Current Affairs Current Affairs - 3 January 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 3 January 2017

General Affairs 

Cabinet Committee To Meet Tomorrow To Take Call On Advancing Budget Session
  • The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) will meet tomorrow to take a call on advancing the Budget Session of Parliament to the last week of January.

    The Budget Session is normally convened in the last week of February but this year the government is looking set to convene the longest session of Parliament in the last week of January.

    The presentation of the Budget is expected to take place on February 1.

    The Budget Session is being advanced as the government wants early allocation of funds for various schemes-- from April 1, the beginning of the financial year.

    The CCPA meeting has been convened to decide the date for the commencement of the Budget Session, a source said. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will chair the meeting.

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar are the members of CCPA, among others.

    PM Modi Appears To Refer To Supreme Court Ban On Religion In Elections
    • Politicians cannot use religion or caste to appeal for votes, the Supreme Court ruled today. The verdict comes as communally-sensitive Uttar Pradesh waits for an announcement on when it will vote for its next government.

      "No politician can seek vote in the name of caste, creed or religion," said Chief Justice TS Thakur in an order, adding that the  election process must be a "secular exercise".  The majority view of the seven-judge Supreme Court bench held that elections would be void if a politician made an appeal for votes on the basis of religious sentiment.   The verdict could pressure political parties to change their strategy in upcoming elections.

      Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has for years fought elections on a Hindu nationalist agenda, with party members in the past being accused of making anti-Muslim statements to polarise Hindu voters.

      Uttar Pradesh's politics are embedded in a complex caste calculus which often dictate alliances and campaigns. Hours after the court verdict, the PM, speaking to an audience of lakhs in Lucknow, said "there may have been a time when castes were important, you all have endured the politics of caste and religion. I appeal to you all to rise above this and vote for progress and development."

      State elections are also due this year for Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

      The Supreme Court, ruling on a petition filed by a politician in 1996, wrote in its opinion that the secular ethos of the constitution had to be protected.

    With Trademark Efficiency, PM Narendra Modi's One-Liners Take Down The Competition
    • Addressing what he described as "the biggest rally I have ever seen", Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking to an audience of lakhs in Lucknow, trashed the competition, ticking off what he described as the most obvious flaw of each.

      The PM took no names as he took down the Congress ("it has still not succeeded in installing the son as its top boss"), Mayawati's BSP ("a party flapping to deposit its ill-gotten wealth in bank accounts"), and the ruling Samajwadi Party ("an outfit where the main family is entangled in a family feud"). All opposition parties, he said, "are obsessed with Modi hatao (remove Modi) Me? I'm fixated on removing corruption," he said, referring to his sudden demonetisation drive that was launched in November and cancelled 500 and 1,000-rupee notes at just a few hours' notice.

      The Congress' Manish Tewari retaliated by stating, "The PM forgot to say that there's also a party that has been dividing the country on the basis of religion and caste."

      Dalit icon Mayawati who has served four times as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has denied that about 100 crores deposited in two accounts linked to her party (one belongs to her brother) after the notes ban was announced constitutes black or untaxed money. The Congress, depleted by losses in a long list of elections and unable to strike an alliance so far in India's most-populous state, appears to have virtually abandoned its campaign in Uttar Pradesh. And the Samajwadi Party has been ripped apart by the epic father-son battle of Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav, with the latter, who is the Chief Minister, wresting control of the political outfit by having himself named as party president, a move his father has rejected as "unconstitutional."

      "There is only one option for Uttar Pradesh," the PM said, "and it is the BJP." He equated his party's 14-year absence from governing the state with a dearth of development that would be quickly reversed "if you just give us the chance."

      The demonetisation drive, which created a large and still unresolved shortage of cash, will be a big influencer in the Uttar Pradesh election, which is why the PM sought to reinforce the slew of measures that he first revealed in a special New Year's Eve televised speech. Farmers, small traders and medium-sized entrepreneurs, all these will get financial assistance" he said, amid reports that his party's MPs from Uttar Pradesh have shared concerns about the cash crunch.

      Of late, the long lines at banks that were seen in the weeks after demonetisation have thinned out, but most ATMs are still not working, and some experts predict a contraction in economic growth, which has been refuted by the government.

