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JANUARY, 2015 AUGUST, 2012 Designed by: ChandanChandanChandanChandanChandan KumarKumarKumarKumarKumar
JANUARY, 2015 AUGUST, 2012 Designed by: ChandanChandanChandanChandanChandan KumarKumarKumarKumarKumar

JANUARY, 2015

AUGUST, 2012

Designed by:

ChandanChandanChandanChandanChandan KumarKumarKumarKumarKumar “Raja”“Raja”“Raja”“Raja”“Raja”

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Index

Page No.2

Page No. 4

Page No. 6

Page No.7

Index Page No. 2 Page No. 4 Page No. 6 Page No. 7 Kisan Vikas Patra

Kisan Vikas Patra

No. 2 Page No. 4 Page No. 6 Page No. 7 Kisan Vikas Patra LabourReforms TradeFacilitationAgreement

LabourReforms

4 Page No. 6 Page No. 7 Kisan Vikas Patra LabourReforms TradeFacilitationAgreement Project Mausm and Maritime

TradeFacilitationAgreement

7 Kisan Vikas Patra LabourReforms TradeFacilitationAgreement Project Mausm and Maritime Silk Route Page No. 9 Universal

Project Mausm and Maritime Silk Route

Page No. 9

Project Mausm and Maritime Silk Route Page No. 9 Universal Health Assurance Mission Page No. 11

Universal Health Assurance Mission

Page No. 11

Page No. 9 Universal Health Assurance Mission Page No. 11 Women Problems In India CURRENT AFFAIRS

Women Problems In India

CURRENT AFFAIRS

National Issues

13

International Issues

19

India & the World

25

Economy

29

Science and Technology

37

Sports

43

Awards & Prizes

49

In The News

51

43 Awards & Prizes 49 In The News 51 SelectedSelectedSelectedSelectedSelected

SelectedSelectedSelectedSelectedSelected ArticlesArticlesArticlesArticlesArticles fromfromfromfromfrom VariousVariousVariousVariousVarious NewspapersNewspapersNewspapersNewspapersNewspapers &&&&& JournalsJournalsJournalsJournalsJournals

53

 

Page No. 79 Saansad Adrash Gram Yojana

  Page No. 79 Saansad Adrash Gram Yojana

Page No. 81 U.S. China Climate Deal

Page No. 81 U.S. China Climate Deal

Page No. 83 India And Bhutan

Page No. 83 India And Bhutan

Page No. 85 Minsk Agreement, 2014

Page No. 85 Minsk Agreement, 2014

ModelModelModelModelModel PaperPaperPaperPaperPaper G.S.G.S.G.S.G.S.G.S. PaperPaperPaperPaperPaper IIIII

92

109

MultipleMultipleMultipleMultipleMultiple ChoiceChoiceChoiceChoiceChoice QuestionsQuestionsQuestionsQuestionsQuestions

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KISAN VIKAS PATRA

India has faced slowdown of economy our last few years. One of the effects of declining growth in economy is reduction in the savings rate. Savings rate has declined from peak of 38 percent to around 30 percent. Falling savings rate has long term and short term impact on the growth of the economy. When people reduce savings in financial assets they switch to gold and other non-financial assets. Saving in gold and other non-financial sectors like real state lead to the problem of Black money, Current account deficit etc. Government has devised various schemes to save in financial assets. Each of the available saving option has different features in terms of

eligibility to invest, rate of interest, maturity period, lock-in-period, tax

facility,

treatment,

minimum and maximum ceilings etc. One of those options is Kisan Vikas patra.

Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) – a certificate savings scheme was launched by the Government on 1st April, 1988. The scheme provided

facility of unlimited investment by way of purchase of certificates from

post

various

denominations. The maturity period of the scheme when launched was 5 ½ years and the money invested doubled on maturity. The scheme was very popular among the investors and the percentage share of gross collections secured in KVP

was in the range of 9 % to 29 % against the total collections received under all National Savings Schemes

was

in

reasonably popular amongst all

pledging

offices

in

the

country.

Scheme

sections of population. But committee setup under Smt. Shyamal gopinath to look into the functioning of scheme observed- “The continued popularity of both KVP and National Savings Certificate (NSC) among the urban population who are not all small savers could be prompted by an incentive to avoid tax. As compared to NSC, KVP is more popular as it is a bearer- like certificate due to its ease of transfer. It also has an in built liquidity due to the regulated premature closure facility offered in the scheme. The absence of Tax deduction at

Source

on

investment, tax benefits on NSC and higher than market rate of return have

posed considerable fiscal costs to the Government. The deposits under both KVP and NSC can be pledged as a security with financial intermediaries, including banks. The Rakesh Mohan Committee had recommended that both these instruments are quite expensive in terms of the effective cost to the Government and felt that these instruments should be discontinued

and

to

harmonious tax treatment across the full spectrum of medium term savings schemes. The Committee endorses this recommendation” This lead to discontinuation of the KVP scheme in 2011 but government has relaunched the scheme again in 2014 in order to improve the savings and reduce investment in gold and other non- financial assets. Main features of relaunched KISAN VIKAS PATRA scheme are:

(TDS)

and

ceiling

ensure

an

equitable

• The re-launched Kisan Vikas

Patra (KVP) will be available to

the

denomination of Rs. 1000, 5000, 10,000 and 50,000, with

the

investors

in

no

investment.

upper

ceiling

on

• The certificates can be issued in single or joint names and can be transferred from one person to any other person / persons, multiple times. The facility of transfer from one post office to another anywhere in India and of nomination will be available.

• The investment made in the certificate will double in 100 months.

• Kisan Vikas Patras have unique liquidity feature, where an investor can, if he so desires, encash his certificates after the lock-in period of 2 years and 6 months and thereafter in any block of six months on pre- determined maturity value.

• The certificate can also be pledged as security to avail loans from the banks and in other case where security is required to be deposited.

• Initially the certificates will be sold through post offices, but the same will soon be made available to the investing public through designated branches of nationalised banks.

• Reintroduction of Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) is a welcome step not only in the direction of providing safe and secure investment avenues to the

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small investors but will also help in augmenting the savings rate in the country. The scheme will also safeguard small investors from fraudulent schemes. KVP will help in mobilizing small investments from poor population of the country who otherwise invest in bogus ponzi schemes or chit funds. Post office being a

universally present in the country makes the distribution and availability of Kisan vikas patra very easy for citizens. Kisan vikas patra can also be

used as collateral as they are easily transferable. This helps in saving people from the high

rates

which

moneylenders take. As any investment would have its

of

interest

advantages as well as disadvantages, similarly KVP also has some disadvantages like some banks provide more interest rate in fixed deposit

than KVP and also investment in KVP is taxable. But looking

into

KVP

scheme has more benefits then

problems.

overall

picture

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LABOUR REFORMS

There are various labour laws for regulating employment and conditions of service of workers. These laws also provide for

maintaining registers and furnishing

concerned

enforcement authorities. The labour laws of independent India derive their origin, inspiration and strength partly from the views expressed by important nationalist leaders during the days of national freedom struggle, partly from the debates of the Constituent Assembly and partly from the provisions of the Constitution and the International Conventions and

returns

• The Apprentices Act, 1961 Labour laws in India are very rigid and number of laws increase

with the size of industry. Industries in India have demanded labour reforms since a long time. Industry wants flexibility in relation to hiring and firing of employees. Industry’s wants to have laws which make it easy to close down and introduce the technological advancements without the intervention of the government. Archaic and old inspection system has also been a bone of contention for the industries, they claim inspection system gives too much power in the hands of inspectors. But workers claim that these laws protect the genuine interests of the workers. In order to look into the matter Standing Committee on Labour laws under the Hemanand Biswal was

The seven Acts that are added to the list includes; Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961; Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service)Act, 1979; Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996; Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966; Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986; Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.

to

the

Recommendations. The relevance of the dignity of human labour and the need for protecting and safeguarding the interest of labour as human beings has been enshrined in Chapter-III

(Articles 16, 19, 23 & 24) and Chapter

• The Bill also adds that the employer may maintain the returns filed and the registers on a computer, computer disk or other electronic media. Apart from central governments initiative various state governments has already made changes to the labour laws in order to make it more flexible to the industries. The Rajasthan government cleared amendments to three critical and archaic Central government labour

legislations — the Industrial Disputes

Act, Contract Labour Act and the Factories Act.

IV

(Articles 39, 41, 42, 43, 43A & 54)

setup which has submitted its report

of

the Constitution of India keeping

in

2011.

Based

on

the

in

line with Fundamental Rights and

recommendation

given

by

Directive Principles of State Policy.

But according to some analysts

labour laws has become a hinderace

in the growth of industries in the

country. Under the Constitution of India, Labour is a subject in the concurrent list where both the Central and State Governments are competent to enact legislations.

There are 45 different national- and state-level labour legislation in India. Important among those are-

committee and opinions from various quarters Rajya sabha has passed a bill

to simplify labour law procedures. Bill

is named as the Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Amendment Bill,

2011.

Important features of the act are-

establishment whichwill include a unit employing between 10-40 people. • The Bill increases the number of laws under which units and small establishments will be exempt from maintaining registers and filings returns.

small

Bill

redefines

the

• According to the changes in the Industrial Disputes Act, there is no need for government permission for retrenching up to 300 workers now it allows only up to 100 workers.

The Industrial Disputes Act,

 

1947.

The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.

The Factories Act, 1948

• The Rajasthan Cabinet has also increased the percentage of

The Trade Unions Act, 1926

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workers needed for registration as a representative union from 15 per cent to 30 per cent. Because of the rigid and complex labor laws, it becomes extremely difficult to hire and fire. So Indian industries are becoming capital intensive rather than labour intensive which leads to less job creation. And hiring is also on

contractual basis which makes it easy to fire. Which in turn leads to more labour in informal sector and they don’t receive social security benefits, pension, insurance etc. labour reforms becomes a necessity for industries as well as workers. Proper labour laws make it easy for industries to hire and fire, which in turn increase their employability. Employability in

turn increase the number of jobs created and it overall increases the employment level of the country. There are also rigid laws related to apprentice in country which creates a problem for college graduates to get the necessary work experience and industries in turn does not get a young workers.

