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Current Affairs - 25 May 2018

General Affairs 

PM Modi Says 'Gram Swaraj Abhiyan' A Success
  • Ahead of his government's fourth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today highlighted the achievements of a programme to deliver services at the doorsteps of the rural populace, saying fruits of development have reached the poorest of the poor.

    In a series of tweets, he shared details of the 'Gram Swaraj Abhiyan', terming it as a unique movement initiated by the government to take the "fruits of development to the poorest of the poor in 16,850 villages from April 14 to May 5 as a tribute to Dr BR Ambedkar".

    He said, as a part of the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, various teams ventured into villages and ensured complete coverage of 7 leading central government schemes.

    "This movement is a great example of effective service delivery at the doorstep and furthering ease of living. During 21 days of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, 7.53 lakh Ujjwala connections distributed; 5,02,434 households electrified under Saubhagya Yojana; 25.03 lakh LED bulbs distributed across 16,682 villages; Immunisation of 1,64,398 children and 42,762 women under Mission Indradhanush," he said.

    The Prime Minister said from April 14 to May 5, 20,53,599 Jan Dhan beneficiaries were added; 16,14,388 Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana beneficiaries were added and another 26,10,506 beneficiaries were included under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.

    He said the project was a success due to the active participation of ministers, MPs, MLAs, representatives of various local bodies, officials of the state governments, topmost officers of the central government, civil society members and self-help groups. "I thank them all."

IndiGo Plane, Air Force Jet Were Just 300 Feet Apart On "Collision Course"
  • A mid-air disaster was averted last week when an IndiGo plane and an Indian Air Force (IAF) jet were on a "collision course" in Chennai airspace, setting off an RA warning for IndiGo pilot to steer the aircraft to a safer distance, a source said.

    The two aircraft were just "300 feet" away from each other at the time of the incident, which took place on May 21, the source said.

    Resolution advisory (RA) is an auto-generated warning in the cockpit for the pilot to manoeuvre the aircraft and avoid collision.

    IndiGo confirmed the incident, which is now being investigated by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

    However, there was no response from the IAF.

    "IndiGo aircraft VT-ITW operating on the Visakhapatnam-Bengaluru route and an Indian Air Force jet were on a collision course as the two aircraft were at a distance of just 300 feet from each other. The planes were at an altitude of 24,000 feet in Chennai airspace. IndiGo Airbus A320 flight was on the climb," the source said.

    The mishap was averted at around 9.49 pm on May 21, the source added.

    "An IndiGo flight 6E- 647 (Vizag-Bengaluru) was involved in a resolution advisory at flight level 240, on May 21," IndiGo said in a statement.

    "Pilot followed the laid standard operating procedures," the statement said, adding this matter was immediately brought to the notice of the regulator as per the prescribed protocol.

"Adventure Is A Way Of Life": India's First Father-Daughter Duo Who Climbed Mount Everest
  • Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered), the famous Latin phrase attributed to Roman Emperor Julius Caesar sums up the Gurgaon-based father-daughter duo's 8,848-metre climb to become India's first such combination to successfully reach the summit of Mount Everest, the world's highest peak on May 16.

    It was Ajeet Bajaj, a Padma Shri awardee, and his daughter Deeya's first attempt at climbing the Everest and despite life-threatening challenges, extreme weather conditions and the arduous nature of the climb, they came back home feeling wonderful and proud.

    Over a decade ago, 53-year-old Ajeet Bajaj, who runs a couple of adventure travel companies, became the first Indian to ski to the North Pole and the South Pole within a year. His elder daughter Deeya graduated in Environmental Science, and trained at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) in Uttarkashi before she undertook the 20-day-long Trans Greenland Skiing Expedition when she was 14; and climbed Mt Elbrus (5,642 m), the highest mountain in Europe, in 2012.

