Current Affairs Current Affairs - 13 July 2018 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 13 July 2018

General Affairs 

Whatever In National Interest Will Be Done: India On Import Of Iran Oil
  • Amid concerns over the import of oil from Iran following US sanctions, India today said whatever is mandated to be done in its national interest will be done.
    In response to a question on the comments made by Iran Deputy Ambassador and Charge d'Affaires Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi at a seminar on Tuesday that New Delhi would stand to lose "special privileges" if it cut import of Iranian oil following US sanctions, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said his remarks were "misquoted" and that the Iranian side had issued a clarification in this regard.

    The Iranian embassy released a statement yesterday that Tehran would do its best to ensure security of oil supply to New Delhi, asserting that it had been a reliable energy partner for India.

    "For India, Iran is an important partner for energy and connectivity. In the clarification by the Iranian embassy, they have explained a lot of things.... It got reported, it got misquoted and they thought there was a need to clarify. They have understood our position and of course, and we do share a very strong relationship," Mr Kumar said.

    He added that India is in touch with Iran on several issues, including on the fallout of the US withdrawal of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the nuclear deal signed between Iran on one side and the US, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom on the other.

    In response to another question on whether there was any development on the US reaching out to India over the issue of reduction of imports from Iran, Mr Kumar said, "They had indicated. In fact, a statement was made by the US State Department that they would like to get in touch with or they are prepared to engage in discussions with various countries in the matter. They did not specify India."

    He further said, "We do welcome such engagements. We have taken a note of it. We will see what necessary steps we need to take in this. One thing is very clear that whatever is mandated to be done in our national interest, those things we will be doing."

    Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of fiscal 2017-18).

    The US has told India and other countries to cut oil imports from Iran to "zero" by November 4 or face sanctions. The Trump Administration brought back sanctions against Iran after pulling out the US from the Iran nuclear deal.

    Shipping to Iran and ports in the country are also coming under the US sanctions.

    Mr Kumar did not respond to a question on whether there was any reduction in the oil imports. He said these are operational questions and should be addressed to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

    Mr Rahaghi had also said that it was unfortunate that Indian investment promises for expansion of Chabahar port and its connectivity projects had not been accomplished so far and that it was expected that India would take immediate necessary measures in this regard if its cooperation and engagement in the port was of strategic nature.

    Mr Kumar said India is committed to the development of Shahid Beheshti Terminal of Chabahar port.

    "We are moving with speed and scale. The work is underway on all interim operations," the spokesperson said. 

'Happiness Curriculum' In Delhi Schools From Next Week: Manish Sisodia
  • Classes covering the ambitious "happiness curriculum", introduced by the Delhi government for the students of nursery up to the 8th standard in its schools, will begin from next week, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said today.
    An estimated 9-10 lakh students of the Delhi government schools will be taught in these classes. The government was also in talks with the municipal corporations that ran primary schools in the city for conducting these classes, Mr Sisodia said at an orientation programme for teachers.

    "The classes covering the happiness curriculum will begin next week. We are also talking to the municipal corporations. If the students of the corporation schools are added, the number of children to be covered under the happiness curriculum will go up to 15-16 lakh," he told reporters later.

    The solutions to modern-day problems like terrorism, corruption and pollution could come from these classrooms, the deputy chief minister said and hoped that someday, the innovative initiative of the Delhi government would be adopted all over the country and the world.

    The curriculum involves a daily 45-minute happiness class beginning with mindfulness, followed by a story-telling and activities session.

    As the class starts, the students will be given five minutes to settle down and pay attention to the happenings around them, which will be a form of mindfulness.

    A set of 20 stories and 40 innovative activities will form part of the curriculum to train the children to think logically and creatively and understand their role in the social system and nature.

    Mr Sisodia said the teachers should not be concerned about completing the syllabus.

    "Do not rush to complete all the stories and activities. The focus should be that the right message sinks in the children," he added.

    The three-day orientation programme, involving 18,000 teachers of Delhi government schools, was held to train them about the curriculum.

    Another orientation programme for 1,000 principals and officials of the Education department will be held tomorrow. 

PM Modi Urges People To Participate In Conserving Monuments In India
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pitched for people's participation in preserving India's archaeological legacy and questioned the rules which prohibit them from clicking photographs at certain monuments.
    He said training young people as tourist guides will help generate employment and also enhance the interest of people in archaeological sites, thereby boosting tourism.

    Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of a new building at the Archaeological Survey of India's headquarters in New Delhi, PM Modi said people's participation is a must to preserve and protect the archaeological legacy of the country.

