Current Affairs Current Affairs - 16 January 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 16 January 2017

General Affairs 

Assam's E-Wallet Toka Poisa Takes PM Modi's Digital Dream To The Fringes
  • BJP-ruled Assam has taken a big step towards the no-cash economy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying popularise. With digital e-wallet Toka Paisa, which also has a smart-card version, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal made Assam the first state in eastern India to have its own e-wallet. So far, only Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have their own e-wallets.

    The Centre sent in two Union Ministers - Jitendra Singh and Kiren Rijiju to Guwahati on Wednesday to be part of the launch of the offline E-wallet with a local language interface, which was developed by techies from the state-owned Assam Electronics Development Corporation Limited (AMTRON). A fortnight ago, PM Modi had praised Assam government for its numerous initiatives towards a less cash economy.

    "This is designed to create digital communities in rural areas," said MK Yadav, the managing director of AMTRON.

    The state, he said, has many river islands and riverbanks which are isolated due to poor internet connectivity. "We have come up with offline smart card which can be used in POS (point of sale) terminals. These smart cards will be able to serve those areas," said Mr Yadav.

    "Toka Poisa has only made its soft launch and will be available for download for smartphones in a week's time. But there is an instant buzz about it at least in Guwahati," said Shantanu Das, a banker from the city.

    Since the ban on 500 and 1,000-rupee notes by the centre on November 8, nearly 7 lakh Jan Dhan accounts has been opened in the state's rural areas. Assam has also seen a growth of 21 per cent online tax collection - an immediate market.

    But young entrepreneurs who have been opening up various hyper-local digital start-ups are skeptical.

    "Will the people use it? It is very difficult to break the jinx as we have found while making our own product... those who are in urban areas, they will find it easy to use. But the government has to walk the extra mile to include rural people," said Ranjita Das, the co-founder of Wayside Store.

    Don't Be Flippant About Indian Symbols, Icons: Shaktikanta Das Tells Amazon
    • Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das today asked Amazon to desist from being flippant about Indian symbols and icons, cautioning it that "indifference will be at your own peril".

      "Amazon, better behave. Desist from being flippant about Indian symbols & icons. Indifference will be at your own peril," Mr Das said in a tweet.

      In another tweet however he added: "Comment on Amazon was as a citizen of India as I felt strongly about it. Nothing more should be read into it."

      Last week, after a strong protest by India over Amazon selling doormats depicting Indian flag, the e-retail giant removed the offensive article from its Canadian website.

      A spokesman for Amazon based at its headquarters in Seattle had told The Washington Post that the doormat was no longer for sale on its website.

      After the Indian flag incident, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had received several complaints of Amazon selling flip-flops with Mahatma Gandhi's image.

      Some Twitter users have tagged Ms Swaraj in their tweets complaining that the beach sandals with Gandhi's image were being sold on the Amazon US site.

      When asked, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup did not specifically mention the issue, saying, "As a follow up to the matter regarding the sale of doormats with the Indian flag on Amazon, our Ambassador in Washington has been instructed to convey to Amazon that while providing a platform for third party vendors, they should respect Indian sensitivities and sentiments."

    AIIMS Delhi To Have India's First-Of-Its-Kind Odourless Mortuary Soon
    • The mortuary at AIIMS will soon be a thing of the past as the premier medical institute is going to have an odourless, modern autopsy facility, a first-of-its-kind in the country, to help forensic experts conduct post-mortems with ease.

      Tenders inviting interested firms have already been issued by the AIIMS authorities in this regard. The proposed facility would come up within the existing autopsy centre, head of the AIIMS forensic department, Dr Sudhir Gupta said.

      "Generally, the mortuary where autopsies are conducted have repellent smells because of which the ambiance becomes unpleasant. Also, doctors and staff conducting post-mortems are unable to concentrate on the higher technical findings of the body as autopsies are being performed in haste.

      "Besides, it is an unpleasant experience for relatives of the deceased as well as police investigators who have to remain present nearby," Mr Gupta said.

      In medico-legal cases, conducting an autopsy and concluding opinion is a major challenge for the experts who have to examine all organs and several tissues particularly in case of sudden unexplained deaths or deaths due to poisoning.

