Current Affairs Current Affairs - 24 September 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 24 September 2017

General Affairs 

UN General Assembly Session: Sushma Swaraj's full speech
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who addressed the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly Session in New York today, lambasted Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for claiming that human rights violations in areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
    Swaraj further said, "We are completely engaged in fighting poverty, but our neighbour Pakistan seems only engaged in fighting us."
    Here is the full speech:
    Mr President
    Let me begin by offering my heartiest congratulations on your election as President of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. For those of us fortunate to represent our nations as Foreign Minister this is a particularly happy event: one of us has this honour.
    Mr President
    2: India welcomes your efforts to place people at the heart of international diplomacy as you shape policy and lend direction to world affairs from your august chair. I thank you for the theme you have chosen: 'Focusing on people: Striving for peace and a decent life on a sustainable planet'. People, peace, decency, sustenance and focus define a noble objective.
    Mr President
    3: The United Nations was established for the welfare, security, harmony, rights and economic progress of the people of our world. India fully supports your efforts in this great mission.
    4: I had spoken before this Assembly last year as well. It is a year that has seen much change both in this Assembly and the world it represents. We have a new Secretary General at the United Nations. He is determined to prepare and strengthen the United Nations to meet the challenges of the 21st century. We welcome his efforts, and see in him a leader who can give practical shape to a vision.
    Mr President
    5: Our contemporary world is trapped in a deluge of troubles of which, surely, the most dangerous is the relentless rise of violence, Terrorism, and the ideas that engineer this evil, are spreading at the pace of a conflagration.
    Climate change stares us in the face, and threatens us with its dimension.
    There is a growing question mark over maritime security. For a mix of reasons, provocative and inflammatory, people are leaving the psychological, cultural and economic comfort of their traditional home space to seek refuge on distant shores causing global anxiety. A large part of the globe's population is still tortured by hunger and poverty. The young are beginning to lose hope as they confront unemployment. Women, victims of historic discrimination, are demanding what they must get: gender empowerment.
    Nuclear proliferation is back in the zone of dangerous headlines. Cyber security has become a source of deep insecurity.
    6: In 2015, we set ourselves a target of 2030 to find solutions to many challenges on this Agenda. Two of these years have already passed. Surely it is already time to ask how much has happened. If complacency defmes the next 13 years then we are in danger of losing control. We need a sense of urgency as well as unshakeable fortitude to take decisions that can avert catastrophe.
    7: I am pleased that India has displayed the courage and leadership to take tough decisions which have launched the interlinked process of sustainable development. The complete eradication of poverty is the most important priority of the present government. Mr President, There are two ways of addressing the curse of poverty. The traditional method is through incremental levels of aid and hand-holding. But our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen the more radical route, through economic empowerment. The poor are not helpless: we have merely deemed them opportunity. We are eliminating poverty by investing in the poor. We are turning them from job-seekers into job-providers.
    8: All our economic programmes have a principal purpose, die empowerment of the poor; Jan Dhan, Mudra, Ujjwala, Skill India, Digital India, Clean India, Start-Up India, Stand-Up India. To describe them all would take up more time than 1have at my disposal, and I shall therefore dwell on only three core programmes.
    9: The Jan Dhan plan must surely count as the world's largest financial inclusion scheme. At least 300 million Indians who had never crossed the doors of a bank today have bank accounts; this is equivalent to the population of the United States of America. This was, understandably, not easy to complete in three years, but our banks, achieved this visionary goal set by our Prime Minister. While some remain to be included, the target has been set - every Indian family will have a bank account.
    10: Mudra yojana has enabled government to fund the unfunded. Those who had never dreamt that bank credit was within their options, today, through Mudra, are getting soft loans without collateral to begin micro businesses. I am particularly delighted to inform you that over 70 per cent of these loans have gone to women. Unemployment spreads despair. Through Skill India, Start-Up India and Stand-Up India poor and middle class youth are being trained to match their honed talent with bank credit and become self-employed or small-scale entrepreneurs.
