Thursday, 1 October 2015
Monday, 28 September 2015
- Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that government has set disbursement target for micro and marginal businesses under MUDRA scheme during the current fiscal at Rs. 1.22 lakh crore. MUDRA has been established as a subsidiary of SIDBI with an initial corpus of Rs. 5,000 crore to provide capital to all banks seeking refinancing of small business loans under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY). PMMY loans fall into three categories – Shishu (up to Rs. 50,000), Kishore (Rs. 50,000-Rs. 5 lakh) and Tarun (Rs. 5-10 lakh).
- China successfully launched a new model of carrier rocket Long March-11 for sending four micro satellites into space from the country’s northwestern province. The rocket will mainly be used for launching micro-satellites. The successful launch of the rocket marked a major breakthrough for the nation in key technology for solid propellant rockets. The trip was the 211th mission for the Long March rocket family.
- The Ministry of External Affairs appointed new Indian envoys to Pakistan, China, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United Nations (UN) in a major reshuffle. Navtej Sarna will be the new High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. He succeeded Ranjan Mathai. Gautam Bambawale (India’s Ambassador to Bhutan) will take over as High Commissioner to Pakistan. He succeeded T.C.A. Raghavan. Syed Akbaruddin will be the next Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, New York. He will replace Asoke Mukerji. Vijay Gokhale (India’s Ambassador to Germany) will be the Ambassador to China. He succeeded Ashok Kantha. Anil Wadhwa (Secretary (East)) will be the new Ambassador to Rome. Pankaj Saran will replace P.S. Raghavan as the Ambassador of Moscow. Harsh V. Shringla (Indian Ambassador to Bangkok) will serve as High Commissioner to Bangladesh. Sujan Chinoy (Indian Ambassador to Mexico) will now be the Ambassador to Japan and replace Deepa Wadhwa.
- Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez has been named the first-ever global advocate for girls and women at the United Nations Foundation. The 46-year-old star will travel the globe in an attempt to highlight the plight of females struggling in war zones, refugee camps and even on the mean streets of her native New York.
- The Finance Ministry announced Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) exemption to foreign companies with no permanent establishment (PE) in India with effect from assessment year 2001-02. This means companies not having a permanent establishment or place of business in India would not come under MAT with effect from April 2001. Apart from this, the MAT will also not apply on a foreign company belonging to a country having a Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
- Matthias Muller was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Group. He succeeded Martin Winterkorn who resigned following the revelation that the German carmaker manipulated US diesel car emissions tests.
- Government has decided to appoint NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya as the Sherpa for G-20 talks, replacing Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The next G20 Leaders’ Summit is scheduled on November 15-16 at Antalya in Turkey.
- The 193 member states of the United Nations adopted new Sustainable Development Goals to replace the expiring Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York. 17 broad goals and 169 specific targets are there in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The new goals primarily expect to reduce world poverty, improve health and education and quell climate change. SDGs are expected to be achieved by year 2030. They replaced the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted at a UN summit in 2000.
- Sourav Ganguly has been appointed as the President of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) succeeding Jagmohan Dalmiya as announced by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Jagmohan Dalmiya passed away recently. Sourav Ganguly is the former Indian cricket captain.
- The 9th Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (RPBD) will be held at Los Angeles, California, USA from 14 November to 15 November 2015. The Theme of 9th RPBD will be – The Indian Diaspora: Defining a New Paradigm in India-US Relationship.
- Senior RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui has been elected as President of Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) after an election held as per directions of the Supreme Court. Siddiqui defeated Vinod Kumar, a former president of BCA, by a margin of 30 votes.
- Australia’s oldest cricketer Harold Stapleton, who represented Australian club New South Wales, died aged 100. An all-rounder, who played only one first-class match for NSW in 1941 before his career was cut short by the second World War.
Friday, 18 September 2015
- India and Sri Lanka signed four pacts during the talks held between visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The MoUs are exchange of letters on establishment of emergency ambulance services in Sri Lanka and supply of medical equipment to 200 bed ward complex at district hospital, Vavuniya in Sri Lanka, cooperation of exchange of SAARC region satellite technology and rejuvenation of small industries program with the patronage of Indian government. The two countries agreed to intensify cooperation in combating terrorism and work together for security and stability in the neighborhood.
- India and Cambodia have signed two agreements relating to Tourism and Mekong Ganga Cooperation Project. The agreements were signed after Vice-President Md. Hamid Ansari held delegation-level parleys with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh. Vice-President Mohd. Hamid Ansari is on a four day visit to the South East Asian countries of Cambodia and Laos.
- In an ambitious bid to transform rural areas to economically, socially and physically sustainable spaces, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) with an outlay of Rs. 5142.08 crores. The Mission aims at development of rural growth clusters which have latent potential for growth, in all States and UTs, which would trigger overall development in the region.
- Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang Province in east China, was chosen by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to host the 2022 Asian Games. The OCA made the decision at its 34th Congress in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Hangzhou was the only candidate city for the 2022 Asian Games. Its successful bid means the regional games will be staged in China for the third time following Beijing in 1990 and southern Guangzhou in 2010. Beijing was just selected to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics after hosting the Summer Games in 2008. South Korea’s Incheon held the last Asian Games in 2014, while Indonesia’s Jakarta will play host in 2018
- The Pentagon, the headquarters for U.S. defence establishment, set up a first-ever country specific special cell with the objective of speeding up its defence ties with India. India Rapid Reaction Cell (IRRC) – the first-ever country special cell at Pentagon was established to speed up United States’ defence ties with India and accelerate the process of co-development and co-production of hi-tech military equipment in the country. It is headed by Keith Webster, Under Defence Department
- The Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) conferred the ‘Excellence in Golf in 2015′ award on 17-year-old Aditi Ashok in recognition of her recent achievements which included winning the Singha Thailand Amateur Championship last week, the 2015 British Ladies Amateur Strokeplay Championship and the prestigious 2015 St. Rule Trophy at St. Andrews. KGA president Venkat Subramaniam presented the local golfer an award at the prize distribution ceremony of the seventh Toyota Karnataka Golf Festival held in Karnataka.
- Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been announced as one of the winners of the United Nations Champions of the Earth award in recognition of her country’s initiatives to address climate change. United Nations Champions of the Earth award is the highest award in the world of environment conservation.
- China launched its most sophisticated observation satellite, Gaofen-9, as part of the country’s high-definition Earth observation project. Gaofen-9 was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern province of Gansu aboard a Long March-2D carrier rocket. It was the 209th flight of the Long March rocket series. The optical remote sensing satellite is capable of providing photographs with a resolution of less than a meter. It will be used in land survey, urban planning, road network design, agriculture, and disaster relief
- Two Indian educational Institutes find place in ‘2015-16 QS World University Rankings’s World Top-200’ . It was the 12th edition in the series of annual global university ranking list. The Indian Institute of Science-Bangalore (IISc-B) and the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D) were ranked 147 and 179 respectively. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) topped the list of universities in the world for record fourth time. Harvard University is at second place, followed by the University of Cambridge and Stanford University in joint third place
- Tamil Nadu state government announced making it mandatory for all high rise buildings in the state to have solar power generation facility. This announcement was made in the Tamil Nadu Assembly by Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. Under it all new multi-storey buildings (more than four floors) will have to establish solar power generation facility. The rule would be applicable to all group developments (with more than eight dwelling units) also. In effect, it will cover almost 90% of residential and commercial developments in cities like Chennai and Coimbatore. This is being seen as the first-of-its-kind initiative in urban solar power plant
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Monday, 14 September 2015
- India and Australia began their first bilateral naval exercise that will focus on anti-submarine warfare as the two countries look at deepening defence cooperation especially in the Indian Ocean. AUSINDEX-15 is being conducted off the east coast of India from September 11-19.
- India’s Leander Paes with his Swiss partner Martina Hingis won the US Open mixed doubles title in New York. They became the first team since 1969 to win three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in the same season at the US Open. The fourth seeds defeated non-seeded American duo Sam Querrey and Bethanien Mattek-Sands 6-4, 3-6 (10-7) in the finals of mixed doubles.
- The UN General Assembly gave its overwhelming approval to a Palestinian resolution which permits the flag of Palestine to fly at the UN Headquarters in New York, despite this country not being a member of the UN. There were 119 votes in favour out of 193 UN members while the United States and Israel were among eight countries that voted against the Palestinian-drafted resolution. Palestine described this as a major step toward full UN membership. Most of the 28-nation European Union were among the 45 nations that abstained from voting.
- India Test captain Virat Kohli recently acquired stake in UAE Royals, a franchisee team of Indian Premier Tennis League (IPTL) to become a co-owner of it. Virat Kohli became a co-owner of UAE Royals, which is one of the five franchisee teams of the Mahesh Bhupathi promoted IPTL. UAE Royals will be led by Swiss great Roger Federer.
- Renowned Hindi writer Uday Prakash has returned his Sahitya Akademi Award as protest against the recent killing of Kannada litterateur M.M. Kalburgi, and in disapproval of the national literary body’s deafening silence over the assaults on writers. The 63-year-old writer had received the award in 2010 for his creation ‘Mohandas’.
- Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to submit State Annual Action Plan under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) targeting universal coverage in respect of water supply connections and sewerage connections to all urban households in the state. The State Government has proposed projects under these two categories worth Rs.1,087 cr for approval by the Union Urban Development Ministry during the current financial year. Under the State Annual Action Plan, AMRUT projects are proposed to be taken up in 13 of the 28 AMRUT cities in Rajasthan.
- China has build the world’s longest solar park in Pakistan. Pakistan will get about 100 MW electricity with the help of this solar park. China has installed around 400,000 solar panels to build the world’s longest Solar Park. The park is being installed on 200 hectares.
- Qatar’s emir has appointed an ambassador to Iraq, the first since the embassy was closed 25 years ago, in the latest sign of a thaw in relations between Gulf Arab countries and Iraq. The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani had issued a decree appointing Zayed al-Khayareen as Qatar’s ambassador to Iraq.
- The First Minister of Northern Ireland resigned. Peter Robinson stepped aside and pulled ministers out of the government – plunging the province back into political crisis. The mass walk-out was sparked by the murder of ex-IRA man Kevin McGuigan in Belfast last month.
- World football governing body FIFA has appointed Uganda’s Moses Magogo on the committee for security and integrity. Ahmed Hussein, spokesman of Uganda’s football governing body received a communication from the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) about the appointment. Magogo is also a member of Confederation of African Football Inter-clubs competitions committee.