    A year-long training

    Ajeet: Last year, we decided to climb the Everest. Training was super fun. We began with working out at a gym to get into really good shape. We ran and swam together. Then we did an expedition in Ladakh, 20,500 ft, in August. The idea was to get out and climb together as a father-daughter team before the big climb.
    Deeya: We did three more training expeditions. We went to Nepal in December, we met our Sherpa team and bought equipment and went over the Renjo-La Pass. We went back to Ladakh for a couple of weeks, stayed with the army and were lucky to spot a snow leopard.
    Ajeet: When we were confident of ourselves, we attempted the climb from Tibet on April 10 and planted the tricolour on Mount Everest on May 16.

    Adventure is a way of life

    Ajeet: I was born in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. My father introduced me to the outdoors. He took me out trekking in the mountains. I attended a school in Himachal and went to Delhi's St. Stephen's College, which had a strong outdoor club. I started climbing, rafting, skiing and eventually took adventure sports professionally. So now, it's a hobby, passion and profession rolled into one for me. I was lucky enough to introduce Deeya early into extreme outdoors and she took to it naturally.
    Deeya: Ever since I was little, I have been outdoorsy and sporty. I swam for school nationals, have a black belt in taekwondo... I am a lucky to have my dad as my partner. We did a cross-country skiing in 2012, and I was the youngest person on the planet to ski across the Greenland ice cap, which is the second largest chunk of ice after Antarctica. 

    The journey

    Ajeet: We were both in good shape, but we were still apprehensive... we had butterflies in the stomach... the fear of the unknown. Halfway through our journey, there was a huge storm one night. We were climbing on steep snow slopes and it was extremely hard with winds gusting 50-60 km per hour. We were worried that our tent was going to disintegrate or would get blown off with us. A lot of negative thoughts crossed our minds. We didn't think we would be able to go ahead that night, but luckily the morning after the wind died down and things fell back into place.
    Deeya: My mom was stressed out but we kept in touch with her. She worries for us but she has been our pillar of strength. There were no issues with mobile network. In fact, the signals were pretty good. I even FaceTimed with my sister who is in Switzerland.

    The last night before the feat

    Ajeet: We didn't sleep much. It was really cold. The temperatures were anywhere between -35 to -40 degrees Celsius. We continued climbing, and to our shock, my oxygen mask malfunctioned, it froze, just an hour and a half below the summit. I couldn't breathe. I was pushing myself hard. Deeya couldn't have waited for me, she was climbing well and it made no sense to make her wait.
    Deeya: We were to do it together. But stopping at that point would have ruined my chances as well. So I kept climbing. It was a difficult call that we took.
    Ajeet: Luckily, I found a spare mask and could resume climbing. I followed her up to the summit. I climbed as fast as I could to catch up with her. Deeya reached the summit at 4.30 am. It was dark, but she was lucky enough to see the sun rise from the Everest. I reached 15 minutes after her. The mountain goddess was kind to us. We both were extremely emotional. Planting the national flag on the summit was a very, very special moment for the both of us. 

    First thoughts

    Deeya: It was a lot of relief. We both did it. It was surreal. It took a while for the feeling to sink in. But the minute it struck us that a long treacherous way down awaited us, the scary thoughts clouded the happy high, briefly.
    Ajeet: Yes, getting to the summit was a big high. But we soon realised, going up is optional, coming down is mandatory. It is another ball game because you could see the scale of the drop and how narrow the path is and how dangerous it is going to be. One has to be really, really careful and focussed.

    Homecoming

    Ajeet: My wife, friends and a few others from our family came to the Delhi airport to receive us. When we reached our colony in Gurgaon in a coach that they hired, we were surprised to see banners all over. The residents welcomed us at the front gate. There were garlands, dhol walas and mithai (sweets). That's the great thing about our country, everybody joins in, and it just made it so special. It was very touching, emotional.

    What next?

