Current Affairs Current Affairs - 27 June 2016 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 27 June 2016

General Affairs 

Attack On CRPF Convoy A Desperate Attempt To Create Problems, Says Kiren Rijiju
  • HYDERABAD:  Describing the killing of eight CRPF troopers by terrorists in Srinagar as "desperate attempts to create problems for the country", Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju today said the government is committed to ensuring peace and security and necessary action will be taken.

    In the deadliest attack on security forces in recent years, eight CRPF personnel were on Saturday killed and 21 others critically wounded when terrorists rained bullets on a bus carrying them at Pampore near Srinagar, in what appeared to be a suicide attack carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    "The incident is very unfortunate... We condemn such ghastly attack by terrorists and we pay homage to the departed martyrs and send our condolences to the bereaved family members," Mr Rijiju said.

    "The CRPF team, they were returning from the firing range to the headquarters when they were attacked near Jhelum river. It was a tragic incident where eight of our jawans lost their lives," he said.

    "The situation is challenging...people who believe in extremism, they are very desperate because we have got a very dynamic Prime Minister and India is progressing very well and so they are doing everything to scuttle the efforts of the government to taking India to new level of prosperity," the Union minister said.

    "There are desperate attempts to create problems for the country...these are desperate attempts...but, we are committed and necessary action and response will be taken up...let the officers come back from the spot after they review the entire situation," he said.

    "There may be claims by groups (taking responsibility for the attack), but we have to make complete official assessment of the situation. Our DG CRPF has been asked to go there and other senior officers have rushed to Srinagar," he said.

    On reports about a statement given by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on the incident, Mr Rijiju said, "He has a habit of giving such statements and the whole world is watching. I don't want to make political statements...I think the Ministry of External Affairs and PMO may react to it."

    Reacting to another query, the minister said, "The efforts to infiltrate along the LoC in the western side has come down. The attempts have increased but the level of success has drastically come down and that is why this kind of desperate attempts are being made, and they may try to increase the level, but infiltration itself has come down."

    On the Pathankot incident, he said, "We are waiting for the date which Pakistan has to give and as and when the date comes our people -- NIA team is ready."

Terror Attacks On Troops A Matter Of Concern, Says Jitendra Singh
  •  JAMMU:  Expressing concern over terror attacks on troops in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister Jitendra Singh today said Centre has conveyed its "readiness" and full support to state government to deal with it as security and safety of its troops is prime duty of government.

    "It (terror attacks) is a matter of concern. Prime Minister has himself paid tributes to the martyred soldiers. Loss of every soldier is a big loss to the country. We are concerned about it and should ensure that such incidents are not repeated and loss of precious lives do not take place in future," Mr Singh said.

    He further said "India is proud of its armed forces and paramilitary forces. Such a message should not go that we are not concerned about our troops. We are very concerned about them," he said.

    "We are concerned about it. It is more important in view of forthcoming Amarnath Yatra is approaching close. I hope that the state government and security agencies will take a call on it and ensure increased security and exercise more caution after taking cognisance of this," he said.

    "Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has already conveyed the centre's readiness and willingness to all types of support and cooperation in dealing with it," Mr Singh said.

    Asked about his reaction on Centre's move to reduce footprints of security forces on one side and increasing militancy on the other side resulting in demoralisation of Army, he said "Centre does not want that moral of the troops go down. The armed forces should get the highest respect and their security is prime."

    "We hope that state government security agencies take measures to ensure that such incidents are not repeated after going through any negligence in the security setup," he said.

    On Amarnath Yatra, he said "the state government has assured us that they are ready to ensure peaceful for yatra and we hope that they will be more cautious keeping in view the present incidents."

    On the provocation by Pakistan over invite to separatists and carrying out terror attacks, he said "see whatever be the provocation I think it has been made amply clear by the MEA that if at all there be any talks it will only be bilateral talks and no third party would have any place and any recognition.

    "You cannot have talks in the shadow of death and therefore, as far as India is concerned or Modi government is concerned it is very clear about how to go about in tackling terrorism sponsored from Pakistan soil," he said.

