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Current Affairs - 30 October 2015

General Affairs

Human Capital at Heart of India's Partnership With Africa: PM Modi
  • Human Capital at Heart of India's Partnership With Africa: PM ModiNEW DELHI:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said development of human capital in every walk of life will be at the heart of India's partnership with Africa.

    Addressing the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in New Delhi, PM Modi said India will help in improving connectivity across Africa, developing infrastructure and setting up technology parks.

    "We will help connect Africa from Cairo to Cape Town, from Marakesh to Mombassa; help develop your infrastructure, power and irrigation; help add value to your resources in Africa; and, set up industrial and information technology parks," he said.

    PM Modi said India will raise level of its support for the "vision of a prosperous, integrated, and united Africa that is a major partner for the world".

    He said the best partnership is one that develops human capital and institutions and equips a nation to have the freedom to make its own choices.

    "It also opens doors to opportunities for the youth. Development of human capital in every walk of life will be at the heart of our partnership. We will open our doors more; we will expand tele-education; and we will continue to build institutions in Africa."

    PM Modi said technology will be a strong foundation of partnership between India and Africa.

    "We will make available our space assets and technology. We will use the possibilities of digital technology to transform development, public services, governance, disaster response, resource management and quality of life."

    He said India's expertise in healthcare and affordable medicines can offer new hope in the fight against many diseases and give a newborn a better chance to survive. "We will also collaborate to develop Indian and African treasures of traditional knowledge and medicines."

    PM Modi said India will expand and extend the Pan Africa E-Network which links 48 African countries to India and to each other and added that it will also help set up the Pan Africa Virtual University.

    "We will work to reduce digital divide within Africa and between Africa and rest of the world," he said.

    PM Modi said India will cooperate for sustainable development of blue economy that will become important future drivers of prosperity.

    "For me, blue economy is part of a larger blue revolution to reclaim our blue skies and blue waters, as we move on the path of clean development," he said.

        There Will be No 'Suit-Boot ki Sarkar' in Bihar: Rahul Gandhi
        • There Will be No 'Suit-Boot ki Sarkar' in Bihar: Rahul GandhiPATNA:  Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the people of Bihar will teach a hard lesson to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state assembly polls as he failed to fulfil his promises.

          "Prime Minister Modi has failed to fulfil any promises made to the people. High prices of pulses and other essential commodities in the country have angered the people but he is still talking big and doing nothing," Mr Gandhi said while addressing the first of the three election rallies at Benipatti in Madhubani district of Bihar.

          He said the grand alliance of the Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress will win two-thirds majority in the polls and will form the next government in Bihar.

          "We will work for development of Bihar," the Congress leader said.

          "The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is spreading communalism and hatred in the country. Modi is angry, sensing defeat in the Bihar assembly polls," he said.

          There will be no 'suit-boot ki sarkar' (government of the suited-booted) in Bihar, he said, referring to the reported Rs. 10 lakh designer suit Prime Minister Modi wore during US President Barack Obama's state visit to New Delhi during January this year.

          "Prime Minister Modi has been using language below the dignity of prime minister's post against the top leaders of the grand alliance of JD-U, RJD and Congress. He abused the grand alliance leaders. One day, he described them as 'shaitan' (devil), another day tantric and three idiots, and another day as fools," Mr Gandhi said.

          The Gandhi-scion also said that the Prime Minister's speeches are far from truth and full of lies.

          "This is a part of his training and his plan to make Indians fight each other. And when there is an election, he makes Hindus and Muslims fight for political advantage," he said.

          Prime Minister Modi has time to visit foreign countries regularly but he has no time to talk with poor farmers and Dalits in the country, he added.

        Central Government's Receipts, Payments to be Electronic
        • Central Government's Receipts, Payments to be ElectronicBENGALURU:  All transactions, including receipts and payments, of the central government departments would be in electronic mode soon across the country, a top official said today.

          "As part of the Digital India programme, all departments of the central government across the country will receive and make payments through the electronic mode," department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) additional secretary Ajay Kumar said at a tech event here.

          With increasing computerisation and internet penetration through broadband network, citizens can transact with all departments from computers, laptops and mobile devices, using e-payment gateways and banks.

          Key central ministries such as finance and commerce are already using e-payment gateway for transactions by citizens, companies and organisations across the country.

          "As mobile devices like smart phones are used for public interface, all central departments will soon offer citizen services on mobile as in Karnataka, first state to launch mobile governance in the country," Mr Kumar said at 'CeBIT India', a three-day IT event at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC).

          Electronic payments through computers or mobile devices will also minimise use of hard cash in transactions as in case of public utilities and business transactions using debit and credit cards.

