Current Affairs Current Affairs - 15 July 2016 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 15 July 2016

General Affairs 

Smriti Irani's Degree Row: Court Asks Election Commission To Bring Records
  • NEW DELHI:  Delhi State Election Commission was today directed by a city court to bring records regarding the educational qualifications of Union Minister Smriti Irani, against whom a complaint was filed for allegedly giving false information in affidavits to the poll panel.

    Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh passed the directions after he was informed by an official for the commission that the documents filed by Ms Irani regarding her educational qualification were not traceable.

    The Election Commission was asked to bring on record the original document as the complainant had alleged that Mr Irani's affidavit filed before it in 2004 for contesting election from Chandni Chowk constituency mentioned her as a graduate.

    The official told the court that original documents filed by Ms Irani regarding her educational qualification were not traceable but the information in this regard was available on the commission's website.

    After this, the court directed the official to file a report before it on the matter and fixed the matter for further hearing on July 23.

    The court had on November 20 last year allowed the plea of complainant Ahmer Khan, a freelance writer, seeking direction to the officials of Election Commission and Delhi University to bring the records of Ms Irani's qualifications after he said he was unable to place them before the court.

    The complainant had claimed that Ms Irani had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualification in affidavits filed before the poll panel in 2004, 2011 and 2014 and not given any clarification despite concerns being raised on the issue.

Modi Government 'Disrespects' People's Mandate: Sonia Gandhi
  • NANDED: Seizing on the Supreme Court verdicts on Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarkhand, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today accused the Modi Government of disrespecting the popular mandate in its "greed for power" and tearing apart the Constitution to topple elected ministries.

    "The present government, in its greed for power, has torn apart the provisions of the Constitution of India and has dislodged the elected governments of Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh by disrespecting the people's mandate," Mrs Gandhi said, addressing a party rally, a day after the Supreme Court ordered restoration of the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh.

    Mrs Gandhi was in Nanded to unveil a statue of Congress stalwart and former Union minister Shankarrao Chavan and inaugurate a library named after him at his home town.

    "Had Shankarrao been alive today, he would've been deeply hurt to see all this and would have objected to these unconstitutional steps. But we are proud of the Supreme Court which protected the spirit of the Constitution and restored democracy in these two states," she said.

    Describing Mr Chavan as a "true crusader" of farmers who went the extra mile to secure their welfare, the Congress chief said the NDA dispensation had put farmers and vulnerable sections at a disadvantage by diluting the welfare schemes launched during the previous UPA rule.

    "It is sad that today, welfare schemes made by our Manmohan Singh government, for farmers, tribals, minorities and women are being weakened. As a result, lakhs of families are bearing the brunt," she said.

    "The Modi government has to be reminded that there is drought in the country. Due to your (Modi government's) policies, farmers have been alienated," she said.

    "You have waived off thousands of crores of loans of capitalists but left farmers to their fate," Gandhi charged.

    "The BJP government is weakening welfare measures taken in last 60 years for benefit of farmers," she said, adding Congress would not allow farmers' voice to be stifled.

    Former Prime minister Manmohan Singh, who was also present at the function, recalled his working days with Mr Chavan.

Hyderabad Court Asks Police To Register Case Against Asaduddin Owaisi
  • HYDERABAD:A city court today directed police to book a case against AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi for stating that he will provide legal aid to suspected ISIS sympathisers arrested in Hyderabad last month.

    The court issued the direction on a complaint by advocate K Karuna Sagar.

    The 11th Metropolitan Magistrate Court asked Saroor Nagar police station under Cyberabad police commissionerate to register a case against Mr Owaisi under section 124A (sedition) of Indian Penal Code. Police were asked to submit a report on the same to the court before July 30.

    The advocate moved the court after police did not take action on his complaint against the Hyderabad lawmaker.

    "I had lodged a complaint with the police on July 3 but for 10 days they were sitting on it," Mr Sagar told news agency IANS.

    He said he moved the court seeking directions to police to book the lawmaker on charges of sedition.

