Current Affairs Current Affairs - 23 December 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 23 December 2017

General Affairs 

Adarsh scam: Governor can review the decision of his predecessor if there is fresh material, says Bombay HC
  • The Bombay HC, which quashed the sanction granted by Governor C Vidyasagar Rao to prosecute Ashok Chavan in Adarsh scam, in its 58-page order has said that it is permissible for the governor -- the sanctioning authority -- to review or reconsider the earlier decision of erstwhile governor, but the review can be done only if there is "fresh material".

    This was said by the division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Sadhna Jadhav.

    The court was hearing the petition filed by Congress leader Ashok Chavan against the Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, who had granted permission to CBI to prosecute him.

    Being critical of the CBI investigation after 2013 in the case, the division bench said, "In the absence of fresh material, the Governor has no jurisdiction to review the order of the erstwhile Governor."

    It was in 2013 that during the Congress regime, the then Governor of Maharashtra K Shankarnarayanan had refused to grant sanction to CBI to prosecute Chavan. Chavan was revenue minister when the said allegation of quid pro quo was levelled against him. This is the reason that sanction was needed in the case. In 2016, the CBI approached the new Governor Rao, and this time sanction was granted.

    CBI had opposed the petition vehemently saying that the issues raised by Chavan in the petition can be looked into at the stage of trial. CBI said that there was "fresh material" in the form of "Justice JA Patil Commission's Report" of 2013 and the order of the Bombay High Court single judge in 2014 who had earlier not granted any relief to Chavan. 

    The commission in its report had said, "We reiterate that Shri. Ashok Chavan had given clearances/permissions in the matter of Adarsh CHS as 'quid pro quo'. Even the single judge bench of Bombay High Court while rejecting the petition filed by CBI to delete the name of Chavan as an accused had said, "It cannot be coincident that two of the close relatives of Chavan got two flats worth crore of rupees according to the market value, by investing much lesser amount as compared to the market value."

    However, the Bombay High Court questioned if the commission's report which is only a recommendation, could be taken as a material evidence. The court has taken into consideration many Supreme Court judgments to say that a commission's report under the commission of Enquiry Act 1952 "has no evidentiary value at the trial before the civil or criminal courts. It is only recommendatory in nature."  This report is the "opinion of the commission based on the statements of the witnesses and other material" and "it is not capable of being converted into evidence before the courts." So, according to high court, the Governor could not have relied upon an evidence that "had no existence in the eyes of law to grant sanction to prosecute Chavan".

    After Governor Narayanan had refused to grant sanction to CBI, the agency had approached the court to reject Chavan's name from the list of accused. At that time CBI in its own application had said that review of refusal of sanction cannot be done as there is "no scope for collecting more evidence and once sanction is refused by the governor, it cannot be reviewed."  

    This application was rejected by the trial court, and in appeal, the agency came to Bombay High Court. The case was heard before the single bench, who in 2014 November, gave no relief Chavan, even refused to recall the order and Chavan filed a special leave petition (SLP)  before the Supreme court where it is still pending.

    The Bombay High Court judges said that this recall petition and the SLP in Supreme Court was not told to the Governor by CBI. Also the evidence before the single judge bench was also the same old material that was before Governor in 2013 which rejected it. The single bench judges' order was only "tentative opinion", which according to the Bombay High Court judges cannot be considered as "fresh material".

    After the order was passed, Chavan, who has been fighting the legal battle since he lost his chief ministership due to this scam, seemed contented.

    "Prestige of the office of Governor has been restored or else it would have laid a wrong precedent. I am happy with the judgment. I have full faith in judicial system," Chavan said.

Speech Sachin Tendulkar could not deliver in Rajya Sabha
  • Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar was supposed to speak in the Parliament on Thursday but he wasn't allowed to deliver his speech by Congress MPs, who kept shouting slogans of 'pradhan mantri sabha mein aao (PM come to the Rajya Sabha)'.

    Tendulkar, who has played a record 200 Test matches for India, was to make his debut speech in the Rajya Sabha before it was interrupted by the opposition party. But the incident didn't the Master Blaster from speaking his heart out.

    A day after the incident, the 44-year-old took to social media to deliver his speech as he posted a video of the same on youtube and shared it across various social media platforms.

    "Namaste to my fellow Indians. Yesterday there were a few things which I wanted to convey to you all but couldn't do it. So I will try to do that today.

