January, 2015

Bravo quits Tests

West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has announced his retirement from Test cricket. The 31-year-old has played 40 Tests but had not suited up for the West Indies since December 2010. Bravo said he had already informed the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) of his decision to retire from Tests but said he had made clear his desire to continue playing ODIs and Twenty20s. He bagged 86 wickets at an average of nearly 40.

Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova to win Australian Open

Serena Williams won her 19th Grand Slam title, continued her unbeaten run in six Australian Open finals and extended her decade-long domination of Maria Sharapova with a commanding 6-3, 7-6 (5) win. She is now second only to Steffi Graf (22) on the list of major winners in the Open era.

Krishna Chaudhary appointed as the Director General of ITBP

Krishna Chaudhary is appointed as the Director General (DG) of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). He is an IPS officer of 1979-batch Bihar cadre and will be in office till June 2017.

Uniformity, innovation coming to credit data

In its bid to better the credit information landscape, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed all credit institutions to become members of credit information companies (CICs). Currently, there are four such companies in India—Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (Cibil), Equifax Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd, Experian Credit Information Co. of India Pvt. Ltd and CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd. According to the RBI’s report on furnishing credit information, India is ranked 28 in “getting credit” and the coverage of CICs accounts for only 19.8% of adult population, as against 100% in several countries.

India tops Credit Suisse Emerging Consumer Scorecard 2015

The formation of a strong government at the centre which triggered a major revival in consumer sentiment in 2014 saw India rank first in the Credit Suisse Emerging Consumer Scorecard 2015. The fifth annual Emerging Consumer Survey by the Credit Suisse Research Institute profiles consumer sentiment and its drivers across the emerging world providing insights regarding consumer sentiment and future consumption patterns. The survey showed India as having the lowest consumption of beer, meat and cigarettes, the lowest ownership of cars and lowest access to the internet.

Base year change pushes 2013-14 GDP growth to 6.9%

The Government, sharply revised India’s 2013-14 GDP growth estimate to 6.9 per cent from 4.7 per cent. The 2012-13 growth estimate was revised to 5.1 per cent from 4.5 per cent. The estimates released also follow a change in the base year for calculating national accounts to 2011-12 from 2004-05 in addition to the routine annual revision. The changes have reduced the gap between the way India calculates GDP and the methodology used by the International Monetary Fund.

Coal India stake sale fetches Rs. 22,600 crore

The Centre raised Rs 22,557.63 crore from the sale of its 10 per cent shareholding in Coal India (CIL). Of the total proceeds raised, Rs 11,360.11 crore came from insurance companies — both private sector and public sector including the Government-owned Life Insurance Corporation. With divestment drive, the Centre’s shareholding in CIL stands at 79.65 per cent.

Agni 5, successfully test-fired

India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed, inter-continental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-5, which has a strike range of over 5000 kms and can carry a nuclear warhead of over one tonne, from Wheeler’s Island off Odisha. The three stage, solid propellant “missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 8.06 hours. M V K Prasad is the director of the project.
About AGNI Series –
India has at present in its armoury of Agni series, Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2500 km to more than 3500 range. After a few more trials, Agni-5 will be inducted into the services.

Shekhar Sen appointed as Chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi

Renowned music composer and actor Shekhar Sen is appointed as the Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA). Shekhar Sen will succeed Leela Samson who resigned from the position on 5 September 2014. The post was lying vacant since October 2014.
Shekhar Sen:
•He is famous for his mono act musical plays Tulsi, Kabeer, Vivekananda, and Soordas.
•Shekhar Sen has received prestigious awards including Padma Shri Award in 2015, Safdar Hashmi Puraskar in 2001 for his contribution in field of theatre and V. Shantaram Lalit Kala Puraskaar in 2008.

India overtakes China as world’s leading gold consumer

India overtook China as the world’s biggest gold consumer in 2014 as global physical demand fell. Chinese gold demand slid by more than a third last year to a four-year low of 866 tonnes. Indian jewellery demand rose 14 percent last year to a record 690 tonnes, putting it back ahead of China as the world’s number one jewellery manufacturer.

Jaipal Singh appointed PS to MoS Home

Jaipal Singh, a Gujarat-cadre IFS officer, has been appointed Private Secretary to Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary.

Send money 24×7 using only your phone’s address book

HDFC Bank, India’s second-largest private bank, is set to introduce a new app, Chillr, which will allow users to send money to any contact in their phone books, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chillr is a third-party app, which will be available exclusively for the customers. It will allow them to transfer money using a contact’s mobile number alone. Through the app, one can send Rs 5,000 a day. While the bank will not levy any charges, users will have to pay a fee for using the IMPS platform.

30th January observed as Martyrs’ Day

The government observed Martyrs’ Day on the 67th death anniversary of the Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi and those who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for the country’s freedom. The day is remembered in the living memory of all the freedom fighters who lost their lives for handing our the much needed independence. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse on this day.

150. ICC ends Amir’s ban

In a major breakthrough, the ICC has allowed Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir to return to domestic cricket early from his five-year ban for involvement in spot-fixing. Amir (22) was jailed for six months and banned for his part in a spot-fixing scam during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010. Amir, then 17, delivered pre-arranged no balls at Lord’s in a plot that also led to the banning of Mohammad Asif and then captain Salman Butt.

S Jaishankar takes charge as Foreign Secretary

S Jaishankar took charge as Foreign Secretary, replacing Sujatha Singh whose tenure was abruptly curtailed. S Jaishankar is a 1977-batch IFS officer. He will have a two-year tenure as per rules. The 60-year-old diplomat was India’s Ambassador to the US.

