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi making a strong campaign pitch.

    Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is working to make good that promise. Hindu migrants from Pakistan here on longterm visas may soon be allowed to open bank accounts and buy residential properties — measures that go a long way in integrating them with the economic system, even without Indian citizenship.

    If this becomes policy, Hindu migrants will be able to open bank accounts on the basis of their visa and residential permits issued by the Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) or the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

    The Modi government has been active on granting citizenship to Hindus from Pakistan (and Afghanistan as well). As ET had reported on May 21, in one year, the NDA government granted citizenship to over 4,000 Hindus from these South Asian countries, four times the number managed by UPA-2 in its five-year term.

    Extending bank account and property purchase facilities to Hindus from Pakistan follows RBI's nod on such a policy covering all Pakistani nationals in India who have long-term visas.

    The government is keen to extend these facilities to Hindu migrants from Pakistan because it considers these Pakistani nationals victims of persecution, senior government officials familiar with this development told ET on condition of anonymity. The government, they said, may also allow Hindu migrants from Pakistan to open non-resident ordinary (NRO) rupee account without RBI approvals. Under current rules, NRO accounts can be opened with banks and authorised dealers by anyone residing outside India, but in case of Pakistani nationals and entities as well as Bangladeshi entities, RBI approval is required.

    The Modi government is considering exempting Hindu migrants from Pakistan from this additional scrutiny. "There are various options on the table. We will examine them and also seek view of the home ministry regarding security concerns," a senior official said.

    Banks, this official said, will have to file quarterly reports to the home ministry on bank accounts of Pakistani Hindus in India.

    "We are hopeful that the home ministry will support the move," said another official. Last year, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said the government will prepare an action plan for the proper rehabilitation of Pakistani Hindu migrants in India.

Yakub Memon execution: Maharashtra govt will follow SC's directives, Fadnavis says
  • NEW DELHI: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said that the state government would follow the directives given by the Supreme Court over the execution of 1993 Mumbai blasts prime accused Yakub Memon

    "The Supreme Court has made a decision on this issue. Whatever directives will be given by the court, the Maharashtra government will act according to that. We will provide more information on this matter when the time is right," said Fadnavis.

    Memon is likely to be hanged on July 30, the first execution related to the spate of violence that had hit the city, leading the death of over 250 people.

    According to reports, the execution will take place if Memon's mercy petition is rejected by the Supreme Court, after his appeals against the death sentence were rejected by the apex court and by President Pranab Mukherjee.

    Memon is currently lodged at the Nagpur Central Jail, which reportedly has facilities for hanging.

    Memon, who is a key conspirator with Dawood Ibrahim in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, is one of ten accused who were awarded the death penalty by a special Tada court.

    Memon's death sentence was earlier upheld by a Supreme Court bench on March 21, 2013.

Greece to vote on bailout after explosive IMF report that criticizes deal
  • GreeceATHENS: Greece on Wednesday geared up for a parliamentary vote on draconian reforms demanded by eurozone creditors in exchange for a huge new bailout, just hours after a bombshell report from the International Monetary Fund criticized the deal.

    The outcome of the crucial vote was far from clear after the IMF issued a stark warning that Greece would need far more debt relief to stop it crashing out of the common currency thanEuropean governments have so far been willing to contemplate.
    The last-ditch deal struck Monday saw Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agree to sweeping changes to labour laws, pensions, VAT and other taxes - many of which had been rejected by voters in a public referendum - in exchange for new funds to keep Greece's struggling economy alive.

    The parliament in Athens must approve the deal before the 18 other eurozone leaders start negotiations over what Greece is to get in return: a three-year bailout worth up to 86 billion euros ($95 billion), its third rescue programme in five years.

    Under the new plan, eurozone governments will contribute between 40 and 50 billion euros, the IMF will contribute another major chunk and the rest will come from selling off state assets and the financial markets, a European official said.

    Tsipras has predicted "the great majority of Greek people" will support the deal, but admits he "cannot say with certainty" that it will be enough to stop Greece exiting the eurozone - a so-called "Grexit" - until the final bailout agreement is signed.

