Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Starred Articles

Four Indian women make it to Forbes 2015 list
Corporate > 100 Most Powerful Women > May 27
SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, ICICI Bank’s Chanda Kochhar, Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and HT Media chairperson Shobhana Bhartia are among the four Indians to be listed in the Forbes 2015 list of the world’s 100 most powerful women. The list boasts of women belonging to categories like entrepreneurs, visionary CEOs, politicians, activists, pioneer philanthropists and pop stars“ranked by dollars, media presence and impact”.

Tripura withdraws AFSPA after 18 years as insurgent activities fall
India > AFSPA > May 28
Tripura has decided to withdraw the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which gives unlimited powers to the security forces in conflict-hit areas. The decision was taken after reviewing the situation of the disturbed areas of the state and concluding a decline in militancy related activities. The AFSPA was imposed in the state on February 16, 1997 when terrorism was at its peak in the state, bordering Bangladesh.

Revised tax return forms will not ask foreign travel details
Economy > Income Tax > Jun 01
The new revised tax return forms for different classes of tax payers will not have questions on foreign travel details and balances in bank accounts that were asked in the forms proposed last month. The “simplified forms” brings relief to not only Indian citizens but also expatriates, who have been spared the obligation of reporting overseas assets acquired before their stint in India, provided these do not yield any income in the year concerned. Tax payers have time till August 31 to file returns as per the revised forms. The e-filing software would be ready on the tax department’s website by June 3.

Delhi government may ban Maggi noodles after UP, Uttarakhand
India > Nestle Maggi Ban > Jun 03
With controversies surrounding Nestle's Maggi Noodles regarding its lead content, it is likely to face ban in Delhi. The samples of the food item sent for testing by the Delhi government were found to have lead amounts higher than permissible limits. Delhi government has decided to file a case against Nestle and fine it for misbranding Nestle Maggi Noodles. The FDA branch in Uttar Pradesh was first to find the dangerous levels of lead content in Maggi noodles and thus banned the product in its state. Till now Kerala, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Haryana have taken actions against the product.


India gets its first transgender college principal and a first college that accepts transgender students
India > First Transgender College Principal > May 27
A decision taken by the College Service Commission has led to India getting its first transgender college principal. Manabi Bandopadhyay, who is currently associate professor in Bengali at Vivekananda Satobarshiki Mahavidyalaya, is set to take up the post of principal in Krishnagar Women's College in West Bengal. Following in the same footsteps is Jorhat College in Assam that will openly accept transgender and atheist students from the coming academic year. Both the announcements have been welcomed by all quarters.

India will sign Information Sharing Agreement pact with the G20 on the 3rd of June
India > Foreign Relations > May 27
India is all set to sign a global agreement on Information Sharing with the G20 countries, which will provide them access to data of bank accounts from across the world, including tax havens, which refused to cooperate earlier. However, under the agreement, India will be able to access information only after 2017. India will also sign Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) with the US, which will be effective from September and is expected to result in additional data flow. Both the agreements were supposed to be signed last year, but that could not happen due to legal hindrances.

Vedanta India to acquire up to 5.33% stake, worth over Rs 2,200 crore, in Cairn India
Corporate > Vedanta India > May 28
Vedanta India is set to acquire up to 100 million shares worth Rs 2,200 of Cairn India from Twin Star Mauritius Holdings Ltd. After the acquisition of the shares, Vedanta India's stake in Cairn India will grow from 18.73 per cent to 24.06 per cent. Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta India is a promoter in Cairn India. In the past, Vedanta India was planning to merge Cairn India and Hindustan Zinc into its firm to create a global natural resources giant.

RBI introduces guidelines on mobility cards with new category of prepaid payment instruments
Economy > Prepaid Payment Instruments > May 28
As the country moves towards a cashless economy, RBI has introduced a new category in order to facilitate the migration from small value cash payments to electronic payments. Draft guidelines have been issued by the regulator that will allow people to travel without cash in metros, buses and taxis. For such cards, the regulator has introduced a new category of prepaid payment instruments (PPI) that will be issued by the mass transit operators (such as metro or road transport).

BJP denies all-India beef ban 'to respect people's sentiments'
India > Beef Ban > May 28
BJP president Amit Shah said that the government doesn't intend to ban beef across the country and will consider the sentiments of the people before imposing the ban. While governments of Maharashtra and Haryana have already banned beef, Shah has requested other states to take a call on it by factoring in the sentiments of the people. He also downplayed Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi's remark that "those who want to eat beef can go to Pakistan", saying it was his "personal" view.

