Shares the Knowledge !


2013 - September 9 to 12 - Current Affairs


International

The Prime Minister of Bhutan, Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay paid an official visit to India since 30 August 2013 to 4 September 2013. During this visit, India and Bhutan discussed all areas of mutual interest and cooperation. 

The main outcomes of the discussions were :

1. Government of India reiterated its commitment to Bhutan's socio-economic development. The two countries agreed to work together to further strengthen bilateral relations. Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay thanked India for the support extended for Bhutan's development and expressed keenness to strengthen people-to-people links. 

2. Government of India's Assistance Package for Bhutan's 11th Five Year Plan for the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2018, was agreed upon. At Bhutan’s request, India will contribute 4500 Crores rupees towards Bhutan's 11th Plan, as well as 500 Crores rupees towards an Economic Stimulus Package. 

3. The importance of continued cooperation in developing hydroelectric projects in Bhutan was also agreed upon. India reiterated its commitment to install an additional 10000 MW of generating capacity. The two sides expressed satisfaction at the progress in the three ongoing projects. 

4. India expressed its satisfaction at being a privileged partner of Bhutan in its socio-economic development, and reassured the Bhutanese Prime Minister of its commitment to capacity building in Bhutan. 5. India and Bhutan reaffirmed the trust and confidence between the two countries and their mutual security interests. They agreed to continue their close coordination and cooperation with each other on issues relating to their national interest. 



The Health Ministers of 11 SEARO countries adopted the New Delhi Declaration on High Blood Pressure on 10 September 2013 at the 31st Meeting of Health Ministers. The Health Ministers of Member States of the WHO South-East Asia Region participating in the Thirty-first Health Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi, India, appreciated the efforts made by Member States and partners in the South-East Asia Region for prevention and control of high blood pressure. It is important to note that hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is the leading risk factor for mortality worldwide, causing 9 million deaths each year. 

As per the World Health Organization, hypertension affects one out of three adults in the South-East Asia Region and that it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure, contributing to premature death and disability. 

As a result, there is a need of emphasising the importance and need for technology transfer as a means to empower developing countries and the important role of generic medicines in the realisation of the right to health. The factors which contribute primarily to hypertension include poverty, uneven distribution of wealth, lack of education, rapid urbanisation and other social and environment determinants of health. 

The major highlights of the declaration adopted include: 

• To accord high priority to the prevention and control of high blood pressure and strive towards achieving the global voluntary targets and indicators for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, included in the global monitoring framework and endorsed by the Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly, including 25 percent relative reduction in the prevalence of hypertension by 2025. 

• To provide leadership and promote active collaborations among key multisectoral stakeholders in society such as education, agriculture, finance, communications, trade, transport, urban planning, environment, sports and youth affairs, in order to create health promoting environments that empower individuals, families and communities to make healthy choices and lead healthy lives. 

• To develop, strengthen and implement national multisectoral policies and action plans to promote physical activity and healthy diet, and reduce exposure to tobacco and harmful use of alcohol. 

• To continue to implement the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, of September 2011, as well as the WHO 2013–2020 Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases. 

• To implement national salt reduction strategies such as creating public awareness and health education through mass media, food labelling, and regulation of the food industry in order to reduce salt levels in processed food. 

• To create healthy environments by adopting effective national legislation for 100 percent tobacco smoke-free environments in all indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor public places and other public places consistent with Article 8 (Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke) of the WHO FCTC. 

• To promote universal access to cost-effective prevention and treatment through generic medicines and care for integrated management of non-communicable diseases including hypertension through a primary health care approach. 

• To strengthen health systems that support primary health care, to ensure an adequate and well-trained workforce, and the availability of affordable, safe, effective and quality medicines and technologies for prevention and control of major non-communicable diseases including hypertension. 

• To promote access to cost-effective, affordable and quality medicines for all. 

• To foster the development and transfer of technology to developing countries, on mutually agreed terms aligned with national priorities. 

• To build and strengthen experience-sharing mechanisms among Member States for capacity building. 

• To strengthen national health information systems, for effective surveillance and monitoring of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors including hypertension, and to build national capacity for quality research and development. 

• To provide adequate and sustained resources through domestic and external channels, and explore innovative financing mechanisms for achieving universal health coverage for integrated prevention and control of non-communicable diseases including hypertension. 



The European Commission (EC), executive body of the European Union (EU),on 11 September 2013 adopted a plan for telecom market reform called Connected Continent which among other measures would include reduction in consumer charges. The EC paved the way for its most ambitious plan in 26 years, aiming to make Europe a global digital leader again, reports a news agency. 

Launched by the EC President Jose Manuel Barroso in his 2013 State of the Union speech, the Connected Continent legislative package will reduce consumer charges, simplify red tape faced by companies, and bring a range of new rights for both users and service providers. Moreover, substantial progress towards a European single market for telecoms is essential for Europe's strategic interests and economic progress, for the telecoms sector itself and for citizens who are frustrated that they do not have full and fair access to internet and mobile services. The new legislation promised a great future for the mobile and internet market in Europe. 

