Current Affairs Current Affairs - 24 January 2016 - Vikalp Education

Online Vikalp, Current Affairs, Current Awareness, General Awareness, Aptitude Classes, Daily News, General Knowledge, General Awareness For All Competitive Exam, current affairs quiz,current affairs in india, current affairs about sports, current affairs and gk, current affairs about india, current affairs daily quiz, current affairs dairy, current affairs education, Top News, Breaking News, Latest News

Current Affairs - 24 January 2016

General Affairs 

Family Suggests Setting Up Of Panel For Studying Netaji Files
  • Family Suggests Setting Up Of Panel For Studying Netaji FilesNEW DELHI:  Family members of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose have suggested setting up of a committee to study the files that were declassified today and inform the public about the various landmarks in his life.

    "Elated ovr declassification of files, relatives suggested a committee 2 study files & inform anxious public abt landmarks of life of Netaji (sic)," Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu posted on Twitter today.

    The Centre made public digital copies of 100 secret files relating to Netaji on his 119th birth anniversary.

    Mr Naidu was among a galaxy of leaders who paid floral tributes to Netaji at a function to mark his birth anniversary in Parliament's Central Hall.

    The Union Minister also hosted the relatives of Netaji over breakfast.

    "Took them around Central Hall after hosting them over breakfast," Mr Naidu tweeted, expressing delight over his interaction with 26 members of Netaji's family.

    "Today is a historic day with PM (Narendra) Modi releasing 100 digital files relating to Netaji Bose. Grateful to PM for the initiative of declassifying Netaji files," Mr Naidu said.

    The files were declassified and put on digital display at the National Archives of India (NAI) in New Delhi by PM Modi, who pressed a button in the presence of Netaji's family members and Union Ministers Mahesh Sharma and Babul Supriyo.

    In October last year, the prime minister had met the family members of Netaji and announced that the government would declassify the files relating to the leader whose disappearance 70 years ago remains a mystery.

Ahead of Republic Day, Security Tightened In Jammu and Kashmir
  • Ahead of Republic Day, Security Tightened In Jammu and Kashmir
    JAMMU/SRINAGAR:  In the backdrop of Pathankot terror attack, intelligence agencies and security forces are reviewing arrangements for the upcoming Republic Day functions in Jammu and Kashmir on a daily basis.

    "Security review meetings are being held on a daily basis this time to take a relook on everything concerned with providing security to Republic Day functions in the state," said a senior intelligence officer.

    He also the Army's Jammu-based 16 Corps and Srinagar-based 15 Corps are actively engaged in these review meetings.

    "In the aftermath of the Pathankot terror attack, the focus is on important security installations across the state...," the officer said.

    The main Republic Day parade and flag hoisting takes place in the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu city where Governor NN Vohra is scheduled to take the salute.

    More than 1,000 security men have been deployed to secure the venue. After the final rehearsal of the parade on Saturday, its overall security will be handed over to the army.

    In 1995, series of explosions took place inside the stadium when the then governor general KV Krishna Rao was delivering the Republic Day speech. Twelve people were killed and were left 60 injured.

    In the absence of an elected government, Divisional commissioner Kashmir, Asgar Samoon will take salute at the Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar.

    Besides CCTV cameras, electronic access control equipment and human surveillance and supervision, security forces are employing unmanned aerial vehicles, Drones to keep a watch.

    All vehicles entering Jammu and Srinagar city are being thoroughly checked to prevent movement of militants.

    "It is not that our levels of preparedness were any less during the previous years, but after re-appraisal of things necessitated by Pathankot strike, we have increased patrolling and positioning of men and security equipment," said a senior police officer.

    "We have a 210 km long international border spread in the three districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua. Infiltration has taken place through this border in the past. So there can be no lowering of guard this time," said another senior police officer in Jammu city.

    All separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik, have called for a complete shutdown on January 26.

