Current Affairs Current Affairs - 08 June 2018 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 08 June 2018

General Affairs 

Not One Nation, One Identity: 10 Big Quotes From Pranab Mukherjee's Speech
  • While former congressman, Pranab Mukherjee was received with a warm welcome by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, anguish is what he got from the Congress who were vocal about their disapproval in Mr Mukherjee's decision to attend the RSS event. The day of several photo-ops, bouquet exchanges and hand shakes in Nagpur led to the final event, a function organised for RSS cadre training to become full-time volunteers or pracharaks, where Mr Mukherjee was the chief guest. "I am here to speak about my understanding of the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism," Mr Mukherjee said as he began his speech.

    Here are the top quotes from Pranab Mukherjee's speech at the RSS event in Nagpur

    We derive our strength from tolerance. We accept and respect our pluralism.

    We celebrate our diversity. We are not one nation, one identity

    Any attempt at defining our nationhood in terms of dogmas and identities of religion, region, hatred and intolerance will only lead to dilution of our national identity

    Our national identity has emerged through confluence, assimilation and coexistence

    Nationalism can only come with the fusion of all castes, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh. This doesn't mean there is extinction of each separately but of unity together

    We must move from conflict, violence and anger and move into harmony and peace. Our mother land is asking for it, it deserves it

    People are at the centre of all activities of the State and nothing should be done to divide them

    From our Constitution flows our nationalism. The construct of Indian nationalism is constitutional patriotism

    Every day, we see increased violence around us. At the heart of this violence is darkness, fear and mistrust

    We must free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal

    In the happiness of the people lies the happiness of the king

Extending Ramzan Ceasefire A Security Challenge, Rajnath Singh Told
  •  If the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir is extended beyond Ramzan, it would put security forces on the back foot, especially during the Amarnath Yatra that begins later this month, Home Minister Rajnath Singh was told today.

    Mr Singh, who is on a two-day visit to the state, reviewed the security situation in the valley at a meeting that was attended by army, police and other security agencies operating in the state.

    Grenade and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks by terrorists were cited as a big worry by the army that briefed Mr Singh about the challenges it will face during the two-month Yatra that begins on June 28.

    "These are random attacks that have a huge degree of anonymity so it is very difficult to identify the perpetrator", a senior official present in the briefing told.

    Before any army convoy moves on a highway, not just the road but a wide stretch on both the sides needs to be sanitized. And that's posing the biggest difficulty.

    "Before the Yatra begins, we have to sanitise the route and it is very difficult to ensure safety of road opening parties in the wake on these grenade and IED attacks," said the official.

    In first 20 days of the Ramzan ceasefire, security forces initiated only four operations while terrorists carried out 44 attacks. Of this, 20 were grenade attacks and the rest random firing in which two security personnel were killed and 23 others were injured.

    According to home ministry data, three civilians were killed and 26 injured in clashes with security forces.

    Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid also made a presentation at the security review meeting and informed the home minister about the threats intercepted. Mr Singh was told that threat perception to the Yatra is more this year as the situation had got communally charged after the gang-rape and murder of  an eight-year-old girl in Kathua earlier this year.

    Protecting convoys of pilgrims during the Yatra would be a big challenge as they travel through many districts, said a senior officer.

    Security forces estimate the presence of about 200 active terrorists in the Valley. The state police have sought an additional 225 paramilitary companies (over 22,000 personnel). Last year, the centre had sanctioned 200 companies for the Yatra.

    The Home Minister said the centre was committed to ensuring peace and development in the state irrespective of all hurdles.

    "India is the world's fastest growing economy. There are forces whose sole objective is to ensure that India's pace and development gets hindered", said Mr Singh.

Indian Navy Brings Back 38 Stranded Indians From Cyclone-Hit Yemen Island
  • Thirty-eight Indians were today brought back home by the Indian Navy, four days after they were rescued from the cyclone-hit Socotra island in Yemen.

    Indian naval ship INS Sunayna, carrying the rescued Indians, entered the Porbandar harbour in Gujarat at around 9 AM, Navy Spokesperson Capt D K Sharma said.

    The Indians were stranded in Socotra island after a cyclone hit the area and INS Sunayna on Sunday had evacuated them in an operation christened "Nistar".

    The cyclone Mekunu had badly hit various parts of Oman and the Socotra island.

    "INS Sunayna entered Porbandar harbour at after successfully evacuating 38 Indians off the Socotra island during a swift operation," Mr Sharma said.