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TRADE FACILITATION AGREEMENT

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization which deals with the rules of trade between nations. The organization officially commenced on 1 January 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, signed by 123 nations on 1994, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The goal of WTO is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business. Bali conference has broadly came out with these outcomes- TradeTradeTradeTradeTrade FacilitationFacilitationFacilitationFacilitationFacilitation agreement-agreement-agreement-agreement-agreement- Agreement will attempt to reduce red-tape and streamline customs. It will help in faster clearance of goods which are perishable in nature. It will be legally binding agreement and also have coordinating bodies at national and international level. This agreement needs a upgradtion of technology to reduce the redtape. Least Developed Countries will receive the support to build the capacities to implement the changes. DevelopmentDevelopmentDevelopmentDevelopmentDevelopment andandandandand LDCLDCLDCLDCLDC issues-issues-issues-issues-issues- Least developed countries (LDCs) and developing countries would be given preferential treatment and market access. Least- Developed Countries will be given Duty-Free and Quota-Free (DFQF) Market Access. Operationalization of the Waiver Concerning Preferential Treatment to Services and Service Suppliers of Least-Developed Countries - allows preferential treatment to be given to LDCs for 15 years from date of agreement adoption. Agriculture-Agriculture-Agriculture-Agriculture-Agriculture- Covers food security in developing countries

which includes public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes, Export Competition etc. Agriculture issue has become a

problem area for the negotiations between the developed countries and India. As per the original Agreement on agriculture (AoA), agriculture subsidies were divided into three categories-

1. Green Box Subsidy

2. Amber box Subsidy

3. Blue box Subsidy

Out of all three only Amber box subsidies are considered as subsidy which disrupts the trade balance. Subsidy on fertilizers, power etc. comes under this kind of subsidy. It was agreed in original Agreement-on-

Agriculture that the developed and developing countries will have to keep their Amber box subsidies within 5% and 10% of their agriculture production in 1986-88 respectively. India has strongly opposed to this clause because subsidies are calculated on the basis of prices of 1987-88. Input costs have skyrocketed in these decades. But, De-minimus doesn’t consider inflation factor. As a temporary relief to India’s demand a “peace clause” was agreed in Bali summit. Therefore, as a measure of temporary relief, Bali summit enacted a “peace clause” for the AoA. Peace clause has certain provisions which provide temporary relief to India. According to this clause no member, can drag any developing country to Dispute settlement mechanism of WTO for violation of De-minimus limits in AoA. But developing countries should also fulfill some criteria like-

1. Subsidy is provided only for staple food crops .

2. Subsidy is used program which

public

is

stockholding.

related

to

3. And also for the purpose of any program related to food security. But “peace clause” provides

only temporary solution till 2017 and developed countries might not accept this clause as permanent

solution. In this context India refused to

accept the Bali package until a permanent solution for agriculture

subsidy

government has a legally binding food security act, 2013. Under this act Indian government has to provide subsidies food for around 82 crore population. Right to food is one of the fundamental human rights even united nation charter for human rights accepts this right. Millennium development goals which talks about nutrition and reduction in mortality

Indian

is

provided.

can never be fulfilled if food security

is not provided to poor population of

the country. And also subsidy given by developed countries are much higher than that of developing countries e. g. India provide 12 billion dollars subsidy for 500 million farmers and US provide 120 billion dollars to 2 million farmers. The G33,

a group of developing countries that

coordinate on trade and economic issues also supported India’s stand. At the end India has been able to convince that it contentions are valid. India and the US settled the dispute that had paralyzed the WTO, and given the way to reforms that are seen adding about $ 1 trillion to global trade.

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The Main examination held in October-November and the candidates those who qualify at this stage are invited to the interview in March-April next year.

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PROJECT MAUSAM AND MARITIME SILK ROUTE

Project Mausam is a Ministry of culture initiative with Indira Gandhi National centre for the Arts(IGNCA) as the nodal coordinating agency. Mausam in literal sense refers to a season where it becomes safer to sail in the sea. Indian ocean has seasonal wind pattern which follows a particular direction in between May and September and different direction between October and April. The project is considered the new government’s most significant foreign policy initiative designed to counter China. It is inspired by India’s historical role as the focal point for trade in the Indian Ocean. In premodern Times sailors used seasonal winds to sail across the sea. This trip usually involved starting from one of the edges of the ocean and then sailing to India, stopping in India and allowing the crew to wait for seasonal wind to reverse its direction and finally start the sail back to original place.

endeavor of project

mausam is to project itself at two levels: at the macro level, it aims to reconnect and reestablish communications between countries of the Indian Ocean world, which would lead to an enhanced understanding of cultural values and concerns~ while at the micro level, the focus is on understanding national cultures in their regional maritime milieu. The central theme of project Mausam is those routes which linked the different parts of Indian Ocean. These routes will help in

The

developing a shared knowledge systems and knowledge which will spread along these routes will impact coastal centers.

Project ‘Mausam’ is an project which has benefits in multiple dimensions for the member states, it

also restarts the lost ties and routes between Indian ocean states. This project will help in forgeing new

avenues

of

cooperation

and

exchange

of

knowledge.

The

project, launched by India in partnership with member states, will enable a significant step in recording and celebrating this important phase of world history from the African, Arab and Asianworld perspectives. The project purpose is to develop the Indian Ocean world which will expand between East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka to the Southeast Asian archipelago. By some it is considered as most important step taken by New government in foreign policy sphere. Work for project has already been started by India organizing a national conference on ‘Indian Ocean Region:

Cultural Landscapes and Maritime Trade Routes of India’, in connection with Project ‘Mausam’. This project is India’s initiative in face of China’s maritime silk route development.

Maritime Silk Route Project

Maritime silk route project is China’s plan to develop maritime infrastructure in the boarders of Indo- pacific region. It was first proposed

by President Xi Jinping’s during his trip to Southeast Asia in October 2013. China has asked India to join the project but till now India has not given any answer for joining the project. The Maritime Silk Route started as an ASEAN-centered project in order to improve china’s influence in that region. But later China expanded the scope of the project to include the Indian Ocean.

China is projecting this project as only

a commercial venture and which will

help in developing the maritime infrastructure and also the economic development of member states. But China’s image of dominating nation and lack of details provided for

project makes it difficult for countries

China’s

to

controversy with Vietnam regarding the exploration in the region which Vietnam claims to be in it’s Exclusive Economic Zone and Chinese patrol near japan islands makes it difficult for the host countries of the region to

accept that maritime silk route project

is only a commercial activity and not

a project to increase the domination

of China in the region. Asean region has another problem related to issues of sovereignty over the islands and region. There are various areas where issues of sovereignty has still far from settled, this makes the success of the project all the more difficult. But on

the flip side host nations would not want to be left out of this potentially highly beneficial commercial adventure. This maritime project coupled with new silk route project of china, which attempts to connect

join

the

project.

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ProjectProjectProjectProjectProject

ProjectProjectProjectProjectProject MausamMausamMausamMausamMausam andandandandand MaritimeMaritimeMaritimeMaritimeMaritime SilkSilkSilkSilkSilk RouteRouteRouteRouteRoute

the land scape from china to central Asia, can be highly beneficial for the

region, so host nations may join it even at the cost of potential problems. China in order to show it’s seriousness

already

announced a 10 billion Yuan ($1.6 billion) fund for the “maritime silk road plan”. This would include port infrastructure development this will help the nations of south Asian and

for

the

project

has

Indian ocean region in a large scale. This financial benefit might come at the cost of long term strategic independence. Both of these projects are good initiatives for the development of the Indian ocean region countries and both can bring lot of development to the nations of the region which are suffering from the similar social problems. In deciding which of the

two project to join, it will come down to which country (India or China) is more serious about the project; which is offering better financial benefits, and also the image of the nation. As India provides a better democratic opportunity, it will come down to whether Indian project Mausam can provide the financial benefits which are relevant as compared to the Maritime silk route project.

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ProjectProjectProjectProjectProject MausamMausamMausamMausamMausam andandandandand
ProjectProjectProjectProjectProject MausamMausamMausamMausamMausam andandandandand MaritimeMaritimeMaritimeMaritimeMaritime SilkSilkSilkSilkSilk RouteRouteRouteRouteRoute

UNIVERSAL HEALTH ASSURANCE MISSION

India face problems related to Infant mortality and Maternal mortality at a large scale. India also receives highest number of deaths in

many acute diseases. There are various reasons for these problems but most important among them is that in India expenditure on health in very less percentage of the GDP. While in USA

it is close to 14 percent in India it is

close to five percent. Among this percentage government spending of health is close to one percentage only. This puts an added burden on the public to spent from their pocket. And in a country where large section

of population is poor this burden is unsustainable. In last few decades economic growth of India has been very good but resultant public spending on the health sector has not improved much. The growth of India’s economy now permits this long overdue increase in public financing of health. Good health has implications for development of

countryas well this has been recognized by government in recent initiatives like National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and a multitude of state sponsored health insurance schemes. The social objectives of all of these schemes would need to be merged and their scope considerably expanded to create a valued and viable model of UHC in India. With this objective in mind The Government is considering to roll out

a National Health Assurance Mission

to reduce the hard earned money of

poor population in India. A Group has been constituted for preparing a comprehensive background paper for this purpose.

a

stakeholder in the health sector of India. That is why every individual must be motivated to a lead healthy

life and thereby keep the burden on the public health infrastructure to the minimum. Thankfully, we are a young nation. With 65 percent of the population under the age of 35, it should not be too difficult to make optimal use of every available Rupee. Public Health is in state list, which makes it a state subject, the Central Government can only provide a supplementing role to the efforts of the States/UTs. Under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) central government provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare to

the rural population. National Health Mission (NHM) was approved the central government which subsumes the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) and the National Rural Health mission objective of national health mission are also the same to

provide universal access to equitable, affordable and quality health care services to all the population.

has

announced that it will bring Universal

health assurance mission under which Universal health insurance mission would also be covered. An expert group under Dr. Ranjit Roy is formed

to prepare a roadmap for Universal

Every

human

body

is

Now

government

health assurance mission.

Projected Highlights of UHAM

Fifty essential drugs (in generic form) with a package of diagnostics and about 30 Ayush drugs will be made available to all citizens at government hospitals and health centres across the country A solid package of preventive and positive health information will be made available to all citizens The Universal Health Insurance component in UHAM is poised to become the world’s largest public health insurance programme which would be free for those below the poverty line and low-premium for the rest of the population. At present health insurance touches about 25 percent of the population. Government will spread the population of the insured rapidly, resulting in sharp fall in premium rates and many consumer benefits. An autonomous oversight body, UHAM Agency, will be formed to ensure above-board operations and genuine protection of the insured Government also announced to achieve the objective of mass awareness Ministry should mobilise mass opinion and movements on special days of the year. Partners for this will be drawn from among NGOs, faith-based organisations, educational institutions, medical professionals of the government and private sectors, clubs and related social forums. Such pointed campaigns will be instrumental in

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UniversalUniversalUniversalUniversalUniversal

UniversalUniversalUniversalUniversalUniversal HealthHealthHealthHealthHealth AssuranceAssuranceAssuranceAssuranceAssurance MissionMissionMissionMissionMission

forging public-private and government-citizen coalitions for promotive and preventive health. As given in report by planning commission on Universal health coverage that UHC is “ensuring equitable access for all Indian citizens, resident in any part of the country, regardless of income level,

social status, gender, caste or religion,

accountable,

to

appropriate health services of assured quality (promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative) as well as

affordable,

public health services addressing the wider determinants of health delivered to individuals and populations, with the government being the guarantor and enabler,,,,, although not necessarily the only provider, of health and related services.” Universal health cover is a necessary component of nations development. No nation can claim to be developed unless it’s citizens are healthy. Universal health coverage is necessary for a country of India’s size

in order to ensure that use health care. Insure a Health care which is not only curative but also preventive. This health care should be of good quality and it should be provided at a cost which does not provide financial hardship to the common man of the country. Significantly, the Millennium Development Goals cannot be achieved unless we provide the universal health coverage to all the population.