The telecom sector makes up nine percent of Europe's digital economy, as all sectors increasingly depend on connectivity to be globally competitive and deliver services. 


National

Union ministry of information and Broadcasting on 9 September 2013 launched All India Radio's Free News SMS service at a function in New Delhi. A web portal on Bharat Nirman Campaign was also launched. Under the free SMS service, registered listeners will be provided news headlines free of cost on their mobile phones. 

For registering, a listener has to subscribe to the service by typing AIRNWS, Space, then his or her name, on the mobile and send the SMS to 08082080820 or give a missed call to the same number. 

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is a branch of the Government of India. It is the apex body for formulation and administration of the rules and regulations and laws relating to information, broadcasting, the press and films in India. 

The Ministry is responsible for the administration of Prasar Bharati-the broadcasting arm of the Indian Government. The Censor Board of India is the other important body under this ministry which is responsible for the regulation of motion pictures shown in India. 



The Minister for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari on 9 September 2013 launched the online portal for the Bharat Nirman Campaign. The online portal provides an interactive digital platform for the creative campaign on various schemes and programmes of the Bharat Nirman Campaign. 

Primary features of the digital platform : 

• The digital platform is both in English and Hindi with creatives in 11 regional languages. 

• The portal enables the user to get information about the Bharat Nirman schemes at a single place. 

• It also has live integration with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. 

• The portal has apps for mobiles and tablets to provide easy reading. 


About the multimedia Bharat Nirman Campaign :

• The Phase II of the 2013 comprehensive multi media campaign was launched by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on 14 August 2013. 

• The 360 degree communication approach used all formats of media such a TV, radio, print, outdoor publicity and special outreach programmes. 

• The multimedia campaign was supported by a strong media outreach programme through eight Public Information Campaigns (PICs) in rural areas conducted by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) with support from the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), Directorate of Field Publicity (DFP) and the Song & Drama Division. 

• It is important to note that as of now four PICs have been supported by the Jamunia Sound and Light Show. 

Apart from the online portal, the Minister for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari also launched All India Radio’s initiative called AIR News free SMS service. The service provides AIR news headlines free of cost to its subscribers on mobile telephones. 



The centre has released an amount of 5 crore and 70 lakh rupees to different states and union territories under Panchayat Mahila Evam Yuva Shakti Abhiyan. (PMEYSA) being implemented by Ministry of Panchayti Raj during last three years. Activities undertaken in the PMEYSA are holding of State and District Level Sammelans of Elected Panchayat Representatives,(EPRS), formation of Associations, setting up of State Support Centres, sensitization programmes for Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) and Elected Youth Representatives (EYRs). 

During the period, 131 District Level Sammelans were held, EWRs/EYRs underwent training in 12 states, States Support Centres were set up in 15 states and UTs, 24 State Level Sammelans were organized and State Level Associations were formed in 10 States. However, from current financial year PMEYSA has been subsumed in Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sahaktikaran Abhiyan (RGPSA) which has broader and wider objectives and larger outlay. 



The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 11 September 2013 released Guideline for Television Rating Agencies. Guidelines would cover registration of the rating agencies and their eligibility norms, cross-holding, methodology, complaint redressal, sale and use of ratings, audit, disclosure, reporting requirements and penal provisions. 

The salient features of the recommendations are: 

• The Authority supports self-regulation of television ratings through an industry-led body like Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). 

• To ensure that the shortcomings of the present system are addressed guidelines have been recommended. 

• Any agency meeting the eligibility conditions can apply and get registered with MIB for doing the rating work. 

• MIB to notify the guidelines for regulating the television rating agencies based on TRAI’s recommendations, within two months. 

• All rating agencies are required to comply with the guidelines. 

• Guidelines to cover registration, eligibility norms, cross-holding, methodology, complaint redressal, sale and use of ratings, audit, disclosure, reporting requirements and penal provisions. 

• The number of panel homes for collecting television viewership data will be a minimum of 20000 to be set up within 6 months of the guidelines coming into force. Thereafter, the number of panel homes shall be increased by 10000 every year until Panel Size reaches 50000. 

• The panel homes to be selected from a pool of households, selected through an establishment survey which shall be at least 10 times the number of panel homes for audience measurement. 

• Voluntary code of conduct by the industry for maintaining secrecy and privacy of the panel homes. 

• Restrictions on substantial equity holding of 10% or more between rating agencies and broadcasters/advertisers/ advertising agencies. 

• The rating agency to set up an effective complaint redressal system. 

• Data/reports generated by the rating agency to be made available, on paid basis, to all interested stakeholders in a transparent and equitable manner. 

• The rating agency to get its entire methodology/processes audited internally on quarterly basis and through an independent auditor annually. All audit reports to be put on the website of the rating agency. 

• Penal provisions for non-compliance of guidelines including financial penalty from 10 lakh rupees to 1 crore rupees and cancellation of registration. 

• Six months time given to the existing rating agency to comply with the guidelines. 