    'Dramatic deterioration'

    A senior IMF official also said the fund would only participate in a third bailout if its EU creditors produce a clear plan. The current deal "is by no means a comprehensive, detailed agreement", the official said.

    It was not the first time the IMF has urged greater debt relief. But political analysts questioned why the strongly-worded report -- which creditors were aware of on Sunday, two days before it was published - appeared not to have been taken into account in the agreement.

    The revelations put greater strain on Tsipras, who has been forced to turn to pro-European opposition parties to get the reform measures through parliament in the face of opposition from some 30 rebel lawmakers in his own radical left Syriza party.

    The embattled premier said he took "full responsibility" for signing an accord he did "not believe in, but which I signed to avoid disaster for the country" as it teetered on the brink of economic collapse.

    "A prime minister must fight, speak the truth, take decisions and not run away," Tsipras said in an interview on Greek public television, when asked whether he would resign if the reforms fail to pass or he loses his parliamentary majority.

    Tsipras ally Panos Skourletis, minister for employment, urged lawmakers to "vote for the bill", saying the government would "reduce the painful consequences of this agreement".

    But Syriza's hardline leftists, lead by Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, were reported by Greek media to have decided not to vote for the measures but call instead for a return to the drachma.

    Polls published late Tuesday by Kapa Research found 72 percent of Greeks surveyed thought the deal was necessary, with the majority blaming Europe for the "tough measures", but many see it as a humiliating climbdown for a country still reeling from years of painful austerity.

    Civil servants went on strike Wednesday, the first big stoppage since the 40-year-old took power. But despite the turmoil his popularity seemed undented, with 68.1 percent of people saying that if the political fallout from the vote should result in a new coalition, it should be led by Tsipras.

    More payments due 

    Under the deal, Greek assets for privatisation will be parked in a special fund worth up to 50 billion euros, with some 25 billion euros of the money earmarked to recapitalise Greece's banks.

    Tsipras said the establishment of the fund meant ordinary Greeks' savings were safe, but added that the reopening of the banks -- which have been closed for over a week - depended on the finalising of the deal, which could take a month.

    The European Central Bank has been keeping Greek banks afloat with emergency liquidity, but it could be forced to cut off that aid if Greece misses a huge debt repayment due on Monday.

    European governments on Tuesday also clashed over options to help Greece meet its short-term cash needs while it waits for a eurozone bailout deal to be finalised, likely to take at least four weeks.

    In a sign of the ongoing concern about the global fallout of the Greek crisis, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will travel to Germany and France on Wednesday and Thursday for talks with top officials.

    If Greece does pass the agreement, Europe's next step would be to push the deal through several national parliaments, many in countries that are loath to afford Athens more help.

Will Dhoni do a Buffon for Chennai Super Kings?
  • Will Dhoni do a Buffon for Chennai Super Kings?CHENNAI: The brand Chennai Super Kings was built around one player - MS Dhoni. Now that CSK ceases to exist, some of the other franchises will see it as a golden opportunity to buy the most marketed face in world cricket at present from the next auctions. "All our players, including Dhoni, have yearly contracts, and they can go back to the auction pool if we are out of it," a CSK source said. 

    But there are many who believe that Dhoni, who is also one of the vice-presidents of India Cements, may not choose to desert the ship at this crucial juncture. There are such examples in international football - Gianluigi Buffon chose to stay on with Juventus in 2007 when the team was demoted to Serie B for match-fixing scandal. "In CSK, Dhoni's is the last word on every issue. There is absolutely no pressure from the management and he can play with a free mind. He loves playing for CSK and that's why he never misses a game, unless he is severely injured," a source in the know told TOI. 

    Dhoni shares a very close bond with the management and if there is a request from the top bosses of CSKCL to stay back at a time when the team needs rebuilding, the Indian limited-overs captain may not be averse to the idea. "As it is there was some talk that Dhoni might not play for too long post the 2016 IPL. There could be a situation where he chooses to stay with the team that has gone a long way in making the player that he is today," a source said. 