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Ø Medium: English Ø Price: Rs. 600 Rs. 449 Ø No. of Booklets: 12 (1
Ø Medium: English Ø Price: Rs. 600 Rs. 449 Ø No. of Booklets: 12 (1

Ø Medium: English

Ø Price: Rs. 600 Rs. 449

Ø No. of Booklets: 12 (1 Year)

Ø Publisher: IASEXAMPORTAL.COM

Ø File Type:

PDF File Only (No Hard Copy)

Ø File Type: PDF File Only (No Hard Copy) Ø Gist of The Hindu Ø Gist

Ø Gist of The Hindu

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Ø Gist of Kurukshetra

Ø Gist of Press Information Bureau

Ø Gist of Science Reporter

of Press Information Bureau Ø Gist of Science Reporter

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WomenWomenWomenWomenWomen ProblemsProblemsProblemsProblemsProblems ininininin IndiaIndiaIndiaIndiaIndia
WomenWomenWomenWomenWomen ProblemsProblemsProblemsProblemsProblems ininininin IndiaIndiaIndiaIndiaIndia

WOMEN PROBLEMS IN INDIA

There are only two types of women — goddesses and doormats says the famous artist Pablo Picasso. India is a land which worships women as goddesses yet burn them for dowry and kill girls in the womb. Multiple problems haunt them since the day they are born. The position of women has improved multifold compared to the position centuries ago. The practices like child marriage, sati, devadasi system, purdah system have almost disappeared. This could be attributed to the changes brought about by science and technology, education, social and political movements, modernization etc. Constitution of India grants equal status and where necessary provides extra safeguards from exploitation and injustice to women. It does not make any discrimination on the ground of sex. Though the position of women has improved considerably that what it used to be pre- independence era now they are beset with new stresses and strains. Some major problems are analyzed below.

Gender Discrimination Female foeticide: Like many societies around the world India is also a patriarchal in nature. There is an obsession for a male child who is considered key to continue the family lineage. With the legalization of abortion in India lead to selective abortion killing female fetus has become an everyday reality. This lead to the skewed growth of population.

The child sex ratio has dropped from 945 females per 1000 males in 1992 to 927 females per 1000 males in2001. According to 2011 census

the ratio has slightly improved to 933 females per 1000 males but this can’t be attributed as a major improvement over a decade period. This skewed population growth has long term impact on the society like female trafficking, kidnapping and increase in assault and rape against women. Discrimination in distribution of power and work : women is not accepted as equal to male. They are made to confine to domestic works like cooking, cleaning, washing etc termed as women’s work. Women workers are paid less than the male workers. They were not allowed to take part in politics. Reservation in

has

politics,

improved the condition of women. EarlyEarlyEarlyEarlyEarly marriagemarriagemarriage:marriagemarriage A vast number of girls are married at an early age. Approximately 60% of the rural girls are married before they are 18 and bear children before they are 19. Almost one third of the babies are born with low birth weight. High illiteracy , ignorance to sexual behavior, malnutrition makes pregnant girls take high risk of life. Girls who get married before 18 are more likely to experience domestic violence compared to the those marry later.

DowryDowryDowry:DowryDowry Max Radin has defined dowry as the property, which a man receives from his wife or her family at

education,

jobs

the time of his marriage. Dowry may be broadly defined as gifts and valuables received in marriage by the bride, the bridegroom and his relatives. The age old practice of dowry has now assumed a form of social evil. The desire of a parent to get his daughter married in a higher and rich family makes them to accept all the conditions from the boy’s side. It has caused unhappiness and misery to the bride’s family. Women are ill-treated, disrespected, beaten and subjected to all sorts of cruelties and sometimes leading to deaths. Dowry system degrades the self respect of a women and reflects the inferior status of women in the society. Dowry prohibition act 1961amended in 1986 was passed to curtail this but still the practice continues to be in

vogue. Violence:Violence:Violence:Violence:Violence: Women are the most vulnerable section of the society who are exposed to violence. Even in the country which has improved its education level still very day we hear about the violence against the women. This is the phenomena which is not only restricted to the rural areas the women ev in cities are also

ganag rapes and

equally vulnerable

rapes of women in the houses and public transport is frequent phenemona in cites as developed as delhi as well. As per the report [1994] of the “Crime Record Bureau” of the Central Home Ministry, crimes against women increased to a great extent in the year 1993-94. As per this report, in India on an average,

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WomenWomenWomenWomenWomen

WomenWomenWomenWomenWomen ProblemsProblemsProblemsProblemsProblems ininininin IndiaIndiaIndiaIndiaIndia

(i) Every day for every 6 minutes one atrocity is committed against woman; (ii) for every 44 minutes a woman is kidnapped; (iii) For every 47 minutes a woman is raped; (iv) Every day 17 dowry deaths take place. The same report says that crimes against women increased two

registered. It is said that only 10% of the rape cases are reported. Justice Verma Committee formed after the 16 th December 2012 Delhi rape case made change to the Indian penal code and made crimes and violence against women highly stringent and punishment for the crimes has been made more severe.

urgent need to curb all forms of sexual offences like voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks etc. Every complaint of rape must be registered by the police and civil society should perform its duty to report any case of rape coming to its knowledge. Though the laws are made

times in the last 10 years; instances of rape by 400% in the last two decades;

The main recommendations of the committee are:

stringent but in order for them to make significant changes in society,

instances

of

kidnapping

and

Punishment of not less than 20

society should accept it in heart. As

30%

between 1974 and 1993. In 1993

blackmailing

women

by

registered. Many cases are not

years, which may also extend to life and gang-rape followed by death,

we have seen we already have laws related to dowry and female feticide

alone about 82,818 instances of

should

be

punished

with life

but these problems still persists in the

crimes against women were

imprisonment. The panel has recognized the

Indian society.

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NationalNationalNationalNationalNational IssuesIssuesIssuesIssuesIssues
NationalNationalNationalNationalNational IssuesIssuesIssuesIssuesIssues

NATIONAL ISSUES

PM Modi among world’s most powerful people, ranked 15th:

Forbes

among world’s most powerful people, ranked 15th: Forbes • Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his debut

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his debut among the world’s most powerful people, ranked 15th on the Forbes list topped by Russian President Vladimir Putin who pipped his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama for a second year in a row.

• The list of 72 most powerful people in the world also included the names of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani at 36th, ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal at 57th and Microsoft’s Indian-born CEO Satya Nadella at 64th.

Blue Revolution can start from Kerala: Radha Mohan Singh

Blue Revolution can start from Kerala: Radha Mohan Singh • Kerala is the right place for

• Kerala is the right place for a start to India’s Blue Revolution, said Union Minister for

Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh in Kochi.

• He said that issues related to the makeover of the fisheries sector would be discussed before the next Union Budget. He was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day Global Agro Meet and exhibition of organic products BIOFACH India 2014 at Kurkutty, near Angamaly.

• The Blue Revolution envisages transformation of the fisheries sector, chiefly marine fisheries and the Centre had appointed a committee to review India’s marine fisheries policy.

SCissuednoticetoHealth Ministry on rigging in MCI

election

SCissuednoticetoHealth Ministry on rigging in MCI election • The Supreme Court issued notice to the Ministry

• The Supreme Court issued notice to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Medical Council of India (MCI) on a PIL seeking a CBI investigation into alleged rigging in MCI election in 2013.

• A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu also sought the response of Dr. Ketan Desai, former president of MCI, to the PIL filed by NGO People for Better Treatment.

The NGO alleged that Dr. Desai had a role in the tainted poll process.

• The petitioner has also sought prosecution of all the MCI members involved in the alleged rigging and amendment to Section 3 of the Indian Medical Council Act.

‘Make in India’ programme will meetRussia’s‘Easternpivot’

in India’ programme will meetRussia’s‘Easternpivot’ • The government’s “Make in India” programme and

• The government’s “Make in India” programme and Russia’s “Eastern pivot” will meet as Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin will discuss more cooperation on energy, the co-production of fighter aircraft and nuclear cooperation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

• During the visit, Mr. Rogozin will chair the 20th commission (IRIGC-TEC) along with Ms. Swaraj, as well as draw up the plan for “deliverables” for President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Delhi, expected in December for the annual India- Russia summit.

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NationalNationalNationalNationalNational

NationalNationalNationalNationalNational IssuesIssuesIssuesIssuesIssues

• “Contrary to the perception that we are behind time in shaping the contours of the

PMPromisesVisa-on-ArrivalFacility

smart cities plan, we have a fair idea of what the smart cities are going to look like,” Mr. Naidu told.

the smart cities are going to look like,” Mr. Naidu told. • India’s Prime Minister Narendra

• India’s Prime Minister Narendra assured Australia a visa-on- arrival facility for tourists, and announced a two–month deadline for the long–pending merger of OCI and PIO status to woo the Indian diaspora from whom he sought support for his Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

• Addressing a frenzied crowd of around 20,000 in the packed Allphones Arena here, Mr. Modi took a dig at the previous governments saying while they were happy to make laws he was “happier to remove” them.

Kisan Vikas Patra Scheme (KVP) relaunched

• Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Communication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad relaunched the Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) investment scheme to tap household savings for funding infrastructure development in the country

and to lure them away from ponzi schemes.

in the country and to lure them away from ponzi schemes. • The savings instrument will

• The savings instrument will be available in the denomination of Rs. 1000, Rs. 5,000, Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 50,000. There will be no upper ceiling on investments an investor can make in them. However, no tax benefits would be available on these investments. • Banks will accept these certificates as pledged security for loans

DoPT clarifies on CSE

• The Centre’s decision in February to allow two additional attempts to all categories of candidates for the Civil Services Examination

(CSE) with effect from 2014 rendered infructuous the Group of Ministers’ decision last December to lower the upper

age limit for eligibility from CSE

2015.

• While the age limit earlier was 30, 35, 33 and 40 years respectively for the unreserved, SC/ST, OBC and the physically challenged categories, consequential changes in the age limit due to provision of two additional attempts are 32 years for the unreserved, 37 for the SC/ST, 35 for the OBC and 12 additional years (30+12 for

General, 35+12 for SC/ST and 33+12 for OBC) for the physically challenged candidates in each category.

Nanavati panel submits itsreportonGujaratriots

category. Nanavati panel submits itsreportonGujaratriots • Twelve years after it was constituted, the Nanavati

• Twelve years after it was constituted, the Nanavati Commission of Enquiry probing the 2002 post-Godhra riots submitted its final report to Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. • Justice Nanavati and Commission member Justice Akshay Mehta met Ms. Patel at her residence and handed over the report. Justice Nanavati told PTI that the report was over 2,000 pages, but did not divulge anything further. • “The report will be forwarded to the Home department. The

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NationalNationalNationalNationalNational

NationalNationalNationalNationalNational IssuesIssuesIssuesIssuesIssues

NCW chief L. Kumaramangalam wants legalisation of sex work

NCW chief L. Kumaramangalam wants legalisation of sex work The chairperson of the National Commission for

The chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), Lalitha Kumaramangalam, has advocated legalising sex work to regulate the trade and ensure better living conditions for women engaged in commercial sex work. Legalising the trade, she says, will also bring down trafficking in women and lower the incidence of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. • Ms. Kumaramangalam said she would put forth the proposal at the empowered committee meeting of the Cabinet on November 8. “It [legalisation] is meant to regulate the trade. A vast majority of women in sex trade are trafficked; if it is legalised then commercial trafficking can be dealt with stringently,” she told. • In the absence of regulation, she said sex workers were forced to serve clients in unhygienic and unhealthy conditions and without condoms, which led to the spread of HIV and other STDs.