    Many Rounds Lost To Son Akhilesh, Mulayam Singh Picks Fight Over Cycle
    • When Akhilesh Yadav, then only 39 years old, won Uttar Pradesh in 2012 to become the country's youngest Chief Minister, his victory was powered by his free-wheeling campaign, promising jobs, education and development, all while mounted on a cycle, which is the Samajwadi Party's symbol.

      Today, his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav, claimed that the symbol - with its easy and established recall - should be considered his political property as the Samajwadi Party cleaves just ahead of the election in Uttar Pradesh.

      Mulayam Singh, 77, met the powerful Election Commission this evening, accompanied by trusted advisor and younger brother Shivpal Yadav,  a top-line contributing factor to Akhilesh Yadav's hostile takeover yesterday of the Samajwadi Party.  

      Mulayam Singh, who arrived in Delhi from Lucknow, also met earlier today with Amar Singh, another close lieutenant who is on Akhilesh Yadav's hit list. Mr Singh has reportedly lined up a slew of legal experts to back the argument that Mulayam Singh remains the chief of the original Samajwadi Party and is therefore the rightful owner of the cycle symbol.

      But at a party gathering attended by thousands yesterday in Lucknow, Akhilesh Yadav, in a hostile takeover, was named President of the Samajwadi Party; he then pushed his father into retirement by declaring he would now function as patron and mentor.  
      None of that is acceptable to Mulayam Singh. "I have done no wrong, nobody can accuse me of corruption or any other wrongdoing," he said today, adding that its symbol is "my signature." Mulayam Singh and his aides like Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh insist his faction is the legit Samajwadi Party, a hollow claim given that on two occasions on the weekend, most party members and lawmakers chose to attend Akhilesh Yadav's meetings, ignoring rival gatherings called by Mulayam Singh.

      Akhilesh Yadav's mentor and uncle, Ram Gopal Yadav, will meet the Election Commission tomorrow at 11.30 am.  If they also seek rights to the symbol, the cycle may be parked or "frozen" by the commission while it decides the case. On record, it is Mulayam Singh who currently has ownership since he filed the original documents when his party was founded.

      Akhilesh Yadav's wresting of control from his father has been anything but a stealth attack. For months, backed by Ram Gopal Yadav, he has contested various decisions taken by his father, including the shunning of an alliance with the Congress and the Chief Minister's choice of candidates for the approaching election.

    Foreign Media On Zero 'Mitron' References In PM Narendra Modi's Speech
    • India's teetotaler Prime Minister Narendra Modi almost fueled a booze binge on New Year's eve in the nation's cities.

      As his scheduled speech drew nearer, pubs announced Modi-themed drinking games while Indians sought solace through social media humor. The last time Modi had addressed the nation, on Nov. 8, it had ended with him canceling 86 percent of currency in circulation and unleashing chaos in a country where almost all consumer payments are made in cash.

      Modi had likened the move to a bitter medicine to help cure tax evasion and graft. Many saw it differently.

      "Come get a drink on us," pub chain Social, which has 15 outlets across the nation, announced on Facebook. "If we're going down, we're going down together."


      Social offered a pint of beer or an alcohol shot for 31 rupees ($0.5) each time Modi uttered "mitron," which means friends in Hindi. That compares with 85 rupees for a pint of Kingfisher beer it normally charges customers. Mobile wallet company Mobikwik -- backed by Sequoia Capital -- promised lucky users a 100 percent cashback.

      Mitron entered the Urban Dictionary soon after Modi's fateful Nov. 8 address, when he peppered his speech with the word while announcing the ban on high-value currency notes. It now describes "a large group of unsuspecting people, about to be hit by something they will take a long time to recover from."

      When 7:30 p.m. arrived on the last day of 2016, Indians huddled around their television sets.

      Partying versus Praying

      About 80 percent of Indians aged 15-29 evince at least some interest in politics, the 10th highest of about 40 countries surveyed in the OECD's Society at a Glance 2016 report. The nation, however, was among the world's five lowest alcohol consumers as drinking is seen as a taboo that must be limited to social events.

