Current Affairs Current Affairs - 08 November 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 08 November 2017

General Affairs 

India Test Fires 'Nirbhay' - Missile That Can Evade Radars, Carry Warheads
  • India successfully test fired cruise missile 'Nirbhay' today which can travel at three top level and evade Radars - an object-detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects. It can also carry warheads of up to 300kg, including nuclear weapons and is a potent weapon of offence. Pakistan has already inducted a cruise missile in its arsenal.  

    The 1500 kilogram missile has a length of about six meters and flies like a conventional plane powered by an engine and has small wings. Once the missile achieves a designated altitude and velocity, the booster motor is separated and the engine automatically switches on taking further propulsion. The missile's wing opens up mid-way in its flight by the commands generated by the sophisticated on-board computer for stabilising the flight path.

    'Nirbhay' is to be tracked with the help of ground based radars and IAF aircraft all along its trajectories from the lift off to splash down. 

    The cruise missile took off from a specially designed launcher from the launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range or ITR at Chandipur, near Balasore, at about 11.20 am, Defence Research and Development Organisation or DRDO sources said.

    "All initial critical operations of the trial such as blast of the sophisticated missile are successful as it moved up in its trajectory," a DRDO scientist said. 

    Out of the four earlier trials since its maiden launch in 2013, only one had been successful while two were declared as failures. The result for one of the tests was never declared. This is the fifth test of the cruise missile. The maiden test flight of 'Nirbhay', held on March 12, 2013, had to be terminated midway for safety reasons due to malfunction of a component.

India Pledges Additional $100 Million To Support UN Sustainable Development Projects
  • India has pledged an additional $100 million towards the UN partnership fund, significantly scaling up it's support to the sustainable development projects across the developing world.

    The India-UN Development Partnership Fund was set up earlier this year between India and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

    Mr. Anjani Kumar, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, announced the multi-year contribution at the 2017 UN Pledging Conference for Development Activities on Monday. This contribution would be in addition to $10.582 million India is contributing to various other UN programmes, Mr. Kumar said.

    "I am happy to announce that India has now decided to significantly scale up the contribution to the fund through a multiyear contribution of $100 million," he said on behalf of the country.

    "India believes that the UN should have the necessary resources to finance its activities, in an appropriate and balanced manner," Mr. Kumar added.

    The first project from the fund is being executed in partnership with seven Pacific Island countries. The fund has since then identified 15 more projects, he noted.

    Of the $5 million India contributed to the fund this year, $2 million would be utilised for reconstruction in Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, the Caribbean nations that took a big hit from hurricanes, he said.

    Among major contributions include the United Nations Development Programme ($4.5 million), World Food Programme ($1.92 million Biennium 2017-18), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Near East ($1.25 million), UN Women ($1 million), United Nations Children's Fund ($862,000), United Nations Population Fund ($500,000), United Nations Commission on Human Settlements Programme ($ 150,000), United Nations Environment Programme ($ 100,000), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ($100,000) and Voluntary Fund for Technical Co-operation ($200,000).

    A total of $398.98 million was pledged by about 20 countries during Monday's conference session.

US Navy Carrier Drills With Japanese, Indian Navy In Sea Of Japan
  • The US Navy carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, conducted three days of drills with a Japanese destroyer and two Indian warships in the Sea of Japan, Japan's navy said on Tuesday.

    The exercise involving five ships, which ended Monday, came amid heightened tension in the region over North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear tests and as US President Donald Trump began a 12-day tour of Asia beginning in Japan on Sunday.

    "The exercise helped improve fighting skills and deepened cooperation with India," Japan's Maritime Self Defence Force said in a press release.

    The 100,000-ton Reagan, which is based in Japan carries around 70 combat aircraft and is the US Navy's most powerful warship in Asia.

    The Reagan will join two other carriers in the Western Pacific, the USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt, in a potent reminder to Pyongyang of the US ability to rapidly mobilize military force, US officials told Reuters earlier.

Government Launches Portal For Sexual Harassment Complaints At Work
  • Union minister Maneka Gandhi today launched a portal to help women lodge complaints online about sexual harassment at work.