    11: Ujjwala is a signature scheme of our government. Free gas cylinders are being provided to the poor so that women do not have to suffer the dangerous consequences of wood-fired kitchens. Uniquely, gender emancipation is at the creative core of this programme.
    12: Demonetisation was a courageous decision to challenge one of the by products of corruption, the "black money" that disappeared from circulation. Today, India has passed the Goods and Services Tax legislation, through which there is one-tax across the country, without the untidy and punishing system of multiple taxes under differing categories in different parts of the country. Our "Save the girl, Educate the girl" campaign is reducing gender inequality. Our Clean India programme is generating what can only be described as a revolutionary change in social attitudes and habits.
    13: I would like to note, at this point, that nations with rising capabilities will be able to generate such change, but the developed world must become an active partner in helping those vulnerable countries which are still mired in stagnant poverty reach SDG horizon within 2030. That is why the principle of Global Partnership was included in SDGs. I am happy to report that India has started, this year, the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.
    Mr President
    14: We are completely engaged in fighting poverty; alas, our neighbour Pakistan seems only engaged in fighting us. On Thursday, from this dais, Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi wasted rather too much of his speech in making accusations against us. He accused India of State-sponsored terrorism, and of violating human rights. Those listening had only one observation: "Look who's talking!" A country that has been the world's greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity from this podium.
    15: Pakistan's Prime Minister claimed that his nation's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah had bequeathed a foreign policy based on peace and friendship. I would like to remind him that while it remains open to question whether Jinnah Sahab actually advocated such principles, what is beyond doubt is that India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, from the moment he took his oath of office, offered the hand of peace, and friendship. Pakistan's Prime Minister must answer why his nation spurned this offer.
    16: Prime Minister Abbasi has recalled old resolutions that have been long overtaken by events. But his memory has conveniently failed him where it matters. He has forgotten that under the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration India and Pakistan resolved that they would settle all outstanding issues bilaterally. The reality is that Pakistan's politicians remember everything, manipulate memory into a convenience. They are masters at "forgetting" facts that destroy their version.
    17: Pakistan's current Prime Minister spoke of a "Comprehensive Dialogue" between our two countries. I would like to remind him that on 9 December 2015, when I was in Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference, a decision was made by his leader Mian Nawaz Sharif, then still Prime Minister, that dialogue between us should be renewed and named it a "Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue". The word "bilateral" was used consciously to remove any confusion or doubt about the fact that the proposed talks would be between our two nations and only between our two nations, without any third-party present. And he must answer why that proposal withered, because Pakistan is responsible for the aborting that peace process.
    18: I would like today to tell Pakistan's politicians just this much, that perhaps the wisest thing they could do is to look within. India and Pakistan became free within hours of each other. Why is it that today India is a recognised IT superpower in the world, and Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eihinent export factory for terror?
    19: India has risen despite being the principal destination of Pakistan s nefarious export of terrorism. There have been many governments under many parties during 70 years of Indian freedom, for we have been a sustained democracy. Every government has done its bit for India's development. We have marched ahead, consistently, without pause, in Education, Health and across the range of human welfare. We established scientific and technical institutions which are the pride of the world. But what has Pakistan offered to the world and indeed to its own people apart from terrorism? We produced scholars, doctors, engineers. What have you produced? You have produced terrorists. Doctors save people from death; terrorists send them to death. If Pakistan had spent on its development what it has spent on developing terror, both Pakistan and the world would be safer and better-off today.
    Mr. President
    20: Terrorism is at the very top of problems for which the United Nations is searching for solutions. We have been the oldest victims of this terrible and even traumatic terrorism. When we began articulating about this menace, many of the world's big powers.dismissed this as a law and order issue. Now they know better. The question is: what do we do about it?