    He alleged that Mr Owaisi through his remarks is boosting the morale of anti-nationals and giving oxygen to terrorists.

    The National Investigation Agency (NIA) last month arrested five suspected ISIS sympathisers. Mr Owaisi had said after the arrests that his party would provide legal help to the youths. He, however, asserted that his party does not support terrorism.

Nepal Prime Minister Oli Sees India's Hand Behind Toppling His Government
  • KATHMANDU:In a blunt statement, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has blamed India for being behind the CPN (Maoist Centre) pulling out support to his government.

    "India's role was primarily behind" the pulling out of support by the Maoists, Mr Oli said today in a conference on National Security in Kathmandu, adding that the process of government change was "not an automatic process but conducted by remote control".

    Nepal-India ties took a dip after Mr Oli came into power last October, which was followed by the five-month-long economic blockade on the Nepal-India border by the Madhesi protesters. Mr Oli since the very beginning has been a critic of Indian "high-handedness" in Nepal's internal political affairs.

    Nepal's Maoists pulled out support from the government on Tuesday and a no-trust motion was registered by the CPN (Maoist Centre) and Nepali Congress in Parliament against Mr Oli after the latter refused to resign.

    Mr Oli said "there was a feast in a five-star hotel" after the Maoist Centre pulled out support.

    It was widely reported in Nepali media that Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae "threw a feast" after the Maoist Centre pulled out support to the government on Tuesday evening.

    Mr Oli, who now faces a no-confidence motion in Parliament, said he "cannot compromise on national security" in the name of maintaining cordial relationship with neighbours.

    "I had never compromised on national interest in any difficult situation; so India used the Nepali Congress and Maoists against my government and are trying to topple it," he said.

    Earlier in May, when the Maoists attempted government change, Mr Oli had accused India and recalled Nepal's Ambassador from New Delhi and cancelled the visit of the President to India.

    "Maintaining good relations with neighbouring countries is an important aspect of national security. But we cannot jeopardize nationality for its sake," Mr Oli said.

    "Neither we think against anyone nor we have spoken against one. We won't let this country be used against others," he said.

    Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN (Maoist Centre) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' were also invited to the seminar but both leaders opted to boycott it. Hinting at the absence of the two leaders, Mr Oli said the issue of national security was not related to any particular person or party but of the country as a whole.

    Taking aim at the Terai protests, Mr Oli maintained the new Constitution had not discriminated against anyone. He added the new Constitution could only be amended as there was no provision for rewriting mentioned in it.

    Mr Oli said the government was ready to redraw the federal boundaries as per the demand of the Terai-based political parties. "But such drawings should be justifiable," he said.

Pak Must Target All Terror Groups And Close Safe Havens: US
  • WASHINGTON:Pakistan must take action against all terror groups including those targeting its neighbours and close all safe havens, the US has said while acknowledging Islamabad's "meaningful steps" to combat outfits that threaten the country's stability.

    "We have been very clear that Pakistan must target all militant groups, including those that target Pakistan's neighbours, and close all safe havens," State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.

    It is in this regard, the US "certainly welcome" comments by Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on July 6 when he directed Pakistani military commanders, intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies to take concrete measures to deny any militant groups safe haven or the use of Pakistani soil to launch terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Toner said.

    "We are continuing to address some of our concerns about where Pakistan needs to move next in terms of combating terrorist threats," Toner said.

    It is in the US's long-term national interests to support Pakistan's efforts to combat terrorism, violent extremism, and build a more stable and democratic society, he said as he appreciated the recent efforts of Pakistan Army to take action against terrorist groups that threaten them only.

    "We believe that Pakistan is taking steps to address terrorist violence, particularly focused on groups that threaten Pakistan's stability. They have made progress shutting down terrorist safe havens," he said.

    "They've restored government control in many parts of Pakistan that have been used as terrorist safe havens for many years. These are important, and they're meaningful steps for Pakistan to have made. They have also come at a cost, and that cost is certainly in Pakistani lives," Toner said.