Government may clear someBillsinwintersession

• The Narendra Modi government has an ambitious agenda for the winter session of Parliament for which the

Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) has recommended 22 sittings, starting November 24 and concluding on December 23.

• The government hopes to clear over 30 Bills that are likely to include the long-pending Insurance Amendment Bill, the Constitution Amendment Bills relating to national Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Land Border Agreement (LBA) with Bangladesh.

• At Monday’s CCPA meeting, convened by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who heads the committee, the 67 Bills pending in both the Houses were discussed. Later, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu was asked to circulate the list to all Ministries concerned and seek their response within a week.

• Interestingly, when the UPA government was in power, the BJP had blocked the LBA Bill citing reservations of its State units in Assam and West Bengal, which share a border with Bangladesh, while some BJP-ruled States, including Gujarat (the Bill requires ratification by at least half the States), had objected to the GST Bill.

• The government also hopes to bring the Small Factories (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Bill, 2014 to govern small factories employing less than 40 workers.

• The key issue as far as Constitution Amendment Bills are concerned is that the NDA is well short of a majority in the Rajya Sabha, and the upcoming 11 biennial elections for Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand

announced will not change the composition in the NDA’s favour.

Newborns to get free treatment

tillageoneinRajasthanunder JSSY

to get free treatment tillageoneinRajasthanunder JSSY • Extending the scope of the Janani Shishu Suraksha

• Extending the scope of the Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojana (JSSY) with an aim to bring down the infant mortality rate (IMR) in the State, the Rajasthan government has decided to provide free treatment to newborns till they complete one year. This will include diagnostics, medicine and free transportation facilities.

• The scheme is applicable to all children born in public health facilities. The decision comes amidst reports of suspected diphtheria deaths in Alwar district over the past few days.

• As many as six children have reportedly died of diphtheria in Gothri village in Laxmangarh block of Alwar and over a dozen are being treated for similar symptoms in the local hospital.

• Officials said swab samples have been sent to SMS Hospital, Jaipur, to ascertain whether they are suffering from diphtheria. Health authorities have launched an immunisation campaign in the area where cases have been reported.

• The JSSY, launched by the United Progressive Alliance

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InternationalInternationalInternationalInternationalInternational IssuesIssuesIssuesIssuesIssues

INTERNATIONAL ISSUES

U.S.airstrikestarget

ISconvoyinIraq

INTERNATIONAL ISSUES U.S.airstrikestarget ISconvoyinIraq • U.S. air strikes destroyed an Islamic State convoy near

• U.S. air strikes destroyed an Islamic State convoy near the Iraqi city of Mosul but U.S. officials said it was unclear whether the group’s top commander Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi had been in any of the 10 targeted vehicles.

• Colonel Patrick Ryder, a Central Command spokesman, said the U.S. military had reason to believe that the convoy was carrying leaders of Islamic State, an al-Qaeda offshoot which controls large chunks of Iraq and Syria.

• The convoy consisted of 10 Islamic State armed trucks.

• “I can confirm that coalition aircraft did conduct a series of air strikes in Iraq against what was assessed to be a gathering of ISIL leaders near Mosul,” said Colonel Ryder, using another name for Islamic State.

• “We cannot confirm if ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was among those present.” Islamic State had been changing its strategy since the air strikes began, switching to lower profile vehicles to avoid

being targeted, according to residents of towns the group holds.

• A Mosul morgue official said 50 bodies of Islamic State militants were brought to the facility after the air strike.

• Mosul, northern Iraq’s biggest city, was overrun on June 10 in an offensive that saw vast parts of Iraq’s Sunni regions fall to the Islamic State and allied groups.

• A month later a video posted online purported to show the reclusive Baghdadi preaching at Mosul’s grand mosque. Al- Hadath television channel said U.S.-led air strikes targeted a gathering of Islamic State leaders in a town near the Syrian border, possibly including Baghdadi.

• Iraqi security officials were not immediately available for comment on the report from the station, part of Saudi-owned al- Arabiya television, but two witnesses told Reuters an air strike targeted a house where senior Islamic State officers were meeting, near the western Iraqi border town of al-Qaim.

Thereisanattempttocreatea

chillingeffect:KumiNaidoo

• As a young man growing up in South Africa, Kumi Naidoo looked to India for inspiration. Now there is a twinge of disappointment. Mr. Naidoo, the executive director of Greenpeace International, is puzzled at how the

government came to freeze the organisation’s bank accounts in India without giving a reason.

bank accounts in India without giving a reason. • Though the Delhi High Court sent a

• Though the Delhi High Court sent a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs directing it to unblock Greenpeace India’s foreign funds, there is no respite with the Ministry asking for more details on remittances from abroad. • Mr Naidoo is in India to discuss the role of civil society in the context of certain individual and non-governmental organisations (NGO) being targeted for being “anti- national”. • He said, “Thankfully Greenpeace India is quintessentially an Indian entity, with 60 per cent of our resources coming from individual Indian citizens and 40 per cent from Greenpeace International.” • After the government’s move, Mr. Naidoo sought solace in Mahatma Gandhi. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win. We are not panicking because of Gandhiji.

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InternationalInternationalInternationalInternationalInternational IssuesIssuesIssuesIssuesIssues

completed by Russia’s Rosatom corporation and started operation last year.

Rosatom corporation and started operation last year. • According to the protocol signed by Russian and

• According to the protocol signed by Russian and Iranian representatives in Moscow on Tuesday, the two countries agreed to eventually expand the number of reactors using Russian technology to eight in Iran, including four at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in southern Iran.

• Nuclear fuel for the eight energy reactors will be provided by Russia and the used fuel rods will be returned to Russia, RIA Novosti news agency reported. Rosatom corporation stressed in a statement that the project will be under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

China’s economic ‘vision’ wins over APEC

• The members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members have agreed

to initiate the formation of a free

trade area in the Asia-Pacific —

a vision steered by China, which competes with the

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) initiative of the United States.

Partnership (TPP) initiative of the United States. • Summit host Chinese President Xi Jinping praised the

• Summit host Chinese President

Xi Jinping praised the in

principle endorsement of the Free Trade Area of the Asia- Pacific (FTAAP) as a decision

that “will be written into history books”. He said backing for the initiative “demonstrated the confidence and determination

of the APEC in advancing

regional economic integration”.

• In his closing address, Mr. Xi said the business community wanted the FTAAP, which is expected to include Russia, Beijing’s geostrategic partner.
• Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised the Chinese

initiative, a day after Beijing and Moscow signed a preliminary

agreement on a new route to transfer copious quantities of Russian natural gas into China.

Malaysian MH370 maybedeclared‘lost’

gas into China. Malaysian MH370 maybedeclared‘lost’ • Relatives of passengers of the Malaysian Airlines Flight

• Relatives of passengers of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, that vanished mysteriously eight-months ago with 239 people on board, have expressed shock after a senior airline official reportedly said that the plane would be declared “lost” by the year end. • The Airlines’ commercial Director Hugh Dunleavy reportedly said that the Malaysian and Australian governments were working together with the national carrier to determine compensation details, adding that the formal announcement of the loss would likely be made by the year end.

China will launch

about120satellites

made by the year end. China will launch about120satellites • China will launch about 120 satellites

• China will launch about 120 satellites to meet the country’s requirements in communication, space

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InternationalInternationalInternationalInternationalInternational IssuesIssuesIssuesIssuesIssues

• A previous World Bank analysis showed that if Ebola continues to surge in these three countries and spreads to neighbouring countries, the two-year regional financial impact would reach $32.6 billion by the end of 2015.

• According to the World Health Organisation, as of November 14, 2014, 14,413 Ebola cases have been registered in eight countries since the outbreak, with 5,177 deaths.

Obama formally announces $3 billioncontributiontoGreen Climate Fund

announces $3 billioncontributiontoGreen Climate Fund • U.S. President Barack Obama formally announced a

• U.S. President Barack Obama

formally announced a $3-billion

an

international fund to help poor countries cope with the effects of climate change.

• “Today, I’m announcing that the United States will take another important step. We will contribute $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to help developing nations deal with climate change,” he said in a speech at Queensland

University in Brisbane, where he is attending the G20 meeting.

contribution

U.S.

to

• The contribution doubles what other countries had previously pledged ahead of a November 20, 2014 deadline.

United States warplanes come to aid of Kurds

2014 deadline. United States warplanes come to aid of Kurds • United States warplanes renewed air

• United States warplanes renewed air strikes against Islamic State jihadists near the Syrian town of Kobane as Iraqi peshmerga soldiers prepared to reinforce their fellow Kurds in the border area, the U.S. military said.

• U.S. fighter jets and bombers had carried out eight air raids near Kobane, targeting six vehicles, a building and several IS fighting positions over the past 24 hours, said the military’s Central Command, which oversees the air war in Iraq and Syria.

• In Iraq, American unmanned drones and fighter jets conducted six bombing raids, including three near Sinjar in the north and three around Fallujah, west of Baghdad, Central Command said in a statement.

• The latest air strikes came as heavily armed peshmerga forces were poised to cross the Turkish border into Kobane to help the local Kurdish militia that has held out against a relentless assault by IS militants for weeks.

• Free Syrian Army rebels crossed from Turkey to Kobane. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington had seen the

reports that FSA fighters were crossing the border.

• “We welcome the support they would provide to Kobane’s defence,” Ms. Psaki told reporters, adding it would be up to officials on the ground to confirm when the process was completed.

• Iraqi Kurdish officials said up to 200 fighters would be sent. The town has become a crucial symbol in the battle against IS, an extremist Sunni Muslim group that has seized large parts of Syria and Iraq and declared an Islamic “caliphate.”

Drones seen over French nuclear power plants

Drones seen over French nuclear power plants • French authorities said that they had detected drones

• French authorities said that they had detected drones over two nuclear power plants, the latest in a baffling series of incidents across the country.

• A spokesman for security forces said: “Drone-type machines overflew two nuclear plants during the night. They were detected by police in charge of protecting the plants and staff.”

• “These machines were not neutralised because they did not represent a direct threat” to the nuclear facilities, the spokesman added.

• It is against French law to fly within a five km radius of a nuclear plant.