    "The legacy can't be protected if people are not proud of it... The corporate sector can also be roped in where people can contribute some hours as volunteers," he said.

    PM Modi suggested that in 100 cities which have historical sites, school syllabus can include information on local archaeological places so that students grow up learning about them.

    He also wondered why the Archaeological Survey of India or ASI was prohibiting people from clicking photographs at certain monuments. He said when technology allows satellites to take pictures from far away, restricting people from clicking photographs is not correct.

Centre Asked To Explain Why Cricket Body BCCI Shouldn't Be Under RTI Act
  • Why should cricket controlling body of the country, the BCCI, be not answerable under the RTI Act in light of various judicial orders and a recent law commission report, the Central Information Commission has directed the sports body and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to explain.

    "It is the responsibility of the CIC to put an end to this prolonging uncertainty which makes the BCCI non-transparent and unaccountable without any moral backing and legal reasoning," Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.

    The matter came before him as Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports did not give a satisfactory response to an RTI applicant, Ms Geeta Rani, who had sought to know the provisions and guidelines under which the BCCI has been representing India and selecting players for the country.

    The applicant also asked whether the players selected by BCCI are playing for India or for the association, how can a private association represent the country internationally, what is the benefit of the government in giving rights and authority to BCCI to represent the country in international tournaments among others, through the 12-pointer RTI application.

    The ministry claimed it has no information available and since BCCI has not been declared as public authority under the RTI Act, hence the RTI application could not be transferred to the BCCI.

    Under secretary in the ministry Mr Arun Kumar Singh submitted during the hearing that the law commission calling BCCI as public authority is still under examination.

    After perusing records presented by the ministry, Mr Acharyulu said it becomes important to hear whether the BCCI is answerable under the RTI Act.

    "Her question whether it is 'a Team India' or 'Team BCCI', raises an issue of exclusive authorisation of the BCCI to select team for India. In fact, this exclusiveness of authorisation created a monopoly in favour of federal body of sports for cricket called the BCCI and because of which all its wealth is created," he said.

    Mr Acharyulu said the Supreme Court and other high courts have expressed several times that the BCCI performs a public function and it is straight away related to public activity because of which the BCCI should be accountable to public in general and in public interest.

    "There have been several doubts raised by Ministry of Law and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, even after the recommendation of the law commission as to whether the BCCI do come under the purview of RTI Act," he said.

    The commission thinks in public interest, in the interest of fair cricket and for fair process of selection of Indian cricket team members, the BCCI should be made transparent, accountable and answerable under the Right to Information Act, 2005, he said.

    "The commission directs the CPIO/authorised representative of the BCCI to explain why the commission should not declare the BCCI as public authority in view of various judicial pronouncements and the law commission's recommendation in its 275th report," he directed.

"Opponents, Stop Drooling, Nitish Kumar Is With Us": Amit Shah In Patna

  • The BJP and Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United will contest and win all 40 parliamentary seats in Bihar, BJP chief Amit Shah said in Patna today amid growing tension between the two parties. The ice-breaking session took place this morning, during breakfast at a state guest house attended by both leaders.
    The BJP chief's visit -- a first for Mr Shah since Nitish Kumar ended Grand Alliance and partnered with the BJP -- is seen as an effort to reach out to the disgruntled ally. The two leaders will meet again for dinner, where they are expected to set in motion a process to discuss seat sharing.

    Over the recent months, state leaders over both parties have issued pointed statements about seat sharing for the 2019 elections.  Each party wants to project itself as the "big brother" in the alliance and contest the larger number of seats. Last week, the Chief Minister said his party will take a final call on seat sharing after seeing what the BJP has to offer, triggering speculation about a possible split ahead of the elections.

    Today, in his address to the party workers, Mr Shah said the BJP will contest next parliamentary elections together with Nitish Kumar. "All speculation in this regard -- about differences and infighting over seat sharing -- is unfounded and nothing of that sort will happen," Mr Shah said. "You can continue to speculate but we will contest together and win all the 40 seats," he added.

    Mr Shah was meeting party leaders and workers to discuss the ground situation and hold strategy session before tonight's dinner.

    After the 45-minute breakfast meeting this morning, the two leaders posed for the cameras, smiling and chatting. They were accompanied by Bihar Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and state BJP chief Nityanand Rai.