          "To make Digital India an inclusive programme and accessible to all, websites of all central departments will be in three languages - English, Hindi and an official language of each state across the country, with links to other languages having common script," Mr Kumar told about 500 delegates participating in the second edition of the event.

          The government will also make optimal use of Jan Dhan Yojana (financial inclusion scheme), Aadhaar biometric card and mobile subscriber base for interfacing with over a billion people through voice, short message service (SMS) and e-mail.

          "About 900 million people are connected through mobile (feature or smart phones) and an equal number of people have Aaadhaar card, which can be used for multiple purposes, including government services, payments and receipts," Mr Kumar added.

          The government's Digital India initiative provides a huge opportunity to all stakeholders, including industry and academia to collaborate for providing seamless technologies, products (devices) and services.

          "Digital India is a Rs.39,000 crore business opportunity for all stakeholders in terms of building the infrastructure, networks and making devices to run on various applications for citizen services and cashless transactions," Mr Kumar added.

        PM Modi May Have Lunch With Queen at Buckingham Palace During UK Visit
        • PM Modi May Have Lunch With Queen During UK VisitNEW DELHI:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to have lunch with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace during his three-day visit to the UK next month.

          PM Modi lands in London on November 12, the day after Diwali, and will address a joint session of the British Parliament that day. He will meet and hold talks with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street soon after he arrives in the British capital.    

          Lunch with the Queen is likely to be scheduled for Friday the 13th.

          In the morning that day, PM Modi will visit the factory of Jaguar Land Rover, owned by India's Tata Motors, and in the evening, will address an estimated 90,000 people at an event at London's Wembley Stadium organised by the Indian community in Britain.

          On Saturday, November 14, Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the Ambedkar House, a three-storey house in London that Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution, lived in the early 1920s.

          PM Modi said over the weekend that he is "excited about my visit to Britain and the reason for it is special. A few weeks back, I had gone to Mumbai to lay foundation stone for a big memorial for Ambedkar...Now, in London, I will formally inaugurate the house where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar lived, which recently became the Indian government's property and a place of inspiration for 125 crore Indians".

          The Maharshtra government recently bought the house for 3.1 million pounds (around Rs. 30 crore) and will open it to the public as a museum.

          The PM leaves London on Saturday and flies to Turkey to attend a G-20 Summit.

          The Indian community in the UK is prepping to give the PM what the organisers have called an "Olympic style" reception ahead of his speech on 'Two Great Nations, One Glorious Future' at the Wembley, Europe's second largest stadium.

          Two days after Diwali, London has also been promised "fireworks like never before".

        China Ends One-Child Policy, All Couples to be Allowed Two Children

        • China Ends One-Child Policy, All Couples to be Allowed Two ChildrenBEIJING, CHINA:  China announced the end of its hugely controversial one-child policy today, with the official Xinhua news agency saying that all couples would be allowed two children.

          It cited a communique issued by the ruling Communist Party after a four-day meeting in Beijing to chart the course of the world's second-largest economy over the next five years.

          China is "abandoning its decades-long one-child policy", Xinhua reported.

          The policy restricted most couples to only a single offspring, and for years authorities argued that it was a key contributor to China's economic boom.

          But after years of strict, sometimes brutal enforcement by a dedicated government commission, China's population the world's largest is now ageing rapidly, gender imbalances are severe, and its workforce is shrinking.

          The concerns led to limited reforms in 2013, including allowing a second child for some couples in urban areas, but relatively few have taken up the opportunity.

          The Communist leadership met in Beijing to discuss ways to put the country's stuttering economy back on a smooth growth path as it struggles with structural inefficiencies and social policies left over from an era before it embraced market reforms.

          Known as the fifth plenum, the conclave discussed the next Five-Year Plan for China the 13th since the People's Republic was founded in 1949.

          Over four days of meetings the 205 members of the Central Committee, plus around 170 alternates, examined the specifics of the plan, which was largely worked out through a process of national consultations before the leaders even set foot in the capital.

          The country's rubber-stamp legislature will officially approve the resulting document next year.

          The world's most populous country has enjoyed a decades-long boom since the ruling party embraced market economics and opened up to the rest of the world from the late 1970s.

          The process has transformed the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people and propelled the country to global prominence.

          But growth has been slowing for several years, and analysts say the party needs to embrace further liberalisation to avoid falling into the stagnation of the "middle income trap", when developing countries fail to fulfil their full potential.

          The meeting reiterated the Communist Party's goal to double 2010 GDP by 2020, as part of its aim to achieve a "moderately prosperous society" by the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party's founding.

