Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Starred Articles

India, Iran sign MoU for development of Chabahar port
India > MoU
India signed an agreement with Iran for development of Chabahar port which will give India access to sea-land route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan. After extensive talks, an MoU was signed between the two nations. US had been warning countries to not rush into any trade agreements with Iran until it works out a deal on nuclear programme. However, India went ahead with the deal as the port is set to reduce transportation costs of India. Another advantage of a container and cargo terminal at Chabahar is that it would provide landlocked Afghanistan with access to the sea, reducing its reliance on Pakistan.

Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill passed in the Lok Sabha
India > Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill
The Lok Sabha passed a bill on the 7th of May, 2015 to amend the Juvenile Justice Bill passed in 2014, which will allow the judiciary to treat children between the age of 16-18 as adults depending on the heinousness of the crime committed. The Juvenile Justice Bill, 2014 will now replace the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000. The amended bill also categorises offences as petty, serious and heinous, and defines differentiated processes for each category.

Jayalalitha set to return as TN CM after acquittal
India > Politics
AIADMK chief Jayalalitha was acquitted by the Karnataka High Court on the 11th of May, 2015 in a case of Disproportionate Assets (DA). Apart from Jayalalitha's verdict the court also acquitted her close aide Sasikala Natarajan, her relatives J Elavarasi and V N Sudhakaran and Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son. Earlier, Jayalalitha had to step down as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu as a trial court had convicted her for a term of four years and imposed a Rs. 100 crore fine. But, the acquittal on Monday will serve her as a breather and she is likely to become the CM again.

Record 3100 youths in Jammu and Kashmir offered jobs
India > Others
Over 3100 youths in the state of Jammu and Kashmir were offered jobs this year by corporates, the highest since the inception of the 'Udaan' scheme in the valley. The NDA government opted to change their strategy and implement 13 recruitment drives in the state after the September 2014 floods. Since the inception of the scheme in 2013, there were only 940 odd recruitments, but the number this year has exceeded 3100, which has been viewed as a success.

Rs 6,400 crore deposited in 339 accounts by Indians in Swiss bank, SIT tells SC
Economy > India
339 Indian accounts in HSBC bank holding a total sum of Rs 6400 crore owe an amount of Rs 4,520 crore to the income tax department, reported the Special Investigation Team (SIT). The SIT was able to gather information on black money holders with the help of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). SIT said it had conducted investigations on the data provided by the Consortium and a large number of cases of such offshore entities were not disclosed to the Income Tax department.

47 killed in Karachi bus attack, Taliban claims responsibility
World > Terrorism
47 people have been reported dead after a passenger bus carrying members of the Shia community was fired at, in Karachi by gunmen on motorbikes. The attack has been considered as the worst till date on the Shia community. There were conflicting reports of militant groups claiming responsibility for the attack. A splinter faction of the militant group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) called Jundullah, or Army of God, had claimed responsibility for the attack. There were also reports of leaflets found at the scene claiming the attack on behalf of the Islamic State group. The police have started a search operation for the militants, who fled after the attack.

Achal Kumar Jyoti appointed as Election Commissioner
India > Civic Affairs
Achal Kumar Jyoti was appointed as one of the Election Commissioners, filling one of the two vacancies of the Election Commission (EC), which comprises of three members – one Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two Election Commissioners. The general tenure of an Election Commissioner is six years or till the age the employee attains 65 years. As Achal Kumar Jyoti is 62 years old, he will serve for a period of 3 years. He has previously served as the Chief Secretary for Gujarat under the then chief minister of the state Narendra Modi.

Shashi Kapoor receives Dada Saheb Phalke award
Awards> Dada Saheb Phalke award
Shashi Kapoor received the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award from Union Information and Broadcasting Minster Arun Jaitley in Delhi. The award is given for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema. After Prithvi Raj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor is the third member of the Kapoor family to receive the award.

Central Government appoints new governors in six states
India > Governance
On Tuesday, 12th of May, 2015, the central government appointed new governors for the states of Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya. Odisha minister Droupadi Murmu will be the governor of Jharkhand, replacing Syed Ahmed who will now serve as the governor of Manipur. BJP national executive member V Shanmuganathan has been appointed the governor of Meghalaya. Ex-chief secretary of Assam J P Rajkhowa will take over as the governor of Arunachal Pradesh, replacing Lt Gen (retd) Nirbhay Sharma who will become the governor of Mizoram while, Tathagata Roy will become the governor of Tripura.

Lahore High Court sets free 97 bonded Hindu labourers
World > Others
A court in Lahore, Pakistan has set free 97 Hindus, which also included women and children who were employed as bonded labourers at a brick kiln in Pakistan's Punjab province. One of the bonded labourers managed to escape the kiln to reach the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which then filed a petition at the Lahore High Court to release the labourers.

Yoga day to be observed on June 21 in US
World > Yoga Day
The historic National Mall of the US is set to host the first International Day of Yoga celebration on June 21. Since the event is being organised by the Indian Embassy in the US, it will feature an exclusive video message by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With an aim to promote yoga across the world, the Indian government is planning to celebrate the First International Day of Yoga in all countries, including the US.

Russia and US to hold bilateral talks in the midst of easing tensions
World > Diplomacy
After more than a year of the crisis in Ukraine, US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to hold talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The tension caused over Ukraine between the US and Russia was regarded as the lowest point in diplomatic relations between the two countries since the cold war. The meeting will supposedly be held in Sochi, Russia and will be the first official US visit to Russia since the Ukraine crisis. The US Secretary of State would meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov along with president Putin.

CCI to analyze Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Jabong and Myntra price discount
Corporate > E-retail
After rejecting allegations of unfair business against e-retail giants Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Jabong and Myntra, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has started monitoring the price discount arrangements between manufacturers and distributors associated with these companies. The CCI has come across instances of resale price mechanism where a manufacturer does not allow distributor or trading platform to sell its product below a certain price and is under the process of checking whether such practices are in violation of competition norms.

7.3 Earthquake hits Nepal again, tremors felt across Northern and Eastern India
India > Earthquake
A 7.4 magnitude earthquake with its epicenter in Nepal struck again, killing 60 and injuring nearly a 1000, triggering tremors across Northern and Eastern India. A number of casualties were reported in Bihar, Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. The quake hit when the country was still recovering from the massive quake that killed around 8000 people last week. The quake that struck near Mount Everest was followed by at least six successive aftershocks.

North Korea executes defence chief on treason charges
World > North Korea
Hyon Yong Chol, the defence military head of North Korea was executed on treason charges. He was put in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range Hyon was said to have disobeyed North Korea's current leader Kim Jong Un and shown disrespect to him by dozing off at a military event. South Korea's spy agency said that Kim had ordered the execution of 15 senior officials this year as punishment for challenging his authority. Kim Jong Un took power after his father's death in 2011 and since then North Korean internal politics has remained volatile.

SC prohibits politicians’ photos on government ads
India > SC
The Supreme Court recently passed a verdict that restrains political parties from publishing photos of political leaders in government-funded advertisements. The judgment ensures that the tax payer's money is not spent on building “personality cults” of political leaders. According to the apex court, such photos promote a “personality cult” by associating an individual with government projects. However, the use of photographs of the President, Prime Minister and CJI in the advertisements is allowed.
Modi government condemns PoK project ahead of China visit
Politics and Government > India

Just before PM Modi's visit to China, Modi government has expressed its disapproval of the $46 billion deal signed by Chinese President Xi Jingping to develop a superhighway to Pakistan that passes through PoK . The displeasure comes after India's earlier oppositions to any international involvement in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. By flagging the issue India may be intending to confront China at the India-China meet. 


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