    He said after completion of all the formalities, they were handed over to the civil administration to facilitate their return to native places. 

Government Aims To Provide Affordable Healthcare To All: PM Narendra Modi
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said access to medicines is a big concern for the poor and his government's constant endeavour is to ensure affordable healthcare for every Indian.

     He was interacting through video conference with beneficiaries of the 'Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojna (PMBJP)' and affordable cardiac stents and knee implants.

    "Access to medicines is a big concern for the poor... Our constant endeavour is to ensure affordable healthcare to every Indian," he said.

    PM Modi said several people are benefiting from PMBJP, an initiative of the government to provide medicines at affordable prices.

    He noted that the government has reduced stent prices substantially, benefiting the poor and the middle class the most.

    The prime minister also said that his government aims to eradicate tuberculosis from India by 2025, five years ahead of a globally-set deadline.

    Ahead of the International Yoga Day on June 21, the prime minister also appealed to people to practice yoga and make it a part of their life.

In Big Boost To ISRO, Centre Approves Rs. 10,000 Crore Plan For Future Missions
  • Giving a boost to the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO, the central government has approved the over-10,000 crore plan to give an impetus to the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III programmes. The move will help ISRO further its launches of the light and heavy satellites.

    The cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also gave its approval for funding 30 PSLV operational flights under the programme. The PSLV programme is expected to meet the launch requirements of satellites for Earth Observation, navigation and space sciences and will also ensure the continuity of production by the Indian industry.

    Funds amounting to Rs. 6,131 crore includes the cost of 30 PSLV vehicles, essential facility augmentation, programme management and launch campaign.

    Over the last few decades, ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV has become its most-trusted and most-consistent workhorse rocket. The PSLV has been ISRO's backbone, and has made India self-reliant in launching Earth Observation satellites, disaster management satellites, and navigation satellites, most of which are considered light-weight satellites.

    For launching heavy satellites, India is helped by France, which has rockets capable of carrying much heavier satellites. France has helped India launch heavy satellites from Kourou in French Guinea in South America.

    The PSLV Continuation Programme (Phase 6) will meet the demand for launch of satellites at a frequency of up to eight launches per year, with maximum participation from the Indian industry. All operational flights would be completed during the period 2019-2024, the government said in a statement.

    The PSLV continuation programme was initially sanctioned in 2008, and four phases have been completed and the fifth phase is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2019-20. The approval for the sixth phase will cater to the launch of satellite missions from the third quarter of 2019-20 to first quarter of 2023-24.

    With the recent successful launch of PSLV-C41 on April 12, PSLV has completed three developmental and 43 operational flights and the last 41 flights have been successful.

    The cabinet also approved funding for the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III Continuation Programme (Phase-1), consisting of 10 GSLV (Mk-III) flights, at an estimated cost of Rs. 4,338 crore.

    The GSLV Mk-III Continuation Programme (Phase-1) is the first phase of operational flights that will enable the launch of four-tonne class of communication satellites.

    The operationalisation of GSLV Mk-III will make India self-reliant in launching four-tonne class of communication satellites, sustain and strengthen the space infrastructure and reduce the dependence on procured launches from foreign countries.

    The cabinet was also apprised of a memorandum of understanding signed between India and Oman in February in Muscat for peaceful use of the outer space.

    The agreement shall enable cooperation in areas such as space science, technology and applications including remote-sensing of the Earth, satellite-based navigation, space science, planetary exploration, use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system and application of space technology.

Business Affairs

No need to wait! Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm plan to make same-day delivery a reality
  • Can etailing bypass distribution centres and warehouses entirely? That is the mega-buck question that the leading ecommerce players in the country are now reportedly exploring. After all, industry estimates peg inventory, warehousing and delivery costs at around 35-60 per cent of overall expenses.

    According to The Economic Times, Flipkart and its fashion arms Myntra and Jabong as well as Amazon India and Paytm Mall are exploring a hyperlocal strategy, which gives customers access to fashion products that can be picked up and delivered from local stores within hours. "This way, ecommerce companies don't have to buy inventory, which is a massive cost. And then, storing in warehouses is an additional cost," Harsh Shah, cofounder of Fynd, told the daily, adding, "This is a great way for them to get inventory at zero cost."

    Fynd, an offline-to-online marketplace that recently got funded by Google, reportedly integrated its brand inventory with Jabong Luxe and Facebook Marketplace as part of a pilot run recently. So Facebook Marketplace now enjoys access to all the 330 fashion brands available on Fynd through 8,700 stores across India while Jabong Luxe - which focusses on high-end brands - gained access to labels like Steve Madden, Superdry and Brooks Brothers.