      "In such cases, unique skill of the doctor and a good amount of time are required with full concentration to understand the various changes which occur in unexplained, unexpected deaths.

      "In Western countries, they call it molecular autopsy where the doctors have to spent a considerable amount of time inside the mortuary to study tissues at microscopic level," he said.

      Further, Gupta said that a mortuary is a vulnerable place to get infected because so many biological fluids and tissues come out during the process of autopsy.

      "In the newly constructed autopsy centre, all these fluids and other biological materials will get evacuated and cleaned by vacuum technique. At AIIMS, we are still using manual methods of cleaning and then throwing them in traditionally," he said.

      He said the autopsy table will be wall-mounted like an operation table so that the height can be adjusted. Also, the centre will have in-built facilities for videographing a post-mortem procedure.

    The Most Common Password Of 2016 May Surprise You. It's...
    • Numeric combination of '123456' was the most common password of 2016, followed by '123456789' and 'qwerty', according to researchers who reviewed over 10 million security codes that became public following data breaches.

      The study also found that four of the top 10 passwords on the list are six characters or shorter.

      Passwords '12345678', '111111', '1234567890', '1234567', 'password', '123123', '987654321' were among the top ten list.

      "This is stunning in light of the fact that, as we have reported, today's brute-force cracking software and hardware can unscramble those passwords in seconds," according to the US-based password management company Keeper Security .

      "Website operators that permit such flimsy protection are either reckless or lazy," the company said.

      "Nearly 17 per cent of users are safeguarding their accounts with '123456'. What really perplexed us is that so many website operators are not enforcing password security best practices," it said.

      The study found that the list of most-frequently used passwords has changed little over the past few years, which means that user education has limits.

      While it is important for users to be aware of risks, a sizable minority are never going to take the time or effort to protect themselves. IT administrators and website operators must do the job for them, the company said.

      The presence of passwords like '1q2w3e4r' and '123qwe' indicates that some users attempt to use unpredictable patterns to secure passwords, but their efforts are weak.

      Dictionary-based password crackers know how to look for sequential key variations. At best, it sets them back only a few seconds.

      Email providers do not appear to be working all that hard to prevent the use of their services for spam, they added.

    Shiv Sena Likely To Go Solo In Mumbai Civic Body Polls
    • Shiv Sena is "likely" to contest the upcoming city civic body polls, party sources said today, even as it formally begins talks on alliance with BJP tomorrow.

      Leaders in both Sena and BJP feel that the parties will fare better if they contest on their own, and, if needed, they could go for a post-poll tie-up for the Asia's biggest civic body - the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

      Sources in BJP also said that their party should be ready to go alone instead of yielding to the demands of Sena, which shares power with it at the Centre and in Maharashtra though the ties have been frosty since the 2014 Assembly polls.

      The polls to 10 municipal corporations, including the cash-rich Mumbai civic body, will be held on February 21.

      "An internal survey by our party shows that we will win around 85-90 seats in case we were to contest allying with the BJP. But that number will shoot up to 110-115 seats if we go solo. In such a scenario, it would not be advisable for us to take the BJP onboard for the polls," a source close to Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray said.

      The survey also revealed that BJP will win around 35-40 seats if it contests in alliance with Sena but the number will go up to 60-65, if it goes solo, he said.

      "It is in our best of interest to contest the polls separately. Thus, it is most likely that we will both contest as separate entities. Yet, BJP remains a natural ally of Sena.

      Even if we contest separately, we can always engage in a post-poll alliance," the source said.

      He said Sena and BJP will formally begin seat-sharing talks from tomorrow and three leaders from each party have been entrusted the task of carrying out the negotiations.

      "Sena leaders Anil Desai, Anil Parab, Subhash Desai will carry out the talks with BJP leaders Ashish Shelar, Vinod Tawde and Prakash Mehta," he said.

      "At the outset, the BJP has demanded 115 seats, while Sena is not ready to give it more than 75 seats. The alliance is impossible if BJP remains adamant on its demand," he said.

      Another source in the Sena said the party chief, in a recent meeting with Sena ministers, has given them full autonomy to suggest names of probable candidates.