Only 4000 out of 90,000 Indian students get US visa approval
India > Education > May 28
Only around 4000 students managed to get US visa out of 90,000 applicants, a number which doubled at the US embassy and consulates, especially in Mumbai and Hyderabad, over the last 12 months. The students will join a growing league of their counterparts in the US, which stands at nearly 1, 03,000 at present, making them the second largest group of foreign students in the country after China.

17 Air India airhostesses suspended for delaying flights
India > Aviation > May 28
In a bid to tame the indiscipline, Air India recently suspended 17 airhostesses for allegedly delaying flights. The airline had started monitoring its crew with an aim to improve on time performance (OTP), following which 272 cabin crew members were sacked for indiscipline. AI witnessed sharp fall in OTP, which caused a lot of inconvenience for flyers.

Oxford University to get first female vice-chancellor
World > Oxford University > May 28
Professor Louise Richardson, who is currently the principal and vice-chancellor of the University of St Andrews, has been nominated to become the next vice-chancellor of the illustrious University of Oxford. The university is comprised of many individual colleges, many of which were either all-girls colleges or all-boys colleges. By 2008 all colleges have started to admit both men and women. The university at present has 11 women as heads of houses, but it will be the first time a woman will become the VC of the entire university.

PM's 'Housing for all by 2022' initiative to be launched in June
Politics and Government > Housing For All By 2022 > May 28
The Modi government's most ambitious initiative – 'Housing for all by 2022' is set to be launched by the mid of June. The Urban and Rural Development ministries have finalised their respective components for providing 6 crore houses - 2 crore in urban areas and 4 crore in rural areas. One of the main components of the scheme is slum rehabilitation, through which the government will acquire land from the slums and allow developers to build towers where the slum dwellers and other people can be relocated.

Iran nuclear deal faces complications
World > Nuclear Deal > May 28
Iran's foreign minister has expressed hopes of striking a “mutually, sustainable respectful” deal on nuclear program with world powers before the current deadline of June 30. Presently, Iran's nuclear deal is going through negotiations with the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. However, the French foreign minister said that the deal would not be taken forward if Iran does not allow inspections of its military sites. Iran’s supreme leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made clear that he would not allow the Iranian negotiating team to accept inspections of military sites or questioning of the country’s nuclear scientists.

Centre vs Delhi government battle moves to Supreme Court, High Court
Politics and Government > SC > May 28
The notification that gives the Lieutenant Governor absolute powers in appointing bureaucrats in the national capital has forced the AAP government to move the Delhi High Court challenging it. The petition filed by Union Home Ministry has alleged that the High Court passed the judgement and made observations without hearing its view. The Supreme Court will tomorrow hear Centre's plea challenging Delhi High Court order terming as "suspect" its notification barring Delhi government's anti-corruption branch (ACB) from acting against its officers in criminal offences, and holding that the LG cannot act in his discretion.

Financially weak Air India to borrow Rs 1,777 crore from government
Economy > Air India > May 29
Severe financial crisis has driven Air India to seek Rs 1,777 crore from the government on an urgent basis. Various factors can be attributed to the shortage including rupee's depreciation against the dollar. Government's aid is crucial to AI in order to maintain its financial restructuring (FRP) and turnaround plan (TAP).

HDFC bank features among the top 100 brands globally
Banking and Insurance > HDFC Bank > May 31
India's largest private sector bank HDFC has featured among the top brands of the world along with heavy weights like Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM and Facebook. The list compiled by Millward Brown, a global research agency, ranks HDFC at the 74th position with a valuation of $14 billion. The list is topped by Apple with a total valuation of $247 billion.

Modi government plans exit exam for MBBS students
Politics and Government > MBBS > Jun 01
With the quality of doctors produced in the country being questioned constantly, the health ministry is planning an exit exam for MBBS students passing out of government as well as private medical colleges. The doctors qualifying the exam will be allowed to practice anywhere in the country as opposed to the practice of transferring their registration with state chapter of Medical Council of India whenever they moved across the states.

Cricket icons Sachin, Sourav, Laxman join BCCI's advisory panel
Sports > Cricket > Jun 02
The newly constituted advisory panel of BCCI will now bring together the three batting legends-Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and VVS Laxman to guide the board in all matters related to the game. According to BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, all major cricketing decisions will be made in consultation with the panel. Also, Indian cricketers can seek technical advice from the trio.


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