    Real-time access to stores inventory, furthermore, will allow online marketplaces to keep up with the latest trends in fashion. "Currently, of the fashion products that are listed on ecommerce (marketplaces), 90% is old-season merchandise and only 10% is fresh fashion. If ecommerce companies integrate store inventory onto their platform, this number can shift to 60-40 in the next 3-4 seasons," said Shah.

    However, this store pickup model need not be limited to fashion. The report claims that it can be replicated in categories such as mobile phones, electronics and home furnishings - routed through technology partners. In the bargain, it might just transform how marketplaces operate.

    Mukul Bafana, CEO of Arvind Internet, similarly told the daily that they are preparing to allow Flipkart, Myntra, Amazon India, Paytm Mall, and TataCliQ access to the company's 16 in-house brands and a handful of other partner brands including Arrow and Nautica. "On an average, fulfilling an order from a store close to you is about 30 per cent less expensive than sourcing it from a warehouse," he said.  The online arm of the Arvind Group added that it has been running pilots across 100 stores for three months now.

    Not to be outdone, Alibaba-backed Paytm Mall has long been betting on an offline to online strategy. In February, while announcing a new partnership with Red Tape, Amit Sinha, COO, Paytm Mall had said in a statement that, "We want to provide a best in class in-store experience wherein users can browse the entire catalogue available from a brand and be able to pick up products from the shop or get them delivered to their doorstep on the same day. We will also offer this technology to traditional retailers to help them transform into the digital age.

    We are confident this will prove beneficial for brands as it combines offline stores, warehouse and fulfillment hubs into a single place thereby enabling them to offer an enhanced experience to shoppers." In addition, Paytm Mall works with several other top brands, including Samsung, LG, Lenovo, Intel, Canon, HP, Godrej, Hitachi, Bluestar, Whirlpool, Bosch, IFB, and Intex and claims to reach over 700 towns across India.

    In April, the company announced in its blog that the offline stores drive over 60% of all sales on its platform. "We have partnered with around 75,000 stores and aim to triple our offline presence by the end of 2019," it added.

    The new hyperlocal model is also throwing up new opportunities for players in the logistics business. Consider Shadowfax, an on-demand logistics provider for local businesses, Paytm Mall and Fynd, and exclusive delivery partners to Amazon Now, BigBasket and Grofers. The company claims that its O2O model doesn't use a distribution centre at all - they pick goods from the sellers and deliver it directly at the customer's address, mostly under an hour. Its CEO Abhishek Bansal told the daily that "Shadowfax delivers a few thousand orders within four hours, including apparel and electronics."

Sensex, Nifty close at three-week highs on higher banking stocks, global markets
  • The Sensex and Nifty logged their highest close in more than three weeks led by surging banking stocks amid higher Asian and European indices. However, the indices fell during the last 45 minutes of trade on profitbooking. While the Sensex rose 284 points or 0.81% higher at 35,463, the Nifty closed 83.70 points or 0.78% higher at 10,768. Tata Steel (3.73%), Tata Motors (3.32%) and ICICI Bank (2.52%) were the top Sensex gainers.

    Coal India (0.69%) , IndusInd Bank (0.58%) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (0.57%) were the top Sensex losers. Midcap and Small cap indexes which have seen a rout during the last five months rose 1.40% and 1.96%, respectively. Banking stocks took the market higher with the BSE bankex rising 203 points or 0.69% to 29,663 .  The index was the top gainer among 19 sectoral indices.

    Bank Nifty too rose 0.57% or 150 points to 26,517 level.

    Anita Gandhi, whole time director at Arihant Capital Markets said, "In the policy, RBI allowed banks to spread Mark to Market losses in investments in available for sale & held for trading portfolio for June quarter equally over four quarters. This will give relief to the banks which suffered heavy MTM losses due to recent spike in bond yields. Also, RBI mentioned that credit offtake is satisfactory. The rate hike will help improving banks NIMs for future credit offtake. This has led to positive sentiment in banking stocks".

    Capital goods  (1.06%) and  auto index (0.60%) were also among the top gainers on the BSE.

    "The rate hike is a negative but markets are recovering due to short-covering, since people sold off their positions at higher levels prior to the RBI meet and are now covering their positions at lower prices," said Sumit Pokharna, vice-president, Kotak Securities.

    "Investors were anticipating a rate hike due to depreciation of the rupee, major selling in the debt markets and rising inflation on concerns over crude prices," he added.