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) had requested TRAI to provide its recommendations on issues related to guidelines/accreditation mechanism for accreditation of TRP rating agencies in India, under Section 11(1) (a) of TRAI Act, 1997.

TRAI issued a Consultation Paper on Guidelines/Accreditation Mechanism for Television Rating Agencies in India on 17 April 2013, seeking comments/views of the stakeholders. Open House Discussions were also held on 1 July 2013. Based on comments received in the consultation process and its own analysis, the Authority finalized its recommendations. 

About Telecom Regulatory Authority of India: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was established by an act of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act 1997. The body which is created by an act of parliament of is called as statutory body. It regulates telecom services including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services.



The Union Cabinet of India on 12 September 2013 approved the decision for realisation of Second Vehicle Assembly Building at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota (SDSC-SHAR) at an estimated cost of 363.95 crore Rupees. This amount will also have the foreign exchange component of 7 crore Rupees. 

Objective of the Second Vehicle Assembly Building (SVAB): 

• The Second Vehicle Assembly Building will facilitate enhanced launch frequency of PSLV and GSLV by helping in parallel integration operations. 

• It will also provide redundancy to existing Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for integration of GSLV MK-III and also as a prime integration facility for third launch pad and future general launch vehicles. 

The project teams which are formed by the Department of Space at SDSC-SHAR will realise the systems through the contractor by floating tenders package wise. For this purpose, there will be an engagement of an engineering consultant in order to carry out configuration development, detailed engineering and preparation of tender documents by dividing the total work into various packages. 

The realisation target of SVAB is 42 months. It is also important to note that the SDSC SHAR at present has the two operation launch pads which provide launch support for the satellites. An increasing demand for the launch of satellites from Sriharikota has been observed in the recent years. 


Bilateral

The 7th India-Lao Joint Commission Meeting on bilateral cooperation was held in Vientiane on 9 September 2013. The JMC was held during External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's ongoing visit to Lao PDR (Laos) to participate in the 7th India-Lao Joint Commission Meeting (JMC) on Bilateral Cooperation. 

An Agreement under Line of Credit for four Irrigation Projects in three provinces in the Lao PDR for 30.94 million US dollars was signed and conversion of another Line of Credit to substitute the Nam Boun-2 hydro power plant by the extension of transmission lines to Thasala-Laksao amounting to 35.25 million US dollars was approved. The projects will contribute to socio-economic development in Lao PDR. 

During the JCM, (Joint Commission Meeting) both Ministers expressed satisfaction with the development in bilateral relations and noted that close cooperation and partnership between the two countries have expanded rapidly for mutual benefit, in recent years. India reiterated its preparedness to continue to provide assistance to the areas of water management and irrigation, energy generation and transmission and capacity building. It was recognized that our soft credit and grant projects have improved the visibility of India and Indian products in Lao. 

The two nations identified agriculture, defence, ICT, culture, education, health, trade and investment promotion, mining as priority areas of cooperation between the two countries that would give further impetus to bilateral relations. A number of new initiatives were taken to promote people-to-people contacts, training and scholarship opportunities and expansion of private sector participation in trade and investment, as well as in health and education. India and Lao PDR also exchanged views on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. 

They agreed to strengthen coordination on ASEAN and multilateral issues. Lao has extended financial support to the Nalanda University, which is being developed as a centre of international excellence. Lao reiterated its support to India on UN and other multilateral issues. The 2nd Roundtable of the ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks was inaugurated on 10 September 2013 during the meeting. 



The first meeting of India-Germany High Technology Partnership Group was held in Berlin on 10 September 2013. The meeting was chaired by foreign secretary Sujatha Singh and State Secretary in German Foreign Office Herald Barun. The group will further deepen the bilateral relationship in high technology cooperation. 

During the meeting, India and Germany exchanged views on strengthening trade in high technology and on issues related to export control and non-proliferation and preparations for the expanded second round, including line ministries and a high level business segment, which is to take place in New Delhi during the first semester of 2014. 

The creation of this group goes back to the decision made by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the Second Indo-German governmental consultations in April 2013 in Berlin, where both Governments agreed to expand trade and cooperation in high technology. 



A four-member delegation led by Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Natama, Chief of Staff of the Bureau of the AUC Chairperson from the African Union Commission (AUC) visited India during 4-7 September 2013. During the visit the Plan of Action of the Enhanced Framework of Cooperation of the second India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-II) was launched in New Delhi on 6 September 2013. The Joint Plan of Action takes stock of present state of progress of the implementation of IAFS-II decisions and charts out the contours of future India Africa cooperation. 

An interactive session was co-chaired by Sudhir Vyas, Secretary (West), MEA and Ambassador Natama. The Heads of African Missions in New Delhi and the representatives of various Indian implementing agencies participated in the interactive session for a detailed review of the progress in implementation of IAFS decisions. During their stay in New Delhi the visiting delegation held deliberations with senior officials in the Ministries of Agriculture and Commerce & Industry. 

The delegation also visited National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC); Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT); Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL); and Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS). The delegation met with the representatives of various implementing agencies including Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS), Solar Energy Centre (SEC), National Institute of Design (NID). 