      "However, there is a caveat here. Uddhavji has even said that if the candidate fails to win the seat suggested by the minister, he would have to resign from the government. This has become a do or die battle for us," he said.

      The election is crucial for Sena as BMC has remained its stronghold even when the Congress-NCP ruled the state for 15 years and could help the party redeem its position after it slipped to the status of a junior partner of BJP following the Assembly polls.

      Meanwhile, a source in the BJP claimed their internal survey has predicted that the party would get anywhere between 90 to 103 seats if it contests on its own.

      "The diatribe launched by Sena against BJP and its leadership in 'Saamana' (Sena's mouthpiece) is an indication that they are apprehensive about the BMC slipping from its political grip," he said.

      Earlier, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had argued in favour of a pre-poll alliance with the Sena, and had said that if there will a tie-up, it would based on transparent administration in the BMC.

    Business Affairs 

      Arun Jaitley May Lower Corporate Tax In Budget: Deloitte
      • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may address the transient pain of demonetisation by cutting corporate tax rates when he presents the Budget for 2017-18 in just over two weeks time.

        Mr Jaitley in his second Budget speech in February 2015 had announced phasing out of tax incentives with effect from April 1, 2017 and reducing the corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.

        In a survey by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, commissioned on budget expectations of India Inc, 53 per cent of the respondents expect the corporate tax rate to be reduced this time. 

        "Given the strict measures taken by the government in curbing black money, it may be the appropriate time to reduce the tax rate," Deloitte noted.

        Corporate tax accounted for a little less than a fifth (19 per cent) of the government's receipts last fiscal whereas income tax receipts accounted for just 14 per cent of total receipts.

        "Since the demonetisation announcement, one of the major concerns has been around the deceleration of the growth momentum in the economy emanating from a decline in demand.

        This concern resonates in survey as well because 80 per cent of respondents think the government would unveil measures to counteract the negative impact on demand," it said.

        Deloitte further said, 40 per cent of the respondents agree that complete phase-out of tax incentives is a good measure and will reduce litigation.

        An equal number of participants believe profit-linked tax incentives should continue for growth sectors like infrastructure.

        Interestingly, 15 per cent of the respondents agree that instead of phasing out incentives for infrastructure sector, it should continue in the form of investment-linked tax incentive.

        "Considering that some tax incentives will continue, one of the most eligible sectors is the infrastructure sector since the higher tax cost will impact the common man," it said.

        A majority of respondents (66 per cent) think that the gains from demonetisation are likely to be focused on development expenditure so as to boost investment demand in he economy.

        As much as 26 per cent of them are of view that the gains will be spread evenly across major expenditure areas as the government possibly tries to limit the fallout on various sectors, Deloitte said adding a 6 per cent think that the government can go in for increasing subsidy expenditure.

        "Therefore, the industry clearly continues to hope for policy measures that strengthen the pace of structural reforms," it said.

        On the impact of demonetisation on real estate industry, the survey said, there may be a phase of depressed demand, but the low-cost and affordable segment will be the driver of growth.

        "When additional funds come back in the system, mortgage rates will reduce and with the benefits offered by the government, low-cost and affordable housing will be back in demand," it said.

        Deloitte said tax regime is one of the significant considerations for multinational companies to set up their business in a particular tax jurisdiction.

        About 43 per cent respondents reinforce this sentiment, giving more than 20 per cent weightage to the attractiveness of tax jurisdictions for carrying business. Very few respondents (4 per cent) gave less than 10 per cent weightage.

        Among measures to achieve ease of doing business, the survey respondents placed higher weightage on tax rate reduction (35 per cent), followed by dispute prevention measures (23 per cent) and effective dispute resolution mechanism (16 per cent).

        Co-operative tax assessment mechanism and improvement in taxpayer service were the other two important measures pointed out by the respondents.

        "Surprisingly, easier application of foreign tax credit rules and burden of Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) did not appear to weigh higher on the mind of the respondents," it said.

        On expectations of recovery in global economy, Deloitte said of late, some positive news has come from developed economies which seems to have generated somewhat of an optimistic outlook in the markets.

        About 66 per cent of the participants feel the global economy is likely to witness a recovery in growth rates in FY 2016-17 while 21 per cent think that it is unlikely to be the case.