    Asked how will India takes these terror attacks, he said "Certainly it is serious is not something that is going to be taken lightly."

    Asked whether government considers terror attacks as a provocation from Pakistan after invite to separatists, he said "India is country with tremendous degree of resilience towards it neighbours and follows certain amount of clarity and consistence and therefore we do not get affected by what is imported from a foreign soil as far our attitude towards Pakistan and Pak sponsored terrorism is concerned".

    "We made it clear more than once by different quarters including Foreign Minister recently that we follow a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism. Whenever an initiative of talks with Pakistan in initiated, it is purely bilateral talks without involvement of any third party," he said.

India Maintaining High Growth Amid Tough Global Economy: Arun Jaitley
  • BEIJING:  India continues to maintain a high growth rate even in times of difficult global conditions and is sticking with its agenda of reforms push and infrastructure creation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
    Addressing the annual general meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Saturday, Mr Jaitley said the bank has come up "amid huge expectations" and India is preparing a basket of projects worth USD 2-3 billion for AIIB funding.
    "The new Bank has come up amid huge expectations in a difficult time for the global economy. The overall recovery of the global economy remains very modest and global growth rate projections have been revised downwards even though the Asia-Pacific region remains the growth engine for the world," Mr Jaitley said, according to a Finance Ministry statement issued today.
    "Notwithstanding the global headwinds, however, India continues to maintain a high growth rate at 7.6 per cent in 2015-16 compared to 7.2 per cent in the previous year."
    He said India has undertaken reforms in FDI and initiated large investments in rural infrastructure, national highways, inland waterways, shipping, power sector and smart cities.
    "India has a huge unmet demand for investment in infrastructure and is preparing a basket of projects worth USD 2-3 billion for AIIB funding in the areas of urban development (including smart cities), energy, urban transport, railways, inland waterways and water supply," he said.
    Mr Jaitley also offered India's support in establishment of a regional office of AIIB in New Delhi to effectively cater to this potentially large portfolio and speed up the process of project development, monitoring and implementation.
    He met his Chinese counterpart Lou Jiwei on Saturday and discussed bilateral economic cooperation, upcoming G20 Summit in Hangzhou and the BRICS Summit in India.
    "Both sides shared views on the global macroeconomic situation and agreed on the need to further co-ordinate in order to enhance economic growth," the statement said.
    He also held a bilateral meeting with AIIB President Jin Liqun.
    Arun Jaitley, who is on a 5-day visit to China, met executives of Alibaba ANT enterprises too.
    AIIB was officially established in 2015 with an authorised capital of USD 100 billion, in which India and 56 other countries joined as founding members. China is the largest shareholder with 26.06 per cent voting share. India is the second-largest shareholder with 7.5 per cent, followed by Russia with 5.93 per cent and Germany with 4.5 per cent.
    "AIIB presents the much-needed additional financing window dedicated to infrastructure projects and meeting the financing gap that may be beyond the capacity of the individual countries and the existing MDBs (multilateral development banks)," Mr Jaitley said.

Indira Gandhi Converted India Into 'A Dynastic Regime', Says Arun Jaitley
  • NEW DELHI:  On the 41st anniversary of imposition of Emergency, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today took swipes at Congress and blamed it for delaying economic reforms by two decades, transforming India into a 'dynastic democracy' and bringing in corruption.

    Besides Emergency, operation Blue Star at the Golden Temple was another blot on its record, he said, throwing a challenge at the present Congress leadership and asking if it had any views on these issues.

    "If one looks back at the history of the Congress Party after independence, the blots on it are economic reforms being delayed by over two decades, transformation of India in to a dynastic democracy, the imposition of Emergency in 1975, Operation Blue Star and corruption.

    "I wonder whether the current leadership of the Congress Party has a view on this subject. Will the Congress Party have an internal debate on these issues?" the minister said in his Facebook post - 'Constitutional dictatorship imposed by Mrs Indira Gandhi forty-one years ago'.