Russia lifted the ban on import of non-basmati rice from India on 10 September 2013, which will eventually lead to an increase in the export of non-basmati rise from India. Russia also lifted the ban on the oilseeds apart from non-basmati rice. 

It is important to note that the Russian Federation had imposed ban on these commodities in December 2012 because of the presence of khapra beetles pest in rice and aflatoxin contamination of peanuts. Thereafter, from 23 June 2013 to 30 June 2013, Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (FSVPS) delegation from Russia inspected the processing units in India, which eventually led to a lift on the ban and resumption of the trade on these commodities between India and Russia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation submitted its report on the inspection. India, at present, is the second largest producer of rice in the world with the output of 104.40 million tonnes in the 2012-13 crop year (July-June). India exports a considerable quantity of basmati as well as non-basmati rice in foreign markets. 

The International Grain Council (IGC) in the recent past however estimated that the rice export of India in 2013-14 would be 8.5 million tonnes, which is around 10 percent lower than the 9.4 million tonnes exported in 2012-13. The overall export of basmati rice to Russia was 789.19 tonnes during 2012-13 fiscal year before the imports were suspended. It is important to note that khapra beetle, also known as Trogoderma granarium was discovered in certain consignments in early 2012. Khapra beetle is one of the most destructive pests of the world found in the stored products as well as seeds. 



The Prime Minister of Bhutan, His Excellency Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay visited India Since August 30 August 2013 to 4 September 2013. This was the first overseas visit by Prime Minister Tobgay after being elected Prime Minister, following the second democratic elections in Bhutan in July 2013. The visit is in conformity with the tradition of regular exchange of visits at the highest levels between India and Bhutan, and adds momentum to our time-tested and enduring relations. 

During this visit, all areas of mutual interest and cooperation were discussed. The visit of the Prime Minister of Bhutan to India will further strengthen the close bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. During this visit, India announced 5000 Crore Aid for Bhutan's Development Work. 



Dr. M.Veerappa Moily, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas of India and Mr.Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan on Sep 9, 2013, signed the Joint Statement on the Japan and India LNG joint study on pricing in the Asia Pacific Market. In the bilateral meeting that preceded the signing ceremony, both ministers agreed that the joint statement was an important step towards working on rationalizing of LNG prices in Asia Pacific.

Japan and India share the recognitions on the current LNG market situation as below: 
  • The LNG prices in Asia are substantially higher than those of other major consuming regions such as Europe and North America. (This is called “the Asian premium”.) 
  • Even as the position of natural gas as an alternative fuel for oil is fading and the rationality for such price formation is less clear compared to past, the majority of LNG contracts in the Asia Pacific market are long term with a pricing formula that is linked to the oil price. Since the prices of individual contracts signed on a bilateral basis are confidential, there are no reliable price indices that accurately reflect the LNG supply and demand balance in the region at this point.
  • Many contracts include inflexible conditions such as destination clause, which further the market illiquidity in the Asia Pacific region. 
 Accordingly, Japan and India shared recognition of the following points: 
  • Japan and India, as major LNG consuming countries in Asia, will work together towards the development of a market environment that would enable effective, stable and globally competitive LNG procurement. Forming a transparent and globally competitive LNG price in the Asia Pacific market serves the common interests of Japan and India. 
  • For both LNG producers and consumers, the LNG price should be at mutually acceptable level, considering the sustainability of the LNG market. 
  • Procuring LNG from more diversified suppliers and/or regions will lead to the increase of market connectivity and price convergence among regions, which should result in more competitive pricing of LNG. 
  • It is essential to review current business practices that would hinder market liquidity. 
  • In order to further share the analysis and best practices from multiple initiatives and studies on LNG markets, Japan and India support the launch of a Multilateral Joint Study Group on LNG, including energy research institutes in LNG consuming countries.


India and Japan have agreed to expand co-operation in the films sector particularly in co-production of animation films. In a joint statement issued after the meeting, both the countries have agreed to form a Joint Working Group in order to tap the huge business potential in the co-production of films and animation, skill development, exchange programs between training institutes and such other areas which are mutually beneficial to both sides. 

The agreement was signed by the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shri Manish Tewari and visiting Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Shri Toshimitsu Motegi in New Delhi on September 12, 2013. 

During the discussions, Shri Tewari extended the invitation for Japanese partnership in setting up of the proposed National Centre for Excellence in Animation, Gaming and Special Effects (NCOE) in Mohali, Punjab. He also welcomed Japanese expertise in developing special training courses at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and the Satyajit Ray Film and TV Institute (SRFTII), Kolkata. Welcoming Japan’s decision to be the Focus Country in the International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa this year, the Minister extended personal invitation to the Japanese Minister to attend IFFI, 2013. 

Shri Motegi affirmed full Japanese cooperation in the media content industry of India. He said that a beginning has been made by way of co-production of films, particularly animation films. The Minister said there is a significant potential for growth in the media sector in India as the country is making rapid economic progress. Shri Bimal Julka, Secretary I&B welcomed the initiatives outlined and stated that immediate steps would be taken to establish the Joint Working Group. 