Business Affairs 

Sensex ends 127 points higher, Nifty jumps above 8,550; TCS gains 1% ahead of Q1 results
  • The S&P BSE Sensex on Thursday ended 127 points higher, while the broader Nifty50 jumped above its key resistance level of 8,550-mark.
    The headline indices rallied even as investors remained watchful ahead of quarterly corporate results and an expected government announcement on who would take over as the country's next central bank chief.

    The 30-share index ended the day at 27,942, up 126.93 points, while broad-based 50-share index quoted 8,565, up 45.50 points at close.
    Markets have been on edge ahead of the appointment of the next Reserve Bank of India governor, with some believing it could come as early as this week ahead of the start of a new parliament session on Monday.
    Data earlier this week showed consumer inflation rose to 5.77 per cent in June, increasing the odds of the central bank keeping interest rates on hold next month.
    Data on Thursday showed India's wholesale prices rose at a faster-than-expected pace in June on higher food prices.
    "There are not many factors left for markets to react to immediately, hence market is taking a breather now and we see some amount of consolidation," said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president of research at SMC Global Securities.
    Bank stocks recovered from losses on Thursday, with Punjab National Bank up as much as 5.3 per cent and Yes Bank gaining as much as 0.8 per cent.
    Jewellery makers such as Titan Company and Gitanjali Gems rose as the government relaxed excise duty rules.
    Shares of Tata Consultancy Services were up marginally ahead of results later in the day. Infosys fell as much as 1.2 per cent after ending higher in the last four sessions ahead of results on Friday.
    Mahindra and Mahindra lost as much as 2.4 per cent on worries growing competition would eat into its market share.

    TCS Q1 net profit rises 10.7%, beats estimates
    • Tata Consultancy Services, country's top software services exporter, reported a 10.7 per cent increase in quarterly profit on Thursday, beating estimates as it won more outsourcing deals from western clients.
      Net profit rose to Rs 6,317 crore ($944 million) for its fiscal first quarter to June 30 under the IFRS accounting standards, TCS said on its official Twitter feed.

      Analysts on average had expected a net profit of Rs 6,088 crore according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

      June WPI inflation jumps 1.62% to 20-month high
      • Wholesale price index-based inflation accelerated for the third straight month in June hitting 1.62 per cent on costlier food and manufactured items.
        The hardening of the WPI index follows an uptick in retail inflation, announced on Tuesday, which hit a 22-month high of 5.77 per cent in June, dampening chances of a rate cut by RBI at its next policy meet scheduled for August 9.
        Also, the annual rate of wholesale inflation is way higher than 0.79 per cent in May and (-)2.13 per cent in June 2015.
        Food inflation rose 8.18 per cent in June due to higher price of fruits, vegetables, cereals as well as protein-rich items, showed government data which were released today.
        The inflation in vegetables remained stubborn, which jumped 16.91 per cent. The print for pulses came in at 26.61 per cent while potatoes turned costlier by as much as 64.48 per cent in June.
        There was some source of comfort though as onion prices declined significantly with a reading of (-)28.60 per cent during the month. Besides, fuel and power and minerals showed a price decline at (-)3.62 per cent and (-)20.75 per cent, respectively.
        In the manufactured items category, inflation read 1.17 per cent.

        "Rate cut by RBI in August is definitely a no. RBI is likely to maintain a status quo for a significant period of time," said Indranil Pan, Chief Economist, IDFC Bank.

