Current Affairs Current Affairs - 22 March 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 - 22 March 2016

General Affairs 

Congress Compares Venkaiah Naidu To Man Who Flattered Indira Gandhi
  • Congress Compares Venkaiah Naidu To Man Who Flattered Indira GandhiNEW DELHI: The Congress today took many jabs at Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi "God's gift to India."

    Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi compared it to Congress leader Dev Kant Baruah's "India is Indira and Indira is India" remark in the 70s, for which he was lampooned for years.

    "When Baruah symbolically said Indira was india and india was Indira he was castigated; is Naidu's chant abt Modi being god's gift much diff?" Mr Singhvi tweeted.

    Mr Baruah was the president of the Congress during Emergency and is chiefly remembered for his sycophancy to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

    Mr Singhvi also tweeted in a reference to Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, "Jaya's cabinet prostrates with idolatry & fawning flattery condemned; Wht of whole modi cabinet (egNaidu &Swaraj) paying verbal obeisance?"

    At a daily media briefing, another Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari remarked that the "jury is still out on whether the Prime Minister is God's gift to India or God's gift to the oligarchs of India."

    Mr Naidu was moving a political resolution at the two-day BJP national executive held over the weekend, when he hailed PM Modi as a "God's gift to India" and a "messiah for the poor".

Chhagan Bhujbal Money Laundering Case: Enforcement Directorate Attaches Sugar Mill, Land
  • Chhagan Bhujbal Money Laundering Case: Enforcement Directorate Attaches Sugar Mill, LandMUMBAI:  Enforcement Directorate (ED) today attached a sugar mill and 290 acres of prime land worth Rs. 55 crore in Maharashtra's Nashik district in connection with its money laundering probe against former Public Works Department (PWD) minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal and others.

    The agency issued a provisional attachment order, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), against the two assets which are owned by Mr Bhujbal's firm Armstrong Infrastructure. The order has pegged the value of the two assets at Rs. 55 crore.

    The Enforcement Directorate, official sources said, has also put prohibitory orders on the running factory, identified as Girna Sugar mill, and the land located adjacent to it.

    The agency, according to sources, found in its probe that the mill was purchased by Mr Bhujbal's firm after "gross under-valuation" at Rs. 27 crore and was purchased as part of an auction conducted by the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) in 2010.

    They said "proceeds of crime" of money laundering funds generated by the former Deputy Chief Minister of the state and his family members were used to purchase these two assets.

    This is the fourth attachment order issued by the agency in the case and it has already attached assets, both movable and immovable, worth Rs. 280 crore earlier.

    An attachment order under PMLA laws is aimed to deprive the accused from obtaining benefits of their alleged ill-gotten wealth and the accused parties can appeal against the order before the Adjudicating Authority of the said Act within 180 days.

    Mr Bhujbal, along with his nephew and ex-Member of Parliament Samir has been arrested in the case by the Enforcement Directorate earlier and they are currently in jail.

    The agency has filed two First Information Reports or FIR against Mr Bhujbal, his son Pankaj and Samir and others under the provisions of PMLA, based on Mumbai Police Anti-Corruption Branch FIRs, to probe alleged irregularities in the construction of Delhi-based state guest house Maharashtra Sadan and the Kalina land grabbing case.

    The Bombay High Court, in December, 2014, had constituted a Special Investigation Team comprising the Enforcement Directorate and the state Anti-Corruption Bureau to conduct the inquiry against the politician and others.

    The Anti-Corruption Bureau complaint names Pankaj and Samir and they had been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections related to cheating, criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and relevant provisions of Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act.

    The agency in a statement said "illegal gratification and bribe money collected by Chhagan Bhujbal was apparently used by way of share application money by Ms Parvesh Constructions Pvt Ltd and Ms Armstrong Energy Pvt Ltd.

    "These funds were subsequently laundered and channeled to Ms Armstrong Infrastructure Pvt Ltd and thereafter placed in the property which is Girna Sugar Mill, situated at Nashik, to mask its origin and to portray it as untainted."

    It said the mill and land attached today was "acquired by Ms Armstrong Infrastructure Pvt Ltd through auction proceedings from DRT for a total acquisition cost of Rs. 27,82,55,010.

    "Apart from a bank loan of Rs. 10 crore the remaining payment of Rs. 17,82,55,010 was made from the tainted funds received from Ms Armstrong Energy Pvt Ltd and Ms Parvesh Construction Pvt Ltd, thereby rendering the said Girna Sugar Mill as a tainted asset," it said.

