Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Starred Articles

IDBI Bank and UNICEF to jointly provide drinking water, sanitation in 400 UP and Maharashtra schools
India > Swachh Bharat Mission > August 28, 2014
UNICEF and IDBI Bank have entered into a partnership to provide safe drinking water and sanitation to 80,000 children in 400 schools and Anganwadi centres in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The Rs 2.7 crore partnership is part of IDBI’s corporate social responsibility programme. Called the ‘Model WASH in Schools’ where WASH stands for water, sanitation and hygiene, the initiative aims to integrate critical behaviour such as such as hand-washing, into the world's largest mid-day meal programme. MS Raghavan, Chairman and Managing Director, IDBI Bank, said that the initiative is also in keeping with the goals of the 'Swachh Bharat Mission', recently launched by the Centre. Under the 'Swachh Bharat Mission', IDBI is further supporting the construction of 300 gender-segregated toilets in schools across India, primarily in rural areas.

Shah Rukh Khan becomes Ambassador of Interpol’s ‘Turn Back Crime’ campaign
World > INTERPOL > August 28, 2014
Actor Shah Rukh Khan has become the first Indian actor to be roped in as an Ambassador of Interpol’s ‘Turn Back Crime’ campaign, aimed at promoting greater awareness on how to prevent crime. He is is lending his voice to help spread the message that all of society benefits when citizens respect the law and fight crime.
Khan joins actor Jackie Chan as an Ambassador for the campaign, which has already garnered support from public figures including footballer Lionel Messi, Formula 1 racing drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in addition to law enforcement agencies around the world. The ‘Turn Back Crime’ campaign is aimed at raising public awareness that organised crime is often involved in seemingly unrelated crimes.

Minimum pension of Rs. 1,000 under EPFO; wage ceiling up at Rs. 15,000
Economy > Policy > August 28, 2014
The minimum monthly pension of Rs. 1,000 and a higher wage ceiling of Rs. 15,000 for social security schemes run by retirement fund manager EPFO will be implemented from September 1.
The government’s decision to fix pension entitlement of Rs. 1,000 under the Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995 (EPFS-95) will immediately benefit 28 lakh pensioners who get less than this amount at present. Now the maximum sum assured under the EDLI works out to be Rs. 3.6 lakh including 20 per cent ad hoc benefit over the prescribed amount under the notification. This means that in case an EPFO subscriber dies, his family will be entitled to maximum sum assured of Rs. 3.6 lakh instead of existing Rs. 1.56 lakh.
The decision will immediately benefit about 28 lakh pensioners, including 5 lakh widows. In all, there are 44 lakh pensioners under the EPFO scheme.

Indo-Japan ties: Modi, Abe sign key agreements on bullet trains, Varanasi revamp
World > Indo-Japan Ties > Sep 01, 2014
Japan and India signed five major agreements during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Japan. A deal on bringing Japan's high speed bullet trains to India signed between the 'two most important democracies of the world' remained one of the highlights. Japan promised $33.8 billion assistance to India for the next five years towards funding next generation infrastructure projects, smart cities, rejuvenation of the river Ganga and introduction of bullet trains. Total five deals signed between India and Japan. These include health, clean energy, women development and roads, other than the Kyoto-Varanasi agreement.
The two nations also decided to "upgrade" and "strengthen" their defence cooperation as they asked officials to launch consultations to promote military equipment collaboration and accelerate discussions on modalities for the sale of Japanese US-2 amphibian aircraft.

Asia’s first ballistic research centre to be set up in Gandhinagar Gujarat
India > Ballistic Research Centre > Sep 01, 2014
Asia’s first ballistic research centre will be set up at Gujarat Forensic Science University (GFSU) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. With this India will achieve self-reliance in testing of armoured vehicles. Till now, the armoured vehicles from India are sent to countries like the UK, USA and France for testing. The FSL in Gujarat was so far able to conduct testing of only bulletproof jackets, helmets and bulletproof plates. The Ballistic Research Centre will conduct tests for armoured vehicles of the Indian Army and also provide services to private players who supply vehicles to the VIPs.


India Post to re-apply for banking license, going for major banking-tech system overhaul
Bank Specific > India Post > August 27, 2014
India Post, the state-run mail company, will again seek a banking license from the RBI. It lost out in the last round when RBI had given out licences since it did not explain how it would bring in the Rs 500-crore capital required. India Post believes that it will be able to offer financial inclusion by leveraging its branch network in India's more than 6 lakh villages which the full-fledged banks do not find attractive to do business. The Post Office could be particularly attractive for small savings. Preparing itself to start commercial banking operations, India Post has announced the launch of 3,000 ATMs by FY18, of which 1,000 will be in the near future. Once the RBI gives necessary permissions, even other bank account holders will be able to transact through the ATMs. India Post is already on the RBI's electronic funds transfer platform. More than one and a half lakh Post Offices across the country are being upgraded. India Post’s banking tech system is being built by Infosys, while TCS is setting up the CBS platform. Once the postal system is on CBS, a post office savings or deposit account holder will be able to operate his account from any post office in any geographic location in India, like a commercial bank account these days.