    Dhoni was picked up from the auctions in the first year of the IPL in 2008 and he guided the team to title triumphs in the first four years. It was under his leadership CSK played six finals and has been the team to beat. It also coincided with his rise as the Indian captain which culminated in India winning the 2011 World Cup. Later in the year, after India's Test debacle in England and Australia, it was the then BCCI president N Srinivasan who went out of his way to ensure that he stayed at the helm of affairs. Since then, CSK played three more IPL finals in 2102, 13 and 14, losing all three, as Dhoni went from strength to strength. 

    "It's not that CSK have always been very consistent in the last four seasons, but unlike other franchises, the owners have never asked Dhoni any questions. It would be interesting to see if Dhoni chooses to try his luck in another franchise," a source said. 


    * CSK spent $4.2m on eight players in the 2015 player auctions after retaining 15 players. That puts the total approximate value of all cricketers in CSK on an average of $15m. 

    * The Royals spent $2.1m on eight players in the player auctions after retaining 14 players. The total approximate value of all players in Royals stands at an average of $8m. 

    * If CSK and RR sit out, none of the other teams have space nor the purse to absorb 45 cricketers. The only way these cricketers can play is if the BCCI auctions two new franchises and allows them a fresh purse to buy these cricketers. 

    * The other way out is for these franchises to sell out. However, the present valuation is unlikely to fetch these eight-year-old franchises much in the back drop of the controversies and their sacking.

SBI Associate General Knowledge Practice Paper
  • 1) Which country along with Nepal accepted Indian Rupee as a legal tender?
    1) Pakistan
    2) Myanmar
    3) Srilanka
    4) Bhutan
    5) None of these

    Ans 4
    2) Which financial organization has decided to setup a $ 2 billion swap facility for SAARC member nations?
    1) World Bank
    2) International monetary fund
    3) Asian development Bank
    4) Reserve bank of India   
    5) State Bank of India

    Ans 4
    3) BASEL III norms come into force
    1) Ist April 2013
    2) Ist March 2013
    3) Ist Feb 2013
    4) Ist January 2013
    5) None of these

    Ans 4
    4) Which country will host the 2019 cricket world cup?
    1) New Zealand
    2) Australia
    3) India
    4) South Africa
    5) England

    Ans 5
    5) Recently, RBI has allowed NBFC’s to open their ATM’s called as
    1) White Level ATM’s
    2) Any Time Money ATM’s
    3) All Time Money ATM’s
    4) Instant cash ATM’s
    5) Supply Money ATM’s

    Ans 1
    6) Which Airline has been ranked as the World‘s Best Airline for the second Consecutive year?
    1) Air India
    2) Qatar Airways
    3) Fly Emirates
    4) Lufthansa
    5) None of these

    Ans 2
    7) Who is the director of the Vikram Sarabhai space centre(VSSC) at Present?
    1) S.P Rao
    2) P.S Veeraraghavan
    3) S.D Verma
    4) L.M Raghavan
    5) None of these

    Ans 2
    8) Which is the World’s oldest International financial organization?
    1) International Monetary Fund
    2) World Bank
    3) Bank for International settlements
    4) International Finance Corporation
    5) None of these

    Ans 3
    9) Expand the Term EEFC?
    1) Exchange Earners Floating Currency
    2) Exchange Earners Foreign Currency
    3) Exchange Earners Flexible Currency
    4) External Earners’ Foreign Currency
     5) None of these

    Ans 2
    10) on which date did the Parliament of India celebrated the 60th anniversary of the first sitting of Parliament?
    1) 21st May
    2) 9th May
    3) 26th May
    4) 13th May
    5) None of these

    Ans 4
    11) Which sport category made a debut in the London Olympic 2012?
    1) Women’s Hockey
    2) Women’s football
    3) Women’s Basketball
    4) Women’s Boxing
    5) Men’s Beach Volleyball

    Ans 4
    12) How much money is being given to people under Indira Gandhi National old Age pension Scheme?
    1) Rs 200
    2) Rs 600
    3) Rs 300
    4) Rs 400
    5) Rs 250

    Ans  1

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