Congress Distances Itself From Shashi Tharoor's Remarks On Bhagat Singh
  • Congress Distances Itself From Shashi Tharoor's Remarks On Bhagat SinghNEW DELHI:  Congress today virtually disapproved of party leader Shashi Tharoor comparing JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar, facing sedition charges, with Bhagat Singh.

    "There has been only one Bhagat Singh. There is only one Bhagat Singh", party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters when asked about Mr Tharoor's remarks which has sparked a controversy.

    BJP has accused Mr Tharoor, a former Union minister, of insulting the legendary freedom fighter.

    Addressing a group of students in JNU last night, Mr Tharoor, while listing the names of victims of sedition law under British rule had said Bhagat Singh was the Kanhaiya Kumar of his time.

    "The biggest victims of sedition law under the British rule were Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Annie Besant," he said.

    When a girl mentioned the name of Bhagat Singh, prompt came the remark that "Bhagat Singh was the Kanhaiya Kumar of his time."

    The BJP took strong exception to Mr Tharoor's comment saying it was an insult to the "great freedom fighter" as well as all patriots of the country.

    "Bhagat Singh went to the gallows chanting 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' while fighting for the country's independence. Comparing Kanhaiya Kumar with Bhagat Singh is an insult to the freedom fighter and all the patriots. Shashi Tharoor should tell if Kanhaiya is Bhagat Singh, then what are Rahul and Sonia Gandhi," BJP's Shahnawaz Hussain said.

    Mr Tharoor on his part clarified that he did not intend to equate Mr Kumar with the freedom fighter.

Ready For Talks If Insurgents Give Up Violence In Northeast, Says Rajnath Singh
  • Ready For Talks If Insurgents Give Up Violence In Northeast, Says Rajnath SinghSHILLONG:  Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said the Centre is ready for talks with insurgent groups in the Northeast if they shun violence.

    "We are ready for talks with anyone who gives up violence. I appeal to everyone to shun violence," he told reporters in Shillong.

    The home minister was replying to a question on whether the central government is ready for peace negotiations with terrorist groups in the Northeast.

    There are two terrorist groups in Meghalaya -- HNLC and ANVC, both active in Khasi hills and Garo hills regions respectively.

    The central government is in talks with a number of insurgent groups, including NSCN-IM, ULFA (pro-talks) besides others.

    However, several outfits are against any kind of negotiations and continue to indulge in violence that include NSCN-K, PLA in Manipur, Paresh Baruah-led faction of ULFA etc.

China Issues Red Alert To Deal With Chaos At Airport
  • China Issues Red Alert To Deal With Chaos At AirportBEIJING:  China today declared a red alert at Shenzhen International Airport to deal with irate passengers after cancellation of over 200 flights due to heavy rains and thunderstorms.

    In the past 24 hours, 201 flights were cancelled, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

    Photos and videos uploaded on social media showed chaotic scenes at the airport, the report said.

    Passengers and police officers were seen pushing and shoving each other, lunch boxes were knocked over on the floor and two passengers apparently tried to block a boarding gate with rows of chairs, it said.

    Police officers were activated to deal with the crush of people stranded at the airport as a result of the delays and cancellations.

    This prompted airport authorities to upgrade the flight delay alert from orange to red - the highest in a four-tier system.

    According a US survey, China's airports and airlines lead the world in flight delays.

    Yesterday, over 100 flights were delayed and many passengers were left stranded at the Shenzhen airport.

    Shenzhen is located above Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China.

    Airport authorities and airlines arranged accommodation for 8,400 passengers stranded at the airport.

Business Affairs 

    Sensex ends 332 points higher, Nifty above 7,700 on RBI rate cut hopes
    • Sensex ends 332 points higher, Nifty above 7,700 on RBI rate cut hopesThe S&P BSE Sensex gained 332 points to end above its crucial psychological level of 25,000, while broader CNX Nifty jumped above its key 7,700-mark.
      The headline indices rose to a two-month high as hopes increased the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) could cut rates by as much as 50 basis points next month after the government slashed the country's retail savings rate last week.