Sushma Swaraj Arrives In Bahrain For First India-Arab Ministerial Meet
  • Sushma Swaraj Arrives In Bahrain For First India-Arab Ministerial MeetMANAMA:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Manama today for the first ministerial meeting of the India-Arab League Cooperation Forum to deepen the country's ties with the 22-member grouping amid tensions between regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    Ms Swaraj, who is Manama on a two-day visit, will also hold bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of a number of Arab League countries, including her Bahraini counterpart Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.

    She will also call on Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa later today during the trip, which her second visit to Bahrain as the External Affairs Minister. She last visited Bahrain for a bilateral meeting in 2014.

    The minister will attend an international air show in which Tejas, India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, is participating. It is the first time Tejas is participating in an international air show.

    The ministerial meeting tomorrow comes over a year after the two sides held their first Senior Officials Meeting in New Delhi in November 2014.

    India and Arab League are expected to deliberate on the whole gamut of bilateral issues including trade and investment, energy and culture among others.

    A number of wide-ranging issues from terrorism, security to tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the execution of a Shia cleric in the Kingdom are also expected to be discussed.

    The Saudi-Iran spat could come up for discussion in terms of regional stability even as Iran is not part of the Arab League.

    Saudi Arabia's announcement of the execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr along with 46 others garnered condemnation from Shiites across the region.

    Ms Swaraj's visit also assumes significance as the world is facing the challenge of terrorism with a spate of attacks like the one at the Pathankot air base earlier this month.

    Anti-terror cooperation is expected to be a key area of collaboration between India and the Arab League.

    Saudi Arabia recently launched a 34-member military coalition of Muslim countries to fight terror. Pakistan was included in the coalition but it has been wary of joining the group as Iran with which it has good relations is not part of the alliance.

    India's trade with most of the Arab countries has grown steadily in the last few years. The Gulf region accounts for over 60 per cent of India's oil and gas requirement.

    A memorandum of cooperation between India and the League of Arab States was signed in 2013. In line with the agreement, the first senior officials meeting was held in 2014 while the first ministerial meeting will take place tomorrow.

    The ministerial meeting will take place in alternate years and will be held alternatively in an Arab League country and India.

    In August last year, during her visit to Egypt where the Arab League is headquartered, Ms Swaraj had met the grouping's Secretary General Nabil El Araby.

    The Arab League comprises of Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Algeria, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Somalia, Palestine, Djibouti, and Comoros.

Science If Not Rightly Used Can Become Danger, Says Rajnath Singh
  • Science If Not Rightly Used Can Become Danger, Says Rajnath SinghLUCKNOW:  Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said science and technology if not rightly used, can become a danger to society.

    "World over there is a concern for cyber-crime. The importance of technology has increased so much for good governance and development," he said.

    To buttress his point, Mr Singh drew a contrast between the youths working in IT giant Infosys and terror outfit Al-Qaeda, saying while one was working in the interest of society, the other was for its destruction.

    "I read a write-up in The Guardian newspaper published from London which was on Infosys versus Al-Qaeda," he said at a convocation function of APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University in Lucknow.

    "... while one can be termed as a creative talent for the human society, the other belonging to Al-Qaeda is destructive is beneficial for society while the other is destructive," he said.

    The Union minister said "It will have to be seen as to how the difference in thinking has emerged...talent cannot be used in a proper manner for the betterment of society unless thinking is right and there is commitment for human values."

    He said while at one time big companies were only confined to countries like America, "Today we are proud that we are not behind anyone. This is not all, even the heads of Google and Microsoft are of Indian origin."

    "We do not want to create terror in the hearts of people by becoming the 'super power' but want to become 'global guru'. We do not want to dominate. India was global guru and would become one soon again," he added.

South China Sea Row: US Won't Ask India To Take Sides, Says Ashton Carter
  • South China Sea Row: US Won't Ask India To Take Sides, Says Ashton CarterDAVOS:  The US is not asking countries like India and Vietnam to take sides in the Asia Pacific region, but steps Beijing is taking in the disputed South China Sea are "self-isolating" and driving countries towards America, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said.