    The online complaint management system - 'SHe-box' (sexual harassment electronic box) - will be hosted on the website of the ministry of women and child development.

    A cell under the ministry will look into every complaint filed online and share it with the concerned organisation's internal complaints committee (ICC), which is a mandatory requirement under the law.

    Complainants will also be able to monitor the status of an inquiry by the ICC.

    The ministry had earlier launched a web page for government employees, which has now been extended to women in the private sector, Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi told reporters.

    Under the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013, it is compulsory for any organisation with 10 or more employees to set up an internal complaints committee for addressing complaints of sexual harassment.

Pulwama Encounter: General Bipin Rawat Says Will Neutralise Any Terrorists On Indian Soil
  • Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today said the Army would neutralise any terrorists entering Indian territory, after Indian forces killed the nephew of Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar in Pulwama in a gunfight.

    Talha Rasheed, nephew of Masood Azhar, was among three terrorists killed in a gunfight with forces in Aglar village in Pulwama in south Kashmir on Monday night.

    The Army chief also said the recovery of an assault rifle used by NATO forces in Afghanistan with the killed Jaish terrorists showed that they were getting support from the other side of the border, in a reference to Pakistan.

    "Operations are going on. As I said, the operations will continue. If any terrorists carry out activities that put the life and property of our citizens at risk, if they target any building, police station or Army, they are troubling the citizens. Our attempt would be to neutralise whoever is involved in terror activities," General Rawat said on the sidelines of an event in Delhi.

    "Whether it is the nephew of Maulana Masood or anyone else, we are concerned only with finishing terror. We are not concerned what is their religion or other things," he said.

    Along with Rasheed, two more terrorists - Mehmood Bhai, a foreign terrorist, and Wasim Ahmed Ganai, a local terrorist were killed.

    Among the items recovered from the terrorists, were M4 carbines, a shorter and lighter variant of the American origin M-16 A2 assault rifle. The seizure comes days after a picture of a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist was circulated on social media holding another variant of the M-16 rifle.

    The American origin gun is used by NATO forces in Afghanistan, and questions have been raised how it reached the terrorists.

    Asked about the presence of the weapon with the terrorists, General Rawat said: "You can see sometime back this weapon was shown in media that they (terrorists) have this weapon. It shows they are getting support across the border."

    The forces also recovered AK-74 rifles, pistols, and matrix sheets from the terrorists.