    21: We must all introspect and ask ourselves whether our talk is anywhere close to the action we take. We all condemn this evil, and piously resolve to fight it in all our declaratory statements. The truth is that these have become rituals. The fact is that when we are required to fight and destroy this enemy, the self-interest of some leads them, towards duplicity.
    22: This has been going on for years. Although India proposed a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) as early as in 1996, yet two decades later the United Nations has not been able to agree upon a definition of terrorism. If we cannot agree to define our enemy, how can we fight together? If we continue to differentiate between good terrorists and bad terrorists, how can we fight together? If even the United Nations Security Council cannot agree on the listing of terrorists, how can we fight together?
    Mr President
    23: Through you, with utmost sincerity I would like to request this august assembly to stop seeing this evil with self-defeating and indeed meaningless nuance. Evil is evil. Let us accept that terrorism is an existentialist danger to humankind. There is absolutely no justification for this barbaric violence. Let us display our new commitment by reaching agreement on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism this year itself.
    Mr President
    24: I had identified climate change as one of the significant dangers to our existence. India has already said that it is deeply committed to the Paris Accord. This is not because we are afraid of any power, influenced by friend or foe, or tempted by some imagined greed. This is an outcome of a philosophy that is at least 5000 years old. Our Prime Minister has, on his personal initiative, launched the International Solar Alliance as witness to our abiding commitment to a cause.
    25: When we talk of. world peace, we mean peace not only among,human beings but also peace with nature. We understand that human nature is sometimes inimical to nature, but we would like to amend human nature when it tends in the. wrong, directions. When we inflict our greed upon nature, nature sometimes explodes. We must learn to have with the imperatives, cycles and creative urges of nature; in that lies, our own salvation.
    26: We have just witnessed hurricanes, earthquakes, rains that inundate, storms which terrify. This is not a mere coincidence. Nature sent,its warning to the world even before the world's leadership gathered in New York at the United Nations through Harvey. Once our gathering began an earthquake struck Mexico and a hurricane landed in Domimca. We must understand this requires more serious action than talk. The developed world must listen more carefully than others, because it has more capacities than others. It must help the less fortunate through technology transfer and Green Climate Financing - that is the only way to save future generations.
    Mr President
    27: We are discussing turbulence and change across the world, but the one organisation created to address world affairs is beset by its own problems. It seems to believe that it can afford not to change from the precepts and perceptions that determined its birth. On 18 September, there was a meeting here on UN reform. I participated. I witnessed an evident desire for change, to do. something. But I do want to remind you that at the 2005 World Summit there was a consensus that the early reform of the Security Council is an essential element of our overall effort to reform the United Nations.
    28: Efforts at text-based negotiations on the reform and expansion of the Security Council were initiated in the last session and more than 160 nations had expressed support for this effort. If we are serious, then the least we can do is produce one text that can be the basis for negotiation. I hope that under your enlightened leadership, Mr President, this will become a priority. If that happens it will be a significant achievement.
    29: We also have high expectations from the new Secretary General of the United Nations. If he wants to reform the peace and security architecture, he will also need to address reforms related to peacekeeping that have been urged for long. Without improvements in UN Peacekeeping this goal can't be achieved.
    Mr President
    30: There is no shortage of issues; there is even less shortage of problems which should be recognised from this podium. But time is not always on the side of those who would like to raise issues and problems in the interests of a better, more peaceful and progressive future. The issues you have chosen are relevant to the UN Charter as well as to the ancient traditions of my land.
    Mr President
    31: My country's culture and thought has been shaped by a history and philosophy that believes in peace as humankind's only rational and practical objective. We truly believe that the world is one family and we hope that every member of this family deserves that elixir of life, happiness.
    Let me end by reciting a verse that is a synthesis of thought:
    May all be happy; May all be healthy; May all see what is good; May a be free from suffering.