    Market breadth was positive with 1961 stocks closing higher against 747 ending in the red on the BSE.

    VK Sharma, Head Private Client Group & Capital Market Strategy at HDFC Securities said, "A day after the Reserve Bank hiked rates, the markets continued to rally on the relief that an important event was now in the rear view mirror. The Nifty added 84 points to 10,768. The Nifty is now well poised to close above the 10,807, registered last month. The rally was broad based and the small and the large caps also participated in equal measure. Reality stocks led the rally, up 2.97%. Metal sector continued to follow their global counterparts which gained 1.5%  while Technology sector continued its run by gaining by 1.15%. Buying was evident across the board, and there was no sector based index that closed in red today. Tata steel was the biggest Nifty gainer, rising 3.80% while Tata Motors rose 3% to come in second.  Titan, Eicher Motors and IndusInd bank were the laggards in the Nifty. The Advance-Decline ratio was positive for the second day in the row at 2.6:1. The Midcap Index rose 1.53% and Smallcap index gained 2.16%."

    On Wednesday, the Sensex fell after RBI's policy announcement but soon recovered to touch the day's high of 35,230. It finally ended at 35,178, up 275.67 points, or 0.79 per cent. The Nifty finished the session 91.50 points, or 0.86 per cent higher at 10,684.65.

    The RBI on Wednesday raised its key policy rate for the first time in over four years to rein in inflation, a move which will translate into higher EMIs for home and car loans and make it costlier for business enterprises to borrow for increased investment. With all its members voting for the increasing, the 6-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) surprised markets by raising the repo rate by 0.25 per cent to 6.25 per cent but kept its policy stance as neutral.

    Global markets

    Global stock markets were higher Thursday as remarks by a European Central Bank board member eased worries about the new Italian government's spending plans. France's CAC 40 rose 0.6 percent to 5,488.91 and Germany's DAX gained 0.3 percent to 12,866.20. Europe opened mostly higher. Britain's FTSE 100 was unchanged at 7,711.47. On Wall Street, the future for the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.1 percent and that for the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.2 percent.

    Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 0.9 percent to 22,823.26 while the Shanghai Composite Index finished 0.2 percent lower at 3,109.50. South Korea's Kospi finished up 0.7 percent to 2,470.58 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 0.8 percent to 31,512.63. Australia's S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent to 6,057.30 and India's Sensex surged just over 1 percent to 35,547.13. Benchmarks rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Why fixed deposits are likely to give better returns after RBI's rate hike
  • The recent hike in the repo rate by the RBI has given a good reason to smile to the people who invest in fixed deposits. The central bank increased the repo rate by 0.25% from 6% to 6.25% in its second bi-monthly meet of the Monetary Policy Committee on June 6. This move comes after a gap of more than 4 years when the central bank last raised the repo rate. Many banks of late have raised their deposit rates. With the RBI's hike, the trend of rising interest rate has been formally established. More banks are likely to follow suit and hike their FD rates further.

    The yield of 10-year bond, a good indicator of the direction of long-term interest rate in the economy, went up from 7.834% on June 5 to 7.917% on June 6 after the RBI announcement. It continued its upward movement on Thursday and is standing around 7.975% at the time of reporting. However, there was a contrary movement on short-term interest rates as it faced a marginal decline. The weighted average call money rate, which is a good indicator of short-term liquidity and interest rate in the economy, came down to 5.88% on June 6 from 5.89% recorded on the previous day.

    This hike is unlikely to push the short-term interest rate. A greater impact will be on long term interest rates. "Besides increasing the repo rate the RBI also relaxed the LCR (Liquidity Coverage Ratio) for the banks. The central bank has now allowed 2% additional securities of the banks to be counted as SLR. This means that banks will now have extra liquidity to lend to the customers. Therefore, while the long term rates have gone up the short term rates have actually eased after the policy." says Mahendra Jajoo, Head-Fixed Income, Mirae Asset Global Investments (India).

    However, if the global economic condition remains somewhat similar and if the crude oil price does not cool down significantly in the near future, the FD rates in India may rise marginally. "Lending is not happening for the banks at great pace as they are dealing with NPA issues. So, the banks will not be in a huge rush to increase the fixed deposit rates. As the RBI stance has also been neutral so I think the banks will increase the FD rate maximum by 25 basis points in next 3 months." adds Jajoo.