Business Affairs

Demonetisation keeps digital payments up; cashless transactions grow 13.5% in September
  • In the year after demonetisation, digital transactions have grown considerably. Indeed, disruptions in the digital space have not only revolutionised the way we manage our finances, they have also made contactless and cashless transactions the preferred choice of many among us. And, with digital wallets, quick response (QR) codes, near field communication (NFC) technology, sound wave systems, virtual cards, unified payment interface (UPI) and Aadhaar Pay offering top-notch secure payments options, the smartphone has become the most sought after all-in-one device.
    "We have registered 3.5X surge in digital payments this year and we will continue adding new online and offline use-cases, enabling more consumers and merchants to experience the power of digital payments," says Kiran Vasireddy, COO, Paytm. Along with the growing usage of digital wallet in the past one year, the number of ATM transactions have also risen, showing the co-existence of cash and digital in the Indian economy. As per RBI reports, digital transactions have grown 13.5 per cent from Rs 109.82 trillion in August to Rs 124.69 trillion in September; the highest was in March at Rs 149.59 trillion. Mobikwik currently has 65 million app users, which has more than doubled after demonetisation. "Over the past one year, the industry has only grown over 55 per cent and has added 150 million users in the e-wallet platforms, along with 10 million merchants" says Upasana Taku, Co Founder, Mobikwik
    Digital wallets and credit/debit cards have been the alternative to cash after demonetisation to cope with the cash crunch. "There was a surge right after demonetisation. After cash circulation was back in the market the peak has come down but the numbers are almost 35 per cent higher than what it was pre-demonetisation" says Praveen Dhabhai, COO of Payworld. A lot of people use wallets on a daily basis for a wide range of services including online recharges, utility payments, travel bookings and movie ticket among others.
    Advantage of using digital payments
    Low cost: The government and companies have been promoting digital payments by offering lower cost. For example, HDFC Bank has recently waived of charges on online transactions through RTGS and NEFT. Similarly, you do not need to pay service tax on card transactions up to Rs 2,000.
    Saves time: Transfer of money between virtual accounts usually takes lesser time than wire transfer or a postal one, which may take may take several days. It is also better than standing in queues or in lines at a bank or post office.
    Convenience: The biggest motivator for digital transactions is the ease of doing these transactions. With proper access to internet, financial transactions can be performed anytime and anywhere which  attracts people to this segment. These transactions can be performed from anywhere without the need to be physically present there.
    Low risk: Using digital wallet reduces the risk of losing your physical wallet or it getting stolen. Online fraud in cyberspace also exists but with proper measures e-currency is secure.
    User-friendly: The government and the wallet companies have been working on their services and they have come up with much better and user friendly apps. There is also 24/7 support team to help and deal with any queries.
    Controlling expenses: It is also said to be controlling your expenses as you can automatically keep track of expenses.  These accounts contain the history of all transactions representing the money that has been spent which can be checked anytime. Controlled expenses result into higher investing, suggest experts.
    Discounts: In the initial days of demonetisation, the wallet companies lured customers with attractive offers and discounts which have visibly come down in the current times. Online websites and portals linked themselves with the mobile wallets and heavy offers and discounts were given by them. Still, getting those offers and discounts is one of the reasons of the growing popularity of online and digital transactions.
    The future of digital payments
    Demonetisation has given the much required push to digital transactions. But there is still a long way to go for the digital payment system to become mainstream. With the government pushing for it and increased adoption by consumers, companies and experts are hopeful that it will continue to rise in the future. "We (Indian economy) are in a transition phase, digital mode of payments and cash will continue to co-exist, and presumably, even flourish simultaneously moving India towards becoming a 'less-cash' economy" says, Ravi B Goyal, Chairman & MD, AGS Transact Technologies.  
    "The push to get the unbanked on a banking platform is the key first step. On top of that, the penetration of cheaper data services provides the right conditions for digital payments to explode soon" says, Brijraj Vaghani, Founder and CEO, Ridlr, an app for cashless transportation. After demonetisation a lot of new wallets were launched and the existing ones in the market have been performing exceptionally well. "Going forward, we will play a key role in bringing millions of small merchants to the formal financial ecosystem, and make wealth management and financial services accessible to them. We believe this is a great opportunity for us to offer financial services and contribute to the growth of our country" adds Paytm's Vasireddy.

After smartphones, it's time for smartcars; Ola, Microsoft join hands to build new connected vehicle platform
  • Microsoft chief executive officer (CEO) Satya Nadella today spoke at India Today Conclave Next 2017 where he talked about how India is using its own information technology (IT) prowess in the different sectors. He also talked about various ways in which the tech giant wants to empower common people.
    As a part of the company's plan to bring businesses, governments and people together, Microsoft has partnered with cab aggregator Ola to build a new connected vehicle platform for car makers worldwide.
    Ola will now use Microsoft Azure to power Ola Play, the company's existing connected car platform."Today's car is quickly becoming the ultimate computing device and together with Ola, we're focused on providing more intelligent, connected and productive experiences to our customers," said Satya Nadella.
    Under the partnership, Ola customers will be able to use productivity tools such as Office 365 and Skype for Business, as well as voice-assisted controls built using Microsoft Cognitive Services and Bot framework, in-car during their rides. "The combination of Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and our AI platform with Ola Play will deliver new customer experiences and business opportunities across the automotive ecosystem," said Nadella.
    Ola Play is the company's connected car platform for ridesharing, which will now leverage Microsoft AI and IoT to enhance driver experiences with telematics and navigation guidance, and passenger experiences with cloud-based infotainment and productivity.
    Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Ola, said, "Globally, the auto industry is experiencing a seismic shift as the definition of automobiles is increasingly changing from gas-powered vehicles to technology-packed, connected devices. With Ola Play, we have already set the tone for connected vehicles in India; together with Microsoft, we can make the new platform available to a larger, global audience and unlock futuristic experiences for customers worldwide."
    The company claims that the new platform will transform a car into a high-performing, intelligent vehicle, capable of assessing fuel efficiency, engine performance, and driver performance. It will also enable smarter navigation and predict breakdowns, enhancing safety. The platform is designed to continually collect, analyze, and learn from high volumes of data and user behaviour. This will allow for customised offerings to shape the nature of services and business models, such as usage-based insurance, amongst others. 
    Ola's chief data scientist Dr Badri Raghvan said during the India Today Conclave Next 2017: As a mobility company we are interested in leveraging tech using artificaial intelligence. In our cabs we are working to get spoken Indian languages. We are interested in improving safety. We are working on drowsiness detection using AI.