    On June 26, 1975, Indira Gandhi imposed an internal emergency in the country, he said, adding "the phoney reason she gave was that there was a breakdown of public order in as much as Jai Prakash Narain had asked the police and the army not to follow illegal orders."

    The actual reason, however, was that her continuation as the Prime Minister was threatened since the Allahabad High Court had unseated her as Member of Parliament for adopting corrupt practices during her election, he said.

    "The impact of the Emergency was to inflict a dictatorship on the country. All political opponents were detained. The authority of the Courts to hear a challenge against the detentions was suspended. The Supreme Court caved in before the dictator.

    "The Press was subjected to pre-censorship. The Press became a spokesperson of the dictator. No public protest was allowed.

    "The Parliament was without an opposition. By projecting her son Sanjay as her successor, the dictator converted India into a dynastic regime. Inner party democracy was throttled," Mr Jaitley said.

    Recalling the days of Emergency, Mr Jaitley said Parliament without an opposition amended the Constitution in order to legitimise a Constitutional dictatorship and only political workers offered some resistance by courting arrest and going to jail.

    He outlined as "most significant" the collapse of the media and the Supreme Court before the dictatorship. "Politicians were the only institution that fought the emergency since they were the only accountable section of society.

    "The standards of accountability of the political class are high," he said, adding that the "even the dictator had to face an electorate when faced with International and National opinion pressures."

Last Chance. Declare Undisclosed Income By September 30: PM Modi
  • NEW DELHI:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked people to declare their undisclosed income by September 30, making it clear that this is the last chance to avoid problems that will follow after the window of opportunity closes.

    He said no questions would be asked about the source of the undisclosed income or assets if the declaration is made voluntarily by September 30.

    "For those having undisclosed income, the government has provided a special chance to declare it by September 30," PM Modi said in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat'.

    He said by paying a penalty, those having undisclosed money can free themselves from various kinds of burden.

    "I have promised that there will be no inquiry into the source of the undisclosed income and assets if the declaration is made voluntarily. That is why I am saying it is a good chance for becoming a part of transparent system," he said.

    "Let me tell the countrymen that this chance is till September 30. Consider this as the last chance," the Prime Minister asserted during the programme.

    He said he has told BJP MPs that if anybody faces any problem after September 30 for not abiding by the rules, no help should be provided to them.

    "It will be better that you take advantage of the window provided and save yourself from the difficulties that you can face after September 30," he said.

    PM Modi said there was a time when taxation rules were such that people would tend to avoiding paying taxes.

    "But gradually, times changed. Now, for a taxpayer, it is not much difficult to abide by the government rules. Still, old habits die hard," he said, adding there are still people who feel that it is better to avoid paying taxes.

    "My plea is that by running away from rules, we lose our peace. Any small person can harass us. Why should we let it happen? Why not ourselves give correct information to the government about our income, about our wealth? For once, dispose off the baggage of the past. I appeal to my countrymen to get free from this," he said.

    Referring to his recent interaction with officials of Income Tax, Customs and Excise here, the Prime Minister said he had told them that they should not consider the countrymen "theives" but should repose faith in them and "hand-hold" them to encourage them to become law-abiding citizens.

    He said he told them to change their approach as it was important to create an atmosphere of trust.

    However at the meeting, he said, he was told that out of 1.25 crore citizens of the country, only 1.5 lakh people have taxable income of over Rs. 50 lakh. "This cannot be digested by anybody. One can see lakhs of people with taxable income of over Rs. 50 lakh in big cities.

    "Before taking any tough step, the government wants to give the people a chance. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, there is a golden chance to declare your undisclosed income.

    In other words, it is a way out of difficulties that will come after September 30....I don't want that you should feel any difficulty after September 30," PM Modi emphasised.

    During the 30-minute programme, he also talked about Emergency which was imposed on this day in 1975 by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and asserted that democracy is the country's strength and it will have to be strengthened.

    The Prime Minister said sometimes some people mock at his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme and even criticise it. This, he said, is possible because "we are committed to democracy".