    At present the highest interest rates on FDs of 5-years tenure offered by banks in India have been in the range of 7% - 7.35%. Whenever the central bank raises the rates there is higher level of transmission of the hike in overall banking system as banks raise their interest rates both for lending and deposits, while the contrary may not be always true when the RBI cuts the rates. Hence, we may see higher transmission in the current scenario and interest rate of FDs with long term tenure may reach in the range of 7.25%-7.5% within next 3-6 months.

    This would bring cheer to senior citizens who primarily depend on fixed deposits to meet their regular income requirements. Since many banks offer a 0.25-0.5% higher interest rate to senior citizens so they can expect the FD interest rate to touch the 8% level after a long gap.

    There are many factors including higher crude oil prices, higher interest rate in US, rising domestic inflation which have led to the RBI decision. With primary objective of keeping retail inflation around 4% the RBI has increased the repo rate for sucking some liquidity from the system and cooling down the retail inflation. Going forward if the crude oil price cools down significantly and monsoon goes normal as predicted by Meteorological Department (IMD) we may see a stagnation of the interest rate or even a minor reversal.

TCS says 24,000 jobs offered this year, automation has led to on-demand hiring
  • Worried about robots taking over your job? One of the fields where this is a clear concern is information technology (IT), and one of the biggest employers in the space, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has just hinted that increased automation in the software delivery process has led to a dip in hiring currently.

    The number of job offers made by the IT major backs that up. According to The Times of India, in 2015, TCS had made offers to 44,000 students, which fell to 35,000 offers and then 20,000 in the next two years. This year, too, it has made offers to 20,000 students during on-campus recruitments. Its off-campus hiring stood at 4,000. "Analytics, IoT [Internet of Things] and automation is changing the entire delivery process. We are going for hiring in an agile way, which is on-demand," Ajayendra Mukherjee, Global HR head and EVP of TCS, said at a news conference yesterday. The company boasts a total headcount of 3.94 lakh globally and has a presence in 50 countries.

    The good news is that the company believes that in the long run, automation will create more job opportunities in the fields of data science, artificial intelligence, robotics and analytics.

    Better still, Mukherjee ruled out any chances of lay-offs, going forward. He also talked about the massive re-skilling drive that the company has undertaken, pointing out that TCS found it more cost-effective to give training for re-skilling people in-house rather than hiring from outside. "So far, 2.10 lakh people have been trained and skills upgraded," he added.

    Referring to hiring in the US and other developed markets, Mukherjee said that TCS had been facing challenges as fewer numbers of the younger generation were opting for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects there. To address the problem, TCS has rolled out two ambitious student reach-out programmes in these markets. "We have started two CSR programmes named 'goIT' and 'Ignite My Future' to encourage students in the ninth standard to opt for STEM subjects," he explained, adding, "We have developed Fresco Play - a learning platform - to enable employees to learn digital courses on the go."

    The daily added that IgniteMyFuture is meant to reach out to at least one million students (Class V-VIII) and 20,000 educators in partnership with 'Discovery in Education' in the US. On the other hand, GoIT is getting mid-level school students (of Class IX to XII) hooked to simple robotics, analytics and reasoning via various problem-solving and challenge-based aptitude-building methods.

    However, Mukherjee believes that the problem is a temporary one and that hiring in the US had not gone down. On media queries whether TCS can substitute its workforce in the US, the HR head reportedly said it was always preferable to employ the local populace.

    In the last quarter of FY'18, TCS' dollar terms growth stood at 11.7 per cent and margins at 25.4 per cent, which he said were lower than expectations due to currency fluctuations.

Five mid cap, small cap stocks that look attractive post correction
  • The turmoil in the midcaps and small caps stocks has hit the portfolio of many investors and has made them jittery about the future prospects of these stocks. The volatility is part of the stock market and it makes absolute sense to have some small cap and midcap stocks in our kitty. The new regulation for reclassification in mutual funds portfolio is leading to some correction and there is going to be a large selling in small cap space. So, valuations of both mid cap and small cap stocks are going to be attractive.

    While there has been some recovery off late in the two indices, they would still take a long time to clock profits for their investors. We look at some of the stock bets in the midcaps and small caps space which can reap profits for investors.


    APL Apollo Tubes Ltd: The firm makes steel pipes, due to scale economies and distributed manufacturing, it is the lowest cost manufacturer commanding market share that is three times the market share of number two player (Tata, Jindal). With GST implementation APL is in a strong position to grab market share from unorganised players which is 50% of the tube industry.