Centre to dilute stake in CIL

The government is planning to dilute its stake further in Maharatna public sector Coal India Ltd (CIL) with the company putting up on the stock exchanges a notice for an offer for sale of up to 10 per cent of the government stake in CIL. CIL had gone public in October 2010 with a 10 per cent dilution of the government holding, the trade unions had blocked a follow-on offer proposed by the UPA-II government in late 2013. In this fresh move, the allocation shall be on a price priority method at multiple clearing prices in accordance with the SEBI OFS circular. CIL had helped generate over Rs 23,000 crore through its initial public offer and expectations are that a similar amount would be garnered this time too. CIL shares have averaged at Rs.383.

Nation remembers Lala Lajpat Rai on his 150th birth anniversary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has saluted Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai, on his birth anniversary. In his message, the Prime Minister said that Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai was a unique personality who was ahead of his time.
Journey of Lalaji –
•The session of the Indian National Congress at Allahabad in December 1888 marked the beginning of his political career.
•The year 1905 was important for the emergence of a new leadership in the Indian National Congress of Lal-Bal-Pal, as they were popularly known. The partition of Bengal in 1905 aroused their stout nationalism.
•Lalaji presided over the first session of the All India Trade Union Congress in 1920.
•Lalaji also went to Geneva to attend the eighth International Labour Conference in 1926 as a representative of Indian labour community.
•For the sake of India’s independence movement, Lalaji led a procession to demonstrate against the Simon Commission.
•Lalaji was made the target of a brutal lathi charge in which he was injured badly.
•A meeting was held the same evening at which Lalaji, wounded and aching, spoke with such vigour that his words, ‘Every blow aimed at me is a nail in the coffin of British imperialism’, became historic.

Bradman young cricketer of the year award

Australian cricketer Sean Abbott has won Bradman young cricketer of the year award 2015. Sean Abbott is the bowler, who was unwittingly at the centre of the tragic death of Phillip Hughes. In November 2014, he had delivered bouncer to Hughes that hit him in head during a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG against South Australia.
Bradman young cricketer of the year award: It was instituted in 1990. It is bestowed annually by Cricket Australia to best player under the age of 24. The recipient is presented with a bat personally signed by Sir Donald Bradman (He had signed 100 bats in 1989 for this award)

K Durga Prasad appointed as the Special DG of CRPF

K Durga Prasad the new appointed Special Director General (DG) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is an IPS officer of 1981 batch from Andhra Pradesh cadre will be in office for next three years or till further orders are given.

Ancient star with five Earth size planets discovered

After analysing over four years of data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, a team of astronomers has discovered a star that is 11.2 billion years old and has at least five Earth-size planets. The findings show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the universe’s 13.8-billion-year history, leaving open the possibility for the existence of ancient life in the galaxy.
Key findings
•This star is named as Kepler-444. It is 25 percent smaller than our Sun and is 117 light years from Earth.
•It belongs to the first generation of stars and considered as part of one of the oldest systems in the galaxy.
•This star has five known planets which have sizes that fall between Mercury and Venus.
•These 5 planets are so close to their star that they complete their orbits in fewer than 10 days.
•This discovery is going to help astronomers learn more about the history of our solar system- Milky Way.

Key facts e-Raksha Research Centre

•This centre is established by GTU in collaboration with Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF).
•Its goal is to establish a peaceful and harmonious cyber space through research in this area.
•It will also support Union government’s Make in India campaign by manu-facturing routers, switches, firewalls, UTMs (Unified Threat Management) and other network appliances.
•This centre will also train students in areas of cyber security and enhance their capability to provide solution for issues related to it.

Gujarat Technological University launches e-Raksha centre to fight cybercrime

Gujarat Technological University (GTU) has launched e-Raksha Research Centre to curb rising menace of cybercrimes. This research Centre will provide solution for issues related to cyber security by encouraging research and enhance capability in this field.

RBI signs an information sharing agreement with Brazil’s Central Bank

This MoU was signed by Anthero de Moraes Meirelles, Deputy Governor for Supervision, BCB and S.S. Mundra, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India. In this regard, RBI in total has signed 23 such MoUs, one Letter for Supervisory Co-operation and one Statement of Co-operation (SoC), with different Central Banks of other countries and overseas regulators/supervisors.

Arundhathi Subramaniam won Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize for Poetry

Poet Arundhathi Subramaniam won the inaugural Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize for Poetry for her work When God is a Traveller. The winner was announced at a prize ceremony at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, attended by over 2,500 poetry lovers. The award, carrying a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh, was established earlier this year by Suhel Seth in memory of the late Khushwant Singh and is open to Indian poets writing in English or Indian language translation.

Hockey Olympian Jaswant Singh Rajput passes away

Two-time gold medal winning hockey Olympian Jaswant Singh Rajput passed away on 28th January 2015 following a prolonged illness. The former India centre-half was part of the gold medal winning teams in 1948 London and 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

Padma Awards 2015

President Pranab Mukherjee approved the conferment of the Padma awards to 104 people – nine Padma Vibhushan, 20 Padma Bhushan and 75 Padma Shri awards. As many as 17 awardees are women and the list also includes 17 people from the category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs and four posthumous awardee. It also includes six persons from the North-East. (Jan 26)
Padma Vibhushan :
1.LK Advani- Public Affairs- Gujarat
2.Amitabh Bachchan- Art- Maharashtra
3.Prakash Singh Badal- Public Affairs- Punjab
4.Dr D Veerendra Heggade- Social Work- Karnataka
5.Mohammad Yusuf Khan alias Dilip Kumar- Art- Maharashtra
6.Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami Rambhadracharya- Others- Uttar Pradesh
7.Prof Malur Ramaswamy Srinivasan- Science and Engineering- Tamil Nadu
8.Kottayan K. Venugopal- Public Affairs- Delhi
9.Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan (Foreigner)- Trade and Industry- France/UK

Padma Bhushan (20) :
Jahnu Barua- Art- Assam Dr Vijay Bhatkar- Science and Engineering- Maharashtra; Shri Swapan Dasgupta- Literature and Education- Delhi; N Gopalaswami- Civil Service- Tamil Nadu; Dr (Pandit) Gokulotsavji Maharaj- Art- Madhya Pradesh; Sudha Ragunathan- Art- Tamil Nadu; Shri Harish Salve- Public Affairs- Delhi; Rajat Sharma- Literature and Education- Delhi; Satpal- Sports- Delhi; Dr Kharag Singh Valdiya- Science and Engineering- Karnataka; Prof Manjul Bhargava (NRI/PIO)- Science and Engineering- USA; David Frawley (Vamadeva) (Foreigner)- Others- USA; Bill Gates (Foreigner)- Social Work- USA; Melinda Gates (Foreigner)- Social Work- USA; Saichiro Misumi (Foreigner)- Others- Japan and others.