Modi in Varanasi: India above party, priority is country's development, PM says
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Varanasi today to address farmers at the Pashudhan Arogya Mela. Modi, on his first visit to Varanasi after the BJP's landslide victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, also plans to distribute loan waiver certificates to farmers.
    Modi arrived in his parliamentary constituency on a two-day visit on Friday to launch a number of projects and development schemes.
    Among the major events on Friday was the flagging off of the new Varanasi-Vadodara Mahamana Express.
    HERE IS WHAT HE SAID

    • Swachhata is a Puja for me. Cleanliness is a way to serve the poor of India: PM
    • I had the opportunity to help in toilet construction at a village nearby. The people of the village have decided to make the village ODF, Modi says referring to his laying the foundation stone for a toilet in UP's Shahanshahpur earlier today.
    • Modi, once again, says that his government aims to double farmers' income by 2022. 
    • Let us make these five years about creating the India our freedom fighters dreamt about: PM I want to congratulate the Uttar Pradesh Government & specially Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for holding the Pashudhan Arogya Mela: PM
    • Focus on animal health is commendable. This focus will benefit the farmers across the state: PM 
    • Let us build on the strides we have made in the dairy sector. Cooperatives can help in this regard, as they have in parts of the nation: PM

China says Beijing, New Delhi have put Doklam behind them, working to take ties forward
  • China and India are working together to "take forward" their relationship, and have left the Doklam episode behind them, the Chinese Consul General said in Kolkata on Friday.
    On August 28, the Ministry of External Affairs announced the "expeditious disengagement of border personnel" at Doklam, signalling that the months-long standoff at the disputed India-China-Bhutan trijunction had come to an end - before it could embarrass the leadership of both India and China at the BRICS summit.
    For months, the Indian Army and the People's Liberation Army of China had faced each other, holding their respective posts about 150 metres apart. 
    Consul General Ma Zhanwu said yesterday that by working together, India and China can enhance cooperation and exchanges. He was speaking at an event marking the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
    "India and China are working together. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping had a meeting on September 5 to discuss how to enhance the relationship," Zhanwu said.
    Prime Minister Modi had met President Xi on the sidelines of the 9th BRICS Summit.  The two leaders agreed that their nations should put in more effort to strengthen the cooperation between their security personnel and ensure that Doklam-like incidents don't happen again.
    "As long as the two countries work together, we will able to enhance and develop exchanges and cooperation," Zhanwu said.
    Asked if both the countries have left behind the Doklam episode, Zhanwu said, "Yes we have left that behind and are working together to take forward the bilateral relationship".
    The Doklam standoff began on June 16,  after India stopped the construction of a road by the Chinese Army. It lasted 73 days.

Rohingya crisis: India sends 700 tonnes of relief material to Bangladesh
  • While the Rohingya refugee crisis continues to make headlines across the globe, India today loaded about 700 tonnes of relief material on the INS Gharial to be dispatched to Chittagong in Bangladesh.
    The relief materials were loaded at the Kakinada Deep Port on Saturday evening.
    The Narendra Modi governement is providing this assistance to Rohingya refugees on humanitarian grounds.
    Relief materials contain customised family packets, which consist of essential items - including rations, clothes and mosquito nets.
    They are likely to be distributed to up to 62,000 families. 
    The development comes amid India's decision to deport around 40,000 Rohingya refugees which has drawn strong criticism. 
    The home ministry later filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in response to petitions that challenged the decision.
    It said several fundamental rights of citizens would be affected if Rohingyas - which it called illegal migrants - were allowed to settle wherever they liked in Indian.
    "Every country will decide its course of action based on its own foreign, security policy and balance of population," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan asks MP madarsas to impart modern education
  • Following Madhya Pradesh Education Minister Vijay Shah's remark asking madarsas to hoist tricolour every day, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan turned his attention towards "reforming" the minority academic institution in the state.
    Shivraj Singh Chouhan has urged the madarsas to impart modern education to students along with religious training. "Modern education should also be imparted along with religious training in madarsas as we want children to be skillful," he said.
    Shivraj Singh Chouhan said children should be given modern education besides religious training to make them good human beings.  The Chief Minister said the amount given annually to each madarsa in the state for infrastructure development will be hiked.
    Chouhan, while addressing the 20th foundation day of Madhya Pradesh Madarsa Board in Bhopal yesterday, also announced to raise the annual infrastructure development fund of each madarsa in the state from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000.
    He also announced that an auditorium will be built for the Madhya Pradesh Madarsa Board. "Although there are employment opportunities, there is a dearth of skillful hands. We have to check this situation," he said.
    NO DISCRIMINATION, SCHEMES FOR EVERYONE
    The Chief Minister said that government has not discriminated in providing education to children and there are schemes for everyone. "A student is the best gift of God. The government is responsible to do its best for the students," he said adding that the aim of education is to give knowledge, make students skillful, provide good culture to them.
    Chouhan said that everyone should unite in serving the nation. Madhya Pradesh School Education Minister Vijay Shah, while lauding the efforts of madarsas in imparting modern education, said that computer training is being provided in these institutions from Class I. He also said that tricolours would be hoisted in madarsas just like in other schools in the state everyday.
    Madarsa Board Chairman Sayyed Imadduddin informed that so far 2,575 madarsas have been registered in the state, in which 2.88 lakh children are studying. On the occasion, the Chief Minister honoured the best madarsas, best madarsa teachers and outstanding students.