      "Probably the first time when, on Dec. 31, people will be partying less and praying more," @MrTippler tweeted. "Mitron, go home, you are drunk."

      WhatsApp had begun buzzing earlier with cartoons depicting trepidatious citizens. The medium has been a source of much ridicule over the past 50 days, with messages ranging from rumors about location sensors embedded in new currency notes to Modi's party's plan to hand out sweets to citizens to thank them for their cooperation.

      New Year Resolution

      The withdrawal of banknotes was quickly lampooned by citizens enraged about having to queue at cash machines for hours to withdraw their own money, complicated by almost daily regulatory flip flops. 

      Meanwhile, economists have slashed their growth estimates for India as consumption sputters. The political opposition is looking to use the fallout of Modi's move to gain an advantage before key state elections this year.

      See how the economic indicators stack up following demonetization

      In his 45-minute speech, Modi offered easier and cheaper loans to farmers and small businessmen as well as 6,000 rupees cash for pregnant women. He defended the cash clampdown and vowed to crack down on corruption.

      He, however, didn't elaborate on measures to fight graft and belied speculation that he'd provide details on how much unaccounted cash was exposed by his move. Authorities have also retained strict caps on cash withdrawals and Modi didn't offer a new date for when the cash crunch would ease.

      Moreover, how many times did he say "Mitron," which would have allowed citizens to drown their sorrows more cheaply? Zero.

      "So much for cheap beer," tweeted Kushan Dutta, whose profile shows he lives in Modi's prohibitionist home-state of Gujarat. "The one sop we deserved."

    Business Affairs 

    You Can Earn Rs. 25 Lakh On Savings From Lower Home Loan Rates: SBI Chief
    • The interest rate cut on home loans offer significant savings to borrowers, the chairperson of State Bank of India (SBI) Arundhati Bhattacharya, said on Monday.

      Giving an illustration, Ms Bhattacharya said that a person can save Rs. 2,333 per month on 30-year, Rs. 50 lakh home loan at the revised rates of 8.6 per cent.

      Calculated on a yearly basis, the savings go up to Rs. 27,996 and over the period of 30 years, the total savings go up to Rs. 8.39 lakh, she said. 

      If this amount saved on lower EMIs is invested in a recurring deposit (@6.5 per cent) over the 30-year period, it will fetch Rs. 25.80 lakh, the SBI chairperson said.

      The country's largest bank on Monday sharply cut its lending rate, following "unprecedented" surge in deposits following the notes ban.

      SBI has brought down the home loan rate (floating) to 8.60 per cent for new women borrowers and to 8.65 per cent for others on loans up to Rs. 75 lakh. Earlier, the bank had charged an interest rate of 9.25 per cent for women borrowers and 9.30 per cent from others.

      SBI has also come out with a new loan for in which it will offer home loans up to Rs. 30 lakh at 8.50 per cent. Under this scheme, the interest rate for the first two years will be fixed and thereafter linked to floating rate.

      The SBI chairperson said that the bank in the 50-day period for deposit of old notes has been able to garner one and a half times deposits as that of the whole nine-month period, from January to September.

      The SBI chairperson also said that the customers locked into higher rates in older loans can avail the lower rates by paying a one-time fee.

    Infosys Chief Vishal Sikka's Message To Employees: Road Ahead Not Easy
    • Cautioning Infosys employees that the road ahead is long and not easy, company CEO Vishal Sikka has stressed the importance of automation and warned against "lackadaisical" attitude towards greater value creation.

      In his New Year message to the employees, he said by achieving all that they set out to do, Infosys can be a force powering the purposeful evolution of our world.

      "We must remember that operational excellence is an imperative for each one of us. We must focus on delivering the best solutions in the smartest, fastest way possible, and not give up or give in to weaker instincts," Sikka has said in a letter to employees. 

      "Often teams deliver only what is told without going beyond the given scope and with a lackadaisical attitude towards greater value creation.This can no longer be the case."

      He noted that teams have begun to understand and execute on the duality of automation and innovation and to bring value to clients "not just mechanically execute the jobs we are handed," adding, "there is a long way to go, and the road ahead is long and not easy."