    Ajeet: We are so exhausted. We will take time to adjust to this heat... we are suddenly thrown from -40 to 44 degrees Celsius... it hits you so hard. But yes, there will be more adventures.  We do have a bucket list and it features a mix of climbing and adventure sports.

    Girl child

    Deeya: I have been really lucky because my parents have supported me in all my adventures. In our country, where adventure sports are usually associated with boys, my father was taking me to all sorts of adventures across the world. Through this expedition, we wanted to send out a message that girls can do anything and  can reach any height if they have the support of their families.

The 10 Latest Facts On Nipah Virus Including Symptoms And Checks
  • With 11 people killed by the brain-damaging NIPAH (NiV) virus in Kerala, here's an explainer of the outbreak, causes, symptoms and treatment:

    1) The virus infects both animals and humans (a phenomenon known as zoonosis). It has joined the list of recent zoonotic outbreaks such as swine flu and bird flu. Interestingly, almost 60% of all infections in humans come from animals. It is no surprise that people working in close proximity with animals are particularly susceptible. Species of fruit bats are the presumed natural reservoirs of the Nipah Virus, though transmission from pigs has also been reported.

    2) This virus has earned its scary reputation. It can kill between 40 to 100% of those affected. The incubation period (time from when the infection happens to symptoms appearing) ranges from 4 to 14 days. The early symptoms are pretty non-specific and can be confused with those with common colds/general viral infections.

    3) The virus affects both the respiratory and neurological systems. In recent outbreaks in the Indian subcontinent, the lungs are often affected (75% of the cases). Patients may go through increasing breathlessness and may progress to severe oxygen hunger rapidly. It can also progress to encephalitis - which is an inflammation of the brain - and patients can slip into a coma. Encephalitis has a high rate of death and survivors can have long - term neurological issues such as a seizure disorder or personality changes.

    4) There is no definitive treatment apart from supportive care. Supportive care means that the patients may need to be closely monitored and may be admitted to hospital. Patients may need respiratory support and may need to be put on the ventilator. There is as yet no vaccine for the Nipah virus.

    5) For patients living away from the area of the outbreak - if you have symptoms which are flu-like, such as headaches and fever - you are far more likely to have common flu rather than Nipah. For those living in or around the area suspected, vigilance and seeking early advice would be sensible. Health professionals working in the outbreak areas are well sensitized to what to look out for and seeking direct counsel is more advisable than unverified information doing the rounds.

    6) The portals of the WHO and Centre for disease control are excellent resources (as they has been for this article!), though the information tends to be written for professionals. Also, remember outbreaks tend to be pretty cloistered in small areas and can be brought under control with sensible quarantine and treatment protocols.

    7) It would come as a surprise to many that is not the first outbreak in India. There were two outbreaks in West Bengal in 2001 and 2007 with 50 people killed. Similar outbreaks have taken place in Bangladesh. The mode of transmission includes person-to-person and contact with sick animals. However, the outbreaks in this part of the world were likely to be related to drinking infected raw date palm sap. That said, human-to-human spread is well-known, and of the cases reported from an outbreak in Siliguri, 75% occurred among hospital staff or visitors.

    8) Outbreaks such as NIPAH are likely to become more common. Population density will make human-animal interactions more likely, increasing the chances of virus cross-infection. There is an increasingly recognised phenomenon of virus 'jumping' species. This means that bugs that primarily affected animal or bird species mutate with time and human beings become their new hosts. Swine and avail flu are examples of this phenomenon.

    9) Telling people not to panic often tends to ensure that they do. It is, therefore, imperative that facts and advice must be available from trusted sources in clear and simple speak. A robust single portal source of information set up specifically for the particular outbreak should become the norm.

    10) Kerala has declared that the outbreak has been contained. We owe this relief to the hundreds of medical professionals who risk their own lives when it comes to saving others. A poignant note written by Nurse Lini who succumbed whilst looking after patients has touched the hearts of thousands. She is a shining example of unassuming dedication and courage that the entire medical profession should be proud of.