    "I often wonder what brought me here. Little that I realise that those baby steps in cricket would lead me to a great lifetime of memories. I always loved playing sport and cricket was my life. My father, Professor Ramesh Tendulkar, was a poet and a writer. He always supported me and encouraged me to be what I wanted to be in life. The greatest gift I got from him was the freedom to play. The right to play. And I would always be grateful to him for that.

    "There are many pressing matters in our country which requires our attention. Economic growth, poverty, food security, healthcare among many others. Being a sportsman I'm going to talk on sports, health and fitness of India. For it has a telling impact on our economy. My vision is a healthy and fit India. 'Jab swasthya hai yuva, tab desh mein kuch hua (when the youth is healthy, then the only the country can progress)'. India is set to emerge as the youngest average age nation in the world by 2020. So the assumption is, 'yeh young hai to fit hai (they are young so they must be fit)'.

    "But we are wrong. We are the diabetic capital of the world with over 75 million people being affected by this disease. And when it comes obesity, we are sitting at No. 3 spot in the world. The economic burden of these diseases will not allow our nation to progress. According to a UN report, the impact on the Indian economy of non-communicable diseases from 2012 to 2030 will be USD 6.3 trillion. But we all can bring this figure down together. If we all work towards taking care of our health and fitness. If we can exercise, play some sport then a lot can change for us. But I feel for that to happen we need a plan to help us become a sporting nation to change our sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy mindset.

    "Our fitness sessions are getting lighter and eating sessions are getting heavier. We need to change this habit. I feel that in this mobile-phone generation we are all turning immobile.

    "Many of us only discuss but we don't play at all. We need to transform India from a sport loving nation to a sport playing nation. Make everyone more active and participative. Inculcate and develop a sporting culture in our country. The northeast of India which has only 4% population of India has a vibrant sporting culture. It has produced many sporting heroes including our boxing icon Mary Kom, recently-crowned champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, Dipa Karmakar, Bhaichung Bhutia, Sarita Devi, Sanjita Chanu and many many more.

    "Sport promotes social harmony. President Nelson Mendela's efforts to use the Rugby World Cup in South Africa's journey to become an inclusive state is legendary. Sport has a unique way of building a nation. It builds character for individuals. And character for individuals means character for India. From being a naughty child to chasing the dream to win the World Cup for India, I became more disciplined and more focussed. I had a goal and I started planning for it. But the most important aspect was the execution of those plans. Not always did I succeed, there were occasions where I failed. But sports taught me to get back on my feet again and compete in the fairest possible manner."

Congress anger over PM Narendra Modi's Pakistan jibe at Manmohan Singh continues stalling Rajya Sabha
  • The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till Wednesday, as a furious Congress continues to demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise for insinuating that his predecessor, Manmohan Singh, colluded with Pakistani officials.

    Congress leader Anand Sharma had asked that the Upper House of Parliament, whose Winter Session is in progress after a controversial delay, be adjourned till 2:30 pm today.

    The Rajya Sabha is now expected to reconvene at 11 am on Wednesday. (It's worth noting that Monday is Christmas, and Parliament wasn't scheduled to work on that day, anyway)   

    Yesterday, a frustrated Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu tried many times to calm down Opposition lawmakers who raised a hue and cry over Modi's allegation: that Manmohan Singh and other Indian leaders attended a "secret meeting" at suspended Congress veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar's residence. He insinuated that that Singh and Aiyar met Pakistani diplomats and officials to influence the Gujarat Assembly election, which his party, the BJP, eventually won.

    Looking on was Sachin Tendulkar, who was all set to make his debut speech in the Rajya Sabha. But all the Bharat Ratna awardee could do was stand and smile, as Congress MPs shouted what sounded like, "pradhan mantri sabha mein aao," - or "Prime Minister, come to the House."

    "Dr. Manmohan Singh ji's integrity and loyalty to the country has been questioned. PM should come in the house and make it clear," Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

    In the past week, the Congress has disrupted proceedings in the Lok Sabha, too.

    Before counting day in the Gujarat election, Manmohan Singh responded to Modi's accusations in a statement. "Fearing imminent defeat in Gujarat, desperation of Prime Minister to hurl every abuse and latch on to every straw is palpable," he said.

    And he shot back a request for information. He asked why Modi invited "the infamous ISI of Pakistan to our strategic air base in Pathankot to investigate a terror attack that emanated from Pakistan."

    "I sincerely hope that Prime Minister will show the maturity and gravitas expected of the high office he holds instead of concentrating his energy solely on erroneously conceived brownie points," Manmohan Singh said.