      He said "the mountains ahead are tall ones. But there is no other way but to get there and go...if we don't, we will be made obsolete by the tidal wave of automation and technology-fuelled transformation that is almost upon us."

      "On the other hand if we do achieve all that we set out to do, we can be that one force powering the purposeful evolution of our world. A world where our AIs may make us more successful, but also more human....." he added.

      Sikka took over as CEO and Managing Director of the country's second largest IT firm in August 2014.In February, 2016, his tenure was extended by nearly two years till March 2021, saying his initiatives have helped the company move towards reclaiming its industry leadership position.

      Reflecting on the year gone by, Sikka said "Brexit, the American Presidential election, demonetization, cyber security, the refugee and terrorism situation were the events that seriously changed the way we viewed the world, but perhaps that biggest disruption is the one that has been proceeding irreversibly and unstoppably in our times is the accelerating force of technology and digitization."

      Suggesting that by all indications, the future promises to be even more disruptive, especially for Infosys's business, which is impacted by the multiple factors of technological and geopolitical disruption, he said "we will not survive if we remain in the constricted space of doing as we are told, depending solely on cost-arbitrage, and working as reactive problem-solvers."

      "By standing still, instead of moving forward decisively, we will face the brunt of these disruptive forces, as our industry has already started to see. A lot of the work that came to us and to others in our industry, can already be done with Al systems," he said.

      "our path forward is very clear - we need to harness the dual forces of automation and innovation. We must embrace automation to become more productive in the work that we do and with the resulting capacity, focus our attention upwards towards innovation, both for ourselves and our clients. The foundation for all of this is our culture, our values and especially our infrastructure for life-long learning," he added.

    Cheapest Home Loans In 6 Years As SBI Leads Cut In Lending Rates
    • The country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has led banks in a cut in lending rates, taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation on Saturday, in which he asked banks to share with customers the benefits from a deluge of cash in old notes deposits after he abolished 500 and 1000 rupee notes on November 8. 

      PM Modi had in his address asked banks to "keep the poor, the lower middle class, and the middle class at the focus of their activities," and to act with "public interest" in mind. 

      SBI, the country's biggest lender by assets, on Sunday cut its lending rates by 90 basis points for maturities ranging from overnight to three-year tenures. It has reduced the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) to 8 per cent for one-year tenure, from 8.9 per cent.

      Banks use the one-year benchmark for home and car loans. They add a margin above their MCLR to price retail loans. This is the lowest benchmark rate for SBI in six years, which means the bank will offer its lowest rates since 2011. SBI in total has cut its benchmark lending rate by 200 basis points since January 2015. 

      After the cut in MCLR rate, SBI has brought down the home loan rate (floating) to 8.60 per cent for women borrowers and to 8.65 per cent for others on loans up to Rs 75 lakh. This means new home loan borrowers can avail floating rate loans from SBI from 8.60 per cent. Older loans get the benefit of the revised rates after their one-year lock-in ends.

      For loans above 75 lakh, the rate is 8.65 per cent for women borrowers and 8.70 per cent for others.

      For fixed home loans up to Rs 30 lakh, SBI will charge an interest rate of 8.50 per cent for women borrowers (8.55 per cent for others). Under this scheme, the interest rate for the first two years will be fixed and thereafter linked to floating rate.

      Other public sector lenders Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Union Bank of India (UBI) too have brought down the benchmark interest rate by up to 90 basis points. PNB has cut its one-year MCLR rate by 70 basis points to 8.45 per cent from 9.15 per cent. Similarly, Union Bank of India has reduced its MCLR by up to 90 basis points. Also, Dena Bank slashed its benchmark lending rate by 0.75 per cent.

      Private lender Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI today cut its MCLR by up to 45 basis points and 70 basis points.

      Welcoming the lowering of rates by banks, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das in a tweet said, "Trend of interest rate reduction follows demonetisation. Banks have substantial quantum of low cost funds now." 

      "Welcome reduction of interest rates by SBI. Loan disbursements expected to pick up. Positive for the economy," he added. 

      The government has said that the results of the notes ban - which it has branded a big success - are visible now. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said last week that demonetisation had increased the "lending capacity of the banks and naturally the cost of capital will come down." 