    "I've been to India, Vietnam recently. We want to have good relations with them and we are not asking people to take sides," Mr Carter said in a panel discussion in Davos on World Economic Forum meeting yesterday.

    "I think their position is basically right, which is we want everybody to keep being able to do what they are doing. We don't want to have to pick sides. America doesn't want to have sides either," said the US Defense Secretary.

    Mr Carter, however, acknowledged that countries in the region are increasingly coming to the US. "We do know that people are coming to us increasingly. Why is that? It is because China is taking some steps that I think are self-isolating, driving people towards a result that none of us wants," he said, in reference to Chinese measures in the South China Sea.

    "I'm not one of those people who believes conflict between the United States and China is inevitable, it's certainly not desirable, I don't think it's likely," he said. He attributed the rise of China to the peace and stability in the region, which was ensured by the US.

    "China's rise is, by the way, not the only rise going on in Asia. India is a rising military power. Japan, if you have noticed, is a rising military power, and there are others who are doing things. Vietnam, Philippines, and so forth," Mr Carter said in response to a question.

    "The US point of view is the same one we've had long- standing, which is we welcome that. We've tried to create an environment there, and we were the pivotal factor in making this so, in which over seven decades essentially everybody could follow their own destiny towards prosperity," he said. And that includes China, he added.

    "We never tried to obstruct China's economic rise and the lifting of hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. We've welcomed that. Nor any of these other states we talked about," the Defense Secretary said.

    At the same time, he argued, the US does not want to ruin a good thing, which is a system of peace and stability there. "We are not dividing the region, we don't seek to ask people to take sides," he said.

    China is not the only one that's making claims that the US does not agree with, and they are not the only ones that are military outposts. "We oppose all of that. And for our part, we have said everybody, not just China but everybody who is doing that should stop and not militarize," he said.

    The US, he asserted, will keep on doing what it has always done - fly, sail and operate everywhere international law permits in the South China Sea.

    He said the US is helping other countries that are all coming to US for assistance in maritime security.

Business Affairs 

Hoping to complete Rs 7 lakh crore-worth roads by FY19: Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari
  • Hoping to complete Rs 7 lakh cr-worth roads by FY19: GadkariConfident about his ministry's initiatives to boost the road sector, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said he was hopeful of completing road projects worth Rs 7 lakh crore by fiscal 2019.
    "Initially, we had set ourselves a target of constructing Rs 5 lakh crore-worth projects in five years. But considering the pace at which we are progressing, I am hopeful that we will be able to complete projects worth Rs 7 lakh crore," Gadkari said at an event in Mumbai.
    His ministry has so far awarded road projects worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore, he said. "Today the rate of progress is 30 km (of roads) per day. But in the next two years we want to increase this to 100 km per day and I think this is achievable," he said.
    The country at present has 96,000 km of national highways, which the ministry wants to expand to 1,50,000 km over this period, Gadkari said.
    "Maharashtra also has a huge potential to increase its state highway the next five years Maharashtra alone can take up Rs 2 lakh crore-worth state road projects," he said.
    The minister noted that it was necessary to bring down the cost of construction and the government was taking various initiatives to ensure India becomes competitive globally.
    "We are taking various initiatives to reduce cost of construction...We are also studying the construction codes of countries like US and Germany and create a code for India which will help reduce the cost of construction by almost 15-20 per cent," he said.
    There is no dearth of funds and the government can raise money by selling securities backed by future toll collections from national highways to finance road construction, he said.
    "Every year, the budget for my ministry is increasing. This year we had Rs 45,000 crore and over the next five years we expect this to increase to Rs 65,000-70,000 crore. Besides, we plan to securities our toll road projects. Currently, there are 61 projects which we have decided to securitise and expect to get Rs 1.10 lakh crore."
    "Apart from these 61 projects, new projects will get added and we will be able to securitise them as well. Therefore, we have enough funds, which can be utilised to take up many projects on public private partnership basis," he said.