Manish Sisodia To Be Questioned Tomorrow In Chief Secretary Assault Case
  • Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia will be questioned on Friday in connection with an alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by two AAP lawmakers in the presence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, police said on Thursday.

    Last Friday, Mr Kejriwal was questioned at his residence by Delhi Police personnel for about three hours on the alleged assault.

    On February 20, the Chief Secretary alleged that he was assaulted by two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lawmakers in the presence of Mr Kejriwal at the Chief Minister's residence.

    AAP lawmakers Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal were arrested over the assault and later released on bail.

    On Thursday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Harendra Kumar said the police would question Mr Sisodia at the latter's residence on Friday evening.

    According to him, the questioning would be video-recorded as done during the questioning of Mr Kejriwal.

Business Affairs

Bad loan problem gets worse! NPAs show 15% jump at Rs 7.31 lakh crore, says report
  • The news on the banking sector's bad loan problem keeps getting worse. Earlier this week, reports pointed out that India's private banks have recorded a 450 per cent jump in gross NPAs in the past five years. But according to a recent CARE Ratings report, there has been a significant spurt in NPAs even on a quarterly basis where the fourth quarter results of the last fiscal are concerned.  

    So far, 26 banks, including the country's biggest lender the State Bank of India, have announced their Q4FY18 financial results. "After moderating from 9.04 per cent in June 2017 to 8.93 per cent in September 2017, the [Gross NPA] ratio has ascended subsequently to peak at 10.14 per cent in March 2018," said the report. In value terms, the NPAs of these 26 banks stood at Rs 7.31 lakh crore, up 15 per cent from the December quarter and more than Rs 2.5 lakh crore higher than in March 2017. Incidentally, the NPA figure is bigger than the figure earmarked for India's biggest ever highway development plan.

    "In case of PSBs [public sector banks] the NPA rates were higher...while the ratio remained stable in the range of 11-12 per cent in the first three quarters of FY18, it has increased by 163 basis points in Q4 to 13.41 per cent," said the rating agency. The private lenders too showed a spike in NPA in the March quarter, up 19 per cent from the December quarter.

    The NPA ratios for some leading banks as of March 2018 are as follows:

    And, in case you are wondering, yes, there are banks that have fared far worse than the fraud-hit Punjab National Bank, which recently posted the biggest quarterly loss in India's banking history. Central Bank of India, for instance, had Gross NPA ratio of 21.48 per cent, while the figures for UCO Bank stood at 24.64 per cent and Dena Bank at 22.04 per cent. In fact, earlier this month the RBI tightened the leash around Dena Bank, which was already under the prompt corrective action plan, and barred it from further lending and recruitment.

    The report also highlighted that the 12 banks boasting Gross NPA ratio of above 10 per cent were all in the public sector, while the 10 banks with a ratio of under 5 per cent were private banks. Of the remaining four banks that have declared their Q4 results, two private lenders and two PSBs had a ratio of over 5 per cent. "The total provisions made during the year (of which the most would be for NPAs) increased from Rs 43,611 crore to Rs 105,150 crore - an increase of 141 per cent," said the report.

    Results are awaited for several more banks including Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Corporation Bank, IOB, United Bank, Andhra Bank in the PSB group and City Union, Dhanlaxmi, Karur Vysya, Laxmi Vilas and J&K in the private sector.

GST on Bitcoin? Cryptocurrency trade may get taxed 18%: Report
  • It seems that the Modi government's distrust of cryptocurrencies is surpassed only by its keenness to tax that gravy boat. Last April, the RBI had directed banks to wrap up all dealings with virtual currency players within three months. But before that, in February, the Income Tax Department had issued about one lakh notices to people who had invested in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin without declaring it in their income tax returns - just days after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the government did not consider cryptocurrencies as legal tender. And now, the buzz is that the government may bring cryptocurrency trading within the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

    Sources told BloombergQuint that the government may levy an 18 per cent GST after classifying cryptocurrencies as intangible goods on par with software, and that the proposal will be tabled before the GST Council after the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs evaluates it.