      The 30-share index ended the day at 25,285, up 332.63 points, while broad-based 50-share index quoted 7,704, up 99.90 points at close.
      Market breadth turned positive with 18 of the 30 Sensex components ending the day in green.
      Hindustan Unilever was the top performing stock on Sensex and added 3.9 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
      The government on Friday cut interest rates for term deposits offered to millions of small savers after the Reserve Bank of India reduced interest rates by 125 basis points last year.
      Bank shares rose, tracking strong gains in bond markets.
      Aligning the government rates with the private sector could spur banks to further cut their lending rates and encourage the RBI to cut rates more aggressively at its April 5 policy review, analysts said.
      Traders have been expecting the RBI to cut rates by 25 bps, but now see the prospect of a 50 bps easing.
      "With the cut we have seen in the small saving schemes, the probability of 50 bps (rate cut) has gone up and that's why markets are looking to break out of this short-term range," said Pankaj Pandey, head of research at ICICI Securities.
      Banks led the gains, with State Bank of India rising 2 per cent and Punjab National Bank advancing 3 per cent.
      The S&P BSE Bankex has rallied about 13 per cent this month after government unveiled a fiscally prudent budget and as the central bank eased rules on how banks can account for capital to meet Basel III requirements.
      Meanwhile, shares of jewellery firms climbed after jewellers called off a 19-day strike late on Saturday following the government's assurance that the excise department would not "harass" the jewellers while collecting a new tax.
      PC Jeweller advanced 3.22 per cent.
      Persistent Systems rose as much as 18.7 per cent ahead of an investor and analyst call scheduled after market close in which investors hope the company would provide optimistic business guidance for the next fiscal year.
      Among the laggards, Asian Paints fell 1.75 per cent after Kotak Institutional Equities said its channel checks suggested the company has cut prices across its decoratives portfolio by around a weighted average of 3 per cent.

      Jewellers call off strike; gold imports to rise
      • Jewellers calls off strike; gold imports to riseJewellers called off a 19-day strike late on Saturday after government assured they will not be "harassed" by the excise department in collecting a new tax, the head of a trade body told Reuters.
        Jewellers from the world's second-biggest gold consumer went on an indefinite strike from the start of March after government reintroduced a 1-percent excise duty on gold jewellery after four years.
        "We have called off strike. From tomorrow jewellers will open shops," said Mohit Kamboj, president of India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA).
        "The excise duty will remain there, but the government has assured us officials from excise department will not harass jewellers," he said.
        Successive governments have struggled to curb appetite for gold in Asia's third-largest economy, despite the imposition of a 10-per cent import duty in 2013 and other restrictions.
        Annual imports of up to 1,000 tonnes of gold, accounting for about a quarter of India's trade deficit, have also prompted the government to launch a scheme to mobilise a pool of more than 20,000 tonnes of the metal in homes and temples.
        The government decided to form a committee to address jewellers' concerns, related to implementation of excise duty, Kamboj said, adding the committee will submit its report in 60 days.
        The government imposed an excise duty in 2012, but was forced to roll it back after jewellers went on strike.
        Jewellery sales in India have fallen since the start of the year due to higher gold prices and as consumers delayed purchases hoping for a cut in import duty in the budget. This has forced importers to offer a discount of up to $53 per ounce to clear inventory.
        But Finance Minister Arun Jaitley surprised the market on February 29 by maintaining import duty and imposing excise duty.
        "There is lot of pent-up demand. Imports will rise from next week," said a Mumbai-based dealer with a private bullion importing bank.
        India's February gold imports dropped to $1.44 billion, from $2.91 billion in January.

        Indian economy to grow 7.7% in 2016-17: ICRA
        • Indian economy to grow 7.7% in 2016-17: ICRARating agency ICRA on Monday projected Indian economic growth to improve to 7.7 per cent in next fiscal, led by domestic consumption demand on the back of implementation of 7th Pay Commission and OROP recommendations.
          The agency, in its Macroeconomic Update, however, said that although the fresh project pipeline appears robust, commencement of work will lag announcements, given moderate capacity utilisation in some sectors.
          "A pickup in domestic consumption post the implementation of the Seventh Central Pay Commission's recommendations and One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the defence services as well as a potential upturn in rural demand is expected to boost economic growth in FY17," it said.
          ICRA said a sizeable portion of the planned rise of Rs 1.2 lakh crore in Plan expenditure in 2016-17 is to be funded through extra-budgetary sources, progress on which will influence the pace of infrastructure augmentation and economic growth.
          "In ICRA's view, Indian economic growth is expected to improve to 7.7 per cent in FY17," the report said.
          Indian economy is estimated to have grown 7.6 per cent in current fiscal. As per official projection, growth is likely to be between 7-7.75 per cent in 2016-17.
          As regards project activity, it said announcements of new project in October-December quarter of current fiscal stood at Rs 1.2 lakh crore, concentrated in electricity, machinery, transport equipment, transport services and miscellaneous services.
          "Value of revived projects improved to a four quarter high of Rs 40,000 crore in the third quarter of FY16, while remaining low; facilitation of clearances, lower input costs for firms are not sufficient to revive investment plans in the absence of a pickup in demand," it said.
          Project completion declined by 12.8 per cent on a year-on-year basis to Rs 80,000 crore in third quarter of current fiscal, which was dominated by electricity, transport services, construction and real estate.
          "A limited Rs 20,000 crore of projects stalled in the third quarter, smaller than the value of revived projects after a gap of 30 quarters," ICRA said.
          It said structural issues continue to affect a considerable portion of the existing project pipeline.
          More than two-thirds of the projects of Rs 32.2 lakh crore submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) are concentrated in the power, steel and petroleum & natural gas sectors.
          As regards government finances, the report said five rounds of hikes in excise duty on fuels have taken place since November 2015 to boost tax revenues by Rs 17,000 crore in last five months of this fiscal.