India eyes Africa's resources to meet rising energy demand
  • Govt eyes Africa's resources to meet energy demandIndia has asked its oil firms to boost ties with resource-rich Africa as the south Asian nation wants to take advantage of tumbling crude prices to lock in supplies to meet future demand.
    India is seen as the most important driver of energy demand growth in the world in the years to come with its oil consumption seen rising by 6 million barrels per day (bpd) to about 10 million bpd by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year extended $10 billion in credit to African nations and pitched for a broad alliance for global reform.
    "We want Indian oil companies to take advantage of the credit line extended for five years and strike deals...we should take advantage of sliding oil prices and take active role in the development of African nations," oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan told the India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference, attended by ministers and officials of 22 African nations.
    Oil has fallen to 12-year lows this year under pressure from a deepening supply glut and signs of economic weakness in China, the world's second-biggest oil consumer.
    "India has strategic need for energy security and this is something that Africa can use," said Ron Kapavik, vice president at IHS Energy. "India can be a natural market for African hydrocarbon resource."
    India, the world's third-biggest oil importer, has stepped up oil imports from Africa in 2015 and New Delhi wants to boost shipments from the region.
    Indian Oil Corp, the country's largest refiner, has doubled imports from Nigeria at 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) for 2016-17 while Hindustan Petroleum Corp has sought similar volumes from the African nation.
    African nations want Indian investment to boost their oil output and develop infrastructure.
    "African nations asked us to invest in developing their infrastructure, upgrading their refineries and be a partner in development of their market, mainly refined products," Pradhan said.
    Equatorial Guinea has offered India equity in oil blocks, the minister said, while Algeria is keen on tie-ups with India for exploration and developing petrochemical projects. Algeria wants to boost oil supplies to India.
    Sudan has offered three oil and gas blocks for exploration and development to ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp.

Raghuram Rajan asks wilful defaulters to 'behave', not to flaunt money
  • RBI governor Raghuram RajanIn a stern message to wilful defaulters, Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan said rich businesses owing large sums to banks should behave and not flaunt "massive birthday bashes" while still in serious debt.
    In a reply to a question that India has borrowers too big to repossess, he said, "We are trying to change that. Let me emphasise that this is not about big businesses, not about rich people. This is not Robin Hood issue. This is an issue about the wrong doer amongst the community, who had raised the cost of borrowing for everybody."
    "If we can get those guys to behave ... If you flaunt your massive birthday bashes etc even while owing the system a lot of money, it does seem to public that I don't care".
    This, he said, gives wrong message to the public at this point of time.
    "If you are in trouble you should show that you care by cutting down your expenses and not flaunting more spending in public," he told .
    The governor further said that RBI was creating processes for banks to recover money.
    "Now we are pushing them to be more firm in their dealing with the borrowers and cleaning their balancesheets with idea that not to shut down firms but to put them back on track into an earning mode so that they can repay the banks," he said.
    Last month, RBI had asked banks to clean up their balance sheets by March 2017. They have been given more powers and flexibility to deal with bad loans, which crossed 6 per cent mark as of June quarter.
    The gross NPA of public sector banks rose to 6.03 per cent of total advances as of June 2015 from 5.20 per cent in March 2015.
    Replying to a question on Rupee, Rajan said the Indian currency is in fairly good position compared to other emerging nations'.
    "We are in fairly good position and we have fairly good people monitoring all the time. Of course I do look at it but I don't lose sleep over it," he said.
    He further said that "if you look" at the rupee over the last couple of the years, in real effective terms which means adjusting for our inflation relative to the rest of the world, "we are absolutely flat".
    "We shouldn't be too strong or too week. Just enough to make sure that we are competitive, but we don't have the free fall depreciation that the rubble, the Brazilian real had which generate huge amount of inflation and creates problem down the line," the Governor said.
    The Governor also appreciated the government's recent programmes like Startup India and crop insurance.