    The decision to tax virtual currencies makes sense when you consider the fact that the RBI's clampdown has not really worked out and, in fact, is being challenged in court. A month after the apex bank's move, trading volumes had surged dramatically alongside a sharp rally in prices. Average daily volumes were as high as $75 million - close to levels before the rule changes - Coindelta, the Pune-based cryptocurrency exchange, told Reuters. The exchanges were reportedly seeing new investors come in while the existing ones were regaining interest.

    That apart, banning crypto trade would only push investors and sellers to seek out alternate ways to transact like crypto-to-crypto trading platforms or - the government's worst nightmare - using cash.

    Under the new proposal to slap GST on this trade, purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies would be considered as supply of goods, and those facilitating transactions - say transfer, storage, accounting, supply, et al - would be treated as services. Hence, if it is passed, everything from cryptocurrency mining to wallets storing keys and the commission earned by the exchanges will be taxed. Citing sources, the report said that GST would be collected from miners on transaction fees or reward, and if the latter's value is over Rs 20 lakh, individual miners will have to register under GST. Wallet service providers and cryptocurrency exchanges will also have to register.

    Abhishek Jain, indirect tax partner at EY India, told BloombergQuint that treating cryptocurrencies as goods and services may make taxation simpler since the government will have to just issue a circular that they were always liable to GST. But to tax them as a currency or a security would require a change in law.

    The proposal reportedly also added that should both buyers and sellers be in India, the transaction would be treated as a supply of software and the buyer's location will be the place of supply. For transfer and sale, the location of the registered person would be the place of supply but in case of a sale to non-registered persons, the location of the supplier would be considered. Furthermore, transactions beyond the Indian territory would be liable for integrated GST - it would be considered as import or export of goods and IGST would be levied on cross-border supplies.

    Significantly, the government may even consider levying GST on crypto-trading retrospectively from July 1, 2017, when the new tax regime rolled out. If this indeed comes to pass, the government coffers are in for a windfall. In India, 2-3 million investors trade between Rs 100 to 200 crore worth of crypto-currencies a day. In the past 10 months since GST was implemented, virtual currencies reportedly managed bumper business of around Rs 200 crore per month. At 18 per cent GST that works out to nearly Rs 360 crore as revenue for the government.

    Interestingly, these moves to tax cryptocurrencies come even as India is yet to take a firm call on its legal status. Earlier this month, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money asked probe agencies to curb the use of cryptocurrencies as it reviewed their links to shady offshore transactions. For instance, as pointed out by the Narcotics Control Bureau, about four cryptocurrency-fuelled drugs smuggling transactions had been unearthed in the country in the past two years. The government's fear of cryptocurrencies being used to fund such illegal activities is what had led to its clampdown. But the Department of Economic Affairs reportedly does not want to ban cryptocurrencies, only regulate them.

    In the bargain, despite holding an estimated 10 per cent of the virtual currencies in the world, the country still lacks a legal framework to govern the same. The government had previously set up a committee led by department of economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg to come out with recommendations by March-end. But there has been no update so far but the decision to implement GST will depend on this report. Of course, the government will then have to look at other laws to control the more nefarious aspects of this trade.

Govt suggests three tax brackets under uniform road tax; highest up to 12%: Report
  • The union road transport ministry has suggested that road tax across the country should be charged at the highest of 12 per cent. The new road tax rates were proposed under the concept of 'One Nation-One Tax'.

    The ministry has proposed three tax brackets related to the price of the vehicle, a report by the Moneycontrol said. As per the ministry's proposal, vehicles priced below Rs 10 lakh will attract road tax at the rate of 8 per cent, and those that cost between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh will be placed in the 10 per cent road tax. The vehicles that cost more than Rs 20 lakh will have to pay 12 per cent road tax.