          Bharti Airtel inks pact with ATC for tower sale in Tanzania
          • Bharti Airtel inks pact with ATC for tower sale in TanzaniaBharti Airtel has entered into an agreement with American Tower Corporation (ATC) for the sale of about 1,350 mobile towers in East African country Tanzania.
            Under the agreement, ATC may acquire up to approximately 100 additional sites currently in development for an additional consideration, Airtel said in a BSE filing, without disclosing the financial details of the transaction.
            "The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals," Bharti Airtel said.
            Airtel will be the anchor tenant on the portfolio under a lease with a ten-year initial term, it said.
            "The proposed transaction is a continuation of our stated philosophy of divesting passive infrastructure assets and promoting sharing of towers to enhance operational efficiencies that will further the overall growth of telecom services," Bharti Airtel MD and CEO (Africa) Christian de Faria said.
            "Airtel remains committed to Tanzania and will continue to invest in its operations and serve customers with world-class services," the official said.
            Hal Hess, EVP and President, EMEA, of American Tower said, "We are extremely pleased to announce our entry into Tanzania and expand our partnership with Airtel, one of the world's leading multinational network operators".
            The release further said the tower sale agreements allow Airtel to focus on its core business and customers, besides helping deleverage through debt reduction, and significantly reducing the on-going capital expenditure on passive infrastructure.
            Bharti Airtel has decided to exit the tower business in Africa where it had around 14,000 towers.
            ATC has also acquired Airtel's mobile tower infrastructure in Nigera. The telecom major sold its mobile tower to Eaton in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Burkina Faso.
            Helios acquired its tower assets in Congo B and IHS in Rwanda and Zambia.
            Sources said after the deal with ATC, total money raised from divestment of mobile towers in Africa by Airtel would around $2 billion.
            Airtel's net debt at the end of December stood at Rs 78,816 crore.
            Till October, Airtel completed the sale of about 8,300 mobile towers in Africa for $1.7 billion (about Rs 11,000 crore), and used it for reducing debt.

            Oct-Dec current account deficit falls to 1.3%: RBI
            • Current account deficit in the October-December quarter narrowed to $7.1 billion, or 1.3 per cent of gross domestic product, from $8.7 billion, or 1.7 percent of GDP a quarter earlier, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Monday.
              The balance of payments surplus in October-December was $4.1 billion, compared to a deficit of $856 million in July-September, according to RBI.

            General Awareness

            PM to inaugurate ‘Krishi Unnati Mela’ in New Delhi

              • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will tomorrow inaugurate three-day‘Krishi Unnati Mela’ providing information on new farm schemes and technologies that will help farmers double their incomeswithin the next few years.
                Venue: Pusa Campus , New Delhi
                • PM Narendra Modi will give Krishi Karman Awards to states and progressive farmers who made remarkable contribution to Agriculture
                • He will visit the theme pavilion and address the farmersKrishi Unnati Mela
                • There will be live demonstration of agriculture and horticultural crops, animal husbandry, innovative technologies and farm mechanisation in big plots
                • Public and private companies will display theirfarm inputs and technologies in over 500 stalls
                • It will have separate workshops on key schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana, e-agriculture marketing, integrated farming system, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojan, soil health and livestock issues
                Points to note
                • Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Meghalaya, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal will receive Krishi Karman Awards for 2014-15
                • Commendation awards would be given to three states- Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa
                • Live telecast of the event will be done at block levels of all Panchayats
                • Union Minister for Agriculture-Radha Mohan Singh

            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