Sensex closes 360 points lower; Lupin down 16.48% on USFDA warning letter
  • The Sensex and Nifty closed nearly 1 percent lower onTuesday dragged by the Lupin stock which crashed after the pharma firm said US FDA issued a warning letter to company's Goa and Indore sites which would result in likely delay of new product approvals from Goa, Pithampur facilities. While the Sensex closed 360 points or 1.07 percent lower at 33,370 level, the Nifty ended 0.97 percent or 101.65 points points lower at 10,350 level. We look at key highlights, which affected the market today.
    3:47 PM: Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) posted a 5.9 per cent rise in standalone net profit at Rs 115.42 crore for the quarter ended on September 30, 2017. The company's standalone net profit was Rs 109 crore in the quarter ended on September 30, 2016. Profit in July-September 2017-18 is the highest second quarter profit achieved in last three years. 
    3:47 PM: Drug major Cipla reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 434.95 crore in Q2. The company posted a net profit of Rs 369.64 crore for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. Consolidated total income stood at Rs 4,195.74 crore for the quarter under consideration. It was Rs 3,778.25 crore for the same period a year ago.
    3:46 pm: Infosys (2.92 percent), TCS (1.55 percent) and Wipro (0.87 percent) were the top gainers on 50-stock Sensex.
    3:44 pm: BSE healthcare index slips 3.5 percent, realty index falls 2.2 percent, consumer durables and PSU indexes fall 2 percent, auto, capital goods, bank, energy, metals and power indexes drop 0.9-1.8 percent.
    2:57 pm: Market breadth was negative with 763 stocks rising against 1950 falling on the BSE. Lupin (17.30 percent), Cipla (6.47 percent), State Bank of India (3.19 percent) were among the other top losers on the 30-stock Sensex.
    2:49 pm:  The Lupin stock fell 17.17 percent or 177 points to 857 level on the BSE.
    2:32 pm: Sensex slips more than 340 points, or 1 percent, to 33,383 points, with 24 components in the red.
    1:30 pm: Jyothy Laboratories reports September-quarter consolidated net profit at Rs 45.71 crore against profit of Rs 31.11 crore last year; shares rise 1.5 percent to Rs 396.
    1:15 pm: Power plant equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals posted a nearly 6 percent rise in quarterly profit to Rs 115 crore against Rs 109 crore a year ago but missed analysts' forecasts. Stock down nearly 4 percent on the BSE.
    12:54 pm: Local search engine Just Dial reported about 26.5 per cent rise in standalone net profit at Rs 37.5 crore for the September quarter. The company had reported a net profit of Rs 29.6 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago. Stock falls 5.51 percent or 26 points in afternoon trade.
    12.50 pm: Alembic Pharma September-quarter consolidated profit after tax rises to Rs 122 crore against Rs 120 crore an year ago. Stock trades flat at Rs 515 on the BSE.
    12:44 pm: IT stocks rise in afternoon trade after rupee  fell on a surge in brent crude oil prices.  TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies were trading higher on the BSE.
    12:43 pm: Sensex, Nifty, bonds and the rupee fell on Tuesday after oil prices surged overnight to their highest since mid-2015, raising concerns about the inflation outlook and hitting oil refiners such as Reliance Industries.
    12:41 pm: Demonetisation met the objective of reduction in cash circulation, with Rs 3.89 lakh crore less cash in economy now than in 2016, says FM Arun Jaitley. 
    12:22 pm: Market heavyweight Reliance Industries is the top loser on the 30-stock Sensex, falling 2.29 percent or 21 points at 913 level on the BSE. Asian Paints (1.52 percent), Bajaj Auto (1.38 percent) and Axis Bank (1.28 percent) were among the other top losers.
    12:04 pm: Rupee falls to 64.79 level on high crude oil prices.
    11:45 AM: Infosys stock rises as much as 3.4 percent to hit highest in over two months; now up 2.9 percent at 956 in morning trade.
    11:30 am: Midcap stocks led losses with the index falling nearly 100 points led by losses in Adani Power (4.21 percent), Indian Bank (3.23 percent) and Reliance Infrastructure (3.20 percent) on the BSE.
    11:15 am :  Market breadth was negative with 932 stocks rising against 1579 falling on the BSE.
    11:00 am: Reliance Communications said it was renegotiating the tower business deal with all interested parties, including Brookfield Infrastructure Group. In December last year, Reliance Communications had inked binding agreements to sell 51 per cent stake in its tower business to Canada-based Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners for Rs 11,000 crore but the deal fell through after the company called off its merger with Aircel.
    10:46 am: Moody's Investors Service has revised the rating outlook on three PSU lenders --Bank of India, Union Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce-to stable from negative. The upgrade in outlook follows the government's announcement last month to infuse an unprecedented Rs 2.1 lakh crore into public sector banks over two years.
    10:39 am: Deutsche Bank cuts target price to Rs 200 from Rs 210 for Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) (rating buy). REC has reported a 30 per cent decline in standalone net profit to Rs 1,214.66 crore in the second quarter ended September 30, mainly due to lower revenues. The company's standalone net profit was Rs 1,751.27 crore in the quarter ended September 30, 2016.
    10:35 am: HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company has raised Rs 2,322 crore from anchor investors, ahead of its initial public offer. Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek, Norwegian fund Norges, Kuwait Investment, T Rowe Price, Fidelity, Blackrock and JP Morgan are among the anchor investors, according to a regulatory filing. The shares have been allocated at the upper price band of Rs 290 apiece. HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company's initial public offer is in progress today. 
    10:34 am: Private equity firm Everstone Group on Monday said it has agreed to buy home appliances brand Kenstar from debt-ridden Videocon group. The Videocon group, which is reeling under a debt of over Rs 40,000 crore, has been looking for buyers for its various assets, including Kenstar, in a bid to pare its debt.  The transaction, as per various reports, is pegged at a valuation of about Rs 1,300 crore.
    10:31 am: Debt-laden Reliance Communications (RCom) said it would sell its direct-to-home (DTH) subsidiary, Reliance BIG TV, to Veecon Media and Television. As part of the agreement, Veecon will retain nearly 500 employees of Reliance BIG TV.
    9:46 am: Small caps stocks led by MMTC (11.62 percent), Astrazeneca  Pharma (10.59 percent),  Alphageo (India)  Ltd (8.96 percent) rise the most among BSE indices.
    9:39 AM: Market breadth is positive with 1295 stocks rising against 561 falling on the BSE. 
    9:37 am: MMTC (10.93%), NBCC (8.69 percent), Engineers India (7.53%) are the top gainers on BSE in early trade.
    9:27 am: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to address media in afternoon today. 
    9: 20 am: Balrampur Chini, BHEL, Cipla, Fretail, Indian Overseas Bank, Jyothylab, Manappuram Finance, Prestige, Tata Coffee, VIP Industries to aanounce Q2 earnings today.
    8:50 am: Rupee opens at 64.65 level to the dollar. The rupee on Monday closed weaker against the US dollar at 64.68 against the dollar, down 0.20% from its Friday's close of 64.55. So far this year, the rupee has gained 5.23%.
    8:45 am: The value of shares pledged by the promoters of BSE-listed companies reached Rs 2.8 lakh crore at the end of October, an increase of 9% from the preceding month from Rs.2.57 lakh crore at the end of September. Till October this year, pledging of shares was seen in as many as 3,055 out of 5,138 BSE-listed companies;
    8:40 am: Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.2 percent, feeling the pinch as the yen remained well above the previous session's lows. US crude shed 12 cents to $57.23 after breaking above $56 a barrel for the first time in more than two years overnight.
    In Europe, markets closed on a mixed note with gain seen in oil and metal sector stocks. Commodity prices gained as Goldman Sachs raised its forecast for nickel while crude gained after news that several high profile individuals in Saudi Arabia were detained as part of an anti-corruption investigation.
    US markets closed higher on the back of news that Broadcomm is looking to buy chip maker Qualcomm for $70 a share which, if happens, is seen as the biggest deal ever in the tech sector.
    8:35 am: On Monday, the Sensex closed 45.63 points or 0.14 percent higher at 33,731 level with consumer durables stocks leading the gains on the back of better-than- expected earnings by blue-chip companies. The Nifty closed 0.01 percent or 0.70 points lower to 10,451 level.