Padma Shri (75) :
Dr Manjula Anagani- Medicine- Telangana; Kanyakumari Avasarala- Art- Tamil Nadu; Naresh Bedi- Art- Delhi; Jayakumari Chikkala- Medicine- Delhi; Dr Randeep Guleria- Medicine- Delhi; Dr KP Haridas- Medicine- Kerala; Dr Sunil Jogi- Literature and Education- Delhi; Dr Harsh Kumar- Medicine- Delhi; Narayana Purushothama Mallaya- Literature & Education- Kerala; TV Mohandas Pai- Trade and Industry- Karnataka; Mithali Raj- Sports- Telangana; PV Rajaraman- Civil Service- Tamil Nadu; Prof JS Rajput- Literature and Education- Uttar Pradesh; Kota Srinivasa Rao- Art- Andhra Pradesh; Prof Bimal Roy- Literature and Education- West Bengal; PV Sindhu- Sports- Telangana; Sardara Singh- Sports- Haryana; Huang Baosheng- Others- China; Prof Jacques Blamont- Science and Engg- France; Late Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin- Others- Maharashtra (Posthumous); Jean-Claude Carriere- Literature and Education – France; Dr Nandrajan ‘Raj’ Chetty- Literature and Education- France; George L Hart- Others- USA; Tripti Mukherjee- Art- USA; Dr Saumitra Rawat- Medicine- UK; Prof Annette Schmiedchen (Literature and Education), Germany; Late Pran Kumar Sharma alias Pran- Art- Delhi (Posthumous); Late R Vasudevan- Civil Service- Tamil Nadu (Posthumous) and others.

Obama wraps up three-day India visit, departs for Saudi Arabia

US President Barack Obama left India for Saudi Arabia after a three-day visit focused on improving relations between the world’s largest democracies. The US president had been due to visit the Taj Mahal while in India, but cut short his visit to offer his condolences to the royal family following the death of King Abdullah and to pay his respects to the new Saudi king. Obama addressed a gathering of about 2,000 students at the Siri Fort auditorium on the last day of his visit.

Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme retired from Football

36-year-old Argentine player Juan Roman Riquelme retired from football on 26 January 2015. Legendary Argentine represented his country in 2006 World Cup in Germany. He debuted for Argentina’s national team in 1996 against Colombia and went on to represent Argentina 51 times and scored 17 goals. He also was the Captain of Argentina’s football team that won the Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Something about Syriza party:

•It was formed in 2004 as an umbrella group. Syriza- an acronym means the Radical Coalition of the Left.
•It is led by Alexis Tsipras and first came to prominence following the 2008 Greek riots.
•In this general election, Syriza Party has promised to end Greece’s painful austerity measures and wants to renegotiate its debt.

Major Mukund Varadarajan, Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh posthumously awarded for the year 2014 Ashok Chakra

Major Mukund Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh were on 26 January 2015 posthumously awarded with the highest peacetime military honour the Ashok Chakra by President Pranab Mukherjee. In April 2014, Major Mukund Varadarajan had killed three terrorists in an encounter in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir. He was an officer in the 44th Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles (22 Rajput) of the Indian Army. However, he died after being severely hurt in the operation. In August 2014, Naik Neeraj Singh died after heavy fire from terrorists. He was leading a search operation in general area Gurdaji of Kupwara district. He was serving in the 57th Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles.

About Ashok Chakra
•Ashok Chakra is India’s highest peacetime military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.
•The decoration is awarded either to military or civilian personnel and can be awarded posthumously.
•The Ashok Chakra medal is circular gold gilt with the chakra (wheel) of Ashoka in the center surrounded by a lotus wreath and with an ornate edge.
Anti-austerity Syriza party wins Greece’s general elections
In Greece, anti-austerity Syriza party has won general election. In this election Syriza party has won about half the seats in Parliament. While the earlier ruling government led by outgoing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of centre-right New Democracy party has been placed second.

Libby Lane, first female bishop of England consecrated

Church of England has consecrated Reverend Libby Lane as its first female bishop in a ceremony held at York Minster (a Gothic cathedral) in northern England. With this consecration, Church of England ended its 500 year old male dominated tradition and considered as a historic move towards widening female participation in the Church. In this regard General Synod- the law-making body of the Church of England had given nod to this legislation in November 2014 which was passed by UK Parliament in October 2014.

RK Laxman (1921-2015)

“Since childhood I do not remember wanting to do anything else except draw,” R.K. Laxman says in his autobiography, The Tunnel of Time. Eminent cartoonist, illustrator and humorist Rasipuram Laxman passed away in Pune. He was 94. He is best known for creation of iconic character The Common Man, for his daily cartoon strip, You Said It in The Times of India(TOI). It was started in 1951. This character held a mirror to the society and targeted politicians for more than five decades. His creations also include the sketches drawn for the television adaptation of Malgudi Days. He is recipient of Padma Vibhushan (2005) and Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts (1984).

Miss Colombia crowned Miss Universe 2014 in Miami

Miss Colombia Paulina Vega, has been crowned Miss Universe, beating out first runner-up Miss USA Nia Sanchez and contestants from more than 80 other countries. With this, Vega became the second beauty queen from Colombia to win the title. Luz Marina Zuluaga was the first Colombian to win the crown in 1956. The 22-year-old is the grand-daughter of a legendary tenor, Gastun Vega.