Business Affairs

GST transitional credit: Govt says out of Rs 65,000 crore credit claims, only Rs 12000 crore is valid
  • The government announced a revised estimate for transitional credit claims of taxpayers in July under Goods and Services Tax (GST) at Rs 12,000 crore, instead of the Rs 65,000 crore claimed previously. As much as Rs 65,000 crore out of the about Rs 95,000 crore tax collections in the first month of GST had been claimed as transitional credit by taxpayers, but a close scrutiny has brought down the valid claims to Rs 12,000 crore, a finance ministry official said.
    The Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, which kicked in on July 1, allows tax credit on stock purchased during the previous tax regime. This facility is available only up to 6 months from the date of GST rollout.
    The high credit claim prompted the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the body that deals with formulation and implementation of policy concerning the levy and collection of indirect taxes, to verify GST transitional credit claims of over Rs 1 crore each made by 162 entities. "Tax authorities are only verifying transition credit claim. They are not going after any taxpayer," the official said.
    No credit on education cess, telecom towers, as claimed by some, is allowed, he said while explaining the figure. Earlier in the day, the finance ministry issued a statement to allay concerns about high transitional credit claims, saying the Centre's revenue kitty will not go down because of these claims.
    Over 46 lakh businesses have paid taxes to the tune of Rs 95,000 crore in July. However, businesses also claimed credit for the past taxes paid in the form of excise and service tax worth Rs 65,000 crore. This figure of transition credit claimed is also not incredibly high since Rs 1.27 lakh crore of credit of central excise and service tax was lying as closing balance as on June 30, 2017, the statement said.
    It clarified that the credit claimed by taxpayers in the TRAN-1 form does not mean they would have used all of this credit for payment of their output tax liability for July 2017. Also, some of the credits that are claimed in TRAN- 1form may be under litigation and therefore, it may not be available to the assessee to carry forward or for utilisation. It is from this angle that the CBEC is examining the transition credits, which are claimed by assessees in TRAN-1 form in certain cases, the ministry stated.

Arvind Subramanian gets one-year extension as Chief Economic Advisor
  • The government today gave one-year extension to Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian. The Finance Ministry in a tweet said: "CEA Dr. Arvind Subramanian will continue for one more year after completion of his 3 year tenure on 16th October, 2017." He was appointed on October 16, 2014 for the period of three years. Report suggests that Subramanian shares a good rapport with the Finance Minister. He was closely involved in drafting the Goods and Services Tax. Subramanian had also supported Prime Minister Modi's demonetisation move and called it an 'unique experiment in monetary history'.

    Subramanian is a former IMF economist. He was Assistant Director in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund and was associated with the GATT (1988-92) during the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. Subramanian was the Dennis Weatherstone senior fellow at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics?

Economy is on a downhill path, demonetisation was not required at all: Manmohan Singh
  • Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said the economy is on a "downhill path" because of the "adventure" of demonetisation undertaken last year which was not required at all, either technically or economically. Singh, a renowned economist considered to be the architect of the reforms of early 1990s, said demonetisation has not been successful in any civilised country, except some of the Latin American nation.
    "I dont think demonetization was at all required... I dont think it was technically, economically necessary to launch this adventure," he said at the Indian School of Business (ISB) Leadership Summit here when asked if the note ban decision was the right one.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced on November 8 last year scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
    He said the process involved withdrawing almost 86 per cent of the currency from circulation and "there was bound to be fallout which we are all seeing." Singh made a speech before answering a few questions at the event.
    "The economy has slowed down as I had projected a few months ago as a result of demonetization and also the fact that demonetisation has been accompanied by the GST, which is a good thing that we have done in the long term. But in the short term, there are glitches that need to be resolved. Therefore, the economy has experienced a downhill path," he said.
    He said the GDP growth was much higher in the last quarter of 2016-17 than the first quarter of this financial year. There are certain things that need to be done immediately, Singh said. "When we were in office, investment rate in the economy was 35-37 per cent but now it is less than 30 per cent. Private investment in particular is not growing," he said.
    He added that India needs much more investment in public sector "but we cannot rely exclusively on public sector realise our development initiatives. We must also simultaneously work on a foreign exchange situation." Singh, who had served as the countrys finance minister over two decades back, said growth cannot take place at a high rate if banking system is not performing its task of providing money to entrepreneurs and to others who need to invest in our economy.
    Responding to a question on healthcare, he said it is one area where the country is not spending enough and not giving the required emphasis on preventive healthcare. Although private sector has a role to play, the public health problems require strong leadership and this is one area where markets are important but not the final solution, he said.
    Asked what he felt would be the role of the government in forseable future and its interactions with the private sector, Singh said, "government in our country cannot be wished away.." He said public sector spending is only 30 per cent of the GDP, which is not too big compared to many other nations.
    Infrastructure, public healthcare, agriculture are the areas where the government will remain important, he said. Responding to a question on globalisation, Singh said it is here to stay.
    Despite what US President Donald Trump said in his election campaign, the American public opinion will prevail, he said. "Also, I feel in Europe too there is today recognition of multilateral trading system. China today has become a great champion of globalization," he said. Asked if the US president was being protectionist, the former prime minister said, "I am quite confident the US presidents current thinking will not last more than a year or so."