    The speculation of a rift between Nitish Kumar and the BJP had intensified as the Chief Minister dialled RJD Leader Lalu Yadav. The leaders of the state Congress, part of the Grand Alliance and now and RJD ally, hinted the party could consider taking Mr Kumar back into fold if he breaks away from the BJP.

    Mr Kumar later scotched the speculation, denying any rift with the BJP and said he had called up Lalu Yadav only to inquire about his heath after he underwent an operation.

Business Affairs

Retail inflation hits 5-month high in June on soaring fuel prices, weak rupee
  • Retail inflation soared to 5 per cent in June compared to 4.87 per cent seen in May, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Thursday. This amounts to a five-month high in retail inflation, which is calculated on the basis of Consumer Price Index (CPI). The latest jump in consumer inflation comes on the back of a depreciating rupee and skyrocketing fuel prices.

    According to the CSO data, fuel and light inflation stood at 7.14 per cent in June as compared to 5.8 per cent in May. The housing inflation was measured at 8.45 per cent against 8.4 per cent in May. Food price inflation came down marginally to 2.9 per cent in June in comparison to 3.1 per cent in May. Clothing and inflation as well as inflation in intoxicants increased marginally in June to 5.67 per cent and 8.05 per cent, respectively.

    With rupee hitting its lowest against dollar, prices of imported commodities, ranging from petroleum products to electronics went up, driving consumer inflation up. High crude oil prices also made an impact, considering that India imports majority of its crude oil stock.

    With the latest jump, retail inflation is nearing the upper tolerance level of 6 per cent marked by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The apex bank had revised its retail inflation estimates upwards last month, estimating it to remain around 4.9 per cent during the first half of financial year 2018-19, before coming down to 4.7 in the second half of the current fiscal, including the impact of House Rent Allowance (HRA) for central government employees.

    The recent hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for kharif crops announced by the Narendra Modi government is likely to only add to upward movement of inflation numbers. With retail inflation at a high, policy tightening moves could be brought into play.

    The monetary policy committee (MPC) of the RBI had hiked the key repo rate by 25 basis points last month for the first time since 2014 citing inflation risks and high oil prices. The upward tick in retail inflation seen in June is likely to force the hand of the MPC to hike the key interest rates for the second time this fiscal when it convenes on July 30 for a three-day meeting. According to reports, economists are expecting one to two more rate hikes during 2018-19.

    As per a Bloomberg report, experts were of the opinion before the inflation numbers were released that the five-month high in retail inflation is a peak and favourable base effects will kick in from July, driving inflation numbers down towards RBI's 4 per cent target by December. June was the eighth consecutive month that inflation figures have remained above the RBI's medium-term target of 4 per cent.

Industrial output slips to 7-month low of 3.2% in May over sluggish manufacturing, power activity
  • India's Industrial Production (IIP) declined to a seven-month low of 3.2 per cent in May as compared to 4.8 per cent in April, mainly due to slow manufacturing activity and sluggish performance of power sectors, and the FMCG sector. The cumulative growth in May over the corresponding period last year stands at 4 per cent, data released on Thursday by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation showed. The previous low of industrial production growth was 1.8 per cent in October 2017.

    In terms of industries, 13 out of the 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth in May 2018 as compared to the previous year. The manufacturing sector that constitutes 77.63 per cent of the index grew by just 2.8 per cent in May. The growth is marginally up from 2.6 per cent last year. Power generation growth decelerated sharply to 4.2 per cent in May as compared to a high of 8.3 per cent year ago. The mining sector also registered an impressive growth of 5.7 per cent as against 0.3 per cent in May last year.

    The user-based segment shows primary goods grew by 5.7 per cent, capital goods at 7.6 per cent, intermediate goods 0.9 per cent and infrastructure or construction goods rose 4.9 per cent.  The consumer durables recorded 4.3 per cent growth while non-durables decelerated 2.6 per cent compared to a growth of 9.7 per cent year ago, registering worst performance in the segment.

    Industry group 'manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products' has shown the highest positive growth of 27 per cent followed by 21.1 per cent in the manufacturing of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers and 13.2 per cent in the manufacturing of furniture. 'Other manufacturing' has shown the highest negative growth of (-) 31.9 per cent followed by (-) 15.6 per cent in the manufacturing of tobacco products and (-) 12.8 per cent in the manufacturing of wearing apparel, it said.

    During its June 4 bi-monthly meeting, the RBI's Monetary Policy Committee had stated that industrial production could slow down in Q1 of the fiscal year 2018-19 due to a significant rise in input prices and perceptions of softening domestic and external demand conditions.