        Business Affairs 

          Sensex ends 201 points down; Nifty at 8,111; JustDial cracks 12% post Q2 earnings
          • Sensex ends 201 points down; Nifty at 8,111; JustDial cracks 12% post Q2 earningsExtending losses for the fourth consecutive session, the domestic markets ended sharply lower in trade on Thursday as participants cut down bets in view of the October series expiry in the derivatives segment. 
            The S&P BSE Sensex slipped 201.62 points to end below its crucial psychological level of 27,000, while broader CNX Nifty settled a tad above its key 8,100-mark at 8,111.75, down 59.75.
            Sentiment on the Street remianed negative with 22 of the 30 Sensex stocks ending the day in red.
            Markets also took cues from muted trend seen in other Asian markets as the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged but signalled December rate hike might still be on the table.
            "I think until the first week of November, we will play out the result seasons, and thereafter the market will find some stability," said Deven Choksey, managing director at KR Choksey Securities.
            JustDial was the top loser among F&O stocks. The stock cracked nearly 12 per cent as the company failed to meet analysts' expectations on the topline growth for the September quarter.
            Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Composite settled the day nearly 1 per cent down, Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended flat, while Japan's Nikkei closed with an uptick of 0.17 per cent.
            Overnight, US stock edged higher after a volatile session as the Fed gave a vote of confidence in the US economy. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 198.09 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 17,779.52, the S&P 500 gained 24.46 points, or 1.18 per cent, to 2,090.35, its highest in more than two months. 
            Lowdown on markets today
            02:38 pm
            Sensex at 26,888.75, down 151.01 points
            Nifty at 8,126.80, down 44.40 points
            1:00 pm
            Sensex at 26891.37, down 148 points
            Nifty at 8129.55, down 41 points
            11:25 am
            Sensex at 26952.76, down 87 points
            Nifty at 8142.95, down 28 points 
            10:40 am
            Sensex at 26,959.83, down 79.93 points
            Nifty at 8,142.10, down 29.10 points
            9:35 am
            Sensex at 26,977.16, down 62.60 points  
            Nifty at 8,145.15, down 26.05 points

            Sebi cuts IPO paperwork; notifies five-sheet abridged prospectus
            • Sebi cuts IPO paperwork; notifies five-sheet abridged prospectusIn a game-changing move, markets regulator Sebi has notified a five-sheet abridged prospectus that companies need to file for public offers - a step aimed at making it easier for investors to understand key points.
              Under the new norms that will come into effect from December 1, the abridged prospectus including the application form can't exceed five sheets that would be printed on both sides, a maximum of 10 pages.
              Currently, the full prospectus that companies file for their public offers including IPOs runs into 400-500 pages and it has often been felt that the investors find it difficult to get the key information from such bulky documents.
              The move would help in reducing the cost for companies.
              Sebi said that the "information as is material and appropriate to enable the investors to make an informed decision shall be disclosed in the abridged prospectus".
              Also, the companies would need to make these disclosures as per the format specified by Sebi from time to time.
              The information which is of generic nature and not specific to the issuer would need to be brought out in the form of a General Information Document (GID) as specified by Sebi.
              The Abridged Prospectus would need to be printed in a booklet form of A4 size paper, while the font size cannot be "visually smaller than Times New Roman size 11 (or equivalent)" with single-line spacing.
              Information required to be given in Tabular Format would not appear in running text format.
              "The order in which items appear in the abridged prospectus shall be as specified by Sebi. The application form shall be so positioned that on the tearing-off of the application form, no part of the information given in the abridged prospectus is mutilated," the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a notification dated October 27.

              InterGlobe Aviation Rs 3,018-cr IPO oversubscribed 3.95 times
              • InterGlobe Aviation Rs 3,018-cr IPO over-subscribed 3.95 timesIn the biggest IPO in nearly three years, the Rs 3,018-crore public offer of IndiGo's parent InterGlobe Aviation was oversubscribed by 3.95 times till late afternoon trade on the last of bidding on Thursday.
                The IPO received bids for 10,94,61,435 shares against the total issue size of 3,01,22,088 shares, data available with the NSE till 1500 hours showed.
                The quota reserved for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) saw tremendous response with over-subscription of 11.92 times, sources said.
                The portion reserved for retail investors witnessed 51 per cent subscription and non-institutional investors category was subscribed 14 per cent.
                This is the biggest IPO in the Indian market since Bharti Infratel's over Rs 4,000-crore public offer in December, 2012.
                InterGlobe Aviation has raised Rs 832 crore from anchor investors by allotting shares at the upper limit of price band at Rs 765 apiece. The offer invites subscription in the price band of Rs 700-765 per share.
                The company had reduced its initial share sale size to a little over Rs 3,018 crore last week, with three of the promoters deciding to sell less number of shares than proposed earlier.
                The offer comprises fresh issue of shares worth Rs 1,272.2 crore and the revised Offer for Sale (OFS) size that would be about Rs 1,746 crore.
                The IPO closes today.
                Barclays Bank PLC, Kotak Mahindra Capital Company Limited and UBS Securities India are managing the issue.
                IndiGo has a fleet of 98 aircraft and about 75 of them are on operating lease - a business model which has helped it lower costs.