India celebrates 66th Republic Day; Barack Obama witnesses military might

India celebrates its 66th Republic Day and showcased before the chief guest US President Barack Obama and the world its military might and cultural diversity with a splendid display of land and naval weaponry, fighter and reconnaissance aircraft. Obama was the first ever US President to attend the parade as Chief Guest on the second day of his three-day visit. For the first time in the history of India’s Republic Day, all-women contingent from the three forces Army, Air Force and Navy marched down in the parade.
•Army contingent was led by Capt Divya Ajith.
•Navy contingent was led by Lt Commander Sandhya Chauhan.
•Air Force contingent was led by Squadron Leader Sneha.

RBI Relaxes Overseas Loan Recast Rules

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) relaxed rules for companies and banks to restructure and reschedule existing overseas borrowings by permitting an increase in the total cost of borrowing offshore. Indian firms have found it difficult to restructure existing borrowings after facing a sharp slowdown in the economy. The banking regulator also allowed changes in the drawdown and repayment schedules of such overseas borrowings, the Reserve Bank of India said.

National Girl Child Day – 24th January

Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted the unparalleled accomplishments of the girl child on National Girl Child Day. Since 2008, the government has celebrated the National Girl Child Day on January 24 every year across India to raise awareness and consciousness of the society with regard to the girl child.

9 Crore sign up for LPG cash-subsidy scheme

More than 60 per cent of LPG customers in the country have joined the ambitious PAHAL scheme for receiving cash subsidy so that they can buy cooking gas (LPG) at market price. Over 9 crore consumers, out of a total customer base of 15.33 crore, have joined the Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme and Rs 2,262 crore in cash has been transfered to them. The DBTL Scheme for LPG consumers (PAHAL) was launched on November 15, 2014 in 54 districts and in the rest of the country on January 1, 2015. The Scheme aims to transfer the subsidy on LPG directly into the bank accounts of over 15 crore LPG consumers.

Saudi King Abdullah passes away

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, the powerful U.S. ally who joined Washington’s fight against al-Qaeda, has died, He was 90. He also sought to modernise the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom with incremental but significant reforms, including nudging open greater opportunities for women. Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz became king and Prince Muqrin was declared Crown Prince, another Royal Court statement said.

SBI inks 100 mn euro loan pact with European bank

State Bank of India has signed a loan agreement for 100 million euro (about Rs 700 crore) with European Investment Bank for lending to private businesses in the country. The loan will be utilised to support the development of private sector, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises ( SMEs), social and economic infrastructure as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation in the country. Agreements related to the first tranche of 55 million euro and the second of 45 million euro were signed in June and November 2014.

Kerala government slaps Rs 54 crore fine on 4 online traders including Flipkart, Jabong

Kerala Commercial Taxes Department has slapped a fine of Rs 53.63 crore on four online trading companies including Flipkart and Jabong for allegedly doing illegal business in the state. The fine was imposed by the intelligence wing of the Commercial Taxes Department for the year 2012-13 and 2013-14. E-commerce major Flipkart has been asked to pay a fine of Rs 47.15 crore, Jabong.Com Rs.3.89 crore, Vector e-commerce Rs 2.23 crore and Robemall Apparels Rs 36 lakh.

Hindus share dips below 80%, Muslim share grows but slower

The share of Hindus in India’s population has shown the sharpest dip in a decade since Independence and has dropped below 80 per cent. According to figures of the religion census of 2011, yet to be officially released, Hindus comprised 78.35 per cent of the total population of 121.05 crore, compared with 80.45 per cent of the total population in 2001. In absolute terms, however, the Hindu population increased 14.5 per cent from 82.75 crore to 94.78 crore during the period (2001-11). The 2011 religion census data also shows that the share of Muslims in the population has risen from 13.4 per cent in 2001 to 14.2 per cent with some border states showing a high increase. The share of other religious groups like Sikhs and Christians in the total population remained steady at a little over 2 per cent each, roughly in the same range as in the 2001 census.

Kerala to get first International Institute of Music

Kerala Culture Minister K C Joseph on 22 January 2015 announced setting up of the International Institute of Music in Kerala. It will be the first international institute in India that is dedicated to music. A Trust headed by Sarod Maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan has been entrusted with the responsibility to set up the Institute. The government will provide only land and all other infrastructure facilities will be built by a trust managed by Khan’s family.

South Korean president nominates new prime minister

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has nominated ruling party lawmaker Lee Wan Koo to replace Prime Minister Chung Hong-won. Chung offered to resign nearly 10 months before, over a ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people in April last year.

Supreme Court’s decision on IPL Spot fixing

The Supreme Court pronounced its much-awaited verdict on N Srinivasan’s conflict of interest case, saying that BCCI functions are amendable to judicial review. Supreme Court gave verdict that N Srinivasan can’t contest BCCI polls till he gives up commercial interest in CSK. The Apex court said No BCCI administrator can have commercial interests. Srinivasan held miniscule share in India Cements misleading since his family directly or indirectly holds much more. The court-appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee, also comprising senior advocates L Nageswar Rao and Nilay Dutta, had found Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of indulging in betting during IPL 2013 despite being a CSK team official.

RBI directs banks to display all loan costs

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made it compulsory for banks to set out every possible cost in respect of the loan in a fact sheet at the processing stage. Banks will also have to publish the ‘annual percentage rate’ representing the total cost of credit to an individual borrower. Besides, they will have to display on their website the interest rate range for various contracted loans for the past quarter for different categories of advances. The fact sheet drafted by the central bank requires lenders to spell out the interest rate, the spread above the benchmark rate, date of reset of floating rates, mode of communication of interest rate changes, all fees payable, refundable fees, charges for conversion from floating to fixed rate loan and penalty for delayed payments. The significance of this fact sheet is that it will make it possible for borrowers to compare loans from two lenders.