How Mukesh Ambani turned Reliance into a $100 billion firm

  • It is not for the first time that Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) has crossed the $100 billion valuation mark. The m-cap of oil-to-telecom conglomerate had last scaled this milestone in October 2007 when the rupee was valued at 39.5 against the dollar. The surge in market-cap comes on the back of RIL stock reaching an intra-day high of 1091 level today.

    "In every phase of our growth our mantra has been simple - set up a firm foundation. Then change the rules of the game. Then change the game itself," Ambani had told India Today in 2007. With the launch of Reliance Jio, one can safely say that the prophetic mantra RIL Chairman adhered to has helped the company catapult to Rs 6,88,766 crore valuation.

    Ambani, who took over the reins of the company his father founded, had also told India Today that RIL is always known for "making paradigm and disruptive changes" in the market place. It's costly bet on Jio is a testimony to the disruption that telecom sector in the country has undergone in the last two years.

    Rise of Reliance

    The mammoth aspirations of Reliance date back to a time when Dhirubhai Ambani returned to India from Yemen in 1957 to start a yarn trading business from a small 500 sq.ft. office in Masjid Bunder area of Mumbai. Dhirubhai's first company was called Reliance Commercial Corporation.

    In 1960s, Dhirubhai and his cousin Champaklal Damani co-founded Reliance Commercial Corporation which ran a polyester business. In 1965, the partnership ended but Dhirubhai continued the business. Vimal, the first brand from Reliance, founded in 1966 at Naroda in Gujarat, became a household name.

    In 1977, when it was difficult to raise capital, Reliance Textile Industries' IPO created history by introducing the equity cult in India. The issue was oversubscribed seven times.

    In 1982, Reliance begins backward integration. Elder son Mukesh Ambani leads the establishment of Reliance's first mega manufacturing project at Patalganga in a record 18 months. Younger son Anil joins the business in 1983.

    In 1985, Reliance Textiles Industries was renamed Reliance Industries Limited as we know today. Reliance's backward integration journey continues. The Hazira plant coming on stream in 1991 laid the foundation for Reliance becoming the world's largest integrated producer of polyester.

    This was followed by mega polyester plant capacities, the mammoth Rs 25,000 crore, 27 mtpa refinery in Jamnagar. In 2000 Reliance commissioned the world's largest refinery in Jamnagar in a record 36 months.

    Following Dhirubhai Ambani's death in 2002, Mukesh Ambani became chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd and Anil Ambani was made vice-chairman. The market-capitalisation of the undivided Reliance Industries stood at Rs 28,598.97 crore.

    In 2002, the site Dhirubhai-6 (D6) block in Krishna-Godavari basin is where Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) made the biggest gas discovery in India and started production of crude oil in May 2008 and natural gas in April 2009.

    Discovery of basin was announced on Oct. 31, 2002 at the AGM. The market cap on that day was Rs 37,241.39 crore (it rose by Rs 4545.21 crore in a single day). On Oct. 30, 2002, RIL's  m-cap stood at Rs 32,696.18 crore.

    In 2002, Reliance enters the Infocomm business

    In 2004, Reliance emerges as the first and only private Indian organisation to be listed in the Fortune Global 500 list. Reliance is also the first private sector company to be rated by international credit rating agencies - including Moody's, Standard and Poor's. Also, the feud between the brothers becomes public.

    In 2005, family reached a settlement to split the Reliance group in a deal brokered by their homemaker mother, Kokilaben.

    In 2006, Formal split takes place, with Mukesh taking control of flagship Reliance Industries, with interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, refining and textiles. Ambani launches a retail venture Reliance Retail.

    The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group gets telecom, power, entertainment and financial services. The Group includes Reliance Communications Ltd , Reliance Infrastructure Ltd , Reliance Capital Ltd , Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) and Reliance Power Ltd.

    In 2009, Reliance commences production of hydrocarbons in its KGD6 block - against all odds - in just over two years of its discovery, making it the world's fastest green-field deepwater oil development project. With this development, Reliance completes an unprecedented backward integration journey.

    In 2014, Reliance Retail becomes the largest retailer by revenue.

    In 2016, Mukesh Ambani announces the launch of Reliance Jio, which upended the mobile data tariffs in the country.

    In 2017, 170 days after its launch, Reliance Jio crossed 100 million subscribers mark. RIL Chairman launches JioPhone at 40th AGM of RIL. Ambani sets a target of 30 per cent growth each year over the next decade for Reliance Retail, which is expanding in rural and semi-urban markets. That is expected to take Reliance Retail to a revenue of Rs 4.65 lakh crore by 2027, which is not an easy task.