Deadline eased for home loan subsidy: Middle-income group can avail interest subsidy till March 2019
  • The interest subsidy of up to Rs 2.60 lakh on home loans under the Centre's affordable housing scheme will now be available to middle-income group beneficiaries for another 15 months till March 2019, a top official said here.
    Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said on Friday the decision will provide more time for the middleincome group to avail the interest subsidy under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). Mishra was addressing the real estate and infrastructure investors summit organized by National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), the apex industry body for the real estate sector.
    On December 31 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the credit linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) under PMAY (Urban) will be applicable to middle-income groups till the end of December this year. The deadline has now been extended for another 15 till March 2019.
    Under CLSS, MIG beneficiaries with annual income of above Rs 6 lakh but not exceeding Rs 12 lakh are eligible for an interest subsidy of four per cent on a 20-year loan component of Rs 9 lakh.
    Those with an annual income above Rs 12 lakh and up to Rs 18 lakh are eligible for an interest subsidy of three per cent. Reiterating the government's commitment to meet the 'housing for all' target in urban areas by 2022, Mishra urged the private sector to invest in affordable housing as it is being promoted by the government in a big way with several incentives and concessions.
    Mishra later had an hour-long discussion with a 30- member delegation of NAREDCO and assured them that the government would look into various issues raised by them in all sincerity and possible interventions would be considered, it added.
    The delegation referred to what they consider as anomalies in GST rates for completed and under construction housing projects, stamp duties being higher and kept outside the purview of GST, scarcity of land, delays in granting construction permits among other issues, according to a press statement.
    The delegation expressed concern over the GST and other taxes accounting for over onethird of the cost of residential properties, the statement said. The affordable housing segment is expected to be the next big growth driver of the real estate sector which has hit a slowdown due to the crisis of confidence in builders who have inordinately delayed handing over of homes despite taking full payments from customers.

    Glenmark charts out new path for growth
    • Glenmark, one of the top ten Indian drug companies, has unveiled a blue print for next decade growth with new business strategies and focus areas, considering the pressures and transformation happening in the global generic drug scene.
      The Rs 9,185 crore turnover Glenmark, one of the pioneering Indian drug companies to take up new drug research as a business, is well-positioned to have 30 percent of revenues from specialty and innovative products by 2025, Glen Saldanha, chairman and managing director told its shareholders.
      The company will pursue oncology, dermatology and respiratory as  three chosen therapy areas of focus and will straddle the entire value chain of products. The business will revolve around global generic sales, specialty and innovative products, Glen Glen Saldanha said recently at the company's annual general meeting.
      The global drugs industry is going through testing times and in advanced markets, prices are under pressure and channel consolidation, besides high regulatory barriers and government control on drug prices. Indian companies will have to shift their priorities to higher barrier generics as well as diversification into areas like specialty brands to tide over the crisis, Lupin's CEO Vinita Gupta had told Business Today in a recent interview.
      "We are prepared to transition from being a generics-driven company to one that has an optimal mix of generics, specialty and research driven innovative products", said Saldanha.
      Commenting on drug development, he said the company would initiate co-development deals as opposed to the earlier model of selling new drugs under development. The company has about 10 new drugs under development.