        "It is important to note that there are still numerous macro risks like rising trade tensions, oil prices as well as an increasing environment of uncertainty in the global markets, that pose challenge to any meaningful recovery," it said.

        About 46 per cent of the respondents said the impact of tax administration improvement measures like no routine filing of appeal cases by the revenue, risk-based audit selection and electronic refund transfers were significant.

        On General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR), which was introduced for the first time through Finance Act 2013 but its implementation deferred to Arpil 1, 2017, only a 37 per cent said their organisations were ready for its implementation while the other were either not prepared at all or unsure about their preparedness.

        "In view of an array of reforms such as demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax, country by country reporting regarding transfer pricing information, etc, the government may consider providing more time to the industry to deal with GAAR," Deloitte said.

        44 Airports Have Potential For Operations Under UDAN: Report
        • About 44 airports across the country have "high potential" for operations under the ambitious Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) for civil aviation, UDAN, according to a report brought out by apex industry body FICCI has said.

          "Based on the geographical, operational and commercial parameters, 44 out of the 414 underserved and unserved airports have high potential under RCS.

          "We have also identified around 370 potential destinations for the shortlisted airports, including metros, state capitals and important commercial, industrial and tourism centres," said the FICCI report, brought out in concert with global professional service company KPMG. 

          Uttar Pradesh has four high potential RCS destinations, three each in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, two each in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Bihar, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, J&K, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.

          "So far 22 states have joined the RCS and we have identified 30 airports where operations could be started immediately," Union Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey told PTI.

          RCS, or UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik), was introduced as part of the National Civil Aviation Policy 2016 and was formally launched in October last. It provides an opportunity to take flying to the masses by way of fiscal incentives, infrastructure support and monetary subsidies (viability gap funding).

          Noting that RCS was a good scheme, Regional Director of International Civil Aviation Organisation Arun Mishra, however, said India did not have the wherewithal right now for RCS to become successful.

          "They are trying to build the wherewithal but it will take some time," he said. "We have to be careful about creating the enabling conditions for this scheme to become successful. One of the most important things is the right size of aircraft that you need."

          He said a plan was required to induct smaller aircraft for RCS operations.

          "Many of the airports (identified for RCS) do not have big runways, so they can't take regular aircraft. We need to induct smaller aircraft for short runways for short takeoffs and landings.

          "Those aircraft are not available in our country," Mishra, who earlier served as Director General of Civil Aviation, pointed out.

          Also, Mishra said, there was shortage of pilots and crew.

          "Small aircraft need specialised crew. We need a special initiative from the government to build that up. Pilots and engineers can't come overnight. We need to train them," he added.

          "India produced only about 200-300 pilots every year. "The Civil Aviation University in China has 2000 trainers. It has 265 aircraft for training purposes," the ICAO official pointed out.

          Observing that aviation created high value jobs and has multiplier economic effect, Mishra said "one aircraft that comes to the country, creates 600 jobs, directly and indirectly. These were not regular jobs that paid Rs 5,000 or Rs 10,000 a month but those that paid Rs 50,000 or Rs 60,000."

          "Essentially, necessary infrastructure needs to be created for RCS to become successful. Airports Authority of India has readied 55 airports and there they can start the RCS," Mishra added.

          Meanwhile, the FICCI report suggested that Viability Gap Funding under RCS be extended from the proposed three to five years or more as these airfields might taken even longer to become financially sustainable.

          RCS operators should also be allowed to use pilots, cabin and maintenance crew of other airlines and allow foreign registered aircraft for operations.

        India Largely A Non Tax-Compliant Society: Arun Jaitley
        • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said India was substantially a non tax-compliant society and demonetisation can lead to more formal banking transactions, thus nudging the society towards more compliance.

          "We are substantially in terms of taxation, a non-compliance society. The narrowness of our tax base is realised by the data. Formal transactions can lead to higher revenues, and make us more compliant," Mr Jaitley said here at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017.

          "Excessive paper currency has its own vices. There is anonymity and no history to the cash. When it moves to the banking system it is going to be a major step towards integration of informal or shadow economy into a more formal economy," the finance minister added. 