India roars back to Davos to seek overseas investment
  • FM Arun JaitleyColourful lions adorn a salon on the main street of Davos, inviting visiting business leaders to "Make in India".
    Optimism about the world's fastest growing economy contrasts with the economic gloom facing other emerging markets and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mantra encapsulates a renewed confidence among Indian business and political leaders at the 2016 World Economic Forum.
    This year's Davos push, led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has stirred memories of the ill-fated and extravagant 2006 "India Everywhere" marketing campaign that had aimed to showcase a resurgent India as a destination for foreign investment to rival China.
    But the ruling party was routed soon after in elections and subsequent years laid bare the country's frailties; its woeful infrastructure, inability to deliver reforms and a huge balance of payments deficit put it in the Fragile Five group of emerging markets seen at most risk of financial crisis.
    That has all changed, and the 140-plus strong India contingent at Davos is confident the turnaround this time is for real, driven by efforts at reform and falling oil import costs.
    "India will be a shining star, the I in the BRICs constellation is giving hope to the rest of the world that we won't fall in the same trap that most of the world is in, that of slow growth," telecommunications tycoon Sunil Bharti Mittal told a panel at the World Economic Forum.
    Indeed, the other BRIC emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India and China - are wrestling with problems. The first two are in a second year of recession, while this week China posted its weakest growth in 25 years.
    India has finally taken on the mantle of the world's fastest growing big economy; its equities and bonds are favourites with emerging market investors who are betting that growth will accelerate further.
    What's more, direct bricks-and-mortar foreign investment flows into India jumped 75 per cent over 2015, according to a report this week from United Nations trade body UNCTAD.
    Davos regulars feel India may actually have something to crow about. A PWC survey of more than 1,400 global CEOs found India to be the rare bright spot among big economies, with rising confidence in short-term sales growth.
    "I think they are doing it (Davos) more quietly this time, I think that's good. Let China take all the heat and just keep your head down," said Martin Gilbert CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management, who counts India as one of his favourite markets.
    But India has plenty to worry about. Key reforms on land and tax remain elusive. Latest data, showing a 15 per cent year-on-year decline in exports, is proof enough that India cannot escape the fallout of a global slowdown stemming from China
    Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman of Apollo Tyres, should be rejoicing in falling costs of rubber and energy. Instead, he is fretting about the weakening yuan and the possibility of more competitive currency devaluations in China and the rest of Asia.
    Chinese tyres account for a third of the Indian market, he told Reuters on the sidelines of the WEF, up from 15-20 percent a year ago. Meanwhile India's tyre industry is running at 60 percent capacity, Kanwar said, adding: "The writing is on the wall for Make in India."
    Apollo will start producing tyres at its new plant in Hungary from 2017, for easier access to Western European markets but Kanwar said an investment process that took a few weeks in Hungary could have consumed up to 18 months in India.
    Critics would note India ranked 130th in the World Bank's latest survey on ease of doing business and Kanwar said clearances for Apollo's planned facility in Hungary took a few weeks, a process that would have taken up to 18 months in India.
    "There are still too many barriers to doing business in India," he added.
    But in today's bleak emerging markets, Western businesses may have little choice but to gravitate towards India with its 7 percent growth and billion-plus eager consumers.
    "There is increased opportunity in India, while (reform) progress has been slow we are seeing progress and that's the key," KPMG chairman John Veihmeyer told the Reuters Global Markets Forum this week, adding that India was the consultancy's fastest-growing market.
    And John Chambers, executive chairman of IT firm Cisco Systems reckons India, with its software industry, is well placed to capitalise on increasingly digitalised business.
    "We all got excited about India before, but the market didn't develop as we hoped," Chambers said. "Cisco doubled down in India two years ago and we will double down again..We cannot miss this opportunity."