    General Awareness

    Inter-governmental Organizations - Headquarters and Current Chiefs

    Important (51)

    • Organization NameYear of FormationHeadquartersName of Current Chief
      United Nations
      UN General Assembly1945New YorkPeter Thomson (Fiji)
      UN Security Council1945..Changed Monthly..
      UN Economic and Social Council1945Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava
      UN Secretariat1945António Guterres (Portugal)
      International Court of Justice1945The Hague (Netherlands)Ronny Abraham (France)
      Food and Agriculture Organization1945Rome (Italy)Jose Graziano da Silva
      International Labour Organization1919Geneva (Switzerland)Guy Ryder
      International Maritime Organization1959London (UK)Ki Tack Lim
      United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)1946New York (USA)Anthony Lake
      United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)1945Paris (France)Irina Bokova
      United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)1972Nairobi (Kenya)Achim Steiner
      World Health Organization1948Geneva (Switzerland)Margaret Chan
      World Intellectual Property Organization1967Geneva (Switzerland)Francis Gurry
      World Food Programme1961Rome (Italy)David Beasley
      World Tourism Organization1957Madrid (Spain)Taleb Rifai
      United Nations Development Programme1965New York (USA)Helen Clark
      United Nations Capital Development Fund1966New York (USA)Judith Karl (Executive Secretary)
      United Nations Industrial Development Organization1966 Vienna (Austria)Li Yong
      Environmental
      International Union for Conservation of Nature1948Gland, SwitzerlandInger Andersen (Director General, Zhang Xinsheng (President)
      Arms Control
      Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons1997The Hague, NetherlandsAhmet Uzumcu
      Energy
      International Energy Agency1974Paris (France)Fatih Birol
      International Renewable Energy Agency2009Masdar City (United Arab Emirates)Adnan Amin
      Nuclear Energy Agency1958Paris (France)William D. Magwood, IV
      International Atomic Energy Agency1957Vienna (Austria)Yukiya Amano
      Economic Institutions
      International Monetary Fund1945Washington, D.C.( United States)Christine Lagarde
      Asian Development Bank1966Manila (Philippines)Takehiko Nakao
      International Fund for Agricultural Development1977Rome (Italy)Kanayo F. Nwanze
      African Development Bank1964Ivory CoastAkinwumi Adesina
      Bank for International Settlements1930Basel, SwitzerlandJaime Caruana
      Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD)1961 Paris (France)Jose Angel Gurria
      Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)1960 (Effective from 1961)Vienna (Austria)President - Diezani Alison-Madueke,Secretary General - Abdallah el-Badri
      European Central Bank1998Frankfurt (Germany)Mario Draghi
      Green Climate Fund2010Incheon, South KoreaHoward Bamsey
      World Bank Group
      International Bank for Reconstruction and Development1945Washington, D.C. (United States)Jim Yong Kim
      International Development Association1960Jim Yong Kim
      International Finance Corporation1956Philippe Le Houérou
      Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency1988Keiko Honda
      International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes1965Meg Kinnear
      Miscellaneous
      World Customs Organization1952Brussels (Belgium)Kunio Mikuriya
      World Trade Organization1995Geneva (Switzerland)Roberto Azevêdo
      International Criminal Court2002 (Rome Statute was adopted in 1998 )The Hague (Netherlands)Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi
      European Commission1958Jean-Claude Juncker
      European Parliament1952Martin Schulz
      European Council1961Donald Tusk
      Council of Europe1949Strasbourg (France)Thorbjorn Jagland
      European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)1954Meyrin (Switzerland)Fabiola Gianotti
      European Space Agency1975Paris (France)Jean-Jacques Dordain
      Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)1967Jakarta (Indonesia)Le Luong Minh
      South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)1985Kathmandu (Nepal)Arjun Bahadur Thapa
      North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)1949Brussels (Belgium)Jens Stoltenberg
      Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation1989SingaporeAlan Bollard
      African Union CommissionNkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
      African Union2001Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)Roger Nkodo Dang

    Semi-Important (34)