          With more efficient tax system and more digitisation, the economy would be cleaner, he added.

          Talking about the inconvenience caused to various sectors because of the cash crunch due to demonetisation, he said difficult decisions initially pass through difficult phases.

          "It can have temporary transient pain attacks, but in medium and long term, the roadmap on which country is destined to move can change," he said.

          Dual Control In GST Practically Impossible
          • Article 246A in Constitution of India has been inserted w.e.f. September 16, 2016 to give concurrent powers to Parliament and the legislature of each state to make laws with respect to Goods and Services Tax imposed by Centre or state.

            Goods and Services Tax or GST will be levied by the central and state governments on the same transaction, on same value, on the same basis and at the same time. GST rate is also expected to be uniform all over India. The Constitution has given power to make laws with respect to tax which obviously includes imposition, assessment and recovery of tax. Thus, both central and state governments will have concurrent powers of assessment of the same transaction.

            There can be notices, demands, inspection, audits, surveys, search and seizures by two authorities. 

            It is very much possible that a taxable person (earlier termed as dealer or assessee) may receive a demand notice for the same transaction from two different authorities. It is also possible that adjudicating authorities and appellate authorities of state and union may take different views on the same transaction. This will make life miserable to the taxable persons.

            Though the National Appellate Tribunal is one and the same for Centre and states, it is practically impossible to approach the Tribunal for each and every tax dispute. Thus, dual control in GST is practically impossible.

            At the same time, it is obvious that the revenue of both central and state governments should be protected. Both Centre and states are sovereign powers. Hence, some golden mean is required to be found.

            Cross empowerments to state and central authorities

            It is highly advisable that a normally taxable person (earlier termed as dealer or assessee) should face only one authority - either central government or state government.

            If the matter is dealt with by state government authorities, they should have powers to assess, demand and recover Central GST and Integrated GST.

            Similarly, if the matter is dealt with by central government authorities, they should have powers to assess, demand and recover State GST and Integrated GST.

            No agreement in GST Council so far on this critical issue

            The issue is hotly discussed in GST Council. So far, no solution has been found.

            Even in respect of taxable persons having a turnover less than Rs 1.50 crore per annum, there is no unanimity.

            Distribution of taxable persons between Centre, states

            The best solution is to distribute powers between the central and state governments such that the taxable person will have to face either state government authorities or central government authorities. This can be done on the basis of revenue collected by Centre and states.

            Revenue from CGST and SGST

            The central government will get revenue from CGST and the state government will get revenue from SGST.

            IGST will be collected by Central Government but IGST is only an intermediate tax. IGST is only to make adjustments between States in respect of input tax credit. Thus, IGST is not retained by the central government. IGST is not a final tax. It is a pass-through transaction. Final tax will be in form of CGST or SGST only.

            It is envisaged that rates of CGST and SGST will be the same. Thus, broadly, 50 per cent of revenue will go to the central government and 50 per cent to the state government.

            Though IGST is an intermediate tax, responsibility of its collection and distribution has been taken by the central government. Further, it has to be noted that the central government has taken the responsibility of compensating states for any revenue loss for five years.

            Thus, the Centre has more responsibility than states in ensuring proper tax collection.

            Considering these factors, it is equitable that broadly, 55 per cent of tax revenue should be under control of the central government and 45 per cent of tax revenue should be under the control of state government. This will ensure sovereignty of both Centre and states.

            How to distribute taxable persons between Centre and states

            To start with, as a rule of thumb, taxable persons having business activities predominantly in one state should be under the control of state government.

            Taxable persons having multi-state businesses and those predominantly in export and import field should be under the control of central government.

            Industries and businesses peculiar to one state should be under control of state government e.g. jute in West Bengal, sugar in Maharashtra and UP, etc.

            The reason is that state government officers already have deep knowledge of these businesses.

            Businesses having national-level activities like petroleum products, banking, insurance, national couriers, telecommunication and railways should be under the control of central government.

            Once such bifurcation is made, further refinement can be made on other reasonable criteria to achieve broadly the ratio of 55:45.