Banks taking strong stance on corporate defaulters: ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar
  • Banks taking strong stance on corporate defaultersWith high NPAs weighing down on the books of several banks,ICICI Bank has adopted a strategy of 'proactive action' on its corporate portfolio and is focusing on higher-rated clients, its chief Chanda Kochhar said in Davos.
    Besides, the bank's strategy also involves increasing the proportion of retail clients in its portfolio, the top banker said.
    "Asset quality in the retail segment continues to be healthy and stable. In the corporate sector, there continue to be challenges given the time taken for projects to generate cash flows and high leverage levels in some areas or companies. Banks are working actively to resolve these through asset sales and change in management; they are taking a strong stance vis-a-vis the promoters to ensure that these actions are taken," Kochhar said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting.
    "In cases where the promoters do not cooperate, the banks are enforcing contractual rights through the legal route," she added.
    Talking about her own bank, Kochhar said: "ICICI Bank's strategy comprises close monitoring and proactive action on the corporate portfolio; increasing the proportion of retail in the portfolio mix; and focus on higher rated clients."
    Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank, further said that the regulator RBI is also in discussions with banks at various level to address these concerns.
    "I am confident that over time the coordinated efforts of the government, regulator and banks should help in addressing these concerns," she added.
    Asked about her outlook for the banking sector's financial performance in the quarters to come, Kochhar said, "In the banking sector, retail business will continue to grow at a faster pace. Corporate lending may take some time to pick-up. We will see gradual improvement as recovery in economic activity strengthens. In fact, if we look at the history of the Indian financial sector, we have never seen the level of crises that we have witnessed in other regions."
    Giving credit to the strong regulatory framework in the country, Kochhar said, "The Reserve Bank of India has norms which are in line with, or in some areas stricter than global standards, which has resulted in healthier position of Indian banks. The capital requirement prescribed by RBI is a percentage point higher than the global standard prescribed by Basel committee on banking supervision. Banks in India are required to maintain statutory liquidity ratio, cash reserve ratio and liquidity coverage ratio requirements resulting in healthier liquidity position."
    She also said the balance sheets of most banks in India are largely deposit funded and there is limited reliance on wholesale borrowings.
    "Further, the government has also initiated a reform programme for public sector banks called Indradhanush, which will help in strengthening the balance sheet of these banks. All put together, there is significant resilience in the Indian banking system."
    She maintained the banking system remains stable and as activity in the economy strengthens further, there should be an improvement in project implementation as well as cash flows and in turn corporate balance sheets.
    "Indian banks are resilient and ready to seize the opportunities that would come up in the next phase of growth in the economy," she added.

General Awareness

FDI flows into India nearly doubled in 2015: UNCTAD

    • Foreign Direct Investment flows into India nearly doubled in 2015 as per the annual report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), while the US emerged as the top host country for FDI last year.
      FDI flows into India nearly doubled in 2015: UNCTADAbout FDI
      The term FDI stand for foreign direct investment, FDI means an investment made by a company or entity based in one country, into a company or entity based in another country.
      Benefits of FDI
      • Improves forex (foreign Exchange) position of the country
      • Employment generation and increase in production
      • Help in capital formation by bringing fresh capital
      • Helps in transfer of new technologies, management skills, intellectual property
      • Increases competition within the local market and this brings higher efficiencies
      • Helps in increasing exports
      • Increases tax revenues.
      Top 10 FDI Host Economies of the World
      US Barack ObamaWashington, D.C.United States dollar
      Hong Kong——–Victoria Hong Kong dollar
      ChinaXi Jinping BeijingRenminbi
      NetherlandsMark Rutte AmsterdamEuro
      the UKDavid Cameron LondonBritish Pound
      Singapore Lee Hsien Loong—-Singapore dollar
      IndiaNarinder ModiNew Delhirupee
      BrazilDilma RousseffBrasíliaBrazilian real
      CanadaJustin Trudeau OttawaCanadian dollar
      France Manuel Valls ParisEuro, CFP franc

No comments:

Featured post

Current Affairs - 16 December 2018

General Affairs   Cyclone Phethai Gathers Over Bay Of Bengal, May Hit Andhra On Monday ...

Copyright © 2016. Vikalp Education