    In 2018, RIL along with its joint venture partners BP Plc and Niko Resources announced Rs 40,000 crore investment in oil and gas exploration and production. It roped in British giant BP Plc by offering 30 per cent stake in all of its hydrocarbon assets in a $7-billion deal in 2011 to arrest the production slide. However, BP also failed to increase the production, which stands at 5 million standard cubic metres a day (mscmd) now vis-a-vis its peak of 60 mscmd in 2010.

    Jio subscriber base grows to 215 million by 41st shareholders' meeting of RIL. Mukesh Ambani announces rollout of broadband network called JioGigaFiber and a new commerce platform.

    RIL's outstanding debt stood at Rs 2,18,763 crore at the end of last fiscal, while cash and cash equivalent stood at Rs 78,063 crore - largely in bank deposits, mutual funds, corporate deposits, government bonds and other marketable securities.

Relief for Visa, Mastercard! RBI's data storage rule likely to be relaxed for payments firms
  • Weeks after intense discussions with the foreign payment companies and trade bodies, the Ministry of Finance has suggested it could allow payment firms to store data in India as well as in the country where it is being stored currently. The decision provides a relief to foreign payment companies like MasterCard, Visa, American Express, etc, following the RBI directive making it mandatory for payment companies to store customer data locally for better supervision. The ministry has said the RBI will decide about the kind of data that will be stored in India and the six-month timeline given to implement the directive too. At present, only certain payment companies and their outsourcing partners store customer data either partly or completely in the country.

    The decision was taken after a crucial meeting between the Finance Ministry's Department of Economic Affairs with payment companies like MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and other industry participants like Paytm, US India Business Council, and RBI last month. The easing of norms could save foreign companies from losing millions of dollars on setting up of infrastructure for data processing. Experts say along with the storage of data, the current decision also means payment firms would continue to do processing and data analytics outside India. It also addresses their concern about the destruction of data in the event of any disaster and having no access to it in case it is stored at one place only.

    "Mirroring of data in India along with the country where the data is being currently stored could be a possible solution. The RBI may consider the issues connected with the kind of data that needs to be within India and the timeline it has given to players while issuing a clarificatory circular," the finance ministry, in a note shared with participant companies, has said, reported ET. With this note, the ministry has tried to address all three main concerns of payment companies, including restriction on data storage, no clarity over type of data, and deadline on compliance.

    Payment companies believe this is a big step. "This shows India has a progressive outlook towards businesses," an executive with one of the payment companies told Reuters.

    The RBI in its April-5 circular had said that payment companies of all shades operating in India will have to locate their servers in the country in six months. "To have unfettered access to all payment data for supervisory purposes, it has been decided that all payment system operators will ensure that data related to payment systems operated by them are stored only inside the country within a period of 6 months," the RBI said.   

    The development would have impacted every company dealing in payments data -- from fintech firms that offer peer-to-peer money transfers and international transactions to gateway operators.  For instance WhatsApp or any global company that maintains its servers outside India.  However, Indian fin-tech companies such as Paytm or PayU have little to worry about as their data is mostly in servers within the country.

    "In recent times, the payment ecosystem in India has expanded considerably with the emergence of new payment systems, players and platforms. Ensuring the safety and security of payment systems data by adoption of the best global standards and their continuous monitoring and surveillance is essential to reduce the risks from data breaches while maintaining a healthy pace of growth in digital payments," the RBI circular had said.

Sensex rises 282 points to record high, Nifty closes above 11,000 as Reliance Industries leads the show
  •  The Sensex and Nifty ended at record highs amid upbeat investor sentiments and positive global cues. While the Sensex closed at record high of 36,548 level, a rise of 282 points, Nifty rose 74 points at 11,023 level. Sensex hit all-time high of 36,699 intra day after opening at 36,424 level. The Nifty ended above 11, 000 level for the first time since February 1 and is now 2% away from record highs.

    TCS which reached its all-time high of 1992 yesterday over strong Q1 earnings succumbed to profit booking and closed 0.43% lower to 1971 level.

    However, market breadth was negative with 1153 stocks closing higher compared with 1496 ending in the red on BSE.

    RIL effect

    Reliance Industries was the top Sensex gainer after the stock re-entered the $100 billion market capitalisation club after October 2007.

    Its market capitalisation rose to Rs 6,88,766 crore intra day on the BSE.  The closing market capitalisation of the firm stood at Rs 6,85,725 crore.