    He said that the democracy, which empowers every citizen, had been suppressed on this day in 1975.

    "The morning of June 26, 1975, was such a black night when Emergency was imposed on the country. All rights of the citizens were taken away. The country was turned into a prison. Along with Jaiprakash Narain, lakhs of people and thousands of politicians were sent to jails," he recalled.

    "But today when I am talking to you on June 26, we should not forget that our strength is democracy, our strength is people's strength and our strength is every citizen. We have to take this commitment further and strengthen it," he added.

    The Prime Minister said it is the strength of the countrymen that they have lived this democracy.

    "When the newspaper offices are sealed and radio speaks only voice, people on the other hand make you realise the power of democratic forces. This is a big strength for any nation," he said in apparent reference to the days of Emergency in the country.

    "The shining example of democratic powers of a common citizen of the country was seen during Emergency and it should keep reminding the nation again and again," PM Modi added.

    He said there should be an attitude that people continue to realise their strengths.

    "I keep saying that democracy does not mean that you vote and give contract of five years for running the country. Voting is a crucial part of democracy, but there are several other aspects too. The biggest aspect is people's participation -- the pulse of the people, the thinking of the people.

    The more governments associate with the people, the more is the country strengthened," he said.

    "It is the gulf between the people and the governments which is the cause of our ailments. It has been my endeavour always to take the country forward through people's participation," he said.

    Noting that his government recently completed two years, PM Modi said some "modern-thinking youth" had given him a "kind of challenge" to get his government's performance assessed by the people.

    He said when he mentioned this to his senior colleagues, they said it should not be done as in this age technology can be misused and the survey can be taken anywhere.

    "They expressed concern. But I thought the risk should be taken. A try should be given. Let us see what happens," PM Modi said, adding the survey was subsequently carried out on 'Rate my' in different languages.

    Three lakh people gave answers to all the questions, he said, contending that the sample size is bigger than the ones in surveys carried out after elections.

    He said he will not go into the result of the survey as he left it to the media to do so.

    "So, did you see? There was a day some years ago when the voice of the countrymen was muzzled on June 26 and there is a time when the people themselves decide whether the government is performing well or badly. This is the strength of democracy."

    The Prime Minister also referred to the International Yoga Day celebrated on June 21 and said a momentum of yoga should be maintained for at least a year as it may help cure diabetes.

    PM Modi also mentioned the recent induction of three women as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force. While naming the three, he hailed them as an example of empowerment of women, particularly since they come from small cities and towns.

    He welcomed the prediction of good rains in the country during Monsoon, saying it will give relief to the countrymen, particularly farmers, who had been facing drought and water-scarcity.

    In this context, he again laid thrust on water conservation, saying "jal hai toh kal hai (water is essential for a better tomorrow)".

    Referring to the feat achieved by the ISRO in launching 22 satellites in one go a few days back, PM Modi had words of praise for students of Pune and Tamil Nadu who had prepared two of these satellites.

    He said more and more children should be encouraged to become scientists so that the country can have innovations, especially in the area of space.

Business Affairs 

HDFC to raise Rs 1,035 cr via bonds on private placement
  • HDFC on Friday said it will raise Rs 1,035 crore through issuance of debentures on a private placement basis to augment its long-term capital resources.
    "The object of the issue is to augment long-term resources of the corporation. The proceeds of the present issue would be utilised for financing/refinancing the housing finance business requirements of the corporation," it said in a regulatory filing.
    The bonds in the form of secured redeemable non- convertible debentures will carry a coupon rate of 8.5 per cent per annum.
    HDFC shares were trading 1.78 per cent down at Rs 1,220.45 on BSE during the afternoon session.