India and Japan on 10 September 2013 agreed to look forward for the development of a Japanese Electronics Manufacturing Township (JEMT) in New Delhi. The township will play a role in reducing the imports of electronic goods to India, which would help in containing the Indian trade deficit. Japan will make an investment of 4.5 billion US dollars in the Project. 

The Union Cabinet had approved an expenditure of 18500 crore Rupees on development of infrastructure for the project. The decision for setting up of JEMT was taken in a meet between the Commerce and Industry Minister of India, Anand Sharma and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi. Last year, India imported electronic goods worth 32 billion U.S. dollars. 

Other important projects of Japan in India: 

• Chennnai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC) project initiated in 2011 

• Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project is under implementation. The project will cover seven states and cover a total distance of 1483 kilometers. Japan is providing a financial and technical support to the project. During the same meet, both sides agreed on deepening the engagements between the two nations and enhance investments for creation of a netter business environment in partnership with state governments. 

Economic Engagement of Japan in India in recent Past: 

• The bilateral trade between India and Japan in 2012-13 was 18.51 US dollars 

• India has received 14.75 Billion US dollar in form of FDI between April 2000 and June 2013 

• Japan has made 7 percent investment in India of India’s total FDI Bilateral trade between the two was USD 18.51 billion in 2012-13. 

Besides, India has received USD 14.75 billion FDI from Japan between April 2000 and June 2013. The Japanese investment accounts for 7 per cent of India's total FDI. 



The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Filippo Grandi visited India on 03-04 September 2013, to review the humanitarian assistance programme. UNRWA and India exchanged views on a wide range of issues, including the recent developments in the West Asia region.

UNRWA was presented a cheque of 1 million US dollars as part of India’s annual contribution to UNRWA, primarily for provision of food and medicines to the displaced people in the refugee camps under its various programmes. India's consistent support to the Palestinian people was appreciated during Filippo Grandi’s visit. India has traditionally provided strong political support to the Palestinian cause at the bilateral, regional and international level. 

Additionally, it has been contributing economic and technical assistance to the Palestinian people, both bilaterally and through UNRWA. UNRWA provides services and assistance to more than five million Palestinian refugees in West Asia in the form of education, health care, relief, community support and emergency response in times of armed conflict. 


Economy

SEBI on 8 August 2013 barred 34 entities from the capital market for fraudulent dealings in the shares of 12 companies. It also restrained, Sunil Mehta, the main conspirator of the alleged manipulative trades from accessing the securities market for a period of seven years. 

The 13 entities were barred for a period of five years as they were the active players of manipulation activities and were directly connected to Mehta. The remaining 21 entities were restricted from accessing the securities market for a period of three years. The irregularities were figured out by SEBI after it probed into the stock trading activities of 12 firms, since March 2009 to 15 December 2009. It its probe, SEBI identified huge changes in the prices of the shares. 

Sunil Mehta played a key role in creation of fraudulent deals by envisaging the scheme for manipulation of prices and volumes of the selected scrip’s. Further he enlisted the assistance of few people, who directly aided him in placing manipulative orders in the trading account of several persons. The 12 firms include Mavens Biotech, KSL & Industries, KBS Capital Management, Lotus Eye care Hospitals, Panoramic Universal, Asian Star Company, MVL Limited, Rasi Electrodes, Allcargo Global Logistics, Sat Industries, Ushdev International, and Anil Products. 



A recent survey conducted by the global consultancy EY and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on the aviation sector depicted that there was a need of proper implementation of policies, coupled with reasonable taxes and improved basic infrastructure for the aviation sector to flourish. The statement revealed on 9 September 2013 at Mumbai showed that just the policy initiatives such as foreign direct investment in airlines and privatising airports was not the solution to help aviation sector come out of the airpocket. 

Major highlights of the EY-FICCI Survey on aviation sector: 

• The survey highlighted that taxation issues were the major impediments for aviation industry. 

• The survey also revealed that formation of the Civil Aviation Authority is a vital step for the development of Indian civil aviation sector. 

• However, environmental clearances, land acquisition as well as poor infrastructure at the airports were the major obstacles for development of low cost airports in tier II and tier III cities. 

• The survey disclosed the fact that liberalised FDI norms had the potential for the development of the aviation sector. 90 percent of surveyed samples were of the view that relaxed FDI norms would bear positive result for the revival of aviation industry in India. This would help in ploughing the expertise as well as required capital in the industry, thereby achieving the economies of the scale as well as driving the competition. 

• 59 percent of the respondents of survey revealed that the recent Government measures such as 49 percent of FDI by foreign carriers in Indian airlines as well as direct fuel import would fetch positive results. However, there was a need of stringent implementation of these policies and steps. 

• Around 57 percent respondents also said that policy regime as well as high taxation were the hindrances in the growth of this sector. The aviation industry feels that the Indian airlines lack that playing field in comparison to their foreign counterparts. 