      Ban cash transactions of above Rs 3 lakh to curb blackmoney: SIT
      • The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on blackmoney has recommended ban on cash transactions of above Rs 3 lakh and restricting cash holding with individuals to not more than Rs 15 lakh to curb illegal wealth in the economy.
        The SIT headed by Justice M B Shah (retd), submitted its fifth report to the Supreme Court on methods to curb black money in the economy.
        The panel felt that large amount of unaccounted wealth is stored and used in form of cash.
        "Having considered the provisions which exist in this regard in various countries and also having considered various reports and observations of courts regarding cash transactions the SIT felt that there is a need to put an upper limit to cash transactions," an official statement said.
        SIT recommended a total ban on cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh and "an Act be framed to declare such transactions as illegal and punishable under law."
        It also felt that, given the fact of unaccounted wealth being held in cash which are further confirmed by huge cash recoveries in numerous enforcement actions by law enforcement agencies from time to time, the cash transaction limit can only succeed if there is a limitation on cash holding.
        "SIT has suggested an upper limit of Rs 15 lakh on cash holding," the statement said.

        In case any person or industry required holding more cash, it may obtain necessary permission from the Commissioner of Income Tax of the area, the panel opined.

        NHAI may award 97 projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore this fiscal
        • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) may award 97 projects covering 6,631 km and worth Rs one lakh crore during the current financial year, its chairman Raghav Chandra said on Thursday.
          Addressing the National Conference on Highways Construction Technology organised here by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Chandra said NHAI is keen to have private players to patrol the national highways and help in traffic management and maintaining road discipline.
          "NHAI has around 250 projects across the country and has completed around 400 projects in the past. It is expected to spend $15-16 billion (around one lakh crore) in 2016-17.
          The sale of construction equipment has grown drastically.
          There are 97 projects covering 6,631 km and worth Rs one lakh crore being awarded in 2016-17", he said.
          The National Highways Management has moved from construction-based achievement approach to service-based achievement approach that would enhance competitiveness and user satisfaction, he said.
          The NHAI chairman also talked about the importance of use of products which are recycled and reused out of waste materials.
          "NHAI has initiated detailed studies about the feasibility of using waste materials in laying roads and to encourage the private sector to explore these options in infrastructure development," he said.

          N V Shetty, Conference chairman and Chief Operating Officer of GMR Highways Ltd, said the Highways sector contributes about 5-6 per cent to the country's GDP growth.

        General Awareness

        Gourmand World Cookbook Award bagged by Nimi Sunilkumar

        • Cookbook author and food blogger Nimi Sunilkumar has bagged the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for 2015-16.
          She was conferred with this award for her cookbook “4 o’clock Temptations of Kerala”.

          The cookbook is enriched with photos and details of 54 recipes from Kerala and each of these recipes are said to be specific to each district.
          It was chosen for the award in the ‘Best Indian Cuisine Cookbook’ section
          Nimi Sunilkumar has won award for the second time and earlier in 2013, her Lip-smacking Dishes of Kerala was selected third ‘Best Local Cuisine Book in the World’ category.
          It is noted that the snacks include ‘unnakkayi’ (plantain rolls), ‘kumbilappam’ (steamed rice cones) to ‘kozhiyada’ (chicken pancakes) and ‘andiputtu’ (cashew and rice balls). The book, with 54 recipes, was exhibited at the Frankfurt World Book Fair in Germany in October 2015.
          Nimi Sunilkumar:
          • She is a culinary teacher and dietician at Tata High Range School, Munnar.
          • She had started her food blog ‘Nimi’s Culinary Ventures’ in 2009.
          • She began offering ‘Lip-smacking cooking classes,’ on traditional Kerala cooking to tourists in 2012.
          • She has taught traditional Kerala cooking to her students from US, Australia, and UK.
          About Gourmand World Cookbook Award:
          ♦ It is famously known as the Oscar award in the field of cookery. This is the only international award in this particular field. The award is organized to honour the best food and wine books either printed or digital.
          Capital – Thiruvananthapuram
          Nicknames – God’s Own Country, Spice Garden of India, Land of Coconut Trees
          CM – Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan
          Governor – P. Sathasivam.
          Language – Malayalam.
          Some Wildlife Sanctuaries in  Kerala:
          • Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
          • Begur Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad
          • Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Idukki
          • Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thiruvananthapuram
          • Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Palakkad
          • Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary
          • Chimmony Wildlife sanctuary
          • Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary

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