            Review of bifurcation every three years

            Once the bifurcation of taxable persons is made on the aforesaid basis, it should be reviewed every three years. Frequent changes should be avoided. However, it does not mean that there should be water tight compartments.

            Cooperation between central and state authorities for control

            It is obvious and natural that officers of central government will have bias towards IGST and CGST while state government officers will have bias towards SGST.

            To ensure that interests of both the Centre and states are protected, following measures are suggested.

            Model GST Law provides for audits of assesses. If the audit team is led by central government authorities, one officer of the state government should be part of the audit team. Similarly, if audit is conducted by state government authorities, one officer of the central government should be part of audit team.

            The same principle should be followed while carrying out inspection, searches and seizures.

            This will ensure that in every audit, inspection, search and seizure, a one-sided view is not taken. A balanced view will be ensured.

            Coordination committees at state and zonal levels

            There should be a coordination committee at state level of senior central and state authorities.

            Such committees may also be formed at zonal levels, wherever possible and feasible.

            The chairman of such a committee should be from the central and state governments in alternate years to maintain parity. Of course, the grade of the officer who is chairman should not be lower than others in the committee.

            There should be mechanism to refer the issue to GST Council through state level committee, if there is disagreement among members of committee on a major issue. Obviously view of GST Council will prevail.


            If the aforesaid steps are taken and implemented in proper spirit, interests of all stakeholders, i.e. taxable persons, central government and state government, will be protected.

          As Its Boss Moves To Tata Headquarters, Investors Fret Over TCS Future
          • Moving the head of Tata Consultancy Services to the top job at Tata group's holding company fills a critical hole for the salt-to-software conglomerate, but it leaves another at its most valuable company ahead of a complex and unpredictable 2017.

            The promotion of Tata veteran Natarajan Chandrasekaran - the well-regarded, high-performing boss of TCS under whom shares have quadrupled - should be no surprise.

            But the departure of Chandrasekaran, known as Chandra, from the Tata group's most profitable arm still rattled investors. They sent TCS shares down more than 4 percent on Friday, a day after it also posted better-than-expected quarterly results. 

            "The IT industry is facing headwinds, and shareholders would have preferred Chandra to stay as CEO for some more time," said Souvik Guha, an analyst with Shriram Asset Management, which owns shares in TCS.

            Indeed, for Tata Sons, promoting one-time Tata intern Chandrasekaran to chairman of the $100 billion conglomerate is something of a gamble: to help unpick the group's boardroom troubles, he leaves behind the growth engine and crown jewel.

            The vast majority of Tata Sons' annual revenue comes from dividend payouts. Key businesses include Tata Steel and Jaguar Land Rover-owner Tata Motors. But TCS, with its IT services and consulting businesses, accounts for nearly 90 percent of total group revenue.

            Investor concerns highlight the outsized importance of TCS, more than 70 percent owned by Tata.

            "Investors were more confident about Chandra," said a fund manager at a local mutual fund, which owns shares in TCS.

            "In a tough time when volume growth is elusive, you want someone with a proven track record and it would been preferable to have someone from the business side."

            Chandrasekaran has been replaced at TCS by Rajesh Gopinathan, described by analysts and insiders as a meticulous operations man. Fund managers fret, however, over the vision for the IT services firm, at a time when it needs to tackle slowing growth in the industry and a problematic period ahead.

            From an incoming Donald Trump administration in the United States, determined to clamp down on visas vital to the smooth operations of IT services companies in their biggest market, to the still unravelling fallout from Britain's move to bow out of the European Union, TCS will face one of its most complex years.

            Some also fear that Chandra will have little opportunity to lavish attention on TCS in the new role, as he will be saddled with untying the Gordian knot of Tata Sons politics, and also overseeing 200 group companies - all against the background of a bitter ongoing spat with its ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry.

            Mistry has publicly detailed the complex array of problems the conglomerate faces from its troubled European steel segment, from ethical concerns to allegations of fraudulent transactions at its Air Asia India joint-venture, and a host of other issues.

            ROCKING THE BOAT

            Chandra, who joined the Tata group in 1987, rose through the ranks to become TCS CEO in 2009. Under his leadership, TCS revenue has risen almost fourfold and its workforce has almost tripled.