ADB to provide up to $9 bn loan to India for infrastructure development
India > Asian Development Bank > August 27, 2014
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said that it will provide up to 7-9 billion in loan to India over the next three years to support infrastructure development. Besides, ADB will provide around $30 million for technical assistance grants, especially for building institutions and capacity at the state as well as the local levels.

RBI further simplifies KYC Norms for bank accounts
Bank Specific > RBI Norms > August 27, 2014
Ahead of the launch of the Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana, Reserve Bank of India announced simplified 'know your customer' (KYC) norms for low-risk customers. Under the new norms low-risk customers can provide KYC documents within six months of opening the account. Those persons who do not have any of the 'officially valid documents' can open 'small accounts' with banks. A 'small account' can be opened on the basis of a self-attested photograph and either a signature or thumb print in the presence of an official of the bank. Such accounts have limitations regarding the aggregate credits (not more than Rupees one lakh in a year), aggregate withdrawals (not more than Rupees ten thousand in a month) and balance in the accounts (not more than Rupees fifty thousand at any point in time).

Google buys video-processing service provider Zync Render
Corporate > Google > August 28, 2014
Google has bought Zync Render, a service that trims costs of special effects by pushing the work into the Internet "cloud." Google did not disclose the financial terms of the deal to acquire the company whose technology was used in films such as "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Looper." Zync is optimized for an Amazon.com cloud services platform, but the takeover heralded a switch to Google.

Snapdeal snaps $1-billion sales, to sell homes now
Corporate > Snapdeal > August 28, 2014
E-commerce website Snapdeal.com has crossed $1 billion in gross merchandise sales. After online giant Flipkart, Snapdeal is the second online player to cross the $1 billion mark a year ahead of schedule. To foray into the real-state category, it has joined hands with Tata Value Homes, a subsidiary of Tata Housing Development.
With this partnership Snapdeal.com will now sell apartments by the real-estate company on its site. As part of the partnership, Tata Value Homes will be selling apartments in seven projects located in five cities including Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, and Ahmedabad on Snapdeal.

Mother Dairy launches prepaid card system
Corporate > Mother Diary > August 28, 2014
Mother Dairy will introduce cashless shopping at all Mother Dairy outlets by the end of 2014. It has launched a 'smart change card', which can be bought and topped up at outlets. The card can be bought for Rs 25 and can be topped with a maximum limit of Rs 1,000. The limit for a single transaction has been set at Rs 500. The project has been launched in partnership with the State Bank of India. Initially, the cards will be available at 76 outlets across Delhi NCR and would be extended to 74 more outlets in the next three months.

PMO overrules home ministry’s recommendation, appoints RN Ravi as interlocutor for Naga peace talks
Politics and Government > Naga Peace Talks > August 29, 2014
The Prime Minister's Office has again overruled a suggestion of the home ministry and appointed RN Ravi, chairman of joint intelligence committee (JIC), as new interlocutor for Naga peace talks. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had recommended the name of Ajit Lal, who had retired as chairman of JIC in July 2014, as the interlocutor. The PMO considered Ravi for the post because of his expertise in northeast affairs as he was looking after the region during his tenure in the Intelligence Bureau from where he retired as special director in 2012. Earlier, the PMO had overruled the recommendation of the home ministry for appointment of Alok Singh, an IPS officer, as the Private Secretary (PS) to the home minister on the ground that he had served as a PS to the former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid during the UPA regime.

National Sports Day celebrated
Sports > National Sports Day > August 29, 2014
National Sports Day in India is celebrated on the August 29. This day marks the birthday of Dhyan Chand, the hockey player who won gold medals for India in year 1928, 1932 and 1936. This day is celebrated by organizing friendly matches between different Indian hockey teams at the Dhyan Chand National stadium in New Delhi which was constructed in the respect and honor of Dhyan Chand.

Former CJI P. Sathasivam to be Kerala Governor
Politics and Government > Governor > August 31, 2014
Following the resignation of Sheila Dikshit a few days ago, Former Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam has been appointed as the next Governor of Kerala. This is the first time a retired CJI is being appointed to serve as a Governor of a State. Justice Sathasivam (65) was the first Judge from Tamil Nadu to become the CJI.