    Back in April, a ministerial group on transport had suggested a uniform road tax for all states as a way to put an end to tax evasion. Called the 'One Nation-One Tax' initiative, it was fashioned after the uniform indirect tax regime, Good and Services Tax. "Uniform tax rate will put a check on people registering their vehicles in low tax rate states and running them in other states," said a statement by the road transport ministry.

    The suggested changes in road tax rates will come into effect after Rajya Sabha passes the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016. According to the report, the standing committee has also suggested the same tax structure as the road transport ministry to be incorporated in the Motor Vehicles Act.

    While the proposed road tax structure is expected to make buying cars cheaper in states like Maharashtra and Karnataka, it is likely to make vehicles costlier in areas like the national capital, Delhi.

Massive lay-offs! Deutsche Bank plans to slash over 10,000 jobs worldwide
  • Over a month after he was appointed the CEO of Deutsche Bank AG, Christian Sewing, who had earlier warned his staff members of tough decisions ahead, has said Germany's biggest lender plans to lay-off around 10,000 employees worldwide as part of its cost-cutting measures to boost the company's revenues.

    The company's restructuring plan reflects Sewing's 'revamp strategy' to reduce the European financial service major's workforce by 10 per cent to around 90,000 from the current strength of 97,000. The company has been battling with shrinking revenues from its investment banking division, which generates over 50 per cent of Deutsche Bank's total revenue. Other areas of concern for the German bank are increasing costs and stiff competition from the Wall Street companies.

    Christian Sewing is accelerating a push to refocus the lender on its European home market and reverse a two-decade effort to compete head-to-head with the large Wall Street firms that dominate volatile securities trading, a report published in Bloomberg said.

    Sewing's latest decision comes more than a month after his initial review of the bank in April when he was appointed as the CEO. In his letter to the staff, Sewing had hinted he could initiate tough measures to curtail losses dues to the investment banking division. "The time pressure is on and the expectations are high from all sides. We'll have to further adapt our revenue, cost, and capital structure," he had said, reported Reuters. Sewing is the third CEO of the bank in the past six years.

    The Deutsche Bank's decision to carry out massive job cuts also comes after it conducted a global review of the company, called Project Colombo, which is aimed at boosting profitability.

    The company's US investment banking wing has suffered losses because of a tough competition from leading US companies. The ripples of the company's restructuring plan are already being felt across the US where it has decided to shut Houston investment banking division and has said it would move from its New York premises to a smaller area.

    Apart from the US, Deutsche Bank is also planning to reduce its presence from equities markets across Central Europe, Middle East and Africa. Soon after Sewing's initial warning, several senior executives have also left the company for greener pastures. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank stock fell .6 per cent to 10.9 euros in Frankfurt on Thursday.

Tata Motors stock hits fresh 52-week low after net profit falls 50% in Q4
  • The Tata Motors stock fell in Thursday's trade after the firm reported a nearly 50% fall in Q4 net profit. At 12:08 pm, the stock was trading 6.69% lower to 288.55 on BSE. The stock is the top Sensex loser in trade today. The stock hit a fresh 52-week low of Rs 284.70 falling nearly 8% in trade today.

    The stock is down 32.77% since the beginning of this year. It has lost 38.25% during the last one year.

    The stock has been highly volatile with an intra day volatility of 5.78%. It has fallen after two days of consecutive gains.

    During the last one week, the stock has fallen 8.09% .

    Brokerage Motilal Oswal has given a buy call on the stock with a revised target price of Rs 471.

    "We are lowering our FY19/20 consol EPS by 20-24%, to factor in for a) impact of higher expensing of R&D, b) commodity cost inflation and c) adverse mix. The stock trades at 5.8 times FY20 EPS and 2.1 times EV/EBITDA. Buy with revised target price of Rs 471 (SOTP)," Motilal Oswal said in a note. Prabhudas Lilladher too has given a buy call on the stock with a price target of Rs 378.