    MBD, Germany's Steigenberger Hotel Group form JV in India
    • Education and hospitality company MBD Group and Germany's Steigenberger Hotel Group on Friday announced formation of a joint venture to manage and franchise hotels under the 'MBD Steigenberger' brand in India.
      MBD will have 51 per cent stake in the JV, while Steigenberger will hold the remaining 49 per cent, according to a release issued in Mumbai.
      The JV is targeting to open at least 20 hotels in India over the next 15 years with projected annual revenue of hotels under management or franchise of nearly Rs 2,000 crore.
      MBD Steigenberger, in-line with the international positioning of the Steigenberger brand, will be positioned to target the luxury segment in India.
      The flagship hotel under the JV will be the MBD Zephyr Bangalore, an MBD Steigenberger hotel, offering 184 rooms and 118 serviced apartments.
      "We are extremely proud to announce our association with Steigenberger Hotel Group. The association will ensure that German excellence joins hands with the warmth of Indian hospitality providing the next level experience to our guests across the country," said Sonica Malhotra, Managing Director of the Joint venture and Joint Managing Director of the MBD Group.
      "We will be focusing on key cities in the country, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa, Kolkata, Pune, Indore, and other cities where we want to come up with luxury hotels," Malhotra said.
      Management of the joint venture company would be in the hands of the MBD Group looking after the India operations of the brand, including business development, management and franchising of hotels, marketing, pre-opening and post-opening assistance, among others, while Steigenberger will provide international sales and marketing support, training and brand standards.
      Steigenberger Hotel Group CEO Puneet Chhatwal said, "This is an important milestone in our history of international growth. As a company with German roots, Steigenberger Hotel Group enjoys a good reputation worldwide. We are very excited to bring our hospitality to the Indian market." 

      It is business as usual: Jaguar Land Rover on Brexit
      • As Britain voted to exit the EU, Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover said it is "business as usual" and will manage the long-term impact and implications of the decision, insisting "nothing will change" overnight for it and the automotive industry.
        "For Jaguar Land Rover, today is just business as usual.
        We are a British business with a strong manufacturing base in this country, we call Britain home and we remain committed to all our manufacturing sites and investment decisions," a JLR spokesperson said in a statement.
        On outcome of the referendum, the spokesperson said: "We respect the views of the British people and in line with all other businesses, Jaguar Land Rover will manage the long-term impact and implications of this decision: nothing will change for us, or the automotive industry, overnight."
        The company said Europe is a key strategic market for its business, comprising 20 per cent of global sales.
        "We remain absolutely committed to our customers in the EU. There will be a significant negotiating period and we look forward to understanding more about that as details emerge," the spokesperson added.
        The company said it was looking forward to work with the British government and automotive sector to ensure that the UK's automotive industry remains as competitive as ever, and that negotiations between the UK government and the EU will continue to recognise the importance of car manufacturing.
        In a historic development, the UK on Friday voted to leave the European Union after 43 years as the 'Brexit' camp took an unassailable lead over 'Remain' in a down-to-wire referendum with far reaching implications for the world.

      Swadeshi andolan criticises India's FDI policy
      • In an indication of the growing discomfort among the "nationalist" elements over BJP government's foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, Swadeshi Aandolan, a splinter group of Swadeshi Jagran Manch - a key affiliate of BJP's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) - has termed Narendra Modi-led government's FDI policy as "ruinous".
        The group has asked RSS to clarify its stand on BJP's FDI policy as 'the Sangh parivar had always maintained that India will be built by Indians'.
        In a press release issued in New Delhi on Friday, KV Biju, All India Organising Secretary, Swadeshi Andolan, alleged that the Modi government has made the United States its business partner completely disregarding India's long-standing tradition of independence in foreign policy.
        "The new FDI policy will ruin all prospects of self-reliance and destroy the vast industrial infrastructure and capability created over decades. Unfortunately, the FDI policy has completely ignored specific issues in the defence sector", he said.
        "100% FDI in the pharma sector is another US demand that the Modi government has acquiesced to. 100% FDI in brownfield pharma means that any foreign company can acquire Indian drug makers. When Ranbaxy was taken over by a Japanese MNC, LK Advani issued a statement against it. Will there be a similar statement now that a BJP government is in power?" Biju asked.
        "Even technology transfers happen at hefty royalties to MNCs. For example, Suzuki takes home 6.7% of the value of a car made by Maruti in India as royalty. If this happens in the auto industry, one can imagine what would happen in the highly competitive sophisticated arms industry which the Modi government has opened up fully to foreigners" he said
        Criticizing the government's decision to relax norms for FDI in retail, Biju reminded that many Sangh Parivar organizations, including the BJP, have been fighting against FDI in retail for years.
        "The Sangh Parivar, which calls itself the zealous guardian of Indian nationalism, was consistently opposed to FDI in education, media, media-related industries and strategic sectors. Immediately after returning from the US, Prime Minister Modi opened up two strategic sectors-- defence and aviation--to foreign investment. The RSS should clarify its stand immediately or risk being called hypocrites", the release said.
        The working committee of the group, which met here today, decided to step up their protest against by the central govt on its FDI policy. 