    The Reliance stock rose to its intra day high of 1098 level, a rise of 6.02% from previous close. The stock opened at 1043 level in trade today higher than the previous close of 1036.35 level on the BSE.

    The Reliance Industries stock was the top volume gainer with 13.70 lakh shares traded on the BSE amounting to Rs 148.02 crore in turnover.

    The stock ended 4.42% or 45 points higher at 1082.20 level on the BSE.

    Other Sensex gainers were Wipro (2.44%), L&T (1.94%) and HDFC (1.74%).

    Banking stocks

    Banking stocks led the gains with the BSE bankex rising 0.92% or 272 points to 29,959 level. The index touched 30,120 level intra day.  The BSE bankex was the top gainer among sectoral indices.

    Bank Nifty too rose 210 points to 27,026 level. It hit an intra day high of 27,164 level. The index is up 5.82% since the beginning of this year.

    Crude oil price play

    Crude oil prices fell after Libya said it would raise supply amid cap on demand seen on US-China trade tensions. Brent crude oil prices crashed 6.9% to two-year low level to close at $73.40 a barrel for the global benchmark.

    US crude oil prices too fell 5% to $70.38 a barrel - their worst one-day fall in a year.

    The fall follows a months-long rally that saw oil prices rising to record highs in recent years.

    Reacting to the positive development, stocks of IndiGo operator InterGlobe Aviation, Jet Airways and SpiceJet closed higher.

    While the InterGlobe Aviation stock closed 4.70% or 50 points higher at 1,124 level, the SpiceJet stock was up 2.72% to 113 level on BSE.

    The Jet Airways stock which rose over 5% intra day closed 1.80% higher at 344 level.

    Meanwhile, shares of Bharat Petroleum Corp (2.61%) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (1.53%) and Indian Oil Corp (1.10%) too closed higher amid fall in international crude oil prices.  Subsequently, oil and gas stocks took the Sensex and Nifty higher with the BSE oil and gas index among the top gainers with a close of 222 points or 1.60% at 14152 level.

    Optimism over Q1 earnings

    Stocks rose higher today amid optimism over Q1 earnings of the curremt fiscal.  TCS which delivered strong earnings in Q1 hit a lifetime high on bourses yesterday. IndusInd Bank too posted a 24 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 1,035.72 crore for the quarter ended June 30 which led to a rise

    A Crisil report said India Inc will deliver the highest quarterly revenue growth in three years at 12.8 per cent in the April-June period, but high oil prices will narrow profit margins by 0.20 per cent.

    Crisil Research's senior director Prasad Koparkar said 15 of the 21 key sectors will report a double digit growth for Q1FY19 and volume pick-ups are expected both from both the consumption and commodity-linked sectors.

    Volume growth will lead to automobiles, retail and airline services to log a revenue growth in excess of 15 per cent, it said.

    Rupee factor

    Meanwhile, the rupee firmed up by 19 paise to 68.58 against the dollar in early trade, improving sentiments on the street.

    The currency closed at 68.57 level.

    Global markets

    Global stock markets rose on Thursday following Wall Street's decline amid US-Chinese trade tensions and oil prices recovered some of the previous day's steep losses.

    In early trading, London's FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent to 7,625.79 and Germany's DAX added 0.2 percent to 12,448.09. France's CAC 40 gained 0.2 percent to 5,366.25. On Wednesday, the CAC 40 and DAX both lost 1.5 percent while the FTSE 100 was off 1.3 percent. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index both were up 0.4 percent.

    The Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.2 percent to 2,837.66 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 1.2 percent to 22,187.96. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.9 percent to 6,268.30. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.7 percent to 28,517.61 and Seoul's Kospi added 0.2 percent to 2,285.06. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia also advanced, while New Zealand declined.

General Awareness

    World Population day
    • July 11 was established as World Population Day in 1989 by the United Nations and since then it has been celebrated on this date every year. The United Nations recognises World Population day as an important event to spread information of population-related issues across the globe.

      Theme for 2018: World Population day will run on the theme “Family Planning is a Human right” this year.

      Aim of World Population Day:

      Almost on the verge of completing three decades now, the internationally celebrated event aims to spread awareness on issues such as overpopulation, under-population and birth control. The world population is currently pegged at around 7 billion and according to UN reports is growing at a fast pace, adding 83 million people every year.

      What’s important?

      For Prelims: World Population Day- theme.
      For Mains: Population growth and related challenges.

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