Rahul Gandhi likely to comment on 2G scam verdict during Congress Working Committee meeting
  • Following the 2G scam verdict which acquitted all the accused in the case, Congress President Rahul Gandhi will chair his first Congress Working Committee  today in New Delhi and is expected to comment on the verdict.

    While many Congress leaders, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi is yet to give a statement on the 2G scam verdict.

    Manmohan Singh, whose credibility had come under doubt over the scams unearthed during the UPA II rule, said there was a "vicious campaign and propaganda" that was launched against his government back then.He said that the "judgment speak (s) in itself (sic)".

    CBI special judge OP Saini has acquitted former telecom minister A Raja, DMK leader M Kanimozhi and all other accused in the 2G scam case. In a one line judgement, judge OP Saini said, "The prosecution has miserably failed to prove its case, and all accused are acquitted,".

    However, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) decided to appeal against the acquittal of all the accused in the 2G spectrum case before the higher court.

    The meeting will take place at Congress headquarters around 4:30 pm during which a resolution in connection with 2G spectrum case is likely to be passed.

    After becoming the president of the party on December 16, Rahul Gandhi will be meeting the highest decision making body of the party for the first time. He is likely to discuss organisational revamp issues as well.

At UN, India joins all but 8 nations in isolating Trump's US on Jerusalem position
  • In a stinging rebuke to US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a resolution rejecting the move.

    On Thursday, the UNGA called for a special session to debate "Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory". Despite serious threats from the United States, the world body, in a non-binding resolution, voted with a sweeping majority seeking a "reversal" of Trump's decision. 128 voted in favour, 9 voted against, and 35 abstained.

    India voted in favour of the resolution standing firmly with Palestine, despite immense pressure from allies, US and Israel.

    It should not come as a surprise given that only in September this year, when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was in New York for the UNGA session, she attended the NAM Ministerial Meeting on Palestine. In her intervention, she made India's position very clear. "India's commitment to the Palestinian cause and our solidarity with the Palestinian people can never be undermined. I strongly believe that India's expanding relations in the region with all nations will only strengthen the Palestinian cause", Sushma Swaraj said.

    India has stood for durable peace through "mutual" settlement between Israel and Palestine. Minister Swaraj had said, "...we reiterated the need for a just and durable peace in the region. The path to this clearly lies in an early negotiated solution between Israel and Palestine based on mutual recognition and security arrangements."

    Nikki Haley, the US representative to the UN, threatened countries who voted against the Trump administration's decision during a debate - in no uncertain terms. "The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out in this assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation," said Nikki Haley. "We will remember it when, once again, we are called up to make the world's largest contribution to the UN, and we will remember it when many countries come calling on us to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit."

    Israel's permanent representative to the UN said that this resolution, like the past ones, would end up in the "trash bin of history". Ambassador Danny Danon said, "I have no doubt that the day will come when the entire international community will finally recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel."

    Among the abstentions was Canada which had indicated in advance that it would be abstaining - given the sensitive diplomatic situation they are in with the US (regarding the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)). Most of the other 35 nations that abstained took the safer route to not get into a diplomatic war with the United States of America.

    The countries that voted against the resolution were the US, Israel, Honduras, Guatemala, Togo, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Micronesia.

    Interestingly, India voted for a resolution that was co-sponsored by Pakistan.

    Speaking during the session before the voting, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki slammed Trump's declaration, saying "Does the US not wonder why it stands isolated in this position which is being rejected by everyone near and far, and why even its closest allies are turning a blind eye to this decision?"

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, in a video, that "Israel completely rejects this preposterous resolution. Jerusalem is our capital - always was, always will be." However, he added, "I do appreciate the fact that a growing number of countries refuse to participate in this theater of the absurd."

    While Thursday's vote is not binding, it is a victory for the Palestinians although the United States managed more abstention than expected which has been an achievement given that less than a month ago, 151 countries voted in favor of a General Assembly resolution that condemned Israel in much harsher terms than Thursday's vote. Only six countries opposed the motion, while nine abstained.

    The 193-member UN General Assembly held this emergency special session at the request of Arab and Muslim states, who condemned Mr Trump's decision. The resolution was proposed by Yemen with many co-sponsors added later.

Business Affairs

NBFCs budget wishlist talks of parity with banks on taxation, refinancing and recovery
  • Non banking finance companies (NBFCs) have sought parity in treatment with banks and other financial institutions on matters related to taxation, refinancing and recovery proceedings.