        Access to market, workforce key post Brexit: Tata Sons
        • Tata Sons termed access to markets and skilled workforce as "important considerations" after Britain voted in favour of leaving the European Union and said that each of its 19 firms having interests in the UK will do a business review.
          "There are 19 independent Tata companies in the UK, with diverse businesses. Each company continuously reviews its strategy and operations in the light of developments, and will continue to do so," a Tata Sons spokesperson said in a statement.
          "Access to markets and skilled workforce will remain important considerations," the statement added.
          Tata Group stocks this morning witnessed severe drubbing, plummeting by up to 13 per cent, as the UK's vote to exit the European Union spooked investors given the conglomerate's huge exposure to the region.
          Tata Motors plunged 12.9 per cent, Tata Steel tanked 10.89 per cent and TCS dipped 4.81 per cent on BSE.
          Shares of Tata Elxsi plunged 9.21 per cent, Tata Global Beverages (7.26 per cent), Tata Chemicals (5.72 per cent) and Tata Communications (5.34 per cent).
          The salt-to-software group said it has been operational in the UK since 1907 and has 19 of its companies present there.
          Some of the most visible business interests of the over USD 100-billion Tata Group in the UK include the marquee automaker JLR and Tata Steel.
          According to estimates, there could be a significant impact on JLR following Brexit vote.
          Jaguar Land Rover in a separate statement said it is business as usual and they will manage the long-term impact and implications of the decision, insisting nothing will change overnight for it and the automotive industry.
          "We remain absolutely committed to our customers in the EU. There will be a significant negotiating period and we look forward to understanding more about that as details emerge," JLR said.
          Britain voted today to leave the EU in a deadly blow to the 28-nation bloc, forcing Prime Minister David Cameron to announce his resignation in the wake of defeat in the referendum whose result triggered a panic reaction in world markets and raised questions over immigration and other issues in the UK after the divorce.

        General Awareness

        Microsoft & AICTE signed agreement to build app for HRD Ministry’s SWAYAM platform

          • All Indian Council for Technical Education(AICTE) signed agreement with Microsoft and chosen Microsoft as their Technical partner for Online Courses 
            Features of the app:
            • The Online Course programme is named as SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Mind)
            • About 2,000 Massive Open Online Courses to be started
            • Over 3 Crore Students and public will be nurtured under the Courses
            • UGC (Credit Framework for online learning courses through SWAYAM) Regulation, 2016 has been approved by the Ministry for successful implemention of the app.
            Procedures of the UGC Regulation 2016:
            • SWAYAM Platform will hold the Online Courses by a partner Institution the NationalMassive Open Online Courses Coordinator
            • Table of Online Courses are offered in each semester will be informed to the Registrars
            • Free Physical Facilities like Laboratories, Computer Facilities and Library will be provided to Parent Institutions
            • AICTE will acquire the entire App from Microsoft after successful implementation after 3 years
            • A worth of 38 Crore rupees has been signed between Microsoft and All India Council of Technical Education.
            About All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
            • Statutory body a national-level council for technical education, under Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development
            • Established in November 1945
            • Roles: Accredits PG and UG programs under categories at Institutions and Universities as per it charter

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