      He also countered critics of the notes ban by saying that parameters of economic activity such as tax collection, petroleum consumption, investments in mutual funds has shown an increase. 

      Last week, SBI's subsidiary State Bank of Travancore had announced a reduction in the lending rate, followed by another public lender IDBI, which cut base interest rate by up to 60 basis points. 

      Analysts say that with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to cut rates further this year in the wake of falling inflation and banks may further reduce their lending rates. The surge in deposits will allow banks more leeway to pass on RBI rates cuts than before. 

      The RBI has not yet released the final numbers of deposits banks have attracted after the notes ban, which took out 86 per cent or Rs. 15.44 lakh crore out of circulation. The deadline for depositing old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes ended on December 30. Banks had received close to 12.5 lakh crore deposits in banned notes till 10 December, the RBI had said earlier.

      Sensex Starts 2017 On Weak Note But Midcaps, Smallcaps Shine
      • 3:45 p.m.: The markets ended New Year 2017's first session on a weak note, with the Sensex settling 31 points lower at 26,595 and the broader Nifty finishing 6 points down at 8,179.50.

        Midcaps and smallcaps outperformed the broader markets. The BSE Mid Cap and Small Cap indices settled with gains of up to 1.2 per cent.

        The Nifty metal and auto indices - which led a mild recovery earlier in the session - finished with gains of 2 per cent. Maharashtra Seamless, Tata Steel, NMDC and Tata Sponge Iron ended the day with gains between 2.5 per cent and 9 per cent. Among the auto stocks, M&M, Eicher Motors, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki India settled with up to 3.8 per cent gains. 

        Realty stocks settled with gains of over 4 per cent, with DLF, Godrej Properties, Indiabulls Real Estate and Unitech ending with gains up to 6.7 per cent. 

        Meanwhile, the NSE volatility index finished Monday's session 2.4 per cent higher. 

        2:17 p.m.: Markets recovered all of day's losses to return to the positive territory. Sensex was up 26.24 points, while the broader Nifty was up 10 points near 8,195. Gains were led by auto, metal and infra sectors - all up between 1.10 per cent and 1.66 per cent. 

        1.35 p.m.: Market rebounded strongly as auto, metal shares witnessed buying. The Sensex was down 21 points at 26,606 and the Nifty traded 6 points lower at 8,179.75. 

        The auto and metal sub-indices of NSE were up 1.03 per cent and 1.52 per cent respectively. Tata Steel was the top gainer in Nifty, up 3.32 per cent at Rs. 404.25 followed by Eicher Motors and Ultratech Cement. 

        12.49 p.m.: Markets continue to remain under pressure. The Sensex was down 129 points at 26,497 and the Nifty was at 8,150.35, down 35.45 points. 

        12.20 p.m.: Eicher Motors shares surged as much as 4.8 per cent to an intraday high of Rs. 22,848 on Monday after the company reported 42 per cent jump in Royal Enfield sales for the month of December, 2016.

        11.45 a.m.: Sensex was off day's low, down 107 points at 26,519, while the Nifty50 index traded 29.40 points lower at 8,156.4. 

        11.30 a.m.: Shares of real estate companies focus on low cost housing and housing finance companies with lower ticket size witnessed buying today after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced new schemes to boost the housing sector.

        11.00 a.m.: Markets extended fall as banking shares witnessed selling pressure. The Sensex was down 151 points at 26,475, and the Nifty traded 44 points lower at 8,142.  

        HDFC was the top loser in Nifty, down 3.45 per cent followed by Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, which fell between 2-3.2 per cent each. Meanwhile, Eicher Motors was the top gainer in Nifty, up 3 per cent after it reported 42 per cent jump in Royal Enfield sales for the month of December. 

        9:31 am: Markets edge lower: Sensex down over 100 points, Nifty below 8,150

        9:24 am: Sensex and Nifty edged lower after opening in the green. Sensex was down around 60 points while Nifty hovered near 8,165. Banking stocks were lower with many banks slashing their benchmark lending rates. 

        8:45 am: Indian equity markets are set to open flat on Monday in the absence of sufficient global cues as most of the Asian markets are shut today. Nifty futures on Singapore Exchange were down 9 points at 8,175 as of 8.15 a.m.. 