India observes 118th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

India observed the 118th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose by paying glowing tribute to his memory at functions held throughout the country.

Pakistan’s Ex-Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri penned ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove’

The book is based upon the relations between India and Pakistan. Kasuri in his book writes that the two countries have no option but to go for a just and peaceful solution to Jammu and Kashmir and other contentious issues between them.

Suzlon sells German unit for Rs. 7,200 crore

Wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy announced selling 100 per cent stake in its German subsidiary Senvion SE to U.S.-based Centerbridge Partners for 1 billion euro (about Rs. 7,200 crore) in an all-cash deal. Senvion SE will give Suzlon licence for off-shore technology for the Indian market.

Modi launched ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ scheme in Haryana

The ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ scheme, which seeks to address gender imbalance and discrimination against the girl child, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Panipat in Haryana. Mr. Modi begged the people with open hands to save the lives of the girl child and also administered them an oath to fight female foeticide, celebrate the birth of a girl and educate them. Mahendergarh and Jhajjar districts of Haryana are badly effected with imbalanced Sex ratios where there are just about 775 girls for 1,000 boys, the lowest in India.

Sunil Sood to succeed Marten Pieters as Vodafone India CEO

Martin Pieters will be succeeded by Sunil Sood, who is at present the chief operating officer at the telecom giant. Marten Pieters, Vodafone India Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, will be stepping down from his post with effect from 1 April, 2015.

OPEC, oil companies clash at Davos over price collapse

OPEC defended its decision not to intervene to halt the oil price collapse, shrugging off warnings by top energy firms that the cartel’s policy could lead to a huge supply shortage as invest-ments dry up. Oil prices have collapsed to below $50 a barrel as a result of a large supply glut, due mostly to a sharp rise in U.S. shale production as well as weaker global demand.

Microsoft unveils Windows 10 and ‘HoloLens’

Microsoft has taken the wraps off a new version of Windows and a new wearable 3D gadget it calls the HoloLens. The company showed the new headset, which lets users view and interact with three-dimensional images. Windows 10 will also come with a new Web browser that will be closely integrated with Cortana, the company’s voice-activated answer to Siri. Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be released later this year as a free upgrade for anyone owning a computer or gadget that’s currently running Windows 8.1 or 7.

2015 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

The 45th World Economic Forum kick started in Davos,Switzerland. Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, Pope Francis, Jim Kim, the president of the World Bank and Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, are among those who have stressed the need to ensure that the fruits of economic progress are shared more equally. Carney will be taking part in a panel in Davos this week titled: “A richer world but for whom”.

India world’s second-most trusted nation: Survey

India has emerged as the second-most trusted country in the world in terms of faith reposed on its institutions even as globally trust levels have fallen, says a survey. Trust in institutions in India has improved sharply in 2015 with the country moving up three notches to the second place among 27 nations. While the number of “truster” countries are at an all-time low of six in 2015 including UAE, India, China and Netherlands, the number of “distruster” countries has grown significantly to 13 including Japan, Russia, Hong Kong, South Africa and Italy. The list is topped by UAE with 84 per cent trust. India (79 percent),Indonesia (78 per cent), China (75 per cent), Singapore (65 per cent) and Netherlands (64 per cent) are the others that have recorded highest levels of trust.

EU decided to lift ban on import of mangoes from India

European Union (EU) decided to lift a seven-month-long ban on the import of mangoes from India. The proposal to lift the ban was voted unanimously by the European Commission’s standing committee on plant health. EU accounts to almost 50% of the total exports of fruits and vegetables from India, UK is the top exporter.

India set to overtake China next year: IMF

International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that India will grow 6.5 per cent in 2016, overtaking China which, it projected, will slowdown to 6.3 per cent. In a separate forecast, the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects UN WESP report too predicted a smart recovery for India during 2015.It pegged its 2015 India growth forecast lower than the IMF’s –at 5.9 per cent. At 6.3 per cent, the UNWESP 2016 India growth forecast is, however, closer to that of the IMF. The IMF said that global growth will receive a boost from lower oil prices, which reflect to an important extent higher supply in many advanced and emerging market economies.

Bibek Debroy joins as full time member of NITI Aayog

Noted economist Bibek Debroy assumed charged as full time member of the NITI Ayog (National Institution for Transforming India). Government had announced the appointment of Debroy and DRDO chief V K Saraswat as full-time members earlier this month.

TCS ends RIL’s 23-year run as most profitable firm

After 23 years, India has a new numero uno when it comes to net profit. Information technology major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) posted a net profit of Rs 5,328 crore for the quarter ended December, overtaking long-standing champion Reliance Industries Ltd. In Indian business history it’s the first time that an IT company has topped the profit charts. TCS has also become the world’s third largest employer of people in the technology sector, with over 3 lakh employees. And given the pace at which it is growing, it could become the second largest employer this year, crossing Hewlett-Packard, and would be fast closing in on leader IBM.

Former PM Manmohan Singh adopted Pachim Bekeli Gaon Panchyat

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh adopted Pachim Bekeli Gaon Panchayat under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna (SAGY). Pachim Bekeli Gaon Panchayat is located in Kamrup district of Assam. Manmohan Singh represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha. Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana aims to cover 2500 villages by 2019. Under the project, each Member of Parliament (MP) will take up the responsibility of providing infrastructure and developing three villages by 2019.

Filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani appointed as chairperson of CBFC

Union Government has reconstituted Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). In this regard, government has appointed 1 chairperson and 9 board members. Pahlaj Nihalani was appointed chairperson. He will be office in for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier. 9 Members are: BJP leader Vani Tripathi Tikoo, filmmakers Ashoke Pandit and Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, film writer Mihir Bhuta, Syed Abdul Bari, Ramesh Patange, actor George Baker, actor-filmmaker Jeevitha and actor- playwright S Ve Shekhar.