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General Studies (Paper - 1) & CSAT (Paper - 2) Comprehensive Manual: IAS Preliminary Examination

General Studies (Paper - 1) & CSAT (Paper - 2) Comprehensive Manual:

IAS Preliminary Examination 2015, (Set of 2 Books)

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Medium: English

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Publisher: Kalinjar Publications

ISBN NO: 9789351720485

TOPICS OF THE BOOK

CSAT General Studies Manual (Paper - 1)

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IndiaIndiaIndiaIndiaIndia &&&&& TheTheTheTheThe WorldWorldWorldWorldWorld
IndiaIndiaIndiaIndiaIndia &&&&& TheTheTheTheThe WorldWorldWorldWorldWorld

INDIA & THE WORLD

PakistanTaliban

threatenstoattackIndia

INDIA & THE WORLD PakistanTaliban threatenstoattackIndia • Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Jamaat ul-Ahrar), the group

• Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Jamaat ul-Ahrar), the group that claimed responsibility for

the suicide attack at a Pakistani check post near the Wagah border that killed 61 people, has threatened attacks on India next. In a telephone interview to agency Reuters, the spokesperson of the group Ehsanullah Ehsan (assumed name) said. “I have already

that if our

conveyed it to Modi

suicide bombers can carry out attacks.

• On this side of the border, they can easily do it on other side of the border in India,” he told

Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.

• “I told him that his hands are red with the blood of Kashmiri mujahideen (fighters) and innocent people of Gujarat for which he would have to pay the price.”

• Ehsan was probably referring to an earlier message on his twitter account, which said, “You (Modi) are the killer of hundreds of Muslims. We wl (will) take the revenge of innocent people of Kashmir

and Gugrat” (sic).” The message has since been deleted, but sources said PM Modi has been briefed about the threat since, and security agencies are taking the threat “very seriously”.

U.S.-Indiapactpaves

thewayforglobaltradedeal

seriously”. U.S.-Indiapactpaves thewayforglobaltradedeal • Decks have been cleared for a possible global trade deal

• Decks have been cleared for a possible global trade deal af- ter India and the U.S agreed on the way forward to break the logjam in global trade negotia- tions. With the agreement in place, India is all set to move its proposal on food security be- fore the WTO’s General Coun- cil at its next meeting sched- uled for early December.

• This proposal will seek to make open-ended the interim pro- tection of a ‘peace clause’ that was agreed to at the Bali Minis- terial last December.

• The clause safeguards support prices for farmers against the WTO’s limits on agricultural subsidies. India was in danger of breaching these subsidy caps.

• India wants to make sure that this protection would be available in perpetuity, should a permanent solution to the

problem of the WTO agriculture subsidy caps not be found. Whether the Bali Declaration provides that the ‘peace clause’ could be available beyond 2017 was open to interpretation.

• Announcing that an agreement had been reached with the U.S, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday that the U.S had agreed that India’s right to protect its right to food security cannot be denied by the WTO, paving the way for removing the imperfections in the Bali Ministerial package.

• U.S Trade Representative Michael Froman also released a statement which said the agreement with India reflected shared understandings regarding the WTO’s work on food security.

• Sources on the Indian side indicated that the resolution was possible after an understanding was reached with the U.S that India’s subsidies are not trade- distorting and aimed at achieving food security. India, on the other hand, was able to reassure the U.S that it was not opposed to trade facilitation and in fact was on course to implement it.

Germany hopeful of solution

over language row soon

• Even as a row continued to simmer over the Human

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IndiaIndiaIndiaIndiaIndia &&&&&

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Resource Development Ministry’s decision to take off German from the third language slot of the Kendriya Vidyalaya curriculum, Germany hoped a solution would be found soon.

curriculum, Germany hoped a solution would be found soon. • German Ambassador Michael Steiner said a

• German Ambassador Michael Steiner said a solution would be found to allow the language to be taught in these schools.

• He expressed confidence that after raising the issue with the Union government, both sides would be able to work out a way that would take care of children’s desire to learn foreign languages.

• Human Resource Minister Smriti Irani said an investigation had been ordered since the existing arrangement violated the three-language formula.

• After an MoU between the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and the German government in 2011, German was added to the third language list.

Australia-Indiasignpact to enhance skill development

list. Australia-Indiasignpact to enhance skill development further strengthen bilateral cooperation on skill

further strengthen bilateral cooperation on skill development. The Indian Government has also decided to expand the capacities of 12,000 industrial training institutes.

• At the ‘3rd India Australia Skills Conference: Skills for Better Business’ in Mumbai, a memo- randum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the National Skill Development Corporation, India (NSDC) and TAFE Directors, Australia, on Technical and Vocational Edu- cation and Training coopera- tion.

• The purpose is to further strengthen cooperation between the two to enhance and extend bilateral cooperation between Australia and India, a statement noted. The aim is to contribute positively to the development of technical and vocational education and training related linkages between India and Australia, it added.

• Bandaru Dattatreya, Minister for Labour and Employment, was present at the signing. In a statement, he said that with India going to add 10 million people to the work force each year, for the next 15 years, they would all need to be skilled and employed.

• He informed the ministry had launched a scheme for flexi memorandum of understandings between industry and industrial training institutes, which would lead to a minimum of 80 per cent of placement in the industry.

• Around three years ago, the India-Australia engagement on skills development had made an initial foray. The project has made rapid progress. It may be recalled that during the visit of the Indian delegation to Australia in July 2014, five sectors were identified and one or more critical job roles were taken up for developing the Indo-Australian Trans

National Standards.

India-Australiaseekearlyclosureofcivilnucleardeal

Standards. India-Australiaseekearlyclosureofcivilnucleardeal • Australia and India have decided to map common

Australia and India have decided to map common standards on job roles and

India and Australia sought early conclusion of negotiations for a comprehensive economic

partnership agreement and a closure on the civil nuclear deal as Prime Minister Narendra

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IndiaIndiaIndiaIndiaIndia &&&&&

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Modi and his counterpart Tony Abbott held talks in Canberra.

• After the two leaders held talks, India and Australia signed five pacts on social security, transfer of sentenced prisoners, combating narcotics trade, tourism, and Arts and Culture.

• “We also agreed on seeking early closure on the civil nuclear agreement, which will give Australia a chance to participate in one of the most secure and safe nuclear energy programme in the world,” Mr. Modi said in a statement to the media at a joint press conference with Abbott.

• Later, while addressing the Par- liament, Australian Prime Min- ister Abbott said, “If all goes well, Australia will export ura- nium to India under suitable safeguards because cleaner energy is one of the most im- portant contributions that Aus- tralia can make to wider world.”

Musharraf warns of proxy war with India in Afghanistan

Musharraf warns of proxy war with India in Afghanistan • The departure of Nato combat forces

• The departure of Nato combat forces from Afghanistan could push India and Pakistan to- wards a proxy war in the troubled state, Pakistan’s former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf warned in an interview with AFP.

• As Pakistan’s ruler, Musharraf was a key US ally in its “war on terror”, but he now lives under

tight security in his Karachi home, facing Taliban death

threats and a litany of criminal cases dating back to his near decade-long rule that ended in

2008.

• The 71-year-old — who seized

power in a bloodless coup in 1999 — praised new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who made his first official trip to Pakistan last week in a bid to reset fractious ties with Islamabad.

• Pakistan’s support is seen as crucial to Afghan peace as US- led forces pull out by the end of this year after 13 years battling the Taliban.

• But the former strongman said calming tension between India and Pakistan — running high at the moment after some of the worst cross-border firing in years — is key to peace in Afghanistan.

the

• “The danger for Pakistan is

Indian influence in Afghanistan,” he told AFP at his house in Karachi.

• “That is another danger for the whole region and for Pakistan because Indian involvement there has an anti-Pakistan connotation. They (India) want to create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan.”

UNICEF wants to support Indiain‘CleanIndiaMission’

• UNICEF hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission and offered its support to the government to successfully implement the programme,

particularly in rural India.

• “We are really welcoming this

are really putting

everything we can to support

initiative

We

this initiative,” UNICEF India Representative Louis-Georges Arsenault said in New Delhi.

Representative Louis-Georges Arsenault said in New Delhi. • Noting that hygiene and sanitation in many Indian

• Noting that hygiene and sanitation in many Indian

districts, particularly in Uttar Pradesh are “very weak,” Arsenault expressed hope that

the new initiative would help

spread awareness among people about hygiene in their surroundings.

• He was reacting to a question on UNICEF’s role in cleanliness and the new initiative of the government.

• UNICEF officials said that the organisation’s long standing support for improving water supply, sanitation and hygiene stems from a firm conviction and

based on sound evidence that

these are central to ensuring

the rights of children.

• UNICEF supports the Centre and State Governments in

developing and implementing

a range of replicable

intervention models for

sanitation, hygiene and water supply.

• On October 2, Modi launched

the ambitious Swachh Bharat

campaign that was joined by Chief Ministers, lawmakers and prominent personalities from various fields, along with lakhs of countrymen in a drive that is expected to cost nearly Rs, 2 lakh crore.

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EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy TrilateralCoastGuard

EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy

TrilateralCoastGuard

exercise‘Dosti-XII’ends

TrilateralCoastGuard exercise‘Dosti-XII’ends Tax-free bonds 2013 are stillagoodinvestment the economy,

Tax-free bonds 2013 are stillagoodinvestment

the

economy, the government will

release a new series of national accounts with 2011-12 as base

the

year

economic growth rate.

realistic

picture

of

• Stock investors may be cel- ebrating, but even those who invested in tax-free bonds have got reasons to cheer. Tax-free bonds issued in 2013 and ear- lier this year has churned out terrific returns of up to 25%.

• The 20-year tax-free bond from the National Housing Bank

for

computing

tax-free bond from the National Housing Bank for computing • A four-day trilateral Coast Guard  

A

four-day trilateral Coast Guard

 

(NHB), which hit the market on 30 December 2013, is quoting at Rs 6,225, a return of 24.5% on its issue price of ‘5,000. Other bonds issued around the same time have also given good returns.

 

exercise ‘Dosti-XII’ among India, Maldives and Sri Lanka off the Maldives coast ended. Five ships and two aircraft participated in the event.

• The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data based on the new series will be released for three consecutive years from 2011- 12 in January next year. • At present, the GDP is computed on 2004-05 base year. “The new series will better reflect the economy as it would include more sectors. However, it would be difficult to say whether there would be any significant change in growth rates for the previous years,” National Statistical Commission Chairman Pronab

“Two ships from Indian Coast Guard, Samar with Integral

Helicopter, Rajdoot along with

• A combination of factors has led to the rally in these long-

Dornier aircraft, one ship from Sri Lankan Samudura and two ships from Maldives, Huravee and Shaheed Ali participated,”

a

 

term bonds. First, there is no new supply of tax-free bonds because the 2014 Budget did not allow new tax-free bond

a

Coast Guard release said.

 

‘Dosti’ was institutionalised in 1991 as bilateral exercise between the Indian Coast Guard and the Maldives

National Security Service. Sri Lanka became part of the exercise in 2012.

issues. Second, the Budget also changed the tax rules for debt mutual funds, which drove more high net worth investors to tax-free bonds.

New GDP data with 2011-12 as base year in Jan 2015

 

Seeking to present a more

Sen, who was associated with formulation of the new series, said.

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EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy
EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy

ECONOMY

Indian Rupee ends almost

flatat61.41againstUSdollar

Fiveglobalbanksslappedfines

totalling$3.4bforforexmarketrigging

totalling$3.4bforforexmarketrigging • The Indian rupee ended almost flat at 61.41 against the

• The Indian rupee ended almost flat at 61.41 against the Greenback on alternate bouts of buying and selling.