    In a pre-budget memorandum submitted to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Finance Industry Development Council (FIDC), a representative body of NBFCs, has expressed concerns over the negligible exposure of Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank to NBFCs. "This is primarily due to the refinancing policy and eligibility criteria for NBFCs set by MUDRA which are not favorable for small and medium NBFCs and lack attraction for the big NBFCs", Raman Aggarwal, chairman FIDC says. The association wants the government to set up a Joint Working Group to resolve the issues relating to MUDRA, which  was setup to refinance banks, NBFCs and micro finance institutions (MFIs) for on-lending to non- corporate small businesses.

    FIDC wants parity with banks and other financial institutions including housing finance companies on various tax related issues. "Section 43D of the Income Tax Act recognises the principle of taxing income on non performing assets (NPAs) only in the year in which they are received.  However, this provision is only applicable to scheduled banks, public financial institutions, state financial corporations, state industrial corporations and housing finance companies (which are also non-bank entities) and cooperative banks. FIDC wants NBFCs also to be included in the list.

    Similarly, banks and insurance companies (not NBFCs) are exempted from the Section 94B of the Income Tax Act meant to counter cross-border shifting of profits through excessive interest payments arising from high levels of debt in a company. The rationale being banks are in the business of money lending which necessarily requires greater leveraging. "NBFCs being engaged in the business of lending, borrowing money is an integral part of doing/ sustaining its business operations. Hence, Systemically Important Non Deposit Taking NBFCs (NBFC-ND-SI), owing to the similarity of their business as that of banks, should also be treated at par with banks and not a manufacturing or service company and thus be exempted from the provisions of Section 94B", the memorandum says.

    FIDC wants recovery proceedings under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI ) Act to be fast tracked and facilitated by doing away with the rider of minimum loan ticket size of Rs.1 crore for enforcement of security interest provisions. The government had on 5th August 2016, inserted a clause in the Act which said that sections 13 to 19 of the SARFAESI Act, which cater to the "enforcement of security interest", shall be applicable only in cases where the minimum ticket size of lending is Rs 1crore. This virtually rules out the NBFC sector from resorting to the recovery measures provided under the Act as their lending size is almost always a fraction of the prescribed amount.

    FIDC representation also attempts to draw the attention of the finance minister to various GST related issues.

Verdict on 2G spectrum case opens door for foreign companies to sue govt
  • With the special CBI court acquitting all 17 accused in the 2G spectrum case, the legal experts say that it has opened the doors for foreign companies who had invested in the Indian telecom sector during the time of UPA government to sue the government. The experts believe that operators like Loop Telecom, Russian conglomerate Sistema and Telenor may relook their strategy to recover losses they have incurred due to the flawed procedures followed by the department of telecom (DoT).

    "These players have an excellent chance to relook everything and start recovery or whatever compensation they can get from the government," says Ashish Bhan, partner at Trilegal. The Supreme Court cancelled 122 licenses in 2012 on grounds that the procedure followed by DoT for giving out licenses was flawed.

    "You have a position of the Supreme Court which says that the process was illegal and unconstitutional. The CBI court sees no criminality into the awarding of the license. It means that the process was wrong but the process was not set by the private players. The process was set by the government. Bad process cannot be attributed to private players," says Bhan adding that players like Loop have already started acknowledging this and possibly they will move forward. 
    But given that these foreign players could have challenged the DoT's flawed procedure (as proven in SC's decision) even before the special CBI court's verdict, Bhan says when the SC squashed licenses, these players had tried to intervene in the SC but nobody was ready to hear them.

    "Entities who have exited India tried to prove the gross irregularities but their argument took a back seat because there was pending case going on [in the special CBI court] and the government was also trying to put pressure on them. Because of the whole atmosphere that was created around 2G scam, if these players had moved on with suing the government for recovery of money, the government would have pressurised them," says Bhan.

    He says that ED's and CBI's decision to challenge the recent verdict in the High Court is unlikely to change the scenario. "It took seven years for the special CBI court to prove that there was no criminality in the case. I am of a strong view that unless the High Court finds a loophole in the evidences considered by the special CBI court, they would find it difficult to overturn its verdict. The interference of the High Court would not be easy," he says.

New skill development scheme for textile sector to benefit Tirupur units
  • The knitwear industry in Tirupur, which is facing acute shortage of skilled workers, will benefit from the recent Central Government decision to implement a new skill development scheme covering the entire value chain of the textile sector, excluding spinning and weaving in organized sector.

    The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval this week for a new skill development scheme, 'Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector (SCBTS)' from 2017-18 to 2019-20 with an outlay of Rs. 1300 crore. The scheme will have National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) compliant training courses.