            TCS has fared better than rivals Infosys and Wipro. This is despite a rapidly evolving landscape that has forced IT services players to rethink some increasingly commoditised services and innovate with offerings such as automation and artificial intelligence to win clients and boost revenue.

            The size of TCS has long been its strength, but the changes in the industry mean its size could also become a challenge.

            "In a time marked with multiple challenges and key headwinds impacting the IT sector, this is not an apt moment to rock the boat for TCS," said Reliance Securities analyst Harit Shah, adding that Chandra's relationships will be missed.

            TCS has more than tripled the number of its $100 million plus accounts in the last six years to 34 from 10, according to data from JPMorgan. Over that same period, Infosys has only grown that customer base to 18 from 11.

            Its stock has also vastly outperformed both Infosys and its third-largest Indian rival, Wipro, in that same period.

            Inside the company, executives at the 350,000-strong firm are more confident, describing the new TCS chief, Gopinathan, as "hands-on".

            "Chandra will be at the helm and he will continue to guide the new CEO," said RK Gupta, managing director at Taurus Asset Management, which owns TCS shares.

          General Awareness

          69th Army Day Celebrated on January 15, 2017

            1. The Indian Army celebrated its 69th Army Day on January 15, 2017. The day is celebrated every year on January 15 to respect the Lieutenant General of India, K. M. Cariappa (Kodandera Madappa Cariappa) who was the first Indian Army’s Commander-in-Chief.
              • General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff reviewed the Army Day Parade at the Cariappa Parade Ground, Delhi Cantonment. He also awarded fifteen Sena Medals (including five posthumously) for individual acts of Gallantry and fourteen COAS Unit Citations for commendable performance of their respective units.
              • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 15th  saluted the courage and invaluable service of the soldiers and officers. Large number of serving, veteran and civil dignitaries paid homage to martyrs at the Vijay Smarak
              History of Army Day
              The Army Day is celebrated every year at all the Army Command headquarters and national capital by organizing army parades including many other military shows.
              • The day is celebrated to commemorate the day when General (later Field Marshal) K.M Carriappa took over the command of Army from General Sir F.R.R Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949 and became the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army post Independence.
              • The day is also marked to pay homage and salute to the courageous and brave Indian soldiers who have been sacrificing their lives for protecting the country.
              • This day inspires the troops to continue to enrich the glorious traditions of the Indian Army with their dedication and sacrifice. To mark the day, Army Parade will be organised at the Delhi Cantt.
              Army Day Celebrations
              The Army Day begins with paying tribute to the sacrificed Indian army soldiers at the “Amar Jawan Jyoti” at India Gate in New Delhi.
              • After paying homage, an excellent parade including military shows takes place to indicate the new technologies and accomplishments in the Indian Army.
              • Besides, Bravery awards including Unit credentials and Sena Medals are distributed.
              Miracle Man Hanamanthappa Awarded Sena Medal
              Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, the Siachen braveheart, who survived miraculously for six days under huge ice-and-snow debris after an avalanche hit his post before losing his life due to multiple organ failure, was awarded the Sena Medal in New Delhi on the occasion of the Army Day.
              • The great soldier’s wife Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal received the medal from Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat at Army Day parade in New Delhi.
              About Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad
              Lance Naik was a resident of village Betadur in Dharwad district of Karnataka.He had served for 10 years in difficult and challenging areas out of his 13 years of service. He had also served in the north-east in 2010-2012 where he participated in operations against NDFB and ULFA.
              • The Madras regiment soldier was pulled out alive from under 30 ft of ice-and-snow debris where he lay buried for six days on the unforgiving Siachen glacier.
              • Named as the ‘miracle man’, the soldier had managed to stay alive for six days in minus 45 degrees Celsius temperature, buried under ice and snow after an avalanche struck his post on February 3, 2016.
              • 10 Army personnel, including Koppad, were were buried alive on February 3 in an avalanche in Siachen which is the world’s highest battlefield.
              • However, in a miraculously, Koppad was found alive buried under snow in critical condition after six days of rescue efforts.
              • Then Lance Naik was flown to Delhi’s Army Referral and Research Hospital for treatment where he died on February 11 due to multiple organ failure, after battling for life for nine days.

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