Warning letter seen as a huge negative for Lupin, stock skids to 52 week low
  • It could not have been more ill-timed for pharma major Lupin. Even as it was coping with decline in US sales and delays in pipeline of products for that market, the company informed the bourses that two of its facilities had received a warning letter by the US regulator - the US Food and Drug Administration. In a note posted on the Bombay Stock Exchange, it says: A combined warning letter has been issued by the USFDA for its formulations manufacturing facilities at Goa and Indore (Pithampur Unit II). The warning letter, it says, was issued by the US regulator on November 6.
    Analysts see this as "quite a negative development for the company". In fact, just last month (in October) when Lupin announced an acquisition in the US in a niche therapy area, analysts -- while welcoming it -- pointed out that the company may have to wait for a couple of years more for benefits to accrue. It would need to first invest on sales infrastructure and promotion and these, given its weak earnings, would only put additional pressure on the company.
    Not surprising, Lupin while explaining that it had earlier received three form 483 observations in Goa on April 7, 2017 and six form 483 observations in Pithampur (Unit II) on May 19, 2017 (to which it had responded), said, "We are deeply disappointed to have received the outcome. While there will be no disruption of existing product supplies from either of these locations, there will likely be a delay of new product approvals from these two facilities."
    Sarabjit Kour Nangra, VP-Research- Pharma from Angel Broking, while retaining a buy on the stock says, "Both the plants together contribute more than half of the drug maker's US sales and approximately 20 per cent of its total sales." Apparently, the company now intends to shift 12 products to other sites and the impact of the warning letter is estimated to be felt over the next 12 to 18 months. The bourses reacted to the development and the share price of the company touched a 52 week low on Tuesday.