• Despite a strong start, the ru- pee erased all its morning gains during intra-day due to sharp bouts of dollar demand from importers. However, it fell later before recouping losses to close almost flat at 61.41 on the back of fresh dollar selling from banks and exporters.

• Sustained capital inflows into equities also helped the rupee to cap the fall to some extend, dealers said.

• At the Interbank Foreign Ex- change market (Forex), the domestic unit commenced higher at 61.35 a dollar from previous close of 61.40. It moved in a range of 61.34 and 61.49 before settling at 61.41, showing a marginal fall of one paise.

• Meanwhile, US dollar contin- ued its strong rallying momen- tum against a basket of curren- cies in late Asian session trade in the wake of Republican wins during the mid-term elections as well as steady improvement in US data.

mid-term elections as well as steady improvement in US data. • British, American and Swiss regulators

• British, American and Swiss regulators slapped fines totalling $3.4 billion ( Rs.20, 900 crore) on five banks after a global regulatory probe found them guilty of rigging the foreign exchange market.

• Five banks, including HSBC, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, the Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS, have been fined £1.1 billion ($1.7 billion) by Britain’s market regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority for failings over foreign exchange operations. • Simultaneously, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission imposed fines totalling $1.4 billion on the same five banks while UBS faced an additional fine of $138 million from the Swiss regulator, FINMA. • The FCA slapped a fine of £225.5 million on Citibank, while HSBC faced a penalty of

£216 million. JP Morgan Chase, RBS and UBS were fined £222.1 million, £217 million, and £233 million respectively. • The fines related to failure to control business practices in the banks’ G10 foreign exchange trading operations, a market that FCA said was “systematically important.” • The banks failed in their responsibility to manage obvious risks that included conflicts of interest and confidentiality, the FCA said. • “Between January 1, 2008 and October 15, 2013 ineffective controls at the banks allowed G10 spot FX traders to put the banks’ interests ahead of those of their clients, other market participants and the wider UK financial system.” As a result, traders were able to behave “unacceptably” as they shared confidential information, often colluding with other traders,

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EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy and attempted to

EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy

and attempted to manipulate G10 spot FX currency rates.

• “Today’s record fines mark the gravity of the failings we found and firms need to take responsibility for putting it right,” said Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive of the FCA.

Retailinflationdeclined to 5.5% in October

of the FCA. Retailinflationdeclined to 5.5% in October October, slightly down from 6.35 per cent in

October, slightly down from 6.35 per cent in the previous month.

Universitiesmayoffercredit transfer scheme from next year

Universitiesmayoffercredit transfer scheme from next year The Skill Assessment Matrix for Vocational Advancement of

The Skill Assessment Matrix for Vocational Advancement of Youth (SAMVAY) was launched to mark National Education Day. • It defines the rules for credit allotment and follows the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) — approved by the Union government last year — which allows students to alternate between vocational and general courses. • “The University Grants Commission in its meeting took a decision on how various Central universities can practice choice-based credit transfer, and I hope all our universities will implement this system in the next academic year so that all our students can seamlessly study from one university to another,” Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani said at the launch. The Ministry also launched the

RBI tightens norms for NBFC Companies

also launched the • RBI tightens norms for NBFC Companies • Tightening norms for non- banking

• Tightening norms for non- banking financial companies (NBFCs), the Reserve Bank of India raised the capital adequacy requirement and the net owned fund limit, among others, with an objective to mitigate risks in the sector. With a view to streamlining the regulations for the sector, the RBI also revoked temporary suspension on issuance of Certificate of Registration (CoR) to companies that want to conduct business of non- banking financial institution (NBFI). As per the latest directives, the RBI has raised the limit for NBFCs to maintain the net owned fund (NOF) requirement to four times by 2017 to Rs.2 crore. • At present, the NOF requirement is at Rs.25 lakh. In

Helped by softening prices of food items, the retail inflation declined to 5.52 per cent in October, the lowest since the new series of data was introduced in January 2012.

This is the fourth consecutive month of decline in the Consumer Price Index based inflation or retail inflation, which had fallen to 6.46 per cent in the previous month.

The overall food inflation measured on CPI came down to 5.59 per cent in October against 7.67 per cent in the previous month.

Retail prices of vegetables declined by 1.45 per cent against a rise of 8.59 per cent in September, according the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

 

 

a

phased manner, the NBFCs

‘Know Your College’ portal in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla and Ministers of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha and Ram Shankar Katheria. • The portal http:// www.knowyourcollege-gov.in/ has basic details of colleges

would be required to raise it to Rs.1 crore by March, 2016, and

to

further double it to Rs.2 crore

Inflation in fruits slowed to 17.49 per cent from 22.4 per cent in September. Similarly the rate of price rise in protein rich items like eggs, fish and meat was at 6.34 per cent in

by 2017. “NBFCs failing to achieve the prescribed ceiling within the stipulated time period shall not be eligible to hold the CoR (Certificate of Registration) as NBFCs.

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EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy offering technical

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offering technical courses that would help students make an informed choice.

IndianITservicesexport industry to grow at steady pace

IndianITservicesexport industry to grow at steady pace • The Indian IT services exports industry was pegged

• The Indian IT services exports industry was pegged at $50 billion in 2013-14. After

growing at a robust pace of 17-

18 per cent until 2011-12,

growth slowed down to 11-14

per cent in 2012-13 and 2013-

14 amid lower discretionary

spending across companies.

• The industry has shown signs of recovery in volume terms in 2013-14 and 2014-15 due to greater need for regulatory compliance in the banking and financial services sector (example: the Dodd-Frank Act and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act), increase in offshoring by emerging verticals such as retail and healthcare and adoption of new technologies such as social, mobility, analytics and cloud.

• But, billing rate pressures continue in a highly competitive environment, even as global economic growth is perking up. Consequently, CRISIL Research forecasts the industry growth rate to remain below 15 per cent annually over the next two years.

• According to the disclosures made by Tier-I IT companies,

volume growth (in terms of man-month billing) bottomed out since the second half of 2012-13. CRISIL Research expects that growth in volumes will be the only means for Indian IT companies to boost revenues in the medium-term.

• Mid-tier players have lagged larger players in overall revenue growth recovery in the past few quarters. Taking into consideration the interactions with players and their guidance, CRISIL Research expects mid-tier players to grow faster than Tier-I players in the second half of 2014-15 (over a low base).

Rate cut by RBI will give good filliptoeconomysaysJaitley

Rate cut by RBI will give good filliptoeconomysaysJaitley • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said

• Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that since inflation has moderated, “if RBI [Reserve Bank of India], which is a highly professional organisation, in its wisdom decides to bring down the cost of capital [it] will give a good fillip to the Indian economy.”

• The Finance Minister was delivering the key note address at the Citi’s Investor Summit:

‘India – Poised for Higher Growth’. Also present were Finance Ministry officers and RBI Deputy Governor S.S. Mundra.

India’sExportsfallinOctober

Deputy Governor S.S. Mundra. India’sExportsfallinOctober • India’s exports shrunk first time this fiscal in

• India’s exports shrunk first time this fiscal in October, declining minus - 5.04 per cent to $26.09 billion.

• September’s exports were $28.90 billion. A nearly four- fold surge to $4.17 billion in gold imports during the Diwali month of October against $1.09 billion in the same month last year widened the trade deficit to $13.36 billion. The trade deficit was $14.25 billion in September.

• Reserve Bank Deputy Governor S. S. Mundra told reporters here on Monday that over the past two-three days the central bank was in deliberations with the Modi Government on the steps required to be taken in view of the sharp surge in gold imports. He was responding to questions on if curbs on importing gold could be brought back.

• Overall imports rose 3.62 per cent to $39.45 billion, according to the latest official trade data released. Especially worrying is a 9-per cent decline in engineering exports.

JSW Energy agrees to acquire two hydro projects from Jaypee

• The prolonged Jaypee power deal was closed with billionaire Sajjan Jindal signing an agreement with Manoj Gaur to acquire two hydro power

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EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy   projects of

EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy

 

projects of Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd (JVPL) for Rs 9700 crore.

• Currently the company is setting up a 240 MW hydro power plant in Himachal Pradesh. Both the acquired

power plants have 29 years and

 

issued jointly by Kotak Mahindra Bank and ING Vysya Bank stated.

•

• “This exchange ratio indicates an implied price of Rs.790 for each ING Vysya share based on the average closing price of Kotak shares during one month to November 19, 2014, which is a 16 per cent premium to a like measure of ING Vysya market price,” it added.

 

37

years life respectively and

can

be extended for another

20

years, the company said.

• “This is an attractive deal for our shareholders as it is expected to be earning accretive on closure. Our strategy is to increase capacity many fold

 

JSW Energy said it had executed documents to acquire 100 per cent stake in the two power plants with a combined capacity of 1391 MW from JPVL and other shareholders.

 

and

create synergy through a

• The proposed merger would result in issuance of approximately 15.2 per cent of the equity share capital of the merged Kotak.

• One of ING Vysya’s directors will be joining the Board of Directors of Kotak.

mix

of organic and inorganic

opportunities supported by excellence on operation,” Sajjan Jindal, Chairman and Managing Director, JSW Energy said.

The board of directors of JPVL has approved the transfer of

 

• The merger decision was taken

300

MW Baspa II Hydro-

Electric project and the 1091 MW Karcham Wangtoo Hydro- Electric project, both located in Himachal Pradesh, into a separate company called Himachal Baspa Power Company Ltd (HBPC Ltd) as a going concern through a scheme of arrangement which would be acquired by JSW Energy.

ING Vysya Bank decided to merge with Kotak Mahindra Bank

ING Vysya Bank decided to merge with Kotak Mahindra Bank

at their respective board meetings of Kotak Mahindra Bank and the ING Vysya Bank.

• The amalgamation is subject to the approval of the shareholders of Kotak and ING Vysya respectively, Reserve Bank of India under the Banking Regulation Act, the Competition Commission of India and such other regulatory approvals as may be required.

“Subsequent to the scheme of arrangement being made effec- tive and subject to other terms and conditions agreed be- tween the company and JPVL, JSW Energy proposes to ac- quire 100 per cent of the secu- rities of HBPC Ltd held by

JPVL,” JSW Energy said in a fil- ing to the stock exchanges.

In an all stock amalgamation,

• Upon obtaining all approvals, when the merger becomes effective, “all ING Vysya branches and employees will become Kotak branches and employees. ING Vysya’s CEO designate, Uday Sareen, will be inducted into the top management of Kotak reporting directly to Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak.”

Labour ministry proposed new law for small factories

ING

Vysya Bank decided to

merge with Kotak Mahindra

Bank, creating the fourth largest private sector bank in the country.

