Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Starred Articles

PM Narendra Modi launches Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Shramev Jayate Scheme
Politics and Government > Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Shramev Jayate Scheme > Oct 15
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Shramev Jayate Scheme under which he launched a Shram Suvidha portal, Labour Inspection scheme and Portability through Universal Account Number (UAN) for Employees Provident Fund (EPF). Modi said that the scheme is part of the government’s efforts to encourage industrial development, ensure transparency in the labour sector, give adequate importance to manual labour, instill confidence among youngsters, develop skilled labour and achieve ease of business.

Government to set up PM-led Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA)
Politics and Government > Nuclear Power  > Oct 18
The Union Cabinet is expected to approve a pending legislation to set up a Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) to be headed by the Prime Minister in the coming winter session of parliament. The NSRA will be in charge of policies regarding nuclear safety and radiation. The present Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) responsible for nuclear regulations will be dissolved. However, the NSRA will not have the powers to inspect and regulate the strategic sector including facilities involved in India's nuclear weapons programme.

Jayalalithaa granted bail by Supreme Court in disproportionate assets case
India > Jayalalithaa  > Oct 18
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who was sentenced to 4 years in jail by a special court in an 18-year-old Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case, secured a bail from the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday. She was released from the Central Prison in Bangalore on Saturday and arrived in Chennai in the evening to a grand welcome from thousands of her supporters. The apex court passed its order after Jayalalithaa's counsel assured that her client won't take any adjournment in the Karnataka High Court and will file paperbook of her appeal within two months. Also, bond for Rs 2 crore was furnished and surety of assets offered. Jayalalithaa's close aide Sasikala and her relatives Sudhakaran and Elavarasi were also granted bail by the SC.

Government orders merger of NSEL with parent company FTIL
Corporate > National Spot Exchange Limited  > Oct 21
The government has issued a draft order to merge National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL), which is embroiled in settlement crises of over Rs. 5600 crore, with its parent company Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL). The NSEL Investors Forum representing nearly 13,000 investors of NSEL welcomed the decision. However, shares of Financial Technologies sank 20 per cent, wiping out nearly Rs 200 crore from its market valuation. The Centre said that it had considered the proposal of the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) and department of economic affairs to merge the two entities for better administration of the company and settlement of rights and liabilities of stakeholders and creditors of the company. The order further said that NSEL cannot take refuge behind the corporate so as to unjustifiably isolate itself from the fraudulent actions that took place at NSEL. NSEL was set up as an electronic exchange for spot trading in agriculture and food commodities by Jignesh Shah-led FT Group, which had also set up commodity bourse MCX and stock exchange MCX-SX.


Rajiv Mehrishi replaces Arvind Mayaram as Finance Secretary
Politics and Government > Finance Secretary > Oct 16
Rajiv Mehrishi, the chief secretary of Rajasthan, has been appointed as the Finance Secretary, the top civil servant at the Finance Ministry, replacing Arvind Mayaram. As chief secretary, Mr Mehrishi has worked closely with Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in introducing some of India's most radical free market and labour reforms.Mr Mayaram, who had twin roles as both finance and economic affairs secretary, has been shifted to the Tourism Ministry.In all 20 top and mid-level bureaucrats were moved since Prime Minister Modi took office in May this year.

Nigeria claims of a ceasefire with Boko Haram, but doubts abound on the credibility of the deal
World > Nigeria > Oct 17
Nigeria claimed to have reached a deal with the Boko Haram group on a ceasefire and the release of 219 school-girls abducted from a school in Chibok back in April. But no details regarding the terms and conditions for the ceasefire was given and there has been no word from the group’s leader Abubakar Shekau. Many observers expressed doubts about the identity of the group's supposed envoy. Nigeria’s security agency has been inundated with fraudsters claiming to represent the Boko Haram leader. Nigerian elders have also raised doubts about the credibility of the ceasefire. According to them, Boko Haram has broken into multiple factions and only one faction of Boko Haram is involved in the deal. Also, renewed hostilities on the weekend suggested the ceasefire is not holding. The Nigerian government's own security spokesman, Mike Omeri, also said that no deal had yet been reached on releasing the girls and senior military and intelligence officers in the violence-hit regions also denied any information on a ceasefire.

India's cruise missile Nirbhay successfully test-fired
India > Cruise Missile > Oct 17
India's indigenously developed nuclear capable sub-sonic cruise missile 'Nirbhay', which can strike targets more than 700 kms away, was on Friday test-fired from a test range at Chandipur. Nirbhay has good loitering capability, good control and guidance, high degree of accuracy in terms of impact and very good stealth features.

Obama names US Ebola ‘czar’ as death toll in West Africa rises
World > Ebola > Oct 17
US President Barack Obama appointed Ron Klain, a lawyer who previously served as chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, as US Ebola ‘czar’ on Friday to oversee the US response to the virus. The worst-hit countries have been Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where Ebola has killed 4,546 since the outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever began there in March, according to a report from the World Health Organisation. Klain replaces U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Thomas Frieden as the new public face of the government's response to Ebola. Frieden had been strongly criticized for his handling of the situation in Dallas, where the two nurses contracted the disease from Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient identified in the US. However, Republicans were quick to criticise Klain, who is seen as a political operative with no medical background.

Government tells SC it cannot disclose names of persons having accounts in foreign banks
Politics and Government > Black Money > Oct 17
The Narendra Modi government has informed the Supreme Court that it cannot disclose such details given by countries with which India has Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). The centre informed the apex court that countries with which India has DTAA, have objected to making them public. In the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, the NDA had promised to bring black all the black money stashed by Indians in foreign banks and had criticized the previous UPA government for not taking adequate action in this regard. Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, on whose plea the apex court had constituted Special Investigating Team (SIT) on black money, strongly objected to Centre’s stand and said that the government was trying to protect the culprits. The SC had previously rejected a similar stand taken by the UPA government observing that such DTAA doesn’t prevent the government from disclosing names of persons having bank accounts in foreign banks. The apex court has now posted the hearing for October 28. The Congress said that the NDA government has no intention to get to the bottom of the black money case.

Bangalore, 11 other cities to get new names
India > Karnataka > Oct 18
The centre has approved renaming 12 cities in Karnataka including Bangalore and Belgaum. Bangalore's new name will be Bengaluru. Mangalore will be renamed Mangaluru, and Mysore will become Mysuru. Bellary will be called Ballari in official records, while Belgaum will be renamed Belagavi. Hubli will become Hubballi. The new names of other cities are Tumakuru (Tumkur), Vijapura (Bijapur), Chikkamagaluru (Chikmagalur), Kalaburagi (Gulbarga), Hosapete (Hospet) and Shivamogga (Shimoga).


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