    Demonetisation, GST helped China as Indian domestic sector faltered: Manmohan Singh
    • Continuing his salvo against the Modi government over its economic policies, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax for increase in India's imports from China.
      "Overall, as our domestic sector is not able to cope with demand, China is benefitted from this situation. In the first half of fiscal year 2016-17, India's imports from China stood at Rs 1.96 lakh crore. During the same period in fiscal 2017-18, the imports from China increased to Rs 2.41 lakh crore. This unprecedented increase of imports by more than Rs 45,000 crore, which is a 23 per cent increase in a year, can be attributed largely to demonetisation and the GST," Singh said while addressing traders in Ahmedabad today.
      These twin blows damaged India's medium and small manufacturing sectors and our businesses had to run to Chinese imports at the cost of Indian jobs, he added. Singh called GST a badly planned and hastily implemented tax regime, which has led it astray from the motive of making tax compliance simpler.
      On the eve of the first anniversary of the note ban move, Singh launched a fresh bout of criticism against Modi government to discontinue currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. "Demonetisation has proved too be mere bluster to reap political dividends while the real offenders have escaped. I repeat as I stated in parliament, this was organised loot and legalised plunder," Singh said.
      "Black money and tax evasion are a menace that the country needs to tackle but demonetisation was clearly not the solution. It has been suggested many times in the past as one of the methods to eradicate black money, but as a responsible government we never took such a drastic measure because in our recent analysis the cost of demonetisation always exceeded the benefits very substantially," the former PM said.
      "We know by now that none of the stated objectives of eliminating black money, terror financing and counterfeit currency have been met. To promote a less cash economy coercive steps like demonetisation are ineffective. The cash in circulation after one year is close to 90 per cent of the previous levels. The fact that more than 99 percent of the demonetised currency came back into the banking system has punctured the government's claims," he further added.
      Singh slammed Narendra Modi government of burdening informal sector, small and medium sector entrepreneurs, and farmers with GST, and failing to shield them from the disruptive effects of demonetisation. The note-ban move will complete one year tomorrow.
      "All that Dr Singh has to do is to compare the relative credibility of the India economy. Today, every international agency eulogise the kind of structural reforms India has initiated," said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in retaliation to Singh's allegations.