ING

Vysya shareholders will

receive 725 shares in Kotak for 1,000 shares of ING Vysya. “The share exchange ratio is considered fair and reasonable given the underlying value of ING Vysya, as also giving shareholders the ability to

benefit from the potential that

This acquisition opens a new chapter in JSW Energy and makes it the largest hydro en- ergy producer in the private sector. With this the company

 

can

be realised upon merging

The Labour Ministry has proposed the Small Factories

 

total generation capacity in- cluding thermal will go up to

4531

MW.

into Kotak,” a press release

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EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy (Regulation of

EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy

(Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Bill to govern wages and conditions of work in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The Bill envisages rules for wages, overtime hours, social security and appointment of factory inspectors in units employing fewer than 40 workers.

factory inspectors in units employing fewer than 40 workers. • While the government intro- duced the

• While the government intro- duced the Factories Act (Amendment) Bill, 2014 in the Lok Sabha in August, the new Bill has been proposed to align the work conditions in the SMEs with the Factories Act amendments and allow enter- prises to file compliance forms online as the government an- nounced earlier this month.

• “There was a demand from the SME sector for a separate Act to govern them. In line with that, this Act will reduce the number of forms required for compliance with rules. It will allow the SMEs to employ women in night shifts based on the fulfilment of certain condi- tions.

• It will change the inspection system to one based on self- certification and inspections based on computer lots as an- nounced by the government earlier this month,” a senior Labour Ministry official says.

• The Bill builds on the Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnish- ing Returns and Maintaining

Registers by Certain Establish- ments) Amendment Bill, 2011, which increases the number of laws under which units will be exempt from maintaining reg- isters and filings returns, he adds.

ATM use over 5 timeswillattractfeenow

returns, he adds. ATM use over 5 timeswillattractfeenow • Using ATMs (automated teller machines) to withdraw

• Using ATMs (automated teller machines) to withdraw money or for other purposes such as balance enquiry beyond five times in a month will attract a levy of Rs.20 a transaction from Saturday.

• According to the Reserve Bank of India’s new guidelines that come into force from Saturday, bank customers in six metros — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Banga- lore — are allowed to withdraw money and/or carry out non-fi- nancial transactions like mini- statements at ATMs of banks, where they hold saving/current accounts, free of charge only five times a month.

• Every transaction beyond this threshold will be charged Rs.20 per use. Besides, the number of free transactions at ATMs of non-home banks has been cut to three times a month from five times.

TRAIwillstartreviewof telecom interconnect charges

• Telecom regulator TRAI is likely

week

to

review

this

interconnect charges, which one telecom operator pays to another for completing calls and SMSs.

operator pays to another for completing calls and SMSs. • In Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

• In

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has reduced intercon- nect charges, leading to reduc- tion in tariffs.

• TRAI has plans to start process to review IUC (inter usage con- nection) charges this week,. This would be second IUC re- view by TRAI after the one in 2009. The regulation was framed in 2003.

• At present, TRAI had fixed a mobile call termination charge at 20 paise per minute for all local and national long-dis- tance charges. This charge ear- lier varied between 15 to 50 paise depending on the dis- tance.

• This means that a telecom com- pany now pays 20 paise per minute charge to the other company on whose network call has been made.

• The regulator raised the MTC (mobile termination charge) for incoming international calls to 40 paise per minute from 30 paise, while putting a ceiling on carriage fee of 65 paise per minute for domestic long- distance calls.

review,

the

previous

Coreindustries’growth drops to 1.9 % in September

• Growth of the eight core industries dropped to 1.9 per

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EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy cent in September from 9

EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy

cent in September from 9 per cent in the same month last year due to fall in output of crude oil, natural gas, refinery products and fertilizer. The growth stood at 5.8 per cent in August.

fertilizer. The growth stood at 5.8 per cent in August. • Crude oil, natural gas, refinery

• Crude oil, natural gas, refinery products and fertilizer output registered a drop of 1.1 per cent, 6.2 per cent, 2.5 per cent and 11.6 per cent, respectively, in the month under review, according to the data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry.

• Expansion in other four sectors — coal, cement, steel and electricity — stood at 7.2 per cent, 3.2 per cent, 4 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively, against a rise of 13.6 per cent, 12.1 per cent, 10.7 per cent and 12.9 per cent rise, respective, in September,

2013.

• During the April-September period, the eight sectors grew by 4 per cent against 5 per cent in the same period a year-ago.

Fiscaldeficittouches83%of

full-yeartargetinfirst6months

in global crude prices that will reduce the oil subsidy bill.

g
g

• A 25 per cent fall in oil prices since June has helped Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government contain oil and fertilizer subsidies, but revenue growth has been slow. In his maiden budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had targeted a reduction in the fiscal deficit to 4.1 per cent of the gross domestic product in the current fiscal year, down from 4.5 per cent in the previous year.

• Prime Minister Modi ordered bureaucrats to stop flying first- class, as part of austerity drive aimed at reducing discretionary spending by 10 per cent in the fiscal year to March, 2015.

• The fiscal deficit was Rs.4.39 lakh crore ($71.5 billion) during April-September, or 82.6 per cent of the full-year target, government data showed on

Friday.

• The deficit was 76 per cent during the comparable period in the previous fiscal year. Net tax receipts totalled Rs.3.23 lakh crore ($52.60 billion) in six months of the fiscal year.

• Officials are worried that slow growth in tax collections could force the government to cut capital spending as it has done in the past two years, in order to maintain its credit ratings.

of shares in state-run companies and minority stakes in private companies this fiscal year, but it has still to start the process.

Committee on Economic Affairs hikes MSP for Rabi crops

Committee on Economic Affairs hikes MSP for Rabi crops • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs

• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for several Rabi crops.

• These include wheat, barley, gram, Masur lentil, rapeseed or mustard and safflower. The prices are for the 2014-2015 season which will be marketed in next fiscal.

• The MSP of wheat has been hiked from Rs. 1,400 to Rs. 1,450, barley from Rs. 1,100 to Rs. 1,150, gram from Rs. 3,100 to Rs. 3,175, Masur from Rs. 2,950 to Rs. 3,075, rapeseed from Rs. 3,050 to Rs. 3,100 and safflower from Rs. 3,000 to Rs.

3,050.

• The prices have been decided by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.

FinanceMinistrycuts non-Plan spending by 10%

• The Finance Ministry ordered a mandatory 10 per cent cut in the Centre’s non-Plan expenditure for 2014-15.

The fiscal deficit reached nearly 83 per cent of its full- year target in the first half of this fiscal, giving the government a tough job meeting its budget target even with help from a fall

• The government aims to raise about $9.5 billion from the sale

• The cut does not cover interest payment, repayment of debt, defence capital, salaries, pension or Finance Commission

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EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy grants to States, says a

EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy

grants to States, says a circular. Subsidies will face the brunt of the cuts.

says a circular. Subsidies will face the brunt of the cuts. • The UPA government too

• The UPA government too had in place austerity measures. For 2013-14, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram rolled out cuts of 15 per cent on average across both Plan and non-Plan expenditures. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has spared Plan expenditure from his 10 per cent spending cut.

• A Finance Ministry release said the objective of the fiscal pru- dence and economy measures was the need to rationalise ex- penditure and optimise avail- able resources.

• The Ministry revived its stan- dard measures, including curbs on conferences abroad or in five-star hotels, purchase of vehicles and staff cars, travel curbs on flying first class and ban on new posts.

‘Black money could add $30

billiontoforexreserves’:BofA-

ML

money could add $30 billiontoforexreserves’:BofA- ML • The unearthing of capital flight of black money Indians

• The unearthing of capital flight of black money Indians have

allegedly stashed away in Swiss banks could add USD 30 billion to the country’s forex reserves, says a Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA-ML) report.

• According to the global financial services major, though there would not be any immediate forex impact given the legal issues involved, it could add USD 30-35 billion to the forex reserves over time.

• BofA-ML has worked with an estimate of capital flight of about USD 200 billion based on a recent research study.

• According to the study, Raghbendra Jha and Duc

Nguyen Truong, of Australian National University, estimated total capital flight of more than USD 186 billion during 1998-

2012.

• “If even half of this is unearthed, it could add USD 30-35 billion (three to four months of current import cover) to forex reserves over time,” BofA-ML said in a research note.

Reforming India faces anuncertainglobalsituation

• The linkage between the Indian economy and the global economy, always important for policymakers, has become pronounced recently. As the Modi-led NDA government embarks on some long-pending but overdue reforms in the petroleum and energy sectors, the dynamics of the global environment become particularly evident.

• The decontrol of diesel prices, for long thought of but not implemented due mainly to political considerations, could be implemented at last as global oil prices took a tumble.

What would normally be a controversial move became palatable as decontrol actually made retail diesel prices in India cheaper by more than Rs.3 a litre. With petrol prices having already been deregulated, the government has also rationalised the payment of LPG subsidies to the really needy.

• However, the point needs to be made that if the unexpected fall in global prices has given a unique opportunity for reform, the real test for policymakers will come when oil prices move up from their present low levels.

• Real reform here would require them to stay away during different phases of the petroleum price cycle. Unless of course there are oil shocks that create crisis situations crying out for government interventions.

Indiaworld’s4thlargest

steelmakerinJan-Sept

interventions. Indiaworld’s4thlargest steelmakerinJan-Sept • With 62.41 million tonnes output, India remains the

• With 62.41 million tonnes output, India remains the world’s fourth largest steel producer in the first nine months of the current year, preceded by China, Japan and the US.

• World Steel Association (WSA) data showed India’s steel production grew by 1.8 per cent, the second highest

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EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy among the top four steel

EconomyEconomyEconomyEconomyEconomy

among the top four steel producing nations, during the January-September period from 61.27 MT in the same period last year. • India has been the world’s fourth largest steel maker for the last four years. The order is likely to remain unchanged in current year too, an industry expert said.

• During the first nine months, China produced 618 MT steel which is a little more than half of world’s total production at 1,231 MT.

• China logged 2.3 per cent growth during the period. But its steel production remained static in September, as per data revealed by WSA, at 67.5 MT

when compared with the same month last year. • Japan remained the remote second with 83.1 MT production during the nine- month period clocking just 0.8 per cent growth over 82.4 MT production in the same period last year.

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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

VirginGalacticspacecraft appears to have broken apartinflight

appears to have broken apartinflight • The head of the federal agency examining fatal crash of

• The head of the federal agency examining fatal crash of a Virgin Galactic passenger spaceship during a test flight in California’s Mojave Desert confirmed that the vehicle had broken apart in flight.

• “The debris field indicates an in-flight breakup,” Christopher Hart, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told Reuters.

• “We’ll know that for certainty when we look at all the sources we have,” he said.

• The NTSB is leading the investigation into Friday’s crash of SpaceShip Two, which was undergoing its first powered test flight since January when it crashed, spreading debris over a 5-mile (8 km) swath of the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles.

• Citing a source familiar with the nascent investigation, the report said video and early data was focusing on “aerodynamic forces” that could have led to its downing.

Wearing Google Glass may cause‘blindspots’invision:

study

Google Glass may cause‘blindspots’invision: study • Wearing Google Glass may partially obstruct peripheral

• Wearing Google Glass may partially obstruct peripheral vision, causing blind spots that could interfere with daily tasks such as driving, a new study has found.

• Peripheral visual field is a main component of vision and essential for daily activities such as driving, pedestrian safety and sports.

• Conventional spectacle frames can reduce visual field, sometimes causing absolute blind spots, and head mounted devices have even more pronounced frames, researchers said.