    Raja M Shanmugham, President of Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) said the Tirupur knitwear cluster employs six lakh workers directly and by enhancing the productivity, competitiveness can be attained and sustain in the global markets. It has been a long pending demand of the knitwear industry of Tirupur for allocation of funds to impart skilling to new workers and upskilling of existing workers.  

    The small and medium scale knitwear industry in Tirupur generates about Rs. 30,000 crore revenue a year. Most of the labourers  in Tirupur cluster are self-groomed without any proper technical skill orientation or training and this creates an inconsistency in the production and quality parameters resulting in reputation and business loss.

    Even a 10 percent saving would yield a saving of Rs 3,000 crore for the industry. The industry estimates even 25 percent improvement can be done to produce 'zero defect' knitwear, said Raja Shanmugham.

    At present the NIFT TEA College for Knitwear Fashion's skill division has already trained 15,000 workers and have placed the trained candidates among TEA member units.

$11.6 bn raised via 153 IPOs in 2017: Report
  • As many as 153 initial public offers hit the Indian stock market this year, raising USD 11.6 billion, according to an EY report that says activity "looks good" for 2018 as well.

    According to the report, the fourth quarter (October-December) of this year saw 22 IPOs hitting the market, an increase of 47 per cent quarter-on-quarter (Q-O-Q) in terms of number of deals.

    "India's BSE, NSE and junior markets recorded a 74 per cent increase in deal numbers in 2017 compared with 2016, with 153 IPOs raising USD 11.6 billion," the report said.

    In Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa region (EMEIA), BSE and SME exchanges recorded the highest proceeds worth USD 5.5 billion through 17 IPOs, the EY Global IPO Trends: 2017 (Q4) report added.

    The largest IPO by proceeds was General Insurance Corp of India worth USD 1.7 billion in the region. "The stability of the political landscape in India with continued focus on reform agenda by the government and significant tax reforms as proposed by the US regulator is likely to trigger another wave of strong growth in the capital market to enjoy a preferred position in terms of capital allocation by investors.

    "The Indian IPO market in particular looks good for FY 2018 with the return of foreign institutional investors and strong investor sentiment creating a bullish investment climate," said Sandip Khetan, Partner and National Leader, Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS), EY India.

    The report further said that 2017 saw the highest deal numbers and proceeds on record, reflecting the country's economic strength and rising investor appetite. The combination of primary market growth and overall economic growth is set to make India a highly attractive emerging market for investments in the coming months, it said.

    "The current market valuations offer a great opportunity to existing investors, however sustenance of the bull run in the long run will depend on a balance between offer for sale and fresh equity for growth," said Vish Dhingra, Partner, EY India.

    "India's IPO market looks good for 2018. The combination of primary market growth and overall economic growth is set to make India a highly attractive emerging market for investments for the coming months," the report added.

    Emerging markets contributed strongly to overall IPO performance, with India's BSE and NSE recording a 74 per cent increase in deal numbers in 2017. The top three sectors by highest number of IPOs in EMEIA region are technology, industrials and financials.

    Sensex closes 184 points higher at 33,940, Nifty at 10,493 level; ONGC, Infosys, Bajaj Auto, TCS top gainers
    • The Sensex and Nifty closed at record highs on Friday. The Sensex made a fresh all time high of 33,964 intra day, breaching the earlier level of 33,956 level. Nifty breached 10,500 level for the first time intra day. ONGC (2.93%), Infosys (1.61%), Bajaj Auto (1.60%), TCS (1.54%) were top Sensex gainers. While the Sensex closed 184 points higher at 33,940, the Nifty was up 52 points to 10,493 level. Here are the key highlights, which affected the market today.

      3:35 PM: ONGC (2.93%), Infosys (1.61%), Bajaj Auto (1.60%), TCS (1.54%) top Sensex gainers.

      3:30 PM: Market breadth was positive with 1,574 stocks closing higher against 1169 ending lower on BSE.

      2:30 PM: Growth in non-food bank credit rose to 10.3% yoy during the fortnight ended December 8 on the continuing effect of a low base. Non-food bank credit had recorded 10% yoy growth in the previous fortnight and 6% growth in the year-ago period.

      2:00 PM: India is expected to be a $6.5-7 trillion economy by 2030, and at the current exchange rate it would touch $10 trillion by 2035-2040, Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council said.