Twitter buys Indian mobile marketing start-up ZipDial

Twitter Inc said it will buy Indian mobile phone marketing start-up ZipDial, reportedly for $30 million to $40 million, as the U.S. microblogging service looks to expand in the world’s second-biggest mobile market. Bengaluru-based ZipDial gives clients phone numbers for use in marketing campaigns. The start-up’s clients include International Business Machines Corp, Yum! Brands Inc’s KFC and Procter & Gamble Co ‘s Gillette. The service capitalises on a local tradition of communicating through so-called missed calls.

Shubham, 13, Silicon Valley’s youngest entrepreneur, develops Braille printer

In Silicon Valley, it’s never too early to become an entrepreneur. Just ask 13-year-old Shubham Banerjee.
The California eighth-grader has launched a company to develop low-cost machines to print Braille. Tech giant Intel Corp. recently invested in his start-up, Braigo Labs. Mr. Shubham wants to develop a desktop Braille printer that costs around $350 and weighs just a few kilograms, compared with current models that can weigh more than nine kilograms.

Singapore’s GIC to invest Rs 1,020 crore in Bandhan Financial Services

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC is investing 10.2 billion rupees ($165.5 million) in India’s Bandhan Financial Services, which is setting up one of the country’s two newest banks. The company will get a total equity investment of 16 billion rupees, including 5.8 billion rupees from existing investor IFC. IFC, part of the World Bank Group, owns 10.8 percent of Bandhan and its stake will increase after the latest investment. Bandhan and IDFC were the only two companies which won bank permits from the central bank last year in what was the first bank licensing process in a decade.

India’s growth to reach 6.3 per cent in 2016: UN WESP report

According to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2015 report, India’s growth in terms of GDP is expected to reach 5.9 per cent in 2015 and 6.3 per cent in 2016. India’s growth recovery is partly the result of improved market sentiment after the new government took office in the second quarter of 2014 and had announced plans to reform the bureaucracy, labour laws and public subsidies.

Hyderabad to host World Congress on Information Technology in 2018

Hyderabad will host the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) in 2018. This will be the first WCIT to be held in India and the theme of the 2018 WCIT will be Future of enterprises. As part of this, the Chief Minister of Telangana K Chandrasekhar Rao would visit the US, the UK and other countries to invite the bigwigs of the IT industry to the 2018 event. WCIT 2016 is to be held in Brazil. In 2014, the 19th WCIT was held in Guadalajara in Mexico. The theme was Building the Digital Age Together. The first WCIT was held in 1978 and it is held since then every two years.

Sydney Open 2015 Winners

Czech Petra Kvitova beats compatriot Karolina Pliskova to win the Women’s Sydney International. The world No.4 and second seed needed to win two tie-breakers to clinch victory over her team mate in a big hitting contest at the Ken Rosewell Arena. While in the Men’s section, Viktor Troicki crushed fellow qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the Sydney International. In the first ATP final in history featuring two qualifiers, Troicki dispatched Kukushkin in 64 minutes after breaking the Kazakh twice in each set.

About United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report

This report is published at the beginning of each year by the combined efforts of
•UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
•UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
•5 UN regional commissions.
•World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Tamil Nadu State awards

Dawooji Gupta, former Mayor of Lucknow was one among the nine personalities who received state awards instituted in the names late leaders. He was bestowed with the Periyar award.
The other awardees include Karumuttu Kannan (Kamarajar award), Tirukkural
K. Baskaran (Tiruvalluvar award), Azhi
K. Mahalingam (Ambedkar award), Prof. Kasturi Raja (Anna award), Dr. Ilasai Sundaram (Bharathiyar award), poet Kanmathiyan (Bharathidasan award), Dr. Karu Nagarajan (Thiru.Vi.Ka. award) and AM James (KAP Viswanathan award).
Each award carried a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh, a gold medals and a citation. The awards were presented at a function held here in the presence State Ministers K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji, P. Palaniappan and K.C. Veeramani. Besides, 30 elderly Tamil scholars were given government orders for financial assistance. (Jan 16)

Kudankulam Nuclear Plant Restarts Power Generation

Power generation at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) has restarted after the first unit’s reactor and turbine tripped on January 14, said Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POSCO). India’s atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) is setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, 650 km from Chennai. Ever since the first unit at KNPP started commercial generation December 31, 2014 it has been producing around 940 MW per day or around 2.25 crore units per day.

Indian-American Frank Islam receives Martin Luther award

An eminent Indian-American entre-preneur and philanthropist Frank Islam has been presented with the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Award. He is awarded in recognition of his contribution to the legacy of the great leader through his efforts in international service and civil engagement.

24 Children, including 8 girls selected for National Bravery Awards

Four of the awards have been given posthumously. The children will receive their awards from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 24th of January, and will also participate in the Republic Day parade. 16 year old Resham Fatma of Uttar Pradesh, a victim of Acid attack, will be conferred the Bharat Award for showing exemplary courage while fighting off her tormentor, whose marriage proposal she had turned down. The prestigious Geeta Chopra Award has been conferred on 13 year old Gunjan Sharma of Assam who displayed exemplary valor in saving her friends from the clutches of the abductor. The Sanjay Chopra Award has been given to 16 year old Master Devesh Kumar of Uttar Pradesh who displayed outstanding courage while confronting two chain-snatchers.

Twitter ropes in Taranjeet Singh to head business in India

Microblogging site Twitter has hired Taranjeet Singh as business head for its operations in India.

Manjul Bhargava to lead Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s teach in India programme

Fields medallist Manjul Bhargava will be the face and facilitator of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet education project to rope in eminent scholars and scientists abroad to teach students at IITs and central universities. Bhargava, who is the first person of Indian origin to win the coveted international prize for his work in mathematics agreed to ‘recruit’ scientists in the US and across the world to participate in the Global Initiative of Academic network (GIAN), a short term teaching programme under which scholars abroad will be invited to teach in India. GIAN is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brainchild.