Thus, there was a need of rationalising tax structure for MRO industry as well as Union and State governments needed to work for enhancing the regional connectivity. It is also important to note that congestion at the airports was the major reason for poor infrastructure. This leads to an increased airline operating cost and slow pace of development of the low cost airports in tier II and tier III Indian cities. 



The administrative control of Forward Markets Commission (FMC), the chief regulator of Forwards and Futures Commodity Markets in India on 9 September 2013 was transferred to Ministry of Finance following the orders of Government of India. Earlier, the FMC was under the control of the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Ministry of Food. With this decision, the regulators of financial sector like SEBI, RBI, IRDA and PFRDA, all have been brought under one roof and that is Ministry of Finance. 

The Government notified its decision to bring the commodity markets regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) under the ambit of the Finance Ministry on 6 September 2013. The proposal to this effect was moved in August 2013 in the wake of the alleged scam in the National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) of 5600 crore rupees. NSEL stopped its functioning in the month of August 2013 following the Governments orders which were issued in the wake of violation of certain rules. 

About Forward Markets Commission (FMC): 

Forward Markets Commission (FMC) headquartered at Mumbai, is a statutory body set up in 1953 under the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1952. It is a regulatory authority which was overseen by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Govt. of India. 

Recently, with the decision of Government of India the administrative control of FMC was shifted to Union Finance Ministry. FMC under its ambit regulated futures trading on 21 commodity bourses that includes MCX and NCDEX. 



The Union Government of India on 10 September 2013 notified changes in the FDI policy under FEMA regulations, paving the way for larger overseas investments in sectors, such as multi-brand retail and telecom. It is effective from 22 August 2013. 

As per the revised guidelines, the government relaxed norms for multi-brand retail trading and eased the mandatory 30 per cent local sourcing norms for companies. It has also widened the definition of the term control for mergers and acquisitions, involving overseas companies, a move that will provide more clarity to foreign investors. 

The government notification follows the Cabinet decision of 2 August 2013 to relax overseas investment norms. As per the notification, control will include the right to appoint a majority of directors or to control the management or policy decisions including by virtue of their shareholding or management rights or shareholders agreement or voting agreements. 

The expanded reach of the term control will help calculate the total foreign investment; direct and indirect in Indian companies. Prior to this, control was considered the entity with the power to appoint the majority of directors in a company. 


Business

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 12 September 2013 among three Professional Institutes of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs - the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, the Institute of Cost Accountants of India and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. 

The MoU was signed for setting up a Centre of Excellence and Ethics at Ajmer, Rajasthan. 

Highlights of the MoU: 

The MoU was signed among S. N. Ananthasubramanain, the President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India; Suresh Chandra Mohanty, the President of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India and Subodh Kr. Agrawal, the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. 

The MoU was signed in the presence of Sachin Pilot, Minister of Corporate Affairs and Naved Masood, The Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs. 

Objectives and Purposes of the MoU: 
• Conducting Research and outreach programmes on Investors Education and Protection, Corporate Governance and the best practices globally followed in the areas of Accounting, Cost Management and Corporate Governance 
• Creating a Knowledge hub 
• Organising of programmes aimed at capacity building through financial literacy and accounting education for the benefit of local population 
• Student Activities 
• Members Activities 
• Professional Development Activities 
• Research Activities 
• Outreach Activities 
• Workshops and Seminars 
• Other activities in furtherance of the professions of the Professional Institutes 


Sports

Serena Williams on 8 September 2013 won the Women’s Single Title at US Open 2013 and the pair of Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek secured the Men’s Doubles Title 2013 at the same tournament. Serena Williams on 8 September 2013 emerged as the winner of the US Open Tennis Tournament 2013 by defeating Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during the women's singles final at New York. Serena defeated the second seeded, Azarenka with 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 points. With this win, top-seeded, Serena Williams secured her fifth US Open title and 17th Grand Slam title of the overall career. 

On the other side, in the Men’s Doubles Championship of the US Open tennis tournament 2013 at New York’s Arthur Ashe stadium, the pair of Leander Paes of India and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic emerged as winners by defeating the Alexander Peya of Austria, and Bruno Soares of Brazil in the final match with 6-1, 6-3 win. With this win, Leander Paes secured his eighth Men’s doubles Grand Slam title and 14th overall. Paes has earlier won the US open title two times and both the titles came while playing with Chez partners, namely Martin Damm in 2006 and Lukas Dlouhy in 2009. 

Earlier, the fourth seeded Indo-Czech pair of Paes and Stepanek won the Winston Salem Open and this is their second major title playing together after the Australian Open in 2012. In the 2012 US Open, the Indo-Chez pair lost to Bryan Brothers and ended their race in the tournament as a runner-up. It was third US Open title for 40-year-old Paes and the previous two had also come with Czech partners. In 2006, the Indian won with Martin Damm and in 2009 with Lukas Dlouhy. 




The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 8 September 2013 announced that wrestling to be the part of Olympics in the 2020 and 2024 Games. Wrestling was approved by the IOC as an additional sport for 2020 and 2024. 