Government ‘cautious’ about tapping nuclear energy for power generation

• Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said nuclear energy offers potential, but the government will remain “cautious” about tapping it for power generation.

• Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said nuclear energy offers

potential, but the government will remain “cautious” about tapping it for power generation.

remain “cautious” about tapping it for power generation. • On nuclear energy, Mr.Goyal pointed out that

• On nuclear energy, Mr.Goyal pointed out that the US and many European nations have stopped setting up nuclear plants. “This government would like to be cautious so that we are not saddled with something only under the garb of clean energy or alternate energy; something which the West has discarded and is sought to be brought to India,” he said.

• Asked about the logjam that has emerged due to the Nuclear Liability Law, the minister said, “Nuclear has potential and opportunities for India. This government is opening to all

in nuclear, we are

seized of the problem and we are already trying to see how we can address nuclear liability restrictions.”

• He also pointed out that as yet there is no estimate on the life- cycle costs of nuclear power

right up to de-commissioning stage.

• Mr. Goyal’s observations assume significance because so far countries promised contracts for nuclear reactors

options

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had been pressurising India to change its nuclear liability law.

• The US, France and, to a lesser extent, Russia are upset because nothing has moved since 2008 when then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured 10,000 MW of reactors to two US companies, six reactors to French company Areva and up to 16 plants by Russia’s Atomstroyexport.

• The commitment was in ex- change for ending India’s iso- lation from the civil nuclear commerce mainstream after the first nuclear explosion in 1974. As a result, the US along with France and Russian helped India secure an exemp- tion from the Nuclear Suppli- ers’ Group.

FrenchScientistsfind mechanism for spontaneous HIV cure

FrenchScientistsfind mechanism for spontaneous HIV cure • This, in turn, was likely due to stimulation of

• This, in turn, was likely due to stimulation of an enzyme that may in future be targeted for drug treatment to induce the same response, they said.

• “This finding represents an avenue for a cure,” study co- author Didier Raoult of the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) told.

• Neither of the men, one diagnosed HIV positive 30 years ago and the other in 2011, have ever been ill, and the AIDS-causing virus cannot be detected with routine tests of their blood.

• In both, the virus was unable to replicate due to DNA coding changes that the researchers proposed were the result of a spontaneous evolution between humans and the virus that is called “endogenisation”.

• “We propose that HIV cure may occur through HIV endogenisation in humans,” they wrote. The teams said they did not believe the two patients were unique or that the phenomenon was new.

The Antarctic ozone holestandssteady:scientists

was new. The Antarctic ozone holestandssteady:scientists • The ozone hole, which forms annually in the August

• The ozone hole, which forms annually in the August to October period, had peaked to 24 million square kilometres in September last year.

• In comparison, the largest ozone hole area recorded to date on a single day was on September 9, 2000, at 29.9 million square kilometres.

• The ozone layer helps shield life on Earth from potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can cause skin cancer, damage plants and phytoplankton — the top of the oceanic food chain.

• “The good news is that our measurements show less thinning of the ozone over the South Pole during the past three years,” said Bryan Johnson, a researcher with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado.

• “However, the rate at which ozone thins during the month of September has remained about the same for the past two decades. A decrease in this rate will be an important sign of recovery,” said Johnson.

• South Pole balloon-borne ozonesonde observations measured a minimum amount of 120 Dobson Units of ozone this year on September 29. Ozonesonde measurements of 250 Dobson Units in August are common just before the rapid destruction of ozone in September, researchers said.

As many as 1,482 French scientists unveiled the genetic mechanism by which they believe two men were spontaneously cured of HIV, and said the discovery may offer a new strategy in the fight against AIDS.

 

In both asymptomatic men, the AIDS-causing virus was inacti- vated due to an altered HIV gene coding integrated into human cells, they wrote in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

The Antarctic ozone hole reached its peak size in September, stretching to 24.1 million square kilometres, almost the same size as last year’s peak, scientists say.

 

European Space agency publishedfirstpicture from the surface of a comet

The European Space Agency published the first image taken

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from the surface of a comet and said that its Philae lander is still “stable” despite a failure to latch on properly to the rocky terrain.

despite a failure to latch on properly to the rocky terrain. • The lander scored a

• The lander scored a historic first Wednesday, touching down on comet 67P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko after a decade- long, 6.4 billion-kilometer (4 billion-mile) journey through space aboard its mother ship Rosetta.

• Scientists’ jubilation was slightly dampened because the harpoons which were meant to anchor the lander to the surface failed to deploy, causing it to bounce twice before it came to rest on the comet’s 4 kilometer-wide body, or nucleus.

• “Philae is stable, sitting on the nucleus and is producing data,” Gerhard Schwehm, a scientist on the Rosetta mission, told The Associated Press. “The lander is very healthy.”

• The photo sent back to Earth shows a rocky surface, with one of the lander’s three feet in the corner of the frame.

• Scientists are still analyzing what effect the two bounces had on the spacecraft and plan to release further details at a news briefing at 2 p.m.

• Communication with the lander is slow, with signals taking more than 28 minutes to travel some 500 million kilometres (300

million miles) between Earth and the Rosetta orbiter.

• Schwehm said it may still be possible to fire the harpoons but that this would be done only if it doesn’t imperil the lander.

RoleofElNinoinheat

build-upinIndianOcean:Study

• The Indian Ocean has been warming at a rate faster than thought before (1.2 deg C during the past century). It is also the largest consistent contributor to the global ocean warming trends. Recent studies show that a warm Indian Ocean can in turn modulate the Pacific conditions including the El Nino events. So basically, such large warming over the Indian Ocean has implications on the global climate.

• The western Indian Ocean, traditionally thought to have cooler sea surface temperatures (SSTs) than the central and eastern Indian Ocean, is surprisingly showing an even stronger summer warming trend over the whole of the 20th century than the central and eastern Indian Ocean.

• The warming is significantly so large that it may alter the monsoon circulation, monsoon rainfall over the ocean and land, marine food webs and fisheries (western Indian Ocean is one of the most productive oceans) and global climate including the El Nino.

• A recent study focused on the causes for this warming and found that it was mainly due to El Nino events, which are getting stronger and more frequent during recent

decades, possibly due to a changing climate.

• These El Nino events weaken the summer westerly (blowing from west to east) winds over the Indian Ocean.

• Winds have the effect of cooling the sea surface. Strong winds cause evaporation and loss of latent heat from the ocean leading to cooling. When the winds are weakened the opposite happens — the ocean warms.

• The study published recently in the Journal of Climate was undertaken by Dr. Roxy Mathew Koll of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune and co- authored by Ritika Kapoor, Pascal Terray and Sebastien Masson.

• This work is part of an Indo- French collaboration, carried out under the National Monsoon Mission set up by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Bone marrow stem cell treatment has no added benefit

Bone marrow stem cell treatment has no added benefit • Bone marrow stem cell treatment has

• Bone marrow stem cell treatment has no added benefit over the conventional treatment in paralysis, also known as stroke, reveals a study conducted by AIIMS.

• According to the study, people suffering from ischemic stroke should exercise caution while opting for stem cell

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therapy of any kind until more controlled studies come to the fore.

• The study financed by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, was conducted over a period of six years between 2008 and 2014 and had sample size of 120 patients, all of whom had suffered from stroke.

• Of the 120 patients, 60 patients were assigned to receive conventional treatment and the rest were assigned to bone marrow stem cells treatment besides the conventional treatment.

• “While half of the patients underwent conventional treatment, the other half underwent stem cell aspiration from hip bone. Bone marrow cells were infused into the veins of their forearms,” the study stated.

• On an average 28 crore bone marrow cells were injected of which blood forming stem cells were on average 29 lakhs per patient. Later, the patients faced difficulties in using arms and legs.

• They were assessed at an interval of 3, 6 months and 12 months and the difficulties they experienced doing various activities of daily livings were measured using two scales which revealed that stem cell treatment is safe but there is no added benefits over the conventional treatment method.

ballistic missile for its full strike range of 2,000 km from Wheeler Island off the Odisha Coast. Personnel of the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) fired the surface-to-surface missile from a mobile launcher.

fired the surface-to-surface missile from a mobile launcher. • The 20-metre-tall Agni-II zoomed to an altitude

• The 20-metre-tall Agni-II zoomed to an altitude of 600 km and began its descent before splashing near its pre- designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal with “two-digit accuracy.”

• A battery of sophisticated radars, electro-optical systems and telemetry stations along the east coast tracked the trajectory and monitored various parameters of the missile from the launch till the terminal phase during the 14- minute flight. Two downrange ships recorded the final event as the dummy warhead detonated.

• The exercise was carried out as regular user training under the supervision of missile scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which designed and developed the weapon system. The two-stage missile has been inducted for military use and can carry a one- tonne payload.

• V.G. Sekaran, Director-General, DRDO (Missiles and Strategic Systems); M.V.K.V. Prasad, Director of Integrated Test

Range; Lakshminarayana, Project Director; senior DRDO scientists; and Army officials were present.

• A top DRDO official lauded the SFC team for displaying clockwork precision. “This gives lot of confidence in a combat kind of situation,” he said.

• Terming Agni-II a workhorse, the official said the overall mission objectives were met precisely. The navigation, guidance and control aspects of this class of missile were proven once again.

NASA tests 3D-printed partsforrocketengine

once again. NASA tests 3D-printed partsforrocketengine • NASA has successfully tested 3D manufactured copper

• NASA has successfully tested 3D manufactured copper parts for rocket engines and found they could withstand the heat and pressure required for space launches.

• Aerojet Rocketdyne (AR) at NASA’s Glenn Research Centre in partnership with NASA successfully completed the first hot-fire tests on an advanced rocket engine thrust chamber assembly using copper alloy materials.

• This was the first time a series of rigorous tests confirmed that 3D manufactured copper parts could withstand the heat and pressure required of combustion engines used in space launches, NASA said.

Agni-IIballisticmissile

test-firedfromWheelerIsland

India test-fired the nuclear weapon-capable Agni-II

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• In all, NASA and AR conducted 19 hot-fire tests on four injector and thrust chamber assembly configurations, exploring various mixture ratios and injector operability points and were deemed fully successful against the planned test programme.

• “The successful hot fire test of subscale engine components provides confidence in the additive manufacturing process and paves the way for full scale development,” said Tyler Hickman, lead engineer for the test at Glenn.

• The work is a major milestone in the development and certification of different materials used in this manufacturing process, NASA said.

• According to AR, copper alloys offer unique challenges to the additive manufacturing processes. The micro-structure and material properties can be well below typical copper.

• So they have worked through a regimented process to optimise and lock down processing characteristics and have performed rigorous materials tests to know how the alloy performs structurally.

Two Akash missiles testedagain

alloy performs structurally. Two Akash missiles testedagain • Two Akash Surface-to-Air supersonic missiles were fired

• Two Akash Surface-to-Air supersonic missiles were fired in quick succession by Indian

Air Force personnel to destroy one fast moving Banshee unmanned aerial vehicles and a simulated electronic target at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, in Odisha.

• While one missile hit and destroyed the target in a low altitude near boundary mission, the other missile war head detonated in the vicinity of the simulated target in a far boundary high altitude exercise.