Sania Mirza wins Sydney Open title with Bethanie

India’s Sania Mirza won her first title of the season and 23rd of her career when she and Bethanie Mattek-Sands shocked top-seeded Americans Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones in the summit clash of the Sydney International. The unseeded Indo-American combine humbled the top seeds 6-3, 6-3 in just 69 minutes.

HAL Chairman R K Tyagi conferred with JGBS-Top Rankers’ Excellence Award

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chairman R.K. Tyagi was on 16 January 2015 conferred with the JGBS-Top Rankers’ Excellence Award for CEO of the year 2014. Tyagi played a key role in 2014 being a successful year for HAL through series of initiatives. The year was dedicated for Integrity, Customer Focus and Quality (ICQ).

Book on Sonia Gandhi titled The Red Sari written by Javier Moro released in India

The Red Sari, an unauthorized biography of Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, was released by Roli Books in India. The book has been written by Spanish author Javier Moro. The book describes about how Sonia Gandhi’s courage, honesty, and dedication have made her a leader in the eyes of one-sixth of humanity that is from her idyllic childhood to her passionate love affair, and from her days as a docile daughter-in-law to her current status of being the only Indian politician to have refused Prime Ministership. The English version of the book was not allowed to release in India in 2010 because it was argued by the Congress Party and Sonia Gandhi’s lawyers that the book is full of untruths, half-truths, falsehoods, defamatory statements, completely imaginary and invented conversations

S.K. Sinha – first non-Muslim to lead the Bangladesh’s top judiciary

S.K. Sinha – first non-Muslim to lead the Bangladesh’s top judiciary
Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha has been appointed the 21st Chief Justice of Bangladesh. Justice Sinha is the first Chief Justice from the country’s ethnic minority Hindu community. He was the senior-most judge of Appellate Division of the Supreme Court who was made the next Chief Justice. Justice Sinha will serve just over three years as the Chief Justice with his retirement due in early 2018.

Filmmaker Shaji N Karun quits Censor Board

Another 12 members of the Board followed Leela Samson suggestion of quitting “en masse” and tendered their resignations. CBFC members including Ira Bhaskar, M.K. Raina, Pankaj Sharma, T.G. Thyagarajan, Shaji Karun, Anjum Rajabali, Shubra Gupta, Nikhil Alva, Rajeev Masand, Mamang Dai, K.C Sekhar Babu and L.K. Prabhu tendered their resignations in a joint email to I&B Minister of State Rajyavardhan Rathore. The award-winning filmmaker Shaji N Karun said the board members were not happy about the approach of not just the present NDA Government but also about the approach of the previous Congress-led UPA regime towards the Board. Beagle 2 cost around £50m. It was comparatively cheap for a space mission, with some industrial work being performed on a cost-only basis.

Tamilmani likely to be interim DRDO chief

K. Tamilmani, Chief Controller of Aeronautics Cluster in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is likely to become the interim head of the organisation. Dr. Tamilmani, the senior-most of the seven cluster heads in the DRDO, is the Director of the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), Bangalore. The government terminated the 18-month contract of Dr. Chander and asked him to step down on January 31, ahead of his term that would have ended in May 2016.

LCA Tejas Ready for Crucial Handover

The first of the indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is likely to be handed over to the Indian Air Force. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to hand over the aircraft to Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha. This will start the process of induction of fighters being built at home under a project that was commenced in 1983 and has already cost the exchequer over Rs.17,000 crores.

Trade deficit of India declined to ten month low in December 2014

Trade deficit of India declined to ten month low of 9.43 billion US dollars in December 2014. The data was released by the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The trade deficit in December 2014 was narrowed by 44 percent from November 2014 due to fall down of global oil prices and fall of demand for gold. Imports of India declined by 4.8 percent to 34.8 billion US dollars in December 2014 as compared to 36.6 billion US dollars in December 2013.
Exports of India fell by 3.8 percent to 25.4 billion US dollars and outbound shipments were valued at 26.4 billion US dollars in December 2014.

RBI issued final guidelines for banks to act as Insurance brokers

Reserve Bank of India issued final guidelines for banks to act as insurance brokers. Earlier, the banks were allowed to undertake insurance business as agents of insurance companies on fee basis with an aim to increase insurance penetration in the country. The banks were allowed to look forward for participation in insurance business in accordance to Union Government’s notification in which it allowed banks to do business of insurance under Section 6(1)(o) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

Noted RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal conferred with Giraffe Hero award 2015

Renowned Indian RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal was conferred with the Giraffe Hero award 2015 by a US-based NGO The Giraffe Heroes Project. The award will be presented to him on 22 January 2015. Agrawal was awarded for his bravery in utilising the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 for public good despite innumerable challenges. Agrawal also holds the Guinness record of filing highest number of published letters to the editors.

Censor Board chief Leela Samson decides to quit

Citing “interference, coercion and corruption of panel members and officers” appointed in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) by the Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Bharatnatyam danseuse Leela Samson has quit as Censor Board chief.

Haryana picks Ramdev as brand ambassador

The Haryana government plans to promote yoga and ayurveda in a big way, and has appointed yoga guru Ramdev as its brand ambassador. Haryana’s minister of sports and health Anil Vij said a herbal forest would be developed over thousands of acres of land in the state where plants of 25 thousand species of ayurvedic herbs would be grown under the supervision of the yoga guru and his close aide Balkrishna. Haryana would develop an Ayurvedic University whereas a yogic centre of international standards would be built in Panchkula.

Brett Lee retires from all forms of cricket

Australian pace bowler Brett Lee announced he is to retire from all forms of cricket after a 20-year career. The 38-year-old called time on his international commitments in July 2012, but continued to play Twenty20 in both the Australian Big Bash League and the Indian Premier League. Lee played 76 Tests for Australia, taking 310 wickets, and 221 one-dayers with 380 dismissals.

Anupam Shrivastava appointed as CMD of BSNL

Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved appointment of Anupam Shrivastava as CMD of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited.