      1:30 PM: Infosys announced its membership as a technology partner in the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) driven Cloud 28+ community and digital platform. By leveraging the Cloud 28+ community's vast network of service providers, Skava, a wholly owned subsidiary of Infosys, aims to expand its market presence in countries where business and regulatory considerations call for private and hybrid cloud deployments working with local partners.

      12:44 pm: Coal India (0.76%), Dr Reddy's (0.54%), PowerGrid (0.37%) top losers on Sensex.

      12:15 pm: TCS stock trading over 2% higher on deal with Nielsen, top gainer on Sensex. 

      11:15 am: For the week, the NSE index was on track to end 1.5 percent higher, while the BSE index looked set to gain 1.4 percent.

      11:00 am: India's leading IT exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has bagged a USD 2.25-billion outsourcing contract from Nielsen, a television rating measurement firm. The partnership, signed in October this year, is a renewal of TCS' existing collaboration with Nielsen. The two companies had struck a 10-year deal in 2008 for USD 1.2 billion, which was expanded to USD 2.5 billion in 2013.

      10:45 am: Highway developer Dilip Buildcon (DBL) said it has bagged two EPC road projects worth about Rs 518 crore from Ircon International.

      10:30 am: "Things are looking reasonably good. Earnings are expected to be decent. Some of the key concerns like the fear that BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party) might lose Gujarat elections, implications of flattening yields in the US, crude oil concerns or domestic inflation..all these seem to have abated," said Sunil Sharma, chief investment officer at Sanctum Wealth Management.
      10:07 AM: Maruti Suzuki (1.63%), Bharti Airtel (1.62%), Tata Motors 1.01% top Sensex gainers

      10:05 AM: Market breadth is positive with 1,451 stocks rising against 603 falling on BSE

      9:48 am:  DB Realty which rose yesterday after the verdict on 2G scam, was locked in upper circuit of 19.95%.

      9: 46 am: Rupee opens at 64.05 per dollar. The Indian rupee on Thursday closed marginally higher against the US dollar at 64.06, up 0.09% from its Wednesday's close of 64.12. So far this year, the rupee has gained 6%.

      9: 40 am: As many as 153 initial public offers hit the Indian stock market this year, raising $11.6 billion. The fourth quarter (October-December) of this year saw 22 IPOs hitting the market, an increase of 47% quarter-on-quarter (QOQ) in terms of number of deals.

      9: 35 am: Asian markets are trading mostly higher tracking moderate gains made in US market with financial, automobile and technology stocks gaining. In Europe, markets closed higher post the passage of tax bill in US. Catalonia went to polls yesterday for regional election after months of political uncertainty. US markets closed higher post passage of tax bill led by energy and media stocks. Markets gained traction after some corporates said that they would reinvest the savings from lower corporate taxes into higher wages and construction projects. Both the tax bill and Stop-gap spending bill is expected to be signed by the President as early as today.

    General Awareness

    Financial Institutions | Stock Exchanges | Insurance Companies

    Financial Institutions

    • CompanyFounded onHeadquarterChiefTasks
      Reserve Bank of India1935MumbaiRaghuram G Rajan (Governor)India's Central Finance Agency. Responsible for controlling the economy through various Monetary Policy parameters.
      India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited2006New DelhiS. B. Nayar (Chairman and Managing Director)Finance of Various Infrastructure Projects in Country .
      Irrigation & Water Resources Finance Corporation (Subsidiary of IIFCL)2008New DelhiS. B. Nayar (Chairman and Managing Director)Finance of Irrigation Projects in Country.
      Export-Import Bank of India1982MumbaiYaduvendra Mathur (Chairman and Managing Director)Promotion of Finances of cross border trade and investment for India.
      Export Credit Corporation of India1957MumbaiGeetha Muralidhar (Chairman and Managing Director)Provides insurance cover in respect of risks in export trade.
      Small Industries Development Bank of India1990LucknowKshatrapati Shivaji  (Chairman and Managing Director)Provide Finances and Aid development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSME) in India
      National Housing Bank (subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India)1988New DelhiSriram Kalyanaraman (Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer)Promote housing finance institutions through financial and other support
      Industrial Finance Corporation of India1993New DelhiMalay Mukherjee (Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer)Cater to the long-term finance needs of the industrial sector
      National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development1982MumbaiHarsh Kumar Bhanwala (Chairman)To take care of matters concerning policy, planning and operations in credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural areas
      Securities and Exchange Board of India1992MumbaiUpendra Kumar Sinha, (Chairman)Regulator for securities market in India
      Telecom Regulatory Authority of India1997New DelhiRam Sewak Sharma (Chairman)Regulator for telecommunications business in India
      Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India2000HyderabadT S Vijayan (Chairman)Regulator for Insurance Industry in India
      Stock Holding Corporation of India1986MumbaiRamesh NGS (MD)Act as custodian and depository participant to financial institutions. It is also responsible for e-stamping system around India.
      National Securities Depository Limited1996MumbaiG.V. Nageswara Rao, ( Managing Director & CEO )
      Credit Information Bureau India Limited2000MumbaiSatish Pillai, (Managing Director), M.V.Nair, ChairmanCIBIL is Indias first Credit Information Company. CIBIL maintains records of an individuals payments of loans and credit cards submitted to CIBIL by member banks on a monthly basis. This information is used to create Credit Information Reports that are provided to credit institutions to evaluate loan applications. CIBIL helps loan providers manage their business and helping consumers secure credit quicker and on better terms.
      SME Rating Agency of India2005MumbaiSankar Chakraborti, CEO
      SMERA is credit rating agency exclusively set up for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and has grown to rate SME, mid & large corporate. It provides ratings that enable MSME, SMEs,Corporates to raise bank loans at competitive rates of interest.
      Its registration with Securities Exchange Board of India as a Credit Rating Agency and accreditation by RBI as an external credit assessment institution (ECAI) to rate bank loan ratings has paved way for SMERA to rate various instruments such as: IPO, NCDs, Commercial Papers, Bonds, Security Receipts, Fixed Deposits etc.