    General Awareness

    Commonwealth Shooting Championships 2017 in Australia

    • Commonwealth Shooting Championships 2017 was held in Gold Coast, Australia from 28th October, 2017 to 8th November, 2017. This Championship is held among Commonwealth countries and is considered as a test event for the Commonwealth Games. Commonwealth Shooting Championship 2017 was held in conjunction with the 2017 Oceania Shooting Championships.
      India finish with 20 medals at Commonwealth Shooting Championships
      • The Indian squad won a total of 20 medals which included six gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals.
      • 18 medals were won from the Rifle and Pistol discipline, whereas 2 medals (one gold and one silver) were won in shotgun events.
      Satyendra Singh wins gold
      • Indian shooters Satyendra Singh and Sanjeev Rajput won a gold and a silver respectively in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions event on the final day of Commonwealth Shooting Championships.
      • Another Indian shooter Chain Singh was in third place in the initial stages of the final of men’s 50m rifle 3 positions event. However towards the end, he was overtaken by Australian Dane Sampson who won Bronze.
      Heena Sidhu on a roll, wins gold at Commonwealth Shooting C’ships
      • On October 31, 2017, Indian shooter Heena Sidhu won Gold Medal in women’s 10m Air Pistol event at Commonwealth Shooting Championships.
      • In the finals, Heena outperformed Australia’s Elena Galiabovitch, who had to settle for silver.
      • Heena scored 240.8 whereas Galiabovitch could manage only 238.2.
      • Another Australian, Kristy Gillman of won bronze medal by scoring 213.7.
      Shahzar, Pooja Win Gold At Commonwealth Shooting Championships
      • On November 1, 2017, Indian shooters Shahzar Rizvi, Omkar Singh and Jitu Rai won gold, silver and bronze medals respectively in men’s in the 10m air pistol event at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships.
      • In the 10m women’s air rifle event, India shooters Pooja Ghatkar bagged a gold while Anjum Moudgil won the silver medal.
      Nanjappa, Mittal win gold medals at Commonwealth shooting
      • Indian shooters Prakash Nanjappa won Gold, Amanpreet Singh won silver and Jitu Rai won bronze in men’s 50m pistol event at Commonwealth Shooting Championships.
      • Double trap shooter Mittal won Gold while Shreyasi Singh bagged silver in the women’s double trap event.
      Gagan Narang wins silver medal in 50m rifle prone event
      • On November 2, 2017, Olympic bronze-medallist Indian shooter Gagan Narang won a silver medal in the men’s 50m rifle prone event at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships.
      • Another Indian shooter, Swapnil Suresh Kusale bagged the bronze in the same event.
      • Gold medal for this event was won by Australia’s Dane Sampson.
      Anish Bhanwala won a silver,Anjum & Neeraj Kumar bagged a bronze
      • Indian shooter Anish Bhanwala won silver in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol event at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships, while another Indian shooter Neeraj Kumar bagged a bronze in this event.
      • Anjum Moudgil won a bronze medal in the women’s 50m Rifle Prone. She shot a total of 616.7 behind Scotland’s Seonaid Mcintosh (619.9) and Jennifer Mcintosh (620.7).

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