About IOC : 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was created by Pierre, Baron de Coubertin on 23 June 1894. It was located in Lausanne, Switzerland. It consists of 100 active members, 33 honorary members and 1 honour member. 

The IOC organizes the modern Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, which are held in summer and winter after every four years, respectively. 



Thomas Bach of Germany on 10 September 2013 was elected as the ninth President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He is the successor of Jacques Rogge of Belgium, who headed the IOC, since 2001 to 10 September 2013. He was the eighth President of IOC. He was elected as the President of IOC after two rounds of votes at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

The President is elected by the IOC members by secret ballot for a term of eight years, with the possibility to stand for re-election for a second, four-year term. IOC is a 119 years old sport’s governing body. 

About Thomas Bach:

• Bach is the first Olympic Champion to head International Olympics Committee as its President. 

• He joined IOC in 1991 and has held many influential roles in the organization 

• Bach aged 59 is a former executive of Adidas 


Awards

The Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari presented the First Sree Narayan Guru Global Secular & Peace Award 2013 to Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Government of India at a function in Thiruvananthpuram, Kerala on 10 September 2013.

About the Sree Narayan Guru Global Secular & Peace Award: The Sree Narayan Guru Global Secular & Peace Award is named after Sree Narayana Guru. Sree Narayana Guru during his lifetime in the late 19th and early 20th century taught and propagated the message of social justice and equality, secularism, freedom from oppression and empowerment of the poor and marginalised through socio-economic upliftment and education.

Sree Narayan Guru transformed the social fabric of Kerala by teaching unity and equality of all human beings, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Purpose of the Award: The Vice President of India explained that the purpose of award was to honour an eminent public personality who has made important contribution towards building a secular and democratic society as envisaged by Sree Narayana Guru. 



The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the 2012 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development to President H.E. Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia for serving as an example and an inspiration for ensuring the return of peace, democracy, development, security and order in Liberia; and for her strong interest in the consolidation and improvement of Liberia’s relations with India at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan on September 12, 2013. 


Persons

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) of incumbent Prime Minister Hun Sen on 8 September 2013 was reelected to power after winning the Parliamentary Elections held on 28 July 2013. 



Ryan Campbell (19) of Australia on 7 September 2013 became the youngest person to fly a single engine aircraft, solo around the globe.

Campbell began his journey across the globe on 30 June 2013 from Wollongong in Southern New South Wales. He completed his journey after flying for 200 hours through 14 different countries and ended the journey a Wollongong.

In 70 days his flight recorded a distance of 44448 kilometers. Before, Ryan Campbell, Jack Weigand (21) of America held the world record of journeying across the globe. 

Weignad booked the world record in May 2013. The first solo flight was completed by Ryan at the age of 15 and he obtained his commercial license as a pilot at the age of 18 years. 



Manomohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India on 9 September 2013 released a Postage Stamp in the memory of the freedom fighter and former Member of Parliament, Lala Jagat Narayan. The postage stamp was released in New Delhi. 

About Lala Jagat Narayan: 

• He was a leader of Congress Party 

• In the pre-independent India; he acted as the Personal Secretary of Lala Lajpat Rai 

• He also served as the editor of the Bhai Parmanand’s weekly Hindi newspaper, Akashvani 

• As per the White Paper released by the Government of India, Narayan was killed in September 1981, in an assassination for criticizing, Bhindrawale 

• He was born on 31 May 1899.



Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), the apex body of auto components manufacturers, elected Harish Lakshman as the new President on 10 September 2013. Ramesh Suri, Chairman, Global Autotech was elected as the Vice-President for the term 2013-14. 



Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Health & Family Welfare Minister on 12 September 2013 announced that the South East Asian Regional Organisation (SEARO) Countries elected India’s candidate, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh as the Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia Region. The present incumbent Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia Region is Samlee Plianbangchang from Thailand and has served at the post for 10 years. 

About the South East Asian Regional Organisation (SEARO): 

• The South East Asian Regional Organisation (SEARO) is one of the six regions of WHO with its HQ in New Delhi, India. 

• SEARO has 11 countries which include India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Timor Leste and DPR Korea. 

• The Regional Director (RD) is the head of the SEARO and is elected by the members of the SEARO countries. The term of RD is five years and though elections are held, customarily, the RD gets a second term. 

• People in the past who have held the post of Regional Director include Dr. C. Mani (1948-1968; India), Dr. V.T.H. Gunaratne (1968-1981; Sri Lanka), Dr. U KoKo (1981-1994; Myanmar) and Dr. Uton Muchtar Rafei (1994-2004; Indonesia). 


Books

The Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari released a book entitled India and Malaysia: Intertwined Strands at New Delhi on 9 September 2013. The book is authored by former Diplomat Veena Sikri. 

About the book- "India and Malaysia: Intertwined Strands": 
• India and Malaysia: Intertwined Strands is authored by former Diplomat Veena Sikri. 
• The book is written for the Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. 
• It is a comprehensive book on a very useful subject of relationship between India and Malaysia. 
• The book offers a panoramic yet in-depth historical analysis of the inter-linkages between India and Malaysia. The analysis is a microcosm of the much larger relationship between South Asia and South East Asia, as these have evolved for more than two millennia. 