        Back home, shares of banking and housing finance companies will be in focus today after many public sector banks including country's biggest lender State Bank of India slashed benchmark lending rates by up to 90 basis points. Shares of housing finance companies like Repco Home, Gruh Finance, GIC Housing Finance, LIC Housing Finance and Indiabulls Housing Finance will also be in focus after Prime Minister Naredra Modi in his address on New Year's eve announced interest rate rebate up to 4 per cent on heme loans up to Rs. 12 lakh. 

        Meanwhile, shares of real estate companies focused on affordable housing like, Kolte Patil, Ansal API, Purvankara Projects etc. will also be in focus as the incentives announced by PM Modi is likely to give a big boost to the affordable housing sector, analysts say. 

        On Friday, Nifty closed 1 per cent higher at to settle at 8,185, registering a gain of 3 per cent for 2016. Analysts expect markets to stabilise after a pull-back in last few trading sessions. 

        "Nifty looks stable now after this rebound (Friday's)and expected to inch higher also. However, we suggest continuing with stock specific trading approach rather focusing on index," Jayant Manglik of Religare Securities said in a note. 

        So far as foreign flows are concerned, FIIs continued to be net sellers of Indian shares, which is likely to keep sentiments weak.On Friday, foreign institutional investors sold cash shares worth Rs. 586 crore. However, domestic investors were net buyers to the tune of Rs. 725 crore.

      BHIM Downloaded 3 Million Times, Top App In India: NITI Aayog CEO

      • Indigenous digital payments app BHIM has been downloaded 3 million times and enabled over 5 lakh transactions since its launch, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Monday.

        "Bhim App - 3 million download since launch, No 1 on Playstore in India amongst all apps, over 500,000 transactions since launch. #MakeinIndia," Mr Kant said in a tweet.

        In a bid to further push adoption of e-payments in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 30 launched the BHIM app that will enable fast and secure cashless transactions using mobile phones. 

        Named after the architect of the Indian Constitution, Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar, the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is a simplified payment platform designed to make Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and USSD payment modes simpler and usable across feature phones and smart phones.

        Developed by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), BHIM is supported by host of banks, including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Punjab National Bank, among others.

        The app, which can be downloaded from Google Playstore, is currently available in Hindi and English, and support for more languages is expected soon.

        BHIM is interoperable with other Unified Payment Interface (UPI) applications and bank accounts.

        General Awareness

        Leap Second added to Indian Clock to Synchronize with Earth’s Spin

          1. An extra second was added to the Indian clock at 5:29.59 hours at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) on January 1, 2017 as the atomic clock was struck at 23:59:59 the previous night.
            • The ‘leap second’ was added to the Indian clock to synchronize the Indian Standard Time (IST) with the Earth’s Rotational Clock. The atomic clock was programmed to add an extra second to 2017 to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation.
            • Addition of the leap second to the Indian clock is done by the NPL under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. The NPL, one of the oldest laboratories in the country, has five atomic clocks and nearly 300 such pieces exist across the globe.
            • Atomic clocks are so precise that the margin of error in its functioning is just of a second in 100 million years. Since 1972, 36 leap seconds have been added at intervals varying from six months to seven years and this will be 37th year
            Impact of Adding an Extra Second
            Adding a second will not have any impact on the daily life of the people but it would matter in the fields of satellite navigation, astronomy and communication which requires time accuracies in the nanosecond scale.
            • The Earth and rotation around its own axis is not regular, as sometimes it speeds up and sometimes it slows down due to various factors, including earthquakes and moon’s gravitational forces.
            • As a result, astronomical time (UT1) gradually falls out of sync with atomic time (UTC) and when the difference between UTC and UT1 approaches 0.9 seconds, a leap second is added to UTC through atomic clocks worldwide to match both times.
            About NPL
            • The National Physical Laboratory of India, situated in New Delhi, is the measurement standards laboratory of India. It maintains standards of SI units in India and calibrates the national standards of weights and measures.
            • Formed: January 4, 1947
            • Headquarters: New Delhi
            • Director: Dr. D.K. ASWAL

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