    • Organization NameYear of FormationHeadquartersName of Current Chief
      United Nations
      United Nations Development Fund for Women1976New York (USA)Inés Alberdi
      United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees1950Geneva ( Switzerland)Filippo Grandi
      Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS1994Geneva ( Switzerland)Michel Sidibé
      United Nations Population Fund1969New York (USA)Babatunde Osotimehin
      United Nations Human Settlements Programme1978Nairobi (Kenya)Joan Clos
      United Nations Volunteers1970Bonn (Germany)Richard Dictus
      United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women2010New York (USA)Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
      United Nations University1973JapanDavid M. Malone
      Environmental
      World Wide Fund For Nature1961Gland, SwitzerlandYolanda Kakabadse (President) Marco Lambertini (Director General)
      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change1988Hoesung Lee
      Global Environment Facility1991Washington (USA)Naoko Ishii
      Migration
      International Organization for Migration1951Geneva, SwitzerlandWilliam Lacy Swing
      Maritime
      International Hydrographic Organization1921MonacoRobert Ward (President)
      Arms Control
      Nuclear Suppliers Group1974 Argentina (Curent Chair)
      Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe1973Vienna (Austria)Lamberto Zannier
      Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty OrganizationVienna, Austria
      Fisheries
      International Whaling Commission1946 Impington (England)
      International Seabed Authority1994Kingston (Jamaica)
      Economic Institutions
      International Bureau of Weights and Measures1875Sevres (France)M.J.T. Milton
      African Development Bank1964Ivory CoastAkinwumi Adesina
      Bank for International Settlements1930Basel, SwitzerlandJaime Caruana
      Nordic Investment Bank1976Helsinki (Finland)
      Islamic Development Bank and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation1975Jeddah(Saudi Arabia)Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani
      Miscellaneous
      Energy Community2006Vienna (Austria)Janez Kopac
      European Science Foundation1974Strasbourg, FrancePar Omling
      European Southern Observatory1962Garching (Germany)Tim de Zeeuw
      Collective Security Treaty Organization1992 (as Collective Security Treaty), 2002 (as Collective Security Treaty Organization)Moscow (Russia)Nikolai Bordyuzha
      Economic Cooperation Organization1985Tehran (Iran)Halil Ibrahim Akca
      Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)2008President - Nicolas Maduro, Secretary General - Ernesto Samper
      Central American Parliament1991GuatemalaJose Antonio Alvarado Correa
      Commonwealth of Nations1949UKSG - Baroness Scotland of Asthal, Chairperson-in-Office - Joseph Muscat
      Arab League1945Cairo (Egypt)Arab League Secretariat - Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Arab Parliament - Ali Al-Daqbaashi

    Regular (21)

    • Organization NameHeadquartersName of Current Chief
      Migration
      International Centre for Migration Policy DevelopmentVienna (Austria)Peter Widermann
      Maritime
      Antarctic Treaty SecretariatBuenos Aires, Argentina
      International Council for the Exploration of the SeaCopenhagen, Denmark
      Fisheries
      Asia-Pacific Fishery CommissionThailand
      Indian Ocean Tuna CommissionVictoria (Seychelles)
      Inter-American Tropical Tuna CommissionCalifornia (USA)
      Northwest Atlantic Fisheries OrganizationCanada
      North Atlantic Salmon Conservation OrganizationUK
      Pacific Salmon CommissionColumbiaSusan Farlinger
      Southeast Asian Fisheries Development CenterThailand
      Western and Central Pacific Fisheries CommissionUSACharles Karnella
      Energy / Nuclear Energy
      International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisVienna (Austria)
      Miscellaneous
      European Free Trade AssociationGeneva (Switzerland)Kristinn F. Arnason
      European Patent OrganisationMunich (Germany)
      Council of the Baltic Sea StatesStockholm (Sweden)Jan Lundin
      Southern African Development CommunityGaborone (Botswana)
      Economic Community of West African StatesJohn Dramani Mahama
      Organization of American StatesWashington, D.C.José Miguel Insulza
      Caribbean CommunityGeorgetown (Guyana)Secretary-General - Irwin LaRocque, Chairman Gaston Browne
      Association of Caribbean StatesPort-of-Spain (Trinidad)Alfonso Munera Cavadia
      Organisation of Eastern Caribbean StatesSaint LuciaChairman - Roosevelt Skerrit, Director General - Didacus Jules

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