    Stock Exchanges

    • Stock Market in India is Regulated by SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India). There are a total of 20 Stock Exchanges in India at National / Regional Levels. However, NSE (National Stock Exchange of India) and BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) are the dominant Exchanges of Country.
      Sebi Issued Its exit policy guidelines for Stock Exchanges in India. The exit policy mandates regional stock exchange (RSEs) to have minimum networth of Rs 100 crore and annual trading volume of Rs 1,000 crores. Sebi had given two years to all exchanges to comply or exit. As response to these norms, 15 out of 20 Stock Exchanges in India Decided to Exit the business.
      Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), United Stock Exchange (to be merged with BSE), MCX Stock Exchange Ltd (MCX-SX), National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Calcutta Stock Exchange will only continue in business.

      Bombay Stock Exchange - Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was established in 1875 in Mumbai and is considered one of Asias fastest stock exchanges, with speed of 200 microseconds. It is considered oldest stock exchange in Asia. Bombay Stock Exchange is world's 11th largest stock market by market capitalization with $1.7 trillion USD. More than 5,750 companies are listed on BSE. Ashish kumar Chauhan is Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of BSE. BSE is first in world in terms of Number of Listed Companies. The main Index of BSE is SENSEX.

      National Stock Exchange - National Stock Exchange of India was established in 1992 in Mumbai. It has market capitalization of over US$1.65 trillion, making it worlds 12th-largest stock exchange in terms of Market Capitalization. NSE's flagship index, CNX Nifty is used by investors as a barometer of Indian capital markets. Chitra Ramkrishna is current MD & CEO of NSE. It has around 1700 Companies Listed. NSE has remained as largest exchange in stock index options trade across the globe.

      Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) - is an independent electronic commodity futures trading exchange in India. It was established in 2003 and is based in Mumbai. MCX offers futures trading in bullion, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, energy, and a number of agricultural commodities. MCX is ranked among top 10 Commodity Exchanges in the World. Satyendra Mishra is Current Chairman of MCX and Parveen Kumar Singhal is Joint MD.
      Earlier spin-offs from MCX include National Spot Exchange and National Bulk Handling Corporation.
      • National Spot Exchange is an electronic spot exchange for bullion and agricultural commodities. Uttam Prakash Agarwal is Chairman while Shaji Cherian is MD & CEO of National Spot Exchange.
      • National Bulk Handling Corporation - India's largest collateral management company which provides bulk storage and handling of agricultural products. It was founded in 2003 in Mumbai with Anil Choudhary as current MD and CEO.
      Main Competition of MCX is National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX). NCDEX is an online multi commodity trading exchange in India. It was founded in 2003 in Mumbai with Samir Shah as current MD & CEO.