    Himadri Speciality Chemical Ltd: It is market leader in its core business of coal tar pitch with almost 70% market share. A new opportunity in the form of advanced carbon materials is also taking shape. It finds applications in lithium Ion batteries. The company could become the lowest cost producer of advanced carbon materials as they are fully backward integrated.

    MoldTek Packaging Ltd: The firm is into manufacturing of plastic containers used in paint, FMCG and lubricant packaging. They are into IML packaging (In Mould Labelling) which is better than screen printing. FMCG players are adopting this new technology and revenue is growing quite rapidly. They have also set up a plant in Middle East market. The stock is long term consumption play with limited competition.

    Dilip Buildcon Ltd: The firm is an infrastructure firm which had got a huge contract from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in Madhya Prdesh. It involves the construction of road tunnels and Chur hat Bypass. It will definitely catapult DBL to next level giving solid returns. This stock can be held for next 2-3 years.

    Shree Pushkar Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd: It is a dye intermediates (DI) manufacturer. They have achieved a status of zero waste plant, they have achieved that by converting effluents into saleable products like fertilizers. The company is expanding backed by orders from MNCs and establishing its own brand. No debt and efficient working capital management will enable free cash flows.


    Page Industries: The firm holds the exclusive license of Jockey International and they manufacture, distribute the brand in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and the UAE. Page Industries is also the exclusive licensee of Speedo International Ltd. for the manufacture, marketing and distribution of the Speedo brand in India. Considering the rapid growth of gym chains and inner ware in India, this stock is bound to give solid returns.

    Castrol India Limited: It is an automotive and industrial lubricant manufacturing company. Castrol India is the largest manufacturer of automotive and industrial lubricants in the Indian lubricant market and owns around 48% market share in the overall Indian lubricant market. It's part of Castrol Limited UK. It has five manufacturing plants that are networked with 270 distributors, serving over 70,000 retail outlets.

    Exide Industries: The firm is a storage battery producing company and a life insurance company in India. It manufactures automotive and industrial lead acid batteries. It has plants in India and Sri Lanka. They are leader in packaged power technology, they have captured the domestic market and export to European markets and South East Asian market. 4.    Nilkamal: This company is engaged in the manufacturing of plastic products and retail sales. Nilkamal's key business segments include plastics, injection-moulded plastic articles, polymers and others; lifestyle furniture, furnishings & accessories, which include home furniture, home furnishing and accessories. The company's planned investment in 10 new products in the Mono-block and value-added segments like plastic storage/non mono-block category and strategy to expand presence in northern and western India will help it to stay ahead of competition and improve market share.

    Bharat Electronics: Analysts believe that Bharat Electronics should perform better in the coming years because of its increased order inflows. The company has received orders worth Rs 16,300 crore during 2016-17, taking its order book to an all-time high of Rs 40,000 crore-around 4.8-times its 2016-17 revenue. Orders it received in 2016-17 include Electronic Warfare Suite, Hand Held Thermal Imager and 3D Tactical Control Radar. Being the country's largest defence electronics equipment manufacturer, Bharat Electronics will also benefit from the shift in the defence equipment from normal hardware to electronic hardware and software. Around 50%-60% of the new capital expenditure by the defence forces is on this segment.

    General Awareness

    Global Peace Index 2018
    • Context: Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), world’s leading think tank that develops metrics to analyse peace and quantify its economic value, has released the 12th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), or measure of global peacefulness.

      Performance of India:

      India has moved up four places to the 137th rank among 163 countries. The improvement is due to a reduction in the level of violent crime driven by increased law enforcement. India was ranked 141 last year.
      India was also among the countries with the biggest decreases in the number of deaths, along with Sri Lanka, Chad, Colombia, and Uganda.

      Global performance:

      Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark also sit in the top five most peaceful rankings.
      Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, a position it has held for the past five years. Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia comprise the remaining least peaceful countries.

      State of world peace:

      Amid continuing social and political turmoil, the world continues to spend enormous resources on creating and containing violence but very little on peace.
      The countries that displayed the most significant growth in heavy weapons capabilities over the last 30 years are primarily in unstable regions where there are high tensions with neighbouring countries. These include Egypt, India, Iran, Pakistan, South Korea, and Syria.
      Overall, the global level of peace has deteriorated by 0.27% in the last year, marking the fourth successive year of deteriorations. Ninety-two countries deteriorated, while 71 countries improved.
      The four most peaceful regions – Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, and South America – all recorded deteriorations, with the largest overall deterioration occurring in South America, owing to falls in the safety and security domain, mainly due to increases in the incarceration rate and impact of terrorism.

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