About the author- Veena Sikri :
• She remained High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh from December 2003 to November 2006. • She also remained the High Commissioner of India to Malaysia from September 2000 to December 2003. 
• She also held the position as the Director General, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi from March 1989 to December 1992. 
• She has authored and reviewed various other books and articles such as Contemporarising Tagore and the World, book review on Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society, article titled It’s the New Neighbourhood, book review of Understanding Bangladesh, Bangladesh 2009: The Elections and Beyond, The Geopolitics of Bangladesh, Connectivity Issues, India-Bangladesh Relations: The Way Ahead, Islam in South Asia: the Bengal Experience, Bangladesh: a Watershed Year and Democracy and the People of Bangladesh. 


Committees

The Committee constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for Reforming the Regulatory Environment for doing Business in India, headed by Shri M. Damodaran, presented its Report to the Ministry. 


The Committee has made a number of recommendations that can be classified as: legal reforms, regulatory architecture, boosting efficacy of regulatory process, enabling MSME’s, and addressing State level issues. 

The recommendations of the Committee and the time frame for implementation are under consideration of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. 



The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on 11 September 2013 decided to form a Steering Committee to monitor and coordinate the work related to major international sports events till the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. 

The Committee will decide core probables and review their performance every three months for deciding who needs to be retained, dropped or added. It will also be responsible for taking up the cases where quick decisions are required on the part of the Ministry including arrangements of additional funds. 

The ten-member panel will be headed by Secretary (Sports) and Executive Director (Teams) and Sports Authority of India will be its Convener. 



Reserve Bank of India on 12 September 2013 constituted an expert committee for examining its Current Monetary Policy Framework. The committee would be responsible to recommend the measures to revise and strengthen the Monetary Policy Framework, by making it transparent and predictable. Dr. Urjit Patel, Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India has been appointed as the Chairman of the Committee. 

The terms of reference of the Committee are :

• To review the objectives and conduct of monetary policy in a globalised and highly inter-connected environment. 

• To recommend an appropriate nominal anchor for the conduct of monetary policy. 

• To review the organisational structure, operating framework and instruments of monetary policy, particularly the multiple indicator approach and the liquidity management framework, with a view to ensuring compatibility with macroeconomic and financial stability, as well as market development. 

• To identify regulatory, fiscal and other impediments to monetary policy transmission, and recommend measures and institutional pre-conditions to improve transmission across financial market segments and to the broader economy. 

• To carefully consider the recommendations of previous Committees/Groups in respect of all of the above. The Committee is expected to submit its report within three months. 


Inventions

Scientists discovered the single largest volcano in the world, a dead colossus deep beneath the Pacific Ocean. The single largest volcano is called Tamu Massif. It is 310000 square kilometers in area and can be compared with Mars’ vast Olymus Mons volcano, the largest in the Solar System. The volcano was located some 2 km below the sea. The Mauna Loa in Hawaii was the previous largest volcano on Earth. 

The massif is located some 2km below the sea. It is located on an underwater plateau known as the Shatsky Rise, about 1600km east of Japan. Its formation took place about 145 million years ago when massive lava flows erupted from the centre of the volcano to form a broad, shield-like feature. 

Tamu Massif was constructed in a short (geologically speaking) time of one to several million years and it was extinct since. The Tamu Massif extends some 30 km (18 miles) into the Earth's crust. 


Environment

The Ministry of Environment and Forest on 9 September 2013 declared India's first marine eco-sensitive zone around Marine National Park in Gulf of Kutch, Gujarat. This decision prohibits any industrial activity in the area. It will apply stringent environmental regulations in the region for developmental works in 36 villages and 31 rivers flowing into the Arabian Sea. 

The ministry declared 313 sq km around the park as an eco-sensitive zone through a notification. Of this, 208 sq km is land while the remaining is on the seaside. The notification says that land use for recreational, commercial or industrial development will not be permitted in the area except for residential purpose. Mining, including fresh water mining, and release of polluted water and waste will also be prohibited. 

The ministry even disallowed fishing by trawlers. The ministry has also directed the government to prepare a zonal ecology conservation master after consulting the inhabitants of these 36 villages. The plan should restore denuded areas as well as existing water bodies. The plan should also have provision for management of catchment areas, watershed management, groundwater and soil conservation. 


Share:

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Upsc - Civils Preparation

Exam Strategy
Tips and Tricks
Preparation and Guidance
Optional Subjects - Preparation
Optional Subjects - Guidance
Many more >>

Bank Exams Preparation

Bank, Currency, Money, RBI,
Budget, Planning, Stock Exchange
Insurance, Taxation, International Organizations
Economic Issues, Fiscal Policy, Committee or Commissions
Many more >>

Computer Knowledge

History, Generations, Terminology
Hardware, Software, Internet
Networks, Shortcut Keys
Many more >>

Interview Preparation

General Do's and Don'ts in Interview
Entry and Dressing up
How to prepare?, Qualities judged
Many more >>