              India announces $10 bn credit for Africa
              • PM Narendra Modi with South African President Jacob ZumaPrime Minister Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced a credit of $10 billion to Africa which will be in addition to the ongoing credit programme.
                "To add strength to our partnership, India will offer concessional credit of $10 billion over the next five years. This will be in addition to our ongoing credit programme," said Modi.
                He was speaking on the last day of the India-Africa Summit Forum in New Delhi.
                Modi also pledged an assistance of $600 million to the continent and 50,000 scholarships for African students in India.
                "We will also offer a grant assistance of $600 million. This will include an India-Africa Development Fund of $100 million and an India-Africa Health Fund of $10 million," Modi said.
                "It will also include 50,000 scholarships in India over the next five years. And, it will support the expansion of the Pan Africa E-Network and institutions of skilling, training and learning across Africa." he added.
                PM Modi also said India will help Africa in developing its agriculture sector.
                The PM said, "Africa has 60 per cent of the world's arable land reserves and just 10 percent of the global output. India will help to develop Africa's agriculture sector."
                He said a spurt in Africa's agriculture sector can drive the continent's march to prosperity and also support global food security.
                Appreciating the measures taken by the African countries in the fields of healthcare, education and agriculture, Modi said: "We see strong measures that are radically improving healthcare, education and agriculture. Primary school enrolment in Africa now exceeds 90 per cent."
                He said Africa has now joined the global mainstream of innovation.
                "The mobile banking of M-Pesa, the healthcare innovation of MedAfrica, or the agriculture innovation of AgriManagr and Kilimo Salama, are using mobile and digital technology to transform lives in Africa," Modi said.
                "India has committed $7.4 billion in concessional credit and $1.2 billion in grant since the first India-Africa Summit in 2008," Modi informed African delegations.
                It is creating 100 capacity building institutions, developing infrastructure, public transport, clean energy, irrigation, agriculture and manufacturing capacity across Africa, Modi added.

              Gold price slips on global cues, subdued demand
              • Gold price slips on global cues, subdued demandSnapping its two day rising streak, gold price plunged by Rs 190 to Rs 27,075 per ten grams at the bullion market on Thursday, taking weak cues from global markets amid easing demand from jewellers at prevailing levels.
                However, silver advanced by Rs 15 to Rs 37,365 per kg on pick-up in demand from industrial units and coin makers.
                Traders said apart from muted demand from jewellers, a weak trend in global market after the Federal Reserve hinted at a possible US interest rate hike in December, boosting the dollar and eroded appeal of the precious metals, mainly kept pressure on gold prices.
                Globally, gold fell 0.97 per cent to $1,155.70 an ounce in New York in Wednesday's trade.
                In the national capital, gold of 99.9 and 99.5 per cent purity tumbled by Rs 190 each to Rs 27,075 and Rs 26,925 per ten grams, respectively. It had gained Rs 195 in the previous two sessions.
                Sovereign, however, remained flat at Rs 22,400 per piece of eight grams.
                Silver ready, however, gained Rs 15 to Rs 37,365 per kg and weekly-based delivery rose by Rs 50 to Rs 37,240 per kg.
                Silver coins remained steady at Rs 52,000 for buying and Rs 53,000 for selling of 100 pieces.

              General Awareness

              India ranks 130 in World Bank’s 2016 rankings of Ease of Doing Business

                • According to a World Bank report India ranks 130 out of 189 countries in the ease of doing business, moving up 12 places from last year. India was ranked 142 in the ranking for 2015.
                  World Bank Rank – 2016
                  2New Zealand
                  4South Korea
                  5Hong Kong
                  6United Kingdom
                  7United States
                  • China is ranked 84 and Pakistan is at 138th Pakistan in fact has slipped 10 spots from 128 last year while China has moved six spots in a year from 90 since the last report.
                  • Bhutan ranked 71st,Nepal ranked 99th,Sri Lanka ranked 107thMaldivesranked 128thBangladesh ranked 174th.
                  India Rank :
                  India, which has a global ranking of 130, implemented two reforms during the past year said by World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Kaushik Basu .
                  • The biggest improvement was in the ‘Getting Electricity” sub component with India’s rank jumping to 70 in 2016 from 137 the year before in the 139 country ranking.
                  • The ranking is based on business environment in Delhi and Mumbai with 53 and47 respective weight for these cities.
                  Key points:
                  • World Bank President : Dr. Jim Yong Kim
                  • World Bank Headquarters : Washington D.C, US

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