    Insurance Companies

    • Type of Insurance Companies -
      Types of Insurance Comanies include General Insurance, Life Insurance and Re Insurance Companies.
      Re-Insurance -
      Reinsurance is insurance that is purchased by an insurance company (ceding company) from another insurance company (reinsurer) as a means of risk management. Ceding company and reinsurer enter into a reinsurance agreement with conditions upon which reinsurer would pay the claims incurred by ceding company. Reinsurer is paid premiums by the ceding company.
      Reinsurance is simple Insurance but the participants aere changed. Lets say Person A purchases an Insurance Policy from Insurance Company C, Its Simple Insurance in which premiums are Paid by Person A to Company C and Company C pays Person A the insurance amount in case any of Insurance conditions are met.
      While Re-Insurance is the process in which Company C goes to Re-Insurer Company R just to insure itself from situations such as natural disasters in which case it might need to pay huge ammount to Lakhs of Policy Holders Like Person A.
      In India, The Governmwnt Owned General Insurance Corporation of India is the Only Reinsurance Company that undertakes reinsurance activities from several General and Life Insurance Companies in India.
      A bout General Insurance Corporation of India -
      General insurance business in India was nationalised by General Insurance Business Act (GIBNA) of 1972. GIC was formed on 22 November 1972 under Companies Act, 1956 to control general insurance business in India.
      After several mergers, GIC was re-organized with four subsidiary companies - National Insurance Company, New India Assurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company. GIC and its subsidiaries had monopoly on general insurance business in India until Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act (IRDA Act) of 1999 that came into effect on 19 April 2000. This act amended GIBNA Act and Insurance Act of 1938 and ended monopoly of GIC and its subsidiaries and liberalized insurance business in India.
      In November 2000, GIC was renotified as India's Reinsurer, and its role as Holding Company of its subsidiaries was ended.Ownership of the subsidiaries was transferred to the Government of India.
      As a result, GIC became sole Re-Insurer in India and is now called GIC Re. Indian insurance companies are required by law to cede 5% of every policy value to GIC Re w.e.f. 1 April 2013.
      GIC Re is now an important Re-Insurer in SAARC countries, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa, Europe and America. As of 2012, GIC Re ranked 15th largest Reinsurer and 5th largest Aviation Reinsurer in world (S&P).

      CompanyFounded onHeadquarterChiefType
      General Insurance Corporation of India1972MumbaiA K Roy (Chairman & MD)Government Owned

      Life-Insurance -
      Life insuranceis a contract between insurance policy holder and an insurer where the insurer promises to pay a a sum of money in exchange for a premium, upon death of insured person. Depending on the contract, some terminal illness or critical illness can also trigger payment.
      In India, LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India) is the sole Government Owned Company and by far, the One with biggest Market Share.
      Private Companies in Life Insurance Field Include Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Birla Sun-Life Insurance, HDFC Standard Life Insurance, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, ING Vysya Life Insurance, Max New York Life Insurance, MetLife Insurance, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance, SBI Life Insurance, TATA AIG Life Insurance, Reliance Life Insurance Company.
      About Life Insurance Company of India
      LIC was founded on Sep 1, 1956 when Parliament passed Life Insurance of India Act that nationalised private insurance industry in India. Over 245 insurance companies and provident societies were merged to create Life Insurance Corporation. LIC is headquartered in Mumbai. It is largest insurance company in India with estimated asset value of US$240 billion and As of 2013, it had total life fund of Rs.1433103.14 crore.

      CompanyFounded onHeadquarterChiefType
      Government Owned
      Life Insurance Corporation of India1956MumbaiChairman - S.K Roy, Managing Directors - S.B Mainak, V.K Sharma, Usha SangwanGovernment Owned

      General Insurance -
      General insurance are opposite to life insurance, Insurance contracts that do not come under the ambit of life insurance are called general insurance. The different forms of general insurance are fire, marine, motor, accident , Health and other miscellaneous non-life insurance.
      There are 5 Government Owned General Insurance Companies in India as detailed.
      CompanyFounded onHeadquarterChiefTagline
      Government Owned
      New India Assurance Company1919MumbaiG.Srinivasan (Chairman Cum Managing Director)Leadership and beyond
      National Insurance Company1906KolkataRajesh Aggarwal (CMD)Thoda Simple Socho
      Oriental Insurance Company1947New DelhiA.K.Saxena (CMD)Prithvi, Agni, Jal, Akash, Sabki Suraksha Hamare Paas
      United India Insurance Company1938ChennaiMilind Kharat (CMD)Rest Assured with Us
      Agriculture Insurance Company of India2002New DelhiJoseph Plappallil (CMD) Sampann Bharat Ki Pehchan, Beemit Phasal Khushal Kisan

      Private General Insurance Companies in India Include - Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance, Reliance General Insurance, Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance, TATA AIG General Insurance, Cholamandalam General Insurance adn Others.

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