Jaipur Pink Panthers beat hosts U Mumba to win the first edition of Pro Kabaddi League
Sports > Kabaddi > August 31, 2014
The Jaipur Pink Panthers owned by Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, beat hosts U Mumba 35-24 to win the inaugural Pro Kabaddi League at NSCI's Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday. The tournament has made the game hugely popular in urban areas. It has been followed on TV and drawn crowds to stadiums in big cities, a feat that the game had failed to achieve till now.
The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is a professional kabaddi league in India, based on the format of the Indian Premier League. The first edition of the tournament started on 26 July 2014 with eight privately-owned franchises from 8 big cities, consisting of players from around the world. It is currently supervised by Mashal Sports Managing Director Charu Sharma. Star Sports was the official broadcaster for the event.

Carolina Marina defeats World no. 1 Li Xuerui to win women’s singles at the World Badminton Championships, Chinese Chen Long wins men’s singles defeating World no 1 Lee Chong Wei
Sports > Badminton > August 31, 2014
World no. 10 badminton player Spaniard Carolina Marin beat World no. 1 Li Xuerui of China to become the first European in 15 years to clinch the women's singles title at the World Badminton Championships held in Copenhagen Denmark on Sunday. Marin who took 1 hour 18 minutes to beat Olympic champion Li, had marched to the finals after defeating India’s P.V. Sindhu in the semi-finals.
Chen Long, the no. 2 seed from China defeated top-seeded Malaysian Lee Chong Wei to win the men’s singles title at the World Badminton Championships.

Zimbabwe beat Australia in one-dayer for first time since 1983
Sports > Cricket > August 31, 2014
Zimbabwe beat Australia for the first time in 31 years as Elton Chigumbura's 52 not out led his team to a famous three-wicket win in the ODI triangular series. It was Zimbabwe's first win over the Australians since they met in ODIs for the first time at the 1983 World Cup.

US Post to issue Akkineni Nageswara Rao stamp
World > Nageswara Rao Stamp > August 31, 2014
The US Post Service will honour legendary actor Vibhushan Akkineni Nageswarara Rao by issuing a postage stamp, Akkineni Foundation of America (AFA) announced. It is the first time that an Indian actor has been given this honour. The Foundation will host a special Postal Stamp release ceremony in Dallas, Texas on September 20, on ANR's birthday to mark this tribute.
AFA also plans to release the stamp in India at the first International Akkineni Awards Ceremony in the presence of ANR family members. The event hosted by AFA will be held on December 17 at ANR College, Gudivada, Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh.
ANR, who died on January 22 this year, has acted in over 255 films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. A majority of his films were both commercial and critical successes. Apart from being a movie star, ANR was a prolific writer.

SBI signs $152 million export line of credit with Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC)
Corporate > SBI > September 1, 2014
State Bank of India (SBI) has signed a loan agreement with the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) to set up an export credit line in two currencies worth USD 152 million. The agreement was signed by SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya and JBIC Governor Hiroshi Watanabe in Tokyo, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a state visit.
The credit line will be utilised by Meja Urja Nigam to finance the procurement of steam turbine generators from Japan's Toshiba Corp and its Indian subsidiary to construct a super critical pressure coal-fired power plant in Meja, Uttar Pradesh.
The plant is an equal joint venture between NTPCBSE 0.14 %, a Central PSU, and UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam.

Revived Nalanda University begins first academic session
India > Nalanda University > September 1, 2014
The revived Nalanda University has begun its first academic session from September 1, with 15 students, including five women, and 10 faculty members. The ancient Nalanda University, established in the fifth century during the Gupta dynasty was an internationally renowned centre of learning with scholars from across the world. It stood till the 12th century, when it was razed by an invading Turkish army. The new university will come up in Rajgir, 12 km from the site of the ancient University. Classes are now being held in a makeshift campus. The formal inauguration is expected in mid-September. The fully-residential university, to be completed by 2020, will eventually have seven schools, all for post-graduate and doctoral students, offering courses in science, philosophy and spirituality and social sciences. Over 1,000 students from 40 countries have sought admission in Nalanda University. But only 15 students have been selected, including one each from Japan and Bhutan and others from India. More students will be enrolled in September as the selection process is still under way. The university is an initiative of the Indian government and the 18 East Asia Summit (EAS) countries. China has committed $1 million for the project and a MoU on this was signed during Manmohan Singh's visit to Beijing in November 2013. Singapore has pledged $5-6 million and Australia about $1 million Australian dollars. The central government has sanctioned Rs 2,700 crore ($445 million) cost for the university, to be spent over 10 years.

World Bank to provide US$ 107 million for second Mizoram State Road project
Economy > World Bank - Mizoram State Roads Project> September 1, 2014
The Government of India and the World Bank have signed a Credit Agreement for assistance of US$ 107 million for the second Mizoram State Roads Project (MSRP II). The project is fully funded through the World Bank’s International Development Agency (IDA). This project is the first project facilitating regional connectivity in transport sector undertaken in India with bank support. The objective of the project is to enhance transport connectivity along regional trade corridors in Mizoram. The project will focus on improvement of priority cross-border roads connecting Bangladesh and Myanmar and of trade related infrastructure.


Post a Comment