    Meanwhile, global brokerage firms CLSA, Jefferies and Morgan Stanley have cut their price target on the stock.

    CLSA has maintained sell rating on Tata Motors but cut its target price to Rs 295 per share from Rs 330 earlier. "Outlook for JLR remains weak and the margin commentary was subdued," it said in a research note.

    The brokerage has cut its FY19 and FY20 EPS estimates by 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively, considering lower volumes, margin as well as higher depreciation for JLR.

    Jefferies while maintaining its buy rating has cut its 12-month target price to Rs 440 per share from Rs 510 earlier. "The near-term demand outlook for JLR remains challenging. Strong macro and likely improvement in the market share trends aids the standalone business. Valuation, post the steep correction, makes the risk-reward favourable in our view," it said in a research note.

    Morgan Stanley kept its equal-weight rating unchanged on the stock, but cut its 12-month target price to Rs 339 per share from Rs 407 earlier. The global investment bank also reduced its 12-month target for Tata Motors DVR to Rs 220 per share from Rs 228 earlier. "The stock looks cheap but it lacks an upside trigger. We have lowered our FY19e/20e earnings by 31/21%, respectively," it stated.

    On Wednesday, homegrown auto major Tata Motors reported a 49.82 per cent fall in its consolidated net profit at Rs 2,176.16 crore for the March quarter with its British arm JLR continuing to face challenges in the UK and Europe, in addition to one time impairment charge.

    The firm had posted consolidated net profit of Rs 4,336.43 crore in the corresponding period of last fiscal, Tata Motors said. ts consolidated income from operations in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 was Rs 91,279.09 crore. It was at Rs 78,746.61 crore in the year-ago quarter.

    The company said an exceptional debit of Rs 1,641.38 crore was provided after it reviewed product development programmes in capital-work in progress and consequently provided for impairment during the quarter. The two figures are not comparable due to GST implementation from July 1 last year, after which revenue from operations is reported net of GST.

    General Awareness

    India’s 1st Sports University In Manipur
    • Context: The Union Cabinet has approved an ordinance to set up the country’s first national sports university in Manipur. A bill to set up the university in Imphal is already pending in parliament. The ordinance will be on the lines of the bill introduced in Lok Sabha in August, 2017.

      Highlights of the Bill:

      Establishment of the University:  The Bill establishes a National Sports University located in Manipur. It will promote sports education in the areas of: (i) sports sciences, (ii) sports technology, (iii) sports management, and (iv) sports coaching.  It will function as a national training centre for select sports disciplines. It may also establish campuses and study centres in other parts of the country.  The University will be empowered to grant degrees, diplomas and certificates.

      Objectives:  The key objectives of the University are: (i) research, development and dissemination of knowledge in physical education and sports sciences, (ii) strengthening physical education and sports training programmes, (iii) generating knowledge capabilities, skills and competence at various levels, and (iv) training talented athletes to help them to evolve into international level athletes.

      Authorities of the University:  The Bill provides for several authorities under the University.  These include: Court, Executive Council, Academic and Activity Council, Board of Sports Studies etc.

      Role the central government: The central government will review and inspect the functioning of the University. The Executive Council may take action based on the inspection report. If it fails to take action to the satisfaction of the central government, it will have to comply with the directions issued by the central government. Further, the central government may annul any proceeding of the University which is not in line with the Act.

      Funding: The University will be required to maintain a fund which will be credited with the funds that it receives from the central government, state government, and fees and money received from any other sources (grants and gifts).  All funds of the University will be invested as decided by the Board on the recommendation of the Finance Committee.

      Significance of the move:

      Setting up of National Sports University in Manipur will result in giving an opportunity for youth of country in general and of North Eastern States in particular for pursuing courses such as B.PEd, MPEd, Diploma / certificate courses in coaching, physiotherapy, fitness, sports management, sports journalism, etc.

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