Army Day celebrated on 15 January

India on 15 January 2015 observed the 67th Army Day. The day is celebrated to commemorate the day, when Lieutenant General (later Field Marshal) K M Cariappa on 15 January 1949 became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army post Independence. He had succeeded General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India. To mark the day, all three service chiefs, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Robin K Dhowan and Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha paid tributes at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate by laying floral wreath and remembering the martyred soldiers.

Centre to implement biometric attendance system soon

The Centre is set to implement Aadhaar-based biometric system for attendance in all government departments and state-owned entities spread across Delhi. Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) has so far implemented Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS) in 54 government locations in Delhi that requires fingerprint-based attendance for employees entering into the office premise.

Naqvi gets 1-year jail term

Union Minister of State for Parliamentary and Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was sentenced to a one-year jail term. Naqvi and 19 others were convicted by a Rampur court for breaching prohibitory orders in the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha election. Judicial magistrate Manish Kumar pronounced Mr. Naqvi guilty under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code, Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act and Section 144 of the Cr.PC.

RBI Changed Key Rates

In a move that brought huge cheer to the markets, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.75%. (JANUARY 2015). The central bank kept the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4.0%.
Reasons for the Repo Cut :
•Plunging Oil prices in the Global arena and hence in India keeping the Inflation levels in the check.
•WPI increased at the rate of a mere 0.11% as against the expected increase of 0.6%.
•Retail inflation is at 5% as against an expected 5.4%.
•Fiscal deficit target is well in reach at 4.1%.

PM Narendra Modi to launch ‘Beti Bachao’ scheme

The Modi government’s big bang flagship scheme will be ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (BBBP), which will help address the country’s low child sex ratio. The scheme will be launched by PM Narendra Modi on January 22 and will focus on a multi-sectoral approach to tackling the problem of the vanishing girl child. The Rs 100-crore scheme is expected to be monitored by the Maneka Gandhi-headed ministry of women and child development (WCD) in coordination with the ministries of health and HRD.
The Objectives –
•To prevent genderbiased sex selection by stringent enforcement of laws, especially by strengthening the implementation of PreConception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 (PC&PNDT Act) with strict punishments for violations.
•BBBP will also ensure access and availability of essential requirements related to nutrition, healthcare, education and protection and elimination of discrimination against a girl child which can lead to low self-esteem, lifelong deprivation and exclusion from the mainstream.
•Initiatives will be taken to encourage girls to express their views and to be heard, to help them participate actively , effectively and equally at all levels of social, economic, and political leadership.
Targets of the Scheme –
•A toilet in every girls’ school in 100 vulnerable districts.
•An innovation fund at state-level to encourage best practices in improving child sex ratio (CSR) and gender inequities.
•District-level awards to schools strengthening girl child education.

India will catch up with China’s growth rate in 2016-17: World Bank

The World Bank has said that India would catch up with China’s growth in the year 2016-17. The World Bank in its report also forecast a growth rate of seven per cent each in the fiscal year 2016 and 2017 as against China’s 7 per cent and 6. 9 per cent respectively.

Union Ministry of Health proposed COTPA (Amendment) Bill 2015

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 13 January 2015 proposed the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) (Amendment) Bill 2015 (COTPA). The bill seeks to amend some provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003. Provisions of the COTPA (Amendment) Bill 2015
• The bill proposes to ban on-site advertising of tobacco products and shops selling cigarettes and other tobacco products will no longer be able to display the brand names.
• It proposed scrapping of designated smoking areas from hotels, restaurants and airports making an exception only for international airports to prevent exposure of non-smokers to harmful emissions.
• The penalty for smoking in restricted areas has been raised from 200 to 1000 rupees.

Infosys CEO dedicates $250 million to innovate in India

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and disclosed that his company will spend USD 250 million (over Rs 1,500 crore) to fund innovations in software and services in India. Infosys will develop software for managing the Kumbh Mela scheduled in Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) in 2016. Infosys formed USD 500 million Innovation Fund. Of this, Rs. 1,500 crore, will be dedicated to just innovation in India.

Canara Bank bags 3 MSME awards

Canara Bank has bagged three awards at the annual flagship event “MSME Banking Excellence Awards-2014” organised by Chamber of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (CIMSME). Canara Bank has been adjudged as the “Best Bank Award-Winner” among other awards.

Bharatiya Mahila Bank inks pact with Lakme Salons to fund franchisees

Bharatiya Mahila Bank inked an agreement with HUL arm Lakme Salons to bring easy financing options to fuel women entrepreneurship. This partnership would help encourage more women to become Lakme Salon’s business partners. The loan book of the bank currently stands at Rs 400 crore and has plans to close the fiscal with Rs 800 crore and deposit books to Rs 1,000 crore from the present Rs 600 crore.

PVR set to acquire movie exhibition company SPI Cinemas

The Ajay Bijli led PVR group is set to acquire Chennai’s premier movie exhibition company SPI Cinemas, popularly known as Sathyam Cinemas. This could end up to be the biggest deal in India’s multiplex sector. the deal may close for a rather steep valuation of approximately Rs 750-1,000 crore for just 40 odd screens, located predominantly in the Southern metro. Last month Carnival Cinemas paid a little over Rs 700 crore to buy out Anil Ambani’s Big Cinemas that has 242 screens across the country.

DRDO chief Avinash Chander removed

The Modi government removed Avinash Chander, chief of top defence research organisation DRDO, 15 months before his contract was supposed to end. Chander was also the scientific advisor to the defence minister.

H.S.Brahma to be the next chief Election Commissioner of India.

Shri H.S. Brahma is all set to assume charge as the new Chief Election Commissioner of India. VS Sampath, Chief Election Commissioner, demits office on 15th January, 2015, capping less than six years of an eventful tenure. H.S.Brahma will be the 19th Chief Election Commissioner of India, He was the other election Commissioner along with Ahmed Zaidi in the outgoing Sampath regime.